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The Mythology and Psychology of Adventure: Reading Recommendations from Jeff Salz

On yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Jeff Salz discussed what leaders can learn from adventurers—or from adventures of their own. Here, he provides a list of those people who have inspired his own journeys:

1. Alan Watts (

Jeff describes Watts’ writing as a “brilliant East/West synthesis.” Watts is best known for The Way of Zen (1957), Psychotherapy East and West (1961), “The New Alchemy” (1958), and The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

2. Joseph Campbell (

Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) outlines a common “hero’s journey” among a range of cultural mythologies.

3. Edward Abbey (

Praising Abbey’s environmentalism, Jeff notes that “Radicalism in defense of nature is no vice.”

4. Viktor Frankl (

Frankl developed logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy focused on finding the meaning of one’s life. Jeff describes this as “the ultimate meaning of service.”

5. Eric Shipton (

Jeff writes that Shipton’s “love of the mountains and curiosity for life inspired me since a chance meeting in Patagonia in 1973.”


About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

David is the podcast host and community builder behind Smashing the Plateau, an online platform offering resources, accountability, and camaraderie to high-performing professionals who are making the leap from the corporate career track to entrepreneurial business ownership.

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