On Being Inner-Directed

On Being Inner-Directed

When I was an actor (several lifetimes ago), I realized fairly early on that I was really good at taking direction and pretty hit or miss when it came to coming up with ideas on my own. If a director told me to play a scene as though I secretly fancied the person I was confronting, or I had just been told I had a life-threatening illness, or as though I was scared out of my wits and trying really hard not to let it show, I would feel inspired and things would come through me that made me feel like Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Robert DeNiro rolled into one.

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The Difference that Makes the Difference, part three

The Difference that Makes the Difference, part three

In part one of this blog series, I highlighted how caring about people and a job well done as being at the heart of excellence and effectiveness in business and in life. Then in part two, I spoke to the feeling of care and caring as being the natural response to recognizing our shared humanity and engaging fully with our lives instead of our thinking.

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The Difference that Makes the Difference, part two

The Difference that Makes the Difference, part two

In part one of this blog, I shared what I’ve come to see as the critical differentiator between long-term sustainable success and the people and businesses who burn bright for a season or two and then lose heart, lose hope, and move on to the next thing, hoping it will be “the one”.

In order to thrive over time at whatever we do, we need to genuinely care – about the people we are with, the task at hand, the overarching mission or purpose , and our own well-being.

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The Difference that Makes the Difference, part one

The Difference that Makes the Difference, part one

One of the questions I am eternally engaged with in my work is the search for “the special sauce” – the difference that makes the difference between the good and the great and between the one-hit wonder and the person or company who achieves long-term sustainable success. There are any number of books on the market that attempt to reverse-engineer the answer to this question by studying what high-achieving individuals and companies do differently and offering up a behavioral menu of options, ranging from Steven R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the five keys to corporate turnaround outlined in Jim Collins business classic Good to Great.

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The Creative Problem

The Creative Problem

People come to me all the time to talk about what they want to create and specifically, what they see as the barriers to creating. They complain about their personality quirks; that they are procrastinators or don’t have follow through. They lack discipline or confidence. My reply to them is always the same, “That’s simply not true. Your only problem when it comes to creating in life is you’re not actually in the creative problem that you want to solve.”

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A Different Way of Thinking About Work/Life Balance

A Different Way of Thinking About Work/Life Balance

A few weeks back I attended a wonderful weekend program with three of my favorite mentors in the inside-out understanding. George Pransky, who I have written about often in these missives, was sharing how a recent health challenge had, “through no fault of his own”, caused him to experience a depth and scope of being that was so beautiful and all-encompassing it made him question all the years of thinking and doing he had participated in up to this point in his life.

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Too Much to Hope For

Too Much to Hope For

Over the years, I’ve had a long and varied history with the word “hope”. For a long time, I thought of it as a kind of a toothless variant of positive thinking, keeping people mindlessly justifying all kinds of horrible circumstances in the vainglorious hope that things would magically improve all by themselves.

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Weaponizing the Principles

Weaponizing the Principles

For more than a decade, I have been sharing a spiritual understanding of life that is more commonly known as either “the 3 Principles” or “the inside-out understanding”.

When they talk about it in terms of the inside-out understanding, they’re pointing to the fact that the human experience only unfolds in one direction – from formless to form, inside to out, thought to experience.

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Conversations of Possibility and Wonder

Conversations of Possibility and Wonder

Years ago, a friend of mine in the voice-over business shared a story about the oddest piece of direction he’d ever gotten while recording a commercial. The producer listened to him say the same line over and over again, asking him to try something different each time without giving him any particular direction to aim in.

Then, in a flash of inspiration, the producer said “Try wonderment – it needs more wonderment”.

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What I Wish My Humans Knew

What I Wish My Humans Knew

First of all, when I was in a physical body I had the best home any cat could have wanted: I could roam free, climb trees, chase butterflies, feel the sunshine on my fur ,and snuggle down on soft beds inside the house when the snowstorms raged. But best of all, I was adored by my humans. And I adored them.

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The Five Hashtags of Innate Genius

The Five Hashtags of Innate Genius

Over the past eight months, I’ve been working with a live and virtual group exploring the nature and catalyzation of genius. Not the “high IQ” kind of genius that is often associated with both prolific accomplishment and social awkwardness, but the kind of innate, unlearned genius that fits more aptly with this definition…

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How to Be an Amateur Professional

How to Be an Amateur Professional

In putting together our newest online program, Falling in Love with Writing, one of the topics my friend Steve Chandler and I explored together was what I call becoming an “amateur professional”.

In order to make sense of that phrase, let me first distinguish what it is to be an amateur and what it is to be a professional…

Amateurs do what they do, at least in spirit, for the love of the game. The word itself comes from the French, and can be literally translated as “lover of”…

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