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

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