“Captain Inspiration” Jordan Maness UCLA Program Director Teaches Us How to SAIL (Select An Ideal Life), Episode 83

Can you describe your ideal life? More, importantly, how can you most effectively navigate your daily life in pursuit of your unique ideal life? You do have options. There are several 300-page self-help books on the market that you can try to read and incorporate into your daily life. However, the odds of you finishing any of those books is pretty small, let alone making the changes they say you should make on your own. 

That is why Jordan Maness AKA: “Captain Inspiration” decided to self-publish a workbook entitled, “SAIL: Select An Ideal Life: Your 59 Minute Guide to Enjoying the Journey of Life.”

Jordan is a Certified Life Coach with 15 years experience in career counseling and lecturing. His goal is to help his clients find fulfillment and inner peace through living with passion and purpose. After graduating with honors from the University of Colorado, Jordan embarked on a career journey following a series of passions. He spent time as a sportscaster, a consultant, an entrepreneur, and a sketch-comedy performer. But with an unlimited thirst for self-development and seeking more fulfillment, he returned to school obtaining a Master’s in Counseling from the School of Education at UCLA. He also became a Certified Life Coach through the Certified Coaching Federation. For a decade and a half, he has worked as a career & life design coach at the UCLA Career Center as well as teaching career and life-planning courses at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Santa Monica College, and UCLA. Jordan is also a Certified Breathwork Facilitator. 

When he isn’t writing, lecturing, or life-coaching, you’ll find Jordan spending time with his family, snowboarding, surfing, practicing yoga, or strumming his guitar.

Stay the course and listen to Jordan’s creative take on how anyone can select an ideal life. He shares one of his early career comedic adventures, and he walks us through why we may need a lot more inspiration to get through choppy waters on our respective life adventures. 

Share this episode with a self-improvement junkie who wishes they could just get the cliff notes on all of the best self-help books that are available in the market but for which they have no time.


  • Creativity: Jordan uses the sailing metaphor to express his ideas to turn an overwhelming concept into something easily understandable. Certainly, we can all use our imagination to communicate our heart’s message with clarity.
  • Curiosity: What are you curious about when it comes to self-improvement? Jordan has several certifications and has dipped his toes into many life coaching modalities. How can you take one step towards learning more about your favorite subject?
  • Courage: It takes courage to do comedy, let alone on public TV back when YouTube and TikTok still didn’t exist.  The barriers to entry are low today so what’s stopping you from taking a leap?
  • Authenticity: If you’re living authentically, you’re not afraid to be seen, you’re not attached to what people expect of you, and you’re judging your success by different metrics, then fortune will favor you. 
  • Wealth: Fortune doesn’t only mean financial fortune, but it could also mean inner fulfillment, inner peace, and all kinds of different things that add great value to your life.
  • Time: It’s so important to figure out what is ideal living for you. And the first step is to track how you spend your time and keep a log of how you spend your time. 
  • Joy: Then start to recognize the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. Then get more of those things into your life so you can start living again authentically.
  • Taking risks: People make fear-based decisions all the time because they’re afraid of risk and making a mistake. And it’s not a terrible thing if you learn from it.
  • Failure: There’s no failure, as long as you learn from it. You’re either going to grow from it, you’re going to learn something from it, or you’re going to have success. 
  • Habit: Once you start having this habit of trying new things, pushing yourself a little bit, showing your true self to the world, and learning from each one of those experiences, it becomes easier and easier. 
  • Confidence: Progress not perfection is the goal in life. What matters is you’re growing as an individual and becoming more of who you are and who you’re meant to be. Then your confidence grows. 
  • Regrets: The bigger risk than anything else is living a life that isn’t true to yourself. The #1 regret among people who are about to pass away iis wishing they had lived a life true to themselves, not the life others had expected of them. 
  • Baby steps: Think about making small changes. It’s those little good decisions that ultimately lead to a great decision. 
  • Inner compass: You’ve got to silence the chatter in your mind to get in touch with your intuition. There are different ways to get there – breathwork, meditation, etc. The heart, the soul, and that groundedness are where the best decisions in our life come from.
  • Quiet the mind: Learn to quiet the mind and you can reevaluate things. This can be the beginning of something really incredible for you.
  • Gratitude: Keep a gratitude journal where you write down the things you’re grateful for each day. This not only sets the tone for your day, it also trains your mind to pay attention to the good things.
  • Inspiration: Inspiration is fuel. You’ve got to seek inspiration, go out and find it – whether that’s watching a TED Talk, reading a book, or listening to this podcast! Explore and try different things. Be open to unexpected things that might inspire you. 
  • Commitment: Whether that’s a 30-minute walk, or getting up everyday at 5 am, these are parts of your everyday life that are non-negotiable. Your life can change once you start to commit to things that are non-negotiable and you start to stand for something.
  • Motivation: What do you do to fill your cup back up? What will make you feel strong again, and get you feeling a little bit more centered? Again, experiment to figure out what works for you.
  • Change: Sometimes, we may feel we’re sleepwalking through life. And that one day or a week can also turn into five years, 10 years, 20 years. But know that there’s a better way to live.
  • Momentum: If you make one change, it then leads to another change. People overestimate what they can change in a year. But they greatly underestimate what they can change in five years. Commit to at least one change today!

Links to continue to learn from Jordan:

Follow and connect with Jordan Maness:

Continue to listen to An Interview With Melissa Llarena podcast episodes 

Continue To Explore My Other Binge-Worthy Episodes

Books mentioned

SAIL: Select An Ideal Life: Your 59 Minute Guide to Enjoying the Journey of Life

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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