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Recently, I was listening to a webinar at Los Angeles Chapter of International Coach Federation. Impressed by the content and presentation, I went to the presenter’s website and realized that he offered a full course. I was lacking a couple of CCEUs to support my International Coach Federation certification so I signed up for a piece of it.

When my two planned hours were taken, I did not want to leave the course! I thought:” Let me get through the first module – it’s pretty interesting!”. So I did. Soon it was over – then what’s next? I could have said “Thank you,” taken my certificate and left. How I found myself in the second module, and then the third, is now hard to say. I am an experienced coach, I had met my requirements, yet I was enjoying every moment.

I was talking to James later, shedding at him lots of compliments and questions.

A couple of days ago I realized that he is repeating the course on June 30 and offered him a chance to visit my blog.

James Garrett

So, today we have James Garrett who was glad to share his insights on human psychology. For over a decade, James has been studying and teaching the psychology of success, and unpacking the brain science behind what makes human beings thrive. As an entrepreneur, scientist, trainer, and coach, he is passionate about turning academic knowledge about the human brain into practical tools that anyone can use to change their life—and the world.

Here is my discussion with him:

Hi James! Can you please share your personal growth path? How did you get in this trouble? 🙂 

James and his brother Brennon at graduation

I fell in love with Psychology at Columbia University, but was always fascinated by human behavior — why we do what we do.  The deeper and more personal story, though, is that I struggled with OCD growing up and throughout my life.  So I was deeply interested in part because I thought there was something “wrong” with my brain.  This is partly why I fell in love with neuroplasticity, because it is the science of human change.  It gave me hope.

I thought there was something “wrong” with my brain.

In your course you have three sections. Tell us about them

That’s right, Janna. The course takes hundreds of the very best books on the science of habits, happiness, and productivity, and makes it easy to digest in videos and exercises.  In a six week period, you’ll cover all the most cutting edge neuroscience and behavioral science, but in a format that’s clear, easy to apply, and feels relevant to your life.  In a sense, I did all the reading so hopefully you won’t have to.

I did all the reading so hopefully you won’t have to.

The happiness portion of the course is an exploration of the science of positive psychology and the science of flourishing. This is where you’ll start to understand what role mindfulness plays in your wellness, how positive emotions can be utilized for creativity, and how to tap into flow states.

The happiness portion of the course is an exploration of the science of positive psychology.

Finally, the productivity portion of the course helps you design your work life (and personal life) to be distraction-proof.  We’re swimming in a sea of distractions and the best way to increase your ability to stay focused is to design for focus.

The productivity portion of the course helps you design your work life.

Is your course certified for Continuing Education?

About a third of each group who takes the course is doing it purely for personal growth reasons.

I’m currently working on getting the courses certified for other types of professional groups (e.g., health care workers, teachers, etc.).  Sometimes (but not always) professional development organizations will honor the continuing education credits from another certifying body like ICF.  So if you take the course, it’s worth getting the certificate at the end and asking your institution if it will accept the continuing education credits.

What should someone who goes through your course expect?

The course has a live portion and a pre-recorded portion.  There are 6 live sessions and 12 pre-recorded sessions.  For example, the first live session is on habits.  So in order to prepare for that live session, each student will watch the first and second pre-recorded sessions of the Habits by Design course and then come ready with questions about how they can deepen their learning, how to overcome an obstacle they’re facing, or how to help a client with a problem they’re having getting their exercise routine to stick. 

The live sessions are designed to be purely interactive and are an opportunity to discuss how to apply what the students are learning from the pre-recorded sessions in their real lives or the lives of their clients. 

The live sessions are designed to be purely interactive.

The last piece of the course is that if you are doing the course for continuing education credits, ICF requires you to fill out a brief 3-question reflection sheet for each of the pre-recorded sessions.  If you’re not going it for CCE credits, that piece is optional.

May I please, pretty please, have a discount to offer my readers?

Absolutely! I am happy to offer them a discount. This link will give your readers $100 off.

Thank you, James! That’s very generous! And how has COVID-19 affected how you are doing business?

Most of my business was online, even before COVID-19 hit, so it hasn’t affected my business as much as I thought it might.  Two resorts that I do weekly presentations at temporarily closed down, so some parts of my business have slowed.  But overall I feel really grateful because my courses have actually grown over the past few months — possibly because people have a little more time to catch up on their CCEs or do online E-learning while they’re quarantining at home.

Any specific advice for someone who is reading this article?

The advice I would give you is to take the neuroplasticity science seriously.  You have more dormant potential than you can possibly imagine — just waiting to be accessed.  You can learn how to unlock the power of your brain, but it takes a bit of training and understanding to help it work better. 

Take the neuroplasticity science seriously. 

I sometimes think of it like an airplane.  When we board a plane, we all turn right and go to our seats, right?  Imagine turning left and going to sit in the cockpit.  What do you see in front of you?  Dials, levers, gauges, buttons — things that don’t make much sense, unless you’re a trained pilot.  The only difference between you and a pilot is that the pilot has been trained for how to operate the machine. 

And what, James, is the best part of your job? 

I love watching people transform as they understand more about how their brain works and how to get it to work better.  It inspires me to watch people master the skill set of habits and then apply that to forming better exercise habits, better eating habits, better sleeping habits, better meditation habits, better empathy and listening habits.  As I watch their relationships with themselves and their loved ones improve, this is why I do what I do. 

I love watching people transform.

Confidence soaring!

I also love to watch people’s confidence soar as they feel like they’re not at the mercy of their emotions or negative thought patterns.  People genuinely start to figure out how to manage their minds in a way that is empowering and creates an upward spiral of positive change in their lives.  It’s incredible to watch!

Do you still do coaching yourself?

Yes, Janna! I do still do coaching myself, and am actively accepting clients at this time.  

Anything personal you want to share?

The best part of my life is definitely my 6-year old Sophia and my 4-month old Aeon!

What I’ve been trying to do through something called the Deep Change Project is really live the science in my own personal life.  Since my passion is getting science out of the labs and into people’s lives, I knew I wanted to get out from behind the science and experiment with applying it in various areas of my life.  In a sense, I’m doing a big experiment on myself to see how much I can change.  This year, I’m focusing on overcoming fear.

Deep Change Project

Thank you, James, for your visit! Where can people can find more information on your training?

They can find all the information on my website.  Or if they just want to go straight to the information about the courses, they can go here.

My Social Media posts:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-garrett-82b45a24/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=brain+by+design

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brainbydesign/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/james.garrett.123276

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_BrainByDesign

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