The Drive to Stay Small

The American Psychological Association defines “fear of success” as: “a fear of accomplishing one’s goals or succeeding in society, or a tendency to avoid doing so”. For the longest time, the whole concept didn’t resonate with me. Fear of failure always made sense, but fear of success – why? And yet, the deeper I march through the layers of my personal development journey, the less and less a fear of failure grips me, and the more it seems like a fear of becoming fully expressed has always underpinned my behavior and results. I really began to understand how this fear...…

Life saver

October of 2002 was the closest I ever came to suicide. After suffering many months of intense depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep, I had started on the planning phase. How do I execute it? Who should I leave my car to? There was no major external event that spun me into such a bad place. It can be hard to explain this kind of state to someone who’s never experienced it – attitude adjustments, perspective shifts, vacations to pretty places – none of these make a dent in the interior blackness. My body became a shell shuffling slowly, my...…

Outsmarting my selves

David Allen’s magnum opus on personal productivity, Getting Things Done, is packed with useful insights. Here’s one of my favorites: The smart part of us sets up things for us to do that the not-so-smart part responds to almost automatically, creating behavior that produces high-performing results. We trick ourselves into doing what we ought to be doing. He then offers this classic example: putting something you need to take with you near your car keys. My personal crutch in this department is alarms. Even if my future action needs to be done a mere ten minutes from the present moment,...…

On Purpose

I woke up this morning to a feeling so distant in my experience that it took me a minute to identify: deep contentment. The flavor is specific, which is why I had to look at it for a bit to know. It’s the contentment of being on a worthy mission, of slipping into a stream of action that aligns with the reason your heart keeps beating. …

Blank Canvas

The three most dangerous animals in Maine – #3: bears, #2: moose, #1: ticks. Which probably seems backwards. The thing is, the chances of me seeing a bear or moose on my property is akin to a lightning strike, while I’ve already plucked over half a dozen ticks off of me or my clothing in just a few weeks. …