RMV 13 Story Musgrave: Should You Really Try To Design Your Life?

What CAN'T you say about Story Musgrave? He holds 7 graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology, and has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30 year career as an astronaut, AND has had a cameo on Home Improvement.

Today, in his 80s, he operates a palm farm in Florida, among other things, including giving amazing talks about human performance, and raising his youngest daughter, also named Story.

We asked him how he designed such an incredible life and he told us he’s not sure you can, or should. However he does it, his perspective, and life story is absolutely fascinating.

RMV 12 Ela Ben Ur: You Can Design An Intuitive Compass

Have you ever wanted a fast, reliable and more intentional way to create change in your life? In our newest episode of Results May Vary, we orient ourselves with Ela Ben Ur and her Innovators' Compass, a simple tool that allows you to take swift action on any opportunity or challenge you're facing. 

As Ela describes it:

"The Compass orients us to the powerful directions we stretch in different practices of “innovation” and intuition—from personal learning and reflection practices to organizational processes like design thinking and agile development.  
It works over months or in just seconds—on a whiteboard, digital document, scrap of paper, in conversation or in our mind, alone or with others. It’s in use from schools to businesses. As a compass, it helps us see ways we can explore in different settings; it doesn't give us a map or route—we create our own maps of our challenges as we go."

How can you use Ela's experience and Innovators' Compass as inspiration to design your own life and increase your creative confidence? Listen to RMV 12 to find out!

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i2i Experience is Ela Ben Ur's independent business where she consults, coaches and teaches in design research, strategy, and innovation. With 15+ years of creative problem-solving experience, Ela is passionate about the capacity of human-centered design and design thinking to empower people and organizations.

Innovators' Compass is where you'll find more information, resources and examples of this simple, reliable tool in action.

Harvard Ed's Project Zero was founded by the philosopher Nelson Goodman in 1967 to study and improve education in the arts. Goodman believed that arts learning should be studied as a serious cognitive activity, but that "zero" had yet been firmly established about the field.

John Maeda's definition of Design Thinking: "It's the capacity to think that a better idea could exists, and possessing the tools to imagine what that is. Instead of focusing on fixing existing problems, conceive an ideal endpoint and work creatively to get there."

Field Guide: The Design Thinking Experience Gould Academy is hosting a 3-day workshop for anyone who wants to be a better and more efficient innovator. Join Tracy and an all-star team of design thinking practitioners in Bethel, Maine June 21st-24th.

RMV 11 Deke Sharon: You Can Design A Cappella Into A Global Phenomenon

Today we talk to the father of contemporary a cappella, Deke Sharon. In college, Deke decided to make a career of singing in this relatively obscure style, even though people laughed at him and thought he was crazy for doing so.

Now, at 47, after serving as music director and arranger for Pitch Perfect & Pitch Perfect 2, and producer of NBC's The Sing-Off, he's staring in his new show, Pitch Slapped premiering this week on Lifetime.

In this episode, we talk to Deke about how it's possible to spread harmony through harmony, and design a cappella into a global phenomenon based on passion and perseverance.

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The Beelzebubs, is an all-male a cappella group from Tufts University that performs a mix of pop, rock, R&B, and other types of music while spreading their motto of "Fun through Song."

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion, explaining why sometimes not having a passion can lead to an even more fulfilling life.

It's not "What do you want out of life?" but maybe rather, "What are you willing to struggle for?"


RMV 10 Mike Duncan: You Can Design The Past

We’re in the double digits, y'all! (sfx: NYE party horns)

In the newest Results May Vary episode, we talk to fish-monger turned award-winning history podcaster, Mike Duncan, about how you can design the past — to engage more people in our shared human history, as well as to gather insights that our useful for us to design our future. His approach to design thinking is as much guided by passion and creativity, as it is intentional and exhaustive.

Best known for The History of Rome podcast, Mike’s latest endeavor, Revolutions, is a weekly podcast series examining great political revolutions. His upcoming book, "The Storm Before The Storm" will examine Roman history between 135 B.C. to 80 B.C. with special attention given to the question: "If America was Rome, where are we on the historical timeline?"

Today, Mike Duncan offers incredible insights on how to:

- Make history accessible to more people through storytelling
- Use podcasts to fill in knowledge gaps in education
- Supplement your mindful, creative work with paid work that doesn’t drain your brain

- Shed light on the current Syrian refugee crisis by examining the past

How can you use Mike Duncan’s experience as inspiration to design your own life and increase your creative confidence? You have to listen to RMV 10 to find out!

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The History of Rome Mike's 5-year labor of love to cover the history of the Roman Empire from start to finish. Pretty much the gold standard for all other history podcasts.

Revolutions Mike's current labor of love, a weekly podcast series examining great political revolutions. Now: The Haitian Revolution. Next: Simon Bolivar and Gran Columbia.

The History of Rome Tours History-focused trips to some of most amazing locations in the ancient world, led by Mike himself and a series of knowledgeable guides.

The Ancient World Scott Chesworth's history podcast, which takes a broad view of the very early development of human society from the earliest civilizations down through to the Greeks and Romans in THREE epic series: The Ancient World, The Ancient World - Rediscovery, and his current creative pursuit, The Ancient World - Bloodline, tracing the generations from Cleopatra to Zenobia. (full disclosure: Scott is also Tracy's extremely handsome husband and she wrote this sentence, so you know it's true)

RMV 9 Steve Almond: You Can Design Your Creative Practice

In the newest Results May Vary episode, we talk to New York Times bestselling author Steve Almond about how you can design your creative practice and make a career out of following your artistic passions. Steve's way of design thinking is intentional and intuitive, and offers incredible insight around:

- Living a more examined life
- Finding a patron to support your creative work (pro tip: your patron is probably you!)
- Fighting depression with candy (or other passions)

- Being honest about your needs so you can create habits and behavior change that will stick.

How can you use this inspiration to design your life and increase your creative confidence? Listen to RMV 9 to find out!

About Steve Almond

A former newspaper reporter and the author of Candyfreak and My Life in Heavy Metal, Steve’s latest book, Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto, details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he loves.

In addition to writing thoughtful and often hilarious commentary for The New York Times Magazine and The Boston Globe, Steve Almond is also the more baritone half of the popular and profound Dear Sugar podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

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Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is RMV guest Steve Almond's synthesis of the NFL detailing why, after 40 years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he loves.

You Had Me At Beheading is a collection of Steve's self-deprecating and thoughtful responses to the inevitable hate mail he has received for his position against football and the NFL.

Dear Sugar The universe has good news for the lost, lonely, and heartsick. Dear Sugar — the cult-favorite advice column — is back, but this time speaking directly to your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return.  *New episodes weekly beginning in January.*

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, which was chosen as the 1st selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and turned into an Oscar-nominated movied staring Reese Witherspoon. She has also written New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things, Brave Enough, and the novel Torch.

Esalen Writer's Camp In sessions led by authors Cheryl Strayed, Pam Houston, Steve Almond, Samantha Dunn, Alan Heathcock, and Faith Adiele, you'll generate new work and listen to lectures about the art and craft of prose writing. Plus there's amazing mineral fed hot tubs overlooking the Pacific Ocean!

Five Star Bars The ultimate chocolate bars, according to Vogue magazine. Steve gives them an entire chapter in his book Candyfreak. And yes, they are every bit as good as he claims!

John Prine Grammy award-winning folk singer's song, All The Best features the lyrics "Your heart gets bored with your mind."

Naked and Afraid One man, one woman, 21 days with no food, water, shelter, or clothes.





RMV Episode 8: Dr. Ellen Vora on Holistic Psychiatry

Today we’re so grateful to introduce you to Dr. Ellen Vora, a psychiatrist who prefers NOT to prescribe drugs. Instead, she really looks at the whole picture from sleep, nutrition, relationships, diet, and spirituality, in order to help people repair, heal, and optimize their lives in the least risky way possible.

Dr. Vora studied English at Yale University, attended Columbia University for medical school, and completed her residency at Mount Sinai. Currently, she practices at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. She's boarded in Psychiatry and Integrative and Holistic Medicine, and is also a licensed medical acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher. She specializes in depression, anxiety, insomnia, adult ADHD, bipolar and digestive issues.

To Tracy and I, she represents the new face of mental health practitioners — rather than uniformly treating symptoms, Dr. Vora designs solutions based on the root causes for each individual she cares for.

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Meridian Psychiatry is Dr. Vora's collection of resources and information about her unique, holistic approach to mental health.

Eleven Eleven Wellness Center offers patient-centered care to help people get healthy and keep them healthy. Their treatment strategies take an integrative approach by combining Western Medicine with what are considered "alternative therapies."

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical systems, originating in India more than 3,000 years ago, and still practiced today. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices.

Chris Kresser runs one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world and is a leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical school and wrote Full Catastrophe Living, a book about using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness.

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Zen Master, global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace, including Peace Is Every Step about the path of mindfulness in everyday life.

The New Health Rules by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro wades through the often contradictory information that bombards us daily and delivers more than 100 actionable tips that will improve every aspect of our health—body, mind, and soul.

The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers offers her medically proven approach to prevent a wide range of inflammatory-related symptoms and diseases, including allergies, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, IBS, chronic headaches, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Kelly Brogan, MD is a Holistic Women's Health Psychiatrist in NYC, caring for the whole woman naturally.

Kat Toups, MD is a Functional Medicine Psychiatrist at Bay Area Wellness in Walnut Creek, CA, and is the organizer/administrator for Bay Area Functional Medicine group since 2012.

RMV Episode 7: Dr. Kyra Bobinet on Well Designed Life


Today we are proud to introduce you to Dr. Kyra Bobinet, whose specialty is combining two medicines together: behavior change and design thinking. After completing med school at UCSF, she decided to change course in order to dig deeper into the science behind behavior change.

After graduation from Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Bobinet worked in the healthcare industry, building programs and algorithms to change behaviors at the million-person scale. Today she is the founder and CEO of EngagedIN, a design firm to help people and organizations change behaviors for the better.

Like Chris and I, she believes that every individual is a designer of their own life every day, and that all we need is to recognize and expand this intuition into full-blown life design skills. In her new book, Well Designed Life, she gives you many of those skills, as well as the approachable science behind it all.

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Well Designed Life is Dr. Bobinet's collection of the most helpful, useful concepts from her decades of studying neuroscience and design thinking.  The primary goal of this book is to empower you as the designer of your life.

EngagedIN is a behavior design firm for the health and wellness industry.

BJ Fogg creates systems to change human behavior. He runs the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, which focuses on methods for creating habits, showing what causes behavior, automating behavior change, and persuading people via mobile phones.

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. Her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success  explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset.

RMV Episode 6: Jessica Semaan on Pursuing Your Passion

Do you have that recurring idea that’s really cool but hard to make time for? That’s the insight today’s guest, Jessica Semaan, has built an entire company around.

Despite her success at Stanford Business School and as an early employee at Airbnb, Jessica found herself unfulfilled. So she spent a year interviewing 100 people who were doing what they love. During this time she found her own passion, which is helping people find theirs. And today she’s dedicated full-time to this through her company, The Passion Co.

What are the biggest barriers to pursuing your passions? And how can you overcome them? Jessica was kind enough to share her revelations.

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The Passion Co. The place to go to find and launch your passion. Sign up for a workshop, attend the Start conference, or just get inspired by the 100+ passionate people featured on Jessica's blog.

XO Bakes Celebrating life one cookie at a time.

Little Cat Labs Fat cats are no laughing matter. Well, maybe just a little bit. Like when you're watching them get weighed on a scale. Two declawed thumbs up!

RMV Episode 5: Andy Weir on The Martian

Today, we are BEYOND THRILLED to introduce you to Andy Weir, a computer programmer turned New York Times #1 Bestselling author of The Martian. He joins us to talk about turning his nights-and-weekend hobby into, not just one of the most successful self-published novels of all time, but also a soon-to-be major motion picture directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Matt Damon.

How did he do it? And how exactly does a guy survive life on Mars with only a handful of potatoes and a thumb-drive full of disco? Andy was kind enough to fill us in. (HINT: Science!)

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The Martian Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. Read the book. Then listen to the audiobook. Then, see the movie! Seriously, so gooooood.

The Egg The short story by Andy Weir that first got him noticed online.

Theft of Pride The first novel for Andy Weir (under the pen name Jack Sharp), detailing how Shanex Exxel stole the Pride Diamond, Sephalon's national treasure. It's a Sci-Fi story of theft, scams, racism, culture-clash, and money.

Packing for Mars Author Mary Roach tackles the strange science of space travel, and the psychology, technology, and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit. Why is it impolite for astronauts to float upside down during conversations? Just how smelly does a spacecraft get after a two week mission? This is a book for grownups who still secretly dream of being astronauts.


RMV Episode 4: Aaron Scott on Van Life

Aaron Scott and his van/house

Today we're excited for you to meet Aaron Scott, a data scientist who made the very conscious decision to move from his gorgeous San Francisco home overlooking the Pacific Ocean into a van. Why would anyone do that? And how is it working out for him? Aaron shares his story and makes it sound like it might just be a really great idea!

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Fulfilled Life Aaron's blog documenting his experiment towards designing a fun and fulfilling life.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Check out Aaron's sweet van of choice.

VanDwelling A community of people living or thinking about living in a van on Reddit.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study What truly makes us happy? Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days and following them well into their 90s.



RMV Episode 3: Elle Luna on Choosing Must

Today we introduce you to San Francisco-based artist, designer, and writer, Elle Luna. After her own success as a designer for companies such as Mailbox, Uber, Medium, and IDEO, Elle completely redesigned her life and started a movement around Choosing Must.

Her first book, "The Crossroads of Should and Must" just launched in April. If that wasn't enough, she is currently partnering with The Great Discontent to kick off The 100 Day Project, which asks anyone who will answer, what could you do with 100 days of making? 

If anyone epitomizes the concept David Kelley mentioned in our last episode about Bias to Action, it is Elle.

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The Crossroads of Should and Must has a universal message—we get to choose the path between Should and Must. And it gives every reader permission to embrace this message.

Medium A place to read, write, and interact with the stories that matter most to you. See Elle's wildly successful article that led to her wildly successful book.

Success, Failure & the Drive to Keep Creating A TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her upcoming book Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear is set to launch in Sept. 2015.

The Great Discontent A quarterly print publication and online magazine featuring candid interviews with those who create.


RMV Episode 2: David Kelley on Creative Confidence

Today we want to introduce you to one of the most influential people on the planet when it comes to design, innovation, and creativity. Founder of IDEO and the Hasso Platner Institute of Design at Stanford (The d.school), David Kelley has spent decades helping students, employees, and organizations apply unleash the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

We thought, if there was one person most qualified to give advice on how you can design your life, it would be David.

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Creative Confidence A powerful and compelling book by David and Tom Kelley on unleashing the creative potential within us all.

Stanford d.school The Hasso Platner Institute of Design brings students and faculty from radically different backgrounds together to develop innovative, human-centered solutions to real-world challenges. The transformative experiences of students and faculty have fueled the d.school’s explosive growth.

IDEO An award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.

Albert Bandura Psychologist known as the originator of social learning theory and the theoretical construct of self-efficacy, and is also responsible for the influential 1961 Bobo doll experiment. 

Mindfulness Popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Mind Mapping David Kelley uses mind maps to foster creativity. "Mind maps are organic and allow me to free associate. They are great for asking questions and revealing connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. The cool thing is that you allow yourself to follow your inner thoughts, which is different than making a list where you are trying to be complete and deal with data."



Episode 1: You Can Design Your Life!

You Can Design Your Life

Results May Vary is a thoughtful experiment to see just what happens when you set out to intentionally design your life. In our inaugural episode, we talk about what design means to us, how we've applied the tools of design typically used in business to our own lives, and what it could all mean for you.

In future episodes, we'll talk to people already designing their lives, as well as those curious to get started. Maybe that's you! Our dream is to build a community of people who can create and take advantage of any opportunity that interests them.


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Camp Grounded Summer Camp for Adults - Trade in your digital devices, schedules, and work-jargon for an off-the-grid weekend of fun in the redwoods.

Leadville 100 The legendary "Race Across The Sky" 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all.

Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break.

Lose Yourself by Eminem Best running Power Song of all-time!

Born To Run Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets.

Girls On The Run Non-profit after-school program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. One girl at a time, Girls on the Run has changed 1 million girls' lives. One girl at a time, we're going to change one million more.

The Tim Ferriss Show Each episode, Tim deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics and tricks you can use.

Good Guy Discount This American Life producer Ben Calhoun tells Ira about a secret move his friend uses all the time — the "good guy discount" — that gets Ben's friend money off all sorts of items when he's shopping.