Browsed by
Category: Purpose

Directed and Unstoppable Wins The Race

Directed and Unstoppable Wins The Race

This year I want to make a large shift.

Simply put, I want to make my living doing what I was born to do.

What i was born to do is to entertain, delight and inspire people.

I keep trying to struggle with this statement but it’s really simple for me.

There are a lot of reasons why I’m not currently doing this. Basically it comes down to a bunch of choices I made over the years that led me to where I am now.

Unpacking and understanding those decisions and the unconscious motivations behind them are a topic for another time. Today is the second day of the new year so its time to look forward and get into action.

Click Here to jump to the Actionable/Practical Stuff at the Bottom

My plan this year is to use the platforms I have built over the past months and use them as a public diary of my journey and to entertain, delight and inspire people as I do.

Very meta.

So when you tune in to a face cast or read my blog I want you to get value for yourself as i experiment with techniques, tricks, tips and technology to get where I’m going.

All of this will done using the framework of the Three Simple Steps.

The three steps are step back, step up and step forward.

  • Step back is about defining goals, purpose and direction.
  • Step up is about responsibility and accountability.
  • Step forward is about taking action and staying in action.

These are not 3 steps that are taken in order once. These are three steps that are done in a continuous dance.

The idea is to be moving forward. Taking actions that lead to accomplishing goals. Of course goals change and there are challenges that keep us from taking action. it’s important, for example, to keep stepping back to make sure we have the big picture in mind and are going in the right direction as we step forward. If you have a commitment to walk a mile everyday or call your mother every week and you’re not doing it you revisit the Step Up step to look at why you’re not doing what you said you would to and how you can set up structures to support the actions you want to take.

Over the years and especially over the past 6 months i have been thinking a lot about what works and what doesn’t.

Here is an simple overview of what I’ve concluded boiled down into useful nuggets.

  1. To get somewhere it’s best to know where you are going.
  2. Action leads to inspiration, not the other way around.
  3. Change your mind and you can change the world.
  4. The only scarce resource is time.
  5. It is very easy to spend all your time being entertained and distracted
  6. Taking care of your body and mind should be your first priority.
  7. You can only do one thing at a time effectively
  8. Guilt and shame are usually not very helpful and, unless they motivate you to take positive action, they should be set aside.
  9. Other people are the key ingredient to your success.

Let me expand on these a tiny bit.

To get somewhere it’s best to know where you’re going

Defining goals is hugely important because once you really understand where you want to go you might change the actions that you want to take.

– Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and bound by time.
– Once you have a goal you can work on a plan to reach that goal and start working on it.
– Once you have a goal you can tell people about that goal so they can help your reach it.
– Once you have a goal you can figure out shortcuts to reach that goal

Action leads to inspiration, not the other way around.

Action changes your mind.

“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting.” – Millard Fuller

Let me prove this to you. Take a second to to inventory of how you feel physically and emotionally right now. Just notice how you feel.

Now close your eyes and take three deep breaths, focusing on your breath as you do it.

Now smile, make sure the smile crinkles your eyes.

Now do a silly dance for 5 seconds. Make sure you wiggle your hips a little.

How do you feel now?

Told ja!

Change your mind and you can change the world

Reality may be immutable at some level but your perception of reality produces your experience of life and defines what you are willing to do. Humans are meaning making machines and we change our experience of reality with our beliefs on a profound level. The effect of the placebo effect is astonishing for example. If you strongly believe that the ocean is full of deadly sharks there is no way you will go swimming in it everyday. If you believe that doing a triathlon is impossible you will not do a triathlon (etc…).

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford

This is not to say that you should live a life of delusional optimism BUT it’s worth noting that the people who change the world, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Christopher Columbus were delusional optimists. Optimists are more likely to take action.

On a more esoteric level it’s worth noting that quantum theory says that reality is actually defined by observation. The particles that make up the world act differently, as either waves or particles, depending on how we look at them. This is profoundly weird and has been confirmed by experiment in 2015.

I don’t think the final 6 points need to be expanded on or explained or argued for at this time. Basically they boil down to this.

When you want to get something done you have a limited amount of time to do it so its best to be as efficient and effective as possible.

  1. If you let guilt and shame keep you from action you will be less effective.
  2. If you spend your time being entertained or distracted you will be less effective
  3. If you focus on one thing at a time you will be more effective.
  4. If your mind and body are healthy you’ll be more effective.
  5. If you get help you multiply your ability to accomplish something.

My Action Plan

I think that the best way to get where I’m going is to focus on 3 things i want to accomplish over a two week period. These things will be aligned with my over arching goal of making my living as a content creator. There will be other goals and milestones that will be part of that goal over the coming year.

Along with my overarching career goal that I have for this year, I also have a an overarching goal of taking care of my body, mind and community. There will be goals that will be related to those goals as well.

I will also commit to 3 habits that I want either change, start or strengthen.

I am going to I am going to publish a blog post Sunday night every week. In that post I will offer observations and tips and ideas. I will also define my 3 goals that I want to focus on for the fortnight and 3 habits that I want to work on.


  • Monday morning I’ll go over the highlights of the post and offer a valuable thought or tip to help you have a a great week.
  • Tuesday will be the Tuesday Trivia Show.
  • Wednesday will be Wild Card Wednesday. I might go for a walk or do an interview or do a workout or something wild.
  • Thursday will be a check in on the current experiment. How are the actions going?
  • Friday will be the Morning Dance Party.

What’s in it for you?

My hope is that you and many others will join me in defining 3 goals and 3 habits two work on every two weeks and that my sharing will provide insights and inspiration. I hope to start a constructive conversation and an engaged community. I hope that you will join me.


  • I am setting a big goal for the new year and I invite you to do the same.
  • I will be setting 3 interim goals or milestones and focusing on 3 habits every 2 weeks and reporting on them here and on the facebook page.
  • I will be creating an engaged community around setting and reaching goals and i want you to be part of it.

Three Steps to
Take Today

  1. Set a big goal for 2017
  2. Set 3 small goals for the next 2 weeks and 3 habits you want to strengthen or change.
  3. Share them with friends and in the comment section below.
Who Are You?
I Really Want To Know

Who Are You?
I Really Want To Know


Here’s something to step back and seriously consider.

What are you up to?

Who are you really?

What were you born to do?

If you believe in a Higher Power, what do they want you to do during this lifetime? If you don’t believe in a Higher Power, what is the true purpose that really lights up your heart? (That’s actually two ways to ask the same question.)

If you don’t know, pretend that you do and answer the question temporarily, just for fun.

Here’s something to remember. The people who changed the world weren’t any different than you or I when they were born. We know who they are because they were talented, lucky and successful. They were also up to something and they believed in themselves and they worked very, very hard in service to their higher purpose.

In some cases that higher purpose was to secure equal rights or freedom for a group of people. In other cases that purpose was to create great art or uncover the keys to the secret of the universe. In many cases that purpose was to accumulate a pant-load of money or power. In every case they were being true to their own nature. People don’t get to be great at something they settle for. People don’t inspire other people when they do things in service to a purpose they don’t believe in.

It just doesn’t happen.

“But wait,” you say, “I don’t get it. My grandfather is my hero but he wasn’t successful. He struggled to make ends meet. He worked in menial jobs his whole life but he inspired everyone he knew with his quiet dignity, his faith and his dedication to his family. Despite everything he created a loving home for…


“I get it.”

(In case you didn’t get it: Your purpose may not make you famous, it probably won’t, but if you are living a life of purpose you will touch the people around you in a profound way.)

So here’s how this applies to me:

A short time ago I realized that what I had done most successfully in my life was to encourage other people to follow their passions and bring people together to create miraculous results. I did that in college and in Seattle and in Los Angeles. My question for the first 35 years of my life was always “What are you up to? What do you really want to do?”

Then I stopped.

In hindsight I can see that there were a lot of reasons that I stopped but I think I can sum it up by saying that I had an unexamined, unexpressed belief that grown-ups didn’t do that kind of thing and it was time for me to act like a grown-up and stop encouraging everyone.

Let someone else do it.

Sound silly, doesn’t it?

Even sillier is that it took a bit of effort to keep from doing it. I broke myself of the habit of trying to inspire people and help them find what they wanted to devote their lives to.

Here’s the thing that I realized in a flash of insight in the middle of the night.

Nobody else was doing what I did. Other people were doing what they did.

Let me be really clear about this because this is the part that applies to everyone. This is the part that applies to you. There are many people who inspire and encourage and many people who bring people together. There are much better leaders in the world than me. There are people who are more talented at inspiring people than me.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say what I have to say and do what I have to do. What I have to offer is unique just because it’s coming out of me, out of my mouth or mind and into the minds of the people around me at the time.

Like now. You’re reading this. Maybe it’ll make a big difference to you that I wrote this. Who knows.

If I didn’t write it, I know it wouldn’t make a difference at all because it wouldn’t exist.

You follow?

I am not saying that I am better at what I do than anyone else. I am saying that I am the only person who can do what I do.

That’s true of you as well.

“There’s an old Vulcan proverb: ‘Only Nixon could go to China.’”
-Spock, Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country

This doesn’t mean that because it’s uniquely mine it’s automatically worthwhile or valuable or right. That kind of relativism drives me crazy. But my point is that just because other people do something doesn’t mean you or I can’t or shouldn’t.

“What I really want to do is direct” is a cliché but that doesn’t mean that if you really want to direct you shouldn’t or you don’t have the right to try.

Go for it.

Please note that “try” is the operative word. You will fail. Everybody does. What I’m saying is that you (and I) should strive toward the goals that light us up and makes our lives worth living. We should organize our days around the things that we think are important. Make your family or your creativity or your passion for social justice the center of your life. Be awesome.

Don’t think that being awesome is beyond you or is for your next life. It’s now.

So that’s what this blogging is about. I know I have something unique to offer because I know everyone does.

I also think I can help people find what that is. I have a talent and a passion for that.

People who know me know that I’m grumpy, lazy, bitter and mean. People who know me also know that I’m inspiring, diligent and compassionately wise. I am more the latter when I am being true to myself.

And this is what I do when I’m true to myself.

This, right here.

Hope you like it!

I’m gonna do it anyway. (This is me throwing my hat over the wall, by the way).

So now, what is it you’re up to?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

This quote is often mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela but it is actually from Marianne Williamson (who has said that she is honored that something she wrote might be attributed to Mandela.) Here’s the rest of the quote with more for those of you who are more motivated by spirituality or who think it’s better to be small and humble.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

(Did you catch that part about your playing small not serving the world?)

I ran into an old friend who quit his teaching job after 20 years to pursue his passion for acting. A passion that had brought him to Los Angeles in the first place.

So now it’s your turn.

What are you supposed to be doing?

What On Earth Are You Doing? (or) What Are You Doing On Earth?

What On Earth Are You Doing? (or) What Are You Doing On Earth?

Photo: Shelley Wenk


One of the first things I ask my clients to do is to declare what their purpose is. This is both hugely important and not that big a deal.

It’s hugely important because my purpose should be a guiding light for me. It establishes the direction for goal setting and provides a mission statement for everything I do. Every action that I make should be in service to that purpose. If I’m doing something that isn’t in line with my purpose I should consider not doing that. My time spent playing Angry Birds, for instance, has been negatively impacted as I have shifted my focus toward my purpose.

I say that declaring my purpose is no big deal because I have given myself (and my clients) permission to revise it (or change it completely) at any time.

“What? You can just change your life’s purpose at any time? What about consistency and righteousness and perfection and goodness!”

Yes. If I don’t give myself permission to get it wrong and change it I’ll never come up with anything and I gotta have something to start with.

So here’s my purpose from my first post.

To create art, communities and structures that inspire people to create and live their dreams.

Your Turn: What’s your purpose? How about you publicly declare it in the comment section? Don’t worry, you can change it later.


As a parent and husband I really have to include caring for my family in my purpose because it’s tremendously important to me. It’s also very important to me that I take care of my health and fitness.

So here’s a rewrite:

To create art, communities and structures that inspire people to create and live their dreams while taking loving care of myself and my family.

Sounds good!


I have this lingering feeling that purpose doesn’t have a sense of fun or humor that will really work for me and I think I can be pithier. But for now it works.

What’s next?