Greetings from home base in the great Portland, Oregon. Yesterday I ran 10 miles, a fact I was happy about until I went to a dinner party and met an ultrarunner who runs 80 miles a week. She also has two young children and a full-time job. I felt suitably shamed. Ultrarunners and any other endurance athletes out there, you have my respect ... but not my company for training runs.Read More
Last week I mentioned two important facts about water and the world around us. Fact #1: The problem is serious. While the rest of us look at pictures of the iPad and debate what kind of healthcare reform America should have, one billion people in Africa and Asia don’t have clean water ...Read More
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of author and change agent Seth Godin. I’ve been reading his books since my years in West Africa (2002-2006), and he continues to produce excellent work almost every day on his great blog. I had the chance to speak to Seth’s “Alternative MBA” group last year, and when the invitation came, I rearranged my schedule and dropped everything to fly to New York. (Never pass up a major opportunity for personal growth.)Read More
Coming home from a recent trip, I thought about bringing flowers. Wouldn’t that be nice, I thought. I imagined the flower buying, the flower delivery, the credit in the relationship account produced by my thoughtful action. When I finally made it off the last flight and the train ride to the transit center, I was tired. I remembered the flowers, but then decided: I’ll do that another time. Then the other day, I thought about something I had promised to do for someone else a while back. Several times I had thought about doing it; my intentions were good. But yet, nothing happened.Read More
Greetings from World Domination HQ in Portland, Oregon. After visiting the South Pacific recently, I’m happy to be home for several weeks before the next trip. This is the Sunday Store Update, where I share a quick update on the business side of AONC. Here’s this week’s important business lesson ...Read More
In 2004 I went to Liberia for the first of five visits. It was a pretty crazy place at the time, having just ended an 14-year series of civil wars a few months before I arrived with a small assessment team. The streets were patrolled by U.N. tanks, the only electricity was provided by private generators, and the non-functioning lampposts were covered in bullet holes ...Read More
I was fortunate to be featured in a nice profile in this month's issue of Psychology Today. You can view the PDF of the article here, or read an online version here. My thanks to Carlin Flora and the whole Psychology Today team for putting this together. I never know what's going to happen when a magazine wants to do a feature, so I try to provide good info in the interviews (in this case, two hours' worth), and hope for the best.Read More
I made it home from the South Pacific this week after a great AONC reader meetup in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. My huge gratitude to everyone who came out to say hi! Whenever I get famous enough to warrant a Wikipedia page, I hope it will note the established fact that I officially have the best job in the world.Read More
Sorry I was rude to you the other day, someone said. I've just been so busy.
Guess what: we're all busy!
Every one of us. It's not a very exclusive club. And here's another reality check: because we're all busy, no one really cares about how busy someone else is. One way or another, we all make time for what's important to us.Read More
Greetings, friends and readers. Today I have a personal interview with one of our group who reads AONC from the Sudan. Christine (not her real name) is from the U.S. and works in the international development field for a charity that operates throughout Sudan. She has spent more than a year in the country thus far, and recently signed on for another commitment of indefinite length.Read More
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Greetings from Nadi, Fiji. It’s a nice place–more on it in a moment. This is the Sunday Store Update. I use this time to write about the small business side of my work. If you’re new to AONC (hello to everyone coming over from Psychology Today!), I’m glad you’re here. Here’s the news this week:…Read More
From January to September 2009, 21,833 people died in my home state of Oregon. Just like that, each one of them left the world—here one day and gone the next. Several weeks ago, three hikers also died on our nearby Mount Hood in a tragic accident. After their deaths, there was the usual pontification about what they could have done differently. Despite the fact that they were all experienced climbers, and despite leaving for the hike when weather conditions were good, some people blamed their “risky behavior” and suggested various reforms that wouldn’t have made any difference in their case.Read More
Greetings from Auckland, New Zealand, where I'm in transit to the South Pacific island of Samoa – via Vancouver on one side and Nuku'alofa, Tonga on the other. (If you're coming from North America, it takes a while to get settled in this part of the world.) I've been to New Zealand, the Cook Islands, and Hawaii before, but this is effectively my first trip to the inner South Pacific. On the way home next week I hope to visit Fiji as well.Read More