Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.
Jun
13

Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.

The Wise Words of Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I often talk to people scared by the state of our world, unsure of their place in it, and overwhelmed by the task of doing something about it.

A friend shared with me the words of poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés and I've found them comforting in times of despair.

Do Not Lose Heart. We Were Made For These Times.

I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now...

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Stop Thinking It's About You
May
18

Stop Thinking It's About You

The Real Secret To Doing Work That Matters

In early 2010, after a few menacing weeks in South Africa, I was inches away from throwing in the towel on my fledgling organization. There was just too much evil in the world; too many dark forces keeping the poor in poverty and the rest of us too concerned with ourselves to do anything about it.

What saved me were the words of a friend. “Don’t make a decision in the dark that was inspired in the light.”

While I believe God speaks to us in key moments, much of our success demands the ability to recall and remind ourselves of those moments when all hope feels lost. We can never allow a feeling that was stirred in a high hour to evaporate in times of despair.

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The Day Online Gamers Beat HIV/AIDS and Revealed The Authentic Self
May
07

The Day Online Gamers Beat HIV/AIDS and Revealed The Authentic Self

The Real Call of Duty or Turning Halo Into Humanitarianism

With no background in biochemistry or concrete knowledge of the HIV/AIDS virus, a group of online gamers solved a molecular mystery that had stumped researchers for nearly a decade. Even better, the gamers did it in 10 days.

The breakthrough came through a website called FoldIt whose goal is to ‘solve puzzles for science.’ Essentially, you join a community of gamers and get points if you solve unique puzzles. It’s pure crowdsourcing, but for science. And in the end, rather than just scoring the highest points, you have the potential to save lives. Pretty cool.

But the true genius of FoldIt is that its founders realized that you don’t necessarily need a lab coat or an Ivy League degree to be a scientist...

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Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life
Apr
25

Stop Waiting For God To Tell You What To Do With Your Life

The waterbed, the pinprick, and the tidal wave

A friend told me that while he hated bussing tables at the restaurant where he was working, he was still waiting for God to tell him what to do with his life. He believed that if he was patient enough and did his work well, eventually God would reveal his true calling.

I told him I don’t think God works like that.

We all want to do meaningful work and find our passion, but I can guarantee you this: Your purpose in life will never be written on the wall. And it will never be revealed to you in full...

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Smash The Stained Glass and Do It Yourself
Apr
11

Smash The Stained Glass and Do It Yourself

The Courage and Impact of DIY Humanitarians

Largely unnoticed in European history books is the tiny French village of Le Chambon. Mountainous, impoverished, and easily overlooked, the small population of Le Chambon represents a miracle of unparalleled compassion.

During the four years of the German occupation of France in the 1940’s, this sleepy Protestant town assisted nearly five thousand Jews, most of them children, to navigate Nazi-occupied France into neutral Switzerland. Under the leadership of a local minister named Andre Trocme, hundreds of ordinary Chambonnais risked certain death to rescue, house, and forge identities for the Jewish refugees of World War II...

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Apr
03

Video Blog 2 of 2: Doing Work That Matters

Defeating Resistance and Turning Pro

So often it feels as if there is something holding us back from doing meaningful work.

Author Steven Pressfield defines this force as "Resistance," a repelling force whose aim is to distract and bully us into choosing a life of mediocrity.

The way to beat Resistance is to Turn Pro. Only then can we really do work that matters.

Check out Part 2 of a talk in Los Angeles with Seacret, a corporate partner of These Numbers Have Faces, where I address the Resistance, how to turn pro, and ways you can do it in your own life.


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Want To Do Meaningful Work? Keep Reading. Literally.
Mar
20

Want To Do Meaningful Work? Keep Reading. Literally.

How Reading Promotes Empathy and Drives Innovation

A survey by The Jenkins Group, an independent publishing services firm, has shown that millions of Americans never read another book after leaving school.

Check out the stats:

33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

42% of college graduates never read another book after college.

80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

57% of new books are not read to completion.

While these statistics are obviously troubling, I don’t think any of us can honestly say we’re that surprised.

But what I’m intrigued by is not the people who neglect to read books, but rather, the ones who continue to do so.

I’ve noticed a unique trend among my friends who’ve thrived in their 20’s and 30’s...

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If You're Not Scared, You're Not Doing It Right
Mar
07

If You're Not Scared, You're Not Doing It Right

Fear as an indicator for love

I’ve been scared for the last 2 years

Scared about the direction of my organization, scared about making sure I can pay the mortgage, scared I’m pigeon-holing my career.

When the noise of my own self-doubt becomes unbearable, I have a special spot I like to go in Portland down the street from my office. I sit on a grassy hill, littered with weeds, and lean against a broken light post. My spot isn’t picturesque; it overlooks a truck depot and a freeway on-ramp, but it’s mine.

Some people say God talks to them at length. Full paragraphs and jokes and all. For me, on my grassy knoll, God has been more of a broken record lately. When the world feels like it’s crashing down, all I hear are the same two lines...


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Becoming A Ninja Philanthropist
Feb
23

Becoming A Ninja Philanthropist

Find Joy and Change Lives as a Cloak and Dagger Donor

When I was in college a friend of mine was at risk of dropping out. His family underestimated the full cost of tuition and living expenses, and there simply wasn’t enough money to continue through the end of the semester.

This was a big time of stress and my friend prayed and prayed that somehow he’d be able to stay in school. One day he got a phone call from the finance department. An anonymous alumnus had dropped into the head offices, asked about students struggling with tuition, and proceeded to pay the fees for my friend to finish out the year. It was something like $15,000.

This generous donor demanded to stay anonymous. They didn’t want their name in the alumni magazine, didn’t even want to meet the student they had helped. This person was more than happy to be a ninja philanthropist...

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Stop Critiquing and Start Creating
Feb
08

Stop Critiquing and Start Creating

How to defy and destroy our barriers to change

A good friend told me there are three types of people in the world:

1. Consumers

2. Critics

3. Creators

There was a time in my life when I thrived in my role as a Critic. I had an opinion about everything and spent many sleepless nights brooding over ideological arguments and creating fake debate scenarios in my head. It was mania, an obsession, fueled by the high of feeling "right."

One day I realized that my very critical opinions were taking up a lot of time and making me a very angry person.

I also realized that I was against a lot more than I was actually for...

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