Hi! Welcome! You’ve arrived at the part of my webpage where the marketing people might tell me I should kind of show off. The conventional thing to do in this space would be to go on about the crazily innovative clients in my coaching and group work practice or the movie I starred in or my famous environmental project or the over one hundred thousand books I’ve sold or how I ran for Congress or the many tens of thousands of people who have been through my lifestyle programs or the colleges I’ve taught at or the number of times I’ve been featured in the New York Times and NPR and on TV or my international speaking or the number of foundations that have supported my work or the Zen tradition I teach in.
Those things are cool to know, especially if you want to justify to yourself or your boss or board why you should hire me or publish me or interview me. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to work with you (and you can find a more formal biography and CV here), but really, I want to connect, especially if you share my questions and want to be in conversation about what really makes for good lives, good organizations and good societies. That’s why I’m going with authenticity instead of accomplishments on this page.
I am obsessed with 3 things:
1. Living an authentic, purposeful life that has a meaningful impact on the world
2. Helping other people to do the same
3. Creating a world where the freedom to find that kind of human dignity is available to everyone.
Hence, I write, speak, coach, consult and am a social activist.
When it comes to my life, here are the kind of thoughts that arise: I want to prioritize friendships and companionship. I want my spiritual life and self-development and community never to get short shrift. Loving my daughter endlessly, I want her to be happy and safe. I want to use the skills and talents that make me go into a flow state and not get lost in busy work and being hectic. I want to have fun and be in love. I want to experience so much and feel creative. And I really want to do all this while addressing myself to the many kinds of suffering I see in the world– I want meaning and purpose.
In fact, it turns out that I want those things so much that I have quit pretty much everything that stands in their way. I quit a teenage addiction to alcohol and drugs. I quit trying to get rich through an unfulfilling career as a PhD engineer. I quit being bored in my life as the director of a public relations firm that didn’t use my talents. I quit a career as a magazine writer that won me nothing but status. I quit writing history books that didn’t address the things I really cared about in the world.
Meanwhile, I have studied, trained, thought, written books, given talks, and been in movies about what actually makes for the good life I’ve been looking for–and also about how we can make the good life available to everyone. My writing is about how we can all find the good life for ourselves and also how we can work for a world where the good life is available to everyone. In my coaching practice, I help individuals and groups find the good life. Through my consulting, I help organizations discover and align with their values and bring the good life to their customers, employees and stakeholders.