The Thomas Fires in Ventura

The Thomas Fires in Ventura - sky view on Tuesday

We’d had spotty electricity all day due to an automobile accident up the street taking out a power line, so when the lights started flickering back on and off Monday evening my son and I figured maintenance was still in progress. The sound of helicopters in the distance were a bit non-standard, but we still tucked in and went to sleep anyway – not knowing that the Thomas fires now ravaging the Ventura area were the new reason for the outages. It wasn’t until the sun peeked up and shone a blood-red glow into my bedroom that I realized things had gone seriously sideways while we slumbered.

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Counting your blessings

Giving thanks for my blessings.

When life is challenging, it’s important to keep yourself balanced.  Look at everything that’s going well, and not focus on your struggles so much- as once you’ve counted up your blessings, they’ll far outweigh your burdens.  And this Thanksgiving morning I’m truly grateful for everything that’s come my way over the last three or four years – both the good and the bad.

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6 Habits Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity

6 tips to boost your productivity

I was a really disorganized kid. My room looked like a war zone, my internal clock was always about 30 minutes late, and my life was a series of minor emergencies strung together by random chance. I spent so much time trying to keep up with my day-to-day responsibilities that my bigger life goals seemed completely out of reach.

By the time I hit my twenties, the frustration of always feeling behind and overworked reached a breaking point, so I started searching for a solution. What I found were countless productivity philosophies and tools that promised to organize my life.

After years of trial and error I ended up distilling them all down to six helpful habits that keep me productive and on track.

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Me too.

me too

It’s been difficult for me to watch the #metoo campaign against sexual abuse and harassment towards women develop this week.

That isn’t remotely because I disagree with or oppose it, but quite the opposite. 

I’ve never (at least not that I’m aware) used my influence, power, or strength to harass and abuse women.  I have never groped anyone who didn’t clearly expect and invite me to. 

But I have been abused, harassed, groped and intimidated by men and women alike.   I’ve had advancement in my career offered in exchange for sex.  I’ve had record deals and press coverage extended to me, contingent upon ‘quid pro quo’ favors – both discreetly and not.  And from that perspective, as a man, I support #metoo wholeheartedly.

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Breaking the shell

breaking the shell

You’ve surely heard why a bird can’t be helped out when breaking the shell of it’s egg for the first time. Newborn birds need to fight and struggle to be free of their shell in order to develop the strength and power needed to survive their crucial first days and grow further, to adulthood.

In contrast, human newborns aren’t expected to do much more than survive the birthing experience and don’t consider the broader concepts of ‘breaking the shell’ as directly, or personally.  Growing pains. Rites of passage.  We’ve created our own analogies for the process of breaking and healing and growing.

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Getting Perspective

italy panorama

I’ve felt solid with myself lately after a few heavy years of change, but a bit stagnant in my new skin. My content management work at LinkedIn has been busy recently, just as I’ve also been focusing most of my free evenings recording an upcoming album project.  It’s been quite a blur this last 6 months of fumbling forward into my newfound full-time single dad life.

The first week of July – vacation time – was always blocked out in my calendar for a vacation, but all things considered I went a little bigger this year and booked a 2-week sojourn for my son and I across Italy and France starting on the 4th of July.  Kaboom.

Perfectly sandwiching itself between the United States’ Independence Day on the 4th, and the 14th de Juilliet (Bastille Day/French Independence Day), it presented an equally poignant shift between cultures.  For my son Devin, having not yet left the States, it was an eye-opening experience – speaking in broken sentences in languages he didn’t understand, adapting to strange and different local and cultural norms quickly, leaving his all-too-comfortable preconceptions of the world behind like footprints.

The trip certainly netted us both a truckload of fresh perspective.
In so many ways.

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