I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn’t weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird. ~ Paul McCartney
Let’s face it – you’re weird.
Sometimes on Friday night you blast Taylor Swift and dance around the house. While you’re cooking alone, you laugh out loud at the jokes in your head. When no one’s looking, you talk to animals in a made up language.
I know I’m not alone here.
We all suppress the weird to some extent, and for good reason. We’re afraid that people won’t like us, that we’ll lose our jobs, that the neighbors will call the cops on us.
Conventional wisdom would say that toning down the weird and adapting yourself to your environment is a smart strategy. Think again.
Being the real, fully expressed you is not only more enjoyable, it’s also the key to your success. Read More
I recently started my latest personal development project – no drinking alcohol for 100 days – but not for the reasons you might think.
Before I say more, know this: I love beer.
I love the taste of beer. (Drinking carbs? Brilliant!) I love the high – being me, only more relaxed and goofy. When I travel, I love to try the local beer varieties. When I’m unwinding after a long week, I love to grab a favorite and sit on the couch.
Alcohol has facilitated some of my favorite memories, solidifying friendships and creating new ones. It’s sparked some of my most rewarding romantic relationships.
Still, there are at least eight great reasons to take the party down a notch. But if those reasons don’t persuade you, just wait for reason nine, the one that spurred me to give up booze completely for 100 long days. Read More
If you’ve been following the story line of the Boston Marathon bombings, you have perhaps been feeling some strong feelings in the past week.
Having crossed the finish just 19 minutes before the blasts (I ran the last 10 miles with a friend), I escaped unscathed, but my emotions have run the gamut from anger and fear to sadness, confusion and loss of control.
Maybe you’ve experienced these emotions too, or others, or perhaps you haven’t put a finger on exactly what you’ve felt. Maybe you’ve simply relied on routine to carry you through.
No matter what you’ve experienced, it’s clear that we know relatively little about how to process and respond to human violence – so little that we choose to ignore the vast majority of the cases. Read More
This week I wrote around 4,000 words of complete mediocrity. That is about 12 hours of writing with no real results, and I was none-too-pleased.
With a looming deadline to post on here, I actually uploaded one of the drafts as if to publish it.
Fortunately, I’m developing sensitivity about what my best work looks like and was aware that this was not it.
Meanwhile, two of my tutoring clients are hitting performance plateaus. Both are brilliant and have mastered the content, but still make mistakes more often than they should.
In coaching my students to overcome their plateaus and do their best work, I realized that I needed to coach myself too. So I did. Here’s what I learned about how to do my best work. Read More
After two months of pursuit, I am conceding defeat – the girl does not want me back.
Whether or not this qualifies as heartbreak, the experience left me feeling a little sad, as if I lost something. There is a slight sting of rejection and failure, but the dominant sense is that of loss.
That feeling prompted some reflection. I think what I’ve lost, ultimately, is the opportunity to do something that I find uniquely fulfilling: giving and getting affection or – dare I say it – love.
It seems to me that exchanging love is an essential and transcendent human drive, second only to survival.
We pay lip service to the power of love – I am the first to admit guilt – but it often takes a back seat in our lives.
Here are five pieces of evidence that love really is the answer. Read More
In 2012 I spent two months riding a bicycle 3,100 miles, self-supported, from Boston to Seattle, with my friend Brendan.
People have often asked how the experience transformed me. But in the midst of the ride, I can’t say much transformation happened: so much of my energy and focus went into simply getting there.
Luckily, as time has passed, I’ve been able to look back and see that I learned a lot more than simply how to keep pedaling. (I learned that too.)
Here are my top six takeaways. Read More
This story has a sad start: I got almost nothing out of the first two thirds of my recent trip, except an increasing degree of certainty that I was doing something very wrong. Fortunately, South By Southwest is the perfect venue for a guy in need of inspiration.
I returned on Sunday from two weeks in Texas, of which 10 days were spent at the chaotic, creative Mecca that is South by Southwest, a conference and arts festival.
The turning point came on my sixth day, the moment I met David, a 19-year-old attraction and confidence coach.
Hanging out with David, I began to appreciate that attraction is everything, extending far beyond the narrow domain of sexual attraction. Read More
Every time I make a decision, I face the same two, conflicting forces – fear and heart.
I watched a father climb aboard a local train the other day, holding his baby son in his arms. A thought flickered into my mind – give up your seat.
I grunted something unintelligible in his direction. He didn’t hear me, and strode past.
One voice chided me: get up, walk over, and tell him your seat is available.
Another voice stopped me: someone else will take my seat if I get up and walk over to him.
As my inner dialogue played out, the young man across from me got up, walked over to the father and pointed back toward his seat, which was gratefully accepted.
We all have fear, and we all have heart.
Which one is winning? Read More
A lot has happened since my little breakdown last week – notably a major breakthrough on the back end, and a fresh reminder about the unbelievable significance of such episodes.
To begin with, the experience reaffirmed that breakdowns are not random.
Mine are always caused by misalignment between my true or higher self and how I’m leading my life. Put another way, my values get out of whack with my actions.
My breakdowns are like messages from the universe – you are off course! Read More