Learning from the Best in the World

There’s a difference between your friend telling you something and hearing it from someone who’s spent their life studying it. Here are some of my experts and classes to learn from:

And the Winner is…

It’s amazing how some of the best lectures are now available online. Here’s a few of them:




  • Be Vulnerable to Build Stronger Connections with Friends: My favorite self-help recording is Brene Brown’s seminar The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. To get a taste of Brene, check out her animated shorts on Empathy and Blame from this presentation. She also gave some great TED talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.
  • Trigger Yourself to Stay on Track. Marshall Goldsmith wrote a great book called Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts — Becoming the Person You Want to Be. He talks about how we react to our environment more frequently and powerfully than we’d like to admit. So Goldsmith places triggers in the environment each day to help drive progress on key goals. I’ve been doing this for about a year and it’s really life changing. If you’d like to try it yourself you can take his basic survey at Ask Me Every.
  • Writing. At Yale, there’s a famous century-old class called Daily Themes. It’s a simple but powerful class where everyone writes an essay each day. My friend Aaron Gertler has some great information on the class including some writing prompts.
  • Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. I used to be afraid of Michael Pollan. I didn’t want to read his books and be afraid of what I would learn and never be able to eat meat again, which is why I still won’t read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. But I listened to his audiobook Caffeine this year and realized that what we think of as food isn’t necessarily food. Caffeine may be the best example of this. It’s a drug that we eat like a food. When I read his article Unhappy Meals and his book Food Rules about what to eat, I was impressed by the simplicity of Pollan’s food mantra: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. (Added 2020)

People to Learn From (2016)