Escaping the prison of unworthiness

Years ago, one of my friends shared an allegory that changed how I think about myself and the world. The allegory: You wake up and realize that you’re locked in a cell. Time slips through your fingers. The days and weeks blur and crash into one another, each as empty as the last. One day,Read More

The truth about entrepreneurship

May 4th, 2016, on the phone with S*: “I’m going to close my business and get a real job. I’m done” she tells me. I’m shocked. S* is very successful in a competitive market. She goes on to explain that she’s burnt out, and has been for a long time. She feels that the physical,Read More

Reminders to myself

When I fail to give my mind any sort of structure or organization, my world grows dark and crazy. I find myself fixating on embarrassments, disappointments, and mistakes from my past. I worry that the future will be worse than the present, and that I’m destined for failure and loneliness. I find myself discounting, orRead More

How to understand, cultivate, and focus your energy

July 2nd, 2016, Washington, DC: I’ve just delivered the Best Man toast at W* and E*’s wedding. People are shaking my hand and giving me compliments on it. I do my best to look delighted and let the compliments land, but the truth is, I can’t feel their warmth right now. I’m too exhausted. It’sRead More

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