Inner Excellence retreats

In the spring of 2012, I received a call from David Novak, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of YUM Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC). David was extraordinarily successful as CEO, winning Chief Executive Magazine’s 2012 CEO of the Year, as well one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Baron’s magazine.

An avid golfer, Novak’s swing coach Matt Killen told him, “If you really want to improve your mental game, you need to read Inner Excellence by Jim Murphy.” So he did. Novak also sent the Inner Excellence book to some of his executives in Europe. Then he called me and wanted to learn more.

A connection to YUM Brands was formed that kicked off an amazing relationship with European executives that continues to this day. It also was the start of Inner Excellence offsite retreats.

The impact

The first Inner Excellence corporate retreat was at the spectacular La Clusaz ski resort in the French Alps. For four days, we skied and shared our lives, immersed ourselves in beauty, and of course, learned deeply about who we are, and how to train our minds and hearts.

The average rating on the feedback forms from the executives (value received, applicability to your life, etc.) was 4.9 out of 5.0. Ever since that first retreat, lives have been changing around the world.

Retreat format

The first night we have a welcome dinner, and I share my story… how my life changed in 2010 after my 2.5 years in the desert (the relative solitude, researching and writing Inner Excellence) and how I had extreme anxiety (writing the book was five years of full-time research, which drained my life savings and left me $90,000 USD in debt). The anxiety, perhaps partly from the debt, the forced isolation, etc.—was the best thing for me. It forced me to surrender; surrender my ego, as well as my attachment to what I wanted but couldn’t control.

Five key concepts


The Three Worlds Matrix

Learning how our culture shapes us into focusing on temporary things that we want but cannot control


The Five Needs of the Heart

We learn about what drives and directs our behavior: why we do the things we don’t want to do, and don’t do the things we do want


The Flow of Resonance

How to develop a rhythm of life filled with deep contentment, joy and confidence, independent of circumstances


Your Life Purpose

Clarifying how you want to live, how you want to feel, and the type of person you want to become


Living Your Life Purpose

Sharing and discussing various obstacles and challenges to living your purpose at work and home

Preparation for the retreat

Prior to every retreat, two things happen:

I. The Inner Excellence Questionnaire is sent to every participant 6-8 weeks prior to the retreat.

  1. The questionnaire is an in-depth personal reflection on your life, to help develop self-awareness.
  2. It’s completely confidential, shared only with Jim.

II. The Heartstyles indicator is an optional add-on sent 4-6 weeks prior to the retreat.

  1. Heartstyles indicator is a character assessment tool that is the foundation for the self-awareness needed to transform the inner life of the individual.
  2. Each participant rates themselves in 4 areas: love and humility, fear and pride. Then they rate how they would like to be; they also ask 6-12 people to rate their behavior in those four areas.
  3. The results of the indicator are sent to Jim or one of the Inner Excellence coaches, along with their questionnaire. A video call is set up 2-3 weeks prior to the retreat to review the results.


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Captains chosen to keep the team focused on the journey forward and monthly video calls with Jim.

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One day workshop within 3-6 months to refresh the principles and tools learned.

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Follow up

A follow-up retreat in 9-12 months. Heartstyles assessments retaken to see personal growth.

Who are these retreats for?

The retreats are for those who want to learn the key fundamentals of Inner Excellence, in a very short time period. Every full-time client with Jim generally starts off with a retreat, or a modified version of one if it’s in-season.

There’s three basic types of retreats:

Corporate and athletic teams

Families (including kids)

Individuals and couples

“We decided to do an Inner Excellence family retreat to further our children’s personal development as they transitioned into adulthood. What we got, however, was our own inner transformation. It forced my husband and I to think deeply about our own lives and how to become better people, with more empathy, love and compassion—and to live our fullest possible lives with true joy and peace. Oh, and if you were wondering what our kids thought, our oldest daughter rated this retreat as one of her top 3 life highlights. What more can I say? Our time with Jim was life changing.”

Connie Geier

Connie Geier

Vancouver, BC

How your life will change after the retreat:

Vast increase in self-awareness

Clarify your life purpose – and how to live it

Able to apply the Inner Excellence principles

Develop the same skills and disciplines of my world-class athletes

Increased mental toughness

Much more confidence

Overcome anxiety and fear

Remove trauma and phobias—forever (this alone can be life-changing)

Be first in line – the VIP list

When you sign up to be on the VIP list, you’ll be the first to receive the opportunity to join a retreat open to the public. Spots are limited and will sell out quickly.

    Join the VIP list to get tips on how to train your mind and heart.