ted talk

Donna Knutt – CEO of Luxie Labs

Donna Knutt is a coder, designer, mom and CEO of Luxie Labs, these are her good things.

Good things to read.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.   Ahhh procrastination. The enemy of us all! When Mike asked me to write my 3 things I was excited to share. The professional in me said “oh that’s easy, just jot down your 3 things for each category and you’re done…easy peasy.” Two days later, no list. How could something so seemingly simple be so darn difficult to complete. Pressfield calls it Resistance. It’s that destructive force inside us that rises whenever we embark on a difficult, or lengthy task that might do for us or others something that’s actually good. Its aim is to distract us; prevent us from doing our work. Yes even with years of business and writing experience, I let fear beat me until I remembered what Pressfield said. “Resistance hates it when we turn pro.” If you’ve ever struggled with completing any creative endeavor, (starting a biz, writing a book, running a marathon, etc) read The War of Art. It’ll help you overcome those obstacles we all bump into, and develop a more disciplined version of yourself. Highly recommend it!

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.  You know those books that you read that make you wonder if the author was secretly spying on you or ninja-ed their way into your head? Well this is one of those books. If you’ve ever felt that there’s gotta be more to life, or that you were meant to do something great but you weren’t sure what or how, then read the AONC. Chris shows you another way to live. In his words, the overall message of the book is this: “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time. Here’s how to do it.” It’s a book I recommend to all my friends and clients who are “non-conformist” like myself. And once my son learns how to read, please believe it’ll be on his reading list!

The Bible. I remember reading a story about George Buttrick, a former chaplain at Harvard University a few years ago. His students use to come to his office, plop down on his chair and say, “I don’t believe in God,” and Buttrick would give them this charming response: “Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don’t believe in, I probably don’t believe in that God either.” Most people have a distorted view of who God is, and they reject him because of past experiences, the church, family, movies, etc. But if you’re anything like me, you probably hate when people assume things about you that aren’t true. And I believe if we take the time to really read the bible for ourselves, we’ll develop a different view and better understanding of not only God but ourselves. The most challenging part though is sometimes “where do I start?” I say start anywhere. If you have to choose, I like Romans. It’s short, easy to read, and covers basically everything we need to understand and do while we’re chillin here on earth 🙂

Good things to watch.

The Good Life Project TV.  The Good Life Project TV is a weekly web show that highlights authors, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and innovators that are building meaningful things and bringing people together. Very inspiring!

Simon Sinek – Start With Why.   In this video, Sinek explains why some people or organizations are more innovative and influential, and how they are able to build and sustain large communities around their brand.

The sunset on the beach. It’s a totally magical and peaceful experience; To just sit and marvel at all that God has created.

Good things to use.

Your gut.  I can’t tell you how many times I went through something and had a gut feeling, but totally ignored it, only to find myself disappointed or stressed because I didn’t listen to myself. It’s happened too many times for me not to bring this one up. Normally we get to a point where we have to make a decision about something. It could be a job offer, a relationship, school, basically any life changing decision that will totally alter our mere existence! We dance around the options, knowing full well what we should do deep down inside. So the next time you come across a hard decision, trust your gut. It’s our internal guide or compass of sorts that directs us to exactly where we need to be.

Evernote.  This app is a lifesaver. I can jot down ideas, attach images, recordings, etc. and it syncs across all my devices. It’s a nice neat place to get all my ideas out of my head and into an organized space online (I’m actually writing this in Evernote right now).

Your muscles.  I recently did the Spartan Race in Citi Field. It was a total experience! I had never done any kind of race like it in my life, but after seeing a video about it I knew I had to do it! Everything about it was intimidating (3-4 miles of obstacles: rope climbing, crawling, lifting, you name it) but I was up for the challenge. It required mental toughness and physical strength so I had to train. Training for it showed me that if I pushed myself, I was capable of doing way more than I gave myself credit for. And the biggest thing I learned was that most obstacles we face are more mental than anything. So no matter your age, get out there and exercise. Push yourself. If it means signing up for something crazy like the Spartan Race, so be it. Just get out there.

Connect with Donna on Twitter, @DonnaKnutt.


Paul Jarvis – Gentleman of Adventure

Paul Jarvis “writes books and makes websites for awesome people.”  He writes at PJRVS.com as well as Medium.com and these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Abby Kerr—Abby and her team are some of the smartest strategy and content folks I’ve ever known. Every blog post is packed with great advice and insight.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle—I get lost in my work/industry sometimes and read far too much non-fiction. It’s good to take a break with something out there, and this is my favourite fictional book by my favourite author.

Life Without Pants — Matt has always got great advice about working for yourself. My favourite hustler.

Good things to watch.

Hell on Wheels—It’s a well-written period piece about building America’s railroads. I’m not even from the US and I really enjoy it. It’s got amazing characters you’ll love to hate (seriously, there are no straight-up heroes) and very intentional story-line. It’s on Netflix at well (since I don’t have a TV or cable).

BlogCastFM—Although technically you can’t “watch” this, since it’s a podcast, you also can’t “read” or “use” it, so I’m putting it here. Srinivas Rao is a brilliant interviewer who has some amazing guests on his show to share their stories about business, success, entrepreneurialism and other topics. Always time well spent listening.

Shane Koyczan’s “To This Day” TED Talk—one of the most honest and touching TED talks I’ve ever watched.

Good things to use.

IA Writer—I use this program to write all the articles and books I’ve ever written. I love it because it has no features, all you can do is use it to write without distraction.

The Adoption Form at Your Local Shelter—I’m a big believer that the animal companion you’re looking for is in a shelter somewhere, looking for you to adopt them.

Mailbox—I love me some “inbox zero”, and this app let’s me get there quickly. You can use it to be reminded of emails that are important, but important right now (so they show back up into your inbox at a later time/date). Plus, every time you zero your inbox, you see a beautiful and always changing photograph.

You can connect with Paul Jarvis on Twitter, @pjrvs

Kevin Geary – The Rebooted Body

Kevin is the man behind The Rebooted Body, a website dedicated to reprogramming your mind and body for rapid weight loss, vibrant health, and peak performance.

Good Things to Read.

I hate watching people struggle with their weight and I really hate hearing over and over again that we’re suffering an obesity epidemic — especially in children. The book that got me started on the right path and that I continue to recommend is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.

My second recommendation has to do with getting back to the basics and enjoying life again. We’re all so overscheduled and anxiety-ridden that we should be considered Human Doings rather than Human Beings. Mark Sisson’s The Primal Connection is the blueprint for getting back to health and happiness by reconnecting with our primal nature.

My last recommendation is for people who want to back to a state of mobility, flexibility, and overall performance (whether you define performance as doing a Spartan obstacle race or simply playing more actively with your children). The Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett is the go-to resource for all things mobility: healing, injury prevention, injury recovery, restoring functional movement, and achieving peak performance. This book teaches you how safely and effectively do things to yourself that you’d normally have to hire a physical therapist for.

Good Things to Watch.

I know I’m talking about the same person twice here, but Kelly Starrett and Brian Mackenzie (a world-class running and performance coach) recently started a brand new free biweekly television show called Genetic Potential TV. Great stuff.

For anyone who is interested in starting to eat healthier but doesn’t want to dive in head first and really get into the science of it all, Fat Head is a good start. It’s super easy to watch, it’s funny, and while it doesn’t have all the answers it’s a great starting point. Hint: It’s on Netflix.

I’m not necessarily a fan of Jamie Oliver. I don’t know a whole lot about him so I can’t really say either way how much I agree or disagree with his philosophy. What I can say is that I enjoyed his powerful TED talk about teaching children about food and I think you should watch it right now.

Good Things to Use.

If you don’t know how to self-massage and perform myofascial release with a lacrosse ball, you’re severely missing out on good recovery and stress relief. I have them at home and work, and I travel with them as well.

I used to think that working out required a lot of equipment. That was until I found the Ultimate Sandbag. I can do every single functional exercise I need to do with it, it’s portable, and it’s fun. And when I go to the beach or on a cruise I empty it before I disembark and fill it with sand when I get to my destination and I’m ready to rock. It’s the only piece of equipment I need.

If you’re interested in increasing strength but you don’t want to deal with lifting things yet, there’s a great bodyweight strength training app for the iPhone that I recommend: YAYOG (You Are Your Own Gym). Start there!

You can get more of Kevin and The Rebooted Body on Twitter.

Janine Eccleston – Accounting major

Janine writes at My Pennies, My Thoughts and these are her good things.

Good things to read.

The Power of Habit is an amazing book that tells you why you do things and how we form habits. I learned a lot about myself through reading this book.

The Last Lecture was a lecture given by a professor who was dying of cancer at quite a young age. His last lecture sends a lot of strong messages and was a way for his children to remember him.

The Art of Happiness is a quick read, but it really puts great perspectives on how you view things in your life.

Good things to watch.

Modern Family is a hilarious T.V. show that I keep up on week to week. The family dynamics are incredible and this show always has me laughing. The episodes are short (I wish they were longer) so this makes it easy to keep up with. If you are looking for a good laugh check out the pilot to this show, you will be hooked!

Hungry for Change is a powerful documentary that really gets you thinking about what in fact you are putting in your body. This documentary changed the way I look at food. Definitely worth watching!

Sheryl Sandberg and her TED Talk addresses women in business and more specifically why there are less women in executive roles.

Good things to use.

Yelp! I use Yelp almost daily to look up great places in my city and cities I’m travelling to. Yelp has a great community of people who are dedicated to writing reviews of the good the bad and the ugly.

Runkeeper App. I’m attempting to start running and so far I really like this app because not only does it let you track how far you have run and your time, you can sign up for work out plans that will help you achieve your goals!

A planner. I still use a paper and pen when it comes to planning my life. We are all so caught up in technology it’s a nice break. I love my planner and wouldn’t trade it for the world

Parker Holcomb – Founder of All College and Research Habits Digital

These are Parker Holcomb’s good things.

Good things to read.

The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller. Nothing has shaped my world view like this book. It served as my introduction to the fields of evolutionary psychology and human nature. Everyone wants to know where we came from and why we do what we do (or why we think how we think)…you’ll never thing about those questions the same way again.

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley. It’s going to be OK. In fact, it’s going to be great. Not only should we be excited for the iPhone 7, but innovations that address education, energy demand and political transparency. Ridley expands on how humanity benefits from the primary feature of humanity that separates us from the rest of organic life – (idea) exchange. “Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog”. – Adam Smith

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. A must read for any entrepreneur. Heard about thefacebook.com? I think its going to be big.

Good things to watch.

Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement. If you haven’t watched this yet, hurry up – you’re going to die soon.

A Darwinian View of Beauty. – TED talk by Denis Dutton. “Beauty is evolutions way of arousing and sustaining interest, fascination, obsession in order to encourage us to make the most adaptive decisions for reproduction and survival”.

Girls on HBO. Did I really just say that publicly?

Good things to use.

Evernote has revolutionized both my personal and business life over the past 2+ years. My elevator pitch – not worrying about memory frees up cognitive load to be innovative. I basically remember nothing, but I can access anything I thought was important during that period in the next 8 seconds.

Transforming thoughts from your head to the physical world is hard. MindNode Pro is a great way to brain dump, then later recall your thought process or share that process with others.

eHighlighter. Take great notes from paper books and articles. 90% faster.

Paul Copcutt – personal brand builder

These are Paul Copcutt’s good things

What are some good things you’ve read?

The Brand You 50 by Tom Peters – was the first book I read on personal branding and led me to doing what I do now. Made me realise that what I had been doing in a corporate career that starting in banking and ended in biotech (I failed math and biology in school) now had a label – personal branding. Still one of the better ‘tips’ books on the subject.

Linchpin by Seth Godin – great book to make people understand and realise the importance of taking charge of their careers (and lives). Make yourself indispensible.

Drive by Dan Pink – if you need to understand what motivates and inspires anyone you work with under the age of 35 read this. Also to help understand where the world of work (and more) is heading and why traditional models need to change.

What are some good things you’ve watched?

RSA Animate of Sir Ken Robinsons TED Talk – an entertaining and fast visual way to appreciate Sir Ken’s passion for changing education and why it is so key.

RSA Animate of Dan Pink’s summary of his book Drive – if you do not want to read the book, listen to author summary and visual capture in cartoon.

Start With Why? – TED Talk by Simon Sinek -no real need to pick up the book after watching this. He captures it all on one sheet of flipchart and makes a compelling case for starting with Why. After all what use is anything else or action unless you have a burning reason to do them .

What are some good things you’ve used?

StandOut assessment by Marcus Buckingham. A leader in the idea of maximising your strengths. I have always found it hard to even remember half the time what my Myers Brigs is, let alone what they mean. With this he distills your strengths down to two.

360 Reach assessment – the first and still the best personal brand assessment. Gather others perceptions of your brand and use that information to develop your unique message.

EvalYOUation – if you do not define your core values and what they mean to you how can you make objective decisions about your career, life and personal brand.? Take the time to get very clear on these, it sets your moral compass.