March 28, 2021

A Thousand Thanks: A Lifetime of Experiments and Gratitude with AJ Jacobs

AJ Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer, and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically, that combine memoir, science, and humor with a dash of self-help. AJ has said that he sees his life as a series of experiments in which he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle, for better or worse, then writes about what he learned.

His most recent book, Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, starts with wanting to thank the people who brought him his cup of coffee. It starts with the barista and ends up in South America on a mountainside coffee plantation. The book is based on some simple ideas that gratitude can be the catalyst for a journey around the world, and how experimentation keeps our brains flexible in ways that enhance our lives.

We loved our conversation with AJ because he made a passionate case for learning to pay more attention to things. To immerse ourselves in the moment where we can appreciate that moment for what it is. He encourages us to see the details, and in those details, to see the connections. He challenges us to be grateful for the life we are given. If we can slow down, savor these moments for what they are, we can curate a better life for ourselves.

You’ll find lots about AJ that is fun and informative – but above it all, you’ll find him inspiring.  If AJ can do these things on such a grand scale, we ought to be able to experiment with our lives – even if it is just not making your bed in the morning.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

 

Links

AJ Jacobs: https://ajjacobs.com/

“Thanks A Thousand”: https://thanksathousandbook.com/

AJ’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/a_j_jacobs_my_journey_to_thank_all_the_people_responsible_for_my_morning_coffee

George Clooney: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Clooney

The Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/

Windshield Wiper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscreen_wiper

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_crossword_puzzle

Alex Trebek: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Trebek

George Loewenstein: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/people/faculty/george-loewenstein.html

Ambient Noise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_noise

Coffitivity (ambient noise generator): https://coffitivity.com/

Melanie Brucks: https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/cbs-directory/detail/mb4598

Michael Phelps: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Phelps

French Horn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_horn

Electronic Dance Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_dance_music

MDMA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDMA

Jonathan Mann, Episode 207: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/jonathan-mann-is-it-possible-to-design-an-experience/

Mark Landau: https://www.mindful.org/how-mindfulness-shifts-our-perception-of-time/

Neil Gaiman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Gaiman

Masterclass: https://www.masterclass.com/

Gratitude / Gratia / Grace: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gratitude

Robert Emmons: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-praise-of-gratitude

Francesca Gino, Episode 60: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/francesca-gino-curiosity-and-rebellion-makes-your-career/

Tony Robbins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Robbins

 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

 

Musical Links

ZZ Top “La Grange”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU

Lil’ Wayne “2 Diamonds”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrLSro5XNzY

Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02D2T3wGCYg

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