Step Into "What's Next" with Integrity and Intention
Here are the broadcasts and podcasts I appeared on in 2018 and early 2019:
Generosity is the expression of kindness, understanding, and selflessness. It’s an inherent impulse born of our social nature. This primal quality explains why giving and helping makes you feel good and why being selfish and stingy feels terrible. As with gratitude, there is good science supporting the assertion that generosity also boosts your health and happiness.
Generosity requires the recognition of others and therefore cultivates empathy and compassion. It leads to a feeling of “oneness” with others which enhances the experience and emotional health of both the giver and receiver.
Developing your generous nature enables you to move beyond need and desire. Generosity helps you recognize that you are, and already have, “enough.” You already possess an abundance of gifts. These gifts only have meaning through developing and sharing them.
Generosity creates bonds, encourages collaboration, and fuels reciprocity.
This is an excerpt...
Are you a "just in case" learner, or a "just in time" doer?
You and I grew up in the age of "just in case" education. Learn your algebra, learn to diagram a sentence, learn the battles of the Civil War, and learn the rules of volleyball just in case you might need them later.
But you and I now live in the age of "just in time" education. Start a project, start a blog, start coding an app, start an online store and, when you need to learn something, that information is only a few keystrokes away. You can learn anything you need to know just in time.
You don't need to learn skills you'll never employ. You don't have to waste time filling your brain with information you'll never use. You mustn't wait for the right teacher or a grade. You can start this very moment.
So, what are you going to do today? Read another book, take another class, watch another YouTube video just in case it might come in handy someday? Or are you going to start an endeavor...
"All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost." - J. R. R. Tolkien
“Do not go...
In any endeavor worthy of your time and talents you'll face challenges, obstacles, and problems. There's a time and there's a place for educating yourself, preparing, and planning for these moments. There's also a time to dive in and thrash your way to clarity and resolution.
Thrashing is the process of learning, iterating, and improving by doing. This needs to be done strategically, with intention, and in service to the change, you seek to make. Without having a goal in mind and a clear idea of what success looks and feels like, thrashing can become exhausting and frustrating.
Thrashing can also become a seductive invitation to hide in busy-work and avoid the more important emotional labor of connecting and collaborating with those who need you.
Done well and done right, thrashing can be exhilarating and encourage a greater sense of flourishing. In addition to bringing your endeavor into clearer focus, this approach encourages forward motion and builds resilience.
The composer knows the rules. He's studied and done his homework. He writes well-crafted arrangements. Specific and carefully chosen instructions are included. The work of a composer reflects his character and purpose, especially when played by those who know how to do as instructed.
The improviser has the same training, but a different approach. She understands the structure and intent of a piece and sees the possibilities. The improviser's stance is, "Let's play with this and see what we can come up with." She serves the song but isn't enslaved by it.
Composition and improvisation are equally professional approaches to the same situation. There's a time and there's a place for composing, especially when you want things to turn out as expected. But when you want to investigate and innovate, the improviser's process is better suited for that endeavor.
The composer relies on what's been done. The improvise leans into "what's next."
Composer or improviser. Which posture will...
It's the day after Thanksgiving here in the States.
If you participated in this tradition built upon gratitude and family, you have a choice to make today about how you want to begin the next holiday season.
Begin the season of generosity and goodwill with a frenzied foray into the belly of the beast of consumerism? Or be present with loved ones who are close at hand right now?
What if we began the season of giving by offering our presence right now instead of collecting presents for later?
Keep flying higher!
A 100-year-old Stayman Winesap apple tree in full bloom is a pretty majestic sight.
That's all my wife and I remembered from a tour of the 38-acre farm in Check, Virginia that we purchased soon afterward.
We raised our two sons there, in addition to dogs, cats, chickens, fruit trees, berry bushes, a vegetable garden and more than a few eyebrows.
Every year the apple tree bore fruit in such abundance that we couldn't keep up with processing and canning apples or pressing them into cider. The boys spent endless hours climbing that tree. My wife spent countless hours gazing out at it from her office window.
One spring, the apple tree was so loaded with blooms that it visibly vibrated with the pollination activity of bees. The limbs became so loaded with apples that they had to be propped up with two-by-fours.
The very next year the tree was obviously in distress. It appeared to be dying. My wife and I, and our boys were devastated.
We called the county agricultural agent out to take a...
“I’m not good enough.” Or, “I’m a work in progress.”
“I’m stuck.” Or, “I’m ready!”
“I can’t catch a break.” Or, “There’s opportunity in every obstacle.”
“I’m scared.” Or, “Isn’t that interesting...?”
“No one ever helps me.” Or, “Let’s go!”
“I don’t deserve more.” Or, “I am worthy.”
“I must put my family first.” Or, “I must take care of myself to best serve others.”
“I need to learn more.” Or, “I know enough to start.”
“I don’t know how to start.” Or, “I’ll start where I am.”
“What if I fail?” Or, “Failure is not fatal.”
“What’ll people think?” Or, “Shun the non-believers.”
“I can’t afford the time or...
Grace is the act of extending forgiveness or mercy. The word itself comes from the same root as that of gratitude and is embedded deeply into the practice of generosity. Grace requires and promotes excellence of character which includes both moral virtue and ethical will.
Grace is central to many of the world’s religions and most impactful social movements. Turning the other cheek, forgiving those who harm you, and embracing anguish and misfortune are powerful and moving responses to trying situations.
Nothing is more challenging than the pursuit and practice of grace. That’s why it’s so valued and worth your persistent effort.
Only grace leads to enlightenment, wisdom, and transcendence. And grace begins with you.
How can you possibly extend forgiveness and mercy to others if you can’t yet extend them to yourself? You are an imperfect being. A broken vessel carrying around a fragile soul. Be kind to yourself, and it will be much easier to extend kindness to...