My 3 Words for 2019


2018 was a transformative year across every dimension of my life. It is also the first time since I started the yearly, 3 Words tradition in 2011 where I know for a fact that I owe much of this success to this process. Each day I made it a point to remind myself of the words along with the purpose and intention behind them. And when things turned bleak, it was this bundle of intentions that help give me the direction to look and courage to act and make significant life-altering changes. Changes that I feel very, very blessed to have experienced after some tough years.

Humanity's Destiny: A Technological Singularity or Spiritual Transcendence?

“I know Kung Fu.” This line from The Matrix absolutely blew my mind in 1999 because it was the very first moment I was ever exposed to the idea that computers and technology could literally connect to and augment intelligence. To think that I was in the last semester of my senior year of high school and future generations might have the capability of downloading in seconds what it took me over 12 years to learn through effort and repetition.

A Chance Encounter; The Next Adventure

Three person holding beverage cups.

One thing in life that never ceases to amaze me is how (seemingly) small, chance encounters can open up doors to significant, life-altering events. I love telling the story of how I met my wife to illustrate this point. A Google search about meditation led me to a book, which led to a workshop in Virginia, which led to Katherine Thomas, who then set me up on a blind date with Emily. At the time we lived 2,000 miles apart, and yet a single email sent to her inbox set in motion our beautiful relationship, marriage, and child.

How crazy is that?

OK, Guidance. What Should I Do About...?

A person's hand holding a compass.

How many atoms are there in a human body? What does a Kangaroo sound like? How far is it from here to Sante Fe? These are three recent Google searches I made to satiate the never-ending questions of curiosity that wink in and out of existence in my mind. What never ceases to amaze me is the ever diminishing gap of time it takes from the time I think of the question until I can obtain the answer. Usually, this is on the order of seconds and rarely over a few minutes.

Morning Pages or: How I Stopped Procrastinating and Rediscovered My Love of Journaling

A folder containing 35 days of morning pages journal entries.

Journaling is one of those activities (like meditation or exercise) that is generally accepted as beneficial and yet our busy lives squeeze it off our todo list. The Morning Pages technique has reinspired and re-invigorated my practice so much that I wanted to share my results in the hopes that others may try it out.

The Low Bar of Exceptionalism

A young girl watering a tree.

We live in a world where extraordinary people are no longer hard to find. Social media platforms bubble their stories to the top of everyone’s feeds. TV programs like [INSERT COUNTRY]’s Got Talent or The Voice allow hidden gems to get their chance to stand on stage and sparkle. One of my favorite Facebook groups is People Are Awesome because each 3-5 minute video shows a montage of dozens of people performing extraordinary physical acts and acrobatics that leave me speechless and inspired.

Focus on Outcomes Instead of Hours or Repetitions

My boss reached into the bucket of beans, pulled out a fistful, and then shoved them to within inches of my face before asking a rhetorical question. “Do you seriously think I can sell these?” Confusion turned to a sickening feeling in my stomach as I looked more closely at the mutant sized variety he held in front of me. They were massive, bulgy, and I swear I could see veins popping out and running along the shell. He answered before I could. “Well, obviously I can’t pay you for these buckets. Now go back and ignore any others that look like this.”

Where is Waldo at Work?

Waldo at Work

Life as the COO of a rapidly growing and rapidly moving agency made it hard to sit still. Literally. The demands to address issues quickly and immediately often resulted in me performing a brisk jog with one hand holding a laptop and the other my phone. Occasionally I had to stop mid-stride to see an alert and then immediately pop a squat on the floor to flip open my laptop to respond as quickly as I could.