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Your Life on Purpose

English, Finance, 1 season, 94 episodes, 13 hours, 51 minutes
The podcast that helps you feel less like a cog in a machine by connecting the dots between school, your passion, and what the world needs -- all in under ten minutes.
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Hard Choices on Purpose

The other day I talked with someone who read my article about living inspired (and therefore “in spirit”). Like what often happens, we talked BIG PICTURE. Like a 'I only have so much time on this earth and what I do with my time matters' kind of conversation. When I asked him a question that Dr. Wayne Dyer often asked (“What’s your intention?”), he spoke about his desire to build a legacy. He doesn’t care about whether or not someone will remember his name, but wants more than anything for people to benefit from his life’s work down the road, well after he leaves this life. He wants to create something that matters. And something tells me you do too. Much like how you may not know Thomas Edison, but you surely will benefit from using a light bulb. Or how you may never have heard of Tim Berners-Lee, but you surely will have used the World Wide Web. Or you may not know Elon Musk, but you certainly have used e-commerce (i.e. Paypal). He’s also the guy behind sending monkeys to Mars (i.e. SpaceX), bringing the electric car to mass production (i.e. Tesla), and cladding our homes with solar panels to fuel our energy use (i.e. SolarCity) I understand this drive to build a legacy that matters. That’s the hero inside of us calling. Screaming. Reading to be activated and charge into legacy-building combat. But being a hero on this level requires some hard choices. The man I sat there having this conversation with happens to also have a beautiful two-year daughter, a loving wife, and also is a co-caretaker for his parents. Would building an epic legacy mean that he can’t also play these equally important roles? History teaches us that’s not so easy. In Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs, he equally celebrates the genius gifts that Jobs has given all of society while also exposing that in his formative years at Apple, he was an absent father and husband. It wasn’t until his later years and the birth of his son Reed that he began to take his family role seriously and did a 180 degree turn. He quickly switched from staying late at Apple to being home every evening for a meal with the family. But this was after he had already established his legacy at Apple (and Pixar). A similar story goes for Elon Musk who has achieved extreme success. Musk is notorious for spending so much time on his projects that he is absent in his role as family man. His ex-wife, Justine Musk, wrote very publicly about how difficult it was to be married to someone so devoted to his work. On her popular blog, she wrote that “Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things.” In this case, it was the cost of their marriage. But do you have to give up being a loving partner and parent because you have such an internal drive to create something that matters? Of course not. Just ask my friend Stephen Tracy. For the past several years, Stephen has held one of the most coveted positions by millennials all over the world. Tracy held a high-level position at Google. He scootered between meetings, traveled all over the world on the company dime, and filled his belly with Google’s free delicious food. While working at Google, Tracy’s spirit kept egging him on to leave Google and start his own project that matters. Besides, Tracy’s position at Google required a tremendous amount of time. Time that Tracy couldn’t choose how to use. And that time included being away from his husband. So Tracy had a spark of insight and lit his entrepreneurial candle, quite literally. He made the hard delicious on purpose to leave Google and start up a for-purpose candle company. Tracy has a tremendous love for his former employer, Google, but has not looked back since taking the leap. When we sat down for a chat, he said: “I've found so much more purpose in every single day since leaving Google. The biggest change is in the alignment between how I want to spend my time, and how I actually spend my time. Now I choose where my time and energy goes. I feel liberated, empowered, and excited by the future. It's been the best decision I ever made.” Tracy partnered with his husband to create KEAP and just recently launched on Kickstarter, already raising well over their 25k goal! —- So, what about YOU? As you activate the hero within and walk your heroic journey, how do you choose to spend your time? It’s the age-old question of work vs. life balance, but with the entrepreneurial revolution that’s upon us, finding this balance is quite difficult when it’s your work that brings you life. And now, I need to make a hard choice on purpose. This episode will be the last episode for season 2. Season 3 will be here before you know it, but in the meantime I have to press pause on the podcasting fun for a little while. Of course, I want to hear from you. What do you want to see in season 3? Also, if this happens to be the first time you’ve tuned into the show, make sure to listen through the over 90 episodes that nearly 100,000 thousand people have listened to. And if you haven’t checked out yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. And lastly, I will be creating more meditations because i’ve been touched to see that over 30 thousand people have listened to the meditations I created on Insight Timer. How awesome is that!? From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for joining me on this journey and I seriously look forward to season 3. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and I thank you for joining me on the stage.
12/29/20169 minutes, 21 seconds
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You Are What You Read

On today’s episode, I’d like to talk about quality over quantity when it comes to the information you hear throughout your day. With literally millions of books published each year (traditionally, not even counting self-published), along with all the many articles that circulate around our social media channels, just how do we know we’re actually reading high-quality information and not just product-placed marketing mediocrity? Or worse, how do we know that we’re not just feeding our own confirmation bias and growing ignorant in our own little bubble? If you’re like me, you love to read information: data, case studies, new theoretical research findings, tips and tricks, and so on. But we only have so much time! Unlike the world Before Google (B.G.), the problem now is not finding an answer when researching a question, but rather sifting through the abundance of information. There’s just so much! The thing is, when it comes to making major life decisions like choosing a new career path, a new area of study, or embarking on a new hero’s journey, what we read directly and what we listen to significantly influences where we point our feet. So, how do we know if what we’re actually reading is of high quality? Here are five questions to consider whenever you dig your nose into some prose. Who is the Author? Whether you’re reading a major blog syndicate like The Huffington Post, New York Times or Elephant Journal or you’re reading someone’s personal blog, dig into the author’s background. Most of the time, all you need to do is just copy and paste the author’s name into Google. You’ll find that most writers for these platforms are like me (and perhaps you). They run their own media platform because they have a message they want to share and then guest-post on these larger sites to help grow their reach. In the old days, an author was merely credible depending on what college they graduated from. Now…not so much. A degree is only one source of establishing ethos (or credibility) and unfortunately a college degree doesn’t mean as much anymore (even if it’s Ivy League). Take a microscopic look into the reader. What did she study in school? What is her life’s work? What books do they cite in their work? Just understand that every author has an inherent bias due to his own background. Where is the Source of The Information? Just like we shouldn’t trust a commercial that boasts some new research study that proves this new magical healing pill (because the study was very likely funded by the same company that sells the pill), we shouldn’t trust any advice we read without looking deeper into the source of information. In academia, the most credible of sources are peer-reviewed articles: articles that have been written by professionals in a field then critiqued and revised by other professionals in the field. Unfortunately, these are often very dry articles that are no more fun to read than watching paint dry. Traditionally in academia, the lowest credible source is a subjective opinion like what would be found in a personal blog. These, however, are often the most enjoyable to read because they have as much flair as Barbra Streisand on Broadway. This is where it comes down to purpose. What are you reading for? If it’s for an academic article, then stick to peer-reviewed articles. If it’s for personal growth or entertainment, then most often a blog with a unique voice will stand out. Is This Long Form or Short Form Content? Trust me, I understand the limits we have on our time. Most people are only able to read a few articles a day or listen to a short podcast episode on a morning run. Reading a book or listening to an entire audiobook can be daunting. Understand though that a 750 word blog post or one podcast episode will rarely dive as deep as a full-length work. Sure, you can squeeze the message in a book into one-liners, but doing so is like going swimming in a kiddie pool. It’s fun to splash around, but you can’t really go for a swim. Did a Company Pay for This? Many companies have jumped on the inbound marketing bandwagon to grow their business. And why not? It’s a great long-term affordable marketing strategy. How it works is that a company hires writers (sometimes in-house staff, but most of the time virtual assistants through 3rd party companies) to write 2-3 articles per week, if not more. Using rich long-tail keywords, the company’s goal is to land that coveted first page ranking in Google without having to spend a cent on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. And it works…for the company. The content, however, is typically mediocre and incredibly biased. Why? Because the whole purpose behind the content is to drive users to the company website. Not all company blogs are bad, however. I’ve helped a number of companies build up their blogs. The better company blogs focus less on rich long-tail keywords and focus more on sharing customer stories or personal employee experiences. Is this Click Bait? When you’re reading online, if you have to “click to read more” that’s a volcanic red flag. Website owners do this typically for a “top ten” list or something like it. Every time a user clicks to read more, a new series of advertisements fill the screen and the company behind the website gets paid a few more dollars while your valuable time gets wasted. — We live in a beautifully connected world where anyone with a keyboard can share their story with the click of a button and we can read a personal blog (or watch a Youtube channel), pick up a copy of a major newspaper, or dive into a peer-reviewed scholarly book. We live in a world of abundant choice and it’s a beautiful time to be alive. But in this world of abundance comes the art of choosing. We need to choose carefully what we listen to and read. In college and as a teacher, I’ve often stressed that high-quality information comes from long-form content that’s backed with cited peer-reviewed research. I still believe this holds true for academic writing. Take, for example, my latest read: Lisa Randall’s Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. But there’s certainly something beautiful in reading personal writing backed by nothing more than life’s magical experiences. What about YOU? I’d love to know how you decide to take in your content information.   Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead, full of love, light, and adventure. Just remember, life is a dance.
10/4/201610 minutes, 11 seconds
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3 Questions to Find Your Purpose

Dr. Dyer was a bit obsessed with the work of Abraham Maslow, the founding psychologist who introduced the theory of self-actualization to the world. It’s the concept where a person needs to fulfill certain biological needs before one can work on developing into higher consciousness and evolve into the greatest version of oneself (and then sharing that genius to better the world). Before someone can start thinking about “What’s my purpose?”, for instance, they need to have a steady supply of food, shelter, water, and feel safe. As I was listening to Dyer’s memoir, I started thinking about my own path and while it’s been incredible receiving emails from people all around he world who have been touched by my writing, lately I’ve felt like I’ve just been going through the motions. So, I’d like to share with you three questions I developed in my journal writing this morning. My hope is that it will inspire you as much as it helps me be confident on my own path. Who am I Serving? Dyer said that the answer to the question “What is my Purpose?” is always the same. Your purpose is to serve others. It’s as simple as that. The trick is to find out what you (and only you) can serve to others. That means activating your unique genius and opening it up to the world. Our amalgamation of unique experiences have molded us into who we are today. We all have a beautiful story, full of “coincidence”, that led to you developing your unique genius. It’s up to you whether or not you’re willing to offer it to others. Are you willing to share your unique genius with the world? For me, I’ve learned that I have a unique talent to help people feel comfortable sharing their own stories. Because I am so open with my story and my struggles, I allow other people to be real and vulnerable. What am I Creating? In The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, she says that finding a sense of purpose in life comes through creating art. Cameron argues that so many people in the rat race of a 9-5 get caught up in constantly serving others through either parenting, working a job that doesn’t fulfill the soul but provides a pay check, or maintaining our possessions (i.e. home, car). We all need to find time to create art, says Cameron. This could be crafting a compelling article, painting, singing, dancing, or building a desk. When we create art, we’re activating our innate form of self. We’re tapping into the divine source of creation. So, take your self on a date. Cameron suggests that even the busiest of people can find time to create art. Once a week, find a time (and put it in your calendar) to take your artist self on a date. It could be only for 20 minutes or so, but it’s focused time on inspiring the artist that is within all of us. If you played trombone as a kid and stopped playing it when you became a parent or starting working a 9-5, spend twenty minutes with your trombone or listen to a your favorite music artist. If you painted as a kid, but haven’t picked up the brush and easel in years, spend just twenty minutes putting paint on white canvas. See what happens. It doesn’t matter necessarily what you create. You can erase your writing or even throw out the painting when you’re done if you want. What matters is that you consciously spend time with your artist self. You take part in the act of creating art for the sake of saying hello to the artist that lives inside all of us. What am I Scared of? What’s often not talked about with Maslow’s research is that self-esteem needs to be fulfilled before someone can play in self-actualization. We talk ourselves out of things that can have the most impact in our lives. Like Jay Stolar pointed out to me, so often we just need to get out of our own way, I see this all the time with college students who enter the university and take “the safe route” because they want to make sure that their degree will guarantee a paycheck that will pay back student loans and provide for a future family. But I think we’ve all learned that there’s no “safe” degree. We all know MBA graduates who still haven’t landed the coveted CEO position, right? Five years into a job that doesn’t fuel their soul, many students often come back to tell me that they’re thinking of going back to school to go into a career that fuels their soul. We can’t ignore our souls. Our internal intention is with us all the time. It’s up to us to recognize it, shake hands with it, and empower it. What about you? These are the three questions I asked myself this morning. What questions help you steer you down your path on purpose?
10/4/20168 minutes, 56 seconds
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Breaking Through Personal Limitations

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past the limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization.” - Joseph Campbell It’s entirely normal for us to run into some sort of wall in our lives, whether that’s in the work that we do or in our personal lives. Remember though that feeling like you’re in a rut is actually a good thing. Why? Because you’re aware of the rut in which you are in. And that’s no easy truth to acknowledge. David Foster Wallace made that quite clear when he gave his “This is Water” commencement speech: “It is extremely difficult to stay alert & attentive instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your head.” So, how does one break out of a rut and push through personal limitations?  Try this,    Take Your Artist Self on a Date The whole purpose of art is to evoke awareness in another, to break a mold, to get someone to think. So, take your artist self on a date. Yes, seriously. I repeat. Go ahead and take your artist self on a date. Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, argues that when we take our artist self on a date, it helps us think beyond our own barriers of thought. So, what does this look like? Consider like I did last week and go to an art gallery with a notebook to write down your thoughts on a few pieces that call to your attention. For instance, last Sunday I went to COSM, a beautiful new-age art gallery which displays Alex and Allyson Grey’s psychedelic artwork. The Grey’s work is awe-inspiring at least with huge paintings that take cubism and turn it internal. One image stood out to me in particular: a beautiful painting of a woman nursing her child that shows the outside, inside, and ethereal energetic systems of both the mother and child. Okay, I honestly cannot put their art into words, so take a look here to see what I mean. For one hour, I walked around the art gallery (both indoors and out) and then sat down with my notebook to write a poem, then a journal entry where I flushed out my thoughts. It was only an hour, but it was enough to tilt the way I look at things. Consider taking your artist self on one date this week. The only criteria is that you go alone. Go for a walk through nature, visit an art gallery, go to the library and read something new, or just walk around a new neighborhood to break routine.  Read a Challenging Text Even if it’s just 30% of a book, consider checking out a book on something you know absolutely nothing about. It’s amazing, right, how reading from the comfort of an arm chair can get the mind to travel? For example, I knew very little about organizing and picked up Marie Kondo’s book, Spark Joy, and it has opened my mind to the freedom that comes from tidying up our lives. Stoic Discipline When I read the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca’s letters, one thing stands out to me. And that’s the habit of discipline in which Seneca professes. Seneca argues that if we discipline ourselves to experience a worst-case scenario for a short time, we no longer allow fear of that scenario to control our lives. For instance, if you fear losing your money, say from leaving a salaried job to pursue an entrepreneurial dream, then Seneca would suggest you experience living in poverty for a short time, from one day to one week. Or you could try living off a dollar a day like two college students did in the powerful documentary, Living on One Dollar, but I understand if that’s not in your cards right now! Or if living off of rice and water scares you, consider trying it just for a day. Once you shake hands with that which scares you, it no longer has any control and this propels you further down your path on purpose. Philosophical Inquiry Consider joining a group at a local coffee shop that dives deep into philosophical inquiry. Doing so forces us to think outside our own confirmation bias. Meaning, while surrounding ourselves with empowering people is great, doing so traps our thinking into a bubble. Do people actually do this, you ask? It turns out, yes they do, and it’s gaining in popularity. Socratic Cafes, a meet-up that engages in Socratic inquiry, continue to pop up in neighborhoods across the world. For instance, I joined one such discussion at a library in New York City where we discussed what it means to live authentically. And boy was it a unique evening because of the variety of people who showed up. Who showed up to chat? One college professor at Columbia University, a few homeless who live on the harsh streets of Manhattan, one middle-aged woman in need of career change, a couple college students, and a marketing consultant. We disagreed more than we agreed and had a heck of a time doing so. One thing is for sure: I walked out of that discussion with my head spinning with new thoughts. Leveling Up Mastermind Consider creating a small mastermind group of 3-5 people where each of you has a similar goal: to launch a business, to create a podcast, to better your teaching practice, to be a better mother/father, for a few examples. The thing here though is to have one A-level person in the group who has pushed through the barriers you are working to push through. For instance, if you are working to launch a new business, ask someone to join the group who can coach you all through the difficulties in starting up a new business venture. Do you need to pay them? Most of the time, no. They will equally gain much from the mastermind because here’s a secret: When you teach something, you really, really, really, actually learn it. Teaching concretizes learning. Sometimes though, it does pay to hire a coach who will mentor your group to push through the barriers. This holds true for sports just as much as it does for personal growth. ------------- What about you? Which of these tips ring true for you, if any? Like always, I’d love to hear from you and learn of other ways to break through personal limitations. Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead, full of love, light, and adventure. Just remember, life is a dance.
10/2/201610 minutes, 57 seconds
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Affirmation from Within

On this episode, let’s dig into affirmation and how we can find affirmation from within. Because really, The affirmation you need comes from within, not from what someone else tells you.    — Even before writing legend Stephen King sobered up, he would keep the door shut tight to his writing studio. When he felt his writing was ready, he’d open the door only to his wife whom he donned his supreme editor. King has what he calls “closed-door writing” and “open-door writing”. Closed-door writing is the crap, the stuff that he doesn’t want anyone to see. It’s the muck that all professionals and top-performers still muddle through to create something of high value. It’s what Anne Lamott would call the “shitty first draft” in her book on writing, Bird by Bird. (One of my personal favorite reads). To move beyond the first crappy draft, King finds the affirmation he needs from his wife. He describes in his book, On Writing, a scene where he gives his wife a manuscript on a road trip and she reads it in the passenger seat while he drives. He describes biting his nails in nervousness as he waits for her to laugh or gasp when he knows she’s at certain parts. If she doesn’t laugh, he questions whether or not it’s actually funny or not. If she doesn’t gasp at a horror scene, then he questions whether or not it’s actually well-written. Perhaps you can relate? When are there moments your confidence depends on the approval of others? This is The Fulcrum of Affirmation. It’s the place we reach when creating something new and look for affirmation. This affirmation brings us through the turning point on our hero’s journey. But I’m reminded of what Dr. Wayne Dyer teaches us through his book, The Power of Intention. Dyer writes that it’s incredibly important to find your affirmation from within. He says that living your life on purpose has everything to do with living out the best version of yourself, not following dogma or constantly caving to peer pressure. Living your life on purpose is the effect of tuning into who you really are. Dyer says that if you have a passion for something like fixing cars and have developed a talent for it and the community really needs a stellar auto mechanic, then yes, of course, being the best auto mechanic you can be is your tried and true purpose. But if you don’t want to be an auto-mechanic or a doctor or a lawyer or (Fill in the Blank), then perhaps it’s time to dig deeper to find your purpose. ('s okay to reinvent and redefine yourself at any time you'd like) Here are three tips to find the affirmation within to live your life on purpose. We are only a reflection of those we keep close to our heart. We’re a social species. We thrive on relationships and seek connection with others on emotional, platonic, and physical planes. We learn best through what pedagogy wou ld call “Constructive Learning,” meaning we learn best through connecting with others. Before the days of smart-phones and industry, we sat around the campfire and told stories at night, sharing in that day’s feast. But we’ve since lost this aspect of ourselves as storytelling animals and are inundated with messages from the media telling us what we should look like, act like, and model. We've moved from a campfire society to a billboard society. So how can we be picky with who we allow into our sphere of influence? The truth is…it’s not so easy. Our parents, religious leaders, teachers, friends, community leaders, and others offer what they believe to be the best advice. And this advice comes from a source of love, but this energy can strongly influence the way we make decisions. People often ask me how I am such a positive person, an optimist they say. I tell them that I am only a reflection of those I keep close to my heart. Even when I’m making a decision on my own and not asking for anyone else’s approval, the decision I make still stems from those I’ve allowed to help build my sphere of influence. The books I’ve read, the people I admire, the conversations I have with others, and the lessons I’ve learned from my sphere of influence all morph the decisions I make. For me, I try to surround myself with positive people because I know how easy it can be to be held down by fear and negative thinking. I’m picky about who I let into my sphere of influence. So, even  though you may not have complete control over your sphere of influence, who and what do you personally invite into yours? Meditation I forgot who it was who said it, but meditation allows us to experience what the other senses cannot. It helps us tap into our intuition. Meditation gives us control. It teaches us when to dance with our thoughts, when to sit still, and when to be an observer. It’s ironic, isn’t it? That the art of sitting still in meditation helps control our outward actions and reactions? Staying still helps to make more precise movement. Moreover, it’s been said that meditation opens up the third eye which points inward and is said to help reflect the divine spiritual truths inside of us. When our third eyes are open and not blurry, it’s easier to tap into the spiritual truths. It’s easier to find the affirmation from within. Say No to FOMO and Ship So often I find myself caught in FOMO: the fear of missing out. If I don’t do this, will I be missing out on an incredible experience? If I commit to this project, will I be missing out on another one? or If I don’t commit to this project, will I be missing out on my big break? Especially when it comes to affirmation, we sometimes don’t take action when we think that there’s something bigger and better out there. We look for affirmation that we’re on the right path. But fearing to miss out on something stops us from even experiencing what we have right here in front of us. Getting caught in the rabbit hole of FOMO is the rat race and stops us from shipping our best ideas. It’s another name for the thing that many of us try to avoid getting caught in -- the daily grind. Whenever FOMO pops up ask yourself, Am I living in the present or caught in a hypothetical future? Am I creating or procrastinating? Many of us go to our graves with the best ideas still trapped inside of us. Use this imagery as the catalyst to help you commit to ship your idea and move forward. — What about you? Like always, I want to hear your thoughts. Just hit reply and say hello. I’ll be sitting here finishing my coffee and reading before diving into experiencing the day.
10/1/201610 minutes, 28 seconds
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Balancing Desire

I recently shared that a dream of mine came true. I became a monk….for a weekend. I joined a small group at a monastery in the mountains of New York and, nestled amongst the rolling snow-covered peaks, we shared mindful strategies to balance the desires in daily modern living. See, we’re living in one of the most beautiful times in history. It’s a time where since you can learn anything with the click of a button, you can truly be anything you want to be. It’s a time of beautiful abundance, where, as more and more people rise above poverty, we can all have our basic needs met. When our basic needs are met, we can focus less on surviving and more on thriving. We can all activate our genius and live out the greatest version of ourselves. We can all live self-actualized. But in this world of abundance, it’s also a time where we can go crazy buying so much stuff that we lose sight of our greater purpose in life. I’ve desired experiencing the life of a monk for a long time. On summer break in college, I once sat cross-legged by a tree in the woods for an hour outside my mother’s suburban home. I had just read how Siddhartha sat by the trunk of a tree for forty days and so I wanted to see what that was like. I lasted an hour, not nearly the forty days as planned, but still learned quite a bit. This dot in my life continues to forge my present spiritual path. As I sat in stillness, I experienced what some may call oneness.I felt invisible in my connection to nature around me. Miraculously, a deer came within ten feet and ate the grass nearby as a fly paced back and forth on my arm. Outside, I remained still. Inside, my voice screamed with child-like excitement: “There’s a deer just feet away from you and it doesn’t even notice you! How beautiful is this!!!” I’ve had similar transcendental  meditative experiences like that throughout my life (ask me another time about the crabs on the lava rock in Hawaii) and each time I walk away desiring the life of a monk. Now, granted, these thoughts last for all of five minutes, but they are profound nonetheless. I dreamed of spending days on end tuning inward to my consciousness and tuning outward to nature at the same time, pondering the delicious gigantic existential questions that we all at some point in our lives try to answer. I never entered monkhood because a.) it felt too selfish to me to avoid my responsibilities b.) I’ve never been good at being told what to do and monasteries are surprisingly rigid and c.) I find meaning in life through experiencing the world's palate. I thirst for travel and hunger for human interaction and I enjoy sensual pleasures that heighten the human experience whether that’s a hike through nature or the feel of drag racing a hot-rod. At the monastery, I pondered something that’s been hard for me to figure out my entire life. I’ve always found it difficult to balance desire with non-attachment in a world where we have so much beauty to experience. Some say the only way to practice non-attachment is to own nothing at all, much like the nude Jains in India or the communal living of modern-day priests. No Objects Owned + Eating Simple Foods like Rice and Drinking Water = Bliss Via Non-Attachment Other schools of thought make it seem that the only way to practice non-attachment is to not let your possessions own you, as in it’s okay to have possessions but don’t let the possessions own you. Possessions + Mindful Ownership + Ability to Let Go of Attachments = Bliss Via Non-Attachment I subscribe to one or the other depending on what time of the day it is. I once lived off of macaroni and cheese for a whole year and now eat clean green organic foods and micro-roasted coffee. I’m attached to the organic foods I continue to desire and cannot fathom going back to gas station coffee. I once rented a fancy BMW when in San Francisco and drove to Big Sur with the sunroof open in awe of the majesty of Big Sur and the incredible cornering ability of the BMW. I continue to drive an old used Honda Civic because it does the job of a car without the weight of debt, but I’d be lying to you if I said I don’t think of that BMW every so often. But now that admiration for the BMW has been replaced with a small obsession with Tesla, but I digress. I once spent years living out of tiny apartments or rooms the size of a closet. For many years, I could easily fit everything I owned into my car. Now, my two-bedroom apartment is full of my wife’s gorgeous gemstones and we have the space to spread out. The only way I’m moving back to a smaller place is if it’s on the shores of San Diego and the beach is my backyard. — As I continue throughout my day and go through my many things, I’ll separate them into two corners. One corner will possess the few things I actually need to help me walk down my path on purpose. The other corner will house the many things that don’t. But rest assured knowing that my coffee will be in the first corner. What about you? As you experience the beautiful majesty that is all around us, how do you balance what you desire with that which you need to walk down your path on purpose? Well, thank you so much for joining me here today and like always, I want to hear from you. Your stories are the fuel for my life’s work. Send me your note at [email protected].
9/30/20168 minutes, 2 seconds
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On this episode, I’d like to talk about your purpose. Because really...your purpose is simple. It’s to create something that you — and only you — can create. So, the next time you wonder if you’re doing the right thing, just ask yourself this one simple question: What am I creating? Because you came into this world through creation, in the answer to that question lies your divine-inspired purpose. Your unique life. Your unique beauty. Your unique story. There’s something only you can create. To help break this down a bit, here are three simple steps to answering that question. What inspires me right now? When you’re living inspired, you are living “in spirit”. You are living in tune with what you came into this world with. Inspiration is the air that fills you like a hot-air balloon. It’s a natural high that no drug could ever reach. It’s the flow where your life’s work pours out of you like water from a natural spring. What can I create with this inspiration? Out of what inspires you, what can you tangibly create this year…this day? If you’re into setting SMART goals, go for it. SMART stands for goals which are specific, measurable, action-based (meaning you can start right now), realistic, and time-based (they have an end stop). They’ve worked well for me in the past and while I don’t use them all the time, they are extremely useful, particulary if you have a history of not following through. Put it on your screen saver, write it on the ceiling above your bed, or set up calendar reminders to ping you every week to remind you. If SMART goals aren’t for you (but something tells me you dig them), then try this. Just ask yourself every day, “What can I create today?” Consider setting up a daily meditation practice and saying this daily affirmation to yourself at the beginning and end of your meditation (or creating one of your own): “I am living inspired, listening to my spirit, and using my gifts to create.” Who am I serving? From billionaire to pauper, I’ve never met anyone whose source of encouragement comes from material objects. Lust for money, power, or fame can only get us so far. True motivation comes from recognizing who you are serving. Let’s face it. We need encouragement to create. Creation takes a lot of long days and late nights. “Good Job” star stickers may have worked well as children, but they fall flat as adults. And that bonus you get after an annual review? That only works for a while. Deep and meaningful encouragement — the type of encouragement that pushes you to create something that matters — comes from a simple “Thank you.” Knowing that something you worked so hard to achieve in your life had a positive impact on another’s life will take you further than any gold star or holiday bonus. And the funny thing? The more thanks you get for your work, the more people you’ve served in your life, the easier those gold stars and bonuses come your way. They just don’t matter as much anymore. —— So, ask yourself this simple question: What am I creating? Answering that question will help steer you down your beautiful path on purpose. —— Religious ideology set aside, somehow we came into this world. Somehow we came into the being we now call the self. Somehow, we were created. Through nine months of magical creation and beyond, you grew into the beautiful creation of you. Asking ourselves, “What am I creating?” simply brings us back to day one.
9/29/20166 minutes, 9 seconds
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Finding Zen Through Positivity

On this episode, The other day my friend asked me to help her find zen and calm in her life. It was before 7am, I hadn’t had my coffee, and I just come back from rushing around running errands. I was anything but calm.    “Who am I to offer such advice?” I quietly thought to myself. She went on to say that she has a lot going on, is mourning the loss of her parents, and could really use the advice. Wanting to help, I told her I’d be happy to offer some advice. Just let me have my coffee first. The truth is, I work really hard to find peace and calm in my life. I’ve rearranged my home decor, my schedule, my food intake, and my friend circle to adopt a calmer and happier lifestyle. I’ve found that happiness takes a concerted effort. It’s anything but accidental. Three years ago I lost my zen happy-go-lucky nature  My wife and I had just spent the past year going from honeymooning in Hawaii to having a doctor tell my wife she’d have to “deal with being disabled” and “just live with Lyme Disease.” Mentally exhausted, frustrated, and angry at God, I found myself doing something I thought I’d never do. With a milky white pill in hand, I swallowed my doctor prescribed anti-depressant. Lexapro tasted stale and like chalk and left me feeling drugged throughout the day. I immediately hated myself for taking this pill. I threw out the pills and decided that I would try a holistic approach.I invested heavily into eating a diet that made me feel good and fueled my body with the proper micro and macro nutrients. I decided to deepen my yoga  practice and soon after built up my daily meditation practice. When I connect the dots looking backward, I can now see that I’ve been training for this type of challenge my whole life. As Patanjali reminds us, “At various points in our lives, or on a quest, and for reasons that often remain obscure, we are driven to make decisions which prove with hindsight to be loaded with meaning."   I’ve found a bit of zen and it’s a beautiful feeling. But I’m nowhere near — I stress no where near — calm and zen all the time. Here are five tips to help you find zen and calm in your life on purpose. Keep It On The Positive It’s only natural to focus on the negative. It’s our natural instinct. We’re attune to pay attention to stressors in our life and fire up the fight-or-flight survival mechanisms we have. As Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct and TED speaker, points out, “Though our survival system doesn’t always work to our advantage, it is a mistake to think we should conquer the primitive self completely.” We have a choice whether or not to focus on the positive or dwell in the negative. As Wayne Dyer also suggests in his film, The Shift, making small choices each day to consciously focus on the positive will shift our habitual negative thinking into positive thinking. Connecting the dots in my life, I can see clearly now that this has been a central theme in my life. My adoption, my father’s alcoholism, and helping to raise an older sister with a learning disability—- these situations only made me into a greater person because I was able to see the positive in each. Being adopted gave me that extra edge to feel special as a child and helped me learn self-reliance on a primal level. It also taught me that love and caring for others goes beyond blood relations. We’re all connected. My father’s alcoholism helped me see that people deserve a second chance. After over a decade of alcoholism, my father found AA and has been sober the past 15 years. His once cold heart is now plush like a teddy bear. I also learned that men of his generation had to deeply suppress their emotions and bottling up emotions only deepens the pit of despair. This understanding of cultural gender norms guides my writing on evolving masculinity along with shaping a men’s retreat I’m putting together in 2016. Helping to be the big brother to my older sister taught me that we as a society love to place labels on people. And these labels do little to show the true beauty of the individual. My sister may have a learning disability, but she has taught me more about love and kindness than anyone in higher education. Food Zen As a personal trainer, I saw so many people struggle to get a fit body by throwing around weights in the gym, but then ignore what they ate only to be constantly disappointed with their body image. In triathlon, food is called The Fourth Discipline and those who master proper nutrition feel calmer, more align, and have more mental and physical stamina. They also tend to have an incredible physique. What do I eat? I’ve tried everything from paleo-eating to vegan and have found that there is no one size fits all for finding your proper diet. I tend to eat an anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits, veggies, grass-fed or organic meats, and coconut oil. Sleep Zen It’s not as simple as getting eight hours a day. Many other factors influence our quality of sleep. I’ve found limiting my food intake an hour before bedtime is crucial to waking up refreshed. As much as I like eating a big meal then taking a snooze, I also feel like I need two more hours of sleep after my alarm goes off when I do that. Meditation There simply is no substitute for meditation and anyone from any religion could practice it. It’s not just for yogis either. Meditation is simply calling attention to the self. It grounds a person and forces someone to look deep inside. Meditation helps you see the real you and offers such a beautiful glimpse of the soul. Meditation helps you gain or regain control of what drives you. It helps break bad habits and helps create good ones. When we sit in meditation, all kinds of thoughts and emotions rise to the consciousness. Sitting in stillness helps teach our brains that we have a choice to go for a ride with these thoughts and emotions or to let them pass. And for those who want that part of it, meditation also helps you grow a closer relationship with the divine. Self-Help Zen I find it really funny that we no longer have “self help” sections in the book store. They are now called “personal development” or something like that. As a kid I would go to Borders, order a latte with way too much sugar, and read through a large stack of books I picked up from self-help section. I saw self-help as a way to level up much like Mario would level up when he ate a mushroom or any other video game hero would level up after learning a new skill or reaching a new level. In essence, video games taught me that self-help is a good thing. And self-help is a good thing. We so easily get caught up in our own ego and don’t want to appear to others that we need help. Instead, we bottle up our struggles and shoulder on. In my interviews, I’ve found that the most successful people are the ones who ask for the most help. They are open about their struggles and call on friends, family, therapists, community members, and anyone else who can help them get to where they want to go. Asking for help is anything but a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. — What about you? As you connect the dots looking backward, what events have shaped you to find zen in your life?  
9/27/201611 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Lore of FOMO

On this episode, I’d like to talk about my greatest fear. I’m talking about FOMO. Also known as Fear of Missing Out. And FOMO, unfortunately, I find myself chasing it over and over and over again. Perhaps you can relate? The thing is: Sometimes not giving into FOMO allows you to focus on the things that matter most. It allows you to not be afraid that you’re missing out on a great time with friends or something like that. —- I’ve been hearing a lot of people around me talk about FOMO. . As in my good friend Dan who wanted to join a small group with me last night for a full-moon festival that involved fire-dancing, a great DJ, and live visionary art paintings. The festival was like Burning Man meets Cirque Du Soleil. Like I promised Dan, the night turned out to be incredible fun, full of insight, great conversation, and connecting with inspiring people. But Dan couldn’t go to the festival and choose to say no to FOMO and recognize the excitement in the path he’s currently on. He found himself at the train station in Washington D.C. with a potential 6-hour train ride to come stay at my place. He had nothing packed: no change of clothes or anything. As he almost spontaneously boarded the train, he realized he was chasing FOMO. He was afraid that by not coming up to visit me, he would be missing out on an adventure and a memory that he could tuck away into his mental scrapbook. Even though I’m honored to be his friend, I’m glad he chose to stay home. So he let the train go by. He listened to the whistle blow and returned to his car to dive further into his firefighter training. He has a couple of weeks to prove himself to the fire department in D.C. that he is a high-quality hire and will add incredible value to the firefighting team. Dan is choosing to be the best version of himself and determined to be the best firefighter he can be. He’s choosing to recognize FOMO which is something I, myself, am slowly getting better at. As Dr. Wayne Dyer would put it, Dan is living his life on purpose because he is diving headfirst into what he is passionate about and better serves humanity as a whole even when this dedication comes at the cost of missing out on other things like meeting up with friends. Dan saves lives. He spent the last decade serving the fire department in Memphis, Tennessee, and now rides the red firetruck through the crowded D.C. streets. His last 24-hour shift had twenty house fire calls! But even though he loves his job and finds a deep seed of purpose in his life’s work, that doesn’t mean FOMO doesn’t creep up. Because when you live your life on purpose, you dive into excitement. You choose excitement. You recognize what makes your heart dance and aren’t afraid to move your feet. As Anne Lamott once said, ‘Don’t look at your feet as if you’re doing it right, just dance.” Perhaps you can relate to Dan? I know there isn’t a week (or day) that goes by where I don’t stop and recognize FOMO. Right now,  I’m thinking about the yoga class that I’m missing or the book that's still unread on my bookshelf or the friendships that I haven’t been able to nurture much over the past years or the cultures I have yet to travel to or the other many bucket list items I still have to explore. But I’m choosing to be here with you and that’s more purposeful to me. I’m honored that you signed up for this newsletter and I’m determined to be the best version of myself for you. So, here’s one tip that I’ve pulled from all of my interviews and research. Whenever you’re faced with a fork in a road, be confident on the path that you currently walk on and recognize that FOMO is out of “ the deficit mindset” as my friend Jill calls it. The Deficit Mindset is feeling like missing out on an event will mean I am less of something by not going to something or experience something. The opposite is recognizing how fully alive you already are -- right here, right now -- and don't need the event that triggered FOMO to live your life on purpose. Sometimes not giving into FOMO allows you to focus on the things that matter most. Sometimes the path you are currently on (the project you are working on instead of spending time with friends, the work you are doing instead of building your hobby, the children you are raising instead of vagabonding around the world, and so on) is your hero’s journey. It’s a beautiful path that fulfills you without the need to chase FOMO. —- What about you? When have you chosen not to chase FOMO and chose a higher path on purpose?
9/27/20167 minutes, 30 seconds
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Kindness Breeds Kindness

On this episode, I’d like to introduce you to Leon and how one simple act of kindness can spawn a slew of others. ——————— When Leon decided to kill himself, he was literally at the end of his rope. But before he slipped away from us, he had one last thought: What if I did something so crazy, so ‘out there’, and gave this life one more chance? With nothing to lose, Leon filled up his motorcycle’s gas tank and set off from his L.A. flat east to New York. The clothes on his back, one tank of gas, a smile on his face: everything else he’d need would have to come through kindness. His goal? Ride across the world. No big deal, right? (face palm) In his book, The Kindness Diaries, Leon goes into detail just how he accomplished this quest. Inevitably, his story made him an international celebrity and his thought-experiment became the evidence that people around the globe needed to prove the world’s benevolence. People all around the world offered him gas, food, clothes, entertainment, and a roof to sleep under. The only place he had to sleep on the street was in…New York City. Bummer. When Leon and I sat down for an interview, I was in awe of his story and his so very upbeat and optimistic character. This guy almost killed himself, I thought, and the world could have never benefited from his quest. That could have been a terrible shame and thankfully, Leon chose to live. And live he is. Leon’s story teaches me that kindness breeds kindness. Around the same time that I interviewed Leon, I learned that two of my friends, Heather and Jessica, had lost their battle with cancer. Heather was like a sister to me in high school and Jessica and I were accountability partners to help the other transform education. The last time I saw Jessica, we both spoke at Apple on the art of transforming education. The last time I saw Heather, we reminisced about the time we made a wall of photos of all the many mullets we saw on our day-to-day. Like most people, I wondered what I could do to help. I also needed to respect the grieving process. So, I made the simple choice of donating my hair to help another warrior in need. And a couple years later, I finally was able to. I just got it cut yesterday and while I miss my manbun, I’m happy to know that my hair will go to someone in need. A warrior who is on such a beautiful hero’s journey who will receive recognition that the world loves and cares for them. Like Leon’s story teaches us, each of us play such an integral part in this world and we all have a choice to be a negative force or a positive one. When we choose to be a positive force, we elevate the world’s collective conscious. Meaning, when we spread kindness, kindness exponentially grows and grows and grows. One smile sprouts another. Our attention then focuses on the positive in the world.   As you continue on your own hero’s journey,  join me in trying this: Ask yourself this simple question just once today. How can I spread kindness? Pay someone’s toll behind you. Pick up the tab for the person in back of you when in line. Perhaps consider donating your hair. Or, just smile, establish eye contact, and say hello to all that you meet today. We live in such a magnificent world and I thank you for creating it with me. Wishing you all a beautiful day, full of love, light, and adventure, And oh yeah… Reach out and tell me a story in your life where kindness bred kindness. As a thank you, I'll then randomly select one person and send them a Be Good To People t-shirt. Send me your note at [email protected].
9/25/20166 minutes, 11 seconds
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Creating Your Own Ethos

My coffee's cold and I have Yoda, Joseph Campbell, and a blissful meditation to blame. Instead of writing first thing in the morning like I usually do on the weekend, I read Pathways to Bliss from Campbell, played fetch with Yoda then stayed in meditation beyond the 20-minute timer. But alas, I really excited to share this episode today. On today’s episode, let’s dig into establishing credibility and defining our own ethos. There are 3 Ways to Create Your Own Ethos which I’d like to share with you. By the way, I tend to flip flop the two wrods, credibility and ethos because traditionally they were the same thing. Aristotle, when he wrote the rules on rhetoric, defined ethos as how to establish one’s credibility. Now, ethos is also often used to define one’s own personal beliefs.        Pursue Your Mastery A man in his thirties wanted to pursue a Ph.D — the cream of the academic crop. He talked himself out of it because it’d take about five years to achieve the Ph.D — and he’d be forty-nine years old or older after completion. When asked what age he’d be in five years without pursuing the degree, he realized he’d be the same age regardless. The only one holding him back was himself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that we can be anything we want to be, regardless of age. Just take a look at Edwin Dannen who at age 93, still pursues mastery on a daily basis. Lately, the Ph.D has been bashed because it no longer holds as much societal clout any more. Plenty of Ph.Ds file for unemployment. While often times academic goals do hinder our ability to create our life’s work in the present, if a Ph.D is what you strive for, go for it, no matter your age. You define your own means to mastery. Your Rite of Passage (Own Your Ethos) It’s amazing how the world’s many cultures have defined the transition from childhood to adulthood. Whether it’s a tribal celebration around a bonfire that culminates in a post-pubescent circumcision or donning a long black robe w/ cap and tassel to receive a slip of paper that says “You Are Now Credible”, each culture has attempt to clearly define the transition from childhood to adulthood. In Freudian logic, it’s where we transition from looking to Mommy and Daddy for safety and become Mommy and Daddy ourselves. > In Western culture, academia plays a key role in our cultural rite of passage. You are an adult when you get your diploma. > But it’s so easy to put off ownership. It’s a lot easier to blame someone else for the mistakes we make. Instead, recognize your genius right now. Understand that you came into this world with a beautiful unique set of gifts that no diploma, mother, father, or ceremony could grant you. > Your rite of passage came with your first breath. And breathe deep my friends, because the air is as crisp as a fresh apple. Create Your Life’s Work Now (Even If You Want a Ph.D) So often we hold ourselves back from putting our work out there in the present, mostly because of imminent failure (even in small doses). In school, students write essays and create projects that don’t go further than the teacher’s desk. The world outside academia rarely gets to see all the incredible work students create on a daily basis. So we wait until we don a cap and gown (w/ tassel) and receive a slip of paper that hopefully proves we won’t make a fool of ourselves. But we will (even in small doses). And that’s okay. Without getting too grim, we like to think that the sun will always rise tomorrow, but it doesn’t have to. And that breath you just took? It’s a beautiful gift. So create your work now. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Now. Just take a look at Bhavani Esapathi who recently won Wired’s Creative Hack Award. Diagnosed with a severe chronic illness at a young age, Bhavani has gone on to create Chronically Driven — a collection of real stories from people around the globe who have persevered through chronic illness and created a better world. For  these people, illness has not doused their flame. It’s set their life on fire. Remember that it’s a beautiful  world we live in that needs you and each of us play an integral part in helping another.
9/24/20168 minutes, 29 seconds
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Lessons from The Lotus Flower

Have you ever learned something that apparently the rest of the world knew, but you didn’t? For me, that came in the form of a lotus flower yesterday. I’ve seen the flower all over. It’s about as ubiquitous as the zen Enso symbol in the business of mindfulness. I just never knew its story. So when a new yoga instructor spoke about the lotus flower during class and an old friend shows up to a dinner party with a new lotus flower tattoo, I took this coincidence as an opportunity to learn more about the flower. What makes a lotus flower so unique is that it’s a little beautiful bright flower that sits atop the water with roots that travel deep into the muddy muck far below. Its symbolism represents the beauty that can grow out of the muck in our lives. What can it teach us? It turns out, quite a bit. Two Simple Lessons from the Lotus Flower Out of the Muck, Create Something That Matters The muck in our lives can be life’s greatest teacher. As Pema Chodron reminds us, “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy can be our teacher.” When you put a microscope to the muck in your life, what can it teach you? For Billy Starr, creator of the Pan-Mass Challenge charity bike ride which has raised over 500 million for cancer research, that muck came in the form of losing his mother to cancer. After losing his mother to melanoma at the young age of forty-nine, twenty-five-year-old Billy hit a new low. It became hard to focus on anything other than the memories of his mother. So he went for a bike ride. Then another. And another. Instead of ignoring the muck in his life, he dug in deep and grew roots. These roots blossomed into one of the most successful charity race-like events to date. Billy’s story is not unique, however. A number of people I’ve interviewed have turned the muck of their lives into an opportunity to create something that matters. The formula? Multiply the muck times your unique talent and add in a big, hairy audacious dream that inspire you. The sum total will be far greater than anything you could have imagined before digging into the muck. Bring Your Muck Into Focus At the beginning of this new year, I sat down to write with the full intention to continue work on a book I’ve been putting off. What happened instead, however, grew into over 2,000 words that I splashed in my journal like Jackson Pollock threw paint on a canvas. My stream-of-consciousness led me to discover that I have a bit of a problem with perfectionism. But I learned that just writing can sometimes be the best self-help. As Julia Cameron put it in her book to help people discover their unique art, called aptly The Artist’s Way, “Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche.” First, I wrote out all the things I really want to do in the near future, like getting my yoga certification. Then, I wrote out why I feel unable to do it. In the yoga example, I had a deep desire for quite some time to immerse myself in an ashram in India for a two month-long yoga certification. Since I couldn’t do this without sacrificing a job I love along with being a caretaker for my loving wife, I put it off until the timing is right. All or nothing was my logic. And I’ve always been a “go big or go home” kind of guy. Perhaps it’s the snowboarder machismo in me. Compromise has always been a dirty word — a bit like sipping tea when craving coffee. But this logic is perfectionism in a mask. And while perfectionism can be a beautiful trait, it can also lead to never getting anything done. So, I left it up to the power of intention. I literally wrote out that if a yoga certification class were to come to my attention that day in a timeline that allowed me to keep my greater responsibilities, I’d move to make it happen. It just so happened that an hour later I entered a new studio who just announced a yoga teacher training program that looked to fit in perfectly. And you all know the end of this story. I ended up focusing my efforts and joined   that yoga teacher training program and gladly walked away with my certificate to teach.   —- If you can’t stand your job and feel drained at work, identify what it is exactly that drains you. Is it because you’re not inspired or feel pulled down by negative coworkers? If you’re feeling held back, what is it exactly that’s holding you back? Is it feelings of self-doubt or a disempowering relationship? But instead of just thinking about it. Pull the tangled ball of thoughts into a straight line by grabbing a pen or opening up a word processor. Type. Write. Dig your hands in the muck. “Multiply the muck times your unique talent and add in a big, hairy audacious dream that inspires you. The sum total will be far greater than anything you could have imagined before.”
9/23/20167 minutes, 33 seconds
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Avoiding Mid-Life Crisis

On this episode, I’d like to talk about keeping that New Year Resolution Feeling Alive. Every new year, millions of people around the world celebrate this new beginning.  Millions share new resolutions and goals knowing that they have 365 new chances to live out their greatest self. During the new year every year, our culture shifts the idea of a normal conversation. Instead of being asking, “What do you do?” at networking events or dinner, for instance, we’re asked about our resolutions and the conversation focuses on the meaningful changes we all want to have in our lives. The collective positive energy around this time of year is palpable — like a race car driver waiting for the green flag to start. One foot on the brake, the other revving the supercharged engine. But for many, this feeling lasts only a few weeks at best. Like you also do, I create a list of yearly goals I intend to achieve that range from books I intend to read and experiences I intend to attract into my life. I fully intend to achieve these goals. But here’s what I’ve learned. So often in my life I got way too attached to a goal and had a sort of tunnel vision. The destination, the goal, blinded me from the beauty of the journey. Being attached to the outcome of a goal, we  lose the beauty in each day.   So, how do we live our lives to the fullest, set goals, and soak up the marrow of life (As Thoreau would put it) without being too focused on an outcome? Practice and Non-Attachment Practice your intentions which could lead you to your yearly goals on a daily basis. If you intend to be more mindful, then set up a daily meditation practice, join a yoga studio, or find a new mindful mastermind group that builds you up to be a better person. If you intend to attract a positive cash flow in your life, then set up a daily practice towards building passive income, mastering a skill that would increase your hourly freelance cost, or delegate more tasks to automation or a team of assistants so you can focus on expanding your business. Dig deep into your practice. Work to achieve mastery. Just don’t get too caught up in it. Practice non-attachment to your goal. If you have a goal to make “X” amount of money, try not to be so attached to that number that it causes you to act in a malevolent way towards another person and be less humble. If you have a goal to lose 25 pounds by summer, don’t get down on yourself if you lose 20. Treat the means to the goal (each day) with just as much love and appreciation as the intended outcome. Goals can help us drive forward and live out the greatest version of ourselves only when we’re not blinded by them. Perhaps attachment to resolutions and goals comes from a source of emptiness, as if we need a goal to feel a sense of being. This makes sense too, considering the overwhelming amount of messages that we get through media that tell us that our lives are not complete without a new gadget, a slimmer waistline, or more money. If we allow this type of messaging to control our feeling of well-being, we’re attached to the outcome that a goal may bring and we’ve already lost the whole point of setting goals.The point of setting goals is to build us to be a better person so we can live out the greatest version of ourselves, or as Abraham Maslow would put it “living self-actualized.” Practice. Practice. Practice. Just be open to spontaneity. Aristotle reminds us that “We are what we repeatedly do.” If what we do every day is work so hard that we lose sight of the present, then we enter what Carl Jung called enantiodromia: a.k.a. a mid-life crisis. That’s when one day, says Jung, after many years of working so hard that keeping busy becomes habit, we lift our heads up from work and wonder where the years have gone. As we continue throughout our lives, join me in remembering to look up every day. To see the art of the woodpecker as he meanders through the tree branches looking for that perfect spot to find breakfast. To witness that beautiful prism of color that fills the sky right before the sun rises above (or dips below) the horizon. To notice the way your partner looks at you with a smile when she thinks you don’t notice. Yes, love, I see those looks you give me and I love em. — What about you? How do you enjoy both the journey and the destination of the goals we set in our lives?  Reach out and tell me by sending me an email at [email protected]
9/22/20166 minutes, 30 seconds
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What Story Do You Tell Yourself?

On this episode, I’m going to share with you two simple ways to find the story that drives your decision making. Most likely unconscious, we all have an internal narrative that either pushes us to grow or holds us back from reaching our unlimited potential. But before we talk about our internal narrative, let’s talk about how stories drive our lives. ———- King Arthur, Twilight And Our Parents All Have This in Common We are a culture obsessed with myths, legends, and story tales. Just pick up any children’s book today and they are full of the same stories we once listened to as children. And our parents listened to. And their parents. And so on. We’ve been telling stories for millennia. Which makes sense since the word “myth” derived from the Greek word “mythos” which translates literally as “story”. We’ve been telling stories all the way back to when my good friend Lucy roamed the African plain around 3 million years ago: the days where we hunted and gathered for food then sat around the campfire telling stories. From dragons to vampires, we continue to tell stories that take us into the strange world of The Unknown: a mystical world that both enchants us and terrifies us. And teaches us lessons to live by. While we may not be hanging around the campfire anymore, we still sit around light at night and listen to stories. They just flicker through a television or smartphone. We continue to be the storytelling animal. Beyond the fictional stories we share in our world, there are other stories that we live by and perhaps don’t even know it. These are the myths that we tell ourselves. Our inner dialogue. Our inner voice. The story within which we write our lives. For example, Oh, I can’t do that. I can’t be a writer. I can’t travel the world. I can’t be a mother AND a CEO of a company. I can’t take a gap year. There are stories that we live by that regulate our lives and perhaps stop us from living out the greatest version of ourselves. Thing is, once we realize what stories control our lives, this awareness lifts the myth into a fog that blows away with the slight breeze of your breath. Here Are Two Simple Steps to Find Your Myth Right-Brain Writing (10-20 minutes) Our left brain loves to get in the way of our thinking. The left brain loves to chime in and tell us that spelling words and putting proper punctuation are more important than expressing creative ideas trapped inside. So, put your left brain to rest and unleash your right brain. To do this, you just need to act fast. Set a timer for 10-20 minutes and open up a word processor or notebook. Personally, I have to type when I do this because I write a lot slower than I type and have found typing to be more conducive to this activity. At the top, write down this question: “What stories do I tell myself and where did they come from?” Then start writing. And keep writing. Do Not Let The Pen, Pencil, or Cursor stop from moving onward. You may write gibberish: non-sensical prose that should your mother have found it when you were a child she’d most certainly hire a therapist. That’s okay. You need to flush out your thoughts. You may want to start off by defining what a myth is. You may write about your favorite stories. You may even write about the stories within a religion you believe. When you get stuck and are not sure what to write again, ask yourself “Why did I write that last sentence?” and answer that question. If that doesn’t work, go back to the original question and start brand new. Talk about a new story. Just let go and keep writing. When we speed write, we allow our unconscious mind to speak through our words. Myth Meditation  (20 - 30 minute) There are many types of meditation. In Zazen Meditation, we think of nothing but “just breathing”. In a Loving Meditation, we breathe love into our hearts and breathe out fear, perhaps with an affirmation like “May all beings be free from suffering and find peace.” In Japa Meditation, we say a word for God or “Ah” while visualizing the life we wish to grow into. In what I’m calling here Myth Meditation, you sit and meditate on this one question: “What stories do I live by and where did they come from?” Find a quiet space and sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed, perhaps put your tongue gently to the roof of your mouth and ask yourself the question. Thoughts will begin to emerge — perhaps related or unrelated — and will take you on a journey. Every time you drift away, just ask yourself the question again. And again. And again. Perhaps you will just float there with the question for a while. Memories may surface of your childhood (like they did for me), some good and others not so much. Whatever comes to the surface, just let it be. Recognize it and then let it pass through. When your timer goes off, journal out your thoughts much like you would write out a dream. Find the common thread that ties your thoughts together. This is the story that drives your life narrative. —— What are some examples of stories that I have lived by? My self-worth depends on the approval of others I do not have enough time All my life, I’ve tried so hard to fit in. In high school, even though my friends tell me I was quite popular, I always felt estranged from the other groups. I floated between the many cliques in school and remained friendly with all, but never felt like I found my kin. Funny enough, I was voted “Best Figure” as a senior superlative when all I felt was skinny and flabby. I tried so hard to fit in, when all I needed to do was fit into my own mold of me. Lesson here: Instead of watering down yourself to appease others, follow what inspires you to live out the greatest version of yourself. If we came into this world already complete as Lao Tzu teaches us in the Tao Te Ching, then instead of trying to fit into another person’s mold of what is right, try instead to fit into the mold of you. The Book of Matthew has a similar message in 10:49: “He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” In other words, push aside the ego that tells you to fit into the mold others create for you and instead fit into the divinely created being that you already are.
9/21/20169 minutes, 53 seconds
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Living Inspired "In Spirit"

I’ve just made a French press (a Costa Rican slow-dry of sorts for all of you coffee lovers) and am listening to the dance of a morning drizzle outside my office window. What a beautiful morning. I’m thinking a lot about inspiration. Join me for one simple thought this morning. On this episode, I’d like to talk about what it means to live inspired. "Let inspiration be your guide. When you're inspired, you're literally walking ‘in spirit’." —- Ask yourself this simple question... Are you inspired? It’s an amazingly simple question that can help us steer down our paths on purpose. When we break apart the word “inspired”, we find it comes from two words "in" and “spirit". So, the word literally means "in spirit." In other words, when you are inspired by something, it means that you are living in line with your spirit, says Dr. Wayne Dyer. The idea goes that if you are inspired, you are walking your spirit's path, and that is when things just click. Work is easier. Coincidences happen that help you move further down the road. It's just that simple. What’s interesting to me is that I’ve been asking this simple question to my students for the past ten years and I keep finding the same situation.  Teenagers have a heck a time figuring out what inspires them. But I don’t think teenagers are alone because when I open this question up to other people — many in their forties and fifties — there’s still tremendous confusion. The philosopher Krishnamurti would suggest that it only makes sense why many people have trouble identifying what inspires them simply because we have grown up in a culture that seldom focuses on inspiration. Instead, we focus, says Krishnamurti, on taking a safe route of job security and live under the fear of failure. Instead of walking down a path of inspiration, we follow cultural dogma that keeps people in check and idolizes the shiny “next big thing” over following inspiration. We’re under the illusion that walking down The Path of Inspiration is the riskier path. Risky because no one has walked it yet. Risky because of the unknown. But here’s the thing, says Dr. Wayne Dyer, The Path of Inspiration ( walking “in spirit” ) is the safest path of all. Because when you follow your bliss and walk comfortably down a beautiful (albeit perhaps scary) untrodden path, God (and the universal powers that be) are on your side. What am I currently inspired about? This past week, I was featured on a new large media platform, The Good Men Project. On there, I wrote a piece that dives deep into a very personal story and what I'm learning about being a great husband. I share what’s been going on behind the scenes in my life over the past four years as my wife and I grow through her healing from Lyme Disease.  Just Google “Mark Guay (space) The Good Men Project” if you’d like to read the article. Just keep some tissues nearby. The article has already gotten over 1,000 shares and I’ve received emails from people I’ve touched with my story — one of which is a highly successful naturopathic doctor in the Seattle, Washington area. At the same time as this article reaches virility on a major platform that focuses on living authentically, an idea my friend Cov and I have been throwing around for a few weeks just seems to be clicking so smoothly. We’re looking at creating one-day design thinking workshops to help inspire people to have more creative confidence. The design challenge? How can we better solve the major problems facing our global and local community?” Time will tell where this goes, but as I gain more creative confidence in myself to live more inspired, I'm learning so much about what it means to truly, deeply, live. It’s a beautiful time to be a live. A beautiful time to dance our own dance and sing our own song. Like I’ve said many times before, it’s a new rennaisance that we live in today and each of us need to play our part. And our part is embedded in living inspired. I'm walking inspired and I invite you to join with me.
9/20/20166 minutes, 52 seconds
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Five Accountability Strings to Pull You UP

I just poured a piping hot cup of holy basil tea and am about to make some serious superfood pancakes as I wait for the sun to peak over Mt. Beacon (coffee will come later ;) Before all that, I’d like to share with you some thoughts on building up an accountability system that keeps the creative engine churning. And churning. And churning. Because let’s face it: The truth is real extraordinary work requires a team. Yes, you are strong on your own. But you are much stronger when you surround yourself with people who build you up. ---- Allow me to take you back to an event in my life that changed my life. My feet felt like slabs of concrete and as my body shivered, the thought of a hot shower and a bed to collapse into taunted me like the sirens in Greek maritime lore. As I passed the mile 20 marker, a bed of green grass poked through the Philadelphia snow and I thought how convenient that it was just the perfect size for my 6’2” frame to lay down for a nap. I could lay down right and drift off. I could end the pain, I thought. I looked over to my left and nodded to Rich, the guy I’ve been training with for months to get us ready for the Philadelphia Marathon. I puffed up my chest and forced a smile and as he continued to run I did too, shadowing his movements pretending like I wasn’t struggling. Inwardly, however, I wanted to quit. It was November. It was freezing cold. I was tired. Step by step -- like a pendulum -- I bounced on and turned inward for empowerment, repeating my positive mantra meditation, and in what now seems like just a few minutes later, Rich and I celebrated our victory with a warm pretzel, chicken broth, and, in the kind of celebration that screams irony at an event that celebrates fitness, we drank beer. Delicious, sugary, glutenous, chest bumping beer. My drive to finish the race propelled me forward. But sometimes I struggle to regain this level of motivation. -- The other day as I sat down to write, for instance, I stared at a blank screen: the cursor taunting me like Medusa’s eyes. Frozen in stone, my fingers just hovered over the keyboard. Eventually, I closed up my laptop and said to myself that tomorrow is a new day. A few hours later, one of those tiny miracles happened. There, at the top of my email inbox rested a beautiful message from one of you. As I read through the email, I felt like on cloud nine. The message said my podcast and positivity had helped them greatly through a very difficult time. “My podcasting!? You mean someone actually listens to my stuff” I thought as the internal voice of criticism shot up like a firework on Independence Day. Motivated once again, I reopened my laptop and words poured out of me like a spring of water.   This wasn’t the first time a tiny miracle motivated me to push through a creative block. It seems that every time I personally struggle to create something myself, something comes my way that says "HELLO....DUDE...YOU NEED TO CREATE MORE OF THIS AND THAT… YOUR WORK IS IMPORTANT"   That email brought me to tears and reminded me of an email from five years ago when a former student had explained that my positivity as her teacher had kept her on the positive when secretly at home she had considered suicide. When I struggle to create something, I want to learn how to grow through it and that becomes the seed which blossoms into my creation. But I’ve learned that’s not enough to be consistent.   To continue to create consistently, I pull from multiple strings of accountability: five of which I’d like to share with you today. You may have some of these strings, but if you don’t, I urge you to try them out. Five Accountability Strings to Pull You Up When You’re Down Motivation From The Inside Some days (not that many to be completely honest) I just feel super inspired and get out of bed, ready to rock and roll and create something. Other days, I force myself to sit in meditation and after twenty minutes of mindful meditation followed by repeating positive affirmations, I feel inspired to create. Motivation From The Outside Some days, I will read an email like the one I shared above that will motivate me. Other days, I know my wife, Kaitlyn, and I will be having dinner where we’ll share our stories of what we created that day. I want to show up for that conversation with something, mainly because she always shows up and I’m always inspired by her creative genius. Other days, I will need my accountability partners. Each week I talk to two accountability partners who ask me what I created that week and what I plan on creating the next. Knowing that these two people are counting on me help turn on the creator inside. My friend Chris Spurvey and I chat every Wednesday for a quick 30 minutes. Chris is a highly successful vice president for a big wig bank in Canada. He is the one who helps me realize that “selling” is not a dirty word and that when what you sell comes from your heart, it’s sharing. And sharing your art with others may just be the divine purpose we’re all here to fulfill. My friend Covington Doan and I chat every Thursday. Cov is a design-thinking website development wiz in Texas who also owns a fantastic coffee shop called Stupid Good Coffee in Dallas. We met at Stanford a few years ago and have each helped the other to follow through on turning ideas into creation. Progress is Better Than Perfect (Just Ship It) I have always believed that done is better than perfect. Otherwise, the perfectionist will always tell me it’s not good enough to share. The fight-or-flight part of the brain will creep in and tell me my work is crap and no one wants to read it. But if I never took a first step I never would have ran a marathon. The Perks of Being a Student   When I’m learning something that inspires me, I churn the creative engine faster. For instance, when I went through my yoga teacher training I was once again humbled and excited to create. Humbled because I realize how much I needed to learn and excited because there was so much to learn. When we’re learning, we’re growing, and when we’re growing we push through to create something newly remarkable. Just make sure to choose the right teacher that motivates you. My yoga teacher trainers, Richard and Liz, are extremely dedicated to their craft and every week they come to the studio excited to share something they are personally working to improve along with a lesson they’ve learned through their years of experience. Their expertise weaved together with their own humble trials help motivate me. Build Yourself Up With Empowering People I once hired a high-profile ( i.e. ridiculously super expensive) book editor who was really helpful…at making me feel like a terrible writer. Yes, we all need to be open to criticism (I certainly learned that through my brief stint as an actor). It takes many critical eyes to create something of perfection, but it equally requires a lot of people to help cheer you on. Like the marathon, for instance, just imagine how many people would never ever finish the marathon if there wasn’t a giant crowd cheering them on as they ran. I can tell you from personal experience, endurance racing is a heck of a lot harder when there isn’t a giant crowd cheering to propel you forward. Build a crowd of encouragement through the friends that you choose, the accountability partners you pick, and the places you choose to spend your time. — Sometimes, however, all it takes to push through a creative barrier is a bit of trust in yourself knowing that whatever your marathon is, it all begins with one step. As Van Gogh put it, "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
9/19/201611 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Growing Edge

Just ask my wife, I’m the worst person to watch a movie with. Why? Because I ask question after question after question. Why did the director choose to cut that scene short? What makes what he just said ironic? What are we being taught to believe here? I confess. I’m a serial deconstructor (holds hands out to be cuffed). But this is what I’m trained to do after all. I’m trained to deconstruct stories. I’m trained to see what stories teach us. And I’m trained to show you what I see. And stories, my friends, teach us way more than we may think. From our ancient days of community campfires to the bedtime stories of our youth to the television flickering in front of millions every day, stories continue to shape how we define normal. Stories continue to teach us what we can and cannot do and what we should and should not do. Stories define status quo. So, why am I telling you this? Because sometimes the stories that we listen to hold us back from activating the greatest version of ourselves. For example, there’s a story I’m sure you’ve heard of before that involves a guy named Icarus and wax wings. Do you know it? Perhaps you do, but very likely you only know half of the story because only half of the story continues to be passed down. The story goes that a father and son are trapped in a prison in a tower and the father creates wings for both of them to fly away. Wax binds the winds to their backs so they can coast out of the window and fly free. The son, Icarus, is told that he shouldn’t fly too close to the sun for the sun would melt the wax and he’d fall into the ocean, drown, and die. Bummer. So what does the kid do? Pretty much what any kid with too much energy would do. He has all sorts of fun: twisting, performing aerial acrobatics, feeling the true extent of his freedom. But whoops, he gets a little too carried away and flies too close to the sun and bam, the wax melts off his back and the teen falls to his grim demise to drown in the ocean. The lesson: Hubris, overbearing pride, leads to arrogance and arrogance leads to a mighty fall. Don’t push yourself too high to the sun lest you melt your own wings. Pretty good advice, right? It’s definitely a story I’ll share with my children. But that’s only half the story. In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin points out that our culture continues to only share half of the story and only half of the lesson is learned. We learn not to become pompous and arrogant in our ways, but because it’s not countered with the lesson in the other half of the story, this dampens our sense of what we can do in our lives. This story holds us back from actually achieving remarkable things, what Godin refers to as our art to offer the world. What’s the rest of the story? Icarus was also told not to fly too close to the ocean for the waves would lap up, harden the wax on his wings, and he’d fall to the ocean unable to fly away and would drown. The lesson: Don’t think too low of yourself. Don’t set your bar so low that you suffer the same exact demise as flying too high. Since reading Godin’s book, I’ve spent the past few years asking my students the story of Icarus in hopes that students would eventually begin telling the whole story and feel comfortable once again with flying closer to the sun. But alas, that hasn’t happened…yet. One day I know it will, but for now, my students continue to only share half the story. And I continue to see my students afraid to really push themselves out of fear that they will fail. And yes, failure sucks. Flying too close to the sun (failing) sucks. But flying too close to the ocean sucks just the same. We’re just not sharing this message enough. I honestly believe that we (yes, you) are capable of far more than we’re taught to believe. In school, perhaps we should be pushing our students to fail more because what better safe space to fail do we have? In the world of high-stakes testing and a tracking system that sets some students on a rigid path to Ivy League beginning as young as kindergarten, our students are taught not to fail. But what if failing sometimes signifies that you’re pushing yourself to the limit? That you’re growing your edge? So that tomorrow when you go to the edge, you can walk out a little bit farther. It’s like this: When your edge grows and my edge grows, we all walk out a whole lot farther. Just imagine the beautiful view from there. It’s stunning, right? Here’s to you growing your edge with me.
9/18/20168 minutes, 11 seconds
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Branching Beyond Playing It Safe

On this episode, I’d like to talk about playing it safe. As a teacher, I hear this all the time: -- I’m going to go to college to get the four year degree -- I’m going to get my dream job -- I will be happy But, I have to admit, while college was so important for my own personal growth, I’m not really sure if a four-year degree is worth it for everybody. Well, at least it’s not worth it anymore to take the safe route. Why? Well, because quite honestly, I’ve met many former students who went to college for what their parents wanted them to do instead of what they wanted to do and a few years after college, I often hear them talk of enrolling once again in college to get the degree they actually wanted. Take Brian for example. The last time I saw Brian, he had just gotten his prom photo taken and ran a 5-minute mile on the school track team. But now, as I looked in front of me stood a grown man with a beard donning a set of nurse scrubs. “Mr. Guay…is that you?” he said as I carefully adjusted my paper-thin gown that doctors give patients before a physical exam. “Why yes it is.” I replied with a sheepish grin feeling a bit like a celebrity on one hand and on the other hand making sure my gown covered my buttocks. “How have you been Brian? You still running these days?” I said. He shot back a look of surprise. “You remember me?” he said. “Of course” I replied. We talked for a few minutes and in that short span of time as Brian took my height and weight before the doctor arrived, he had said what I cringe to hear. “I’m currently working as a nurse, but thinking of going back to school for business so I can open up a food truck.” Brian explained to me that he originally went to school for nursing because his parents had said it was the smart thing to do. But he’s bored — really bored — and he feels the calling to follow his inspiration and open up a food truck. Brian is not alone and unfortunately, I hear this quite a bit. Like Brian, many people leave high school to begin a career or get a degree in something that is safe. I don’t blame them at all. Growing up in a blue-collar family, I know the feeling of depending on the next paycheck. It’s a terrible feeling. So I get safe. But playing it safe rarely works out. So, what holds people back from following their bliss and living inspired? A bit of ancient wisdom may have the answer. The Four Branches That Hold Us Back We are a deeply rooted species that is resistant to change say Chip and Dan Heath, two sociologists at Stanford who have devoted their lives to helping make large-scale societal shifts a real thing. Their book Switch changed my life and got me to better understand how to make real large-scale change on the systematic level. The Heath brothers explain that over time and through generations, we have come to define (and very slowly redefine) the idea of “normal” or “common sense”. This clouds our perception as we go through life and steers us away from any path that isn’t considered safe. In yoga, we call this Avidya which translates as the film that covers our ability to see clearly. To see clearly, we need to let go of the following: Attachment Attachment is the tug-o-war between owning things and having them own you. It’s what makes some people need a Rolex to feel successful and others (like some Jains in India) to literally have (or wear) nothing at all to feel content. It’s getting upset when you can’t find that favorite pair of yoga pants and getting upset when someone offers unsolicited criticism. It’s that feeling of disappointment when a dream you held on to for so long is holding you back from living the life that is waiting for you. Join me in trying this: In meditation or perhaps when you have only a few seconds in the subway commute and are feeling upset, repeat the mantra “Let Go”. On a deep inhale say to yourself “Let” and on the exhale say “Go”. Ego Like you can’t see the current when in the river, but can easily see the swift moving water when sitting on the shore, ego is there with us as we swim through life. Ego is the wall we put up to separate ourselves from another. It’s the identity crisis that follows losing a job and the reason we stand in line for hour on Black Friday to get the shiny new object for a price we can actually afford. It’s the fancy letters we put before our names to represent a degree and the selfie I took at the gym yesterday. But it’s also feeling guilty when you do have the shiny new objects, the fancy letters, or the bulging biceps. Join me in trying this: When I feel emotions getting the best of me, I turn inward to my breath and through meditation begin to see ego hiding behind my emotions. When I call out ego, the curtain gets pushed aside and it no longer controls me. The next time you find emotions getting the best of you, ask yourself “Is this my ego talking?” Fear Fear is doubting our ability to slay the Arthurian dragon that hides the gold. It’s not taking that first step because you don’t feel ready to run a marathon or not joining a yoga studio because you don’t look like a Lululemon model. It’s bundling up our kids so much they look like a fluffy marshmallow when they board the morning school bus. It’s the voice inside our heads that like to say “you can’t do that” and it’s the reason we idolize celebrities as if they were any different than us. Join me in trying this: Often times, we fear most what we can’t control. So, find something you do have control over that you’re scared of and do something about it. For me, I’m terrified of heights and I can control whether or not I go rock climbing in a safe indoor facility. And boy, you should see me. I shake and quiver as I climb up those rocks and probably look ridiculous. But I’m pushing through fear. Rejection Rejection is falling off the proverbial horse and not getting back up on it to try again. It’s getting bullied on the playground and taking a new route home to avoid the bullies. It’s appearing on Shark Tank in hopes to land that needed seed funding only to be laughed off the stage with no money in the bank, then never starting up a business again. Simply put, it’s settling for anything less than the greatest version of yourself. Join me in trying this: Whenever you feel scared to try again, read the biographies of the people you wish to emulate. Like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison, living out the greatest version of oneself always has a not-so-beautiful trail of failures that lead to that one ten-year-overnight success. So be patient, trust in yourself, and go after whatever it is that is in your heart of hearts.
9/17/201611 minutes, 44 seconds
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On this episode, I’d like to share a bit of what we can learn from coincidences. After you get home from your run, get to work, or just have a minute to send a message, send me a message with a story of how a coincidence shaped your life. If you have one that is. Because coincidences...well, they are a seriously interesting dot that happens in life. My mother and Paulo Coelho would agree: there are no such thing as coincidences. In fact, Coelho, author of The Alchemist, goes further to say that “coincidence is the language of the stars” and that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” Let me share a quick story. A few days ago, I sat there listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s memoir on audiobook. Read by Dyer himself, he shares the personal stories that have evolved him as a being. A few particular poignant moments were the times at which Dyer stood up against injustice: once as a 3rd grader and another time as a U.S. Navy soldier. It got me thinking about how I sized up to Dyer’s noble record. I thought about times in my life where I was more of a wallflower than an activist, like the time where a racial slur was said at the dinner table and I didn’t call out a man’s ignorance because I didn’t want to upset the dinner host. A bit hard on myself, I got in the car to pick up lunch. There, at the deli, I "coincidentally" bumped into a former student of mine. He approached me at the deli and said, “Hey Mr. Guay, can I ask you a question…” to which I replied “Of course, but call me ‘Mark'." He told me about a new college class of his. There’s a classmate whose gender is ambiguous and his professor apparently makes jokes about whether to call the classmate “he” or “she”. My former student sits in class steaming with anger, unsure of what to do. So he asked me. “What would you do in this situation Mr. G…I mean Mark?” he said. And I laughed. I thought about how just thirty minutes earlier I was thinking about similar times in my life where I had a similar crossroad. I talked him through a few hypotheticals and offered what I thought to be good advice for him to make up his own mind about what to do. He thanked me and walked away and told me he’d keep me posted about the outcome. —- I have no doubt that this "coincidence" was meant for a reason. I do not know the reason nor may I ever, but that doesn’t shake my confidence in the causality of this meeting. There have been many what appeared to be random coincidences that led to beautiful miracles in my life: * Making a last minute random decision to enroll in a BFA Acting program and philosophy class, both of which led me sitting next to my now wife, Kaitlyn. * Feeling extremely burnt out from teaching and thinking of quitting then getting a letter from a former student telling me how my positive outlook on life stopped her from putting a knife to her wrist. * Reading Jean Kilbourne’s research on gender identities in college, interviewing her ten years later as a journalist, and then randomly introducing Jean to someone I just met which led to her being a guest of honor at Omega Institute. And of course there are many yet "coincidences" in life that have yet to appear less than coincidental. But that’s okay. I don’t need to know the ripple effect of all of these events. Because that’s not the point. — What about you? When have there been moments in your life where what seemed to be coincidences turned into beautiful miracles?
9/16/20167 minutes, 20 seconds
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Following SOUL

Today I’m drinking something unusual which I thought you’d like to know about. It’s a type of mushroom called Chaga. Have you heard of it? Some people at the coffee shop down the street were raving about it, so I decided to give it a try. . Yes, it tastes mushroomy. Yes, it’s totally legal. No, it’s not psychedelic. Why am I drinking it? Because I’m intrigued by the many health benefits it supposedly offers. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I grow the ability to shoot fireballs out of my hands, run really fast, or grow taller, but for now I’d like to introduce to you my friend Michael Grimes. On this episode, let’s take a look at how one guy is following his SOUL and reinventing a brand new public school system that centers on mindfulness. —— When news of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction spread throughout the U.S., Michael knew what he had to do. So, he packed up his belongings and drove to New Orleans to build up a school system in need. Thousands of displaced students needed quality education and Michael heard his calling to help. He heard The Call to Purpose. In just ten months time, Michael developed the curriculum needed for three pop-up charter schools and brought much-needed structure to an area flipped upside by Mother Nature. Was it easy? No. Was it safe? Definitely not. But Michael knew deep down that this was just something he had to do. Transforming the lives of students through education reform is in his DNA. Why? Because before all of this, a dot occurred in Michael’s life that many, myself included, can’t even begin to emotionally understand. Michael lost his younger brother to suicide. This unimaginable tragedy could have easily caused Michael to grow deep into depression, which he admits he, understandably, did struggle with at a time, but Michael found the power within him to continue to walk forward down his path. The world needs a better education system, Michael thought, one that doesn’t just teach to the intellectual needs of students and he was going to help build it. As he put it, he felt a calling to help students “understand who they are, to connect with their passions and purpose, or to develop the social, emotional, physical, or spiritual aspects of their beings.” Katrina, his brother’s suicide, a passion for education reform — these dots in Michael’s life connected him to his deep seed of purpose. They further led him to create the truly audacious goal of a new public charter school system that is designed for the entire individual. Called SOUL — School of Universal Learning — Michael and his team have created a system that teaches “to all parts of the being, mentally, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.” The first SOUL school is scheduled to begin in 2017 in Southern California. So, what can we learn from Michael’s journey? Turning Muck Into Opportunity Like the lotus flower that grows out of the muddy muck in a swamp to blossom into a beautiful flower that rests gently atop the water, we all have our own share of personal tragedies we encounter throughout our lives. Sometimes it’s these bits of tragedy that direct or re-direct us further down our paths on purpose. Losing a loved one, facing a chronic illness, or perhaps getting let go from a stable “safe” job — these events reshape our lives. They can build us up or break us down depending on what we choose to focus our mind on. We may not be in control of the events themselves, but we do have control over our reaction to them. As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and it itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Here’s a bit of what Michael had to say about how he stays focus: Believe in Inspiration Like many others who have followed similar audacious footsteps, Michael trusts in his intuition knowing that when he is living inspired, he is living “in spirit” and that, as Wayne Dyer often suggested, is the compass to guide our spiritual calling. Here’s a bit of what Michael said when I asked him how he learned to tune into his intuition. Grow an Empowering Community When I first met Michael in person, he invited me to one of his monthly potluck dinners where he invites friends to bring guests for an evening of food, music, and deep conversation. It’s events like these that attract the mentors we need in our lives to help us on our own path. As Joseph Campbell reminds us, the hero’s journey may be a personal journey inside, but it’s not taken alone. Mentors and guides will join us on our journey and we need to decide whether or not we’re going to accept their help. The question here is then, are you open to receiving help? I know for me, this has been a struggle in the past. Growing up as an adopted child, I thought what most adopted children do: that I didn’t need any help and could thrive on my own. I’ve since learned that independence is great, yes, but we are stronger together. Together, we can lift all of us a little bit higher.
9/15/201610 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Zen in Ice Cubes

On today’s episode, I’d like to share with you one lesson I learned while living like a monk. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before on this show, but this last winter I spent a few days at Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskill mountains living like a monk. During that stay, time slowed down to a caterpillar crawl and days felt like years. In a good way. Why? Because with the monk life, every second seems to be accounted for and everything seems to focus on the present, working to pull in the tangled ball of yarn that makes up our thoughts. Who knew non-thinking could cause time to slow down? I will be short and to the point like the espresso I’m sipping. On this episode, let’s cxplore a bit of zen philosophy to be more present in the moment. We start with a glass of ice cubes. ——- Imagine you’re on a plane and you ask a stewardess for a glass of water. A minute later she comes back with a cup of ice and hands it to you. You have had quite a long day, are tired, and just want some water to cool you down.  Frustrated with the ice cubes, you ask the stewardess:“What am I supposed to do with this!?” The stewardess replies, “Just wait.” —   Okay…. So, what does all this Yoda talk mean? What’s the point of this story, which I first heard from a zen monk. When we let the mind go on its own, we can easily go throughout an entire day thinking about the future and reflecting on the past all while ignoring the beauty in the present. So often, we can get carried away in the day-to-day that we lose sight of the now. When we want a glass of water and get ice cubes, the idea of waiting for that ice to melt into water can drive us mad. So we move on looking for water when water was right in front of us the whole time. Consider watching some ice cubes melt into a glass of water. Many people, including myself, would go mad watching the small drips that melt into liquid. I have so much to do…I can’t wait for THIS… Unhappy with the ice cubes, we go off looking for water in other places and forget that we had what we asked for all along. We just needed to let go. Zen philosophy calls this mindset “Muddy Water”. Like the ice cubes, our mind can be hardened to think a certain way so that we are full to the brim with muddy water or hardened like an ice cube. Our mind thrashes in the water, stirring up the mud from below, when all we need to do to reach clarity is let the mud settle to the bottom. Or let the ice cubes melt into amorphous water. When our mind is like water we are more open to go with the flow and make decisions with a clear open mind. If we learn to let go of the ice cubes, we’ll always have as much water as we need. Remember, everything you need in this life is either with you now or well on its way. Thank you so much for listening. I wish you a beautiful day, full of love, light, and adventure.
9/14/20165 minutes, 38 seconds
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Your Holy Grail

As a kid, I was obsessed with Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. So much so that the obsession grew from clanking together coconuts as a teenager with my buddy Alan to studying Arthurian legend in my college studies. Even my professor thought I was a bit ridiculous. “You’re that kid in high school who would clank coconuts together, right?” she once asked.  And she was right. On a random cycling trip to Barcelona, I discovered that one of our routes outside Barcelona took us through the mountains where the grail is now thought to be buried. Did I look for The Holy Grail then? You betcha. And I seriously thought I found it when I came upon a tiny little 10th century chapel in the Pyrenees. But Alas, there was no grail to be found. I am one of many intrigued by the grail, however. The Holy Grail has been an obsession for questers throughout all of history. The Knights Templar searched high and low for The Holy Grail during The Crusades and Cistercian Monks rifled through ancient texts to search for clues, as well.   Heck, one man — the 12th Century French poet Chretien De Troyes — ended his story of The Holy Grail mid-sentence (yes, really) while writing the Arthurian legend of Perceval, the legendary knight who saw The Holy Grail while dining with The Fisher King. Legend has it, Chretien De Troyes died while writing because he was about to share a secret too powerful to share with the world. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. What is “The Holy Grail”? Most literalists say a cup — the cup used by Jesus Christ at The Last Supper — while others say a well like the fountain of youth. Unfortunately, no cup (or well or fountain) has ever been found. The evil Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s right-hand henchman, thought he came close to finding it after funneling an absurd amount of Nazi money to search the grail during World War II. Yes, this is a true fact. No, no grail was ever found. Even Indiana Jones, whose story came out of these real-world events, never resurrected the miraculous cup. So, I pose the question: What if they are all wrong? What if The Holy Grail is not some chalice or well or any destination, but rather metaphor for our own internal quest for meaning? The quest that begins with the sublime question we begin asking at some point in our lives….Why am I here? ….and then spawns a miraculous journey on purpose. To begin, splash a bit of honesty on your face and mix it with the dots in your life. But don’t take it from me. Take a look at the journey of just a few of the incredible people I’ve had the honor to meet over the past couple of years:   On the other side of the pond in the UK, Bhavani Esapathi created The Invisible Health Data Project. The project amplifies the many voices that make up the invisible chronic illnesses thousands suffer with each and every day. There are so many illnesses that go unnoticed in the world today and Bhavani helps make sure these people get their voice out to receive the attention they deserve. NYC native Gabriela Pereira is the instigator and purveyor of purpose behind the DIY MFA. When the rest of the world obsesses over science and tech, Gabriela shows creative writers how they can turn their art into a profitable and philanthropic tool to elevate all of humanity. Physical therapist turned entrepreneur, when Ashley Jacob learned of her mother’s diagnosis, she took her pain and anguish and turned it into her quest to find answers. Her questions morphed into the beautiful long-form podcast, Tsuris, which features interviews from the many vantage points that make up a serious health prognosis. And lastly, after high school, a starry eyed teen named Tyson Adams went out to vagabond around the world. Little did he know that his travel would lead to a cathartic and philanthropic journey. His work now creates schools and wells in Laos for children in need through selling coffee and coconut oil to adults in need. _______________________________ The Holy Grail, I believe, is not a cup or chalice at all. Rather, it is one’s personal soul-shaping quest that goes beyond the self and transcends to benefit others. It’s truly a beautiful journey, a hero’s journey, that I invite you to join me on. What about you? What is your “Holy Grail”?
9/13/20168 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Art of Truthfulness

I write this episode as the rain pelts the airport tarmac outside as I sit here ready to board my plane home from a weekend trip in Charlotte. Before I do that, I’d like to share a few thoughts on being authentic in our speech and living the art of truthfulness. Grab your cup of coffee and join me. And oh yeah….quick note… be careful with flying with a hand coffee grinder. You should have seen the look on the TSA employee’s face when, after checking my bag, she pulls out the grinder with a quizzical look, opens it, and then smelled the delicious fresh coffee beans inside. I offered to make her a cup, but alas...she had work to do. But, I digress... -------------------- Have you ever found yourself biting your lip, holding back what you really wanted to say, but held back for one reason or another? Telling the truth and being honest in our communication can be as difficult as holding sand in our hands. Squeeze the hand too hard and it hurts. Too light and sand falls swiftly through the fingers. Like riding a rollercoaster, we’re often raised to keep the limbs of truth inside the ride of life at all times to keep safe from offending family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. What are a few examples of when I’ve held back from speaking what I’ve honestly thought? --- When a family member continues to eat foods that harm her even after being diagnosed with diabetes brought on from obesity and eating too much of these foods --- When a coworker talks badly about another at the proverbial water cooler --- When a loved one says a prejudicial slur at the holiday dinner table And these are just a few times at which I’ve bitten my lip. The practice of telling the truth is something that I continue to work on because so many ancient texts encourage us to speak the truth -- both to ourselves and to others -- throughout our lives. The yogic texts call this practice of truthfulness, Satya. As Patanjali put it, “To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results will be become subservient.” In the Abrahamic texts, Jesus of Nazareth said we should speak and live truthfully. In the Book of Ephesians, he is said to say, “each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Popular culture also teaches us this as well between the lines of a movie or book, even back to good ol’ Will Shakespeare. Polonius tells his son Laertes in the play Hamlet before he goes off to college: “Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportion’d thought his act.” Of course, for anyone who knows the play well, Polonius needs to listen to a bit of his own advice. So, how do we speak the truth, live honestly, and be authentic without being ostracized by those we love? (I have no desire to don a robe and live in a cave in the Himalayas and I think you’d prefer not to, as well. It’s a beautiful world we live in and I intend to be an active part of it.) And to tell you the truth, as a writer I know there’s tremendous value in bending the truth, at least when it comes to helping one to feel the truth. Why? Tim O’ Brien, author of the brilliant metaphysical war story The Things They Carried, perhaps puts it best: “That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.”
9/12/20166 minutes, 37 seconds
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1 Sign You're Creating Work That Matters

On this episode, I’d like to thank the squirrels outside my window for reminding me of a little old gent who built a shanty and pissed off the government back in the 1800s. Yes, I’m talking about Henry David Thoreau who spent his days sitting in his little cabin in the woods on Walden Pond. And yes, that guy seriously loved squirrels. I precisely remember reading his book Walden ( which is a fantastic read by the way that you should check out) and for two whole pages the dude talks about squirrels scampering across the snow. Ridiculous? Perhaps. But you can also look at it from another point of view. Thoreau focused on the minutia and the beauty of the small things in front of us. And that my friends is what I’d like to talk about. Let’s talk about the 1 sign you’re creating work that matters... After attending Harvard in the 1800s, Thoreau did the exact opposite of what one was supposed to do. While other educated men followed the well-trodden path of medical school or law studies, Thoreau grabbed a hammer, some nails, a few blocks of wood, and went to write in the woods just 19 miles outside of Boston. Did his work save lives? Plenty. Did his work shape law? Big time.   All criticism aside, Thoreau went on to pen two key books that continue to inspire many today to practice the art of awareness, to look at the meandering veins on a fallen leaf, and to consider that our life’s work is to develop something that transcends the physical. Just as soon as his work began to inspire many, it was just as soon followed with criticism: the #1 helpful sign that you're walking your own path and creating work that matters. What do the critics say? Some call Thoreau a phony since he didn’t really live off the land and would often walk two miles to his parents’ home for a hot meal… he’d often frequent the local pub for a cold brew… and many say he wasn’t as hardcore as John Muir (the other famous nature-lover that inspired Teddy Roosevelt to create the U.S. National Park system... And the list goes on. So, here’s a serious question. Why do we  criticize people? Modern psychology would say that criticism is often reflected in one’s own frustration and insecurity to walk their own path. Makes sense since carving your own path is a heck of a lot harder than walking the well-trodden trail. Criticism can be a helpful sign, however. Contemporary business strategist, Dorie Clark, framed it like this when we sat down for a chat. She said, “criticism helps us know when we’re on to something worth working for.” Ah, there’s the rub. Criticism, however, can cut way deeper than a stick or stone or the thorns that cover the road less traveled by. Criticism sucks, plain and simple. It can even stop us dead in our tracks of creating work that matters. The thing is, when we conform to what others consider normal to avoid criticism, we stray away from what inspires us. We veer away from the greatest version of ourselves. Like Abraham Maslow said, we all have a unique genius to offer the world — art that the world needs, as Seth Godin often puts it — and committing to our inspiration will lead to being criticized. The only way to escape criticism is to do nothing and say nothing like the old saying goes. The truth is, the world needs your work: -- That memoir you’ve written, but haven’t pitched to an editor for fear of being criticized for being too real and too vulnerable, needs to be read by those who will relate to your story and will no longer feel alone. -- That newsletter you’ve been writing on your own, but haven’t shared with the world, needs to be read by the young yogis who want to build a bridge between body and spirit. -- That start-up you’ve been longing to build? Yes, the world needs that too. But, how do you start?   Footstep by footstep.  
9/11/20166 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Day I Died On Facebook

You’re listening to Your Life on Purpose:  the podcast that helps  you feel less like a cog in a machine by connecting the dots between life, your passions, and what the world needs, all in under ten minutes.   Music I’m your host Mark Guay and welcome my friends to season 2 of Your Life on Purpose. On this episode, I’d like to share with you a story that happened in my life when I went to college. It wasn’t a major event back then, yet now I realize that this small dot in my life significantly altered my way of looking at living my life. Let me take you back: On one blistery fall night, the trees had shed their motley colored leaves and, as chilled air blew throughout the college campus, I walked the two miles back to my dorm room to go to sleep. Before that, however, I did what one shouldn’t do before bed: I checked my digital messages. And as I waited for the archaic clunky desktop computer to boot up Windows XP, I had no idea what would happen next. It was fall semester my sophomore year and I had died. The computer booted up, I checked my AOL Instant Messenger (remember that?), and messages flooded my screen like some type of dystopian novel: “Please tell me NO!.” “Mark, you will be missed. I remember when… ” ‘Mark, please call me as soon as you can.” And on and on and on. I then signed on to this new app called Facebook and quickly learned the reason for all of these messages. An old high school friend who thought he’d play a prank had posted: “RIP Mark Guay”. What ensued next surprised my old friend like a monster under his childhood bed. The message began to get shared and shared and shared well before the world even had a “share” button or a timeline. Facebook, at that time, wasn’t even open to the public: only college registered students with a university email. The message took on the telephone effect where one person told another who told another who then embellished the story to tell another. When the telephone at my mother’s house rang, she woke up from a deep sleep to hear the news no parent ever wants to hear: her son was dead. Meanwhile, at the time my mother heard the news I, on the other hand, was enjoying the fall sky and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air as I enjoyed an evening walk. My legs worked perfectly, my heart pumped oxygen to my blood, and a smile crept on my face every time a gust of wind would blow a vortex of leaves in the air. What about a cell phone, you ask? The minimalist in me at the time left my archaic flip phone in the dorm. Text messaging was too expensive, so I didn’t have that either. As soon as I realized what had happened, I called my mother to tell her I was okay and proceeded to reply back to the many messages that filled my screen. Some perhaps thought my spirit had typed the messages, but alas it was just the peach-fuzz faced college me trying to let the world known I was alive and well. Reflecting back on this dot in my life, I realize now how lucky I am that this happened. I had the opportunity to experience something that many often wonder about: What would people say about my life if I died? Perhaps you’ve even thought of this before. A part of me wishes I had the foresight to save the kind messages people wrote, but without a camera or a screenshot feature, I didn’t even have that option. Perhaps one day, Facebook will bring them back to me. But for now, I continue to think of this question. Asking myself what would people say about me if I were to die tomorrow continues to push me to be a more loving, kind, and thoughtful change-maker of a man. It continues to fuel my desire to (teetering on the cliche here) be the change I want to see in the world. It continues to allow me to see my imperfections as tools to learn more through the human experience. When I first wrote the Empowered Life template that many continue to use to manifest their greatest self, this was the first question I had asked readers to think about. It’s a grave image, yes, (see what I did there?) but thinking of what people will say about you at your funeral allows you to reverse engineer and now build this vision into present reality. It pushes you to live in the now and be that which you want to be remembered for. —- Try this one-minute exercise: Take in three full and complete breaths with a 4-6 count inhale and 4-6 count exhale. Gently close your eyes, smile, and lengthen through the spine to broaden through your chest. Continue to breathe with this power posture as you begin to imagine one person in your life you love. Imagine them speaking to you and saying the things they will always remember about you. Imagine them hugging you, filling you with their love, and thanking you for the many kind words and loving deeds you shared. —- In my life, I’ve found this simple visualization technique to push me to be a better person in my life. Am I perfect? Ha, absolutely not — that’s the beauty of living — but am I growing more and more into the person I love to be? Absolutely. Now, why does this visualization work? Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy taught us in her popular TED Talk that the simple act of putting our bodies into a power posture changes the hormonal structure in our body. Our body releases more happy hormones that boost our confidence and literally trick our body into feeling that which we wanted to feel. In other words, Cuddy took the old idiom “fake it till you make it” and gave it scientific backing. If you want to feel more confident, says Cuddy, putting yourself in a power posture and breathing complete steady breaths will literally get you to feel more confident. Pretty cool, right? Cuddy’s research furthers my belief that we are capable of far more than we often give ourselves credit for. Perhaps like how Einstein showed us the universe continues to expand and expand beyond the limits of our understanding, we too as individuals can continue to expand and expand and expand. Perhaps we truly can become anything we intend to be. Well, that’s my story for today. Thank you so much for joining me and I wish you a life full of love, light, and adventure. Want to say hello and share your thoughts?  Just head over to Now, without further ado, let’s dance.
9/10/20169 minutes, 31 seconds
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Keeping The Optimism in Life's Greatest Dance

On this episode, I’d like to talk about life’s greatest dance and how you can join this tango. Because I see this all the time…. High School degree? Check. Bachelor’s degree? Check. Enrolled in Master’s degree program? If I can’t get a job first, check. Enter the dance and keeping optimism alive. For many, leaving college can be a bit of a downer. It’s easy to lose the optimism that’s the aura of a college campus. Why? For many people -- regardless of age and including myself -- it’s difficult to shift from the safety net of academia to produce work that will get criticized by someone other than a professor. It’s easier to keep our life’s work trapped inside. Because you know… life happens: Raising children, taking care of elderly parents, persevering through an illness -- and then that whole silly trap of  keepin’ up with the Joneses thing. It’s just as easy, fortunately, to maintain this optimism and continue progress with your life’s work. Here’s how. The Need For Unlearning Understand first that you have all that you need to deliver great and meaningful work to the world. You don’t need another certificate to validate your merit regardless of how many advertisements tell you different. It’s too easy to get lost in the hamster wheel of needing more and more certificates to prove your worth. In 2015, more than twenty million students were enrolled in a college degree-granting program in the U.S. alone. That’s an increase of 25% since the turn of the millennium in 2000 (Source). While that’s beautiful, it’s also alarming. From a behavioral perspective, we’re now spending twenty years (or more) sitting in the classroom. This conditions us to be the receiver of knowledge instead of a creator. It’s why we feel safe in beta-mode or prototyping behind the walls of the classroom, yet terrified to share our work with the world to critique.   Just Dance It’s a whole lot easier to critique a movie than it is to make one. Or judge the quality of one’s singing than it is to sing your own song. Or splash red ink to edit someone’s novel draft than it is to write one true sentence of your own. Or sit in the stands of a game or build a fantasy team than to be in the arena. Just dance. Every dance starts with  one step. And if you trip, you trip. Even Swayze tripped once in a while. Entering the Arena of Purpose Now, the real work begins. As Sri Swami Satchidananda puts it: “We can hear things, study, form our own opinions, use our imagination, but nothing can equal experience." I take this as meaning we can dive deep into learning and get lost in research without actually doing any work on our own. When you’re in the Arena of Purpose, you will get criticized, reviewed, and perhaps be the subject of popular opinion. And yes, when criticism comes our way, it’s so easy to go back into hiding. But realize, as Steven Pressfield puts it in The War of Art, “It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.” ---- There’s a picture sitting on my nightstand of me and my wife in our senior year of college that I look at before going to bed. It’s spring and I had just walked down from the stage after performing in my college rock a cappella group. (Yes, I was that cool.) I’m wearing bright red polyester pants and clearly need a haircut and Kaitlyn has a smile on her face that would brighten the sun. I look at this picture and it reminds me that life’s a dance: a beautiful tango where we dip and lift through our greatest performance and when we fall, we rise again and move on to the next step.
9/9/20166 minutes, 42 seconds
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Write to Answer "Who Am I?"

I talk a lot about the power of writing on this show and a lot of you have asked me to dive a bit deeper into how to write, specifically, how we can use writing as a tool to discover the self. Because as Joseph Campbell reminds us: It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. So, that’s what today’s episode is all about. Fifty or so of us sat around the room, ready to begin a group meditation which would be followed by a group writing session. Artists, vagabonds, spiritual warriors of all types, from all over the world, sat around me. Gongs, singing bowls, shamanistic feathers filled the room. The bell chimed, I closed my eyes and up our chakras we climbed as we dove inward to sit with the soul and hold hands with the inner self. Thirty minutes later, the meditation came to a close and from there the writing session began. Those around me scribbled their thoughts on the page in haste. I sat still: frozen by my inner critic. As soon as I would start to scribe a sentence in my notebook, I’d feel the eyes of all those behind me: judging me, criticizing me, evaluating my sanity and sense of worth. I felt ashamed to write one authentic sentence and remained clothed in my insecurity. I didn’t know then, but now I have a closer understanding of what F. Scott Fitzgerald meant when he wrote: “What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.” We are all full of stories that shed light on the human condition and can help empower another. Which brings me to my own insecurity as I come closer to experiencing my actualized self. Perhaps by opening up, my story may lead you to your own discoveries.  I’ve always felt a bit insecure when it comes to my own personal writing. To create anything original, writing or otherwise, I’ve always had to lock myself in a room or nuzzle into a nook in the library to be safe to write. This is normal, of course. I see it all the time in my students who, when it comes time to write down their memoir, they lean forward in their seats as they write to make sure no one can read their prose.  That’s part of the process and even the greats like Stephen King have confessed tremendous trepidation in transferring any kind of writing to the reader: fiction, nonfiction, or personal narrative. Why? Because writing is an extension of the soul that leaves us bare and exposed. But it’s also a tool for discovery and communicating those discoveries with others. Personal writing has often been looked at as the writing to keep to ourselves. What I’d like us to consider is that when we share our personal narratives, we empower others to lift the masks we are so often coerced to wear. By sharing authenticity, we spawn authenticity.   Writing roots you in deep and it’s in this connection that we better study the self. Yogis call this study of the self Swadhyaya. It’s the practice to answer the question: “Who Am I?” This study breaks through the masks we have come to wear and connects us all on a deeper level. Specifically, writing binds us together in a grand narrative. It’s the connective quality that makes social media addictive before the world uttered a tweet. How I Write to Answer “Who Am I?” Stage One I stare at a blank page, tune in, and write. I erase half of it and hoard whatever is left, offering it up to a salvage yard to discover it’s perceived value. Stage Two I dig into what other respected authors have said and imagine them as my posse — ready to back me up in a literary showdown should anyone call me out to a duel. Stage Three I write and edit. Write and edit. Write and edit. Persuade my wife to edit my work by making her Star Wars pancakes. Edit again. Then I click publish and my work is out there. Stage Four I no longer own my work. What I intended through my words, the relationship I create with my words, is now up to the reader to decide on his/her own. Now, the text lives on its own. Stage Five A reader stumbles upon my writing (perhaps because you were so kind to share it with them) and then creates a relationship with it. The reader interprets the text on his/her own — often in a way that it far different than I intended. ------------------------------ Not too long ago, my writing took a grand shift. I shifted from the safety of writing about what I knew academically to writing about my own journey and discovery. My source shifted from APA format to DNA. It’s delectably terrifying: searching out truth through the self. Why? Because as I continue to unwrap my authentic self through means like meditation, yoga, right-brain sporadic prose and dream journaling, I keep finding that all that I thought I had known as my self — my tectonic foundations — actually shift like currents in an ocean. Words, however, remain fossilized through clicking “publish”. I will continue to evolve throughout my life, but the words I once penned on the Internet will remain concrete and still when in actually they were just ripples through the tide. Writing is the window into my heart and yes, of course, I fear the critic. Such is the essence of what Pema Chodron may have meant when she said, “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” A personal story I’ve written about, a personal discovery I’ve shared…they are the skin I shed and not the skin I wear today. And tomorrow will bring about a new shedding. And so on. And so on. Such is the nature of my work. I write about the discovery of the self. That’s my journey on purpose. Writing helps one discover the authentic self, but I’ve learned that it’s the relationship I build with others through my writing that leads to my greatest discoveries.
9/8/20169 minutes, 39 seconds
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Practicing Direct Compassion

I'm about to venture out to Breakneck mountain to meet with an old friend whom I haven't seen in ten years. I'll be off in the woods for the day, but promise to come back tonight to read your emails. Before I walk into the wild, I want to share with you what I learned from my recent trip back home. I learned the art of direct compassion. ---------------------------- I sat across from my father, stared into his eyes for an entire minute and said three words he hadn't heard a lot while growing up in a dilapidated mobile home park in Buffalo, NY. His eyes teared up and so did mine. I said, “I love you.” A rush of energy flooded through me and my father. Energy that brought the two of us closer together. Energy that helped us both reach deeper into ourselves. You see…. a blue-collar man raised in the smoke of the railroad industry, my father grew up like many men. He learned that in order to get the job done, one must hold in his emotions. Life is hard and thick skin is what gets you through the hardships of life. True perhaps to some degree, but as Joseph Campbell reminds us, “The fundamental human experience is that of compassion.” Compassion — showing love for others and love for ourselves— drives us all further down our own hero’s journey. Because remember, the hero’s journey isn’t Frodo searching for a ring nor is it Luke Skywalker mastering his Jedi skills to overthrow an evil empire. These are just metaphor for the hero’s journey told through a compelling story. The hero’s journey is a journey inside. As Campbell himself put it: “The hero journey is inside of you;  tear off the veils and open the mystery of the self.” To move further down the inner hero’s journey, Campbell reminds us that we need to practice direct compassion for our self just as much as we do for others. My inner journey took a turn this past weekend and began with a six hour drive to my hometown Buffalo, NY. Instead of meeting up with a bunch of people and getting my whole family together, I did something different. I met with each of them for 1:1 quality time and did something I haven’t done before. I looked them each in the eye and told them I loved them and explained why I do. Each of them teared up. And I did too. See, here’s the thing: Direct communication is compassion for the soul. When’s the last time you looked someone in the eyes, held their hand, and told them how you honestly feel? It’s easier to go throughout our lives by avoiding eye contact and avoiding honest communication out of fear of argument. Why else are children often told to avoid topics of politics and religion at the dinner table? Consider, however, that by being honest in our communication we practice compassion for ourselves. Through this, we gain confidence in our own voice. Honest communication to others and ourselves is hard work. It’s a lot easier to politely agree or nod your head with someone instead of disagreeing with them. It’s a lot easier to avoid direct eye contact instead of telling someone they hurt you. It’s quite awkward at first to look at someone other than your spouse directly in the eyes and tell them you love them. This type of communication moves the energy in our relationships and all parties involved grow because of it. I invite you to try this: Choose someone in your life that you appreciate, love platonically, or love romantically that perhaps you haven’t told before or in a while. Or perhaps you haven’t been direct in your communication of how you feel. Spend just one minute and look directly in their eyes and continue to tell them throughout this time why you appreciate them. That’s it. Sounds too simple, yes. I thought so too. Thing is, many people (myself included) are not used to direct communication, so don’t be surprised if this moves the person you speak with. Chances are you’ll feel moved too because this directness opens doors to the self. Why? Because by doing so, you’re showing compassion for your greatest self. As I continue to connect the dots in my life and grow into a more actualized being, I’m learning that compassion for the self moves one further down the hero’s journey. If we disagree with someone, if we feel hurt, or if we love someone and haven’t deeply shared it, we’re not being honest with ourselves. We’re not showing compassion to ourselves. We’re holding ourselves back from truly learning from the experience. And perhaps it’s these lessons that we sometimes need to open a door to the next stage in our journey. What about you? Let me know what you think and share YOUR story with me. Reach out to me at Well, that’s my story for today. Thank you so much for joining me and I wish you a life full of love, light, and adventure. Want to say hello and share your thoughts?  Just head over to
9/7/20166 minutes, 51 seconds
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You Are Not Alone

Today, I’d like to talk about love. No, not the kind of love you’re thinking about. I’m talking about platonic love for the self and others and I learned it while on a yoga and meditation retreat at Blue Spirit in Costa Rica. I just came in from practicing headstand and have poured my second cup of java. Thanks for joining me today. The howler monkeys screamed outside and the humid air hugged my skin like a warm blanket. I sat down and faced a woman who I barely knew and placed my hand on her chest to feel her heartbeat. She did the same and we stared deeply into each other’s eyes for five intense minutes. Sweat began to pour down my face, stinging my eyes and, as my heartbeat grew in intensity, I thought about my wife back home. This is definitely not appropriate, I thought to myself, as intense guilt began to flood my mind. But what followed next surprised me like a rainbow that appears without a cloud in the sky. Such is the nature of a mindfulness retreat in the jungle. I felt intense love for this woman. Not the love I feel for my wife or the love I feel for my family. A very different kind of love. A platonic love. A love, as Plato would call it, where two people help the other further see down one’s spiritual path. As I stared deep into this woman’s eyes I felt her soul, and I felt her peering into my soul-self. All the masks that both of us wear during our day-to-day were stripped away, leaving us bare and exposed. I saw her struggles and she saw mine. It felt both liberating and terrifying in a way that I struggle to explain as I type this sentence. I felt connected and experienced the concept shared by many of the world’s beautiful religions — oneness. I more viscerally felt something I’ve known intellectually for quite some time — that we all have a connected soul beneath the physical existence. Perhaps you’ve experienced a connection on this level before, as well? Whether with a friend, a mentor, or anyone who has helped you out. In his dialogues, Plato reminds us that we should be seeking more of this love because it brings us closer to the soul. There is then a union with the soul, much like I’ve discovered through my own yoga practice. Did Plato perhaps stretch in downward dog before beginning philosophy class? Did he and Patanjali hang in the ancient days of lore? This connection with the soul-self is rooted in the etymology of yoga, as “yoga” in Sanskrit translates as “union.” Yes, yoga is far more than what Americans have come to understand. It’s not just physical posture and stretchy pants, though I would never dismiss the benefits of both. A strong physique is great and stretchy pants should become the new business casual. But I digress. As I navigate my own path, I work to maintain this level of loving awareness and connection, though this comes with its own struggles. This is where I often open up a good book to find some wisdom to grow my spirits. Rumi is very often a first choice. So, what does Rumi say to do? Let go to love and experience the source that unites. About a thousand years ago, I imagine him sitting under one of the pomegranate trees that populate the Persian soil as he wrote, “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” As you go throughout the rest of your day today, consider, as I am, embracing eye contact and connecting with the souls of those you meet. At the next networking event, consider not talking about “what do you do?” and paper-pushing job-speak. Instead, ask about their journey on purpose and have a conversation about their passions. When sitting down for a meal with the family, look at your loved ones with the same heightened level of love as you will the homeless man on the street. It’s a beautiful world out there and each of us has a story worth hearing. Well, that’s my story for today. Thank you so much for joining me and I wish you a life full of love, light, and adventure.
9/6/20167 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ego-less Existence, My Placenta, Star Constellations: My First Float in a Sensory Deprivation Chamber

Today, I’d like to share with you a story that I haven’t shared with many people. It involves my Placenta, Star Constellations and Ego-less Existence. It’s what I learned while floating in a sensory deprivation chamber for 90 minutes. Here we go: I closed the door behind me and looked down at my new home: a one-foot deep tub of salt water meant to float my body and deprive me of my senses for the next 90 minutes. I laid down in the dense salty tub, ready to float into bliss, as the lights dimmed and the soft music that once filled the room drifted off into the abyss that now enveloped my sight. Utter blackness. Utter silence. Utter weightlessness. I had heard about floatation chambers quite often, as they continue to pop up in cities across the world like the one-time ubiquitous oxygen bars of the 1990’s. But unlike the O2 bars which promised a bit of relaxation, floatation chambers (a.k.a. sensory deprivation chambers) are said to offer unparalleled relaxation, detoxification, and a trip into the realms of higher consciousness. Principal researcher Dr. Peter Suedfeld has devoted his work to studying the effects of sensory deprivation since leaving Princeton in the 1960s. His research continues to find how a float in a chamber can help treat chronic pain, high blood pressure, and autonomic nervous system problems. Other researchers, like Glenn Perry (one of the first to build and sell tanks), have shared the meditative benefits of a flotation chamber. When the senses are deprived, a person is more easily able to meditate since the aches and pains of the body are gone. This helps reach what yogis call Samadhi — a state of blissful awareness. So, why did I wait so long before giving a float serious thought? Because I was scared. I like being in control (which is something I think you can relate to). Also, an urban legend floats around sensory deprivation of a man who lost his sanity and murdered his lover that night. That alone was enough to keep me away from the salty bath. My friend Mike — a many-time floater and bliss-seeker — told me that his first float ended with him convinced that Planet of Apes was not fiction, but real — as real as the hardwood door that separated the flotation chamber from the apes outside who controlled the planet. After creaking open the door, Ian discovered not apes manning the front desk of the floatation center, but a few petite women in yoga pants. Not exactly the formidable opponents he expected. While I can’t say that I left the float chamber convinced apes had taken over, I did share my own transcendental experiences that could make for the next great existential novel. Like meditation can often be, the first twenty or so minutes in the float (it’s very tough to actually conceptualize time in a sensory deprivation chamber) dragged on like paint drying. While time seemed to slow down, my mind raced like a Formula One driver and I heard the inner sound of my mind spinning like a DJ at a meditation-fused house party. — Then I dipped into thinking back to my youth. And by youth, I mean floating in the primordial amniotic ooze with my placenta. Floating there weightless, it reminded me a lot of what being a fetus must have felt like. But it didn’t feel like I was fabricating this reflection. I literally thought back to feeling what it was like as a fetus, floating there for nine months weightless, bouncing around in the womb with the comfort in knowing that everything I needed in life was being taken care of by God through my birth mother’s nutrients in this wonderful miracle we call birth. I then thought about growing old. It occurred to me how strange that we often think of life as a period of years where we grow up through adolescence then grow old and die, when it can also be looked at as a time of continuous growth that transcends the physical existence. Even though the body may die, our soul grows beyond the physical. Perhaps through Jungian spiritual archetypes, what we learn in this life is imprinted on our soul and carries on into the next. Herein lies the ability to choose evolution. Our mind can continue to evolve (through mindful habits like meditation) to experience nirvana and the interconnectedness of all beings. Perhaps we may truly be made of star stuff, as Carl Jung often alluded to. — I blinked. Then blinked again. Were my eyes open? Or closed? I truly couldn’t tell. I began to see stars, and then constellations form as if I were watching the blood vessels dance when we stare at the back of our eyelids. I moved my arms and legs into constellations, floating there like I were in space. Weightless — like the soul. I realized that here I was floating in a salty tub, but I couldn’t feel anything. I was weightless and not distracted by body aches and pains. Gravity no more. Here I was, the first time, having a conversation with my soul separate from the body. For the first time, I felt like I was a spirit having a bodily experience, not the other way around. — I thought of a question that’s been on my mind. If a person weighs the same before and after they die, but they are not there anymore, what is it that we call “I”? Where did the self go? Did the soul just float away? Enter the ego. I began to see the physical body as a shell that carries us out through a life to teach the soul a lesson or a series of lessons. I thought of my studies in anthropology and marketing and how we as a culture have come to behave in a way that favors the physical body and not the soul. We’ve come to think that a commodity will bring happiness, when a physical object cannot feed the soul. The soul is only fed when the body follows one’s inspiration. By living inspired one is living “in spirit” and therein walking down its path on purpose. I realized that meditation, much like the meditation in the floating chamber, helps one recognize the ego and tune into the soul and the interconnectedness of all beings. I suddenly felt the oneness I have read about in the work of so many, including the many holy books such as the Bible, Quran, Torah, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and the Tao Te Ching. As the lights began to flicker on and a gently strumming sound emanated from the room’s speakers, one last thought entered my mind: What if we as a world culture focused more on the similarities between the world’s many religions instead of its differences? Where would that heightened level of consciousness take us as a species? Well, that’s my story and I’d honestly love to hear what you think.
9/5/201610 minutes, 48 seconds
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5 Tips to Find Clarity

Yoda the cat keeps jumping on my lap with his mouse toy as we play fetch and I keep reminding him that it’s Your Life on Purpose work time. But he doesn’t seem to understand, so if you hear a mouse squeaking toy, that’s him saying hello. I just poured a delicious cup of coffee and am thinking of my students who -- about to enter their last year of school- are struggling to find clarity in their life’s direction. Today’s episode is all about finding clarity. Because, let’s face it: we all feel a little lost at some point in time. I know I have before and it’s led to some of my favorite memories. It turns out, however, that this is a good sign. It’s a sign that we are pushing ourselves beyond status quo and hearing what Joseph Campbell calls “The Call to Adventure” or as I like to call it, The Call to Purpose. It’s an inward journey. One that does slay dragons, meets mystical maidens and knights, and takes one far beyond the earlier reaches of adolescent maturity. It’s one’s collective evolution into a higher form of one’s self. A journey that from the observer may look nothing out of the ordinary, but on the inside involves miles of spiritual vagabonding. -------------- Feeling lost sucks. It feels like floating on a life raft in the middle of the ocean of life as you watch a shark fin circle around and around and around. Try these paths the next time you feel a little lost: Writing for the Purpose of Investigation Yes, I’m a bit biased here, but writing is so often overlooked as a vehicle to draw out clarity in one’s life. Why does it work? Because when we sit down to write (like in a journal), we bring to light meaning that has been inside us all the time. Just 5 minutes a day, trust me, with one day setting aside a bit more time to let your mind dance. This is what the Beat Generation writers are so famous for. Writers like Kerouac would hike to the top of a mountain, yell in splendor, then write feverishly in their journal writing down everything and anything that came up from the bottom of their mind. You meet a new part of your self every time you sit down to write. Meditation to Investigate The Senses Like writing, when we sit down to meditate, we grow more confident in the uncomfortable. As the mind races, we pull the mind in with the smooth and steady inhale and exhale and allow muddy water to settle. Just watch the TED talk by Amy Cuddy. Cuddy’s research shows us how when we move the body into postures that display confidence, our hormones shift into actually feeling more confident. Meditation requires confident posture: spine stacked, shoulders gently rolled back, slight lift in the chest bone. Want to try meditation? Take a listen to a few meditations I made at or you can find them on Insight Timer. Living From The Heart The Yoga Sutras call this purusa. It basically means to practice two forms of love: self-love and compassion to others. To live from the heart means to let go of the past and to stop beating oneself up and to send love to what has brought us harm. During a meditation not too long ago, for instance, I couldn’t stop from thinking about the tiny bugs that have brought Lyme Disease into my family and caused my wife (and me by extension) so much grief and torment. I kept imagining the bugs crawling throughout her body and felt carnal anger rise in me. So, instead of ignoring it, I focused on it intensely. I switched from hate to love. What happened surprised me. I immediately saw the Lyme spirochetes as living and breathing organisms just like myself. I began to feel compassion for them. They need a host and require my wife’s body to fuel their life. They don’t mean any harm, but instead are seeking out clarity in their own primitive life. Instead of wishing them dead, I felt love for them because I understood them. I imagined a radiant light and with a newfound appreciation for the spirochetes, I imagined telling the spirochetes that they are no longer welcome. Their harm is no longer welcome. They must move on. Since this meditation, I’ve gained clarity on what Lyme Disease has taught me and my family. It’s deepened my love for my wife, fueled my desire for personal growth, and has brought to the forefront that which is important in my life: love, laughter, and gratitude. Vicarious Learning I’m a sucker for a good memoir. Why? Because unlike a personal development book like the many written by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Joseph Campbell (among others), a good memoir goes deeper into the anecdotes of another person’s human experience. Through learning of another’s struggle or suffering — called dukkha in Sanskrit — we can gain clarity in our own lives. Recently, I picked up the memoir, Brain on Fire, and have just a few pages left to finish it. I’m devouring this story because it relates so much to what I’ve seen my wife go through the past few years. A one-time writer for The New York Post, Susannah Cahalan, went from lexicon extraordinaire to brain-fogged flight risk in the psych ward in a matter of days. After many weeks of ambiguous doctor reports that summed up the hospitals confusion, doctors finally found out that inflammation of the brain caused Cahalan to lose her identity and motor function. Brain fog, lethargy, a roller coaster of emotions — this became the day-to-day for Cahalan. This is not much different from what I’ve watched my wife go through. Reading Cahalan’s story, helps me empathize more with my wife. It helps me find clarity through compassion. Letting Go to Float Call it “Letting Go and Letting God” as Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say or call it Isvarapranidhana as Patanjali did thousands of years ago, it’s the same thing. When we let go and realize that there’s a higher power at play, it’s a bit like learning to swim. When we first try to swim, we flail and exhaust our energy. Eventually, through practice and coaching, we learn how to let go into the buoyancy: we undulate our body efficiently so we can glide through water. As long as we breathe, we float. Thank you for joining me :)
9/4/201610 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Most Spiritual Path in One Breath

I have to be honest. Many times I find myself so caught up in the future that I forget all that I already have with me. Yesterday was one of those days where I drifted from a mindset of gratitude: — As the beautiful Hudson Valley sun shone on my face, I couldn’t help but think about the beaches of Kauai once again. — I did my first press into handstand last night, but I barely acknowledged this physical feat. Instead, I immediately thought about how one day I’ll be able to do what that Cirque Du Soleil guy on Instagram does in a one-hand handstand. — When I scrolled through the internet to complete some much overdue work, advertisements callously reminded me that I don’t have enough and that I need that new gadget, a slimmer waistline, or a new job to get me to where I need to be in life to be truly happy. And this happens over and over. Yesterday wasn’t the first time. I’ve learned that it takes a conscious effort to focus the attention inward. Happiness is not something “out there” as the media overtly suggests, but rather it’s inside.   As my yoga teacher Liz Schulman reminded me the other day in yoga teacher training, sometimes the most spiritual path we can take is the journey within because it helps us see that we came into this life with everything we will ever need. She said, ““The most spiritual thing we can do right now is to focus on what we have.” — Liz Schulman I’m reminded that each morning we are born again and this reset button propels me forward. What I do today is what matters. Not what I did yesterday or will do tomorrow. When I look at the sun today, I will be grateful that I can see the sun and feel its warmth when so many in the world will never get that experience. When I scroll through the internet and an advertisement pops up, I will think of the many people in the world living on just one dollar a day. I will be grateful for the gadgets and clothing that I already have. When I press into a handstand, I will thank myself for the many hours it took of dedicated practice to achieve this fluidity. What helps me come back to a mindset of gratitude? The breath. When my mind begins to race, I know I need to come back to a deep and steady inhale and exhale. This pulls the mind back and allows the muddy water to settle. Science teaches us that this type of breath — called Ujjayi or ocean breath in yoga — activates the parasympathetic nervous system which tells our fight-or-flight mechanisms to chill. When calm, we can then more easily acknowledge the present and live with gratitude. As our world continues to grow more connected and even more information comes our way, it will undoubtedly be more difficult to live in the present. Such is the evolution of society. But that’s where the act of choosing where to place our attention will come in. That’s where the art of gratitude will evolve the mind to further realize it’s unlimited potential. That’s when we will one day fully realize that all that we need in life came with our first breath. Thank you for joining me :)
9/3/20165 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Art of Dancing in the Rain

I’d like to share a quick story about climbing fish and transformation. Not too long ago, my good friend Phil tried something in New York that no one has done before. He created a website that would connect people based on the books that have inspired them with the only requirement to meet for a conversation. The idea came out of Einstein’s quote: “If you ask a fish to climb a tree, he’ll spend his whole life believing that he’s an idiot.” I took part in the experiment and every week, I rode the train into New York City to enjoy a cup of coffee with a wide-range of people: some straight out of college, some homeless, some millionaires, and many in their 30s who took a chance on a major career shift. They shared their stories of transformation and their dreams for the future. One went from English teacher to Broadway producer, another from T-Shirt Designer to a world-traveling photographer, and then there was a photographer who hung up the camera to start a magazine company. The only constant was change. These conversations were inspirational, of course, and here’s the lesson I learned through that experience. We will transform over and over and over again. This is the definition of living. Things will happen in life that will challenge our beliefs: we will cry, we will fall, but then we will learn to dance again. These events while on one hand traumatic can equally be viewed as an opportunity to open a new door. In this dance, we transform. Don’t resist the transformation. Later on today or tomorrow, try this. Find an old photo of yourself from when you were a little child and look into your eyes. Try to remember who you were back then and then think of how much you’ve changed. This type of change will happen over and over and over again as we grow throughout life. Life is a dance and to touch the future, you must become the future.
9/2/20163 minutes, 46 seconds
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Unconscious Images Guide You on Your Path

I just returned from a New York City and wanted to share with you a quick story. It involves a Jungian analysis workshop that I took part in and a sailboat. —————- I must confess: I’m a recovering daydreamer. All my life, I’ve struggled to focus in on the present because my mind so quickly would drift to Neverland. In school, at work, in yoga class, in flight — these are just a few of the many times my mind has wandered. Living in the present — to “be here now” — is the core of living mindfully. It turns out, however, that while tuning into the present is important, it’s also helpful to tune into the images that arise from our unconscious selves: in daydreams, dreams, or images that arise during a form of exercise like yoga. What I’d like to explore with you today is what I learned in a Jungian analysis workshop I attended in New York and led by certified Jungian analysts, Morgan and Jenn Stebbins. Based off of Carl Jung’s exploration of the unconscious, I’d like to leave you with three helpful steps to use the images that arise in your life as a spotlight to brighten your path on purpose. Try this... Create Space for Images to Arise Keep a journal handy to write down images that arise throughout your day. I use Evernote on my phone. Write down the images that arise unintentionally, like that in a daydream. As you go throughout your day, train your brain to recognize when you are daydreaming and instead of pushing away from the dream, embrace it. Explore the images that come to your mind and jot them down in your notes. Intentionally seek out images. In meditation, for instance, we’re typically taught to push away the images that arise so that we can focus on the breath. Instead, however, try paying attention to the images that arise and write them down after you complete your meditation. It’s okay if you forgot a few of them. Just jot down the ones that stuck with you till the end. Often times, I find a unique image to arise at the end that is far different from the first set of images that come to mind. Keep a dream journal near your bed. When you wake up, instead of jumping right out of bed, try spending just three minutes to recall any dreams you had and write them down. Don’t be surprised when you start remembering more of your dreams after a couple weeks of doing this. Exercise to find images. In yoga, for instance, certain asana poses that are difficult for me tend to cause my mind to daydream so as to avoid the discomfort of the position. Mindful yoga action would suggest to come back to the pose and not let your mind wander. Just once in awhile, reverse this, and see what images come to mind during the pose. Write them down. Share An Image With Others Choose one image to focus on (I’ll share mine in a bit). Share this image in a small group (2-3 people). It’s best if these people don’t know you very well so they can offer an objective point of view. Allow your group to talk out the possible symbolism of the image and do not offer any words. Instead, listen.  Perhaps you saw a wolf and while you think wolves are scary, your group focuses on how wolves may represent the loyalty of being in a pack, for instance. Personally Reflect on the Image Reflect on what others in your group said. Consider googling around and find what cultures in the past have said your image symbolically represents. Take all of this in and synthesize it with your own opinion and feelings surrounding the image. Write down any epiphanies that arise or just simply explore how this symbolic inquiry into the image could offer you direction in your life. ————— Here’s what happened to me: Many images came to mind during just a five-minute meditation. The last one stuck with me. I imaged a sailboat drifting in the ocean a few hundred yards from where I stood on the beach. Gray clouds hung overhead, fear clouded my mind, and when the cold dark water touched my toes, I stepped back. I wore a hoodie and pants and wanted to swim to the anchored sailboat. I then shared this image with my small group. The two women in my group spoke of how the boat could represent movement with a sense of adventure. Since I felt I owned the boat, I own this adventure. Because I’m not wearing a wetsuit, they said, or properly equipped to swim through the cold water to the boat, there’s some preparation that needs to be done. Okay, interesting, I thought. Then I went home and synchronicity (as Jung would call it) happened. I walked into my office and noticed a coffee cup out of place on a shelf near my desk. On the front of the cup, which just so happened to be a gift from my wife, read the inscription “Adventurer” just below the image of an anchor. Interesting, I thought. Then I opened up my email and at the top of the inbox was a message from a NY Times reporter I met two years ago. In the message, she told me that a friend of hers is moving from New Zealand to New York and wanted to know a bit about the public schools in my area. She asked if I could offer some advice to them since I know the schools in New York quite well. Oh yeah, she mentions near the end, the husband is a competitive sailor and since I learned how to sail on the Hudson River, could I perhaps also offer a bit of local advice on the sailing scene? A sailboat image at the workshop, the coffee cup with an anchor out of place, the email that inquired about sailing advice — that was enough for me to pay attention. So, what does this all mean? How will I use this image to help guide me down my path? Stay with me to find out. It starts with me getting in the water and preparing for an epic swim. -------------------------------- What about you? What images come to your mind and how could they perhaps help guide you down your path on purpose? It’s okay if images don’t come up right away. Just remember to share the image with a small group of people and then take in what you learn from listening to others. You may not get any epiphany, but this certainly will help you walk forward. Tune in with an open heart, open mind, and listen. Thank you for joining me :)
9/1/20169 minutes, 40 seconds
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Finding Balance Without Popping a Rib

So, many of you know that I recently received my 200 hour yoga teacher certification over a 6 month intensive training regiment. And I’d like to share with you something I learned through my experience of spending months twisting and lengthening my body so that I looked more like Gumby. This story is about finding balance, literally and figuratively in our lives. It’s so easy to go the extremes of lethargy or overdoing it. The middle path is always a lot freakin harder (well, for me at least) I laid on my back in a spinal twist to the left and breathed deep to stretch as far as I could. I had just committed to my yoga journey and gosh darn-it, I was going to be a real yogi. My instructor came over and offered an assist. With a grunt, I said yes. She helped me twist deeper and, after three deep breaths, I had twisted so much that I envisioned my body to look like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man from above. I could go deeper. More, more, more — my mind screamed. So I grunted some more, squeezed my abs, and forced a deeper twist. And here, my friends, is where I learned my first yoga lesson. Forcing leads to injury, injury leads to pain, pain leads to suffering. I popped a rib. Forcing back the tears, I embraced that stoic machismo that young boys quickly learn the first time they cry on the football field. So, when I heard the “pop” and felt a stabbing pain in my stomach, I looked around to see if anyone else noticed. No one did, so I continued on with the class and quietly suffered on. My shavasana was a mental sufferfest. I left the class and immediately called my physical therapist. She suggested I bring my knees to my chest — even though this would hurt — and roll back-and-forth. So I did just that, popped that little ol’ rib back into place, and made a mental note to never, ever, do that again. A sore stomach for the days following served as my post-it note reminder. My body had paid the penalty for this mental foul. Now, whenever I catch myself pushing too hard, my rib speaks a few words of advice: find balance between pushing and letting go. Or as Patanjali called it thousands of years ago: Sthira and Sukha. One must balance the polarity of working hard and easing back. Go too deep and you’ll injure yourself, don’t go deep enough and you won’t grow. And this, of course, extends beyond yoga and flows into life. As a yoga teacher of mine, Richard Villella, put it: “A river when it’s overflowing can move from a peaceful to a destructive force. Our mind is the same and when our mind is overflowing with noise it can become a destructive force.” Going out for a run is a great idea, but if you haven’t run in years, would it be wise to go run a marathon? Probably not. Working on a new entrepreneurial venture is a noble journey, but, when coupled with working a full-time job, does it hinder your ability to be a good parent, spouse, or friend? A cup of coffee is okay, but two shots of espresso in a cup of coffee? Well I’m learning today that is totally overdoing it! The lesson I’m learning with this whole Sthira and Sukha business is that when I find this balance on my journey, I end up reaching a destination that goes far beyond the map I originally looked at. My bubble of potential pops, the world is suddenly round instead of flat, and I realize I've tapped into a universal truth: There’s an infinite potential inside all of us. ----------------- What about you? Has there been a time in your life when you pushed too hard and injured yourself? How do you find balance and float onward without becoming a destructive force?
8/31/20166 minutes, 9 seconds
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Are You Creating Art?

The air smells of suntan lotion and barbecue sauce and after spending the majority of the past day walking through an outdoor sculpture park these words from Michelangelo continue to swirl in my mind. He once wrote when asked about his sculpting: “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” Let’s dissect Michelangelo’s words and talk a bit about creating art. I mean, what does creating art mean anyway? I just poured some fancy Kauai peaberry coffee and am enjoying the sweet maple syrup that a student gifted me before the close of the  past school year. I’ll confess… I may (okay I do) work too much. I’m either writing something, teaching something, or thinking of something work-related. But a recent conversation with my friend Vlad at the Stormking Art Center in New York — a wide expansive field where gigantic abstract sculptures contrast with the rolling hills of the Hudson River Valley — put me in irons. We asked each other this simple question: Are we creating art?   I couldn’t honestly answer the question. Why? Because I had my head down with so much work since the beginning of the year that I couldn’t tell if I had created art or just kept busy. In the past six months, for instance, I taught writing full-time, graduated from a VERY intensive yoga-teacher training program, built up the marketing platform for a brilliant online school, and spent my weekends writing. I’ve done a lot, for sure, but did I create art? Stealing Sideways Picasso said that good artists copy and great artists steal. Why is stealing harder? Because when we steal as an artist, we first must really come to know that which we are stealing. Picasso, for instance, didn’t just decide to draw some cubes on canvas. Instead, he devoured art history like a bowl of cereal. He took in this knowledge, stole little bits from here and there and then created anew. Tim O’Brien, one of my favorite American writers, also steals. He steals tangentially. He marinates in the syntax of other writers from other genres and backgrounds and then composes one true sentence and another and another and, when deconstructed, his writing mirrors those who he studied. I have to admit, that’s how I write, as well, which is why this past sentence includes one of O’Brien’s favorite literary devices: polysyndeton, the repetitive use of conjunction for dramatic effect (e.g. and, or, but, etc). Other writers from Kerouac to Maslow stole much of their ideas by taking eastern philosophy and molding it into something westerners could digest. The question is, what can you steal? What do you know so well which you could take out of context and re-frame it in a way that inspires a new crowd? What Are You Carving? There’s a marble stone that only you can carve, your Excalibur per say, as Michelangelo reminds us: “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” There’s a genius inside of you comprised of what you do and what comes your way and how you act and react. It’s your lotus flower that rises out of the beautiful muck in your life. The question isn’t if you’ve found your marble stone. The question is, have you picked up the chisel? Standing Naked in the Rain Creating art comes from being real and vulnerable. Sounds easy, but it’s not. Why? Because creating art is dangerous. There’s no guarantee that what you create will impact people. There’s no guarantee that it will bring in money. There’s no guarantee that you won’t fail miserably and get laughed at by the whole world. Creating art is life on a pogo stick. Creating art is a dance in the rain.
8/30/20166 minutes, 17 seconds
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3 Ways to Find Focus Amid Distraction

3 Ways to Find Focus Amid Distraction It’s a holiday weekend in my local village as I sit here and record this podcast. In just a few hours fireworks, BBQs, and picnics will have dot the streets like stars in a country sky. It’s quite a beautiful display of community pride and family love, yet as much as I tried to plan ahead, I still find myself with some work I need to finish before diving into the festivities. Does this ever happen to you? Perhaps if you work from home like I do much of the year, you also struggle with finding work/life balance when there isn’t a clear punch-in/punch-out clock. So, how does one find focus amid the Sirens of distractions? Turn Off Media and Multitask No-More There’s no such thing as background noise. There’s noise and then there’s silence. If the television is on and a person is on the phone, for instance (like I caught myself doing yesterday), the mind struggles to find clarity. Background noise turns mindful thinking into white noise confusion. Multitasking is dead. Tuning into the present is very much alive. Try this: Next time you go for a drive, focus on just driving. Next time you go out to dinner, leave the phone in the car and challenge your friends to do so, as well. Tune into the point of meeting up for a meal: connect with those you love. Next time you catch yourself doing a bunch of things at once, drop it all and go for a ten-minute walk. And just walk, becoming aware of the breath and the minutia of your movement. Craft a To-Do List I have my wife to thank for this one. Every afternoon when I come over to my wife’s office, I always see the same array: beautiful jewelry hanging around, pages of her novel writing on the table, and a checklist on her desk. Written in my wife’s beautiful calligraphic script, she checks off the needed tasks for the day. When the list is complete, she can breathe easy, and there will be no guilt-trips when she turns on one of her favorite television shows later on. Try this: Create a list of 3-5 tasks you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Get them done as quick as possible and then take a walk. Tell yourself during the walk that you’ve done everything you needed to do that day. Anything else is just a bonus. More than likely you’ll do more than that list, but without unnecessary stress. Take A Break To Tune Into The Breath One of the most valuable tools yoga has provided me with is learning how to take a real breath. In modern society, we’ve learned how to take consistent shallow breaths.  Shallow breathing leads to shallow expression. And here’s the kicker: Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine, teaches us that when you take in a full and complete breath with, for example, a 4-second inhale and 4-second exhale, your parasympathetic nervous system overrides the sympathetic nervous system and your cortisol level decreases. Translation: Deep breathing has been scientifically proven to calm the mind, body, and nerves. Try this: Set a timer every 30 minutes to take several deep and steady breaths. In my personal experience, this has helped me return to a clear focus with a calm mind.   How about you? How do you stay mindful and focus during the holidays when you still have a bunch to do?
8/29/20165 minutes, 44 seconds
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What is School For? Think on These Things

As the school bells begin ringing for the start of another school year, let’s pause for a moment and think about something that we often don’t reflect on. Just what is school for? Is it to get a job? To evolve our brain? To connect with other intellectuals? Or what? We’ve built a culture that sends its children to school for, at minimum, 20 percent of their life expectancy and we value education on a beautiful visceral level. We’re willing to spend more on a college tuition than a home mortgage without the guarantee that a degree will even put a roof over our heads. But do we ever stop to really consider, what is school for? So I’d like to begin that conversation and ask you: What do you think school is for? Just leave a comment below or reach out at [email protected]. *** A Brief History of School   We hunted and gathered as storytelling animals and schooled each other around the campfire. Our grandparents were our teachers. Then we developed more nuclear families and farmed. School was in the home or in a community center, mostly for men to teach them the trade. Women were taught how to be women (an attractive catch for a man, a nurturing mother). Beyond the teenage years, higher education didn’t really exist for the average person. The average person had to worry about food, shelter, and water and focus on providing for the family to survive. Now, in a land where we can get enough calories from a bar that’s dispensed from a vending machine, we’ve moved beyond building sustenance and could then ask ourselves: what is my purpose? It’s allowed for an intellectual evolution where people all around the world dig deep within themselves to create an enriching life that serves a deeper, more existential purpose. It’s truly a beautiful time to be alive. Enter modern-day higher education. Reaching back all the way to Socrates, higher education used to be for the elite or the privileged. (Of course, there were some vagabonds who ditched material possessions to live a minimal monk-like life in search for a higher understanding of life.) Before World War II, college was only for the elite. And it wasn’t a place to help people get a job. It was a place for intellectual stimulation, philosophy, the study of literature, and elitist fraternity. No one took out student loans. After WWII, the U.S. government began to give loans to soldiers to go to college and during the Vietnam War era, college for the masses began. It became a new normal, a new tradition. Counter-culture movements spread throughout college campuses inspiring radical thinkers like Steve Jobs to “think different.” College became the go-to place to be the change you wanted to see in the world. As Nelson Mandela put it, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” College was the vehicle to help someone improve their social ranking and achieve the American Dream. Since you could learn anything (with a loan, of course), you could become anything you wanted to be. Or so many were told. That worked for a bit... until the present. We’ve tipped the scale in the other direction and push our children through school with the best of intentions, but have lost a sense of why we’re doing it. Incredible teachers and school leaders struggle to motivate children and help them live extraordinary lives in a school system that worked well for the factory-based industrial economy, but falls flat to help our children thrive in our current economy. And people don’t really have much of a choice in the public setting, especially since modern-day trends to have both parents work full-time make it difficult to return to a more personalized homeschool instruction. While there are great options in online schooling (and some not-so-good), that’s not possible for many working families. But don’t take my word for it. Harvard lecturer Tony Wagner’s research suggests that more and more students are dropping out of school, not because they can’t perform well, but, rather, because they are bored. Krishnamurti pushes us in Think on These Things to consider that education is “not just about passing examinations, take a degree, get married and settle down,” but also to dive in and discover the extraordinary beauty of life. Education is everything but the  high-stakes testing which saturates The Common Core. Seth Godin argues in Stop Stealing Dreams that we need to transform education: “If school’s function is to create the workers we need to fuel our economy, we need to change school, because the workers we need have changed as well.” —- Going Back To School I can’t tell you how many of my former students, friends, and those I interview consider going back to school — myself included. Academia is a beautiful place. I love school. I love learning and something tells me you do too. But do we really need to pay another 100k to get that doctorate? Will that slip of paper really affirm that you are brilliant? Will it land you that job? Will it help you create something that matters? —- As the bells continue to ring this year, join me in thinking on these things. When we connect our dots looking backward, our school years will undoubtedly play a major role in shaping our lives. But we could do better for our future generation. As Wayne Dyer put it in The Power of Intention, “Creation acts upon the everlasting possibility that anything that is thought of, can be.” So let’s embrace a deeper sense of what’s possible. Let’s work to help make this possibility happen.
8/28/20169 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Blake Teaches Us About Living On Purpose

What Blake Teaches Us About Living On Purpose It’s a beautiful day here in New York and as I sip an overly sweetened espresso with chaga mushroom (yes, I know, I’m knew to chaga too for its health properties so we’ll see if I get really goofy at the end of this podcast). I’ve been reading through my old poetry books and  I’d like to share with you some thoughts and reflections on William Blake’s work. When I was in college, Blake’s work taught me a lot about what it means to truly live life on purpose. ——- Now famed writer, poet, painter, and philosopher, when William Blake picked up a pen or a paintbrush, he got about as much recognition for his work as a squirrel does for digging up an acorn. The man died without a clue as to how much influence his work would eventually carry. Now, just walk down the halls of any college literature or philosophy wing and you’ll likely hear a reference to Blake. He’s often stated to be one of the most influential romantic poets of all time. Largely criticized and often viewed as mad, Blake produced what now has been pivotal work that shifted how society thinks. Through his work, he showed us the sublime: those divine aspects of life that shake one with terror while equally beholding the majesty of existence.   Like the great white shark who gently glides through the water with such grace, yet is capable of terrible destruction. Or the sun which warmly sprouts a plant to life and causes another to wilt with heat. The sublime is that divine relationship of shock and awe, like standing on a field just shy of a tornado’s path. Blake inevitably died leaving little money to his name, yet his flesh went to the grave while his best work continued to thrive. What can we learn from Blake about living our lives on purpose? Seek Approval from Inside Fact: our need to find acceptance from others is what makes us invisible. Fact: everything we need in life came with our first breath. Blake continued to churn out his work under the belief that his body was just a mere vessel for the divine to work through. He’s not alone in this regard. Many famous artists and scientists since then, from Michelangelo to Dyer, have shared similar words. Perhaps Da Vinci put it best when we said, “Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.”    Embrace the Sublime Blake taught us that the greatest beauty in life is the relationship between the opposites: when the good meets the bad, when the light meets the dark, when the other meets in the middle. It’s in this relationship that we may come closest to living our lives on purpose. Choosing to pursue an entrepreneurial venture instead of a 9-5 is equally terrifying as it is exhilarating, much like many of the entrepreneurs I interviewed on my previous podcast, The Traveling Cup. Choosing to stand up for your beliefs when in a crowd of opposing beliefs is equally liberating and dangerous. Speaking one word of truth may cut deep into another’s skin. Embrace the Critic Like Aristotle taught us, any work worth something will undoubtedly face its fair share of criticism. Understand that if you are receiving criticism, it’s a sign that you are doing work that matters. You are getting others to think. You are standing out. You define beautiful. ——- What about you? I know when I first read Blake’s work (one of my favorites being the poem, The Smile which I’ll share after our dance break), I didn’t quite get the sublime. It wasn’t until years after college did I appreciate Blake’s thoughts on existence. Such is the nature of living I guess, where with age comes experience and with experience comes a deeper understanding of love, living, and laughter.
8/27/20167 minutes, 50 seconds
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Wake Up in 60 Seconds

Wake Up in 60 Seconds It’s amazing how the mind works, right? One moment we can be angry and pissed off; in another, happy and gregarious. One moment we can sick; In another, healthy. Take, for instance, the last time I acted on stage. I had just come down with a delicious case of the flu and couldn’t hold down my lunch for the life of me. My roommates stayed far away from me lest they too come down with this stomach bug. How, for the life of me, would I play a carefree and bubbly college student on stage that night? And the kicker… my character was the proverbial 30-year old who still lived at his parents’ home and comes home drunk to devour a plate of cold Spaghettios live on stage. Yes, a plate of cold spaghetiios. Now, if you don’t know what spaghettios are, imagine finding a very old can of spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to eat or even see when you’re down with the flu. Minutes before the spotlight would shine on me that night, I imagined all the terrible scenarios that could happen on stage as I tried to hold down my character’s late night supper. I Inhaled deep I breathed deep and steady for 60 seconds and did what I would always do before a performance. I said a quick prayer to my Nanas, imagined them in the audience watching me, and visualized my best performance. The lights went up. I came on stage. And before I knew it, there I was bowing before the audience feeling healthy and happy with that high that all actors know comes after a performance. Exhale The applause died down and with my first step off the stage, I transformed back into my terribly sick self. How could this be? I thought to myself. One minute, I’m sick. The other, I’m healthy, and then I’m sick again?! Sam Harris tells us that the answer may be as simple as one breath. In his book Waking Up Harris says: “How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives." “How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives." This reminds me greatly of one of my favorite quotes by Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do.” We become the snowball of our daily decisions. Join me in trying this: For the next 60 seconds, press pause on whatever mindset you currently have. If you are driving, of course, please make sure to stay focused on the road. Take a deep inhale for four seconds followed by a deep exhale for four seconds. Repeat, starting the inhale in the deep bottom of the belly and rising it to the back of the shoulder blades. Exhale, coming back down. Continue to breathe this way as you look around for a bit of beauty in front of you: the sunlight as it glistens off the petal of a flower, the bee that defies physics and hovers above a flower’s stamen, or a coworker or loved one who brings you joy. Turn now to think of one bad thing that is not happening to you. You are not losing a limb. You are not running downstairs because of a missile attack. Your house is not on fire. You are not running out of water. You are not alone. And on and on and on. You have abundant joy in your life, in this moment, in this breath. ------------------- Let me tell you a secret: When I woke up this morning, I felt lethargic and jet lagged and quickly thought of all the work I need to do, the errands that need to be done, the commitments I made to those I love, the mountain of things that I keep saying I will get to one day but never do. In my first moments of waking up this morning, I felt defeated. Instead of focusing on the abundance of joy in my life, I focused in on the negative. So, I shuffled over to my pour-over, fed Yoda the Cat, and took a few breaths. And in those breaths, I realized I was choosing to be unhappy. Right now, as I type this message to you, I’m choosing to be happy. What are you choosing right now?
8/26/20166 minutes, 48 seconds
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When Apple and Stanford Didn't Hire Me

Since it’s the beginning of a new season, I  think it’s only right that this episode dives into a very deep and personal story of mine: one that I haven’t shared public before. One that took me four years to be able to tell anyone besides my wife. I’m talking about one of the biggest upsets in my life. I’m drinking a hot cup of coffee on this fall-like day in New York and if coffee is your thing, grab your cup and join me. All right, here we go. The story I’m about to tell you involves a job interview at both Apple and Stanford in the spring of 2014 that rose my spirits to the heights of Mt. Everest and quickly slammed them down into the Pit of Sarlacc. And for those who don’t know what the Pit of Sarlacc is...well, it’s the terrible toothed sand monster that digests a human for 10 thousand years. But first, let’s go back... The snow had melted, the trees had begun to bud, and Apple sent me an email.  It was 2014. They’d like to fly me out to Cupertino to their headquarters, the email read, to meet with their education marketing team for a position I’d be great for. Now, to step back a minute, it’s important to understand my love for Apple. Yes, the products are sleek and sexy, but my fascination with Apple was nil compared for my adoration for Steve Jobs. Jobs was the epitome of success in my mind’s eye (setting aside his cruel temperament later exposed through Isaacson’s brilliant biography). I deeply related to Jobs: we both were adopted, we both grew up in a modest poor family without a well of money, and we both found meditation to be a source of empowerment in our teenage years. “Well, this is interesting,” I thought as I scanned the email again to make sure it didn’t come from some 3-party scammer. Realizing it was legit, I shared the news with my wife and in a state of ecstasy began planning my trip to California. I loved teaching. I loved my podcasting and writing ventures. I loved living in New York. But, yes, I would leave all that behind for this dream job. Around the same time of Apple’s email, I also received news from Stanford. I made it into the final round for an education fellowship on their design team. A colleague at Stanford recommended that I apply since I had shown great promise in my writing and the first podcast I created, The Transforming Education Podcast. Eager to grow my impact in education, I packed my bags and flew off to California. After starting up my rental car, I quickly headed over to Stanford and then Apple headquarters to get a taste of what may possibly be to come. I immediately fell in love with Northern California’s meandering coastline and giant trees and did exactly what one shouldn’t do this early in the game: I found the perfect little home to rent for my wife, Yoda the Cat, and myself. The interview at Apple was grueling -- six hours of back-to-back meetings -- but I walked out confident I had best displayed my talents and love to transform education. A move to Northern California seemed imminent and I flew home, eager to share the news with my wife. But when I walked into the door, I felt what Dicken’s must have felt when he wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom…”. My wife’s battle with Lyme Disease had grown more intense. Her fatigue increased, brain fog clouded her mental acuity, and our insurance had rejected IV antibiotic treatment. We’d have to cover the 10k/month treatment out-of-pocket if we wanted to continue. Regardless of whether Apple or Stanford asked me to join their team, we couldn’t leave our support system in New York. Our team of doctors lived there and I relied on my in-laws to drive my wife to appointments when I couldn’t take time off of work and her body grew too weak to drive. Two weeks passed by before I heard the news. I had come in second place at Apple and Stanford’s board rejected my application because I hadn’t filed as a non-profit. It’s hard to explain my mental state at this moment. Emotionally, I was crushed. My self-esteem plummeted. Logically, I was relieved. Deep inside, I knew I would have to reject any job proposals and now no longer would have to worry about how this decision would affect my marriage. Even though the sun shined brightly that summer, I struggled to keep the light inside. The teaching job I once loved now seemed nil compared to what I could have done at Stanford or Apple. Meditation, yoga, writing -- these mindful tools kept me afloat. Two years would pass before I learned the lesson in all of this. I learned the art of letting go and surrendering to the results. The Art of Letting Go Practice letting go of any results and continue to focus on giving 110% of your effort. It’s a way of living where you give everything in life your best effort and then practice being content with the results. It’s like training for the Super Bowl and running your best 40yd dash and being content if all that effort leads to a new personal record instead of an NFL-draft pick. It’s like tending to a field to grow this year’s harvest and when a flash flood destroys the year’s profits, being content that you have enough food to provide sustenance to your family. It’s like giving it your best in a job interview and being content if you don’t get the job. It’s knowing that there’s a greater lesson at play and there’ s something to learn in all the results of all actions. The Art of Surrendering To be clear, you define what surrendering means and just so you know, I struggle with surrendering to this day. At its core, surrendering just means acknowledging that there’s a great energy at play. There is something greater than ourselves in this game of life. And we are not in control of the timeline. I’ve found that when I surrender I allow myself to see the once-hidden lessons. When I surrender, I allow myself to let go and be free. ---- Now, What about you? This is the lesson I learned through this roller coaster in my life, but I’d honestly love to learn from you. What lessons have you learned from the dark times in your life?
8/26/201610 minutes, 26 seconds
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Add Spark to Your Life

I took a bit of a sabbatical from the podcasting world to focus on other ventures and am so excited to be back here with you. I just poured a cup of coffee and if coffee is your thing, grab your cup and join me. It’s summer time and just before recording this session, I listened to the New York morning orchestra: traffic hummed in the distance while birds and crickets sang in harmony. Simple everyday things that add spark into my life. To my right, however, I see yet another garbage bag full of stuff. Stuff that no longer gives me spark. Since flying back from San Diego, I’ve filled my car with more garbage bags and boxes than I knew was possible. Books, clothes, paintings, cups, plates, bikes — these are just a few of the items I’ve said good-bye to. Why? For starters, it’s because I’ve lived out of a suitcase for four weeks while house sitting in San Diego and realize just how little I actually need in my life. Second,It comes down to one simple question: Does this add spark to my life? In her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo asks us this question and it’s amazing to me just how often I’ve said “No” when asking myself it. And now, I challenge you to ask the same question: What adds spark to your life? Try this, Spend just 30 minutes going through your possessions and ask yourself if they add spark in your life. Consider, as well, your relationship and daily habits. If they don’t, consider donating them to a local charity, recycle them, or if need be, make their new home the garbage can. Consider this: we live in a tremendous world of abundance. Just the mere fact that you are reading this on a computer or a smartphone is extraordinary when just a generation ago only Star Trek could fathom such technological gadgets. Food, clothes, housing space, cars, gadgets — these are just a few of the many items we collect over the years. And it’s so hard to let go of these items. Why? Because of emotional attachment. For instance, one item I couldn’t let go of is my old 35mm camera. Full of dust, my Minolta hasn’t been used since the darkroom in college. But I just couldn’t give it up….yet. It holds so much sentimental value in my life. This camera and the photography classes I took literally opened my eyes to see the world through a new frame. It helped me tilt the way I look at things. But does it add spark to my life? No, not anymore. So, yes, it will be donated to my local high school’s film class for a starry-eyed teen to utilize. What mostly adds spark to our lives? For me, it turns out it’s the simple things like this hammock I now sit in, my “Be Good to People” mug gifted by Tim McDonald, and the people I hold close to my heart. What about you? What adds spark to your life? It’s amazing how much we can declutter with this one simple question. When I sit down to write, podcast, or create a lesson plan, my intention is to add spark to the lives of those whom my work reaches. I’m proud to say that in the past couple of weeks, it appears that the meditations I created have added spark to many lives around the world. In these few days, over thousands of people have started their morning listening to one of the meditations. Want to tune into them? You can listen to them for free on Insight Timer or download them at Ladies and gents, that does it for episode 1 of season two. I’m so happy to be back and appreciate you for listening and sharing a part of your day with me.   If ever you wish to say hello or ask me a question, just send me an email at [email protected].
8/24/20166 minutes, 30 seconds
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Season One Finale

All right change makers. I have little bit to share some news with you. When I first launched this podcast in May of 2015, I had no idea it would garner such attention and pull together some of the most passionate and happy people I’ve have ever met.In June when I started getting emails from people thanking me for starting this podcast, I knew I had to pick it up and turn it into a daily podcast.And I did just that. I didn’t know if I could do it, but trusted in myself that I’d find a way to make it happen.It’s been 50 episodes and nearly 50,000 have tuned in. Over 200 hundred people have reached out to me directly and shared their stories.From a brilliant yoga teacher in Canada to an almond farmer in California, I’ve somehow tapped into a network of truly incredible people who don’t want to just settle. We want to suck out the marrow in life as Thoreau would put it and live so as we’re not just existing, but we’re living. We’re learning. We’re growing.We’re walking down our heroic paths and following the beat of a heart trusting that the dots will connect in the future.It’s a beautiful way to live.—-My path has certainly changed since I started Your Life on Purpose. You’ve all given me such inspiration and because of you all I’ve pushed myself as a writer. Because of you all, my words and our message have been featured on The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Collective Evolution, and will soon be featured on Mind Body Green.Over 100,000 people have read my work this summer. And while I didn’t make a cent off of those words, let me tell you something.Having 10,000 people read an article of mine, having over 1000 people a day tune into Your Life on Purpose podcast, and receiving emails from people sharing their own heroic journeys has paid me more than any paycheck could ever cover.And I just got asked to do a writing workshop at a major yoga festival in Arizona, United States in the spring of 2016.And for that, I thank you for making these dreams come true and joining me.—I’ve reached a turning point in my heroic journey and need to venture down the path that’s calling me. It’s a path that blends my passion for teaching, for writing, while also doing the right thing and maintaining my responsibilities as a loving husband, passionate teacher, and global citizen.I’ve often said that time is our most valuable commodity. And I need to be wiser with how I spend my time.Which is why I need to press pause on the podcast for now and focus on my writing and teaching.—I have a group of students who are eagerly waiting for me to begin my writing and communications course and I have beautiful ideas of how to help them activate the hero within them to live remarkably.Being a good teacher takes a lot of time and effort, and I don’t want to be an ordinary teacher. My students deserve an extraordinary teacher.I have a wife who I love dearly who is suffering from Lyme Disease and needs my help. She deserves a loving husband.But I know I also have you all and you all deserve an extraordinary podcaster who creates motivating content.I don’t ever want to deliver mediocre content to you which is why I am pressing pause on the podcast.Pressing pause will allow me to focus on my writing, be a stellar teacher, and also be a loving and supportive husband.It will also allow me to work when time is available on season 2 of Your Life on Purpose. I honestly don’t know what it will look like, but my intuition tells me I will create 10 ten minute episodes at a time and deliver them in seasons much like a television series.I hope this works for you and when season 2 does start, you welcome me back into your lives.—If you’re just tuning in to the show for the first time, please enjoy the last 49 episodes. I’ve shared with you tips to connect the dots between school, your passion, and what the world needs all in under ten minutes.I’ve shared with you advice I’ve received from some of the most brilliant minds I’ve interviewed including Seth Godin, Scott Harrison from Charity : Water, and the gender sociologist Jean Kilbourne among many others.I hope you go through the past episodes and don’t just listen to the tips I share, but rather live them out.We could spend our whole lives reading a book and never live one ourselves.—-So, as I sign off here and take a break to work on my writing, I invite you all to join my weekly newsletter which I will most definitely continue. I send out on email every Sunday morning that includes tips and such that I learn from my own life along with the future interviews that I have planned over the next couple of months along with updates on Your Life on Purpose.I have extraordinary dreams for Your Life on Purpose. Imagine bringing us all together for heroic workshops and writing sessions all around the world and you can start to see what I’m talking about.I leave you all with the one tidbit of advice that Radhanath Swami said to me. He said, we can spend our lives focusing on the little fish — the little things that come up in life — but, it takes focus and patience to wait for the big fish and focus on the things that matter most in our lives. But to focus on the big fish, we have to let the little fish swim by.
9/10/20158 minutes, 30 seconds
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50: The Story You Tell Yourself

This past weekend at Omega Institute, I had the privilege to listen to the words and sing with some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life.And I learned something that I’d like to share with you to start this episode. It’s simple and it’s only one question.When you strip away everything — all the fat — all the things that don’t matter — what is the narrative that you’re telling yourself? What is the story you’re telling yourself?I found myself at breakfast and joined in on a passionate conversation about writing and life. When it came to my turn and someone asked me “What do you do, Mark?” I hesitated like always because I hate getting asked that question. Which I’m not quite sure really why.I said what I always do: “I write and I teach writing.” If they ask for more, I tell them that I run an online platform called Your Life on Purpose.But here’s where I learned something interesting about myself.I asked Susan, the woman to my left, how we can find the narrative that we’re secretly telling ourselves. For instance, one woman had explained how she realized that she was telling herself that she’s worthy of abuse (which is why she was still in an abusive relationship); another woman said that she told herself that she’s not worthy of greatness.Interesting, right?So, of course, I wanted to know what narrative I’m telling myself. Because I didn’t really know.And then I learned that I was telling myself…I’m not a real writer.When the people at breakfast started asking me about what I write about, I started by saying that “I’ve written a few e-books, but haven’t been traditionally published yet.”I also said “I write for The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and other large media sites, but I don’t get paid to do it.”Susan helped me see that I’m talking myself out of being a writer. She said, I am a writer. I just need to tell myself that.Interesting, right?Throughout my life I’ve learned that I will always feel like I need another degree, another certification, or to make money from something to feel as if I am good enough to be a master. This is toxic thinking.Because I’ve learned that a master is not a teacher. A master is a student. And to master something means to constantly learn and work at becoming better at something.I mean….I’ve been teaching writing and communications for over ten years, am being asked to do writing workshops throughout the world, and have other writers ask me for tips to gain access to and write for large media sites.Over 10,000 people read my last piece.But I still found myself not calling myself a real writer when I introduced myself. That was the story I was telling myself.What’s the story that you are telling yourself? Strip away all the fat and dig deep and try to find it. Pay attention to how you introduce yourself and what you say about yourself when meeting others.
9/9/20156 minutes, 4 seconds
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49: Keep it On the Positive

Last night, I took part in a kirtan ecstatic chant led by the Grammy-award nominee Krishna Das then camped under the stars.  For those who don’t know what kirtan is, my  beginner understanding is that it’s a call and response type of singing that aligns vocal sounds to our chakras. I don’t really know the ins and outs, but what I do know is that it makes me feel really good and keeps me on the positive. And that my friends is a good thing, right? Krishna Das and Radhanath Swami  talked a bit about the ripple effect and the collective consciousness. Like others have said before — including the Dalai Lama — the way we react to external stimuli (good and bad) directly influences those around us.  Some have even gone so far to say that our energy transmits a ripple throughout the ether, so that even people you don’t come in contact with are influenced by your energy. Interesting, right? All that aside, there’s tremendous power in projecting an optimistic and positive mindset when our dots don’t really line up the way we had planned. Dr. Wayne Dyer puts it nicely. He says, “Initiate a habit of choosing thoughts and ideas that support feeling good and powerful, and that elevate you to a higher level of consciousness" So here are three thoughts to consider to help keep it on the positive and elevate your consciousness. 1. Meet Negativity w/ Love The other day, I witnessed an employee at a friend’s company grow red in the face when on the phone with her boss. When the call ended, she cursed and verbally expressed (at a decibel well beyond what’s necessary) how annoyed she was at her boss for not scheduling meetings more effectively. Her negativity was nearly impossible to ignore. Her negativity immediately changed the culture in the room and my shoulders grew tight. I walked out of the room because I just didn’t want to be around that kind of negativity. How rude to steal away other people’s happiness, I thought.  Then, I remembered what Ram Dass talks about in Be Love Now. He says to embrace all things with love. In times like these, try to understand that perhaps this person has had a really tough day. Or perhaps they have suffered a lot of loss in their life that led them to be quite negative. Or perhaps they just don’t have a lot of loving positive people surrounding them in life. Point being... offerloving kindness in place of feeding negativity. 2. Frantic Energy Helps No One Dr. Deri Joy Ronis writes in Bridging the Gap to Peace: From a New Way of Thinking Into Action that “Frantic mental or nervous physical energy serves no purpose in helping us get beyond the very things that frustrate us.”  She adds that not being at peace isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a signal that we need change and should pay attention to it. Trust me — I understand how it’s far easier to say this than practice it. I constantly struggle to recognize my pitta fire energy and douse it with water when I need to chill out. Sometimes, however, when “crap hits the fan” — so to speak — it’s a lot easier to scream, shout, and be frantic.  But it won’t really get me anywhere.  In yoga, it’s often taught to dig deep into emotions and experience them so that you can understand them better. So, the next time you feel a deep surge to getfrantic, dig into that emotion and really feel it. Indulge a bit. If you want to scream, really scream. Do what Angelina Jolie has said to work and scream in a pool so it doesn’t bother anyone. Just fully feel your sadness, anger, or jealousy and experience it without doing any harm to others.  The next time this emotion arises, it will be easier to recognize it and make a choice. You’ll be able to choose whether or not to go down that path. More often than not, it will get easier to say “no, thank you. I don’t need to go down that path.”  Another helpful trick here is a simple breathing exercise where you breathe in the mantra “I am a mountain” and breath out “I meet my vulnerability with love.”  3. Where’s Your Positive Fuel? Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean being ignorantly optimistic. It means making a choice to place your focus on the positive with the understanding that negativity does little to get you anywhere.  After college, a lot of us lose our optimistic fuel.  In college, most people are quite happy. Academia most definitely is a stressful environment, but, for the most part, days are filled with people who are activity pursuing their dream career and having lots of positive social interaction and meaningful discussions. After college, a lot of us enter into  what’s often called the daily grind. Perhaps you’re working a job that doesn’t fuel you because you have a responsibility to bring in income to provide for your family. That, I’d argue, would be the majority of the over-educated employees working at jobs far below their skill after the 2008 economic crisis.  Just like you’d fill up your car on your daily commute, think about where you’re filling your positive fuel tank. Actively seek out positive people at work, have a weekly in person or digital meet up with a positive mastermind group, or read material that focuses on the positive (i.e. not the newspaper).  We’re animals, let’s not forgot. We are an effect of our habitat. What makes us quite different from other animals, however, is that we have a choice to choose our habitat and those we invite to share it with us. We have a choice on where to focus our attention. At Omega Institute, Radhanath Swami used the analogy of a crane. He said, like a crane, we have the choice to go after big fish or go after the little fish. Big fish satisfy us far more than little fish, but if we just choose to go after the little fish, we can never focus on the big fish. If we choose to focus on the negative annoyances in life, we can so easily ignore what really matters. And that, Radhanath Swami states, is to try to live out the best version of ourselves through loving kindness.  —- What are your thoughts? Like always, I’d love to hear what you think. How do you keep it on the positive? Just hit reply and say hello. 
9/7/201510 minutes, 26 seconds
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48: Weekly Wrap Up

As I get my tent and sleeping ready for a kirtan festival I’m attending this weekend, I’d like to break down a few of the concepts I explored this week.   Here’s the weekly wrap up. If you just tuned in for the first time, make sure to check on the past four episodes to see the longer version of these concepts.   Or there are some people who don’t have 10 minutes in their day, so they only tune in on Fridays. That’s cool with me. So, for those crunched for time, here’s four purpose-filled boosts to live more intentionally and connect the dots.   Surfing and Mindfulness   There’s a lot we can all learn from surfers. The next time you’re near the ocean or have some time to Youtube, watch surfers. They’re often ridiculously happy.    This is what they know: - To be grateful for when a wave comes - To celebrate your friends when they ride their own wave and you have to sit on the sidelines and cheer them all. I know that when I was trying to make it into the New York City personal training circuit and landed a really good job at an elite facility in Chelsea, Manhattan, one of my fellow trainers literally said to me in terms of getting customers: “You eat what you kill. It’s a dog eat dog world, man.”    I for one completely disagree and don’t even want to play that game.   Let’s build each other up instead of knock each other down   - Your wave will come. And it will end. Know that this is living and be grateful that you are living instead of just existing.   Trust in Discovery   I know I need to get better at trusting in discovery. Trusting in God, the universe, or whatever form of higher power you believe in. Like Steve Jobs said, you can’t connect the dots looking forward and plan all you want, that doesn’t mean you can connect your future dots.    We all need to trust in walking forward.    My buddy Tyson Adams knew this when found himself in the middle of Laos. He build a coffee shop where there had never been one and in the middle of a third world community, he took the money made from the coffee shop to build schools.   Somehow Tyson discovered Coconut Oil and that led to his latest path. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s listen to the man himself.   enter tyson   Be Unconventional    Finding your purpose is not about looking outside you. It’s about looking deep within, far deeper than most people ever look. Looking deep inside of who you really are is one of the scariest things we can do.   But in doing so, we are more easily able to place our feet in the right direction. The unconventional ways I explored on episode 46 include The Gene Keys which helps us discover the hidden purpose in our DNA, Ayahuasca, Meditation, and Pursuing an outwardly quest that peeks inward.    Unplugging   I feel like such a hypocrite whenever I talk about unplugging. Because I’m terrible at it. Some days I still find myself checking social media first thing in the morning because it helps me wake up before 5AM when my alarm goes off. The bright light wakes me up. But I know it’s not healthy to look at social media in the morning. It’s actually a terrible way to wake up. When I met Arianna Huffington, she told the group I was with that she doesn’t allow any technology in the bedroom.   Well, I’m no Arianna Huffington (yet, at least), but I do hope to one day master this skill.   Pursuing Your Quest   Isn’t it ironic that pursuing an outwardly quest like hiking around the world gives us the deepest peek inside of ourselves.   Chris Guillebeau showed me how pursuing a quest — not finishing a quest — is where you live your life on purpose. In a quest you’re not only challenging yourself. You’re  learning every day. You’re growing every day. You’re failing every day. But you’re motivated as all heck to keep on going.   ---   All right, well that does it for this week’s wrap up. I hope you got a lot out of it. As for me, I’m super excited to unplug and sleep under the stars at Omega Institute where I’ll get to join others in an ecstatic chant with Krishna Das, Ram Dass, and Jai Uttal. This is a new experience for me and I’m curious, thrilled, and a bit scared at what to expect.     For one thing, we sing from 8 pm till 5:30 in the morning. I have no idea how I am going to stay up, but excited to feel the power of kirtan: a spiritual call and response kind of singing that, like meditation, helps a person find the ecstatic beauty in the present. 
9/4/201510 minutes, 16 seconds
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47: Unplugging and 5 Reasons Why You Should Do It

 5 Reasons to Unplug  The crimson Costa Rican sun dipped beneath cerulean blue Pacific as I peered out from the yoga studio atop Blue Spirit mindfulness center in Nosara, Costa Rica.  Perched high on a cliff, I flexed by quadricep and stood firm in Warrior Two in this yoga studio that looks like a bird’s next nestled atop a jungle canopy.  Howler monkeys screamed through the air and birds of paradise soared at my eye level -- majestic and graceful in their freedom.  Time seemed to stand still and it felt like an endless summer.  How I came to find myself at Blue Spirit on a yoga retreat is a story for another time, but there I was in a yoga retreat led by Amy Dannheim and Dawn Feinberg: two hardcore and loving yoginis from Miami.  I came to Blue Spirit, not to vacation, but rather to level up my life. The word “vacation” burns my vocal chords. It’s acid for my soul. I don’t believe in vacations. I don’t want to vacate my life. I want to enhance my life.  And unplugging for a week on this endless summer retreat did the trick. I unplugged (mostly...I’ll explain later), and here is what I learned.  5 Reasons to Unplug (at least for a week) Time Slows Down I had just sat down for breakfast after another morning surf session and had a moment where I didn’t know what day it was. After just three days of no tv, no internet, and no phone calls, time felt like it was stuck in molasses.  My days felt longer and each day felt like three: the morning, day, and night.  By the time I went to bed, I felt such a rush of joy as I counted all the things I was grateful for that day.  Writing (on paper), meditation, yoga practice, and meaningful conversations replaced TV and Internet. Never was I a passive observer of my day. I spent every minute intentionally and with awareness.  Time is our most valuable currency. It’s worth far more than money or possessions.  You (re) Connect to Nature It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. I need to buy this, I need to complete this task, I need to fulfill this level of responsibility, I need to see this movie, and so on.  Instead of watching my computer screen or the television, I watched the ants crawl up the tree trunk. An iguana who I affectionately named Eddie, meandered through the thick brush outside my nature studio. Hummingbirds hovered over flowers of paradise and drank their nectar. Eddie and I even had a moment. He hobbled over to a small trickle of water and took a slurp then looked at me. So I took a slurp from my water bottle. We nodded to each other and then he went on his merry way. As much as we don’t like to admit it, we’re animals. We’re right there on the food chain, catalogued in the animal kingdom with animals like Eddie.  We may have opposable thumbs and the ability to phonetically create a sophisticated language, but at our roots and beyond our smartphones, we need food and water just like Eddie does. Because we shop at massive supermarkets and never pick our fruits and vegetables or slaughter our meat, it’s easy to forget this. We depend on nature to supply our needs just like Eddie does. You Learn to Think on Your Own In a world where a drive to pick up mom to go to a coffee shop takes you by billboards and mass media marketing, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the messaging we received and are inundated with on a regular basis.  Unplugging separates you, at least digitally, from being exposed to the many messages that like to tell us what to believe in, who to vote for, and what pill we should take to be thinner, happier, sexier, or have less pain.  Jean Kilbourne, creator of the documentary series Killing Us Softly which explores the effect of marketing messages on adolescent women, famously shared that she is often told by people that they are not affected by marketing. When Jean looks at them though, they are often wearing something like a Gap t-shirt.  You (re) Learn to Have Deep Conversations   We’re living a beautifully connected world that allows for anyone to connect from the four corners of the world. But as much as we are connected, we’re perhaps even more disconnected than ever before. It’s too easy to not invest in a deep and meaningful conversation. When a conversation gets awkward, it’s far easier to move on to a new tweet, Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook, or Instagram post.  160 characters is a lot less stressful than 30 minutes of eye contact.  Deep and meaningful conversations help us as humans connect to one another and learn more about the human experience. They go deeper than a Facebook timeline which only posts the happy moments in life. They dive into the soul.  And the human soul is quite a beautiful thing.  By Subtracting, You Add So Much More to Your Life By subtracting the things that don’t matter in your life, you add so much for to your life. But it’s tough to really tell what doesn’t matter in our lives when we’re in the midst of our daily, weekly, and yearly rituals.  There’s always something to do or someone to take care of that makes it difficult to really focus on what you need.  I’m no luddite as I love this beautifully connected world we live in, but just because an ad tells me I need the next new thing, that doesn’t mean that a new gadget will add anything of value to my life. With the time to really sit down and reflect on my own, I was able to answer this question that I now share with you: Are you living or just existing? To live is not to collect things or scroll through Twitter. To live is to engage in experiences and suck out of the marrow in life as Thoreau would have put it.  ---   But this is just my opinion and I’d love to hear yours. You can reach out to me at [email protected] or leave a comment below. 
9/3/201510 minutes, 40 seconds
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46: 5 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Purpose

  5 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Purpose   Joseph Campbell reminds us that if we follow our own bliss, doors will open that will lead us down our path on purpose. He said, “When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.”   But you can’t find your purpose. It’s not out there. Your purpose has been with you all along. It’s deep inside you.   To help you unlock the potential inside of you, here are five unconventional ways to find your purpose. They stem from ancient wisdom and modern science and they all have one thing in common. It’s not so much what’s outside of you, but how to unlock what’s already inside of you. Past-Life Regressions   After graduating from Yale, Dr. Brian Weiss began his psychotherapy practice. However, through using hypnosis to help his patients unlock repressed memories, he found that his patients began speaking about realities that were very different from the present one they lived in.   Under hypnosis, patients would speak about being a different gender or race along with the odd ability to speak languages the present-day patient did not know. They even spoke in detail about past-life trauma which Dr. Weiss argues has helped many patients overcome present-life trauma.   While all of this can quickly be brushed off as non-scientific nonsense, modern-day connections with the Internet allow patients who practice past-life regressions to actually research and look up the visions they have while under hypnosis.   The language that one would speak under hypnosis would actually be an ancient language. Buildings and structures that a patient may envision would actually exist in present time. Some patients have even contacted present-day family members and shared intimate family secrets after experiencing a past-life as their ancestor.   Dr. Weiss explains that experiencing past-life regressions allow a person to understand the lessons they learned in their past lives. And through these lessons, a person can deepen their understanding of what they are meant to learn right here, right now, in the present life.   2. Meditation   Yes. Meditation. It’s not just for grounding and calming. It’s for centering and understanding who you are as a being. It’s for digging deep into your inner pysche. A daily meditation practice helps one recognize their thought patterns. They learn to identify what is serving them, what is clearly not and how to live more in the present. After establishing a steady practice, practitioners take the lessons learned in meditation into their daily lives. Side effects include having less water-cooler conversations and more meaningful dialogue along with living your life on purpose. The conversations you choose to have and the actions you choose to take will be more intentional.     As Pema Chodron reminds us, “Meditation is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth.”   3. Ayahuasca Deep in the heart of the Amazon lies a spirit vine that has caught the attention of medical researchers, shamans, and spiritual seekers for centuries. Known affectionately as plant medicine, Ayahuasca has been known to take participants on a deep introspective experience.   Through this psychedelic discovery, many have claimed Ayahuasca to be exponentially more effective than traditional psychotherapy. Michael Sanders, author of Ayahuasca: An Executive's Enlightenment says that many Westerners have called Ayahuasca “30 years of psychotherapy in a cup.”   Here's a bit of what Michael had to say when we sat down to chat about his book:   One seed of advice. Be very careful and research where you choose to have an Ayahusaca experience, says Jeffrey Slayter, founder of The Grand Initiative which takes high-level influencers on an Ayahuasca experience to deepen their understanding of the self, unleash dormant creativity, and further connect one to the planet.   Here is a list of resources to find a safe facility for Ayahuasca, says Jeffrey Slayter.   4. Gene Keys   Richard Rudd, author of Gene Keys, dives deep into ancient wisdom to help people discover the hidden purpose that lies in our DNA.   Rudd explains that The Gene Keys help to “shed light on your deepest potential by helping you to embrace your shadows and recognize your gifts.” You learn your strengths, your weaknesses, and learn how to effectively harness your ability to live extraordinarily.   Through this heightened level of awareness, a person can confidently walk down their independent path. So often we just need to get out of our own way and Rudd provides one avenue to unleash our creative potential..   5. Pursuing a Quest   Chris Guillebeau explains that a quest is not so much an external discovery, but rather an internal heroic journey.   In his book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, Guillebeau shares the stories of people he has met on his personal quest of traveling to every country in the world. All the stories entail the journey one takes on their personal quest: the hardships, the breakthroughs, and the lessons one learns when they embark on their heroic journey. Many questers start out seeking an external answer, but what many find out, however, is that their quest for their holy grail (so to speak) has taught them more about themselves than anything else. Through a quest, you face your deepest fears and realize that you are capable of far more than you can imagine.   --   The truth is, now that you can learn anything, you can be anything you want to. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and a perfect time for you to walk your own heroic path.   Of course, there are more ways one could deepen their purpose, and in case these unconventional ways don’t fancy your interest, try this one:   Complete this sentence as many times as you can.   My purpose is ________.   Write as many sentences as possible and tweak the words. When you cry or feel a deep surge of fear that says “You can’t do that!”....that’s when you found your current purpose. Like always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave them as a comment below or reach out to me on email at mark@y
9/2/201510 minutes, 12 seconds
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45: Trust in Discovery

Sometimes there are moments in our lives that force us to redefine ourselves. A concrete wall can -- at times -- pop up just as we are joyfully walking down our heroic journeys. And man....can this be frustrating or what? Today I’m thinking about Redefining You and would like to share three tips to help you define yourself.  Today’s mantra: “Trust in discovery. Be open to where your feet will land next."  Whenever a concrete wall pops up in our lives, look carefully at the wall. If you look close, there's often a little arrow sketched into the wall pointing us in another (and often times more beautiful) direction.  Or a beautiful new person meets you at the wall and takes you down a new path for a short time. Or sometimes you can pull out your waist belt grappling hook and haul yourself over that wall if it’s not too high (childhood Batman fantasy anyone?). But when you can’t climb that wall, here are three tips to become aware of your new direction. 1. Stop Carrying So Much Tim O’Brien has a beautiful book called The Things They Carried. It’s a brilliant look into what the soldiers in the Vietnam War carried with them both physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Many of the story’s characters struggled to move forward in their lives until they learned to stop carrying so much.  The art of letting go is not easy. I stink at it.  As much as I pride myself on being a minimalist, I struggle to let go of things. I have gadgets, clothes, and other material things that I don’t need, but can’t for some reason donate to charity or recycle. I have childhood memories that still challenge my daily positive outlook in life. It’s so hard to let go of these things, but by doing so they allow us to move forward in life.  I recently met a yogini who after a terrible breakup of a long-term relationship, moved from California to Costa Rica and unplugged herself from the digital world ten years ago: no tv, no internet. She told me how much she added to her life when she subtracted the things that didn’t matter.  Open   I’m in the midst of redefining myself right now and honestly don’t have a clear plan of where this all will lead to. But I know that I need to keep exploring. Almost all of the extraordinary people I’ve interviewed in my work have had this type of open mind when they choose to stride down their own heroic path.  Joseph Campbell reminds us of following our bliss on our own individual paths: “When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” So I’m trusting in this openness.  Ten years ago I entered into the teaching profession because I wanted to transform education and redesign the high school learning experience. I struck a concrete wall and am burnt out on trying to transform education. So I moved on and shifted instead of continuing to walk into a concrete wall. Because, well, continuing to walk into a concrete wall hurts.  Five years ago I was on track for Team USA (and perhaps Olympic qualifying) in triathlon. Injuries and the unnecessary stress it put on ability to be a loving family member and husband forced me to redefine myself.  Concrete wall. Four years ago, my wife and I started our harrowing journey into persevering through chronic Lyme Disease that took my wife from running marathons to a wheelchair in just a few months.  Concrete wall.  My wife had to quit teaching because her body wouldn't allow her to do so. She redefined herself by writing her first YA fantasy novel and launching a boutique gemstone jewelry line that uses the healing properties of gemstones. (yes, I know...I'm a lucky guy ;) Three years ago, I launched my writing career and started interviewing some of the greatest minds of our time.  Since launching Your Life on Purpose two months ago, I’ve had over one hundred people reach out to via email to share their love and appreciation. Over 50,000 people have tuned in.  And when I took The Purpose Manifesto message to my writing, my writing career has sky-rocketed. Over 10,000 people have read my recent articles on Elephant Journal.  Anne Lamott said, “Don’t look at your feet to see if you’re doing it right. Just dance.” And so, I’m putting on my dancing shoes.  You with me? Words...Words...Words   We’re a social species. On my LinkedIn profile, I use to have “Storytelling Animal” as my job title. In other words, I was calling myself “human.” But, I think only a few people got the joke.  After landing an interview at Apple headquarters in 2014, Apple flew me to Cupertino to sit down with the executive team.  One of the many incredible executives there told me that he didn’t quite get “Storytelling Animal”. It sort of made me come off as an arrogant marketing guy who is such an animal at spreading a message. Whoops. We are a storytelling species. If you were to tap into your primal roots, you’d remember the days of sitting around the fire and sharing stories.  But that doesn’t mean we’re good at communicating effectively.  Sometimes our message can get so easily constipated and misinterpreted. Like the caveman, I sometimes grunt when I need to learn to use the correct words.  That’s why I love languages. If I had one superpower in the world, it would be to be able to speak every language in the world (or universe). Discovering new words and developing deeper semantics allow us to create new realms of understanding and create new language, especially because our realities are constructed (says the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) by the words we use to construct our reality.  New words -- new language --  can help us see the arrow that's scribbled on the concrete wall. It can even bridge new relationships and connect you to your tribe of people that will help you live extraordinary.   I’d love to hear from you and learn from your thoughts. 
9/1/201511 minutes, 36 seconds
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44: Surfing and Mindfulness

Today I’d like to talk about surfing and what it can teach us about living our lives on purpose.   I had not surfed in ten years and eagerly looked forward to getting up at 4:30 in the morning to surf dawn patrol in Costa Rica.   Little did I know that I’d see all the lessons I’ve been learning in meditation unfold before me in the white foam of heavy surf.   As I float out there in the Pacific Ocean and watched the Costa Rican sunrise, I started to think about what we can learn from surfing and how it could influence our happiness and productivity regardless of whether or not you catch a wave.   So, today I’d like to break down six tips we can learn from surfers   1. Paddle Hard    One of the hardest things when surfing, especially if it’s a beach break and not a point break, is busting through the white foamy surf. It looks easy but duck diving under an incoming wave or turtle rolling a long board takes some serious practice.    You have to learn technique and have to keep going.   So many people never make it beyond the break and get stuck in the tremulchious white water.    Keep pushing. There is calm water beyond the struggle. There is always a blue sky above the cloudy rain.   2. Practicing Gratuity    So many people think that surfing is all about catch the wave. It’s not. It’s about gratitude and practicing a grateful mindset. Floating out there in the blue water is absolutely stunning. Watching a sunrise or sunset is always memorable and meaningfulness regardless of how many you see.    Surfers know to be grateful for the beautiful nature and know to be grateful when there is surf.    3. Patience   Before I learned to surf, I always thought surfers caught waves all day. But the truth is, most surfers spend 80% of their time just floating there, waiting for a wave to come.    You don’t have any control of whether or not a wave is going to come your way.   Yes, you could look at as much data as you want and analyze when the next swell will come, just like you could always analyze the data of you web traffic or create a business plan, but that doesn’t mean a wave is going to come your way and conditions will be great.   You have to wait. You have to stay calm. You have to stay aware.    But when that wave comes, you have to fight like hell to catch it.   4. Now is the only present   Surfers know that when a wave comes, it’s do or die. You fight like hell to catch the wave. You can’t dwell on the past. You can’t say there will be one next time. The time is now and you must catch that wave.    Fight to catch it.   5. Your wave will come. Cheer on your friends.    As a surfer, I love watching other people catch a wave. They may only be 50 feet from me and  I know that if I were 50 feet to the left, I would have caught that wave, but I’m so happy to watch my fellow surfers carve a beautiful wave.   Your wave will come and your friends will cheer you one. Instead of getting upset when people ride that wave you want to ride, choose to celebrate them. We all grow a lot stronger and live a bit higher when we build each other up instead of compete to stand up and push everyone down.    6. The Wave Will End   You know that feeling. We’ve all been there. It’s where you are at the top of your game. Feeling like the king of the world. It’s where you land that job. You get that promotion. He or she says yes to your proposal.    But you also know that other feeling. The other side. When you come down from that high.    It’s great to enjoy the happiness of a win, but not so much fun to stay in the doldrom of defeat. Instead of getting caught up in emotions, recognize when an emotion arises and intentionally choose to either accept it or let it pass. Regardless, know that the teeter totter will come back. Your wave will end.   That’s only natural.   And when your wave ends, you may be back at square one — having to fight through the incredible white water surf of struggle.    The wave will end and you will fight again to get back out there. And another wave will come.    Enjoy it while it lasts. Indulge in it. Tell stories forever about the waves you rode. But know that just because a wave ends doesn’t mean there isn’t another one waiting out there for you.      So, what story could you share? When have you rode a wave? Pretend we are at a campfire and you just have to tell me this story. I’d love to hear it.
8/31/20157 minutes, 5 seconds
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43- Weekly Wrap Up

Okay — a lot of awesomeness this week. But I’ll tell you, it’s really hard coming back juggling work and responsibilities after spending an entire week at a mindfulness center focusing on building long-term mindfulness practices.    I don’t like vacations because I don’t have a life I want to vacate from. I have a life I want to enhance, so throughout the year I invest in myself to learn about something new, whether that’s a new skill or a deep practice.   Spending a week focusing on mindfulness helps me practice mindfulness in my daily life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but what it does is it gives me a reflecting diving board. It forces me to readjust and think anew about what’s important and reprioritize my life.   It forces me to really think about how I’m spending my time. It always gets me to really think about what words am I choosing to say and what actions I choose to act upon.    So, this week reflects a few of the thoughts that have been on my mind since coming back from Blue Spirit in Costa Rica.    1. Wasting Time   It’s incredible to me how time works. Some moments in our lives are as quick as a gust of air and other moments can freeze in place for a lifetime.    Joseph Campbell reminds us that we must give up the life we have planned in order to experience the life that is waiting for us.   So, as I look at my life plan and see my dream board that’s posted on my office wall, I need to realize that those destinations are not nearly as important as the journey I’m on right now.   And if they don’t come true, that’s okay. Because something far greater could come true, something beyond what we could even imagine right now.   2. Mindful Writing   I’ve identified three writing prompts that could help one be more mindful.  It helps a person discover their surrounding and often sparks beautiful creativity.   1. The Beat Word Sketch   Call upon your inner Miles Davis and write with a jazz beat that quickly takes in your surrounding and describes your sensory experience.    2. Focus Freewrite    - Choose a prompting question and then run with it, then train the brain to recognize when the mind has wandered of it’s focus.   3. Straight up journaling that may just be what Anne Lamott calls your shitty first draft. It’s just catharsis splattered with ink. Kind of like if Oprah and Jackson Pollock were to have made a painting.   3. Your Unfair Advantage   My buddy Scott does a great job of breaking down the six traits to find your unfair advantage.     Experience Skill Tallent Knowledge Character Connections   Finding your unfair advantage is not so much about taking advantage of people, but rather the unique gift that you can offer which no one else in the world can.   It’s your art and it’s freaking beautiful. Let it shine.   4, Finding Genius    We’re all geniuses in some way, but not everyone finds it.   To find it, you need to look beyond what the classroom and school typically asked of you. Genius isn’t about memorizing data or performing a task faster than everyone else. It’s not found in a test.     Genius, on the other hand, can be broken down into two separate tracks Genius 1 is better, stronger, or faster than anyone else and Genius 2 thinks so differently that society can’t do anything else but turn their heads in awe.
8/27/20156 minutes, 21 seconds
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42: Finding Genius

I just came back in from kayaking on the Hudson River and would like to share with you a few of my thoughts while out there. Like I often do, I thought about Einstein. He once said,   “If you ask a fish to climb a tree, he’ll spend his whole life believing he’s an idiot.” Einstein is spot on, but unless someone reads this quote or hears it from someone else, he more than likely will never know he’s a genius. We’re all geniuses in some way, but not everyone finds it. To find it, you need to look beyond what the classroom and school typically asked of you. Genius isn’t about memorizing data or performing a task faster than everyone else. It’s not found in a test. Genius, on the other hand, can be broken down into two separate tracks. There are geniuses like Daniel Tammet, the autistic savant who can master a language in just weeks, and then there are geniuses like Steve Jobs and Steve Woznisk who think conceptually and are so creative that they turn the box society stays confined in into a soccer ball for a game. Genius 1 is better, stronger, or faster than anyone else and Genius 2 thinks so differently that society can’t do anything else but turn their heads in awe.   I learned two key lessons about finding your genius: Lesson #1: Never Settle and Level Up with Community   Mario Armstrong, the head tech guru you see on The Today Show shared with me his latest work in motivating people to find their genius. He calls his group, the #NeverSettleClub and he’s touring the nation motivating millennials to break out of the shell they are living in and live their life to the fullest.   After being a part of major broadcasting companies for years, including The Today Show, Mario shared with me that one key difference between the most successful people and those who settle with less is willpower and community. The most successful people have incredible willpower, but they also have a community that supports and nurtures them to do more, be more, and live remarkably.   (That's why I'd be honored for you to join our community of change makers at   Lesson #2: Get Ninja Focused and Grow Some Grit   To find your genius  you need to dig deep and be more micro niche than ever before. You see this problem with so many children. It’s so easy to start something, but hard to follow through and continue.   Kids pick up a new instrument or play a new sport when the going gets tough. Instead of pushing through to mastery, it’s way easier to just move on to something else.   Now let me be clear — this is a major struggle of mine. I like being a jack of all trades, but know that I need to push through to focus and achieve mastery.   That’s why I keep writing. Writing is never easy for me, though I always feel great after writing an article. I’m not a master at writing, but I’ve learned the value of pushing through and learning the intricacies of how to construct prose.   It’s help lead me to write for large media sites like The Huffington Post and Elephant Journal and you could do the same.   I’m not the best writer out there, but I’m consistent. And I deliver.   I push through.    The same goes for training your body for performance or just to get in really good shape. It’s not too hard to get in mediocre mental and physical health. But it requires focus, a dedicated meditation practice, and efficient physical efforts to achieve ninja-like health and awareness.     So, What’s so beautiful about your unique story and so deeply embedded in your passion that no one else could even fathom focusing on for a long stretch?
8/27/20156 minutes, 54 seconds
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41: Your Unfair Advantage

We all have an unfair advantage — it’s your unique genius. It’s that thing that you have that no one else has.   It’s a combination of what you have done in your life and what has happened to you in your life.   It’s a blended smoothie of nature and nurture. What you were born with when you came into this world mixed with how the environment you grew up in and the environment you now live in influences you.   Michael Phelps was born with paddles for feet and orangutang arms. He then put in a hardcore amount of effort to master the technique of swimming. This balance of nature and nurture amplified Phelps’ ability to dominate at the Summer Olympic games.   The same goes for Lance Armstrong. All steroid talk aside, when Lance was diagnosed with cancer, his body was destroyed. After intense bouts of chemo Lance could barely cycle down the street or walk to the mailbox. His body shriveled and any muscles that he had worked hard to develop were now gone from the intensity of cancer. He had years of practice to develop the skill to be a strong cyclist, but now he didn’t have the body.   So, he rebuilt his body into the perfect cyclist’s body with massive tree trunk for muscle legs and this helped him landed several Tour De France victories. And yes, I’m aware that it’s easy to brush off his wins and dismiss them because of steroid use, but I think that’s a cop out. Sure, he may not have won all those races, but he still would have been incredible.   Bill Gates had an unfair advantage when he had access to a computer as a teenager when only very wealthy people or universities could house the computer which at that time was the size of an entire room.   And the list goes on.    Finding your unfair advantage comes from being aware and noticing. What did you come into this world with and what have you developed?   Who have you met?   What have you learned?   What can you master?    If Michael Phelps chose to never swim and pick up a computer instead, I’d doubt we’d here of him and his impact in the world would be far less than it is now.   The same for Bill Gates. If he took up swimming instead of nuzzling his mind into the intricacies of a computer, I’d doubt we’d see him at the Olympics.   My good friend Scott Oldford broke down six traits that make up your unfair advantage.   Scott is a serial entrepreneur in Canada who launched his first business as a teenager. He now runs Infinitus which is a successful international marketing company.    Experience Skill Tallent Knowledge Character Connections   Let’s break that down. What I’m going to do is ask you a question for each trait and I’d like for you to think about. I’ll pause a moment between each question in case you’d like to stop this recording and actually write them down.   1. What experiences have defined you? I call them dots. These are moments in your life that have shifted your life’s path.   2. What skills have you learned?   3. What are you actually good at? We could all learn skills, but what are you actually talented at? What have you mastered or have the potential to master?   4. What can you teach to others because you have enough knowledge to do so?   5. Are you being authentic and have you grown to love yourself? If you do where a mask, when do you find yourself able to take it off? This is where you should focus your time and attention.   6. Who do you know? The world is made up of beautiful people doing amazing things. And we’re all working together. We grow by building people up and helping. When you grow your network based on being authentic, you’re allowing people to help you and will often be able to return the favor. It’s a lost nicer climbing a mountain and sharing the view then being up at top alone.    To dive a bit further, here’s a bit of what Scott had to say when we sat down for a chat:   Enter Scott   So, what's your unfair advantage? I’d love to hear it.   Your unfair advantage is not a bad thing. The word advantage had a connotation to it like the word hustling does. It conveys that you’re winning and someone else is losing.   it’s a hierarchical way of looking at things.   But what if instead of looking at your unfair advantage as a way to take advantage of someone, you look at it as a way to enhance someone’s life. Because if you recognize that you have a gift and you don’t use it and you don’t share it, then that’s the biggest waste of all.     We all have a unique gift to give to this world and it’s our duty to share it.
8/26/20158 minutes, 51 seconds
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40: Three Mindful Writing Tips to Spark Creativity

Sometimes writers find themselves like I was this morning: staring at a blank screen listening to dubstep hoping magically that words will fill the screen. (And that's when my cat Yoda walked across the keyboard and words did actually fill the screen. They just didn't make any sense.) Here are three writing prompts to help you find your creative juice or kick you out of writer's block thanks to some good old friends like Jack Kerouac. You can also use these writing techniques to identify your passion and purpose because all of these writing strategies are meta-cognitive in nature, which is a big fancy word that means you call attention to your thoughts and think about your own thinking. 1.) The Beat Word Sketch This is something my wife and I do often when we go on a date. It's fun. You should try it. The idea comes from Jack Kerouac, one of the most famous Beat Generation writers, who loved exploring the world around him through the art of language.  Kerouac believed that grammar and punctuation constipates our use of language and so by forgetting all of these rules, writers can write words more freely -- much like a musician would create a riff off a jazz beat.  So, here's what to do:Stop and look around and grab a pen and paper or use Evernote. Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, write down what you see and think for the next 5 to 10 minutes. You are not allowed to use any grammar or punctuation, except a dash to separate your thoughts. Allow yourself to think silly thoughts and jump around like a firecracker or just write exactly what you see. It's a game between your left-brain and right-brain that gets you to breakdance with your words. Afterwards, you should have unlocked the potential to continue writing whatever it is that you were trying to get at before writer's block came about. Or... you'll just have a really cool bit of language to share at your next slam poetry event. Here's what it could look like: The lamp shade to my right looks like something straight out of the game clue and my Macbook shines bright in my face illuminating the intensity in my eyes as cafe guests mill around drinking beer coffee and chatting with their friends in spanish -- maybe a Spanish lesson? -- I remember when I first learned Spanish and tried to order a sandwich in Barcelona only to be laughed at by a teenager for my terrible American accent -- learning a language is something I love to do and haven't focused enough on -- learn French or Spanish next? I don't know -- Language is such a beautiful thing like a tango on the tongue between two souls that wish to connect. See? It's pretty weird and takes a bit of getting used to, but once you let go, it flows naturally and something you'll be surprised by what you create. I'm proud of the one line at the end. The rest of the paragraph is kind of junk, but that last line, "like a tango on the tongue" sounds beautiful to me and reminds me of the beautiful sing song of language.  2.) Journaling... (Remember That?)Yes, journaling -- the manly word for writing in a diary. I would be a major hypocrite if I said I journal consistently. The truth is, I have a long inconsistent string of journaling. When I was a kid, I had these dream journals where I would write down my dreams as soon as I woke up. And even as an adult, I can't stand handwriting, nor have I been able to type a consistent journal.  Michael Hyatt struggles with this too and writes about the need to journal. Here's a helpful template he created. The thing about journaling is that if you write in a journal every day, it will turn into a habit that will develop your reflective ability to be more aware and present, all while being able to make sense of your emotions. Consistent reflecting like this and trying to make sense out of the tangled yarn of life experiences will allow you to grow into a more present being. In other words, you'll be in control of your emotions and perhaps empathize with your readers more so than others.  Go ahead and try it. Try to keep a consistent journal. Real men would. Start small with maybe just a few sentences every day and then grow it into what you want. Says Jeff Goins, "If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day. No questions asked, no exceptions made." 3.) Focus Freewrites These are a bit different than journaling and Beat Word Sketches. Journaling is entirely reflective and builds your meta-cognition. Word Sketches break free from grammar restrictions and ask you to describe the physical present (through descriptive language) all while allowing you to roam into your steam of consciousness.  Focus freewrites, however, are... a bit more focused. You'll need to choose a topic to start off with and will need a prompting question.  Here's what to do: Step 1: Choose a prompting question. The question should somehow relate to the topic you are writing. Here are a couple examples: Why is the topic I want to write about important? How did I learn about this topic? Or they could be more existential in nature: What events have most shaped my purpose or the purpose of my reader? Should I grind the coffee beans at the store or right before I make a cup of coffee?   Step 2: Set a timer for 10 minutes (feel free to have the Star Wars theme song be the timer ring tone!) Step 3: Start off by answering the question and then let your mind wander a bit. Once it wanders too far away from the essence of the question, pull yourself back in and redirect and refocus your writing to the origin of the question. So that means you can answer the question a different way, or tell a new story that highlights your answer, or write how someone of another view point would answer the question.  The goal here is to become aware when you stray off your focused path and train your brain to come back to the focus of your writing. It's very much like meditation. When in seated meditation for instance, a common practice would focus on the breathing (in/out) and not think of anything else except, like Tom Hilgardner says, "be one with the breath." What happens, however, is the mind likes to think of... well... pretty much anything to distract you.  The mind will say things like "That itch in your right butt cheek is really annoying, isn't it? You should probably scratch that" or it will say "You should really prepare for that meeting today because it's going to be a tough one."  The practice then shifts to acknowledging that the mind has wandered and simply bring it back to the breath. Because the mind wanders so easily, many meditation practitioners will put words to the breath to help stay focused. During yogic meditation, David Life had us think the traditional mantra "Let' and "Go." So, you may think the word "Let" on the inhale and think "Go" on the exhale. Just like the focus freewrite, the practice of meditation is about coming back to focus on the present. So, with the focus freewrite it's about saying "Whoops, I've been a bit too tangential here" and then coming back to the main topic.    I hope these micro-roasted writing tips have helped you with your writing. Of course, these are only three tips when there are hundreds more to learn. But, then again, it's all about small beginnings right? Drip by drip.
8/24/201511 minutes, 42 seconds
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39: "Wasting Time"

Today I’d like to focus on time. When we live knowing that our future is uncertain, it allows us to experience the present of the now.   You see, I’ve learned that I need to develop a better relationship with time.    I’ve spent the past week at Blue Spirit -- a meditation and yogic lifestyle center nuzzled in the jungle of Costa Rica. It was only 6 days, but felt much much longer. And the reason for that is because we spent precious minutes focusing on the present, not dwelling on the future.   With the help of a group of mindful yogis and yoginis to help keep me accountable, I spent my time intentionally, knowing exactly what I was doing for every minute of the day. There was very little zoning out or busy work. No television. No water cooler chit chat. Just focused attention and meaningful conversation.    It’s incredible to me how time works. Some moments in our lives are as quick as a gust of air and other moments can freeze in place for a lifetime.    For example, I think we’ve all had that class where the clock moved as slow as molasses no matter how hard we stared at the click to try and use the force to make it move faster.    Then again, we’ve all had those moments where time stood still. Like my wedding day when my knees buckled as my wife came walking down the aisle toward me. Or, as my friends with children have told me, like the first second you hold your newborn baby.    Or perhaps that moment when you were handed that degree you worked so hard to obtain.   So often in my past I would stress about wasting time because I felt I only had so much time in this life and so much that I want to do. But, what if instead of worrying about wasting time, I focused on appreciating the time I have in the present? Because I don’t really know what will happen in the next moment.   Joseph Campbell reminds us that we must give up the life we have planned in order to experience the life that is waiting for us.     So, as I look at my life plan and see my dream board that’s posted on my office wall, I need to realize that those destinations are not nearly as important as the journey I’m on right now.   And if they don’t come true, that’s okay. Because something far greater could come true, something beyond what I could even imagine right now.   And in all honestly, this is really causing me to reflect on the life plan template I wrote which I give away free to all of you listening out there at your    I will be revising it to add in this necessary lens.   I still think creating a life plan is really important because it allows you to choose the path you want to walk on, but we can’t just get so caught up in the destination.    A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor to sit down with one man who has the most beautiful outlook on time: JJ Hanson.   As the real man of steel, JJ’s story is one I will never forget.    After serving as a U.S. Marine, JJ enjoyed his role as a Project Director and Operations Manager for an investment company. He and his wife had just started raising a family when JJ suffered a grand mal seizure during a meeting at work.   Doctors diagnosed him with GBM and he was given a terminal diagnosis. He would soon die.   So time was of the essence.    As of today, he recently pushed the NYS Dept of Health to officially declare May 27th New York State Gray Day where people wear the color gray to help promote brain cancer awareness and he now serves on the executive team at Voices Against Brain Cancer.    JJ is still with us and looking stronger than ever, living far beyond his prescribed deadline.    Here’s a bit of what JJ had to share about time:    Enter JJ   So, what about you? If time is our most valuable currency, how do you spend it? At least that’s the question I’m going to be thinking about today, tomorrow, and hopefully for quite some time.   The difference now though is that I won’t worry about wasting time (or at least I’ll try not to), but rather appreciating the time I have now and recognizing it more fully.
8/24/20157 minutes, 53 seconds
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38: Weekly Wrap Up

It’s been an incredible week at Blue Spirit Meditation Center in Costa Rica and learned so much. Of course, I’ll be sharing everything I learned with you in the next coming weeks.   One thing I will share with you now, however, is the value of unplugging.    You see, this week I unplugged for the first time in a long time. I haven’t checked social media, email, and other than writing up a storm and sharing this daily podcast with you, I’ve been relatively unplugged.    I’ve learned I need to continue to do this at least once a year if not every quarter.    Unplugging helps remind me of the things that matter most in life: love, relationships, and appreciating this beautiful world.   But I'm no luddite. I love technology for its extraordinary ability to connect people and it allows me to connect with you.   And for that reason alone, I love this new age of enlightenment that we’re living in. It’s truly a beautiful time to experience the gift of the life.   I threw a lot of information your way, so I’d like to slow it down and break apart a few of topics mentioned this week.   Here's what happened this week on Your Life on Purpose:   Real Lasting Change   To make real and lasting change sometimes it takes concentrating on the present instead of keeping your eye on the finish line. So, often we finish one thing and then move right on next. So, do these three things:   1. take time to assess your wins, and reflect on growing more efficient and stronger. This helps you grow to mastery level and be like a ninja.   2. Keep a weekly (if not more often) relationship with your accountability system.   3. Teach what you are learning to someone, whether through a podcast, a Youtube video, or just teaching the kids at the playground. Okay, don’t really do that last one because that could really creep out some kids. But you know what I mean.   The Art of Staying Still   When we live knowing that our future is uncertain, it allows us to focus on the present and be here now. Under times of immense panic, sometimes it’s best to stay still. Instead of freaking out, recognize that the body rising to the occasion. So, take action, but do so in a calm and collected manner. As former Google executive Irene Au once told me, “The thinking mind is not the creative mind.”    Accountability   Setting up your own accountability system is so crucial to achieving your definition of greatness. We need multiple levels of motivation to help get us to do extraordinary things because the human body naturally wants to rest, eat fatty foods, and sleep a lot. Our mind and our soul have a different plan for our lives, however, so we need to set up accountability systems to make this happen.    Living your life on purpose is your duty. Your duty to yourself, your duty to your accountability partners, and your duty to the world.    You 2.0    Understand that you can be anything you want to be. We’re living in a new age of enlightenment. It’s a new renaissance where since you can learn anything you can be anything. The cliche that “knowledge is power” is truer than ever before.   Like Tai Lopz often talks about, follow the 33% rule and surround yourself with those you can mentor, those you are on the same level with, and those you wish to emulate.      —      All right, well that does it for the weekly wrap up. I know it’s a lot, so feel free to reach out on email or Twitter to say hello and ask any questions you have.
8/21/20156 minutes, 55 seconds
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37: You 2.0: Your Greatest Self

Over the past two weeks, from ep. 23 - 36, I’ve shown you how The Hero’s Journey is a great metaphor for the journey one takes when they live their life on purpose. If you’re brand new to the podcast, make sure you listen through from ep. 23 to see the entire journey. If you’ve just been listening for fun, but now would really like to experience The Hero’s Journey, go back through those episodes, but make sure to reach out to me and let me know what you’re working on. I’d seriously love to know because by you living intentionally, it also helps keep me accountable to live my life more fully on purpose. With The Hero’s Journey complete, I’d like to talk a bit more today about Self-Actualization. This is where you work to constantly better yourself and grow beyond limits. We’re all about being limitless here and to do that, we need to identify barriers, break them, and work on the talents that we possess to do all things great. We’re talking mastery-level here. Like earning ninja-like status. Which, to me, sounds pretty cool. We’re talking about realizing your potential. But, before we even look at the tips I have today, just ask yourself. Are you worthy of greatness? Seriously, as cheezy as that question sounds, ask yourself it. Let me tell you a quick story. I once had a student who I knew was holding herself back. She was extremely creative, yet afraid to show it off. She hit behind this persona that she was really rough and tough  and could handle anything. But, I would see her draw when no one was looking. And I’d see her read these deep philosophical texts and write essays about exploring the truth. To make a long story short, one day after class she started talking to me about her dreams in life. And so I asked her that one simple question. I asked, “Do you think you’re worthy of greatness?”And she broke out into tears. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that and it kind of took me by surprise. But her answer was “I don’t know.” She went on the rest of the year producing incredible work and at the end of the year wrote me this awfully nice letter about how I helped her realize her potential. You see, that’s self-actualization. When you realize that you can be anything you want to be. You just need to work on it.   Here are three tips to grow your unlimited potential.  1. Understand That You Can Be Anything You Want to Be This is truer than every before. Just knowing that we live in a time where you don’t need as much money to gain access to knowledge is enough to help push someone to better themselves with education. It used to be that only the wealthy could afford great education. They had access to knowledge that the average income family could not afford, let alone children growing up in developing countries. Now, to learn something, all you need is the internet. Sugata Mitra has proven that the internet can help a child growing up in the poorest parts of India reach self-actualization. For instance, listening to this show, we have people from all over the world. There’s a large group of people in Nigeria who are listening in, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, The U.S., Canada. No one yet from South America, so I suggest we all share this podcast with someone we know down there to spread the message. This is truly incredible. You can, and you should, listen to lectures at Stanford, Harvard, or Oxford. Look up Udacity or Coursera to see what I mean. There’s no longer any excuse to be be held back my ignorance. If you can learn anything, you can be anything you want to be. I’ll repeat that because it’s so important. If you can learn anything, you can be anything you want to be.   2. Surround Yourself with People who Challenge You. The 33% Rule. Tai Lopez often talks about what he calls The 33% rule. I love it. And I think you will too. It basically states that you should divide your time up between three groups of people. 1. Those you can mentor   2. Those who are on the same level as you   3. Those you aspire to be more like and can learn from Doing this helps you better learn what you know because you’re teaching it and then challenges you to push through to learn and do more because of those you aspire to be more like. And it helps to troubleshoot through your problems with those on the same level as you.   3. Find Happiness in the Now One thing that’s often not talked about in terms of realizing your potential is the power of focusing on now. As humans, it’s so easy to put happiness as out there. Like I’ll be happy and have reached my potential when I have achieved this, or have this new gadget, or have had this experience. Trust me, I get that. I have a tremendous fear of missing out and I also yearn for more. That’s in my DNA.   But, understand that you need to cut what you are attached to. Become unattached from the future and focus on the now. Realize all that you have done and love yourself for who you are right now.   When we cut our attachment to outside things making us happy, it allows us to better focus. It allows us to realize happiness in the present and best utilize what we have in front of us. -- I sat down to talk with Larendee Roos and Dawn Doherty in NYC a while ago to talk about this concept. Larendee and Dawn have worked in the corporate world for a long time and their latest consultancy explores what they call spirit-based business.
8/20/201510 minutes, 25 seconds
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36: Accountability Systems

The Final stage of The Hero’s Journey is often called The Elixir of Truth. It’s when you return home to The Ordinary World and share your newfound wisdom with others. It’s also an interesting time where you need to be in control and set up accountability systems for yourself to stay true on your own path.’ For instance, this week I’m at the Blue Spirit Mindfulness Center in Costa Rica and it’s easy to stay true to my path here. Here, I wake up in an eco-friendly environment, organic food and coffee already prepared and the sounds and smell of the ocean permeate through the air. It’s stunning. I can spend my day focusing on living mindfully. Meditation, yoga, writing... these activities all seem natural here. They fit in. This environment makes it easy to live mindfully. This is the easy part. When the plan takes off the tarmac here and slams me back in JFK Airport in NYC, that’s where what I’ve learned will be tested. Congested traffic and stressed out people in their daily grind are not a very suitable environment to easily practice mindful living. It’s a whole lot easier to join the noise and scream, holler, and get stressed out. That’s where my accountability system comes in and I’d like to share it with you. Throughout my life, I’ve learned a little bit about accountability. Here are The Four Strings to Hold You Accountable so you can continue walking your path on purpose. 1. Duty to YourselfThis is critically important. For you to take actions in the busyness of life that keep you on your path on purpose, you have to love yourself. You have to trust yourself. You have to love your unique beauty. The fact is, you owe it to yourself to live your life on purpose. Life is a beautiful gift and it’s been gifted to you. Use it proudly.   2. Duty to Your Accountability Partners We’re easily influenced by others and I’m one to talk. One of my weaknesses is that I care too much about what people think of me. I want approval from everyone, but I also know that when you do something that matters, you’re going to split the field. Some people will love what you do and others will most certainly not.That’s where your accountability partners come in. Think them as your racing team. Even though you may not practice together every day, you’re there come race day and you have check-ins each week where you talk and share how your training is going. If you don’t show up to practice, you’re letting your team down. I know that when I use to race triathlon, this got me up at 4:30am for one hour swim training sessions. Knowing that others counted on me to do my best helped keep me on track.   3.  Duty to Higher Power You are part of something much greater than yourself. Living on purpose doesn’t necessarily mean that you have one sole purpose in your life. That’s too stressful. Instead, the way I define it is that we have a duty to pay attention to what happens in our life that is beyond our control and live intentionally. Take what you learn from the events that happen outside of your control to further develop your purpose.   4.  Duty to Race Day I believe in race-day motivation. So, think about what your race day could be. Race day is where you show up to perform and everyone gets to see the training you put in. In triathlon, it was really easy to point out those who did train for the months leading up to the race from those who didn’t. Of course, your race day can’t really be planned.   If you’re learning mindfulness and building a steady meditation practice like I am, race day could be those events that happen where we need to practice the art of staying calm. Grace under pressure. Like a car accident or a time of heightened stress. --- Now, of course, there are probably other ways to create an accountability system, but you know that I’m pretty unconventional to begin with so this what I’ve created in my life.  It works for me. But, of course, I’d love to learn more from you on how you set up your accountability system. What keeps you focused on staying true to your own path?
8/19/20157 minutes, 13 seconds
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35: Don’t Panic: The Art of Staying Still

This week I’m at the Blue Spirit Mindfulness Center in Costa Rica and excited to share what I learn here with you.   Today, I’d like to dive into The Final Path of The Hero’s Journey. After you’ve chosen to live your life on purpose and follow your own path, you learn a newfound set of wisdom. And now, as you return back to The Ordinary World, it’s time you begin to practice what you’ve learned.   For me, my meditation practice has helped teach me the art of staying still. Grace under pressure. So that’s what I’m working on right now.   And so let’s being with a true story. It involves a bird, my feet, and a mind that wanted to race in the rain. I woke up this morning with a pretty foggy head. I worked a lot of hours yesterday and went to bed exhausted, sleeping through my 5 a.m. alarm clock. I brewed my French press, then sat on the porch watching the morning rain. I thought about all the things that I need to do today and my mind started racing with "got to get to work, got to get to work." Then, thankfully, my daily habits that I've worked so hard to build kicked in. I've learned to recognize that when my mind does this, that's probably when I need to stop and stay still. I laid out my yoga mat on the porch, just out of the rain's reach, and set my 20-minute timer for meditation. I watched as my mind raced like a Formula One car, zig-zagging through the many errands and assignments I need to get out. The new website I'm building. The book I'm writing. And how I want to spend more time with my wife. I just watched and watched and kept bringing my mind back to the breath. When the timer went off, I moved into downward dog and started my short morning Jivamukti yoga routine. After about twenty minutes, I moved into Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) -- one of my favorite postures. My body stood straight and I breathed Ujjayi breath. Yoga breath. Then it happened. I felt little tiny prickles on my feet. Was it rain? No, because my feet weren't getting wet. Was it little pieces of wood from the rafters somehow landing on my feet? So, I moved my feet a bit to see if I could somehow take a look and there it was. One of the finches that often visit the patio garden had landed on my feet. He stood there, perched on his little tiny prickly legs and blinked at me. Then I did what any normal human would do. I freaked out and came tumbling out of my shoulder stand. Little birdy flew away and I broke into volcanic laughter as I laid there on my side on the patio. I probably looked like a madman to any neighbors who may have seen me. -- I share this story because I'm finally learning how to stay still. And staying still is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I'm a capricorn ( a mountain goat at heart ), and I want to run up the mountain, chase after my dreams, and be extraordinary. So, staying still is not in my DNA. It's my greatest struggle in life. But, I've learned that staying still is a unique strength. It's not a weakness. Staying still allows one to focus. It allows for understanding. And it allows one to be present. As I continue on in my day and start checking off the list of the many things I need to do today, I need to remember to stay still. Here are three takeaway tips that I've learned on how to stay still. 1. Don't PanicThe first line in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says, "Don't Panic." It's hilarious because when you are in a panic, the last thing anyone wants to hear is "Don't Panic." That's juts about as helpful as someone saying "calm down." But it's true. When you're panicking, you're likely going to make awful decisions. Instead of panicking, breathe. Breathe slowly on a four-count inhale and four-count exhale. So, never say, "Don't Panic." Instead, breathe. 2. Three Little BirdsBob Marley's "Three Little Birds" know what's up. They remind us that every little thing is going to be all right, so there's no need to worry about a thing. I'm not sure that that's entirely true all the time because bad things happen, but thinking positive about a situation allows one to be positive when it comes to making decisions. Anytime you enter into a situation where you're thinking negative, like "I'm never going to get this job" or "she's never going to say yes to me" or "I'm never going to pass this test, all that does it stress you out. And stress is a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Kelly McGonigal reminds us in her TED talk that stress, if looked at as a good thing and a sign that you are challenging yourself in life, can be really helpful. 3. Uncertainty During meditation this morning, a large tree branch cracked and fell to the ground and I opened my eyes in shock. Then, I went back to meditation and thought of Pema Chodron. In Living Beautifully: With Uncertainty and Change, Pema reminds us that change happens with or without our help. Tree branches come crashing down all the time, with or without me climbing a tree. When we live knowing that our future is uncertain, it allows us to focus on the present and be here now. --   Let me be clear. I still suck at being still, but I'm getting better. As the rain continues to fall today, I watch its tiny droplets splash to the ground one after another. I'm appreciating the beauty of this moment and grateful that, at least for a brief moment, I haven't moved yet.   — What about you? When has the art of being still helped you in your life?   Reach out and say hello :)   @markwguay 
8/18/20159 minutes, 4 seconds
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34: Real Lasting Change

So often, we like to move on to the next thing after accomplishing a goal.Like, okay, my goal was to bench press 300 lbs — all right did it, now let’s set 350 lbs for bench press.    I’ve seen macho guys in the gym do this all the time.   Instead, though, what if before moving to your next goal, you stop and reflected on what’s worked and what didn’t work?    That way, you can become more efficient and also, as you get better at something, the more advanced your goal the more technical and specific your actions need to be.   To win a marathon is a whole different type of training then completing a marathon.   To complete a marathon, it’s actually pretty simple. You just need to start running consistently about 12-16 weeks before the marathon, running 3-5 miles every other day with one day on Sunday being your long run where you build up to a 20 mile run 2-3 weeks before race day. Then you taper down to peak.    To win a marathon, you bump up the number of runs, you diversity aerobic and anaerobic workouts to increase aerobic ability and muscular endurance ability, you focus on form with ninja-like awareness, and the list goes on.    Point is: As you get better and your goals get higher, you need to adjust your game plan.   Here are 3 tips to bump up your game plan, reflect, and grow stronger:   1. Take the Time to Assess Your Wins   You’re not taught how to do this in school. In school, teachers do this for you. Which is good when you’re in elementary school. Not so much when you are in high school and need to think on your own.    The simplest way to assess your win is to take at least 5 minutes to look at it and make a list.   Write a plus, a minus, and a triangle and make a T-chart thing. Underneath the plus, write down what worked the best, under the minus what didn’t help, and under the triangle, write down what you could change to make your training better.    2. Talk to Your Accountability Partners About Your Process   Maybe you have a morning routine that’s not serving you. Like you get up and just mozie around all morning before finally getting to work. If that’s your style and you’re happy with it, fine, but if you find yourself late at night trying to get work done and stressing about it, then maybe you should.   Whenever something goes well for me, I often talk through the process with my wife or my accountability partners. Just by talking with them, they ask me questions that I wouldn’t have thought about beforehand and help me dive deeper.   To really get better at something, it’s not so much about looking outwards, but having help to look inward.   3.Teach   Honestly, the best way to get better at something is to teach it. There’s over an 80% retention rate when you teach something. Meaning that by teaching something to others, you actually learn the most.   Why?   Because again it forced you to look in and really reflect on what has worked for you and what hasn’t. It forces you to pay attention.    This is the perfect time for you to help mentor someone. You don’t have to be an expert, but your own journey has allowed you to help guide someone down a similar path.    That’s why many call teaching a vocation.   The original buddha, Prince Siddhartha Guatama, for instance, learned this the hard way. After reaching enlightenment, he was like, okay…I’ve learned this. i’m done. He didn’t want to teach it to anyone.    Then he was convinced that teaching is a person’s duty and he shared his journey to enlightenment. 
8/17/20158 minutes, 19 seconds
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33: Weekly Wrap Up

It’s been an absolutely incredible week and I hope you too are feeling good about what you accomplished so far this week.   Take a moment and think about your wins. What is one thing you did this week that moved you down your path on purpose?    For me, my weekly goal was to get published on another top platform besides The Huffington Post. I’m honored to help contribute to The Huffington Post, but I wanted to expand my reach and do more as a writer.   Today I just heard back from both elephant journal and Collective Evolution and they will publish my work.   So, I’m really excited and honored to join them in sharing the message I talk about here on Your Life on Purpose.   I share this story with you not to brag. I share it with you to show that I’m right there along side you, walking down my path on purpose.   You see, I love to write, but I never really thought of myself as a writer. Yeah, I went through a lot of higher education and have these fancy pieces of paper that say I can write, but I never really had faith in my writing.   But I feel strongly that you should practice what you teach, so to be a published author is an honor.   So, for me to write for elephant journal, Collective Evolution, and The Huffington Post is truly amazing.   This week on Your Life on Purpose, we started to wrap up The Hero’s Journey and how, when we live our lives on purpose, we activate the hero within.    Here’s a short lightning round of what we discussed this week. If this is your first time listening to this podcast, first of all welcome, and second of all…go back through the earlier four episodes for the longer version of the tips and stories I shared this week.   1. The Daily Mantra    You don’t need to race an Ironman to benefit from a mantra. A mantra is meant to help whenever you’re going through a mentally or physically challenging time. Take it figuratively and I’m sure we all feel like we’re racing an Ironman at some point during our day.   It’s a short saying that empowers you to push through any physical or mental struggles.    It could be the name of a loved one, a daily affirmation of yours, or an old saying you used to say in the military. The shorter the better. And each word should be like strong hot sauce. And if you like hot sauce, make sure to be careful with Dave’s Insanity Sauce. I made a big mistake putting a tablespoon of that in my winter chili once. Whoo   2. Ask for Help   Men are taught not to ask for help because we are suppose to be the breadwinners and all. Men…this is my message to you. We can flex our biceps all we want, but real men ask for help. Real men share their emotions. We’re human after all.    Anyway — I digress. Ask for help and you will receive it.    3. Work   What is work for? It is just for a paycheck, is it for security? Chances are if you’re listening to this podcast, you look at work as your life’s work. It’s your unique value to give to the world.   I’ve heard from a lot of you listening and from what I can tell, you’re all just like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Arianna Huffington. You want to have an impact and build a legacy.   Am I right?   4. Quitting   When you’re doing something that matters, its hard work. Don’t quit. Build the accountability systems I’ve talked about here on Your Life on Purpose and just keep doing what you create best. Heck — email me if you think of quitting and I’ll write back five reasons why you shouldn’t.   Unless — sometimes you should quit. Quitting is not a bag thing. Quitting can open others doors. Quitting frees up time. And time is our most valuable currency.    I don’t value gold. I value time. I value impact. And chances are you do to.    — Reach out and say hello :)      @markwguay
8/14/20156 minutes, 59 seconds
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32: The Temptation to Quit

After you’ve started your own project and create something, I’ve mentioned how you leave The Ordinary World. You hear your call to purpose and act on it. First of all, that’s awesome because most people never do this their whole life and go to the grave with their best ideas still inside them. Just by listening to this podcast, you’re asking yourself the questions that many people are too afraid to ask themselves. So, that deserves some recognition. But, something unique happens after you reach a turning point and experience a level of success. It’s like you’ve climbed so far up a mountain and got to the top and experience the high of being on top of Everest, then realize the hardest part is ahead of you. You still need to come down the mountain and that requires you to be even more dedicated. In fact, to keep going with the mountain climbing metaphor, most deaths on Mt. Everest happen on the way down. Just read the book Into Thin Air by one of my favorite authors, Jon Krakauer to know what I mean.  And I think you’ve all been there before. So, first I’d like to offer two tips to resist the temptation to quit and then one tip about when YOU SHOULD quit. 1. Have Faith In Yourself So, I’ve always loved learning about religions. And it’s incredible when you look at religious texts, how the temptation to quit is a recurring theme. In the Christian Bible, for instance, when Moses was leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and  to the land of milk and honey, he great weak and tired. He said in the Book of Numbers, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.” Moses had faith in God as a higher power that it would work on well in the end. Depending on whatever religion you believe or don’t believe in, have faith in your beliefs. For me, I do believe that when you live your life on purpose and it comes from a source of love and compassion, there are outside forces that help guide you on your path. But, also have faith in yourself. You have talents, you have a genius, and only you can walk the path you’re walking. You’re on your path for a purpose. 2. One Step at a Time Personally, I’ve always hated this piece of advice “one step at at time.” I know it comes from the 12-step model that’s popular in recovery programs, but it bugs me. I’m a let’s run kind of guy, jump into the deep end, or parachute into a field kind of guy. So, one step at a time just bugs me. But, it’s true even in those examples. When you’re running, it’s not about a big complicated process. It’s about one simple process, one step at a time. When I would coach swimming or running and when I was out on a long run or a swim, I would think about it. One time when I swam a 10k in the Hudson River, I remember being underneath the George Washington Bridge and wanting to quit swimming. I was cold, the river smelled terrible with gasoline, and I thought about how much longer I still had to swim. I focused on stroke at a time. When Lance Armstrong was asked what he thought about when he ride for over 5 hours on his bicycle, he said one pedal stroke at a time. Up and down. It’s very Zen. When you focus on one step at a time, it allows you to be in the present and not get caught up in the distraction of the future or the past. It’s allows you to focus on being here now. 3. Sometimes You Should Quit No, if you’re climbing Mt. Everest and you don’t want to come down, you shouldn’t quit. You should muster up every cell of strength you have to get down to the bottom. That’s the real finish line there. Just google Beck Weathers to see what I mean about this. His story is incredible. But, sometimes you should quit. You should quit when it’s not working. You should quit physical daily habits that are not serving your greater good. Junk food. Not enough sleep. You should quit being friends with people who bring you down or dis-empower you. You should quit your job if you live for the weekends, are miserable during the day, or spend your day complaining about your job with your coworkers. Easier said that done I know. Trust me, I’m terrible at quitting something. I’m a Capricorn and am good at charging up a mountain, but terrible at stopping to reflect and go, should I continue to climb this mountain? For example, I quit racing triathlon a couple of years ago. I had put three dedicated years of training, sometimes over 15 hours a week, and done really well. But I went too far and dipped into overtraining. My mind was in this terrible cycle of thought that went made sense at the time, but now I realize how stupid it was. I had hurt my ankles and should have stopped cycling, but I was afraid to lose the aerobic endurance benefits of the many months of training I had put in to get so fast. That’s how aerobic training works. For a cyclist to ride his bike for 5 hours at a fast speed, it had little to do with that day. It had to do with the many months of slow aerobic training to get there. I remember making the decision to quit when my ankles hurt so bad that I couldn’t even dance at my friend’s wedding. That was an ah-ha moment for me and I realized how stupid I was being. Looking back now, I realize that I should have stopped about a year earlier. Now, I’m able to use that lesson to help guide me on when I should quit things in my life. I also quit podcasting at one point too. I had run this podcast about transforming education and interviewed the movers and shakers who were transforming education all around the world. It was a lot of fun, but barely anyone listened. So, after 20 or so episodes, I called it quits and started up The Traveling Cup podcast which got triple the amount of people listening. So, here’s the point. Don’t always look at quitting as stopping something. Look at it as the ability to Start Something. Start Something That Matters. Time is our greatest value and we only have so many hours in the day. Quit doing those things that zap your energy, so you can start those things that empower you on your life on purpose. Reach out and say hi on Twitter and say Hi :)    @markwguay 
8/13/201510 minutes, 29 seconds
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31: Work...The Turning Point

This level of The Hero’s Journey is called “The Turning Point”. We’ve all been here before. This is the moment when you actualize something new in your life. For example, if you’ve ever picked up a new sport and struggled at it for a while, then after practice you starting getting pretty good. Then, one day -- all your hard work pays off and you’re no longer mediocre. You’re actually pretty good at it. That’s The Turning Point. It’s the moment when you become solidified in your new role. In other words, there’s no turning back now. In The Goonies, for instance, it’s when they are so far already on the treasure hunt that they can’t turn back. For Neo in The Matrix, it’s when he chooses the red pill over the blue pill. He is no longer in ignorance and see’s a whole new reality. It’s impossible for him to go back to his old belief system. I know that, for a lot of people that I’ve interviewed, a turning point for them was when they saw the lack of freedom they had in their career. There’s a whole new movement in the future of work. The key element? Freedom. Here are three examples of ways you can experience more freedom in your work. Once you taste the freedom, there’s no turning back. By freedom, what I mean is that you build your work around your lifestyle, instead of the other way around. Traditionally, we’ve all worked jobs and then built our lives around it. I know when I was graduating from college, a lot of my family members gave me advice like, make sure you choose a job that supports the kind of life you want to live. Which, I guess is good advice, but I haven’t met too many people who work 9-5 that wouldn’t want more freedom to choose when they work. Now, because of the internet and global connections, the 9-5 is becoming moot. 1. Digital Nomads. There is an almost underground clique of people who are called digital nomads. They travel the world and work from where ever there is a wi-fi signal. At the beginning, most were website designers who contracted out their work to overseas clients. Now, I’ve met digital nomads who podcast, write, create courses, create online products, conduct virtual training sessions, run Etsy shops, and the list goes on. 2. Freelancers. There are also those who don’t travel, but work full-time as a freelancer. And here’s why. Traditionally, most people work for one employer and get one pay check. That’s okay until you are let go from that job. You’re then left without the money you need to survive. Freelancers have flipped this upside down and shown me that if you have a skill, you can market that skill to potential clients. Whatever your skill is, you can then have a portfolio of clients. Say you have 10 clients for instance and one contract ends or you end up losing that client for one reason or another. If that happens, you still have 9 more paychecks coming in. Now, that sounds like pretty good job security to me. 1.Entrepreneurs. It’s pretty incredible how someone can make money these days. I just interviewed Jason Zook and this guy has made money doing things like selling each page of his book to a sponsor or offering a company to buy his last name. He’s one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. One great benefit for many is that in the future of work since you can make money so many ways, it’s possible to bring your most creative desire and turn it into a profitable income. That’s incredible
8/11/201512 minutes, 10 seconds
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30: Asking for Help (and a Note to Other Men)

The bottom line of today’s message is this: Real heroes are humble and check their ego at the door. They ask for help.   By the way, I realize that many of you are at a point in your life where it’s embarrassing to ask for advice. You may be a CEO of a company, or just too old you think to ask for mentorship. That’s your ego talking to you.   That’s the thing you need to check at the door.    When I’m 80, I hope I’m still wise enough to take mentorship from a teenager when it’s needed.   How do you know you need help? When the resistance kicks in and says you just can’t do it.   You’re just not smart enough.   You’re not agile enough.   You’re not strategic enough.   And the list goes on. There’s always going to be some sort of mental game that our brains play.    But imagine if someone came up next to you and gave you just what you needed. They interrlocked their hands so that you can step rise up to climb the tree.   If you’re open and receptive to help, them mentors will show up to help hoist you up the tree.   It’s pretty simple actually. When you challenge yourself to push to a new level, you’re going to need a lot of help.    Like I said, real heroes are humble and check their ego at the door. They ask for help.   I wish someone told me that when I was a younger. As a man growing up in the United States, we are taught to be and self-sufficient, strong, independent. Asking for help shows a sign of weakness. And only losers ask for help.   Real men survive on their own.   Man is that stupid advice.   I’ve learned now, however, that I don’t want to just survive. I want thrive. I want to grow. I want to do the extraordinary. And chances are you’re right there with me.   By the way, I give full credit to my wife for teaching me this lesson. When we first met, my wife and I went on a road trip and we got lost, but I didn't want to admit it. And I didn’t want to ask for help. Now I realize how stupid I was being and probably wasted a bunch of time.   With accepting that I need help to do the things I want to do in my life, I’ve learned that there are a couple of myths out there about mentors. And today, I’d like to dispel a few of those myths and provide a couple tips to attract the right mentors in your life.   If you like this topic, make sure you listen to episode 4 where I talk about the different type of mentors Virtual Mentors and In-Person Mentors.   1. No One Wants to Help You Unless You Help Them First   Okay, it’s always a great idea to think about how you can help someone, but sometimes you just can’t. I’ve found that the majority of people, when you ask for help, they really want to help you. In fact, most take it as an honor.    Keep your request as simple as possible, but be open, real, and honest about what you are trying to do.    If you are in school, almost anyone will give you free advice or guidance because we all remember what it was like being broke in school.    So, if you’re stuck right now at a point, ask someone for a bit of help. Seriously.   2. Choose One Mentor   You don’t have to choose one mentor. In fact, I kind of think of The Mentor Tree as having many branches on it and each branch is a mentor.    You can have many mentors and how much time they commit to you will vary for each situation.    For me in the past, I often would ask one person to help mentor me and then have many conversations with people who I ask for small pieces of advice.    The nice thing about having one mentor is that you develop a relationship with them, but I really enjoy thinking of my coffee chats as mentorship sessions.    When I interview people for The Traveling Cup podcast, we talk for over an hour most times and these conversations are like mentorship sessions for me.    Because I am helping them by providing a platform to share their message (great advertising), they agree to sit down for a one hour conversation. It’s a great win-win, but I always feel like I get more out of it. I owe so much to the people I’ve interviewed, especially since a number of them probably charge over one thousand an hour for consultations.    3. But, What About Your Idea?   Trust me, I get it that by sharing what you are working on, someone may steal your idea. But, chances are they won’t.   They are too busy doing their own thing, nor do they have your unique ability to take that idea into creation.    If you are afraid of someone stealing your idea, you could ask each person to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, but I’ve never heard of that working out well.    Instead, think of it this way.   If your idea is really that good, then it needs to happen. And if the only way to have that happen is to be open with a mentor about it, then go with it.   By the way, my wife totally disagrees with me on this, so you can too.   --   This was the first year where I specifically asked someone to be a mentor to me and we met once a week for several weeks in the Spring. His name is Tim McDonald and I owe him so much.   As the former Director of Community for The Huffington Post, he didn’t have to give me the time of day. But, he happily sat down with me several times to show me how he  builds community.    He’s become a great friend of mine too and I’ll do anything to help him achieve his goals.   Just remember that your mentors could also be the books you read, the blogs you follow, or the podcasts you listen to. You can even read a great biography and learn vicariously through the life of someone who achieved greatness. That’s why I love biographies. Just this year I’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and the latest biography on Elon Musk. And, while I don’t plan on starting up a technology company, I learned a lot about what it takes to get to their level. And, by the way, both of these men have had a slew of mentors throughout their life.    Steve Job’s mentor was a meditation teacher, for instance, who married Jobs and his wife.    So, as you go throughout your day today, think about your mentors and consider how much more efficient you could be in achieving your goals if you learn through the experiences of others. If you don’t need to re-invent the wheel, don’t do it.
8/11/201511 minutes, 45 seconds
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29: What is Your Mantra?

So, today, I’d like to do something a bit different. I’d like to offer you a tip that I learned (and I’ve alluded to before) that helps squash the resistance.    It’s called, developing your mantra. Here we go….   What is Your Mantra? I stared bleary-eyed at the mile marker 10 as Lake Seneca glistened in the periphery. My legs felt like bricks and sweat stung my eyes like battery acid. Energy depleted. Exhausted. Spent. I whispered my race mantra, “This is Water....ebb and flow,” over and over as my legs continued to somehow pump up and run and maintain proper running form. Three miles later I crossed the finish line for my first Half-Ironman race, beating my race goal by ten minutes with a smooth time of 4:50:26 and quickly found my way to the nearby ice bath. For my athlete friends out there, you know what I’m talking about here. We’ve all had moments when our bodies said, “Nope, You’re Done. Stop Moving.” But, when our bodies tells our minds that we’re done, it’s possible to breakthrough to a whole new level. When I use to coach triathlon, I had my all of my athletes share their mantra with me before a race. I’d either have the mantra on a sign or yell it at them when they would pass by. When they saw it, it was like a match sparked new fire in their eyes. You don’t need to race an Ironman to benefit from a mantra. A mantra is meant to help whenever you’re going through a mentally or physically challenging time. Take it figuratively and I’m sure we all feel like we’re racing an Ironman at some point during our day. Three Tips to Develop a Mantra1. Keep it Simple A mantra is a quick and meaningful saying that motivates the soul to push the body. Mine was “This is water...ebb and flow” because I knew that the pain I was feeling at that difficult moment in the race would subside and wash away like water on a beach.   Now, my mantra is “you’re getting better every day.” 2.  It Could Spark a Memory One of my friends used to say a phrase his old military friend used to same to him when they fought in war together. That phrase would spark all the training he had put in in the military and remind him that he would persevere again. 3.  The Power of a Name The mantra could be as simple as a name of a child or loved one. Sometimes just the name of someone you hold close to your heart can help give you the strength you need to push through. Now, what’s your mantra?    I mentioned that my new mantra is “I am getting better every day.” It’s more of an affirmation, but it still works the same.    The reason I like this one is because I caught myself saying during a particularly difficult day, “I’m doing the best I can.” My wife and I had taken yet another emergency trip to the hospital and her Lyme Disease had hit one of it’s worse points. My checking account was getting closer to zero and we had already spent the majority of our what was supposed to be the downpayment for our first home.    It was a really difficult time in my life. And, honestly, my wife and I are not in the clear by any means. We still struggle every day. We were actually just in the hospital last week for an emergency endoscopy. But, what’s changed is my mindset.   My mantra, I am getting better every day, helped me continue to move forward in my entrepreneurial goals, my writing, and, of course, creating this podcast.      So, I hope the mantra helps you too stay on your path and live your life on purpose. 
8/10/20157 minutes, 23 seconds
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28: Weekly Wrap Up

Here’s what happened this week on Your Life on Purpose:   1. The Hero Inside All of Us   We embarked on The Hero’s Journey and are taking a close look at how it mirrors our live when we choose to live on purpose.   We all have a genius. We all have a hero inside all of us. It’s our mission to activate it and live it fully. That, my friends, would be sucking out the marrow of life, knowing that when I came to die that I had truly lived and not just merely existed.   And, yes, that was an allusion to Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden.   2. A New Vision   There are plenty of moments where we are able to see anew with a whole new set of eyes. When have you experienced a new vision and saw something so beautiful you didn’t even know existed beforehand?    For many of the people that I’ve interviewed, the new vision (like an awakening) happened when they started living their life on purpose, in accordance with their passion. When their motivation to work came from the soul instead of just trying to pay the bills, they found a new burst of energy and excitement. And this carried over into their new path in life.   When you live your life on purpose, you’ll have more thirst for life than ever before.   3. Leaving The Ordinary World   Steve Pavlina, author of Personal Development for Smart People, helped us realize that once you stop living in the rat race and focus instead of living from the heart, you sort of lose connection with the regular world. You see the rat race and it just doesn’t make sense anymore.    When you live your life on purpose, things change. You choose to look at different things, choose to talk about different things. The cliche watercooler chat and living paycheck to paycheck just doesn’t make sense anymore.   4. The Call to Purpose   Jean Kilbourne, the filmmaker behind the widely acclaimed documentary series, Killing Us Softly, helped me realize that we all have times in our life where we have a decision. Something will make itself present and we have the chose to act on it or just ignore it.   For Jean, she saw how advertising in the 1960s was influencing women in a negative way and knew it would only further manipulate young girls growing up to act feminine like the advertisements showed them women should be like.    So, she stopped modeling and took on The Call to Purpose.    Have you heard a call to purpose?    5. Refusing The Call   Last episode shares the story of Ben Lecomte who will be swimming the entire Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to San Francisco as part of this year’s world sustainability initiatives set forth by the World Economic Forum.   His ridiculously awesome call to purpose raised the bar for me.   it’s people like Ben that help push me to heed my call to purpose. Because level 3 in The Hero’s Journey is when the resistance creeps in and talks people out of their call. And, my friends, we all know there are plenty of reasons out there to not live your life on purpose. And I’m not a perfect role model. I constantly want to give up.    Sometimes I wish I could be like some of my friends who work a job that there not really happy with, but it allows them to be provide for their family. They are okay in their comfort zone and honestly, sometimes I’m jealous of them. I wish I could do that.   But, I’ve learned, that I’m not like that. I look at life like a video game. I like to level up as much as possible and grow my mind, body, and soul.    I only have so much time on this earth and I plan on on making it count.     Are you with me?
8/7/201510 minutes, 32 seconds
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27: Refuse Your Calling?

Level 3 is where the resistance really starts to kick and we find a number of reasons to talk ourselves out of walking our own path.    Why?    I think Paulo Coelho, the author of The Alchemist, said it best:   “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”  - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist    If you’re listening to this podcast, my guess that you’ve heard a call to live more intentionally. More in tune with your purpose. Or you may just want some sort of change.   But, even when you know this, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy to enact that change.   You have responsibilities to yourself and your family that need to be taken into consideration. And it’s so easy to grow comfortable in the everyday.   The everyday is what your body is used to. And, as much as we as humans don’t like to admit, we’re creatures of habit.    And western culture absolutely loves being able to predict everything. That’s why Big Data is so popular. Why many people get paid a lot of money to predict the stock market, who will win the sports’ game, or even why we love SAT scores because they could predict that a student will be a good  brand investment for the school.   But, when you live your life on purpose you produce art. And art is beautiful my friends, but extremely unpredictable.    So, as you go throughout your day today, become aware of the things you do or say in your day that you really don’t want to do. It could be a conversation with people that are toxic and drain your energy, but you do it anyway because they are coworkers or you’ve been friends with them for a long time. It could be working a job that doesn’t match your creative ability.    Here are three tips to move beyond level 3 and push through the refusal of the call.   1. Pull the Rip Cord and  Let Go. You’ve already jumped out of a plane. Now, you just need to pull the rip cord and trust the parachute as you guide yourself back to the ground. You are part of something much greater than yourself. And know matter what religion you believe in or don’t believe in, understand that letting go of trying to control everything allows you to tune in and focus on the now. When you are able to focus on the now, it becomes easier to see the doors that are being open for you. So, walk forward confidently and let go of not being able to see the finish line of your path. Just keep walking forward.   2.  Stretch Your Comfort Zone   Do small things to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Even though you know you want to grow into the best version of yourself, it’s easy to develop a comfort zone. Through routine and just what’s happened in your life, you’ve developed a comfort zone. Now, it’s time to stretch it.    Chose one thing you can do that scares the crap out of you and do it. Go skydiving or take up rock climbing at the local gym. That’s what I did. No, not skydiving because that scares the living daylights out of me, but I took up rock climbing. Rock climbing has helped me conquer my fear of heights.   And to demonstrate how scared of heights I am, my palms just got sweaty as I’m saying this.   And yeah….I just realized I put a limit on myself. So, I am making this challenge to you. If you come out to NYC, I’ll go sky diving with you. Right near where I live is the place where all the West Point military cadets learn skydiving.    But, rock climbing has helped me grow calm in the face of fear and stare at the fiery mouth of a dragon (or at least I think it’s cool to look at it that way!)   3. Be a Role Model for Others   Sometimes, knowing that your actions will help others keeps you on your track. I know that helped me stay consistent with my triathlon training when my clients and team expected me to perform. And if you have kids, imagine how much better of a person you’re going to be and a role model for them when you persevere and  grow a limitless mindset.    And a surprise 4th superpower tip.   If you’ve been listening to this show for a while, you know I often talk about positive affirmations. Find one that works as your mantra. It’s a saying you say to yourself every time the going gets really tough. The mantra has helped me a lot in my life, especially during physical feats like running a marathon. Whenever the pain got so hard I wanted to walk or just stop all together, I said my mantra and it helped keep me going.   Back then, my mantra was “Ebb and flow”. The image of the water going back and forth helped remind me that pain comes and goes.   Now, my mantra is “you’re getting better every day.”    What’s yours?   ---   Ben Leconte knows how hard it can be to not give up and persevere. He is one of the best examples I can think of of staring down the dragon and slaying it to continue on The Hero’s Journey.    When Ben sets his mind to accomplish something big that many people would consider impossible, he does it. How big am I talking about? Ben will soon be starting The Longest Swim. He will swim from Tokyo to San Franciso — the entire Pacific Ocean.   Yes, I’m serious. When I heard of Ben I just had to meet him because I didn’t think he was real.    So, in other words, think of Ben’s story whenever you want to give up. I know I will.     Check Ben’s work out over at The Longest    So, The Refusal of the Call is the level in The Hero’s Journey that everyone faces. When you choose to live your life on purpose, you will face it.   And you have the power to slay it and move on. And I’ll be right here helping you do so too.     Tomorrow, we move to level 4, The Mentor Tree. 
8/7/201513 minutes, 3 seconds
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26: The Call to Purpose

If you’re new to this podcast, head over to to catch up and learn more.   Yesterday we talked about leaving the ordinary world. That’s the world where people are not walking their own paths, but instead are following the paths that outside forces say you should follow.   if you’re hearing a call to live more aligned with your purpose, then you’re hearing The Call to Purpose. It’s where you seek an adventure to learn more about yourself and do more in your life.    A hero feels a call to adventure when they need to leave the ordinary world and set off for a life-changing adventure.Perhaps you’re in an unsatisfying job or you’re taking another class for another degree, but it doesn’t feel perfect. It’s time now to choose your own path.   Are you ready to accept this mission?    Here are 5 things to do when you hear The Call to Purpose.   1. Identify a Quest   What’s a quest, you ask? A quest is a goal so epic that it scares you. It challenges you to be more and do more. Here are a couple examples of what people have already done, ranging from high school students bored with standard curriculum and sitting in rows for 8 hours a day to the corporate employee bored in his job.   -Buy a Website and Blog for 67 Days (this needs to be public so the world can see it) -Write a Book/Movie -Launch a Youtube Channel -Obtain a Certain Fitness Goal or Weight-loss Goal -Go Vegan (and Create a Vegan Cookbook) -Ride a Motorcycle Around the World (Yes, someone really has done look. Check out the Your Life on Purpose episode w/ Leon Logothetis. I can’t make this stuff up.)         -      Write a love letter every day to your significant other   Remember that you will always have the chance to go on another quest, so don’t worry about picking the right one right now. Stop deciding and start doing.   And if you are stuck on what would be the quest you’d like to start, here’s an easy way to find out.   List all of the things you are interested in doing. Keep on going and writing down this list until you feel your core shake or begin to shed tears. Fear can be a beautiful guide to knowing what is most important to your life.   2. 67 Days   The research says that it takes roughly two months, 66 days to be exact, to develop a new daily habit. Do something small for at least 5 minutes that relates to your quest every day for 67 days.   3.  Create at least one SMART goal for your quest. It needs to be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based (it needs to be accomplished within two months time).   4. Think of the reason behind your quest. This is called your why.    5. Make a pledge to accomplish your quest and share it with an accountability partner like your best friend or a lover. I call this The Purpose Manifesto.   As you go throughout your day today, imagine what will be different once you accomplish your quest. Every time you think of a situation, stop and fully recognize it. Take a mental snapshot of this moment. Embrace it. This is your destiny.   As you think about what quest you would like to go on, understand that failing can sometimes be the best learning opportunity, but for whatever reason we, as a society, have looked at failure as a bad thing. Heroes recognize that if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. Fail. Reflect on your failures. Grow better. This is called failing forward and heroes have it tattooed on their soul.   Jean Kilbourne knows The Call to Purpose all too well. A former model in the 1960’s, Jean began to see how advertisements were manipulating images of women: erasing blemishes, increasing bust lines, and at some times even creating completely fabricated women through some nifty copy and pasting.    At home, Jean began to the influence these advertisements had on young woman. Jean heard The Call to Purpose and began her adventurous mission that produced the extremely popular documentary called Killing Us Softy.    It was truly an honor to get to sit down for a chat with Ms. Kilbourne. I’ve been a big fan of her work since I first watched Killing Us Softy in college. If you haven’t seen the video, you need to check it out. It’s a perfect example of the kind of art that comes out of a person when they take on a quest.    Tomorrow, I’ll dive into Level 3 of The Hero’s Journey where we face “The Refusal of the Call”. It’s a dark place and the way to get through has everything to do with how we react to stress. 
8/5/20159 minutes, 39 seconds
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25: Leaving the Ordinary World

Yesterday I mentioned this week’s focus, The Hero’s Journey. I’ve been re-reading Joseph Campbell’s work (good thing I saved all of my books from college) and today I’d like to further explain the journey a hero takes to live their life on purpose.   Because when you live your life on purpose, you activate your inner hero.   And I realized that The Hero’s Journey is exactly what a person who chooses to live their life on purpose goes through.   If you don’t know the work of the late philosopher and mythologist Joseph Campbell, you absolutely need to read his work. There’s also a lot of beautiful archived interviews with him that you could download.   Most people already know The Hero’s Journey, even if you never heard of Joseph Campbell, because it’s the basis of a lot of popular movies out today: Star Wars, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings.    And here’s the thing: if you are listening to this podcast and you’ve been joining me here for a while, you know you are a hero.    Because it takes heroic courage to choose to live intentionally and live your life on purpose.    Living out the greatest version of yourself takes tremendous courage when faced with the daily pressure to follow someone else’s path.   A real hero follows his own path.   So, let’s take a look at The Hero’s Journey and how it applies to living intentionally. I’ve broken it down into ten levels and will focus on level 1 today, The Ordinary World.   Are you ready to accept this mission?   Level 1: The Ordinary World   The Ordinary World is the world that everyone else is living in, expect you.   This is the world you may be living in now. For some reason, you want more. You’re questing for more because you know that you don’t want to follow everyone else path.   You don’t want to conform. You want to expand and grow. You want to fly higher because you think so many people have grown comfortable flying low.   To leave the Ordinary World,  You must think big and be ready to fly high.   Let me tell you a story. There’s an old story about a guy named Icarus. You probably heard of it. But, most people don’t know the whole story.   The story goes that a guy named Icarus was trapped in a prison with his father. To escape, his father attached wings using wax to both himself and his son, Icarus.   The father gave him two warnings. Most people only know the first warning: fly too close to the sun and the sun will melt the wax and you’ll fall down to the ocean and drown. No one really remembers the second warning: fly too close to the ocean and the waves will lap water on your wings -- the wax will harden and you’ll fall in the ocean and drown.   And now that you know this, think about this throughout your day.    It starts to become really apparent how often we limit ourselves.   If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably hearing a call.    I  call that, The Call to Purpose, but in The Hero’s Journey wordage, it’s called The Call to Adventure.   Steve Pavlina heard the call midway through his career in computer technology and game developer. He was always a bit of a misfit as a kid, having been locked up in jail as a kid.    He turned his life around when he realized that the reason behind his disdain for authority as a kid may be because he just didn’t want to live like everyone else.   Steve Pavlina is now a widely acclaimed life coach and motivational speaker. He had one of the most popular self-development blogs up and running when most people (like me) didn’t even know what blogging was about.      Tomorrow, I’ll dive into level 2 of The Hero’s Journey: The Call to Adventure because I’m sure a lot of you are hearing that call and eager to get started (if you haven’t already).
8/5/20159 minutes, 28 seconds
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24: A New Vision

I’d like to expand a bit on the first stage of The Hero’s Journey when you realize that you no longer want to live in the Ordinary World and hear a call for adventure.   This is when you live your life on purpose and choose to walk your own path instead of following someone else’s footsteps.    It could be when you decide to leave the job that weights you down or stifles your creativity.    It could be when you decide to let go and stop resisting change so that you can embrace it.   Or it could be something completely different. When you feel the Call to Adventure, it’s a sound only you can hear.   And it’s up to you to listen.   Yesterday, Seth Godin referenced Pema Chodron and this morning I decided to reread one of my favorite books by Pema called Living Beautifully.    Pema Chodron gives a beautiful analogy for what it’s like when you experience something you’ve never even known existed.    Pema needed cataract surgery — perhaps a surgery your parents like mine have gone through. After her eye surgery, she began to see colors and the mountain view like she never saw it before. Meer words could not accurately describe the expansiveness of beauty that she now saw.    Until then, she said, “she didn’t realize how limited her vision had been.”    This metaphor pretty accurately describers what buddhists have described as being awake or enlightened.    All buddhist stuff aside, I think this also accurately describes the feeling once you start living your life on purpose and with intention — moving toward the direction you aspire to go.    Many of the people I’ve interviewed who have quit their mundane job to work for themselves have had a similar new vision. Many say that they didn’t realize how unhappy they really were with their work beforehand.    Ayelet Baron is my favorite example of this. Ayelet is the former Chief of Strategy for Cisco Canada. Not the silver haired rapping Sysco or the food-producing company called Sysco. I’m talking about the technology company that’s based in Silicon Valley and pulls in 50 billion in revenue each year. Talk about a huge company.   Ayelet chose to fire herself from her corporate job because she saw how mentally, physically, and emotionally draining it became.    While her daily routine of flying all over the world may have looked adventurous, she grew tired of living out of a suitcase and in hotel rooms.   After choosing to work for herself, she had a realization.    Here’s a bit of what Ayelet had to say:   Enter Ayelet   Now, I’m not saying go quit your job and everything will be all perfect in your life. No, there are plenty of amazing companies out there that need your help. You don’t need to  be an entrepreneur to live your life on purpose. The world needs teachers, airplane pilots, and any other number of salaried-based jobs.   Having A New Vision lies in living authentically to your truest self. Dig Deep. Be Real. That is real courage.    And, even though I’m not a full-time entrepreneur yet, I can tell you that it’s a lot easier to work a job that has set hours and a weekly pay check.    For instance, when I sat down to plan this podcast episode, I was reading Pema Chodron’s book Living Beautifully and thought how peaceful it would be to just live like a monk for a while. Meditate, look at the leaves, write and repeat.    But, then if I were to do that, I wouldn’t get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with you. Which, by the way, over 20,000 people a month are tuning in and the number is growing.    So, what about you? There are plenty of moments where we are able to see anew with a whole new set of eyes. When have you experienced a new vision and saw something so beautiful you didn’t even know existed beforehand?      And yes, that includes when you meet your signification other. I know when I met my wife Kaitlyn, I felt such a surge of energy inside my heart and I felt such beauty that I’ve never felt before meeting her. 
8/4/201510 minutes, 18 seconds
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23: The Hero Inside All of Us

Last week, I closed the week talking about what it means to be a hero and it seems that that topic struck a chord with a lot of people.   So, I’d like to expand on that a bit today and dive deeper into the hero inside all of us.   I’ve also just come home from a six-hour drive home and listened the entire time to archived radio interviews with Joseph Campbell. So, the topic of “the Hero’s Journey” is alive and well in me right now.    Since I started off my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve been fortunate to get to meet a lot of incredible people and not a day goes by where I’m not amazed at what someone is creating or their desire to be the change they want to see in the world. There’s this incredible spark in someone’s eye when they’ve found their sweet spot and are die-hard passionate about their work.   I’ve seen this same look in a lot of my students too when they work on a project that means far more than a silly grade.   It’s a beautiful thing.  I mentioned before that it’s like the soul has been activated.   But not everyone has found this yet. And that’s okay.   You see, here’s the thing: there’s a hero inside all of us. It’s up to us to recognize it, shake hands/say hello and then choose to accept the mission. You Define What “Hero” Means If you haven’t found your thing yet or don’t feel like a hero, it may be because you’re living up to someone else’s expectations or someone else’s definition of success. Keep in mind that a hero does not have to be Superman. Like Carol S. Pearson says in The Hero Within: “the heroic journey does not require you to become something greater than you are. It merely requires absolute fidelity to your own authentic path.” For instance, it’s easy to compare ourselves to and idolize a few celebrities who have made it big so-to-speak. That’s extremely toxic and doesn’t do ourselves again good. You can’t compare your week 1 to someone else’s week 100. And on top of that, sometimes to get to that celebrity status comes at the cost of being a poor parent, friend, or spouse. For example, there’s a beautifully done video that shows a day-in-the-life of one celebrity entrepreneur. The day starts at 6am and ends around midnight. From what we can tell in the video, roughly 30 minutes are spent with the family which includes two children under the age of five. I bring up this example because this is a personal struggle of mine and how I define a hero.   Perhaps you can relate to this struggle?   I want to have as much impact as possible with my work, but am not willing to sacrifice being a good husband nor a good father to any future children.   When Seth Godin and I sat down to chat, we talked a lot about how we’re truly living in a beautiful time where a person could be anyone they want to be.   It’s just that the hero inside all of us can easily be squashed by the rules that society has placed on us since children. Now, more than ever before I, if you have a dream you want to live or a message you want to share, you can do it.   Here’s a bit of what Godin had to say: So, what’s my definition of a hero? Someone who follows their heart and aims to do incredible good in the world and constantly works to level up their mind, body, and soul to limitless possibilities without sacrificing being a good spouse and family man.   And I think I’m doing a pretty good job at that.     So, as I don my superhero cape today, I’d like to ask for your definition of a superhero. What’s your definition?  
8/3/20158 minutes, 5 seconds
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22: Weekly Wrap Up

It’s a beautiful day ladies and gents. And it’s been an incredible week here at Your Life on Purpose. When I first launched this podcast, it wasn’t only meant to be the audio book to the free guide I wrote called Your Life on Purpose. You all convinced me to keep this podcast going and I’m seriously grateful for that. Over 1000 people are tuning in each day and the listenership keeps growing. Quick note: It’s really important to me that I share stories and tips that help empower your life and help you connect your dots. We all have a unique thread that ties our story together and this is our unique value to deliver to the world. With that said, if there’s something I say that you want me to talk more about or you have something you think I should focus on, let me know. [email protected] @markwguay If you don’t have your copy of Your Life on Purpose yet, get it over at So, it’s Friday and that means we’ll quickly go over the concepts shared this week. Before I do that, I have a Public Service Announcement: You see, I’m fortunate to get to meet a lot of incredible people and not a day goes by where I’m not amazed at what someone is creating or their desire to be the change they want to see in the world. There’s this incredible spark in someone’s eye when they’ve found their sweet spot and are die-hard passionate about their work. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s like the soul has been activated. But not everyone has found this yet. And that’s okay. You see, here’s the thing: there’s a hero inside all of us. It’s up to us to recognize it, shake hands/say hello and then choose to accept the mission. Five Tips for Friday to Help Tap into Your Inner Hero 1. Get out of Your Own Way As Jay Stolar showed us, so many times we just have to get out of our own way. It’s so easy to talk our selves out of a great idea we have. Or, even worse, we allow ourselves to give in to beliefs that we’re not good enough. That the people we admire are someone superhuman. When the truth is, the world was made up by people that were no smarter than us and we can change it. So, take a look at your actions and reactions and ask yourself, are you getting in your own way? Stop getting in your own way and let your inner hero out.  1. Self Limiting Beliefs Everything in the research books says that I should not be successful. I’m adopted. Was raised in a poor family with parents who didn’t go college.  And had an alcoholic as a father.  From a very early age, I believed that if you put your mind to something, there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals. I know we’ve all heard that as a kid, but I really believed it. I needed to believe it to survive and thrive. But I still find myself with self-limiting beliefs. Like I need another college degree or that phD, or I need someone who I admire to recognize that my work is good. These beliefs are totally normal. And all the people you admire have them too. In fact, they more than likely have more self-limiting beliefs because the ladder they can fall from is a lot higher so-to-speak. 3. Living Authentically When I went to the book store the other day, I noticed that they no longer have a “self-help” section. It’s now called “Personal Development” or “Life Enrichment” or something like that. That’s because the term “self-help” has become taboo in our culture. I know whenever I went to the book store as a kid and went over to the self-help section, my friends would make fun of me because that’s where people who are messed up would go to get fixed. Ughhh -- what a backwards way of thinking of it. That’s where people go who want to better themselves. Seriously, if you want to achieve greatness you need to be open to help, you need to be vulnerable and identify your weaknesses. Every top-performer that I’ve interviewed asks for help and looks as help as an opportunity to get better. This is how you become limitless. 4. You Don’t Need Permission Stop asking for permission. You don’t need it. We’re raised in a way that we grow up always having to ask for permission. It’s gotten to the point where 16-18 year old students still need to ask to go to the bathroom during school And if you know behavior psychology, you know that this type of consistent behavior changes the connections in the brain. What this does to us as humans is that it wires us to ask for permission If we have to ask for permission to do the most basic of human processes like going to the bathroom, how can we expect people to become their own bosses as entrepreneurs or creatively solve problems that no one has ever solved before. It’s impossible do something really innovative and extraordinary if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission. Instead, give yourself permission to just focus on being YOU. This is your life on purpose. 5. Define What it Means to Be a Hero Define what it means to be a hero on your own terms. Instead of comparing your self to others who you think are heroic.  Consider, instead, to define what it means to be a hero.  For instance, I’m finding a lot of those I meet tend to compare themselves to and idolize a few celebrities who have made it big so-to-speak.   That’s extremely toxic and doesn’t do ourselves again good. You can’t compare your week 1 to someone else’s week 100.
7/31/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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21: You Don't Need Permission

If you’re new to this daily podcast, head on over to to get your copy of Your Life on Purpose, 10 actionable tips to live a life with impact which goes with this podcast and if you’d like, you’ll also be able to join our weekly newsletter.   Okay, here’s the thing. You don’t need permission. I see so many people, young entrepreneurs, students — just real incredible people that want to do amazing things in this world and they are waiting for permission.   You don’t need any permission to live the life you want to live and do the work you want to do.    Most people feel they need permission because that’s how most of us are raised. In the school system, it’s designed around a permission economy.    Students usually to age 18 often have to ask to go to the bathroom before graduating high school.    Just consider the behavior psychology of that for a moment.    If a person spent the first 18 years of their life asking permission to go to bathroom, it makes sense why many people wait for permission to live their lives more authentically.    But it’s difficult to go from asking permission to go to the bathroom to thinking fully for yourself. But this is where real game changing work happens. When you listen to your heart, shuck permission, and do what it is you want to do with your life.    TED Speaker and activist Rose George knew this firsthand when she wrote The Big Necessity: The Unemotional World of Human Waste and Why it Matters.    She began to calculate all the trips we are taking to the bathroom and asked herself, “Where does all this stuff (I’ll say stuff in case there are any children listening in the car), Where does all this stuff go?” You know…the stuff….   She traveled the world and looked at the waste systems that we have built around all around the world.    Just a humbling side note: If you’re listening to this podcast, you more than likely have a toilet that you go to the bathroom on. Understand that this is something to be grateful for. Yes, Seriously.    Out of the seven billion people on this planet, only 4.5 billion people have toilets.    One billion people practice open defecation which means that they go to the bathroom in a field, usually next to the fields where children play. And no, they don’t have toilet paper. Toilet paper is a luxury.    These are some of the facts I learned from Rose George. Here’s a bit more of what she had to say when we sat down for a chat not too long after her TED talk went viral:   Enter Ep. 34 w/ Rose George    So, Rose George didn’t need permission to be a game changing journalist. And she certainly didn’t ask to go to the bathroom.    What about you? As you go throughout your day today, try to see if there’s a moment where you either ask for permission or wait for permission.      Just remember, this is your life on purpose. You don’t need permission. 
7/30/20156 minutes, 20 seconds
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20: Past Lives, Purpose and Living Authentically

This past weekend Saturday, something interesting happened. I had a clear calendar. I didn’t have any business meetings or calls scheduled. No meet-ups planned or mastermind sessions. So, I did my morning routine of coffee, meditation, yoga, then hopped in the car and started driving. I ended up again at Omega Institute -- the mindfulness center in Upstate New York. And I’d like to share with what a bit of what I learned there. (FYI -- my goal is to bring you thoughts and reflections on connecting the dots and living purposefully. So fully expect my work to be one part Richard Branson and one part Dalai Lama -- not that I’m nearly as cool as either Branson or the Dalai Lama, but you get the point.) I knew that Dr. Brian Weiss had a weekend retreat scheduled there, but I didn’t plan on going there before yesterday.   Dr. Weiss is the leader authority on reincarnation and past-life regressions. After graduating from Yale and starting up his psychotherapy practice, Dr. Weiss began his practice. Everything changed when a patient of his name Catherine began to experience what seemed like past-lives.    This led to Dr. Weiss further exploring hyposis-therapy, being a featured guest on Oprah, and starting a world-wide therapeutic movement with past-life regressions.    Past-life regressions, says Dr. Weiss, can help a multitude of ways. They can help someone release subconscious trauma in one’s life along. But they can also help tune one into their spiritual path in life. This is why I’m talking about him today on Your Life on Purpose,    And it may surprise you that concept of reincarnation is not only something that’s more common in the traditional Eastern religions. Here’s of bit of what Dr. Weiss had to say about the concept of reincarnation:   Enter Dr. Brian Weiss    As weird as it may sound to you, when I drove to Omega last week, It was almost as if my spirit was taking me for a ride and I decided to follow. Has something like this ever happened to you? By the time I really knew what was going on I had found a seat next to an older woman with short white hair (who I found out later is a shaman) and closed my eyes as Dr. Brian Weiss shared a bit of lecture then took us through a past-life regression. He spoke about a lot of things and it got very spiritually deep.   Here’s what he had to say purpose. He says that every person here is here for a reason and that our spirit selves chose or were chosen to enter this life for a reason. It’s up to us to tune in and listen to what our body, our mind, and what the universe is telling us. Interesting, right? What do you think? (Honestly, I’d love to hear your thoughts so hit reply and let’s keep this conversation going :) Just one thing. Instead of stressing out over whether or not you are living your one and only one true purpose in life, focus more on living intentionally. When I say “this is your life on purpose,” I’m not really saying “live your purpose,” but rather “live intentionally”. Live beautifully, as Pema Chodron often says, and have your actions reflect the direction you want to go in life.--- How did I come across Dr. Weiss’ work? That’s an interesting story. I was first introduced to Dr. Weiss’ work when I was 16 years old. I had just learned how to pop a pimple and tie a tie when I did my first past-life regression. You see, I went to a very small, very Catholic private school in New York. At our junior prom, the school had brought in post-prom activities to try and keep the kids from going out and getting in trouble. They brought in these inflatable sumo wrestling suits, some other games, and then this woman who they called an “Angel Reader”. That piqued my interest, so I got in line. A short brown-haired woman with round shoulders, the angel reader spent about five minutes talking to each student about the angels they have in their life. When it came my turn to meet her, I sat down and said hello. Forty-five minutes later, she had asked if she could send me a CD. She ended up sending me one of Dr. Brian Weiss’ past-life regression CDs. So, at age sixteen, I did my first past-life regression. And this is strange because if the school found out that this woman was talking about past-lives and such, the priests and nuns at my school would have thrown her out. And to further this, this woman had bought me a CD and paid to mail it out to me.   I didn’t realize it at the time, but reflecting back on it I now realize how strange that any of this even happened. Throughout college I would do past-life regressions here and there and I found them very interesting. This, I kept pretty hushed, along with my meditation practice because I knew no one else who had even heard of Dr. Brian Weiss and this is before even meditation was openly talked about in Western culture. Now, business CEOs rave about the benefits of meditation. Back when I was kid, that didn’t happen. Reflecting back, I realize that this was a dot in my life. A big dot. It helped steer me down the path of tuning in to myself and exploring my passion for living purposefully and helping others to do so. Did I share any of this with Dr. Weiss? No, I didn’t have time. When we had a break between sessions, a long line of people waited patiently to see him. I did go up to meet him, snap a photo of us, say thank you and ask him one question. “What tips could you share on how to live more authentically?” I said. He gave this long beautiful answer that talked about how people tend to put masks on themselves because we are afraid of how others will judge us and if people will still love us. And here’s where I learned a valuable lesson: when you go to record someone, make sure your device is actually recording. After meeting Dr. Weiss, I returned to my chair to check the recording. It didn’t record. My $300 dollar professional recorder didn’t record Dr. Weiss’ beautiful answer. Perhaps it wasn’t for me to share. Perhaps it was for me to hear. To realize that I should stop wearing a mask. That I should be more authentic. Which is why I’m sharing this story with you. I’ve never spoken publicly about past-life regressions nor have I told anyone other than my lovely wife the story I just shared with you about junior prom.     So, what about you? Something tells me that if you’re still listening to this, perhaps you too can relate to this story. Is there a mask that you wear?     I know that it’s difficult to truly be our authentic self in the professional setting. Perhaps that’s another reason why so many people strive to be entrepreneurs now and build a lifestyle business. But, when we don a business suit and enter the office, does that mean that we have to strip away those unique bits that make us extraordinary?
7/28/201512 minutes, 24 seconds
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19: Self-Limiting Beliefs

Last episode, I've talked about  ways we can identify and crush our barriers and I mentioned self-limiting beliefs. And Sometimes, we just need to get out of our own way as Jay Stolar taught us. Today, I’d like to dive deep into self-limiting beliefs. Why?   Because I’m having them right now and something tells me you might too.    Sometimes whenever I have self-limiting beliefs, I like to think back to my childhood.   I mean, heck, everything in the books says I should be a failure.   I’m adopted. Was raised in a poor family with parents who didn’t go college.  And had an alcoholic as a father.    When I look at Maslow’s hierarchy of self-actualization, it makes little sense why I’ve been able to get to where I am today.   Apparently, the research says adopted kids typically end up in jail or really struggle to make something of themselves. They also tend to have bizarre personalities due to attachment or abandonment issues. For instance, that’s why adopted kids like Steve Jobs of Apple Computers and Larry Ellison of Oracle have been known to be a bit strange.   And, yes, I totally understand that I just suggested that I might too be very strange. And if that’s true, I’m okay with that.    I also grew up with an alcoholic father in a poor family who always struggled to pay the bills.   I never really thought much about my background and didn’t think my childhood was any different from everyone else’s.    Then, I started to study developmental psychology in college and started teaching. And, as a teacher, I really got to see personally that the research tends to be true.   Children who come from balanced and loving families tend to be better students. There’s less behavior issues and students’ grades tend me to better.   These students tend to be top performers.    And I mean, it makes sense. If as a child you need to worry about how you’re going to get dinner tonight, or if your parents are always away at work or you need to work to help pay the bills.   Or as a teenager you need to pay for your own apartment (as I’ve had many students who’ve had to) it only makes sense that you’d have a bit of a problem with authority along with being unable to concentrate on studies.   The choice between what to focus on is pretty clear when you have to choose between doing your algebra homework or making enough money to buy pizza for the family.    This is where Maslow’s Hierarchy comes in. Abraham Maslow believed in something that we now call Maslow’s Hierarchy.   You may have read it or heard about it in John Green’s book, The Fault in Our Stars.   It’s basically a pyramid where to get to the top you need to develop the things on the bottom.    If you don’t have the things in the bottom, it’s difficult or nearly impossible to get to the top.    For example, if you don’t have food, shelter, and water, it’s very difficult to focus on or even care about things like morality or philosophy.    Maslow argued that for a person to reach his/her potential, the base line needs need to be met before one can move on to their greatest potential.    Let’s go through them really quickly and just ask yourself if your needs are met in these areas.   Answering and reflecting on these questions will help you reach the greatest version of yourself, or what Maslow called self-actualization.    1. Are your physiological needs met? Can you breath, eat, sleep and have access to food on a regular basis?    If yes, then move up.    2. On to Safety. Do you have to worry about money or do you not have a safe place to live?     If yes, then move up.   3. Are you loved? Do you feel like you belong?   If yes, then move up.   4. Do you feel confident in yourself? Are you confident in yourself?    If yes, then move up.    If you said yes to all of these things, then you are in the realm of self-actualization. This doesn’t mean that you’ve made your millions of dollars yet or have had the impact you want to have in your work yet. It just means that you are able to work on being the best version of yourself.    Here you question and identify your values, morals, have developed empathy for others even if you disagree with them.    What happens often though is that before becoming our greatest selves, we get stopped at the second last stage. Our confidence is shaken by self-limiting beliefs.    What are self- limiting beliefs?    - Thinking you don’t have the right degree to do X. Perhaps you’re thinking of getting another degree right now to build your confidence?  - Feeling you don’t have enough experience - Feeling like an imposter? (I’ll talk more about imposter syndrome on another episode) - That you’re just not good enough - That because you were born into a poor family, you can’t compete with someone who grew up in wealth and had private schooling - I’m too fat (talk about being 4% body fat and feeling like crap) - The list goes on   Sometimes, to overcome these self-limiting beliefs, all it takes is calling them out and recognizing them. Then, just say, no thank you. And move onward.   Just know that pretty much everyone has self-limiting beliefs.   Right now, for instance, I’m feeling a bit of imposter syndrome.    I mean, here I am… the guy behind Your Life on Purpose and sharing what I’ve learned with others about connecting the dots between school, your passion, and what the words needs.   And I definitely don’t have it all together. I’m no one where near perfect. I have tremendous flaws.   I have a master’s degree, but no doctorate degree.   I have made some money as an entrepreneur, but I’ve never made enough to live full-time as an entrepreneur (yet, at least).    I write for The Huffington Post and have self-published a couple books, but I’ve never had a NYT best-seller.    And my own personal list of self-limiting beliefs go on and on.     When self-limiting beliefs start to run their way with you, you may be in what Jeff Goins calls the In-Between. That space where you are creating something remarkable in a transition in your life. It’s probably stressful, but you’re living more fully.   Enter Jeff   So, what about you? When you go throughout your day today, notice if you ever talk yourself out of something. Maybe you want to speak up at a meeting and don’t because you don’t want to sound stupid. Maybe you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. Maybe you sit down to create something and don’t feel it’s good enough.      Just know that this is normal and focus more on creating and less on stopping. 
7/28/201512 minutes, 28 seconds
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18: Get Out of Your Own Way

Today I’d like to focus on mindset and how so often times we need to get out of our own way.   We’re living in a world today that gives you the potential to do real meaningful changemaking work if you allow yourself to do so.   I see a world where we have the tools to create transformative and meaningful work that can build a better tomorrow, regardless of how much wealth you grew up with or what school you graduated from.  And I’m not just some guy who is saying that.   I’ve seen it. I’m a part of it. You’re a part of it.   I’m constantly blown away by the future of work and what people are doing these days to both do what they love and make a difference in the world.   When I first starting interviewing the successful entrepreneurs and game changers of today, I wanted my interview process to be organic, so I kindly asked that each person I interview introduce me to someone who they think I should interview.   That led me to interviewing people from all different walks of life.   Digital Nomads like Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur.   Mindfulness Gurus like Raghunath   Wall Streeters   Former Corporate CEOS   And here are two things I have learned from all of this.   1. You can be anyone you want to be. 2. You need to get out of your own way.   When we shift from being an observer to becoming an active participant in our lives, something interesting happens. What's often found is that the greatest obstacle to accomplishing our goals comes from inside.   Most of the time, we just need to get out of our own way.   I've seen it in the students I've taught who want to carve their own path instead of the ones that their parents or society say they should follow.   I've seen it in myself when it came to taking my first entrepreneurial leap. Heck -- I feel it in myself as I share this with you write now.   I've seen it in the extremely successful entrepreneurs I interview who, before launching their business, came face-to-face with their fear of failure.   Often times all it takes to get out of our own way is just a subtle shift in thinking and focusing on the positive. Easier said than done, I know, but don't take my word for it. Listen to Jay Stolar. Jay struggled with intense bouts of depression throughout his life. He never felt exactly like he was enough. In his new music video called #MyOwnWay Jay says, "If you get out of your own way, you can accomplish anything."   In his music video #MyOwnWay (which benefits the Love is Louder movement), Stolar spreads the message that happiness comes from how you look at your situation and your willingness to love yourself.   Enter Jay Stolar   With a marker in hand, Stolar writes the word "Buried" on the reflective surface of his mirror. Others line up to share their deep seed of negativity and write their word, as well:   "Disfigured" "Homeless" "Dependent" "Not enough" "Depressed" "Destructive" "Broken"   Perhaps you too have a word that embraces your greatest fear. Being rejected. Failing. Go ahead, write it down right now or if you are driving, say it out loud. I’ll wait.   What's my word? "Stuck." If I look at my life right now in one way, I can feel incredibly stuck. After my wife's severe case of Lyme Disease poured concrete over our feet just four days after we said "I do", it's become a daily struggle to not feel stuck. She went from running a half-marathon to sitting in a wheelchair in a matter of weeks. And for a vagabond like me, "Stuck" is a tough emotion to feel. But if I invert this word and focus on the positive like Stolar demonstrates, my word can become "Focused." And someone with wanderlust, if I am not forced to be focused, It's incredibly tough to sit still and focus on the present.   If you were to invert your word and focus on the positive, what would it be? Free? Beautiful? Human? Supported? Everything? Alive? Healthy? Never give up?     As a teacher, an entrepreneur, and just a guy who wants to be the best version of himself, I've seen my fair share of destructive criticism. There's a whole lot out there that tries to hold you back. Don't let yourself join that crowd.
7/26/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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17: Weekly Wrap Up

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and thought about something. What if I do a weekly wrap up of all the things talked about this week?  What if I share what I learned this week? Because I’m here with you. I'm just a regular guy trying to make a positive difference in the world. A lot of the information that that I’ve been sharing on this podcast is deep. They’re simple thoughts, tips, and tricks I’ve learned from interviewing a lot of the world’s greatest change agents, but they are deep. It takes time for lessons like this to sink i n and become part of the daily mindset and become habitual.  Besides that’s where real and meaningful learning comes from. There needs to be some level of wrap up to revisit all the things talked about so far.  Also, really learning something comes from doing. Learning is throughdoing. So, please don’t just listen to this podcast. Actually go ahead and try some of the things out that I talk about here.  What did I learn this week? Overcoming Resistance:  As Mario Armstrong put it to me, "Resistance is a necessary energy to achieving your purpose. The frict ion that creates resistance comes in many forms, fear of failure, self-doubt, lack of getting that YES. The best way in my experience to deal with resistance is to take a step back and ensure you are aligned with your true purpose."  - Self doubt - overthinking - not knowing where to start - questioning your purpose - fear - feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities  - time  Learn to recognize the resistance and push through. I’ll see you on the other side.  Focus: We live in the most distracted time of our history. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and I really feel like we’re living in a new renaissance, but this connected age has me distracted all the time. Instead of studying more, doing more research, stick to creating something, but do one thing at a time. If you do two things at once, it will most likely take twice as long with half of the quality.  Redefining You: Sometimes things happen in your life that force you to stop dead in your journey on purpose. Losing a job. Losing a loved one. Or some major shift in your life.  Instead of looking at these as roadblocks. Look at them like dots and connect them to redefine your identity. This only deepens your purpose. We are part of something much greater than ourselves and when things of this magnitude happen in your life, that’s when I put my ear to the ground and tune in, listen, and recognize that this is a dot -- an important stepping stone to a deeper purpose.  Crushing Barriers: there's nothing different between you and those you aspire to be more like. Fear, self-doubt…they’re totally normal and I can’t name one person I’ve interviewed who didn’t have fear and self-doubt. In fact, most of the people I meet and interview (multi-millionaires, successful entrepreneurs, the greatest movers and shakers of our time) continue to struggle with fear and self-doubt. We all have barriers and sometimes the hardest part about breaking a barrier is actually recognizing it and seeing it.  Then, the next step is grabbing the sledgehammer.  The hardest part is recognizing the barriers we have because they are often invisible to us. Sometimes breaking out of the everyday routine or doing something different and putting ourselves in a different social setting, for instance, can help us to think different and recognize our own limits.  -- Okay, so that’s the wrap up for this week on Your Life on Purpose. If you like it and appreciate the wrap up, let me know. I could do this every week if that helps and I will upload it earlier for those who are ahead in time. I know we have thousands of listeners coming from Australia and you guys are 12 hours ahead of me, so I could put these up earlier if that helps.  Send me an email at [email protected] or on Twitter at markwguay.  And P.S. If you’re listening in Australia, feel free to invite me over for some coffee. I’d be happy to fly on over and see a bit of your beautiful country. And perhaps catch a nice surf session.  All right everyone -- thanks so much for tuning in and you my friends have a beautiful day.   
7/24/20157 minutes, 48 seconds
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16: Crush Your Barriers Creatively

Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."   It’s a quote I think of often as I go through my life, taking a look at what I repeatedly do and wondering how can I take what I do on a regular basis and level it up, make it better, so that I can level up my life, my impact, and break through barriers.   So, today’s focus is on growing a limitless mindset by identifying your barriers.   Before getting into anything yet, just think about that for a minute. How do YOU identify your barriers?   I truly believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. It’s just up to you to believe in yourself.    Like Steve Jobs said, the world was made of by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it.   In short, there's nothing different between you and those you aspire to be more like.   Fear, self-doubt…they’re totally normal and I can’t name one person I’ve interviewed who didn’t have fear and self-doubt. In fact, most of the people I meet and interview (multi-millionaires, successful entrepreneurs, the greatest movers and shakers of our time) continue to struggle with fear and self-doubt.   We all have barriers and sometimes the hardest part about breaking a barrier is actually recognizing it and seeing it.    Then, the next step is grabbing the sledgehammer.    I’ll talk another episode about self-limited beliefs and how to pop that balloon on another episode. Today, I’d like to talk about how we can recognize our barriers.   Break Your Personal Habits    Sometimes we need to break our habits — yes, even the good ones, to recognize a barrier.  Setting up a creative routine like Todd Henry mentioned on episode 10 is crucial to achieving greatness.    Why? Because a routine and sticking to a schedule means you’ll actually get something done.   I mean, seriously, if you wait for an idea to strike, you’ll be standing in a field by yourself for a long time. And forgot about actually making a living off your work.    Sometimes, however, to break a barrier you need to break routine. You need to step outside of your cave and go, “oh, interesting” and go on a stroll to the unknown.   Sometimes going out of routine can spark creativity and, even better, help you connect the dots in your life.   I recently sat down with the founder of Neurons Away, Sally Safadi, and talked about how we can be more creative and recognize barriers.    Sally showed me how little 5-minute writing or drawing prompts can help someone think different. So, I don’t mean you need to do anything huge to identify barriers. I’m just talking bout 5 minutes here. And the great thing about Sally is that her work is backed by Neuroscience.    She studied neuroscience in school and then decided to create a book that asks people really strange questions with the goal to spark an emotion and curve the brain to think different.   So, the thing here is not to wander for a long time (though vagabonding can definitely feed the soul). What I’m learning is that having good productive habits and being a bit more scheduled than I’d like to be can help me be consistent and more productive.   But it’s crucial to meander a bit off my scheduled path because that’s where creative insight could strike.   Break Your Social Circle Habits: Talk to people outside of your community.    I’m a pretty open-minded guy or at least I try to be, but one thing I learned about myself is that I often tend to stick with other people who empower me. Often times, these people tend to have similar belief systems that I do.   So, I make sure to have conversations with people who may think very different from me.   In business terms, that means having conversations with people outside your field of understanding. If you’re a coder, for example, go talk with a sales representative. If you’re an actor, go talk to an accountant.    Or, in your personal life, engage in meaningful conversation on topics that my mother said I should never talk about at the dinner table.   Religion  Sex Politics  Philosophical Stuff   Throw a potluck at your house and ask your friends to invite someone you don’t know.   Start a meetup using and hold a socratic cafe discussion. I love socratic discussions.    I remember having an amazing talk about living authentically at Columbia University. Included in the discussion were a motley crew of personalities: me, a homeless man, a professor, a dancer, and others.    We definitely did not agree whatsoever, but we listened and had an open dialogue.   Conversations like this get me to think different. And maybe that will for you too.    So, what about you? How do you get yourself to think different? How do you identify and then break a barrier?     Let me know on Twitter @markwguay or send me an email at [email protected]
7/23/20159 minutes, 21 seconds
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15: Redefining You

Head over to, where you’ll also be able to get the free life plan template that goes with this podcast. Today, I’d like to talk about redefining you. I’ve never met someone who didn’t work hard at building their identity. That structure that makes you YOU. The webbing of your purpose. In fact, I’ve spent my whole life building it. I’ve invested a lot of college tuition and coaching lessons along with devouring self-help books like candy. When the bookstore Borders lined every Main Street and before Starbucks sat at every corner, I’d sit in the coffee shop with a pile of books and a foamy latte. I decided early on that I only have so much time here on this planet and I want to make an extraordinary positive impact. Even as a kid, I loved the big hairy questions like why am I here, what is my purpose. I guess I was a bit of a weird child in that sense. I’ve learned, however, that holding on so tightly to an identity can make it difficult to live in the present, especially when an event so debilitating causes the identity to fall apart. That event came in the form of a microscopic tick bite with poison so clever that it harvested a concoction that would send my wife to a wheelchair not long after she crossed the finish line of her first half-marathon. When my wife and I got married, we dreamed of spending our summers traveling the world. We started to make plans to move to San Diego where we’d make PBB come true.  Poodle Baby Beach Just four weeks after we said, “I do”, the paralyzing symptoms of Lyme Disease poured concrete over our feet. We were stuck in place. No summer travel. No San Diego. No Poodle. No Baby. No Beach. It’s been an incredibly hard journey, but I’ve learned to redefine who I am and my wife has too. I’ve learned the power ofThe Yet Mindset. Here’s some takeaways from what I’ve learned. Three Tips towards Redefining You 1. Focus on What You Can Control It’s way too easy to list all the things you don’t have: money, time, etc. So when it comes to moving forward in life, focus on the things you do have control over. For instance, I look forward to one day owning a home near the tropical beach where I’ll get to play fetch with Ben the Poodle and go on long walks with my wife as we breath in the sunset. But that hasn’t happened, yet. We’re seeing a world-class doctor and following a recovery protocol that takes medicinal wisdom from both Eastern and Western worlds and it has yet to bring about recovery. What I do have control over, however, is my work. I can take the needed steps to work from my computer and be an entrepreneur. That way, when the day comes that her health improves to a point that we can move, we’ll be able to move quickly. There’s a lot we don’t have control over, and to someone who likes to be in control like me, it takes a daily effort to push aside what I don’t have control over so I can make room to work on what I do have control of. 2. Add in the Word “Yet” The word “can’t” will easily pervade the mind when something catastrophic like a chronic illness enters your life. It’s okay to acknowledge that right now you can’t do something. I mean, if you literally can’t lift your leg because it’s broken, you can freakin’ lift your leg, right? So add in the word “yet”. There’s a lot that I’m terrible at and working really hard to make happen, so I add the word “yet” in a lot to my daily lexicon. PBB hasn’t happened yet, but it will. I’m not a full-time entrepreneur yet, but I will be. My wife’s not fully recovered yet, but she will be. 3. Build Your Own Support Forgot the cliche support group. Build a network of people that empower you and support you in your goals. For instance, my wife and I recently attended a weekend conference called Living Well with Lyme Disease at Omega Institute in New York. There, we met inspiring people and heard empowering stories from other people with chronic illness. Find your own tribe of people that empower you and keep them on speed dial. You can create a private Facebook group for you all or meet at the local coffee shop once a week. You’re the one who is ultimately in control of redefining you, but it’s helpful to have helping hands that keep you on the ladder.  4. Consider a Quest When Leon was sitting in his small apartment in Los Angeles, he grew so depressed that he thought seriously about ending it all right there. Instead, he hopped on his vintage motorcycle and drove around the entire world relying on people’s kindness to fuel his quest. Daring, oh yeah! A bit crazy, sure! But when Leon used the power of a seemingly ridiculous quest to drive him, literally, he found a deep sense of purpose. Moving forward helped him stay positive and he let go. He trusted other people to fuel him. And what he experienced on that voyage is that there’s a lot of love out there. The real fuel for Leon’s trip wasn’t the gas that drove his motorcycle. It was the love he received from the people he met along the way. Here’s what he had to say when we sat down for a coffee chat: Enter Leon Chris Guillebeau helped me see how a quest can help someone drive their sense of purpose. In fact, he wrote a whole book on it called The Happiness of Pursuit. When I sat down with Chris, he told me that a quest goes beyond rational thinking. It’s not driven by material desires or left-brain thinking. It’s driven by the heart and the heart can be a whole lot more powerful than the mind. Here’s a bit of what Chris had to say about why someone may want a quest to help redefine themselves: Enter Chris So whether it’s a quest or just taking some time to write and connect your dots again, when something so powerful happens in your life that it literally forces you to redefine yourself, it’s no easy task. It requires you to do something that many people ignore. It forces you to look inside, take a deep look, and speak to your spirit. “We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha    
7/21/201510 minutes, 29 seconds
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14: Focus

Before even getting into today’s episode, I’d like to celebrate that so far we’ve had a total of 15,000 listeners tune in to Your Life on Purpose.    That’s amazing!    I also wanted to let everyone know that I am creating a habit-hacking course that helps you live your life on purpose, do what you love, and make a difference.    I’m still talking with designers and such, so it’s in real beta form, but I invite you all to sign up for my weekly newsletter where I’ll keep you in the loop on when it goes live.   Sign up at   On today’s episode, I’d like to sit still and focus on focus.   Because here’s something I think you can relate to.   I want to do so much in my life. No, really, it’s like I have a thousand lives in me that I feel I need to live.   I want to do so much, yet if I don’t focus on one thing I’ll never get anything done. Seriously.    We live in the most distracted time of our history. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and I really feel like we’re living in a new renaissance, but phew…this connected age has me distracted all the time.   I get messages from all over the place and it’s not like I can just ignore them. I mean, seriously, once my mother learned how to send a text message, forget it — my world of staying focused is over.   Because if your mother sends you a message you can’t ignore it, right?    If I do, I’ll get five more messages by the next morning of her worrying whether or not I’m still alive.    Text messages, tweets, Facebook, Instagram — and now, wait…Periscope?    It’s never ending. And I don’t want to be unplugged because as much as being plugged in to the connected world makes it difficult to focus, it also allows for truly amazing connections to happen.   I get to talk to you, for instance — right here on Your Life on Purpose.    I can speak with my mother who lives far away. I can literally tweet an Italian grandmother if I want a truly authentic Italian recipe. That’s amazing.   So, when it comes to focus and staying on your own path, here’s a few thoughts:   1. Tune into the breath   Whether it is yoga or meditation, have some sort of daily practice that helps you tune into your breath and declutter the mind.    In meditation, there’s a popular analogy that the mind is like a highway filled with cars flying by at Lamborghini-like speeds. Tuning in to the breath helps one become an observer and stand on the side of the highway and observe the thoughts as they whiz by instead of running into oncoming traffic.   As more thoughts whiz by, you just look at them, acknowledge them and say, “no, thank you.” And let that thought go on its way down the highway.    I suggest checking out Headspace. It’s a pretty great app to keep consistent with a mediation practice.    Side note: whenever I feel myself getting stressed about wanting to do too much, I practice my handstands. I go up to wall and float into handstand.   Seriously, just the other day I was feeling stressed out at a doctor’s appointment for my wife’s lyme disease and when the doctor came into the room, there I was handstanding against the wall. I don’t suggest you ever do that, but go ahead if you want.    2. Spirit Write   I’ll probably do a whole other episode on this, but in short spirit writing is very fast writing that doesn’t allow your left-brain to take over your thought process.    Here’s what you do: literally plop down in front of a blank screen (perhaps turn your computer on do not disturb) or a blank sheet of paper and start writing. A good starter prompt would be something like “I feel….”. Do not worry about grammar, separate all thoughts by a dash and don’t worry about jumping around. Be poetic if you want. The only rule is to continue writing. You have to force yourself to write.    Sometimes you’ll write a beautiful piece of poetic prose and other times it might be mental throw up, but spirit writing can be extremely cathartic and help unblock the frenetic energy that causes you to be unfocused. Set a timer and stop after it goes off. Then get back to your day.   3. Talk to your Mentors and Accountability Partners    This is one of the main reasons I included setting up accountability partners and mentors in the life plan template that’s included with this podcast. The reason being is that these people will hold you to your word and help hash out your direction. When you complete the life plan template, you should come out with the confidence that you’re on the right path. Your mentors and accountability partners will help you stay on that path.    4. Stick to Creating One Thing at a Time   Instead of studying more, doing more research, stick to creating something, but do one thing at a time.   This one is really hard for me, but I’ve learned that doing two or three things at once takes you 2-3 times as long to get anything completed.    The quality of your work will most likely suffer and it will also take you longer to find out if you failed.    If you are going to fail at something, do it as quick as possible. Go big, focus hard, and if you fail, you can move onto the next thing.   There’s nothing worse than working your butt off on something and have it fail after years of hard work. That’s actually why many college students who can’t find a job after they get their degree grow depressed. They spent years and a lot of tuition dollars to work their dream job and to not get it can be crushing.    5. Complete a life plan   I really don’t like the term life plan because the term has been tainted somewhat over the years, but it works. The thing is that so many people are just observers of their life. Completing a life plan helps you become an active participant. You can’t really plan out everything because life isn’t like that. We are all part of something that is far greater than ourselves. What a life plan does, however, is it allows us to be confident on the path we are in.   It helps us tune in to our purpose, ears wide open, feet moving confidently in a direction.    In the yoga Sutras, Patanjali says it well:    When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. Patañjali    After you complete a life plan, it helps you focus on your path, so when it comes down to choosing what to work on and where to put your focus, if the current focus relates to your life plan and deeper purpose, then onward you go.    So, what about you? What are you focusing on?   Thanks so much for tuning in to your life on purpose. You, my friends, have a beautiful day.  
7/20/201511 minutes, 24 seconds
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13: Overcoming Resistance

I’m super excited to be back here today and if you’re new to the podcast, make sure you check out the first couple episodes so that you see where I’m coming from. Each episode builds on the other.    Also, make sure to download the life plan and subscribe to my newsletter by heading over to    Okay, so, on the last episode, I talked about being real and vulnerable and owning your story.   That my friends can be easier said than done. Enter the resistance.   Oh resistance, that scoundrel of a plague that stops creators from creating, stops writers from writing, stops changemakers from changing, and stops entrepreneurs from launching. Have you ever come up with an idea and felt such an incredible rush of adrenaline that you needed to grab the dinner napkin and nearest pen so you can scribble down the thought in your head? My guess is that you’ve probably experienced something like that because I know I certainly have. I love thinking big and coming up with ideas and, let me be clear, coming up with ideas is a good thing. In fact, many of the people I’ve interviewed have mentioned that people need to flex this idea muscle more often.   What happens so often though is that we come up with these ideas and then as they rise in a mist of furry, they just as soon fizzle as the resistance settles in.   What is resistance?   - Self doubt - overthinking - not knowing where to start - questioning your purpose - fear - feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities  - time    Here’s today’s message in a nutshell: learn to recognize the resistance and politely say no thank you. The resistance is the voice inside that says, “Well, that will never work” or “That’s just stupid,” or it’s the friend who literally says that to you. Resistance is the fear of failure, of falling on your face, of being told no, of feeling stupid. When I was at Stanford’s design school where I learned the design thinking method, they had us jump on a little trampoline when we were thinking of ideas. This helped us think more like a little kid and shut the resistance down because heck, when you’re jumping on a trampoline, you look ridiculous already so why not spout out any ideas that come to your head. But we don’t always have a trampoline to jump on, so here are a few ways to overcome the resistance and create meaningful work in your life and stay true to your purpose. 1. Who is in your cocoon? Your cocoon is the inner circle so-to-speak of your connections. These are the people who you’ve opened your heart to. Family, friends, lovers tend to be in people’s cocoon. Make sure that the people in your cocoon empower you to be the person you want to be in your life. They don’t have to agree with you, but they should make you feel supported and loved. Seth Godin told me that it’s also really important to have MBA-types of people in your cocoon. These are the type of people who will empower you and support you, but will also play out what may work and what may not work. Or what will have more meaning.   2. Culturally Relativity -- Anthropologists have a term called cultural relativity. It basically means that what makes sense to one culture may not make sense to another. That’s why when you travel to a completely different culture, you get culture shock. I know when I joined TOMS on a shoe giving trip in the Dominican Republic, I experienced a beautiful culture shock and it got me to think different. Here’s an experiment. Walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk the next time you walk somewhere. If you’re in the United States, that would be the left side because everyone walks on the right and drives on the right. You may get people bumping into you and it will probably be difficult to walk. That’s because you are going against the culturally defined normal. Experience the feeling here and notice how hard it is to go against the resistance. After you stop walking, imagine that you are transported to one of the many countries who walk on the opposite side of the street. There you’d be normal. Keep this in mind whenever someone bashes your ideas or values. Just focus on being you.   3. Learn to say no -- I suck at saying no because I’m a people pleaser at heart. Thing is, when I do that it’s easier to ignore my own desires and values. Sometimes, you have to say no to others to focus and follow your own path.   4.  Get out of your own way -- I am definitely not a perfectionist. Thankfully, I’m married to one. I am a will-get-it-done kind of guy and like the Facebook company’s motto: Done is better than perfect. If I keep stalling on something, I’ll never take action. It’s so easy to be buried in our own internal dialogue and never taken action. Sometimes, we just need to get out of our own heads. Consider what Hamlet once said, “Conscience makes cowards of us all.” Conscience, Hamlet argues, prevents action and I’d have to agree with him on that.   5.. Consider prototypeing to take action--  Think of it as a rough draft, a warm up, or dipping your toes in the water. In design thinking, prototyping is where you build something real quick to test your design.  In films, they have a b-roll where they show a film to a select audience before making final edits. In product and software design, there’s usually a beta feature where a select audience tests the waters before the team makes final edits. Use the concept of prototyping to take action whenever you feel resistance, especially if you’re a perfectionist. Create something real quick, give it out to a controlled select group, and then learn from feedback to make your design better. By the way, I am terrible at prototyping and have learned the hard way that prototyping is so, oh so, needed to create something of high quality. Former monk and now entrepreneur Colin Pal flipped my thinking upside down when I asked him how he overcomes resistance. Here’s what he had to say,   Enter Colin Pal   Okay -- there are way more tips I can share for overcoming resistance because well, I feel it every day. That’s why I have a sign above my bed that says “Something amazing will happen today.” It replaced my old sign that said “Get your butt up and to the gym” because I usually don’t have resistance when working out. In fact, I’m the opposite. Working out (running, biking, swimming, whatever) can sometimes be a distractor for me or a stalling technique.   So, how do you deal with resistance? After you completed the life plan and feel confident that you are on the right path, how do you overcome resistance to stay true to yourself?   Have you identified where the resistance is coming from? Have you learned to reject resistance, like Colin suggests, and focus on creating?     Like always, If you’d like to hear more, shoot me an email at [email protected] and tell me your story.
7/17/201510 minutes, 15 seconds
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12: Own Your Story: Be Real and Vulnerable

We just passed 12 and a half thousand downloads.    And this blows my mind because for about 4 weeks, there were no new episodes. I originally created the first 10 episodes to go with the life plan template I wrote which you can still download at the link for this podcast or at    As I continue to go Your Life on Purpose here, I’m going to focus chunks of episodes by a certain theme. I think of it as seasons, like a tv show has seasons. And the theme this season right now is mindset. But, honestly, for those who know me well, I’m not really good at focusing. I love living organically and going with the flow. Structure is needed to get meaningful work done, but I’ve been held back by structure before, so I hope you allow me to meander when it seems necessary.    Let’s continue the theme of mindset for a while here. I have five episodes I’d like to create on mindset, but honestly, that could all change as I hear more and more from all of you who are listening and sharing your stories.    The different themes for each “seasons” reflect what you need in your life right now. So, reach out to and ask a question. I’d love to hear from you.    [email protected]    To continue on from last episodes focus on The Yet Mindset, I’d like to spend a bit of time talking about being real and vulnerable.   As I continue to interview more change makers and prod into their stories of achieving greatness, I’m seeing one commonality. The happiest people tend to be the most real and vulnerable. Why? Because they have nothing to hide and they are owning their story. Yesterday, Tim McDonald and I met up for coffee and sat by his pool for a chat. We talked about a lot, then centered a bit on what it means to be real and vulnerable.   When he was the Director of Community for the HuffPost, Tim was real and vulnerable. Well, actually he was real and vulnerable before that gig and that’s probably why Arianna Huffington ended up asking him to join their leadership team. He was open when he struggled and used his story to help create an effective discussion for others.   That’s how he creates such meaningful communities in his work. He’s human and doesn’t shy away from being human even when at work.    Tim argues (and I’d agree with him) that in the future of work, there will be a very blurry line between work and life balance.    There will be very little punching in and punching out. Very few professions and very few businesses will survive if they don’t become more human-centered.   This is especially poignant for freelancers and entrepreneurs because these people are working from their passion.   And, since you’re listening to this podcast, chances are your work is your passion too. Right?   What do I mean about being real and vulnerable? Well, that’s for you to decide and it depends on your personal brand. But, I just think of it as being open with my struggle and being open with how I am working to get better.   For instance, at the beginning of my weekly newsletter, I often say, “Pull up a chair. Thanks for joining me.” I say that because I can learn just as much from you as you can for me. The image of pulling up a chair as if we are sitting at a table puts us on the same level. The same plane.    We’re all geniuses if you just work hard to find your genius.    Like Einstein said, “If you ask a fish to climb a tree, he’ll spend his whole life believing he’s an idiot.”   What are some other examples of being real and vulnerable in business sense?   Chris Brogan says that businesses need to be more human. Mark Babbit, the author of A World Gone Social, would agree. That’s why so many businesses are on social media now because customers just love it when an actual human responds to a tweet or a message.    People want interaction. Humans want real human businesses, both as a customer and as an employee. That’s why employee perks like the ones at Google are all over the start-up scene.    Literally, just as I sitting down to write down my notes for this podcast episode, two good friends of mine Chris Spurvey and Mario Armstrong, jumped on Periscope for a few minutes as to chat with people before they started their work day.    Chris is a major sales executive and entrepreneur in Canada and Mario is the tech guy you see on The Today Show every week. On Periscope, Chris talked about sales then meandered into talking about his physical fitness goals and how he often times struggles to lose weight. Mario talked about his recent traveling and then what new tech gadgets he’s crushing on.    Chris and Mario are being real and vulnerable here and perhaps this is one real reason they are super successful.    They don’t appear to be better than anyone else, even though their resumes are both extremely impressive. They come across as normal — just like you and me. Because they are.   I had an incredible conversation with social visionary Jeffrey Slayter on The Traveling Cup about being real and vulnerable.  Here’s a bit of what Jeffrey Slayter had to say about doing what you love and how our culture influences our identity.    Enter Jeffrey Slayter   One of my fears with my entrepreneurial journey is to come across as being too life-coachy. Like “look all that I am able to do and you should follow me” kind of life-coachy.   Sure, there are many lessons I can share and you can learn from. But, the truth is, I can learn just as much from you.   From time to time, I do share my personal life probably more than other entrepreneurs you may subscribe to and that’s an essential part to my personal brand. And perhaps that’s why you are here. Because something about my story helps you relate to me. I love that. I’ve had a lot of people, for instance, share their story of struggling through a chronic illness because I often share the journey my wife and I are on to empower her recovery with Lyme Disease. That’s great -- I’m happy to share my story of personal struggle with others if it helps empower others too.   “By being real and vulnerable, you can own your story and begin your unique legacy instead of shying from it.”   We are all on a particular journey for a reason. It’s not coincidence. So, empower yourself by owning your story.   “Dig deep. Be real. That is who you are and your unique gift to give to the world.”    What about you? As you are building your legacy, how are you being real and vulnerable? Or, if you see it another way, I’d always love to hear that too.     Just send me an email at [email protected]
7/15/201510 minutes, 51 seconds
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11: The Yet Mindset

Thanks so much for tuning in to Your Life on Purpose. I’m your host, Mark Guay and I’m super excited to be back back here with you.   If you’re new to this podcast, make sure to download the free life plan I wrote called Your Life on Purpose which has 10 simple steps to live a life with impact. These steps were pulled from my over 100 interviews with the greatest change makers and leaders of our time. The first 10 episodes of this podcast are the audio component to the life plan template.    All right — so something interesting happened over the past two weeks.   I got a bunch of messages from people asking me when there would be more episodes of Your Life on Purpose. And it felt terrible telling them that this podcast was only meant to be the audio component of the life plan I wrote called Your Life on Purpose.   So, I’m going to experiment here for a bit and create more tips to help empower you and develop a limitless mindset.    How long will this last?    I’m not sure. But my greatest goal in life is to have as much positive impact as I can, so if you’re getting value from this podcast, then I’m honored to continue it.    Thanks for you joining me.    Most of the tips I share on this show are the tips I pull from the long-form interviews I hold on The Traveling Cup podcast, just in case that you want longer episodes and listen to my interviews with the change makers and great leaders of our time.   On this episode, I’d like to talk about developing the yet mindset. It’s a growth strategy that helps people think and grow limitless.    But first, let’s go rock climbing.   My fingers were clenched and full of chalk. My right knee was turning black and blue. "I can't climb it," I said, barely audible, unaware that people were even listening. "Yet," said the little boy to my right. I looked over at him, wondering how long he's been standing there. He continued, "Whenever you feel like you can't do something, just add the word 'yet' to the sentence." And so I did what probably made me look like a madman. I laughed. Then I told him he was right.   You see, I'm constantly amazed at the wisdom children can possess. Here I am, a 30-year old man whose entire life's work has been in motivating people, and I'm schooled by a teenager whose simple Dalai lama-esque wisdom helped me realize my own limited thinking. So, I'm sharing this wisdom with you. Whenever you whisper the words "I can't" to yourself, just add in the word "yet". Because here's the thing. We only have so much time here on this earth, and it's up to us on how we want to use that time. If you're like me, you want to laugh as much as possible, help as many people as you can, and suck out all the marrow of life, as Thoreau put it. I want to have real meaningful impact. And perhaps you do too. But working to make an impact on the world means constantly pushing yourself to do things that challenge you, some of which may drive you to say, "I can't." To do that, I need to develop and maintain a limitless mindset. So, I'm adding the word "yet" to my daily lexicon -- right up there with "please" and "thank you." It's going on my screensaver, on little Post-it notes I'll paste in the refrigerator, and I'm even thinking of creating a coffee cup with the word "Yet" on it so every time I take a sip, I'll be reminded of this boy's wisdom. Wisdom I need to remember because this summer I'm challenging myself more than I ever have as an entrepreneur. And the truth is, I'm scared. I've lost a lot in my life over the last few years, as my wife and I battle her Lyme Disease, and the constant failure for her to regain health has seeped into other facets of our lives. Every time I start something new, something I hope will make an impact, I'm terrified of failure. Which brought me to rock climbing.   With this new chapter in my life, I've decided to challenge one of my greatest fears: the fear of heights. I'm learning how to rock climb. My hands are hurting. My feet are blistered. But I'm still climbing and growing stronger and look forward to the challenges ahead.   On an interview with social-purpose visionary, Tyler Bel helped remind me of the power of limitless thinking.    Here’s what she had to share:   Enter Tyler Bel I'm not the entrepreneur I want to be, yet. And I'm not the rock climber I want to be, yet. My wife still struggles with Lyme Disease and she's not fully recovered, yet. There's a whole lot that I haven't done, yet. Yet, yet, yet. That's a three-letter word that I'm going to be using a lot in the future, and perhaps you will too. Just remember that it wasn't me who said it. We have a starry-eyed young rock climber to thank for the reminder.   What about you? What have you been struggling with too? What's your "yet"?
7/12/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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10: Habit Hacking and Your Morning Ritual

  If the first thing you do in the morning helps you grow as a person, then you’ll make better more focused decisions throughout the day.   I suggest at least 30 minutes for your morning ritual, but many go with an hour. Why? Because an hour is a sizable enough chunk where dedicated practice could lead to tremendously awesome results. Heck — I’ve even seen Ironman triathletes train on 60 minutes a day during the week and then put in longer runs and bike rides over the week.    When I first started building a morning ritual, I would spend the first hour of the day cycling indoors while listening to podcasts. Now that I don’t race triathlon here’s what I usually do:   Rise at 5am glass of water with apple cider vinegar (to alkalize the body) Aeropressed coffee  20-minute meditation 30-45 minute yoga session   then it’s often a 5-minute journal session then work. 
6/24/201512 minutes, 36 seconds
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09: The Bucket List Redefined

Set a timer for 30 minutes and create a list of 25 things (or more :) you want to do in your life. Step outside the definition of work and things you want to do solely in your career. You are not creating a resume here. You’re building an epic eulogy. These should feed your mind, soul, and body.   It’s that simple.    Here’s how I like to redefine the bucket list though. It’s not just a list for you to live your amazing life, but rather it’s an agent to bond and strengthen your connection to love ones.     Share the document with a loved one. For instance, I share my document with my wife. It helps for accountability, but more importantly, it strengthens a bond and grows a relationship stronger. Whenever my wife wants to do something special for me, she can look at my list and surprise me with checking off something on the list. And I can do the same for her with her own list.
6/23/20157 minutes, 33 seconds
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08: Building an Epic Eulogy

In this envisioning technique, I ask you to write down how you want to be remembered. Doing this helps you be clear in your direction along with building an epic eulogy.    This is meant to be written in a free-writing style similar to what Jack Kerouac and The Beats used to do. Meaning, instead of worrying about if you’re saying the right word or have proper spelling, just write quickly and separate your thoughts by just a dash. This allows your heart to bypass your brain and flow through your fingers when you type or write. 10 minutes is often enough for each section.    These are the sections I ask you to write about. In other words, answer this question.   How do you want to be remembered by...   Your wife/husband/partner Your Parents God (or gods depending on your religious belief) Children Friends Colleagues 
6/17/20159 minutes, 43 seconds
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07: Purpose Over Profit

  Three Questions to Ask to Find Purpose To help aim the ladder in the right direction, there are three questions to ask oneself:   What are your passions? What pays well? What are you really talented at? a.k.a. What’s your unique genius?   (Me — I’m a connector, motivator, optimistic big idea people person. I also know what I’m not good at: analyzing data, following authority)   Most entrepreneurs know very clearly what they are good and not good at. They delegate the task that they are not good at to those who can do a stellar job. I’ve done this as well with my work. For instance, I’m terrible at audio editing and graphic design. So, I knew I had to hire a great audio editor and a graphic designer to design my logo and websites.    After taking a look at all three answers, you should get several different ladders to choose from. Then, ask a fourth question to choose the best ladder.   What does the world need most?
6/16/201511 minutes, 10 seconds
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06: Visualization to Manifest Your Goals (The Visual Launchpad)

Okay, I’m about to get a little more Sunday-morning infomercial here for a second.   And at first, I was pretty skeptical of this myself. But, after doing it, I’m now a believer in the power of visualization.    I’m not really sure what to call this I’m going to talk to you about creating. Some call it a Photo-Board, others have called it a dream board, a manifestation visualization, and a slideshow of your life.    I’m going to call it — Your Visual Launch Pad.    So, today, I want to talk to you about building your Launchpad. It’s the visuals that embody the goals you have in your life.   But, first, a story...   Before every major race when I use to coach, I would have my athletes write out what their race is going to look like. What would they wear, eat. What would they smell, see, feel, think? I wanted them to experience the race before actually stepping on the start line.   Now, I didn’t make this up. It was taught to me by the USA Triathlon guys who taught me how to coach, but as soon as I first did it, it stuck. Because it works.   There’s actually a lot of research behind how this intense level of visualization activates the brain.   Olympians and other elite-level athletes often do this during their training too (many times before going to bed) — not just during their races. Because the research suggests that the brain creates synapses that tune into the muscular skeletal system just through the simple act of visualizing.    So, a runner, for instance, could hypothetically lay in bed and think about the movement of running: level pelvis, chest tilted upwards, raising of the knew, forefoot strike. And do this while laying in bed and actually get better at running. It’s a training hack the best in the world take advantage of.    NFL football players do this all the time too.   So, when it comes to planning out your life, your career, or a shift you want, visualizing your goals helps to concretize them.   This helps for a number of reasons.   1. It defines the finish lines….   Many people complain about being unhappy, but fail to celebrate when accomplishing a goal (even the small wins). By visualizing what the finish line of a goal looks like or what you want in your life, it lets the mind know when a finish line has been reached. So, if the ocean and the beach are part of your launchpad, then when your toes crunch in the sand, you’ll know you can check something off your list.   So, if in college you had an intense love for open-mic nights at the local coffee shop and don’t have that any longer in your life, put up a picture of a microphone.    If donning the white coat of a doctor is what you’re going to school for, then put that up.   If you dream of running a non-profit that helps those in need, put the word 501 (c)3 up.   And if making a lot of money so you can do greater good in the world is what you crave, then put a wad of cash up there.    2. It creates a language to share   A launchpad helps create a language for you to express what you want in life, along with giving someone else the opportunity to help.   In fact, Natalie Sisson and I spoke about this for a while. She said that it’s important to not just create a private photo-board, but to rather create a slideshow to share with the others. In fact, Natalie shares her slideshow of what she wants in her life with the entire world.    That, Natalie argues, is how the law of attraction works.    3. It helps with decision-making   This one is simple. If a major move or change  in your life is being offered to you and it’s not a heck yes in the gut, then if it’s not on your life plan you can easily brush it off and move on.   So, now it’s time for you to sit down and create your visual launch pad. I created a collage of pictures and words to define what mean the most to me and then put them on my closet, along with taking a picture of them to share with the world.   I will be taking Natalie’s advice as well and creating a slideshow to share with the world.   On my wall, you’ll see the ocean, palm trees, elements of different cultural architecture to signify my love for travel and the many human cultures, a waggy-tailed dog, footsteps in the sand, me speaking in front of a large audience, and other things like two hands holding each other. That last one came true in 2011 when I married my wife Kaitlyn.    Of course, it’s nearly impossible to connect the dots looking forward, but it’s very possible to visualize the things you want to feel, see, and experience in this life. How you get there will most definitely be a journey quote unexpected.     Share your wall with me at [email protected] and say hi on Twitter @markwguay.
6/4/20158 minutes, 34 seconds
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05: Building Your Mastermind Group

On this episode, I talk about standing out and building your mastermind group.  The Goal? Create a mastermind group of 3-5 people. First, in the e-guide "Your Life on Purpose," I ask you to write out who is in your mastermind.  So, here’s a quick refresher. You need to have a mastermind because these are going to be the people that work as your sounding board, your therapist, along with exponentially growing your exposure by utilizing each other’s network and community of fans.  These people should be as focused and determined as you are. They should be on the same level of you or a bit higher up. Of course, if you find a group of A-players (people that are leaders in your industry) and they want to have you in their mastermind, that’d be great.  Most people, like myself when starting out, have a few people in the group that are on the same level and then have an A-player who acts more like a coach and joins in.  A few ground rules: Meet at least every other week if not 1x/week for one hour. Meet on Skype or in a coffee shop if everyone is local. Have an agenda and a facilitator for the group to keep everyone focused and have everyone sign a confidentiality agreement (not so much because you can’t trust them, but more so to add validity and ethos to the group’s purpose).
6/3/201510 minutes, 52 seconds
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04: Mentors and Why You Need Them

On this episode, I’m going to talk about mentors and why you need them.    I’m talking about in-person and virtual mentors here. And yes, it’s going to require you to be super vulnerable and ask for help, but I’m hoping you’ll see my point pretty quickly.   But, first a story that starts in the dorm room...   Before graduating from college, Ashley Stahl had a team of mentors to help coach and guide her career. She dreamed big and wanted nothing less than to land her dream job straight out of college. That millennial dream came true when she walked into the U.S. Pentagon for her dream job in foreign affairs.   Long before crossing the commencement stage to get her degree, Ashley did something many millennials don't know to do. She built up her team of mentors and asked for advice whenever possible. Instead of waiting to start her career after graduation like many students do, Ashley began her career with one cup of coffee and a conversation to build up her network. One particular mentor really helped Ashley out. A colonel in the U.S. Armed Forces offered advice to Ashley and introduced her to key people who were able to help Ashley land her dream job. Ashley left her career in foreign affairs after the puffy white clouds of her dream job dissipated. She began feeling like a cog in a bureaucratic engine, and has continue to rely on mentorship and coaching to break career barriers and rise above plateaus. She's gone on to start up a successful coaching business, writes for Forbes, and has spoken on stage at TED. Asking a mentor for help and networking, however, seems to be something many millennials are uncomfortable doing, especially if they come from the struggling working class. *Enjoy this podcast? Please help share the word by leaving a kind review on iTunes :) 
6/1/201512 minutes, 2 seconds
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03: Goal Setting and Building a Quest

  On this episode, I want to dive into goal setting…for real. For the mind, soul, and body.   Everyone under the sun talks about goal setting. Like a New Year’s Resolution, these goals barely make it through a few weeks of trial and error.    Why? Well, there’s a few reasons.   1. Accountability. 2. Lack of simplicity. 3. No balance.   Before we dive into these three, just a heads up that we’re talking about SMARTER goals here.    You’ve probably heard the acronym before, but just a refresher. SMARTER goals are specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, time-based. Then, evaluate and re-do.      *Enjoy this podcast? Please help share the word by leaving a kind review on iTunes :)   
6/1/20157 minutes, 33 seconds
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02: Defining Your Why

On this episode, I want to dive into the definition behind your why.   In other words, why are you doing what you are doing.    Sounds super easy, but it’s definitely not.   Finding your why is about digging deep within yourself and reflecting into the marrow of your purpose.   Your why is bigger than yourself. It’s about how the uniqueness inside of you fits perfectly with what the world needs.   Kind of like a Chicken Fajita.   A chicken fajita is one of the many beautiful foods, like gumbo and Jambalaya, that came from two worlds meeting together.    Without this blending, the chicken fajita would never have been created. And that my friends would have been a damn shame. Because I love a good chicken fajita.      *Enjoy this podcast? Please help share the word by leaving a kind review on iTunes :) 
6/1/20158 minutes
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01: Writing Your Legacy

On this episode, I’m going to dive into how to build your life on purpose by carving out the next 90 days.   The first step down this road requires a bit of envisioning. You don’t need to close your eyes or anything though you are welcome to.    it’s time to envision the beginning of your legacy.    But, what I’d like you to do is imagine what your Wikipedia page would look like if some random person were to Google your name in 90 days.    Imagine what you’d really like this Wikipedia page to say about you. What would it include? How long would it be?    *Enjoy this podcast? Please help share the word by leaving a kind review on iTunes :) 
5/31/20156 minutes, 46 seconds
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00: Why I Launched Your Life on Purpose Podcast (and Code Word Info)

The future of work is changing and you're ready to be at the forefront of this change. If you're ready to build your life on purpose and have greater impact in your work, then this is the place for you. After interviewing Seth Godin, Natalie Sisson, Pat Flynn, Scott Harrison, and others, I've put together a plan to make sure your next steps elevate your life to a whole new level.  This is Your Life on Purpose. 
5/31/20156 minutes, 17 seconds