I grew up the nice guy.
My super-power as a kid was in knowing how to placate, how to “make nice,” and make sure that everyone else was okay. I did a lot of going along to get along. And that meant that the me that could have been didn’t really show up.
We all go through the existential search for self. “Who am I, really?” is an age-old question. The problem was that I didn’t ever pause to ask that question until I became an adult.
The good news is that once asked, it led me on a quest to help myself and others.
I was so “nice” that I was dumped right before my senior prom in high-school and told I was a “good sport” for going anyway. I got into management and was threatened with being fired because I was being too nice.
Is it possible to be too nice?
I was smart, affable, funny, and… nice. Wasn’t that okay?
I’ve since learned that yes, nice matters.
Isn’t it great to share experiences with other people? When you’ve had a great vacation or enjoyed a great movie or meal somewhere, you want to let others know about it.
In an effort to connect and share in the experience, great conversations get hijacked and turned into something that actually serves to disconnect rather than to engage. We interject with a shared experience and the comment of “me too” doesn’t build the sought rapport.
“I can’t wait to get back to traveling.”
“Me too! Disneyland is my favorite and I can’t wait for it to open fully.”
(Obviously, this isn’t about the hashtag me too movement. That’s important for solidarity and awareness.)
Here, “me too” serves to take away from the other’s experience.
Instead, try inquiry.
“Traveling is great! Where do you want to go first?”
That step serves to...
Past, Present, and Future
We humans are funny creatures. We have wonderful imaginations and use them so poorly. Think about all of the trouble we’ve had. The truth is you’ve come through 100% of the hard times you’ve had.
You’ve survived. At the very bare minimum, you’ve survived every single one of the hard times you’ve had in your life. And yet…
If you’re like most people, you carry the past with you. You cringe at old thoughts as waves of guilt course through your body. The trouble we had in the past we can’t fix. We can make amends today, but we can’t go back to change what was.
That goes for wishing for a different childhood.
And it’s true for any transgressions you might have had.
Guilt is there to remind you that you have choice. Guilt itself is your way of continuing to pay the price for something. You’ve already experienced the “wrong-ness” of...
To be clear, you must focus on the right thing. Each thing you focus on gives a new meaning.
So you must put the EmPHAsis on the corRECT SyLAHble!
What you focus on matters.
Let’s look at a simple sentence and you can extrapolate that concept to pretty much everything in your life.
Do I Need To Do This?
DO I need to do this? I mean do I? Is this a thing I need to do? DO I need to do this?
Do I need to do this? Can anyone else do this or do I need to be the one to do it?
Do I NEED to do this? Sorting the pantry, taking out the garbage, watching NetFlix, getting lost in TikTok videos… Do I NEED to do that? Yeah, think about priorities!
Do I need TO do this? Is it something that’s coming? Something to look forward to?
Do I need to DO this? Is it something to think about or take action on? And when?
Do I need to do THIS? I mean, there are a million other things to do. Is this the...
The idea that life is a Worthy Struggle became the foundation for my first book. I thought about how important it was that we each engage in our passionate purpose, each day, every day, in whatever way we could.
In committing to doing so, we will enjoy victories. Yet with victory there’s a price. The price of practice, of defeat, of perching on the precipice of something big while knowing it could evaporate at any moment. Facing daily challenges is a worthy struggle.
And I set out to write that book.
As I wrote, I found myself being dragged down. I had to define and describe the struggle before noting how worthy it was. Everyone has a different sense of strife. And what was really hard yesterday isn’t so difficult today.
I changed the writing. I focused on the message. I didn’t want to celebrate the struggle and the focal point was leading there. So, I changed the core message to how to become better every day. I wrote and...
I recently lost my father.
I mean, it’s not like I lost my car keys. I know where we placed him… he passed away. Dark humor, I suppose. He might’ve even appreciated that.
Here’s what I know about loss – it’s very personal. Very. We each process it differently and in our own time.
When my mom passed away fifteen years ago, I was devastated. Crushed. Done. I thought I’d have more time to see her. She had been bravely battling cancer for five years and I told her I’d see her soon. I felt guilty for a long time. I had grief-storms in my closet; I was fine one minute picking my clothes for the day and the next second I was flooding with tears. Those blew in and out for about a month.
When my dad passed away last month, I had a rush of feelings all at once. I was sad, angry, depressed, relieved, confused, and curious. The feelings didn’t rock me. They swept through me. I experienced,...
Well, I’m back to feeling like my old self.
I used to strive for that.
I felt “off” and would want to feel “normal” again. I’d eat better, drink more water, and attend to my sleep.
I recently realized that I was headed in the wrong direction to want to be back to some former self.
I’m getting used to feeling different, like I’m being pulled toward something bigger.
The whole journey of “finding my purpose” is both scary and exciting.
Now I KNOW there’s no way that I’d want to be “back to my old self.”
You know what a toddler looks like running down hill? They’re excited and petrified at the same time.
Legs moving fast, arms up and flailing, a wild grin growing wider…
There's a lot of talk about the big Why.
When you fall into SHOULD it's easy to lose your sense of what it's all for.
We lose our sense of purpose when we feel like we’re doing it for someone else.
We return to our purpose when we remember that we positively affect the lives of others.
When you deliberately, actively, positively® affect someone else’s life, you’ve made the unconscious drudgery of getting through another day something much more conscious and unfathomably priceless.
Priceless – unbelievably valuable – you showing up…
Do you have a lot going on in your world right now?
It’s weird, right? We’re seeing the same things over and over and yet, as you read this, your day is probably scheduled far beyond what you want it to be. What...
I’m sitting here in my robe, getting focused for my day – My exercise clothes will come next. And then I’ll decide when my shower comes. I clean up a little sooner when I know I’m doing another television interview.
I feel good no matter what I wear.
Some people have the mindset of having to “get up and dress up” in order to show up. The truth, at least my truth, is that my presence is on because I turn it on when I open my eyes in the morning. It’s a choice. I get up and show up.
There’s a community I’m in that meets at 6am. They’ve seen me in my button-down and sport coat, they’ve seen me in my sweats and they’ve seen me in my robe. Am I any less present?
In a recent interview for the Huffington Post, the reporter really wanted to use my credentials as a PhD in Clinical Psych to underscore the need to get dressed and how that affects your mood. Her bias was there. And I kept...
You’re not lazy.
You’re not procrastinating.
You’re not even self-sabotaging.
What is this distractibility that comes on like a heavy fog blowing through? What happens when, on the verge of doing something big, there’s some other stuff that needs attention.
Is it that squirrel thing?
It’s deeper than that.
You want more.
You know there’s more and you’re aching to get it. But you’ve gotten good at ignoring what feels like a dull ache from inside, so you just carry on. You allow the fog and distractions to wash over you.
I’m here to poke you a little and to remind you about who you are supposed to be, who you deserve to be.
I’m also here to give you a torch to shine the light on what’s really going on with you.
You know that drawer that needs organizing? Or that social media post or article? Or that show that you just need to see the end of? Or that snack that’s...