TYL #2: Mindfulness, Meditation, and Meaning in the Business School Environment with John Krajicek

Written by on 20 Feb 2016

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you our very first mentor interview on Transform Your Life with Tracy Timm!


In this episode, I interview mentor professor and student of life, John Krajicek.


John is the Executive Professor and Assistant Director of Business Communication Studies at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M. He teaches public speaking, presence, meditation, and meaningfulness to his students all while leveraging his background in English and Philosophy as well as his previous career as a CPA.


John is a dynamic individual who views every conversation and interaction as a potential learning experience.


In our conversation, John and I discuss the merits of a non-traditional background, how to make sure that nothing you do in life is ever wasted, how meditation has changed his life, the reaction of the business community to his teachings on mindfulness, and my personal favorite, how to set aside more time and structure in your life to try new things.


John is deeply insightful about the subtleties of our lives and the greater narrative of our stories. This is one you don't want to miss if you've ever felt regret, ever wondered how other people see the world, or ever wanted to explore your own mind and personality a little bit deeper.


Here’s a play-by-play, in case you only have a little time and want to hit your favorite parts first:

0:30 Welcome message

0:45 John’s backstory

1:15 The focus of today’s podcast

3:30 John’s unusual background story

5:40 How John got his start in his career in the laid-back world of the 60’s

7:30 Meeting a woman and how that changed everything

8:20 Living up to your parents’ expectations never gets old

11:15 Looking back at your life and wondering “how did all that happen”

11:40 John’s take on regrets

13:00 The time in life when you’re drifting and how to get your act together

13:55 How to choose your next step through pure trial and error

14:50 The temptation to tell your story in a “pretty” way

15:20 John’s unexpected step out of his comfort zone

17:00 The “twisted” logic of going for your goals

18:00 How to get out of your own way

19:55 What we can learn from Thomas Edison’s attempt to make the lightbulb 1000 times

20:35 How to allow other people to counteract your own negative self-talk

21:30 The lasting influence of our parents

22:35 How to get out of your own way revisited

22:55 The voices in your head are not reality and how to turn them off

24:00 Fighting our own “mental models”

26:00 The one thing that stands in the way of your creativity and how to beat it

26:35 Personifying fears to get over them

28:10 Meditation’s profound impact on the Beatles and how that’s influenced John’s life

29:30 Teaching meditation to high potential leaders in business

30:45 The scariest thing about our culture and why we need meditation to fight it

31:20 The culture of distraction

32:35 John’s method for fighting FOMO

34:40 How to advocate for the value of your time and presence when someone’s interrupting you

36:00 John’s personal practice of meditation and why it’s one of the most important things in his life

36:55 How to overcome bias and prejudice when you don’t realize you have it

38:40 Meditation retreats and breaking through the mental models

40:05 Making a case for meditation when you’re thinking “I just don’t have time for that”

40:55 Building better listening skills by improving your focus

42:15 Getting over the “hump” when building a new skill

43:30 Dealing with the culture of being “busy” and trying to slow yourself down

45:20 The difference between being busy and avoiding important things in your life by staying active

46:30 How to set aside time for new things

47:40 Fighting complacency with passion and structure

48:55 Making it easier on yourself to get things done through the path of least resistance

51:00 Marshall Goldsmith’s accountability program

52:30 How to move from good intentions to action

54:20 What it takes to create real behavioral change

54:45 John answers the question, “Do you think you’re doing what you were created to do?”

55:20 John’s purpose in life

56:00 How to take advantage of the left turns in your life and not let anything go to waste

57:40 The key to letting go of the expectations of others

58:30 How to find the voice within you that knows you’re on the right path

59:25 John’s #1 piece of advice for you

1:00:40 The #1 deathbed revelation and how to know what really matters in your life

1:01:35 Why you don’t have to wait until your deathbed to figure things out

1:03:00 What’s coming next after Launch Week

1:03:50 How to get even more out of this podcast

I’ve also compiled a list of references that John and I mention during the podcast here (links included!):

Mays Business School at Texas A&M University



Fight or flight response



Mental models



Eckhart Tolle on the Ego



Child finder app



Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach



What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

<What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful


Joseph Campbell



Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

< The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

Thanks so much for being here, guys!

I’d love to hear from you: What is the most meaningful thing you heard during John's interview today?

Share your answer in the comments below!

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