Episode 75 |

Filling Up Your Good Life Buckets with Jonathan Fields

Subscribe Free on these Platforms

This Week’s Guest:


For this episode I had the honor of speaking with award-winning author, serial entrepreneur, growth strategist, and podcaster Jonathan Fields. He is regularly featured in the media on outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, and many more. While he’s impressive in everything he does, I particularly admire his success in podcasting; his top-rated podcast, The Good Life Project, gets millions of listens in more than 150 countries.


As an author, he’s written some incredibly insightful books including Uncertainty and Career Renegade. His newest book, How to Live a Good Life, explores his concept of “good life buckets,” which we discuss in this podcast. It also includes 30 days of inspiring, actionable explorations to get you started on a path to possibility.

Find Out More About Jonathan Here:

@jonathanfields on Twitter
Jonathan Fields on Facebook


In This Episode:

  • [02:12] – Jonathan starts off by talking about his experience with tinnitus, which is a fairly common condition that means you’re hearing a sound coming from inside your head that no one else hears. He goes on to describe how he learned to cope with tinnitus and the roles that meditation and acceptance have played.
  • [10:38] – Has Jonathan’s tinnitus reduced over time?
  • [12:03] – After hearing about Stephan’s experience with tinnitus, Jonathan reveals that for many (perhaps most) people, the condition resolves on its own eventually.
  • [12:45] – Jonathan references a quote by Joseph Campbell, and explains what he has learned from it.
  • [14:50] – Stephan ties what Jonathan has been saying into Tony Robbins’ theory that there are six human needs, one of which is certainty. In response, Jonathan shares his thoughts on being certainty-driven.
  • [17:03] – What approaches are effective for dealing with uncertainty? Jonathan says there are three major options: mindfulness, movement, and cognitive reappraisal (or reframing).
  • [20:41] – Jonathan shares his thoughts on suffering. He believes it has a lot to do with grasping (such as at things we want to be true, or onto relationships that we don’t want to change or end) or trying to lock down the future.
  • [22:38] – What tangible next actions would Jonathan recommend based on what he’s been saying? Again, he suggests meditation and movement.
  • [25:27] – Jonathan responds to and elaborates on Stephan’s thoughts about how acceptance opens up a world of possibilities.
  • [28:07] – Mindfulness is life, Jonathan says, and can become the way you move through life.
  • [29:22] – Jonathan explains the concept of “good life buckets” from his newest book, How to Live a Good Life. Imagine that your life is three buckets: vitality, connection, and contribution. A good life is when you fill all three buckets as full as possible.
  • [32:23] – How does this help with decision-making? Specifically, how could it help someone decide whether to have another child?
  • [34:10] – Jonathan talks about how to snap out of going through life on autopilot.
  • [38:19] – One of the critical skills for going from survival to flourishing is the ability to say no, Jonathan reveals.
  • [39:31] – We hear about Jonathan’s process for doing deep work, which involves a lot of toil and making mistakes. He then reveals that he wrote three entirely different manuscripts for this most recent book.
  • [44:15] – How should someone develop their own framework or frameworks? 1. Devour knowledge and run experiments. 2. Learn from others. 3. Contemplation.
  • [47:07] – What should listeners do as the next step? He recommends his “Give 30” challenge: in one day, any time you have an opportunity to be kind that will take under 30 seconds, you have to say yes to the opportunity (up to 30 times).


Get Optimized!


  1. If you’re suffering from something, try to incorporate a dual mentality: maintain hope that it will go away, but at the same time accept that it may be permanent.
  2. Shift your perspective on things that have come into your life as sources of suffering. Transform them into sources of teaching by asking yourself what you can learn from them.
  3. Take an honest look at yourself. Are you deeply driven by a need for certainty or security? If so, work toward accepting the idea that there is no such thing as complete certainty.


Links and Resources:

@jonathanfields on Twitter
Jonathan Fields on Facebook
The Good Life Project
Career Renegade
How to Live a Good Life
Joseph Campbell
Tony Robbins
Cognitive reappraisal
Cal Newport
Keith Cunningham


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *