The Fierce Urgency of NOW

This week:


MLK & The Fierce Urgency of NOW- Evolution or Revolution Motivated by Great Feelings of Love:
On MLK Day this week, I was privileged to represent Mission Fed at Alliance San Diego’s 30th All People’s Celebration in Balboa Park. This gathering of well over 1,000 people each committed to a better community featured a powerful keynote by Eva Paterson of the Equal Justice Society, who made an eloquent and compelling case for behaving into some of the key tenets of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and juxtaposed them with what we are seeing in American civil society and politics today.

Here are some of the highlights of MLK’s dream and lowlights of today’s America that resonated most deeply for me.

Spirituality Anchored in Love: Dr. MLK stood for a beloved community girthed by a spiritual underpinning expressed in love, not fear or hate.

 Racial Inclusivity: While the civil rights movement might cursorily be viewed as being about African/American issues, at its core it was about all respecting and affirming all people.

“If you wonder what you might have been doing in the early days of Nazi Germany, look at what you are doing now!”

The “knock of fear” on the doors of DACA families have striking similarities to what members of the Jewish faith experienced during World War II.
References to “$#!+hole countries” by our President, referring to Haiti and African countries reeks of racism and white supremacy.
Alternatively, fostering a culture of inclusivity invites us to learn more about each other’s cultural history and celebrate and affirm our differences not deride them.

 Economic Equality: The 3 evils we need to understand and address are poverty, racism and militarism/war.

Nobody wins in the “Oppression Olympics” and nobody survives circular firing squads!

Here are some tips from Eva to keep us strong and together:

  • Be Hopeful
  • Be Patient
  • Be Resilient
  • Resist the Chaos
  • Remember our History (and learn from it)
  • Stay Informed
  • Act/Vote! (Including in the mid-term elections)
  • Practice Self-Care

“We were put on this earth to do something, not everything”


A Demand For Change Backed Up By $6 Trillion- A Sense of Purpose:

This should get your attention, because of the content and because of who it’s coming from, the CEO of BlackRock, a key investor which manages nearly $6 trillion in assets.  “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

If you are local…

The Most Profound Experiences are Found in the Least Likely of Places:
It has been said that sometimes the most profound experiences are found in the least likely of places.  Consider stepping behind the walls of prison.  And that’s exactly what I’m inviting you to do with this special ticket offer to TEDxDonovanCorrectional 2018.

Last year’s inaugural TEDxDonovanCorrectional was one of the highest ranked TEDx events in history and considered to be the most successful event ever put on inside a California prison.  It’s coming back on Sunday, March 11, 2018 and TEDxDonovanCorrectional extends a special invitation to you for the value it sees you bringing to this event with your community and business leadership and your vision for changing the conversation in today’s society.

The day-long event, organized by the inmates themselves in collaboration with outside volunteers, will feature 10 speakers – 5 currently incarcerated inmates and 5 outside speakers ranging from a 911 dispatcher, to a neuroscientist, to a radio hall of fame producer – all exploring the theme of “Reasoning with Reality.”  As the inmates say in their own words, “TEDxDonovanCorrectional invites you into an explosion of ideas, thoughts, and emotions that are unexpected, transformative and edifying to one’s soul.  Be prepared to look at reality from a whole new perspective.”  Click here to reserve your seats as soon as possible.

In the spirit of TED’s mission to create ideas worth spreading, we hope you join us to create new ideas worth spreading into your community.

Be brilliant,


TEDxDonovanCorrectional attendee reviews say a thousand words…

“The experience was once in a lifetime.  The stories shared by the men wrote on my heart forever.  Their vulnerability, their personal story of transformation, their wisdom and their passion were unimaginably real.”

“I’ve been to a few TEDx events before with truly inspiring speakers, but TEDxDonovanCorrectional was by far the most meaningful, intense, eye-opening event I have ever been to.  I will never forget this experience.”

“This was the most impactful, loving, expansive experience I’ve ever had in my life.  It truly drew me beyond the surface of prison and the inmates showed me the deep humanity we all share.”

Thanks this week go to the Chamber of Purpose and Conscious Capitalism teams, Mariette FdS, and all people indivisible and willing to take a stand!

Pay it forward with purpose

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You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.
– Jim Rohn


Speaking YOUR Truth Is the Most Powerful Tool We ALL Have


This week:

Wherever you stand on the media is the problem v. the media is the solution debate, last Sunday night’s Golden Globes, the launch of Hollywood’s award season provided context and commentary for how to lead with purpose and soul, if not within the system then in spite of it!

 The entire evening provided artists with a global stage (bully pulpit) from which to express their views on social justice, and signal important changes they envision manifesting as a result of the power of creatives and their gift to connect, inspire and in some cases change mindsets and societal norms for the better.

 A highlight for me was Oprah Winfrey accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and delivering a moving speech that brought men and women in the audience to their feet.

If you saw it, here it is for a moving revisit.
If you didn’t, here it is for your viewing experience…

From post-event commentary signaling potential Presidential interests to polarizing and plebian comments, Oprah, in my opinion, authentically holds the space for social justice for humanity with humility and has more sway, clout and moral authority than most.

That is my opinion. What is yours?

Do you turn a blind eye to corruption and injustice, to tyrants, secrets and lies?

Do you maintain the ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights?


A full transcript of Oprah’s acceptance speech follows here:

Thanks to creatives everywhere who use their craft to move humanity forward!

Pay it forward with purpose and creativity.

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“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve…
You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King

Happy First Soul Food Friday for January 2018: Who Do We Choose to Be This Year?

Happy Soul Food Friday 2018!

What Time is it on the Clock of the World?


Blessings for New Year!


Here is wishing you and yours a glorious experience as we embark on another journey around the sun.


This week:
The Power of Positivity!
These Kids with Disabilities are Becoming Superheroes and Will Touch Your Heart
This is the Justice League We Need!

“We don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.

The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

— Howard Zinn, historian

As we launch 2018, I sit in deep gratitude and want to share a book that I have found both honest and inspirational as we face the stark realities of today while holding an aspirational vision for tomorrow. Here is an excerpt and a link to a pdf to give you a seasonal sampler.

What This World Needs

 This world does not need more entrepreneurs.

This world does not need more technology breakthroughs.

This world needs leaders.

We need leaders who put service over self, who can be steadfast through crises and failures, who want to stay present and make a difference to the people, situations, and causes they care about.

We need leaders who are committed to serving people, who recognize what is being lost in the haste to dominate, ignore, and abuse the human spirit.

We need leaders because leadership has been debased as those who take things to scale or are first to market or dominate the competition or develop killer apps. Or hold onto power by constantly tightening their stranglehold of fear until people are left lifeless and cowering.

We need leaders now because we have failed to implement what was known to work, what would have prevented or mitigated the rise of hatred, violence, poverty, and ecological destruction. We have not failed from a lack of ideas and technologies. We have failed from a lack of will. The solutions we needed were already here.

Now it is too late.

We cannot solve these global issues globally. We can see them clearly. We can understand their root causes. We have evidence of solutions that would have solved them. But we refused to compromise, to collaborate, to persevere in resolving them as an intelligent, creative species living on one precious planet.

Now it’s up to us, not as global leaders but as local leaders. We can lead people to create positive changes locally that make life easier and more sustainable, that create possibility in the midst of global decline.

Let us use whatever power and influence we have, working with whatever resources are already available, mobilizing the people who are with us to work for what they care about.

As President Teddy Roosevelt enjoined us: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are


Who Do We Choose To Be:


Here is a consummate example of doing what you can with what you have where you are

Homeless Man Buys Stranded Woman Gas With His Last $20:


Thanks this week go to Julia N with Parenting 2.0, Meg W, Arman S-B and You for showing up with courage & compassion in 2018

Pay it forward please…

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“Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen”
Brene Brown’s Vulnerability Prayer

Your Last Soul Food for 2017: Love in Action

This week:


Holiday Mastery from Mehrad and Michele:

We’re very pleased to share with you a few secrets to Holiday Season Mastery.

What to Wear
What Makeup to Use
What Gift to Give

The perennial questions:

  1. What to wear?

The most attractive appearance is your posture. It is your posture that brings out the beauty of the garment and not the other way.

Your posture represents your consciousness. On the  journey of the evolution towards higher humanity where are you? How do you embody that posture?

  1. What makeup to use?

The most beautifying makeup is your smile.

  1. What gift to give?

The most precious gift to others is your own inner peace. Your vibration will radiates out and  bring out the same feeling in others. A much needed commodity for our unprecedented times.

Even better, make these permanent.

With love,
Mehrad and Michele



Christmas is LOVE in Action


We live in an age of extremes. Most of us are a bit hypnotized by our smart phones overflowing with the stream of urgent trivia as well as vital information that impacts our work, our families and our lives.  Our brains and emotions were not designed for this constant onslaught of stimulation.

At the same time, personal meditation has gone mainstream.  More and more business organizations are teaching their employees the disciplines of mindfulness and encouraging them to meditate, even at work.  Yoga has never been so popular.

Extremes also dominate our inner life of meaning.  Religions struggle to resolve their old doctrines that create tribal beliefs while the world culture simplifies spirituality into universal love.

Humans are designed
to wrestle with the big questions.

We seek certainty in an uncertain world. We want the light of unchanging truth as we try to make good decisions in the dark.

There are many big thinkers who believe that we are transitioning from a religious age through a secular age to a spiritual age.  Time will tell.  But I believe what really matters is that each of us wrestle with our theory of life until we arrive at a world that helps us to be the best person we can imagine becoming.

There is nothing more personal than our inner theory of the meaning of life.  Even in the most ‘doctrinaire’ religions each individual creates their own personal theology.

It is inescapable. According to Gallup surveys a large percentage of avowed atheists sincerely pursue humanitarian ideals because they believe in a vague but real source of empathy-based morality…”The Golden Rule.”

So what is your theory of life?  How do you derive meaning? Research suggests that there are three main theories:

  1. I can control the events of my life through perfect obedience to moral rules. (This is the common belief that if you say your prayers and eat your Wheaties that bad things won’t happen.) Although this mindset is obviously flawed, millions of people hang onto it as their only strategy to control things that evidently can’t be controlled.  This is very stressful and creates a crisis of faith. After all, when a loving God allows really bad things to happen to really good people it makes you wonder, “What the hell is going on?” Psychological research tells us that this theory of life creates a lot of inner fears and anxiety.
  2. Life happens…deal with it. This theory suggests that life is ultimately meaningless and random. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is the only rational approach.  The problem with this theory is that seeking pleasure does not fill the hole in our hearts that can only be filled with deeper meaning.  Most often when we see people who have lived their lives on the pleasure maximization principle, those like Hugh Hefner, and we feel sad for them or disgusted.
  3. Life is for learning. End-of-life research reveals that people who have this life theory are most satisfied. This mindset allows for life’s undeserved ups and downs as a means to personally grow into a better person.  Again, at the end of our lives what most happy people have wished for is that they have become wiser and more loving. (Not richer or more famous.) This theory of life is very optimistic and robust because it trains our inner voice to tell us that we can learn something beneficial from everything that happens to us. It infuses meaning into everyday life.  It makes our setbacks sacred. And it makes us grateful for our successes. When people say everything happens for a reason what they are acknowledging is that we can benefit from all of life’s experiences… if we choose to.  That’s the inner story that will make you the most stress resilient and satisfied.

So now some thoughts on the meaning of Christmas…
For a minute let me separate the message of Christ from Christian religions. But before I do, let me give you a few thoughts on religion.  Contrary to popular belief most wars have been fought over land and money not religious ideology.  Much, much good has been done by both individuals who are devoutly religious and by religions themselves.

However, when hard power, competitive people, who are almost always men, claim to have an exclusive relationship with God it brings out the worst in them. It legitimizes mind control, bigotry, slavery, holy war and terrorism. So, its also true that lots of very terrible things happen in the name of religion.

Religion can also serve a great human purpose by helping people gain impulse control and self-discipline, which are vital tools on the path to personal fulfillment. And it also turns out that people who worship together are psychologically happier and live longer. This is true even if they don’t believe exactly the same things.  There is something potent about communal celebration of a belief that life has purpose, love is the supreme value, and that our choices and actions matter.

Today there are thousands of Christian sects so Christianity is more of a tapestry of beliefs with thousands of individual threads.  Some Christians try to strip away the centuries of added dogmas and doctrines that obscure the message of Jesus. Sometimes these are called “Red Letter Christians” because in many New Testaments the words that are attributed to Christ are printed in red. These folks tend to downplay the words of Paul in his epistles as well as theologians, founders of religions and others who claim a special power to speak in the name of God. (Or for that matter to speak for the universe… or the force…)

The reason that Red Letter Christians like to focus on the words of Christ is because they are almost universally words of inclusion, non-judgment and forgiveness, even for big whopping moral flaws. Instead of commandments Christ gives us the Beatitudes.  In fact, he says the whole moral law can be reduced to one big idea.

We need to actively love each other.

Complicating things more than that destroys the power of universal compassion.

Of course, we need to love each other wisely.  Love does not mean co-dependence or allowing selfish, evil-acting people to cause suffering for the rest of us.  Real love is not weak… it is strong.  Christ did not hesitate to condemn the religious establishment of his time as being power-mad, greedy and mean.


My point in all this is that it doesn’t matter if someone says
Merry Christmas, or
Happy Holidays,
or nothing at all.

The spirit of Christ’s message is that loving-kindness really matters. When our personal characters are drenched in loving-kindness guided by wisdom we are becoming the best person we can imagine.

I don’t pretend to know what I don’t know.  And I don’t know a lot of things.

But what I do know is that loving others wisely has been my path to meaningful happiness.

 Loving makes me a better person.
I like to think about that at Christmas time.
Be happy, and love others wisely.





This week, I’ve been thinking, feeling, watching, listening, and taking stock of my life. It’s been hard not to do this, as I’ve spent time unpacking all of the items that I packed up while preparing to evacuate from the wildfires.

I’ve been taking stock not just of the “stuff” in my life, but of what’s really important to me these days. On Monday, I sat down with my friend Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow, who has devoted his life to studying the places on earth where people are healthiest and happiest. Our conversation really got me thinking deeper about what I value and whether I’m really leading a life where my values line up with my actions. (You can watch our conversation below.)

The news of this week also got me feeling and thinking about my values, and about what we value as a country. On Wednesday, I felt joyful when I heard about the large turnout of voters in Alabama, and about the powerful impact that black voters had, in particular. The people are awake! What a powerful reminder that a vote can disrupt the status quo. It’s also a reminder that the people have a voice, and that they want to be heard. As Kaushana Cauley wrote in the NY Times this week, if the Democrats want to win more elections like this one, then “they have to integrate black voters into the heart and soul of the party.”

Speaking of status quo, on Thursday I was saddened to think about how we haven’t been able to disrupt the status quo when it comes to gun violence in this country. As we observed the 5-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, I thought about the grief those families still deal with on a daily (if not hourly) basis. It must be so overwhelming. Then, for them to see us as a nation still deadlocked when it comes to sensible gun reform…it just breaks my heart and enrages me all at the same time. I also thought this week about the parents of Sandy Hook who took this tragedy and used it as a call to action to try and do something to stop this senseless violence. Mothers like Nicole Hockley, Alissa Parker and Scarlett Lewis, all whose voices we’ve shared in The Sunday Paper with you before. Their strength and determination give me hope for the future.

On any given day or week, joy, grief, sadness, anger, and reflection can all go hand in hand. Such is life, I tell my children. I counsel them to understand that they must be adept at these emotions if they expect to live a full life and/or get anything done in life.

This is also is one of the reasons that every year during the holiday season, I make it one of my traditions to sit down with my kids and our friend, pastor Chad Veach, to connect and take stock. I’ll be speaking with him again on Monday, and will share our conversation with you in next week’s Sunday Paper.

We all need to take stock of our lives, our priorities, our goals, our dreams, and of who and what we value. As we enter this season, it’s a way for us to connect and, I hope, focus on what’s important to one another.

It’s also a chance for us to listen. It’s a chance for us to hear, in a safe environment, about the struggles, the triumphs, the anger, the joy, and the grief that we may be feeling. It’s a moment for us to talk about what’s working and what’s not, and about how we might each connect better to one another.

This is what I’m hoping all of us might be able to think about doing over this holiday season. How might we do a better job connecting to one another? How might we all pull up a chair, like Joe Biden did this week when Megan McCain was overcome with emotion regarding her father? Joe Biden pulled up a chair and he connected. He moved in with compassion and strength. What a powerful move it was.

So, as we move into the holidays and into a new year, I’m going to be thinking about where I can use my voice to upend the status quo. I’m going to be thinking about when and where I can pull up a chair. I’m going to be thinking about where I can move in to listen, to comfort, and to connect with another.

At the end of the day, these are the moves that Move Humanity Forward.


P.S. For more of what “I’ve Been Thinking,” I hope you’ll check out my upcoming book, “I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.” It’s available for pre-order now. I was inspired to write it thanks to all of the positive feedback I receive from you, readers of The Sunday Paper. So, thank you. I love being in community with you.





HOW TO CONNECT TO YOUR INNER PEACE AMIDST THE HOLIDAY MADNESS: My dear friend, Architect of Change Elizabeth Lesser, understands the pressures many of us experience during the holidays. That’s why I was thrilled when she offered us her insight on how we can all find calm during this often stressful time. [READ MORE]



WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE HAPPIEST PLACES ON EARTH: I always learn something new and fascinating from my friend, Architect of Change Dan Buettner. This week he stopped by to discuss his latest book, The Blue Zones of Happiness, and what he’s learned by studying the regions of the world that have been measured to have the most enduring happiness.  [WATCH OUR CONVERSATION HERE]



KINDNESS IS NOT A SEASONAL BRAND: This week, my friend Patti Peterson writes a timely and insightful observation about why it’s problematic that we only seem to emphasize kindness as a virtue during the holidays. She offers guidance on how we can practice compassion year-round. [READ MORE]



A HOLIDAY GUIDE FOR A GOOD CAUSE: If you’ve been touched by the Architects of Change we’ve featured in The Sunday Paper this year, then may we encourage you to consider them when making your charitable giving this holiday season. We’ve certainly met some extraordinary individuals this year who have devoted their lives to moving humanity forward. Here are 10 for you to consider this season. [READ MORE]



CONNECTING YOUR KIDS TO THE SPIRIT OF KINDNESS THIS SEASON: Architect of Change Tyler Knott has made a special connection to his legions of loyal followers on Instagram through his creative poetry, haiku, and photography. He and his partner, Sarah Linden, recently co-authored a holiday book entitled, “North Pole Ninja: Mission Christmas,” which serves to inspire kids to perform daily acts of kindness. Today, he shares a powerful, exclusive essay about how he hopes to use his voice to try and restructure the way kids and their parents look at the holiday season. [READ MORE]



1. FORMER FACEBOOK EXEC: SITE IS “RIPPING APART THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF HOW SOCIETY WORKS:” As we talk about how we connect to one another, I think it’s worth considering how social media is playing a role in the matter. I thought it was incredibly bold this week for former Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya to admit that he feels “tremendous guilt” about what he helped create. [READ MORE]

I was disappointed that the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal net neutrality protections. No matter how you feel about the Internet, the bottom line is that it’s a powerful tool and we should make all content of equal access to everyone. This decision puts that at risk. [READ MORE]

3. MERRIAM-WEBSTER NAMES ‘FEMINISM’ THE WORD OF THE YEAR:  I think it’s cool that this year, when more and more women are speaking up and taking a stand, the famed dictionary has recognized the power of the word “feminism” to our cultural vernacular. [READ MORE]

4. ERASING THE STIGMA OF TEENAGE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: A disturbing statistic has emerged to the forefront. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in five kids has a mental disorder ranging from ADHD to severe depression to anxiety. The Today Show reported this week on how one family dealt with their own child’s anxiety and how they hope to help others like them. [READ MORE]

5. YOUNG BOY COLLECTS 1,000 TOYS FOR KIDS IN PUERTO RICO: Talk about reaching out and connecting with those who need it. I was so touched by the selfless act accomplished by Jayden Perez of New Jersey, who took it upon himself to collect toys to make sure that children in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico had toys for Christmas this year. [WATCH THE HEARTFELT APPEAL HE POSTED TO FACEBOOK]

Click the FaceBook link above this image.


I love the words of Pema Chodron, an ordained nun and an American Tibetan Buddhist. In this excerpt from her book, “The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving Kindness,” she reminds us that to truly connect with others and accept them for who they are, we must learn to connect with the present moment and accept what is.



[Read More]






We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added a few new items to our shop! Check out our stylish apparel to fight Alzheimer’s, created in partnership with Art With a Purpose. You can also order our newest product, the “Maria” candle – the same scent used in her office and home. And now, through the end of December, every purchase you make from Rivet Revolution’s “WAM Band” bracelet collection will also mean a $20 donated to The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Visit the shop on to find out about these products and more!


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Rangers’ Cole Hamels Donates $10 Million Mansion to Charity for Special-needs Children:
By Des Bieler
Dec. 19 (Washington Post) — In August, Cole Hamels put
a mansion he had been building in southwest Missouri on the
market, at an asking price of almost $10 million. However, the
Texas Rangers pitcher recently announced that he and his wife,
Heidi, gave away the property, which includes over 100 acres of
land and 1,700 feet of shoreline along a lake, to a charity that
helps children with special needs and chronic illnesses.
Camp Barnabas has two locations in the Missouri Ozarks, one
of which is at Table Rock Lake, where Hamels’s former property is
located. Now the organization, which says its goal is to “meet
the needs of people with disabilities so they can have an
incredible camp experience and learn more about Christ,” has much
more space in which to do so.
“There are tons of amazing charities in southwest Missouri.
Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings,”
Hamels, who turns 34 later this month, said in a statement.
“Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of
the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas
makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big
“This is so much more than a beautiful property,” a Camp
Barnabas official said. “This incredible gift allows us to
further our ministry and truly change thousands of lives for
years to come.”
The 32,000-square foot home includes 10 bedrooms, 13
bathrooms, six half-baths, a second kitchen, exercise room, wine
cellar, elevator and three-car garage (per NBC DFW). Its interior
was reportedly not completely finished, with Hamels having begun
construction in 2012, then deciding to live full-time in Texas
after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Rangers
in 2015.
Cole Hamels and his wife are giving their 32,000-square-foot
mansion away for a great cause
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 19, 2017

Aerial views of the mansion and land Cole Hamels is donating
to a camp for kids with special needs
— Landon Haaf (@LandonHaaf) December 19, 2017

Hamels’s donation came just after a gift to Camp Barnabas
from golfer Jordan Spieth, which was described (via the
Springfield News-Leader) as allowing 100 children to spend a week
at the camp. A Barnabas official said Spieth’s donation was
“life-changing,” adding that it would also help “the parents who
champion for their kids tirelessly throughout the year, but for
one single week they get a chance to just breathe.”
A four-time all-star and the MVP of the 2008 World Series,
Hamels is looking to rebound next year after a 2017 season in
which he posted his highest ERA (4.20) since 2009. In 12 MLB
seasons, he has a 147-102 record, with a 3.37 career ERA and
2,227 strikeouts to 645 walks.

Thanks this week go to Tom S, Mehrad and Michele, Will M, Maria S, Cole H, and all of you that model Soul-Filled Living

Happy New Year Everyone!


Pay it Forward in the New Year!

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“Out of all-inclusive, unconditional compassion comes the healing of all mankind.”— Dr. David Hawkins

Happiness During the Holidays

This week:

Happiness During the Holidays


Pope Francis: 3 Ways to Find Happiness this Holiday Season
A Smile Can Change Your Life
Don’t Settle for a Small Life
Today Takes Courage

Holiday Blues: Four mistakes we make when comforting friends who are struggling
If you have a loved one who’s suffering, “Happy holidays!” can feel like a cruel joke. The most wonderful time of the year? Not for everyone…

Happy Holidays from Mission Fed:



Here’s to your dreams—whether they’re big or small

Whether your success is measured in large accomplishments or little victories, we hope our holiday message finds you enjoying the spirit of the season.

Thank you for your loyalty and trust, and here’s to more Mission Fed Moments in the New Year!

Your Friends at Mission Fed

Your success is our bottom line.


Happy Holidays Everyone!
Pay it Forward, the World Needs YOU

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“Out of all-inclusive, unconditional compassion comes the healing of all mankind.”— Dr. David Hawkins


Working On Purpose


This week:

“Let us therefore decide both upon the Goal and upon the Way, and not fail to find some experienced Guide who has explored the region towards which we are advancing, for the conditions of this Journey are different from those of most travel.” — Seneca

Kind World #37: The Boy With Long Lashes:
Mohamed is the only person in Los Angeles County who exclusively fosters children with terminal illnesses…

IF Your Job is Just “OK”, YOU Might Not Be:
It’s time we accept that our best chance at a fulfilling life is through fulfilling work.

Arianna Huffington and Jeff Bezos Agree on the Key to Success:
“We need to declare an artificial end to the day, because our day never ends.”

How to Protect Yourself and the World from Evil Leaders:

I don’t really believe there are intrinsically evil people. But based on the psychological research reported by Dr. Jonathan Haidt of NYU I do believe that certain people have a genetic disposition toward an extreme sensitivity to threats. This aberrational imbalance in some cases causes a drum beat of inner fear that leads to emotional atrophy… a complete loss empathy toward others.

According to research psychologist Dr. Nathan Brooks, this mal-adaptation leads to two principal outcomes. One is jail, the other is becoming a CEO, politician or lawyer. The psychological condition is called the Dark Triad.

The psychological definition of the Dark Triad is the lethal combination of:

  1.  Narcissism
  2.  Psychopathy
  3.  Machiavellianism (compulsive manipulation of others)

Yes, unfortunately the Dark Triad is a “thing.” It is a psychological condition that has been studied extensively over the last 25 years because it is distinctively prevalent among males who attain powerful leadership positions in large organizations and institutions.

It works like this:

  • A narcissist is characterized by an inner voice that is self-inflated, entitled and insecure and focuses outer behavior on extreme status seeking. Narcissists are also superficially charming.
  • A psychopath is selfish, egotistical, dishonest and cruel.
  • A manipulator is deceitful, ruthless, and exploitative.

A common characteristic of a member of the Dark Triad is negative empathy. This is a way of reading others peoples’ needs, interests and vulnerabilities in a way to take advantage of them.

It won’t surprise you that although psychologists estimate that only 1% of the population fall in the Dark Triad category, they make 30% of the prison population. What will surprise you is in a study reported in the Frontiers of Neuroscience in 2014, a series of validated assessments was administered to hundreds of random CEOs, and 20% were classified as leaders with the psychological characteristics of the Dark Triad. That’s right, its 20 times more likely to run into a Dark Triad CEO than a Dark Triad individual.

How can this be?

It’s actually quite simple. Business organizations are run like dictatorships. They are inherently authoritarian structures.  Employees are given orders and are rewarded and punished on the basis of their achievement of goals and demands of senior leaders. Authoritarian organizations attract narcissistic personalities because they bestow status, power and privilege on the few who make it to the top. Narcissists will do whatever it takes to satisfy their addiction to status.

Large organizations also reward psychopaths with power because, as Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University research confirms, dishonesty, exploitation and self-aggrandizement lead to moving up the ladder of power far more often than virtues and morality.

Manipulators also win more often in command-and-control-led organizations because, according to Pfeffer’s research, half-truths, outright deception, and blaming are rewarded far more often than honesty, transparency and authenticity.

Pfeffer’s research also points out that large organizations actually attract deviant, Dark Triad personalities because ruthless power plays are consistently rewarded. And according to Dark Triad expert Dr. Nathan Brooks the same characteristics that enable members of the Dark Triad to enter into the highest levels of business leadership are also true for our political institutions and the profession of law.

I realize you might think I’m over-the-top in my cynicism about the inner virtue of many large-scale leaders. But I don’t think I am. In my experience, narcissistic, manipulative psychopaths can appear to be very nice people. In fact, the characteristic of superficial charm is very common. But the most dangerous element of a Dark Triad personality is that they are experts at justifying their behavior. They live in a world where their ends always justify whatever the means. And they distort their goals as if what they selfishly want is for the greater good. Self-deception is the worst lie because it is the most powerful one. (That’s how the megalomaniac CEO’s of Wells Fargo, Uber and Miramax Pictures justified themselves. And for the few that are publicly disgraced there are scores more that conduct their distorted version of business as usual with the full complicity of their boards.)

Of course, I have a solution to all this toxic leadership and you probably know what it is.

Men are 20 times more likely to have Dark Triad personality traits than women. That’s because women are generally far more interested in group success than individual status. In fact, women assess threats in the context of the group they belong to rather than as individuals. Women try to diffuse threats through mutual understanding and reciprocal benefits rather than dominance and conflict.

Please understand I am not saying that all male leaders are dark manipulators. I have personally worked with many high-level male executives and CEOs who went to work every day as servant leaders. And yet, what I have found is that the pressure from board members and analysts, who are solely focused on creating stockholder wealth tends to wear down the higher motives of even the best men. The reason for this pressure is the same. Authoritarian structures magnify the self-interests of the few at the top. That pressure is corrupting.

My years of research and decades of leadership consulting have lead me to two conclusions.

First, authoritarian organizations typically reward the wrong people with power. We may not be able to completely eliminate organizational structure because structure is necessary for large organizations. But we can transform cultural standards, beliefs and behaviors and we can institute work processes, policies and practices that increase group intelligence and true value creation for all stakeholders.

Second, I am now convinced the only way to achieve the first goal is to elevate far more women who exhibit collaborative values and skills (rather than women who mimic men) to the role of CEO and Chairwoman of the Board.

That’s why I am founding the SMART Women Institute with National University and partnering with WITI (Women in Technology International). Our mission is to train one million women in five years in the science-based skills of SMART Power. These skills bring to life the mindset of Transformational Leadership, written about by the renowned leadership historian, James McGregor Burns. This is not just a leadership theory. It is a disciplined practice that we intend to equip a million women, and the many men who support them, with the leadership vision and skill to create a future we want our children to inherit.

We will be formally launching the institute on January 30, 2018. To get more information about how you can become part of this movement, please contact us at We will send you our mission-strategy overview, a list of events and how you can get involved.


We insist on women’s leadership parity because it is the only proven path to sustainable prosperity.  One woman at a time, A Million SMART Women will buy-in and believe this fact to be true, and we will change the future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. We need your involvement. Join our Facebook page. Follow us on Instagram. Follow us on Twitter. Go to our Website. In the coming months, we will be rolling out a Women’s Leadership Learning Center, an Ambassador program, and much more. Please join us. The world needs you to LEAD.

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P.S. Please connect with me on LinkedIn to be updated on my other leadership activities.

P.P.S. Can you give me 30 seconds once a week? Then please sign up for my weekly SMARTrockets. Readers love them because they’re based on today’s science of positive well-being, take 30 seconds to read, and are easy to do. Sign up here and see for yourself.


Join Us at the Conscious Business World Summit Online:



The Framework for Cultivating the Mind, Skills and Beliefs of Being a Conscious Leader

I’m proud to announce my partnership and participation in the Conscious Business World Summit, a VIRTUAL event Online from January 8-12, 2018. Join me as I discuss, Being a Conscious Leader, as well as other thought leaders, best-selling authors and thousands of business pioneers from around the world.


January 8-12, 2018
A Virtual Online Event


Conscious Leadership, Workplace Culture & Sustainable Business

Join top conscious leaders as they share their inspiring journeys and and life experiences on topics of:

  • Conscious Leadership
  • Creating a Mission Driven Organization
  • Building a Conscious Workplace Culture
  • Sustainability and CSR
  • Personal Development for Conscious Business

It’s shaping up to be a wonderful week of inspiration and insights.  Sign up now for this FREE ONLINE EVENT.

Eric Kaufmann
Executive Coach l Facilitator l Speaker
Author: Four Virtues of a Leader
Fellow: Harvard’s Institute of Coaching 
TEDx Speaker: Courage is NOT what you think


Thanks this week go to Kind World, Heleo, Bea B,  Will M & Eric K.

Please Pay it Forward and Work with Purpose

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“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” –Ambrose Redmoon

Talking ‘Bout Our Education- Kindness, Know Thy Students, Passion, Perseverance, GRIT & A Growth Mindset

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” –Plato

This week:

For 36 years I have been teaching the wisdom traditions to elevate humanity. For more than two decades, my wife has concurrently been teaching women’s self-defense classes to empower women. She recently created a curriculum for men to socialize other men about their role in being part of the solution.

Finally, sexual harassment awareness and a swift societal response seems to have reached a tipping point, as evidenced by the number of cases being brought to light in all walks of life as reflected in this recent article.

I was ‘Propositioned, Touched, Patted and Groped’ on Capitol Hill:
When I hear some men shrug off the spate of sexual harassment claims and accuse the women of lying, I’m quite certain I am not alone in that it makes me want to scream…

The antidote for gender inequality and power imbalances that are insidious and pervasive today is education in our formative years focused on competence and character so we can create a new normal for the next generation.
Below are some poignant examples we can both learn and teach to help us persevere and thrive:


The Great Kindness Challenge:
The Great Kindness Challenge is one day devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible.
It is our hope that this day will inspire a lifelong commitment to service and kindness. Anyone can participate in The Great Kindness Challenge. To be a part of this special, world-changing event, all you need to do is download The Great Kindness Challenge Checklist and choose how you would like to honor and celebrate this special day.
You don’t need to spend any money, provide any personal information or make a commitment of any kind. We just want you, and many others around the world, to enjoy giving and receiving acts of kindness. Together we can raise awareness of the power we all have to make the world a better place, every day, with even the simplest of acts. We invite and encourage groups of all types – families, clubs, teams, religious groups, etc. – to honor and celebrate The Great Kindness Challenge together.

The Power of Being Seen:
In Nevada a simple strategy pushes teachers to look beyond the lessons and this strategy will work for ALL of us…

Passion and Perseverance:
Angela Duckworth’s vid on Grit covers passion perseverance and potential of individuals based on social research

Now Add some GRIT to Accomplish Your Goals:

Encouraging Students to Make Mistakes to Improve Math Outcomes:
Teaching students to persist using a mindset that allows them to make and learn from mistakes.
Often, that involves creating a classroom atmosphere that allows students to take risks with their thinking without fear of being laughed at or corrected…

Thanks this week go to Jill Mc, Paula C, Paul S, Ken B, & Brenda H.

Please pay it forward!

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“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow”
–John Dewey 1859-1952