The Formula for an EPIC Night with Jon Levy - #60

What is the formula for the most epic night of your life? In this episode I, Trevor Carlson, talk to Jon Levy, the author of The 2am Principal. He went from a geeky, unpopular kid to someone who has had adventures all over the world. Jon firmly believes that adventures do not happen by chance. 

Jon is a behavioural scientist who has studied the science of adventure. Find out about the four elements that lead to adventure. In this episode we discuss, assembling your team, devising constraints and overcoming obstacles so you can have the best night ever.

On this episode, we discuss:

  • Introducing this episodes guest – Jon Levy (02:40)

  • What defines an adventure and who your need to be to have one (04:02)

  • Jon’s journey from being an unpopular, geeky kid to figuring out the science of adventure (06:14)

  • Quantifying an exciting life and some of Jon’s experiences finding adventure (09:00)

  • The most important thing when building an adventurous life (09:56)

  • Why new locations make your brain work differently (12:51)

  • Using constraints to create adventure (13:39)

  • Some ideas for constraints (15:26)

  • The importance of being open to new opportunities outside of your mission (18:08)

  • Why being uncomfortable is an important part of adventure (19:56)

  • Not everyone has to aspire to the same level of adventure (22:07)

  • How we have a bias towards negative events (25:04)

  • The idea of a flow state and how adventure can help you enter it (28:20)

  • How to deal with people who are no longer being conducive to your night of adventure (35:14)

  • Changing the course of the night when the energy has fallen and it seems like the night could die (38:40)

  • Searching out the unfamiliar and testing what you do and don’t like (44:29)


“People would say oh you know adventure happens by chance or is completely random.  Like I went out and bumped into this person and this thing happened and all of a sudden the next thing I know I was bungy jumping in Bermuda with a bunch of strangers. And I’m like that can’t possible be true, it can’t be random because if it was, all of us would live equally exciting lives.”

“Certain people live far more adventurous lives than others. Which means that if we can understand what these people do and we can embody those characteristics we can really live an exciting life.”

“The most important thing, by far, is the people you surround yourself with.”

“If you’re too attached to doing something very specific, you’ll miss out on opportunities and serendipity. It’s important to go after your mission, but don’t get so stuck on it that you’ll miss the great opportunities.”


The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure by Jon Levy

Jon Levy

Ted Talk: What Makes Us Influential?

Joseph Campbell

Flow state

Peak End Rule

The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure by Ian H. Robertson

Invisibilia: Bubble-Popping


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