Gary Vaynerchuk Shares His Views on Quality of Life

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m sure you have heard of Gary by now. He is a gutsy, charismatic, hard working, gifted entrepreneur who owns the wine category online through his site WineLibrary.TV.  He is best known as one of the world’s experts in social media and online marketing.  However, as he continues to draw audiences, he is now just as appreciated by his talent as a motivational speaker.

He’s also hilarious and totally authentic.

The highlight of the video is Gary’s emphasis on the importance of being yourself.

“Not being yourself is exhausting.” How great a line is that?

In our 20’s and early 30’s, we start to realize the importance of being yourself for happiness and personal satisfaction reasons.  And then halfway through our careers, we start to realize that being yourself is also the greatest competitive advantage you could have for professional success.

Be yourself. There can’t be a better life tip than that, and Gary Vaynerchuk is making the world a better place by spreading this message.

At 2:48 into this video, Gary shares a best practice on how he deals with bad days.  It’s a great lesson about the importance of mindset; but it’s also completely hilarious.  I love that he gave us such a specific, quirky example.  That’s what it’s all about.

Click on the below to watch the video.   Let us know what you think.


Perspectives on Quality of Life: Conversation with Dennis Ross about Active Listening


I was recently reading over an interview I did with Dennis Ross, one of the most skilled diplomats in the world. He was the chief Middle East envoy during the H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations and was appointed by Obama this month to serve as the chief envoy for Iran. He is the author of the diplomacy book Statecraft.

Dennis is one of the most understated, down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. He epitomizes the guy who just doesn’t take himself that seriously. He likes to invoke DeGaulle’s quote, “The cemeteries of the world are filled with indispensable people.”

But perhaps Dennis’s most outstanding quality of life skill is active listening. Here’s what Dennis shared with me about the importance of listening when it comes to quality of life. 

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Top Ten Quality of Life Contributors by Avil Beckford


Quality of life for me is doing the things that bring joy. Over the past five years I have learned a lot about what does not work for me and I have turned over a new leaf.

1.  Reading

I am an avid reader, and reading is one of the simple pleasures in my life. I go through phases where I will focus on one genre until I am ready for a change. Right now, I am reading books across genres, and one of the unique things is that I have the ability to make connections among disparate pieces of information. I am an active reader so I get emotionally caught up with the words on the pages as I interact with them.

2.  Meditation

Twice a day I meditate, which helps to bring peace to my life. I retreat to the quiet place within, where I listen to hear what my inner voice is trying to tell me. This practice helps me to become the person I was meant to be.

3.  Raja Yoga

I recently discovered Raja Yoga, the highest form of yoga and it has made such a difference in my life. I have received tools to help me to achieve self-mastery. I see simple yet profound changes in myself. Things that used to bother me no longer do, and I view difficult people as my “Tests.”

4.  Flourishing

I have been in many situations, both personal and professional where I felt a piece of me wither and die each day. Now I know how to quickly identify situations where I flourish and blossom. This allows me to be my best self, which contributes to contentment and happiness.

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Quality of Life Perspectives: Ariane de Bonvoisin Talks about the Little Things

Ariane de Bonvoisin

Ariane de Bonvoisin

I had the opportunity to interview Ariane de Bonvoisin this summer.  We met last year and I have quickly become a fan of her endeavors.

Ariane is the author of First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier and has built a media company around her desire to help people enjoy life more.  Ariane embodies this Quality of Life Project purpose:

-  Contributing to the growing worldwide movement in which individuals are increasingly measuring success based on quality of life over other pursuits and are increasingly drawn to authenticity over pretense.

Ariane’s independent approach to life is truly inspiring. She lives like an explorer constantly finding new and interesting experiences to enrich her life. And her path through life is a great indicator. She grew up living in six countries, was an internationally competitive swimmer and graduated London School of Economics at 19 and Stanford Business School at 24. She went on to leadership positions in the venture capital world, at one time overseeing Time Warner’s venture fund. But she felt out of synch and saw how her personal life was suffering through by not being in tune with her true inner voice. She was always a spiritual person but felt she needed to regroup. Ariane ended up taking a new path. In 2005, she decided to become a media entrepreneur, which led to her First 30 Days book and the launching of and soon

You can view the VIDEO of our interview with Ariane HERE.

Within the video there are index tags so you can navigate per your preferences.

There are some outstanding takes on big picture life perspectives that have helped Ariane enjoy her life.  You should not miss out on these.  But the best part of the interview in my opinion are the little things we unearthed that any of us can immediately try out.

-  Trampoline in office (“What brings you joy” section)

-  Five year journal.  (“What brings you joy” section)

-  Wheatgrass (“Diet or health practices” section)

I hope you enjoy the video!  Ariane is doing great work so if you like her book, definitely help get the word out…

Free report: Ten Tips to Greater Quality of Life

Ten Tips to Greater Quality of Life

Ten Tips to Greater Quality of Life

The most frequent question we get from people is, “So, with all the interviews  you’ve done, what are the commonalities that you’ve seen?”

We are now ready to report back to you the common practices that have emerged through all our interviews.

We aren’t offering a road map; but rather a simple recap of what practices and perspectives we have encountered the most, as well as some links to interview excerpts that expand on the particular quality of life driver.

We hope you like it.

You can get a free copy at our home page,

What does quality of life mean to me?

Photo by Tata_Aka via Flickr

Photo by Tata_Aka via Flickr

I had lunch recently with the managing editor of Keith Ferrazzi’s company Ferrazzi Greenlight.  She asked if I could put together a small piece on what quality of life means to me.

It’s funny because you would think I would have written something along these lines given our organization.  The thing is we always see ourselves more as a “manager” in this project so it’s not our tendency to tell you about our personal practices.

Anyway, here is what I came up with.  It was actually a very cool exercise.


Quality of life to me is living in a way and doing the things that makes me enjoy life.

I guess these are the things that get me there, at least at this stage in my life.


I have an incredible wife and two great kids that I love very much.  I’m also lucky to have parents and siblings and extended family that I love being around.  The love I get from my wife and family makes me feel confident and secure; and everything springs from there for me.  I also think that one of the great things in life is to be able to share experiences with people you love and respect.  Whether it’s a day at the beach or a nice bottle of wine, being able to share it with someone you enjoy being with makes it that much  better.

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A Welcome Voice: "The Week" Magazine

the-weekI am a huge fan of The Week, a weekly magazine that summarizes the most important news and “issues of the day”.

Not only are we all overloaded with information as a society today, but most of the information we receive is either unimportant or slanted due to the ideological bias of its editors.

I have long  been on the lookout for a source of information that, a) efficiently delivers the most important stories of the day, and b) does so with minimal bias.

If I were to find a publication that does an exceptional job filtering what are the real impactful stories in the world, I would buy it.

If I were to find a publication that offers a truly moderate viewpoint, not pulled to ideologies on the left or right, I would buy it.

The Week is the best magazine I have ever encountered on both of these fronts.

On top of that, the layout is excellent, making it easy and interesting to pass through the pages.  It has one section called, “Boring but Important,” which is such a cool way to communicate with readers.

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Quality of your Work Life: Thoughts on new book Escape from Cubicle Nation

Pamela Slim's new book

Pamela Slim's new book

I just finished reading Pamela Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation and I did not expect it to cause such a torrent of thoughts and ideas.

I’ve always felt that one of the most important enablers of quality of life is freedom.

Freedom to go where you want, freedom to do what you want, freedom to be yourself.

And that gaining control over your work life is one of the best options of getting there.

Everyone knows the traditional trade offs of working for yourself.  High return (personally, professionally, often financially), high risk (you could fail and suffer financially).

I’ve always understood that it’s still not a path for everyone even if the costs/benefits say “GO.”   Not everyone was born with the traits that allow one to deal with massive uncertainty and the ego blows of starting your own company.  [On the latter, I mean some people can’t even handle an intermediary stage of “failure” – even if it’s not really failure but just a stage where you come across to most people as struggling or naïve.]  But for those that can handle the pain associated with starting a company, there has never been a better time to venture out on your own.

Escape from Cubicle Nation offers an important reminder that:

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What’s Wrong with a Healthy Sense of Entitlement? Donny Deutsch Has the Right Perspective

Donny Deutsch

Donny Deutsch

I have not interviewed Donny Deutsch for the Quality of Life Project but I love his perspective on the positive side of a sense of entitlement. [He also refers to it as the “deserve” and “why not me” factors.]  If you haven’t read his business and life perspectives, check out his book, “Often Wrong, Never in Doubt.”

First, he gets it that some of the richest aspects of the human experience can be found in the realm of dichotomies. That with enlightenment comes an appreciation for nuance and even contradictions.

Donny Deutsch offers one of the best examples I’ve come across with his take on sense of entitlement. To feel deserving of all the world has to offer but simultaneously not feeling entitled to success without doing what needs to be done.

Deutsch has accepted that he is no smarter than anyone else and no one else is smarter than him. For business, this translates to a huge competitive advantage in, a) building a corporate culture that is not just authentic but confident, and b) capitalizing on business development opportunities since you know that you can do anything that your competitors can do.

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Quality of Life Perspectives: Actor Tom Skerritt on Tracking Your Emotional Weather

Tom Skerritt

Tom Skerritt

Tom Skerritt is the ultimate “man’s man” so when I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with him at his home in Seattle I was pretty psyched.

Most people know him from his roles in MASH, Top Gun and River Runs Through It (one of my all time favorite movies).  He’s a real mellow guy and the fact that he makes Seattle his hometown, despite being a full time actor, says something about how important he views quality of life.
We talked about a lot of quality of life drivers and things he practices in his life.  During the interview, it became clear that a key component to his enjoyment of life is his overall sense of calm and energy.  He shared with me how he practices tai chi and how this helps him achieve calm; and how the world around him just seems more interesting as a result.

He said it also allows him to better tune in to himself.  That spurred me to ask him if he considered himself fairly in tune with his emotions and whether he reaped any benefits through this trait. This is what he said:

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