Self-awareness for self-determination.

JFK Had it Right


The more experience I gain in this life, the more I appreciate the brilliance and über-applicability of John F. Kennedy’s most famous quote:

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of speaking to a class of students at UT-Dallas. I focused my presentation on the most important bits of wisdom I’ve gained during my career that I wish I’d understood when I was in their shoes.

Number one was “JFK had it right.”

And what I mean by that is the importance of approaching everything with a humble, generous, giving mindset.Continue Reading

What Matters When We Apologize


In case you missed it, hidden video revealed a famous person named Britt McHenry to be cold, mean, and petty. (Her employer, ESPN, suspended her for a week as the result of her malevolent outburst.)

McHenry later tried to apologize:

In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.

A part of me hates critiquing the written apology of someone I have never met, because context and tone can get lost in the jump to judgment.

But I am going to critique it anyway, because there is a subtle but essential point to be made here that we can all benefit from.Continue Reading

Two Years Ago Today …


April 8, 2013.

Michigan was facing Louisville in the NCAA Championship Game.

If you know anything about me, you know that I love college basketball, especially Big Ten basketball, so only a force of nature could cause me to miss watching that game.

Well, I ended up not watching a single second of it.

I know that Louisville won, but I found that out after the fact. I can’t tell you one detail about how the game played out.

Because I was indeed hijacked by a force of nature that night.

Love at first sight.Continue Reading

Getting Back to Balance


Primility is like my North Star that keeps me on the right track. And when I veer off of the right track — the track of living a balanced, fulfilling life — primility is what always pulls me back.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

The last year-plus has included so many great moments: I’m engaged to the woman of my dreams; We bought a house together; I’ve been promoted twice; I’ve been asked to speak at conferences; I’m hosting successful podcasts; I finally made journaling a daily practice.

And on and on and on.

I’m happy, I’m motivated, and I’m generally healthy.

I’ve worked hard to achieve all of this — and yet, I don’t feel fully balanced or fulfilled. And it’s because other important areas of my life have been forgotten about or overlooked in the meantime. I know I could be doing more.

I haven’t been eating as well. I haven’t worked yoga back into my regular routine. I don’t plan as many fun adventures out for Heather and me as I used to. I haven’t read as much as I’ve wanted to. I don’t blog here as much anymore. I haven’t spent as much time connecting with friends and family as I would have liked and have in the past.

And on and on and on.

This has been, in many ways, my M.O. over time. I dive really deep into ideas or activities or goals … and the result is often achievement, but at the expense of something that had previously been important to me.

Which isn’t sustainable. Because I always end up right back here wishing I’d been just a little more balanced day to day along the way.

Because it’s the day-to-day that adds up to the differences month-to-month and year-over-year.Continue Reading