Years ago, I stumbled across Helene Hanff’s 84, Charing Cross Road on the shelves of the Santa Barbara Public Library. Although I knew nothing about the book, I soon discovered a kindred spirit. The book is a collection of letters written between Hanff, a struggling New York writer and booklover, and the manager of a London bookshop from whom she ordered books. As time went on, the letters became more personal as the two correspondents became great friends.
I adored the book, although it was a long time before I found out that the story didn’t end there. When Hanff […] Continue Reading…

 

As you know, fear is a powerful emotion. When it’s doing its job, it helps us avoid danger and harm. (Don’t get in the elevator with that scary man.) On the other hand, fear can take over and keep us from ever discovering our purpose, passion and possibility. 

Fear doesn’t have to run our lives–no matter what the state of the world. As the wise Persian poet Hafiz pointed out: “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. You deserve better accomodations.”

Life and business coach Betty Mahalik, owner of Dynamic Solutions,  tackled this subject brilliantly in her Monday Morning Coaching e-mail […] Continue Reading…

In his chapter on fear in The War of Art, Steven Pressfield has this to say:”We know that if we embrace out ideals, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? We will lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.
“Of course this is exactly what happens. But here’s the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone. Instead we are tapped into […] Continue Reading…

 Been wondering if you should take time to attend Compelling Storytelling 
or some other Special Event? Here are a few signs that the time is right.
 
√ You’ve reached all of your goals.
√ You’ve reached none of your goals.
√ You are in need of some fresh ideas.
√ You’d like to get a new perspective from a genuine dreambuilder.
√ Your kids think you’re a nerd and you suspect they’re right.
√ You can’t remember the last time you felt really excited about something.
√ You have more ideas than you know what to do with.
√ You […] Continue Reading…

 
At the end of the late night rally in Orlando last week, Barack Obama talked about stories and told the crowd, “Everyone here has a story. I want your stories to be heard.” 
 Marketing genius Seth Godin blogged today about lessons for marketers from the campaign. I’d been noticing how effectively–and ineffectively– storytelling has been used during this campaign. So has Godin, of course. He writes, “Mainstream media isn’t powerful because we have no other choices. It’s powerful because they’re still really good at writing and spreading stories, stories we listen to and stories we believe.”
As everyone knows I’ve become […] Continue Reading…

My brother Jim lives in California and is an avid surfer. He’s also 62 years old. One day we were talking on the phone and he said,  “I was driving to the beach yesterday morning and it was still dark. I was thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’”
“You’re doing it so you can have a lively old age,” I suggested. 
He laughed and said, “You know I surf  better now than I did thirty years ago.” I pointed out that he’d also been disciplined about keeping at it. “I still love it,” he said, then added, “You’ve got to ride […] Continue Reading…

Many things improve with age; airline travel is not one of them.  Even before increased airport security slowed things down, the flying experience was loaded with stress-inducing delays and rude behavior. Frequent flyers just grit their teeth and bear it as best they can, but a bit of pre-planning can improve the quality of the experience enormously.  

Since I spend part of every month traveling by air, I try to make my flights an exercise in creative time management.  I don’t always succeed in arriving at my destination as cool and relaxed as I might wish, but I have […] Continue Reading…

About six weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to the Dale Chihuly exhibit in San Francisco. Nevertheless, I was surprised to open my mailbox this morning and discover a large package from Chihuly Studios. Since I knew I hadn’t ordered anything from there, I thought it might be a belated birthday gift. I was wrong. It was a gift from Chihuly’s executive assistant and included a copy of one his books and a compilation DVD. 
What had prompted this gift? I wasn’t the random winner of a drawing, but the recipient of a thank you that came in response […] Continue Reading…

It happens every time I announce a new special event. Almost immediately, I begin getting messages that say, “Someday I’d love to attend your Storytelling seminar.” Or “When will you be doing your Storytelling event in Alaska?” These questions suggest that many people haven’t learned one of the basics of successful self-bossing.

Several years ago when Valerie Young announced our upcoming Making Dreams Happen event, she was deluged with e-mails from people saying they’d like to attend but couldn’t afford the enrollment fee. She called me to see if I had any  ideas about how to handle this onslaught. I pointed […] Continue Reading…