A Little About Me and My Story

I want to make the most of my time here. I’ve described the experience I want to have in life as feeling that natural momentum or flow and even as living on fire.

Let me jump in from that last phrase. Fire is not just meant as passion. True that’s part of it, but passion is more a result than a driver. The driver, the true fire, is consciousness.

That true fire – which leads to greatness, fun, enjoyment, fulfillment and so much more – begins with… well, actually, hang on a second… let me give you some background.

“The Fire” is truly the moment where it all began for me. I remember playing with toy cars while my mom was getting her hair cut. The phone rings, at the hair salon, and it’s for my mom… huh? What? There were no cell phones then. Someone had to call the shop and track her down. Next thing I know I’m swept up and we’re in the car racing home; I’m wondering what’s going on.

Our car slows, my mom rolls down the window to explain to the officer, I have to get down the street.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but there’s a very serious house fire, we can’t let you go.”

“I know! That’s my house!”

It was pretty much all gone. It seems that they really knew how to “build’em” back in those days, because our house just wouldn’t give in to the fire. It held it in. It held it in as the heat and fire just kept intensifying. The firemen had to cut a hole in the roof to let it escape, to let it out… and the fire consumed everything before it finally subsided. The house, our belongings, our treasures, all of them, were gone.

I was a curious, creative, awkward, slightly precocious, even a little bit weird kid (ok, so I may have been a lot weird). And then I matured and turned serious before the age of 6 as a house fire changed things in mere moments on a beautiful sunny morning. The creative, curious, weird streak was still in me, but for some reason it just didn’t come out as much – at least not around others. As I grew up, a shyness took over. I had confidence in certain areas in my life, where I could rely pretty much solely on myself. But putting myself out there, into uncomfortable situations, no thanks. Too much. I might lose something. I’d wait for someone else to break through and then invite me along afterwards.

One fire had raged, while another had quieted.

Fast forward through the wonder years, ah yes. the awkward high school phase (where thankfully I had an extraordinary group of friends that pulled me forward, and did their best to pull me out of my shell… as best they could). It was later, after my sophomore year in college, that my father handed me copies of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, to be quickly followed by Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and later How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino (spoiler alert: it’s not really about sales). And so it began. A simple gesture, yet a profound moment.

My parents could have chosen to just let me grow up, to figure it out myself. It could have just been “part of life” and to learn as I go. But instead, with complete awareness or not of what it would mean, they found a way to communicate and connect with me in a manner that was right for me – so that I could hear, I could listen, I could learn… faster.

My shyness could probably only be matched by my stubbornness at this time of my life, and yet, I chose to open those books. I read… or should I say, I devoured them… repeatedly! And then I went looking for more.

The flame reignited. Individuality was to be celebrated not downplayed, to be shared not hidden, to be cultivated not deprived.

With the fire building, life unfolded leading me from teacher to teacher… and then I found home – 20 years after it had burnt to the ground. It’d been right there, with me… inside of me… the entire time.

My journey has been and is filled with amazing people (many of whom you’ll meet through interviews, blogs, and events that I host for their inspiring choices), an amazing community (specifically the students and alumni of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching – iPEC), and an amazing environment (the surroundings and situations in which I regularly find myself and these incredible individuals).

What I have come to recognize was that my life changed because a series of moments. For a long time, life was happening to me, creating me. But something clicked in me, that fire inside gave me insight and most importantly in gave me awareness. It led me to become a more conscious person.

I can see how sometimes the simplest of moments can serve as extraordinary catalysts for growth and change; and that, if you start to look for those moments, prepare for them, and go into them consciously, you can intentionally create an inflection point for yourself that propels you towards who you want to become and what you want to achieve and experience.

Creating those moments and turning those moments into powerful and yet effortless momentum begins with CHOICE – the choices we make, the choices we don’t realize we make, the choices we want to make and how all of these choices impact the way we show up in our lives.

I can tell you is that it’s possible to create a ripple effect – with every choice building on itself and the many made before, that the choices get bigger, bolder, achieve more, drive more action, create more motivation, make your thinking and dreaming bigger… it begins in a moment and snowballs into momentum.

I know spend my days through my work as iPEC’s President, as a coach, husband, father, and friend helping others to find their natural, authentic rhythm to life so they too can experience life more fully and deeply than ever before.