Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.

Dirty Laundry

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

“That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments.

A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband:
“Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this? ”

The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life…
What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.


Mayumi (7 yrs old)) and I read The Alchemist together before bed-time over a period of months last year.  I came across this just the other day on Paulo’s blog site and wanted to share it here.  

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Pipe Dreams

pipe dreamsJohn Krakauer, Bruce Lee and Anonymous walk into a bar…

1. Any challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn’t a challenge at all.
– John Krakauer

2. A goal is not always meant to be reached, it simply serves as something to aim at.
– Bruce Lee

3. Study the world and you gain knowledge, study yourself and you gain enlightenment.
– Anonymous

Shortly after moving to the west coast I read a quote by, Jim Rohn. He said, “Work on your career and you’ll create a great living but work on yourself and you’ll create a fortune.” He meant we are not rewarded for our time, but we are rewarded for the value we contribute. The way to earn more is not to work more but to become more.

It’s difficult to express the impact of those words and the results without sounding hyperbolic. But in time and with that mantra, I increased my salary almost 400%. And true to Jim’s word’s, I discovered my fortune. I say I discovered and not made because I learned that my fortune is not my wealth. Your wealth is not your worth. Focusing on learning and self-development gained me the best health of my life, perspective, patience, and quality in my relationships today – my fortune. I understand the age-old adage that the purpose of setting goals is not for the reward but for what you become in the process of striving.

Last month I made what I thought was a bold decision to double down once again and increase focus on my growth and on contribution to some others in my life. I gave my resignation. I committed to further work a vocation around my ideal life and not my ideal life around a vocation. And the response of generosity, support and flexibility from my company and the wonderful teams I work with have been nothing short of humbling and amazing. So many people inside and out of my company have since conspired to see to it I can pursue these goals, never once asking me to compromise my values.

I’m excited for all the new challenges and opportunities before me and the certain growth it will provide. Gratitude. Awe. And more gratitude.

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Real Confidence

People who say they don’t care what other people think about them don’t need to say they don’t care what other people think about them.

Synthetic Happiness

Dan Gilbert first introduced me the concept of impact bias and positive psychology. Here at TED 2014 he explains why our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong.


fr8_30_20139051020130830210628If you are like me, you love planning vacations – love every detail from the travel to the activities to the food – especially the food!

What’s a place you’ve always wanted to visit? Think of your dream adventure destination and now really picture it. And now imagine you finally get to go, but there is one catch. It will only be for a weekend, just one weekend and you will never be back.

How efficiently would you plan a trip like that? What would you do when you arrive? How would you organize your time? Would you sleep in until noon and spend any of it watching TV or checking in at the office? And who else would you want there? Would you want to bring along the love of your life or people who bring you down? I’d imagine you’d pack as many good memories and experiences you possibly could in a once in lifetime trip like that.

Once in a lifetime. One lifetime. YOLO. You get only one of these to do all things you want to do.

Whether you think life is short or long is inconsequential. The point is it’s finite, yet we often tacitly behave in way that suggests it’s never going to end. Life is too short and too long not to be spent doing what you love with the people you love. Pithy but true.

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Forget Success

Forget success. When you die you will not be honored for your accolades. You’ll be honored because of how well you loved.

admin_1-asset-503651a71b465These are ten books that have influenced me more than most any others.  They are the books I read, re-read, and then read again; some more than a dozen times.  They are instruction manuals for health, wealth, relationships and happiness. And I consider them some the best investments I have made in my life…

Act Accordingly – Colin Wright  “You have exactly one life to do everything you will ever do.  Act accordingly.”

A Day in the Life of a Minimalist – Joshua Fields Milburn  “There are three ways to create better relationships: You can find great new relationships. You can transform your current relationships. Or you can change who you are.”

“It took getting ‘everything I ever wanted’ to realize I didn’t want everything I ever wanted.”

Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert  “If someone offered you a pill that would make you permanently happy, you would be well advised to run fast and run far. Emotion is a compass that tells us what to do, and a compass that is perpetually stuck on north is worthless.”

The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy  “The great danger of the media is that it gives us a very perverted view of the world. Because the focus and the repetition of messaging is on the negative, that’s what our minds start believing. This warped and narrow view of what’s not working has a severe influence on your creative potential. It can be crippling. In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you. And as long as you’re making choices unconsciously, you can’t consciously choose to change that ineffective behavior and turn it into productive habits.”

The Compassionate Samurai – Brian Klemmer  “Service is providing what’s wanted and what’s needed, not what you want to give. You don’t need to understand the value of what your doing. What you need to know is that it matters to the other person. That’s what contribution is.”

One Piece of Paper – Mike Figliuolo  “You are not above any work you have the skills to do.”

Artist of Life – Bruce Lee  “A self-willed man has no other aim than his own growth. He values only one thing, the mysterious power in himself which bids him life and helps him grow. The power can neither be preserved not increased nor deepened with money and power, because money and power are inventions of distrust. Those who distrust the life-giving force within them, or who have none, are driven to compensate through such substitutes as money.
When a man has confidence in himself, when all he wants in the world is to live out his destiny in freedom and purity, he comes to regard all those vastly overestimated and far too costly possessions as mere accessories, pleasant perhaps to have and to make use of, but never essential.

Mind Body Mastery – Dan Millman  “Relaxation is the best single indicator of your well-being. Your degree of relaxation is across three centers: physical, mental and emotional. Your ability to relax reflects your willingness to trust.”

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield  “A: Know the difference between what is urgent and what is important. B: Do what’s important first.”

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami  “Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”


You can do anything you want when you grow up. If you’re not doing anything you want, maybe you just haven’t grown up.

photo“Appreciate those who make time for you in their busy schedule but love those that don’t look at their schedule when you need them.”

If you’re anything like me, there’s always a call that needs returned or an email waiting for a reply.  There are literally dozens of things at any given time that demand our attention. But when all you do is what’s urgent, that’s all you’ll ever do. You’ll spend all of your time doing little more than putting out fires.  Because when we don’t give our attention to important things, they will all eventually become crises as well.

A few weeks back during a very busy day at work, I received a call from a frantic seven-year old because she lost her log-in and password to an interactive site sponsored by American Girl Doll. I spent more than an hour searching old emails and on a phone call requiring numerous transfers and copious wait times before heroically getting her back online.

I didn’t do this for Mayumi because I spoil her and we both talked about this.  Rather I saw it as an opportunity to show her that if she ever needs me, I will be available. That relationships come before my work. That if something is important to her, it’s important to me as well. Because if I can’t show her I care enough to make time for such an easy problem, she may think twice before bringing me a difficult one.

1. Know the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important.
2. Do what’s important.

Last night it felt very satisfying to put off dozens of emails and voice mails, to work with Mayumi on her 2nd grade homework. We cooked and ate dinner together. And we played Flappy Bird where I quite possibly might have taught her a few new swear words in the process.

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