Shadowboxing

Growing up, my father worked two jobs to support his growing family. It was unglamorous work, the kind that requires sturdy boots year round and insulated overalls during freezing winter months. After work, he liked to unwind with a couple of beers while he sloughed off the day. As a child, I was sometimes fascinated to witness him engaged in …

Four Walls of Freedom

Yesterday, I sat on a beach watching my son as he filled a bucket with briny slop, his face a study in concentration. Then a wave came crashing in and swept the bucket away from us. After righting himself and collecting his bucket, he then set about his task again with a singular focus – scoop the sand, fill up …

Double Down

In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, The Shawshank Redemption is cited as one of the most profitable movies of all time. A full twenty years after its release in 1994, it is still making heaps of money. With its universal themes of hope, friendship and perseverance, it is also one of the most beloved movies by critics …

Sochi and You

As sporting events go, the Sochi Winter Olympics could rival anything else on television for sheer entertainment value. The pomp, the ceremony, the costumes, the drama, the tears – it’s Downton Abbey in Lycra. And I admit, I was glued to it. But look a little deeper, behind all the glitz and glamour, and what you will see are ordinary …

Dead Sharks (and the Art of the Deal)

“A relationship is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we have on our hands here, is a dead shark.” So says Woody Allen to Diane Keaton in the classic Annie Hall when their love finally hits the rocks. I think the same can be said of all human …

Paint Your Masterpiece (10 Ideas That Will Help Set You Free)

Last month, I was invited to give a talk at TEDx in the Netherlands. After some initial resistance (it’s a lot of work and far away), I decided to take the plunge, and I’m happy to report that it went very well. You can watch it here. The theme of this particular TED conference was reaching your “Full Creative Potential.” …

Becoming a Classic

Back in 1985, the Coca-Cola drinks company introduced a new twist on their popular soft drink, the much ballyhooed “new taste of Coca-Cola.” But when the coke-drinking public wasn’t buying it, the new formula was soon dumped and the old one re-introduced, re-branded as Coca-Cola “Classic.” The marketing executives learned very quickly that when Coke tried to be something it …

Becoming a Good Animal

In 1993, I ran my first New York City Marathon. Back then, I was a frightened 20 year-old trying to prove to myself that I had the guts to complete the famous 26.2 mile event. I did so in unspectacular fashion, finishing in a respectable time under 4 hours with sore feet and a huge sense of accomplishment. Since then, …

Mindful Leadership

This past weekend I attended a workshop on “mindful leadership” conducted by author Bill George and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a rising star among Tibetan Buddist Masters. The audience, including this one, was fascinated by the interplay between Eastern and Western philosophies. Mingyur spoke about how daily meditation can help us achieve a state of mindfulness. Bill, a Professor of Management …

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

As a fan of Jim Carrey, one of my all-time favorite movies is The Truman Show. The hero, Truman, lives inside a Utopian bubble carefully constructed just for him by a savvy media company. Unbeknownst to Truman, hidden cameras broadcast his every move live on television 24/7 to an audience of millions. While outwardly, he appears happy-go-lucky, inwardly a subtle …