The Hard Way w/ Joe De Sena

How far would you take a dare, especially one that started as a joke? These guys took it all the way up Mont Ventoux, the iconic slog of the Tour de France, on a clunky cumbersome rental bike built for flat city lanes. They attempt the same feat up Mt. Washington.  Why? Because others were calling it impossible. They were also driven by a worthy cause, Macmillan Cancer Support. Faced with adversity every step of the way, they pushed forward, always eking out a solution. Their achievement epitomizes the adage "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."

1. People saying it's impossible makes it all the better.
2. Keep going even when it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Things will often pull together at the last moment.
3. Just start it.

Direct download: 036-BorisBikeGuys-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Professor Robert Sternberg, psychologist and psychometrician thinks schools have been testing and teaching the wrong qualities for the last century. What if we've been frittering away vast amounts of human potential in that same time frame? Cornell Professor Sternberg has found that success in academics and in life is more closely tied to creative and practical thinking, wisdom and ethics than it is to IQ and memorization, the measures currently in use. He's on a mission to shake things up. Sternberg also has some invaluable advice on perseverance and seeing through our passions, and he speaks from experience as his path stretches all the way back  to elementary school.

1. The most valuable qualities for success are not tested for in schools: creative and practical thought, wisdom and ethics.
2. Keep going in the face of obstacles; persevere, but also realize when you're in the wrong race.
3. Achieving success is not always getting to your original goal. Sometimes the path was right but the goal was wrong or the goal was right but the path was wrong. Constantly reexamine your path and your goal. 

Direct download: 035-Robert_Sternberg-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

As superhuman as skilled parkour practitioners appear, Dan Edwardes reveals a very different view of the sport he helped popularize. Through running, jumping, crawling and climbing it brings us back to our roots, the functional ways that humans were meant to move, quite apart from the desk jockeying and couch denting now common. According to Edwardes, Parkour is a metaphor for life: one person's obstacle is another's stepping stone. As he proves, this amazing sport has the ability to completely flip flop your frame of reference.

1. Treat fear like a cowardly friend--it's advice might be right some of the time, but you wouldn't want it to rule your life.
2. Obstacles are really stepping stones we can use to better our lives.
3. If you are content on the path you have chosen, then you are successful no matter the opinion of others.

Direct download: 034-Dan_Edwards-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

For the founder, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, getting fired in the prime of his career is the best thing that ever happened to Barry Sternlicht. He recruited a couple of friends, borrowed a few million dollars, followed a business plan that bucked all conventions, and set off on a path that would make him a real estate and hotel investing star. He tucked away this mantra in his wallet for eight years: “Perseverance is genius in disguise.” He found it in a fortune cookie. Sternlicht, in fact, is a treasure trove of adages which have no doubt driven him through the tough times. His father, a holocaust survivor, was one of his first inspirations.

1. Perseverance is genius in disguise.
2. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
3. Find the freight trains in your life and then get on them instead of in front of them.

Direct download: 033-Barry_Sternlicht-SpartanUp-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT