Nut

Selective focus photography of brown steel knot on brown metal plate

Weather’s getting nicer.

I need some new lounge chairs.

The ones I got are wobbly. 10 years old.

Come to think of it

maybe I can just tighten a few screws

instead of buying a whole new thing.

Pull ’em out of the weeds.

A few more screws in different places.

A few minutes on my back, on my knees.

Yup, that did it. Only one loose arm, not bad.

Missing a nut, is all.

Time to shoot some hoops.

Loose ball off the backboard.

Bounce… bounce…

And wouldn’t you know it,

bang

crack

Right on that chair.

Aw c’mon.

Arm fell off. Wood on the ground. Screw sticking up.

Back in the house. Back outside. Back on the ground.

Screw in a different place this time. Different angle

Ow, my knee!

What’s that?

No way.

The missing nut.

Thought I’d lost you.

C’mere, sweet thang.

Few twists. Finger-tight.

There you are.

Back home you go.

Now where was I?

Ball out of bushes.

Air balls and swishes.

Bad luck with the good.

The story’s never quite done.

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True Love

Portrait of a romantic elderly couple

Just what is the metric for True Love?

I think I figured it out.

My wife went away for a week and, when I was presented with the opportunity of limitless action movies on Netflix, I chose to watch 2 romatic comedies in a row.

Damn, that’s even hard to write down.

But wonderful to live.

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The Hardest Part

Most problems can be solved by creating more time.

The easiest way to create time is to get up earlier.

Here are hree things you can do that will help you get out of bed in the morning.

One: Have a glimpse of your day the night before. Nothing too elaborate. Just a few images, a constellation of appointments, a scaffold. After a while, it comes easy.

Two: Give yourself something immediate to get up for. For my daughter it’s cartoons. She hates making her lunch and she loves watching cartoons. If she thought about making lunch, she would never get up. For me, it’s walking into my office in fresh socks, sitting in my easy chair, popping in earbuds, and doing a meditation. Reliable, tactile, easy to achieve. When it comes to morning motivation, always choose the chair and the cartoons, and not the lunch-making.

Three: Promise yourself you can go back to bed after you do step two. Ninety-nine percent of the time you won’t.

The beginning is the hardest part of work. I believe Plato said that.

But he was wrong. It’s not so hard.

Plato thinks too much.

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The Un-Coach

Group of people raise their hands on stadium

Say it with me.

No, I don’t want to 10X my business. I don’t want 30-40 more client leads than I already have. I don’t want to create an “effortless passive revenue stream” so I can parasail on the Galapagos Islands or eat the rarest of birds.

I don’t want abundance.

I love what I already have.

Ah, yes… here it is: I seek to love what I have and who I have it with, each and every day of my beautiful life.

I have enough.

I am already Bill & Melinda Gates, simply by not taking it all in the first place. Why not skip the part of needing to put it in one place?

I might not get the plaque but we’d reach the same goal, and more quickly.

Thanks Bill, but we wouldn’t need to fund the nonprofits, if we weren’t so driven by the for-profits.

Let’s not celebrate the giving after the taking. Let’s celebrate the not taking. It’s harder to see, but it’s out there.

We need a seminar on that.

A crowd of a thousand people screaming in hysteria to make less.

And no one on the stage.

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Off Script

We love it when the teacher turns off the Powerpoint. We lean in when the President stops reading the teleprompter.

Our favorite Saturday Night Live skits are the ones where the actors can’t stop laughing, miss their cues, or venture off script.

Remember this when interviewing: you want to go off script. That’s a sign that you’re connecting, that real life is happening. It’s the place where even the most disinterested person wakes up and tunes in.

You will be remembered, not for your slide deck or your well-rehearsed 5-point answers, but by the story you tell about what happened on your way to the interview.

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Worth a Thousand Likes

Pin button in the sun on black paper

It’s hard for me to listen to a great podcast or watch a mega-influencer’s youtube video and not get just a little bit jealous.

Hey, what about me?

I’ve got important things to say. I’ve got content. I’m worth a thousand likes.

The truth is, I’ve tried to make it. Well, sort of. It’s been an embarrassingly short oddyssey.

Facebook, Instragram, Medium, LinkedIn… in that order. I couldn’t appease the algorithms. More than that, I was posting more than I wanted to, saying things I didn’t really mean, and following people I didn’t really care about. I became just another coach with great ideas, elbowing for comments, fighting for eyeballs. There’s a lot of us out there, waving our hands, overflowing with passion and optimism.

I hate feeling common.

So I ditched it – the dream, if you want to call it that.

But, ya know, then I’ll have this awesome call with a client or with my brother or get a sweet response on this blog (love those comments, people) and all the ideas for world domination come rushing back in. I think of the articles I’ve written and the unfinished books and half webinars nestled in my “Brilliant Brainstorms” folder.

I don’t know. Maybe a podcast this time.

I feel so close to something great, like I’m on the edge of a tornado.

Maybe I could do something on Tik Tok…

Just the thought makes the winds die down.

Wait.

What am I really after, here?

And do I already have it?

I laughed with a client. I laughed with my brother. Both of them thanked me for what I do. I made my babysitter cry with the resume I created for her. Like really cry. Not the first time. And I wrote something good, something that warmed me up on the inside and touched a few hundred people — people I know and who know me. And when I touched my wife’s shoulder, after all these years, she still smiled.

Then I went outside and read a book in the sun on the deck with my dog.

Wisdom is a funny thing. It’s like it’s always there but you just lose sight of it, like a billboard obscured by a tree bending in the wind.

There’s a message up there that any of us can read at any time, but we’re all so busy being tricked by the tree and the winds while we look for the people who are looking for us.

The beautiful thing is we’re all standing right next to each other.

Tornado or not.

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Detail

black car side mirror during daytime

My dad suggested I get my car detailed. Trust me, he said, it’ll be like new.

He was right.

I swear it drives like new. My wife thinks so too.

That’s some strange psychology.

If I wash my keyboard, will it click faster? If I make my bed, will I sleep better?

Appearance can be more than superficial; the top layer plays with perception. This is why companies spend millions on logos, why hair color and rogaine keep getting bought up.

Clean a room to clear your head. Paint the room to change your mood.

Change your clothes, buy a rug, sweep the deck, swap out headings, switch fonts.

A little tweak for a big reward. Scrub the veneer and the engine purrs.

You can kill the past quickly, you can own a new car, just by wiping the dashboard.

.

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How To Tell a Failure Story

Photo of golden cogwheel on black background

Being a career coach in Silicon Valley, I hear a lot of stories of failure from entrepreneurs.

Indeed, anyone who has taken a shot at a startup has a ‘failure story’ to tell.

As a resume writer, I’ve figured out the way to tell ‘failure story’ honestly and unapologetically, and come up smelling like roses.

Don’t look so far ahead.

Ignore the scoreboard at the end of the game and, instead, focus on the individual plays, your personal bests. Look at your own hands and your own feet, discerned from the team. Create your own highlight reel and you’ll attract the scouts who will open up the next chapter and take you to the playoffs.

Because people want to see smart, risk-taking innovation, brilliant ideas realized, and hard work in the face of adversity much more than they want to watch some victory dance.

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Undoing The Wrongdoing

white right arrow print

Bad days. You know what I’m talking about.

On bad days, everything goes wrong. Everyone is in your way; they’re out to foil your plans. You get in a rut and can’t get out.

And maybe they did get in your way, maybe they did foil your plans. It’s not an illusion. It’s a possibility that they really do suck and you deserve better.

But, for some reason, knowing this doesn’t seem to help.

So if you’re looking to feel lighter, here’s a little brain trick:

Replay your interaction with them in your head, as it occurred but this time, at the very end, offer your forgiveness — a nod, a wave, a smile — and watch what happens.

Their reaction — out of their control and completely in yours — is the medicine you need to move on.

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Confront with Compassion

Lower Antelope Canyon

Dear People of Color and Woke White Allies,

I appreciate what you’re doing, but you can confront with compassion, you know.

You don’t have to be a dick.

Shaming people is like sending them to the corner. Canceling them is like sealing them behind a brick wall. (I thought that’s what we were trying to avoid!)

This effort, though it feels good inside, is a small win that will never grow.

Sure, we’re shifting the balance, but we’re just playing the same old game, with the same roles, the same tools, and the same consequences.

“I’m in charge. Now you shut up.”

It’s easy to hate so-called racists, just as it is easy to hate drug dealers, pedophiles, murderers, and rapists – to put them in a box and never let them out.

But you know deep down that these horrible people did not start from an evil seed.

They were turned into something, carved out by circumstance and repetition.

Every one of us must remember that we are not set. We are always becoming.

And, particularly as the scent of righteousness goes into our lungs and the microphones turn in our direction, we must be careful of what we’re becoming.

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