Commitment

July 23 2016

I was speaking with a fellow writer today. He has two kids, a humongous garden, several horses, two rambunctious dogs and a wife. “Commit to a schedule,” he said. “It’s the only way to get anything done.” He told me that we have to trick our minds. That by establishing the practice of sitting down and writing every day — even if it is two hours of futzing around with one…

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Asking is an exercise in humility

July 15 2016

Asking for help isn’t easy. Asking for money, for guidance, for a ride, for a raise. When we ask for something, we’re admitting there’s a gap, something we don’t have.  “Hey, I don’t have this thing that I really need. Do you?” We lack resources or knowledge or ability, but the person on the receiving end of the question has it. This dynamic can make us feel vulnerable and weak.

Needing help doesn’t indicate flaws. In fact, asking for…

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Summer dining (invite only)

July 08 2016

Invitations will soon go out for July’s dinner event in New York City. You must be on the list to be considered. Seating is limited to preserve quality of conversation. Individuals from a range of business sectors are brought together to discuss success (and failure), mentorship and art.

Networking events often attract professionals from similar industries. Our dinners aim to bring together complementary experiences, contrasting ideas, and professionals at different stages…

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Let’s go to an art residency for one hour, every day

June 30 2016

Writing residencies spoil people.

I just finished one month completely devoted to artistic creation. The schedule was up to me, when I wanted to work, for how long and on what. I was surrounded by other energetic artists who were on their own programs — some stayed up all night holed up in their studios, others spent afternoons baking cakes and cookies in the communal kitchen. I could go for long walks in…

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Top 8 most popular posts

June 23 2016

Dig back into the vault and don’t miss any of the good stuff:

  1. 12 questions to turn small talk into real talk
  2. 5 rules of hustling
  3. What brings people together?
  4. A coffee riddle
  5. 10 questions to ask at a dinner party (instead of “What do you do?”)
  6. The people in your life will make or break you
  7. More...

Not every day is inspirational, not every work inspired

June 18 2016

This month I’m participating in an artist residence program. It’s my first experience like this, and I’m surrounded by trees and beauty and very talented creative people. When I first arrived, I was intimidated. Listening to the other artists’ stories and experiences and seeing their work made me feel like the outsider. I never went to art school, I’m a social worker, I’ve been living in Nepal, I’m…

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Do the work

June 09 2016

There’s no substitute for hours put in. Good work requires commitment and emotional investment. You can try to make shortcuts, but your audience will know. More importantly, you will know.

If you don’t feel like it’s risky, it’s probably not worth doing. Don’t take shortcuts, no matter how tempting they may seem.

Do the work.

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Keeping the flame alive

June 02 2016

A student saw KEEP THE FLAME ALIVE on a movie poster and asked me, “What is flame and why does it need to be alive?” The movie was about a married couple inviting a stranger into their home to try to spice up their fizzling love life.

I described fire, from the moment you flick a match until the last wisps of smoke float away. “You know how happy you are when you get a new shirt?”…

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Relax, everything is going to be OK

May 24 2016

If you knew everything would be OK, would you spend more time with your close friends? Take more time for yourself? Eat differently? Leave the office earlier?

If you knew the outcome would be OK, would you relax, ease up? Work harder?

How would your strategy change?

If everything was going to be OK, would you save more? Worry less? Sleep at night?

Of course there’s a chance it won’t…

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“It’s not my job.”

May 18 2016

Taking responsibility inevitably sets you up, while watching from the sidelines gives you that head start should an anvil hit. There’s always the option to run.

When you step in to do a little more and claim ownership (no matter how small), the work becomes personal. This is where thoughtful decisions are made and jobs are performed with integrity.

“It’s not my job” is too big of a shortcut to take, especially if you’re hoping to get…

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