Reviving Personalism, Acknowledging Misinformation and Prejudice & the First Thing You Learn in Monk School


This week:

“Despite what the achievement culture teaches, dignity does not depend on what you do, how successful you are or whether your school calls you gifted.
Infinite worth is inherent in being human.
Every human encounter is a meeting of equals.
Doing community service isn’t about saving the poor; it’s a meeting of absolute equals as both seek to change and grow…”


Our Culture Does a Pretty Good Job of Ignoring the Uniqueness and Depth of Each Person
David Brooks on Personalism: The Philosophy We Need. Is it time for a revival of personalism?


“With the exception of the French, all respondents overestimated the share of Muslim immigrants and underestimated the share of Christians.
They also estimated that immigrants were more numerous than they really are.
In US, the country where disparity between perceptions and actual numbers was the most striking, respondents put immigrants’ share of the country’s population at 36%. It’s only 10%.”

A Harvard Study Shows that Just Thinking of “Immigrants” Makes People Less Generous:
Harvard University researchers looked at the common threads between the backlash against immigrants in this and other developed countries.
Their findings, circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research, point to misinformation and prejudice…


Rare Photos: The Passage of Time Gives Us Perspective
Some of these will make you pause and reflect…
Kids for Sale? WTF?

“Things Are Way to Urgent to Rush”

An Antidote…

The First Thing You Learn At Monk School with Jay Shetty:
Wisdom traditions focus on the root of things. Why have we moved away from them?


Thanks this week go to Elizabeth D, Chris B, Marlaine C and all of ye.


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“Unfortunately, we have to live most of our life before we learn to get the most out of life…”


Forget the Last Game, Forget the Last Play and Forget the Excuses- Play with Purpose!


This week:

Sports Psychology Loses One of Its Greats- Ken Ravizza!
“Forget the last game, forget the last play and forget the excuses.”
We could all benefit from a mental conditioning coach…
Once he said what he teaches is all yoga!

Watch It!
The Bleeding Edge: New Documentary Film is Scathing Indictment of FDA’s Regulation of Medical Devices-A new Netflix documentary – The Bleeding Edge  – highlights a wide range of systemic flaws in the FDA’s regulation of medical devices. As always, the patient stories are truly heartbreaking (and often clinically gruesome), but what makes this documentary different is the sheer volume of clinical and legal testimony aimed so directly and forcefully at the FDA – the one organization purpose-built to protect patients from a wide range of clinical risks – including those from medical device manufacturers.
Saw it on Netflix this week and it was mind blowing! We all need to be aware and informed

Speaking of Accountability…
Move Over Sustainability Accounting, Here Comes Purpose Accounting:
Introducing Purpose Performance, a new measure of organizational performance that assesses impacts relative to the voluntary commitments organizations make to provide public benefits or to generally pursue beneficial purposes of one kind or another…

If you are local and committed to creating community, advancing your purpose practice, bringing these purpose principles into your enterprise, as well as addressing some of San Diego’s most pressing issues.…

Summer Purpose Party/Conscious Culture Convening @ Culture Brewing, Next Week August 8, 5:30 to 7:30p, 629 Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas CA 92024- Discount Code Included

Conscious organizations have trusting, authentic, innovative and caring cultures that make working there a source of both personal growth and professional fulfillment.

This month join this celebration of conscious culture at Culture Brewing Company, Encinitas and join us to grow your network, get inspired and have some fun!!

Join us for the Purpose San Diego & Conscious Capitalism joint Summer Social Event!

Join us for this fun joint event with our friends at Conscious Capitalism.  Our shared ideals and overlapping communities will make this a great event for connecting with like-minded purpose-driven members of our San Diego Community!

Tickets are $15 with the code PURPOSESD




Thank You to Our Sponsor:



Thanks this week go to Mehrad N, Barbara S-B, and the rapidly emerging Purpose Ecosystem in San Diego

Play with Purpose!

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“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.”—H. G. Wells

The Dynamic Tension Between Your Fears and Your Dreams is Your Life! Are You Taking Yourself For Granted?

Happy Soul Food Monday!
After nearly a decade of Soul Food Fridays, I missed last Friday’s deadline (no excuses) so here it is on a Monday instead… 

Are You Taking Yourself For Granted? 

“Things are Way to Urgent to Rush”…
If we are intellectually honest with ourselves, reconciling the urgency of now, with a focus on long-term fundamental and systemic issues is both a challenge and an opportunity that is brutally tough to reconcile.
This piece from the Hopi Elders captures this inherent tension with timeless wisdom and a call for action:


The Dynamic Tension Between Your Fears and Your Dreams is Your Life!

Our fear and sorrow, left untreated pull us down toward entropy and negative energy, changing the set point for how we experience life.
Our dreams, on the other hand pull us up towards our highest potentiality and greatest gift, changing the frame and by extension shift our capacity to foster generative change.
We live on this pendulum, swinging between these two states and ways of being.
But what is moving the pendulum?

If you created a continuum of ones baseline state, do you find your default setting closer to the Fear-based side, or is top dead center more towards your Dreams/Aspirations/Vision?


If all we do is react to problems.
And if we react well to problems.
The best we have is no problems.
But is that the best you deserve out of life?

If emotional management Is a predictive variable (there are others) and your ability to recruit your emotional energy to shift from a fear-based model to a vision-inspired model is a key factor, are you able to harness those emotions to serve your greatest and highest need and that of those around you?

Orienting to what we want to create in life, rather than what problems we are trying to address or eliminate is a fundamental shift in attention, intention and attitude.
Hacking your own life success might well be as much about this internal condition -which we do control- and less about the external conditions over which we don’t have nearly as much control or influence.

Shift happens.
With this systems shift it might even be possible to transmute our deepest wound into our greatest gift?

Spending several days this week with Peter Senge, and his talented group including Mette and Roger, as part of a collective impact effort we are doing on the Oceanside Promise has been illuminating as we explored systems thinking models and archetypes, and challenged our implicit beliefs and biases about our world in general and education in particular.

Challenging orthodoxy after all is counter-conventional as Parker Palmer reminds us.

Going deep might be difficult and not the norm.
But perhaps that is where our deepest learning opportunities reside…

The Indo-European root of “to lead” leith, literally means to step across a threshold- and to let go of whatever might limit stepping forward.
Are you ready to take that step?

Here are two pieces to help us navigate this continuum, and yes by popular demand the second link is a repeat from last week, as so many reacted favorably to it and not everyone digests every Soul Food missive.

The first link is a powerful example of transmuting deepest wounds into meaningful gifts for ourselves and others:
The 10 commandments of grief are a powerful counter-cultural antidote to getting bogged down in a problem orientation

The second link reminds us of the power of our Dreams/Aspirations/Vision:

Both examples confront reality but elevate humanity!

Thanks this week go to Duane C, Nicole M, and the entire team at the Oceanside Promise as well as Peter S, Mette B and Roger B for their gifted shepherding of the process.

We ARE the ones we have been waiting for
Pay it forward with purpose!

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“If you want to change how a person thinks, give up. You cannot change how another thinks.

Give them a tool, the use of which will gradually cause them over time to think differently.” – Buckminster Fuller

Inspiration, Targeted Universalism & the Myth of the Model Minority

This week:


Happy 100th Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Hope You Took a Moment to Celebrate Mandela Day

“He was just a particularly fine example of humanity. The principles by which he lived his life are universal principles of love, fairness and respect for others.”
—Bishop Tutu

From Convocation to Commencement, from Back to School to Back to Work, Everyone Can Use a Little inspiration:
A lot of school district leaders are calling on me to help set the tone for the start of the school year with everything from keynotes for entire teams to small group sessions.
If I can serve you locally, just reach out to be at:

This is One Great and Inspiring 9 Minute Speech:
Courtesy of Dr. DeRoche at USD

Working with the Leadership team of the Oceanside Promise…
We were exposed to a video about Targeted Universalism produced by the Haas Institute at UC Berkeley and then discussed how it fit into what we are trying to accomplish through the Oceanside Promise.
I thought you might find it thought provoking:

Breaking the Myth of the “Model Minority”
Pew Center Study shows Asians Surpass African-American and Latinos in Income Inequality:
Dis-aggregating equity shows the gap between rich and poor in Asian communities & might surprise you…

Thanks this week go to Dr. DeRoche, Nicole M and all the change leaders with the Oceanside Promise & The Takeaway

Set the intention and then create your own future on purpose!
Be the Legacy…


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“Difference- The Only thing we have in Common”

Summertime and the Living is Easy…If something’s not to your liking, change your liking!


We just got back from a family holiday in Greece, the birthplace of democracy and mathematics, medicine and literature, theatre and astronomy, mythology and philosophy:

  • walking in the steps of Socrates at the Acropolis and Agora in Athens
  • visiting the oldest western archeological sites & civilization of the Minoans in Knossos on Crete (at least 1,300 years and some believe civilizations flourished there 7,000 years BEFORE Christ)
  • sailing around Santorini
  • chasing Rhodes scholars
  • exploring Hydra and Mykonos
  • and marveling in natural wonder
  • with a bonus of running into my best friend from college Ricky and his family who live in Missouri and happened to be in Mykonos at the same time we were!

There are no accidents
Awe is indeed the beginning of wisdom, especially when you walk on the earth and explore civilizations that are literally thousands of years old!

A newbie by comparison, Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech in 1863 builds on similar democratic principles as ancient Greece developed; “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. …”

One of the best known sentences in the English language, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” girths this nation’s foundation and moral compass yet…

Fast forward to 2018 and we are still engaged in a great and not so civil war, testing whether this nation or any nation can long endure, challenging what it means to be human, and to what degree we feel responsible for preserving and protecting the dignity of all human life, and all life on our tiny blue planet.

To know and not to do, it not to know…

Whether you stay home and open your mind and heart, travel just a few kilometers away from home base, or are blessed to be able to explore life and societies much further away, travel is great to provide perspective and open your mind to a big, wide world out there. It can help us adjust our ethnocentric sense of terminal uniqueness and bring fresh eyes to old challenges.

We are Rick Steves fans and I love his travel philosophy that follows, which you can apply in your own back yard too by the way…

Rick’s Travel Philosophy:

Travel is freedom… one of the last great sources of legal adventure. Travel is intensified living, with maximum thrills per minute. It’s recess, and we need it. Experiencing the real Europe requires catching it by surprise, going casual…

Affording travel is a matter of priorities. (Make do with the old sofa.) You can travel simply, safely, and comfortably anywhere in Europe for $100 a day plus transportation costs. In many ways, spending more money only builds a thicker wall between you and what you came to see. Europe is a cultural carnival, and time after time, you’ll find that its best acts are free and the best seats are the cheap ones.

A tight budget forces you to travel close to the ground, meeting and communicating with the people. Never sacrifice sleep, nutrition, safety, or cleanliness in the name of budget. Simply enjoy the local-style alternatives to expensive hotels and restaurants.

Extroverts have more fun. If your trip is low on magic moments, kick yourself and make things happen. If you don’t enjoy a place, maybe you don’t know enough about it. Seek the truth. Recognize tourist traps. Give a culture the benefit of your open mind. See things as different but not better or worse. Any culture has much to share.

Of course, travel, like the world, is a series of hills and valleys. Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something’s not to your liking, change your liking. Travel is addicting. It can make you a happier American, as well as a citizen of the world. Our Earth is home to 7.4 billion equally important people. It’s humbling to travel and find that people don’t envy Americans. Europeans like us, but with all due respect, they wouldn’t trade passports.

Globetrotting destroys ethnocentricity. It helps you understand and appreciate different cultures. Travel changes people. It broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life. Many travelers toss aside their hometown blinders. Their prized souvenirs are the strands of different cultures they decide to knit into their own character. The world is a cultural yarn shop. Back Door Travelers are weaving the ultimate tapestry.

Join in!

–Rick Steves

Earth is home to 8.7 million species (plus or minus 1.3 million) with approximately 1 million species living in the world’s oceans and 91% of ocean species are yet to be classified!
Don’t poop where you eat
Our interdependency with our ecosystem should not be underestimated and here is one story that underscores that reality…

Human Health and the Health of Oceans- The Science and Environmental Hazards Behind Fish Oil Supplements:
Paul Greenberg examines the effects supplements are having on fish populations and the ecosystems of our oceans while we try to boost cardiovascular and brain health…

Stay adventurous and enjoy your summer wherever you find yourself and keep up the work on finding yourself!
Thanks to my wife Barbara for investing countless hours in curating an incredible family trip. 

Happy 27th Anniversary Barb!


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“Difference- The Only thing we have in Common”

What Good is Independence Without Purpose?


This week:
Working on Purpose
Many of you know I have been working, with a little help from my friends, on blending the art and science of purpose for well over a year; standing up a Chamber of Purpose, co-chairing a Purpose conference, establishing Purpose awards for our community and finding my purpose while helping others find theirs.

This week enjoy some great links to advance your purpose agenda, both personally and professionally…

Purpose is the Ladder between Matter and Spirit:

BlackRock CEOs Annual Letter -from the Largest Hedge Fund on the Planet!

If we were to be a Purpose Sentinel City…

The Power of Purpose Driven Companies

Purpose Metrics Matter

Threads of a New American Identity:

Why Doing Good Is Good for Your Design Business

And for our kids
5 Reasons NOT to Find Your Purpose in Your 20’s:

Stay purpose-filled and pay it forward!



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“There comes a time when the mind
takes a higher plane of knowledge
but can never prove how it got there”
Albert Einstein

Vuja De’! The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers- Don’t Accept the Default Option Handed to You!

This week: Vuja De’!
The BEST Way to Improve the World Around Us


You ARE an original.
How do you master the creative process and separate self-doubt from idea-doubt?
How do you navigate bureaucracy and solve problems others can’t?
How do you take incredible hardship and transmute the pain and suffering? How do you manifest originality in your world of work?
Does your choice of browser tell us something about your creative prowess?
The only thing worse than fear of failure is failing to try…

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers:
How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.”

Here are a couple of powerful examples…

Feeding Puerto Rico:
While bureaucracies fumble, original thinkers solve complex problems.
Jose’ Andre’s has some 30 popular restaurants across the US, but he barely stepped foot in them after Hurricane Maria.
He and an army of chefs and volunteers were serving the people in Puerto Rico and their story is mesmerizing…

The Art and Craft of StoryTelling:
Deah, Yusor and Razan- Suzanne Barakat explains how her brother, his wife and sister were murdered by their neighbor (Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions of racial violence)

Being Original in Your Work:
At Mission Fed, we try to be original in our work right here in our community; blending financial performance with social purpose
Here is creative video of our annual report:

Thanks to all you original thinkers that don’t let reality get in the way of possibility, and don’t accept the default option handed to you.
If you have a dream, bring it to reality, spread the love and pay it forward

No regrets…
The world needs YOU!

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“Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.” – Victor Frankl