The perfect you

Everything is perfect and there is always room for improvement — Shunryu Suzuki. For those suffering from self-induced pressures of striving to be perfect, here is a reprieve. It doesn’t involve daily affirmations that we are already good enough and should embrace our shortcomings as part of what makes us special. Nor does it reject […]

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The happiness trap

Happiness is so overrated. Think about it. When we’re happy, we’re content with how things are, which is another way of saying complacent. When we’re complacent, we take things for granted, stop being curious and lose our interest in learning. We forget our appreciation for what it means to be free. We become busy and switched off to […]

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Being there

Almost weekly, I will be mistaken by someone who swears that they know me. This has been going on for many years, and I’ve become used to it. I enjoy the surprised look on people’s faces, and then joking with them, “Well, there are a lot of short bald white guys around.” For those who […]

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Loafing toward salvation

The unbounded life is perfectly content is its pointlessness. It’s not a formula for any kind of traditional measure of success, nor intended to achieve any specific purpose. It’s defined by a spirit of infinite and cheerful uselessness that is found in all forms of play, and born from a desire to avoid the evils […]

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Every day is like Sunday

My wife and I have this game we play called, “What day is today?” Throughout the week, we periodically ask each other and then challenge the other’s response. So Nam will ask me and I’ll say, “Tuesday?” to which she will reply, “I thought it was Wednesday” and then I’ll second-guess myself and offer, “I’m […]

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Metaphysical gravity

I recently wrapped up a personal leadership seminar with an American corporate client in Beijing, and during a conversation about values, one of my students asked me, what did I value the most? Before I could think about it, I said, “Mobility.” Like the old SAT strategy, your first answer is usually your best answer, […]

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