On life, death, and the moment

  -1- Summer of 2010: I was on a camping trip with 11 guy friends in Quebec. We were all healthy, playful and happy. M* died on that camping trip. He drowned. He was 27. Winter of 2011: I was in Washington, DC preparing for a speaking tour. One night, C* called me. He toldRead More

The art of giving back: an unconventional approach to negotiation

April 2015: “I’m torn. I want to work with this conference in Guadalajara, but they can’t afford my keynote fee. I could give them a discount, but I’ve noticed that the clients who pay reduced rates end up treating me poorly.” C*: “So, basically, they’re asking you to donate a chunk of your time andRead More

What to do when the world grows dark

  April 6th, 2016: Just yesterday S* asked me how I was doing, and I honestly answered, “You know, it feels like everything I touch is turning to gold right now. It’s amazing.” But today, the world feels dark. Really dark. I want to get out of bed and at least try to make somethingRead More

You’re not broken: the hidden dangers of personal development

January 2013: D* and I are eating breakfast and talking about the year ahead. Since my speaking business is doing well (finally), I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I want to become as a man. I tell D*, “I want to be one part Richard Branson, one part Thich Nhat Hanh, andRead More

How I transformed my life: a guide to personal reinvention

Spring 2015: For nearly a year, I’ve had this nagging feeling that something important is missing from my life. I run through the mental checklist: Business? Running well. Friends? I see them often enough. Those far away I talk to and email. Love life? I have an amazing girlfriend. Physical health? Check. Mental health? ThereRead More

Getting to know yourself: eleven questions for deepening self-awareness

2008, my first (and last) date with K*: I didn’t know that it was possible to shock someone into self-awareness, but that’s exactly what K* just did. She asked a simple question, “What are your three biggest passions in life?” I knew that I was passionate about building my speaking company, Ignited Leadership, but thenRead More

Don’t trust me. Trust you. A guide to overcoming self-doubt.

April 2009, 2:00am: It’s the stupidest decision in the world, but I’m moments away from making it. Only two weeks until graduation, and I’m about to drop out. I see no point in completing my degree. I already know that I’m starting a business rather than getting a job. I feel like my professors areRead More

How to handle the emotional chaos of change

August 2015: I’m in the viewing car, watching the sunrise and clutching a black coffee as the world speeds by my window. All at once, everything I’ve been avoiding hits me. The distance from my friends and family back East, the reality that my ex and I aren’t getting back together, the lack of clarityRead More