This is my obligatory “I get asked what I read a fair amount so I figured I’d put together a page,” page. Rather than just a reading page I’m going to add videos and podcasts too.
I’m also going to use this as my online library. A place where I can always look back on things I’ve read in case I’m looking for something. My view on what I read / listen to is similar to who I surround myself with: Those with similar interests, goals and or similar values. As best I can I try to avoid people selling nonsense (rampant in the fitness and health arena), or those where the first thing you see on their website is a picture of them with their shirt off. Or, if the first thing I see when I visit a website is a pop up asking me for my email, there’s a good chance I hate that website.
Of course, just because I link to something below does not mean I’m in agreement with everything about that person or resource. I try to look at things and go “Is the overall value of this a net benefit?” Where, maybe I disagree with some things, but do I agree with considerably more than I disagree? And is anything I disagree with a deal breaker? You get the idea.
All the links to the books or sites are below. Because the list is so big I put together a beginning list: The starting list to my learning list.
Tangential to this: I try to give credit to whatever I use in my posts. Such as pictures or information. If I feel the picture is original and I can tell where it came from, I give it credit. If I don’t know where it came from, or it’s simply the first picture I see in Google Images when I type in something like “psoas,” then I usually don’t worry about where it came from. Some people are obsessed with giving credit on every little thing, even on the open internet, and some don’t care at all. I try to strike a balance.
Finally, I’ll be continually updating this.
You can scroll through, or click a section below to be taken to it:
- Movement / Pain
- Sport Performance
- Online Sources
- Non-reading Sources
- My Mailbag and History posts
The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution -This could go under the miscellaneous category, but as someone who deals with people’s eating, I took the nutrition aspects of this book more than anything else. While an arduous read at times, the authors make a convincing case, contrary to many opinions -such as the paleo movement- that we have not stopped evolving. That the advent of agriculture has not made it so we no longer evolve, but we are still changing, and doing it faster than ever.
A common paleo argument is our environment has changed drastically since agriculture formed 10,000 years ago, but our biology has not. This book dispels that notion through an extensive genetic analysis. Case in point: Lactose tolerance is nearly universal in those with European descent, but lactose tolerance is less than 10,000 years old. Why is this? How do we know this? This book answers that and more. Suffice to say: You shouldn’t be so worried about eating like we did 10,000 years ago. Your body, through evolution, has taken care of a lot of this already.
A Guide to Flexible Dieting -Lyle McDonald will make recurring appearances on this list. He has influenced my thinking as much as anyone. His information and knowledge base is outstanding. I will likely never be as knowledgable as him from a nutrition standpoint, and I am more than ok with that. Unfortunately, and as Lyle has mentioned this, this is probably his least popular, but most important book. Another title could be “Dieting without going insane.”
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human – For all the raw food, organic, blah-blah people out there…YOU’RE ALL WRONG!!!
The No-Bull Muscle Building Plan -A book on gaining muscle without getting fat. This book isn’t very applicable to your everyday person who is really only trying to lose weight. However, if you’re looking at an unconventional method of gaining muscle without turning into a tub of lard, check it out. Kelly does a great job giving a primer on how hormones are affected by eating.
The Rapid Fat-Loss Manual -Lyle McDonald’s method of losing weight as fast as possible without losing muscle. This diet is hard as fuck but extremely effective.
The Stubborn Fat Solution -If you’ve ever wondered why certain areas of your body take forever to lean up while others areas seem to melt fat away instantaneously, this book tells you why.
The Ultimate Diet 2.0 -While this is a diet primarily aimed at getting very lean without losing muscle, or even gaining muscle while losing fat, the best part of this book is the primer on hormones. Reading Lyle’s writing is much better than reading the stereo instruction writing style of research papers.
Movement / Pain
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2e –I saw Tom Myers (author) speak in person; my notes here.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes (Shoulder, lower back, hip.) -This is THE book. I can’t put into words how influential this book has been on me. I feel as if anyone who deals with people in any type of physical setting (athletic training, physical therapists, personal trainers, physicians, etc.) should know this book. And yet barely anyone does.
This book took me probably 3 months to fully digest, and I still refer back to it often. 3 months to read one single book. It was not an easy read. In fact, I often see other people cite this book as having influence on them but I can easily tell by their blog posts, or whatever they’re writing and saying, they never fully grasped it. Probably indicative of how long and hard it is to get through. Especially when you’re reading it “for fun.”
However, I can’t tell you how much money the knowledge I’ve gained from this book has made me, how many people I’ve gotten out of pain because of this book, how many people I’ve prevented from ever getting into pain, etc. If I ever get to the point where I’m hiring someone, this book will be a prerequisite.
Reading, and KNOWING, this book will easily put you in the top 1-5% in your field. (Granted, that’s not always saying much in physical therapy or personal training.) Not only that, but you’ll realize how clueless the people who haven’t read this book are when it comes to exercising people.
Someone recently emailed me saying they tried to read this, but felt they weren’t ready for it yet. If you know basic anatomy, basic anatomical terms, you’re ready for it. It’s just that hard to get through. You can’t read this like you’re reading a novel. I would read a few pages, go train a couple of people, think about what I read, come back, read a few pages, and keep doing this. I did this for months. It was akin to taking a course in college. A course I’m always rethinking and revisiting.
A Guide to Better Movement: The Science and Practice of Moving With More Skill And Less Pain -I really enjoyed the first ~70% of this book, which is all about explaining pain and the science behind it and movement. However much I enjoyed that aspect, I probably equally did not enjoy the “Ok, what do I do now” next 30%.
Illustrated Essentials of Musculoskeletal Anatomy -I haven’t looked at a ton of anatomy books, but that’s primarily because this one is so good. The best guide I’ve seen to getting started with anatomy.
Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Extremities, Cervical and Thoracic Spines -Very similar to the above. However, after you’ve read the first volume this volume isn’t quite as revelatory. It is still fantastic though.
Washington University in St. Louis Research
I’ve written how much I value this University here. Here’s research I’ve read from them:
- Acetabular Labral Tears
- Anterior Hip Joint Force Increases with Hip Extension, Decreased Gluteal Force, or Decreased Iliopsoas Force
- Classification, Intervention, and Outcomes for a Person With Lumbar Rotation With Flexion
- Clinical Examination Procedures to Determine the Effect of Axial Decompression on Low Back Pain Symptoms in People With Chronic Low Back Pain
- Clinical Presentation of Patients with Symptomatic Anterior Hip Impingement
- Differences in Activity Limitation Between 2 Low Back Pain Subgroups Based on the Movement System Impairment Model
- Differences in end-range lumbar flexion during slumped sitting and forward bending between low back pain subgroups and genders
- Differences in lumbopelvic motion between people with and people without low back pain during two lower limb movement tests
- Differences in symmetry of lumbar region passive tissue characteristics between people with and people without low back pain
- Effect of Active Limb Movements on Symptoms in Patients with Low Back Pain
- Effect of Hip Angle on Anterior Hip Joint Force during Gait
- Effect of position and alteration in synergist muscle force contribution on hip forces when performing hip strengthening exercises
- Further Examination of Modifying Patient-Preferred Movement and Alignment Strategies in Patients with Low Back Pain During Symptomatic Tests
- Further examination of modifying patient-preferred movement and alignment strategies in patients with low back pain during symptomatic tests
- Gender Differences in Modifying Lumbopelvic Motion during Hip Medial Rotation in People with Low Back Pain
- Gender differences in pattern of hip and lumbopelvic rotation in people with low back pain
- Hip Abductor Weakness in Distance Runners with Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Hip Rotation Range of Motion in People With and Without Low Back Pain Who Participate in Rotation-Related Sports
- It pays to have a spring in your step
- Muscle Activation and Movement Patterns During Prone Hip Extension Exercise in Women
- Relationship Between the Hip and Low Back Pain in Athletes Who Participate in Rotation-Related Sports
- Reliability of Physical Examination Items Used for Classification of Patients With Low Back Pain
- Diagnosis and Management of a Patient With Knee Pain Using the Movement System Impairment Classification System
- Sex differences in lumbopelvic movement patterns during hip medial rotation in people with chronic low back pain
- The effect of within-session instruction on lumbopelvic motion during a lower limb movement in people with and people without low back pain
- The Relationship of Acetabular Dysplasia and Femoroacetabular Impingement to Hip Osteoarthritis: A Focused Review
- Use of a Classification System to Guide Nonsurgical Management of a Patient With Chronic Low Back Pain
- Use of a Movement System Impairment Diagnosis for Physical Therapy in the Management of a Patient With Shoulder Pain
- Walking with Increased Ankle Pushoff Decreases Hip Muscle Moments
You can find all these in pubmed.
I also highly recommend this paper, Movement Control Impairment as a Sub-group of Non-specific Low Back Pain, as it helps tie all the above research together, and incorporates the pain science world.
And here is a talk by Shirley Sahrmann who helped birth the PT department at Washington University into what it is:
The 48 Laws of Power -Awesome book on the game of power. You’ll look at people a lot differently after reading this.
50th Law -A continuation of the 48 laws. This one is much more about your mindset, with business being a byproduct.
The Bootstrapper’s Bible -“Surviving is succeeding.”
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future -Read this in a day. Lots of lessons and insights.
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) -By the famous Seth Godin. If you want to achieve something worthwhile you have to be able to stick it out. On the other side though, “If it’s not going to put a dent in the world, quit.”
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It -How systems are crucial.
The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late -My primary purpose for listing this book is illustrating the importance of self-education. The premise of the book is there are a lot of successful people who never went to college.
My Life & Work – An Autobiography of Henry Ford -I was shocked how good this book was. Timeless.
How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It– From Mark Cuban. I enjoy his different takes on investing as well.
Rework -Talks about some general business mindsets but in a very unconventional way. I love the comments about building a business through a blog.
The Wright Brothers -You may not initially think of this as a business book, but I love the brothers resourcefulness. Laid a foundation for modern aviation using only $1,000. No outside money. Minimal outside help. Great story. At least until they went crazy over patents!
Businesses I enjoy:
- Amazon- More and more is coming out on their business practices that makes me less and less sure about them. The principles of Amazon seem great, but I’ve become progressively uneasy at their implementation.
- American Express
- Apple- Their “elegance” (pretentiousness) wears on me at times. As does their price gouging. You get more than most realize when you buy an Apple product, but when you have nearly $200 billion in the bank, you don’t need to charge what they do.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich- This one is starting to get obnoxious.
- Louis CK
- Lyft- Uber is the better service, but is run by some dickheads.
- Portola Coffee Lab –Great coffee in Orange County, CA.
- Washington University in St. Louis Physical Therapy Center
Breakthrough Advertising – This book could easily be in the business and writing sections. It is a mind opening look into copywriting and getting inside the mind of the consumer.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us -Money barely matters…
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work -The premise of this book is the idea of I’ll work hard, be successful, then be happy is wrong. Happy brains actually cause us to be successful. But how do you get a happy brain?
Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition) -How to influence people, ethically.
The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature -Why do we build buildings? Why do we write books? Why do we dance? If you could ask a peacock why it dances it’d probably say, “Because it feels good.” Yet we know it’s because the peacock is trying to attract a mate. Ask people why they build things, write books, etc. and what do they say? “Because it feels good.”
The thesis of this book is essentially that everything we do, and I do mean everything, is geared towards two things 1) Survival and 2) Reproduction. This book focuses much more on the latter. One reason I list this is because knowing how and why people are motivated to do things is crucial. Whether you want to admit it or not, when it comes down to it, the opposite sex is always our primary motivation.
The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America -Write about this here.
Outliers: The Story of Success -What is it that makes few people extremely successful?
Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior -Also by Geoffrey Miller (see The Mating Mind above). This book can be summed up fairly well with this quote: “Fools focus on wealth. Sages focus on health.” Miller makes a very strong argument that our obsession with buying things to display status and our traits is often a poor method to do so. He argues having a conversation tells you much more about a person than what car they are being. He states something to the effect of “Seriously, when was the last time you hung out with a friend and remembered what brand of jeans they were wearing a week later? I bet you remembered what you talked about and did though.”
Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles -This is very similar to The Mating Mind above. I’m not sure about women, but for males this book will blow your fucking mind. I’ll never say it will help you “understand” women, as we know that’s impossible, but it will drastically help you “get” them, as well as people in general.
As someone who trains a lot of women, this book has been immensely helpful. Albeit indirectly.
Thinking, Fast and Slow -So much of our thinking is unconscious. And irrational.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference -Why do some things go viral and other things never get off the ground?
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning – 3rd Edition -About as thorough of a look as you’re going to get at basic strength training principles. Good biomechanics info, physiology of training info, but not very good exercise recommendation info. (Form, exercise selection, etc.)
The Runner’s Body: How the Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster – Great book about any and all things running; all through a scientific, physiological lens. I think the authors were a bit overzealous in the amount of topics they tried to cover. Certain areas, such as staying healthy / corrective exercise, are lacking. You can tell when these guys go into an area they really know though. In some sections it’s as if they went, “Alright, I guess we need to cover this.” In other sections they gave a great, detailed discussion. With the book being a much more of the latter. You’ll definitely learn some new things about running and exercise in general. The section on overhydration (hyponatrimia) is fantastic.
Speed Trap -This is by the most famous sprint coach of all, Charlie Francis. It is a recount of his career running and coaching sprinting.
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance –I wrote about this book here.
The Structure of Training for Speed -A specific look at structuring cycle of speed training. The first third of this book is great, the last two thirds is terribly edited for some reason. It’s readable, but at times reads more like text messages than a book. That said, the information is great, even if it’s not reader friendly.
The Ultimate No-Bull Speed Development Manual -A great job dissecting what it is that makes people run fast.
Vertical Jump Development Bible -Same as above, but the subject is jumping.
Coaching extends beyond sports, but sports is where it gets the most attention. “Speed Trap” by Charlie Francis (linked above) has some gems in it; here are a couple of others:
Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach and Nike’s Cofounder -Bill Bowerman was the track coach for the University of Oregon. He is perhaps the most famous track coach there is. Being a cofounder of Nike is of course part of this, but he was well known before that even began. He coached a ton of sub four minute milers.
This book was a bit slow for me at certain points, but there are some good insights into handling athletes and the training that took part at Oregon. Namely how you shouldn’t train an athlete into the ground on a regular basis. Bowerman was a pioneer of the “Hard-Easy-Hard” frequency. For every hard day of training, you should have at least one day of easy training.
Steve Prefontaine gets a solid look at as well.
This is Phil Jackson’s memoir, primarily of his championship teams. Of which there are 13! Two as a player; eleven as a coach.
I really enjoyed this because of all the difficult personalities Jackson dealt with during his coaching career. People like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Dennis Rodman and more. Phil has always been heralded for his ability to handle these personalities. There is some good information as to how he did this. But something else I really enjoyed was his delineation on when he screwed up. At least in sports, you really don’t get more successful than this guy. Yet he regularly made misjudgments.
1) Shows you how hard handling tough personalities can be 2) Shows you don’t need to be perfect in this realm to achieve great success.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life -A great book on how to write and how to deal with the mindfuck that writing can be. I posted my notes on this book here.
Revising Prose -This book provides a way of making your writing more clear and concise. Unlike other things that say “Write clear and concise!” This book actually gives you a formula for things to look out for that tend to clutter writing.
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles -I basically highlighted this entire book. I think my favorite passage is this though. In reference to Pressfield’s first finished novel:
“I never did find a buyer for the book. Or the next one, either. It was ten years before I got the first check for something I had written and ten more before a novel, The Legend of Baggar Vance, was actually published. But that moment when I first hit the keys to spell out THE END was epochal. I remember rolling the last page out and adding it to the stack that was the finished manuscript. Nobody knew I was done. Nobody cared. But I knew. I felt like a dragon I’d been fighting all my life had just dropped dead at my feet and gasped out its last sulfuric breath.
Rest in peace, motherfucker.
Next morning I went over to Paul’s for coffee and I told him I had finished. “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.”
Note: While not always the case, I often strive to make my writing funny and entertaining. Inserting a joke or two while talking about anatomy can go a long way. Using humor can actually cause people to understand the material better too (see the TED talk about comedy below). Funny books are a rarity. These are some that have helped me figure out how to write with humor. They are also just damn funny.
With that said, some of the books below have been known to offend people. More often than not society refers to these people as “lighten the hell uppers.” So keep that in mind before reading these. You definitely need a certain sense of humor to enjoy them. (The awesome kind.)
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think -If this book was 400 pages it was about 200 too long. However, I think the point of, “Look how far we’ve come…we’re going to figure all this out, just like we did before, and we’ll be fine” is something crucial to keep in mind. Especially considering whenever you turn a major news network on you’d think the end of the world was coming.
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine– Book has more details (as usual), but the movie is very good.
Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness– I read this after watching The Aviator. I highly recommend watching the movie, then reading the book. I was really let down by how the movie portrayed Hughes, compared to what he really was. He was horrendous at business. He is lauded in history as a genius, industrialist, womanizer. He was barely any of it. Even with women, he had his aides pick them up for him. If he didn’t have the money he did, one wonders if he had any game at all. Perception is strongly not reality with him.
As best I can, I try to avoid the constant circle jerk that is the online fitness industry. If you’ve ever followed a few guys and got the SAME product pitch from all of them, the SAME day, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of people directly in the health / fitness field I follow anymore. It seems near everyone hits a certain point, say 10 years in the industry, and is “forced” into sales mode all-damn-day.
Elon Musk -Man crush.
Ramit Sethi -Ramit seems to be slowly turning into a true Manhattanite. When he was younger he really had some great stuff and a great approach. It was smart and relatable. As he’s become more successful he’s started to ooze the “look how much fancy shit I have” routine too often.
Alan Aragon -Only second to Lyle in the nutrition game.
Get Drunk, Not Fat -What should you drink if you don’t want a lot of calories?
James Krieger -Very good nutrition / physiology information.
Lyle McDonald -The absolute best nutritional / physiology information, as well as learning how to examine everything with context. However, Lyle really doesn’t write anymore.
Martin Berkhan – Of his writing, he doesn’t write anymore, the older stuff. Some very good nutritional / physiology information. Not too big a fan of the training methodology though.
Exercise / Movement / Pain
Alison Grimaldi -Some good hip information. Check out the podcasts she has done with PhysioEdge.
BodyInMind.org -Lorimer Moseley’s research group. A great aspect of this site is all the research they allow publicly available. Here are the papers I’ve found most useful:
- Cortical changes in chronic low back pain: Current state of the art and implications for clinical practice.
- Disrupted working body schema of the trunk in people with back pain
- The Effects of Graded Motor Imagery and Its Components on Chronic Pain -A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Graded Motor Imagery For Pathologic Pain
- Graded motor imagery is effective for CRPS -A Randomized Control Trial
- Managing chronic nonspecific low back pain with a sensorimotor retraining approach: exploratory multiple-baseline study of 3 participants.
- Mislocalization of sensory information in people with chronic lower back pain
- Neglect-like tactile dysfunction in chronic back pain
- Pain and motor control of the lumbopelvic region- effect and possible mechanisms
- The Pain of Tendinopathy- Physiological or Pathophysiological?
- A randomized-controlled trial using a book of metaphors to reconeptualize pain and decrease catastrophizing in people with chronic pain
- Tactile acuity and lumbopelvic motor control in patients with back pain and healthy controls
- Tactile acuity is disrupted in osteoarthritis but is unrelated to disruptions in motor imagery performance
A great pain video:
Charlie Francis -From the late, great sprint coach of Ben Johnson. I used to be a regular on Charlie’s forums until his death in 2011. It was a great place for all discussions, primarily anything related to sport performance. The forum, while still active, seems to have had a slow death. I haven’t been on it in probably 5 years now, but all the archives are still there. Charlie’s products are something I’ve enjoyed as well.
Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research– Really meant for practicing surgeons, but here and there are gems regarding differences in anatomy, as well as coming across research related to common orthopedic procedures.
Diagnosis Dialog -From Washington University in St. Louis.
Dissection Videos -From University of Michigan
Eric Cressey –I interned at Eric’s facility many years ago.
Greg Lehman -Nice blend of exercise therapy and pain science.
Joe Defranco– Joe is fairly off on certain topics and he’s pretty bro-sciency with some things, but when it comes to training athletes, coming up with new exercises, doing some different things, he’s worth taking a look at.
Kenhub -Great anatomy site.
Louie Simmons – Westside Barbell’s owner. All about getting strong.
XRayHead.com -A Stanford University musculoskeletal imaging site. Solid way to learn some anatomy through MRIs.
Wheeless Orthopedics -Duke University’s orthopedic encyclopedia sort of speak.
Bill Simmons -Just about the only sports writer I keep up with. Good mix of humor, sports knowledge, and a breath of fresh air when it comes to mass media.
David Foster Wallace– Wrote about him some here. His writing is hit and miss for me, but I really enjoy it when it’s a hit.
Do The Math– By Tom Murphy, a physics professor in San Diego. Why we shouldn’t hedge the future by betting on technology i.e. progress /growth has limitations even tech can’t address. When you “do the math,” it’s hard to imagine a future in which humans don’t have to significantly adjust their behavior.
Some poignant videos:
Low Tech Magazine -From the about page:
“Underlying the common view of a high-tech sustainable society is the belief that we don’t have to change our affluent lifestyle. This is not a realistic view, but it sells. However, changing our lifestyle does not mean that we have to go back to the middle ages and give up all modern comforts. A downsized, sustainable industrial civilization is very well possible – and more fun, too!”
Sister site: No Tech Magazine
Matt Cutts– Google employee discussing search engine optimization.
The Last Psychiatrist -AWESOME blog using psychoanalysis. This is not the voodoo you typically think of when hearing this stuff.
Steven Pressfield -Writing.
Tucker Max– Tucker fits into that category of “Often offends people.” And this is a huge reason why he’s listed here. To garner attention you have to be willing to piss some people off. Those who hate him, really, really hate him. But, those who love his stuff, REALLY, REALLY love it.
Furthermore, Tucker’s writing has a great style of combining smart writing (with a great vernacular) with great humor and storytelling. It can be hard to write at a certain level without alienating people i.e. it’s not often you come across people who can make you laugh your ass off while throwing out SAT words. This is hard to explain, but Tucker does it very well.
Lastly, Tucker has started to talk more and more about health advice. While he has a lot of insight on various topics, the health sphere is one he should probably stay away from.
The Armstrong Lie – The story of Lance Armstrong, from the cancer to the fall from grace. I’ve been amazed how vitriolic people have become towards Lance. While being pissed at him for what he’s done to other people, the lawsuits, the attacking, is understandable; the whole “he cheated, he lied” stuff is a little ridiculous. Before, during, and after Lance, the Tour De France was, and is, a sport where to be competitive, you had to be on something. (This is true of practically all elite performance.) This documentary mentions how something like 57 out of 58 riders who stood on the podium with Lance through his Tour years have been found guilty of doping.
Some of what this guy did as a human being is pretty bad. But what this guy did from a physical perspective is astounding.
Bigger, Stronger, Faster –Speaking of Lance, this is a good look at drugs in sports.
Black Mirror– Mind twisting show about potential negative impacts of technology on the future.
The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart -Besides the fact Jon Stewart is hysterical and obviously smart, I really think the most important thing people can take away from him is how to look at an issue. The world is full of people who only look at issues through their own little lens. Projecting their own experiences and agendas on what they think should be done, or on what something says, rather than on what is actually being said.
Stewart does this primarily through the political arena. Slicing and dicing the hypocrisy of people as they ignore the bigger picture of things in favor of what works best for their own little world. I cannot emphasize how important and relatable this is to the dieting / exercise world. And probably any other arena as well.
Always be wary of people who speak in extremes.
Eminem – Yes, the rapper. Again, another controversial person. However, there are two big things I’ve learned from him: The importance of honesty in your creative work and 2) Your writing and wording is limited to the ability of your mind; not others mind’s. This short clip illustrates a lot of human psychology too:
Freakonomics Podcast (Search on iTunes)
I Love Marketing Podcast (Search on iTunes)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi -This is a fantastic documentary about the world’s best sushi chef. It gives some great insight into what it takes to master a craft.
Seinfeld– The original show, but also Comedian In Cars Getting Coffee. Some insight to how comics operate.
TED- Here are some of my favorite talks:
- Cameron Russell: Image is powerful
- Daniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains
- Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work
- Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
- Danny Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
- Chris Bliss: Comedy is translation
- Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity
- Geoffrey Miller – Evolution and Conspicuous Consumption
- Debunking the Paleo Diet
Without Limits– The story of one of the greatest American distance runners, Steve Prefontaine.