Here’s my attempt at a unified theory of everything as of today, September 9, 2021. I got here after 46+ years. And lots of looking, listening, reading, watching, talking, feeling, exploring, enduring, releasing, etc-ing.

Maybe it’ll change tomorrow.

But, and, and/but (my favorite kind of “and”), here is something that zips, zings and rings true:

The gorgeous, amazing dream is possible via this path:

  1. Take baby steps
  2. That require effort
  3. That feel good
  4. That are healthy
  5. That connect you with other people.


Perspective taking is a key part of emotional intelligence. How do you do it? Empathic imagination.

What might be going on for that person? And, what else? And, what else?

Imagine all the variety of things that might be going on for them. So. Many. Possibilities.

How many you can imagine and how well you can flesh out the possible worlds of other people can be an important factor in your own emotional development and mastery.

An empathic imagination allows you to find validity and truth in others actions, words, and views. And, thus, understanding, acceptance, and possible connection.


Feel more.

Emotions drive you. Us. Them.

Emotions help you understand the truth. Emotions are an important part of the truth. Emotions are both cause and effect. Emotions pierce and open. Emotions connect.

Are you thin skinned? Good. If not, gentle up a bit.

Thin skin helps you see, hear, know. Thin skin empowers you.

However, it can overwhelm you or steer you beyond your control.

SO (a big “so”) thin skin needs a partner. A tough mind, you could call it. A strong, elastic heart maybe. Clear and concrete integrity. Which all can be found by investigating and exploring and developing emotional mastery.

Originally published at on July 9, 2021.

Emotions come up, what do they mean? What are they telling you?

I’m feeling anxious before I go on stage — am I worried everyone is going to hate me or am I excited everyone is going to love me?

I’m home alone and feeling lonely — do I just suck because I can’t will myself into a great mood or is it simply a signal that is telling me to grab the phone and talk to another human being?

I’m shocked somebody probably stole my phone out of my unlocked car — wait maybe my phone is in my bag.

Today, when an emotion comes up, brainstorm some alternate meanings — even if they have 1% chance of being true.

Originally published at on July 8, 2021.

Self. It’s a thing. We are individuals. And we are herd animals. Being part of the group is part of our nature. Like bees, humans don’t do so well all on their own.

However, many people in our times, believe they should “do it all” themselves. If you don’t do it yourself, it doesn’t count, they say. If you need to get help or work with someone else, you’re weak and ineffective, they think. If you can’t figure it out and pull it off on your own, you suck, they feel.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) hyper-individualism is a big fat lie.

1. Flex your bare toes in the dirt and wrap your dusty hands around the axe handle.

(Writing checklist.) Does it include:




Turns of phrase


2. Stand in the heat of the approaching forest fire.

What are the:




Details & Specifics


3. Inspire others to come to your front line.

Are you, is it:




Aesthetically pleasing






Crisp & Efficient





4. Swing your axe to fell a tree, then sprint to the next.

How does it finish:


Doesn’t resolve

Ends in word and sound only


Originally published at on May 5, 2021.

I coulda been a contender. I swear. I got that fight in me. I get that sense of a swelling chest of great achievement from time to time. It hasn’t happened though. I don’t totally know why. I know there’s a lot of confusing mixed up yucky stuff to battle out there that keeps wanting to knock a yearning, driven contender back.

Well, here’s some thoughts on being a contender. No matter your age. This is what I tell myself. Maybe it suits you, too.

In their book Thanks for the Feedback, Douglass Stone and Sheila Heen show that the…

Gratitude makes you stronger.

  1. When in a state of gratitude, people are more able to delay gratification and make longer term decisions.
  2. When in a state of gratitude, people are more likely to resist temptation and unhealthy impulse.

Gratitude binds.

  1. Gratitude connects people and teams. I’m grateful to you. You play a helpful role on my team. Gratitude holds the ingredients together as the recipe rises. Gratitude helps keep the team together through a storm of mistakes.
  2. Genuine gratitude is charming and appealing to others.

Gratitude energizes.

  1. Gratitude makes you lighter and more energetic.
  2. It provides you with extra fuel and prolongs your endurance.

Start here: Honor your team.

Who has helped you get this far? Who has helped you be successful? Name them, give them credit, show gratitude…. for their sake and yours.

Originally published at on March 23, 2021.

Your journey includes words, concepts, vagaries. Please make sense of stuff in a way that works for you.

But, hear me out.

The antidote to depression is Okayness, not happiness. Okayness is when the depression abates, enough, or when it is out of the way enough. Okayness is not perfection, but good enough-ness.

Depression may not be curable, or antidote-able, at all. It may ebb and flow. Subside randomly. And seep back in whenevs.

Rather than “curing” depression, the best approach may be to treat with kindness. …

Short and sweet. Here’s some stuff I base my work on:

  1. I’ve seen enough. I know behind closed doors everyone’s got deep, real challenges. Everyone.
  2. The most important thing in your life is people.
  3. The most effective thing in creating connection is vulnerability. Never seen anything better.
  4. The amazing thing you seek happens inch by inch, in fits and starts, over time. So it requires authenticity and consistent effort.
  5. Fear is the unlock. Face uncertainty. Face rejection, losing, failure, making mistakes, looking dumb, and being wrong…. and boom oh my goodness doors open things change life looks and feels different. Ka-blam.
  6. The most powerful, effective, and satisfying way to do this is with others.
  7. I’ve taken enough of your time. Let’s do this with hugs and high fives, smiles and razzle dazzles.

Thanks for reading,


Everything You Do is Amazing

Gimme some truth, below and behind the belly button. My life’s mission is cracking the code of behavior change.

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