Magic at the Corner of Intention and Invention

I recently went to Costa Rica for the first time. Twice.

Of course that’s not literally true. There’s only one first time for everything. But something happened in regard to this adventure that I’ve noticed many times, in many areas of my life. Things magically double up.

Here’s how this goes: I feel a strong pull to do something, usually for no apparent reason. After daydreaming about it for a while, I set out to make it happen. Then, circumstances seem to arrange themselves to give me the thing I’ve just created for myself. It ends up coming to me two [...]

Reasons to Create for No Reason

A few years ago I decided to write an allegorical book about a lost woman and a friendly boar. If you’re not a writer, you may not realize how odd this sounded to my agent, editors, and publishers. 

“An allegory?” they said. My proposed book wasn’t just outside my usual genre, it wasn’t in any genre at all.

“A boar?” they said. People can be so judgmental of tusked animals.

“But why?” they said. I was an established self-help author. Why throw away my time and energy on a book so odd no one would even know where to shelve it?

“No reason,” [...]

How to Turn Away from Fear

“Inspiration” has several meanings. One is simply “drawing breath.” Or it can mean having a new idea. Or it can mean being “in-spirited,” filled with peace and grace from the mystery. All these meanings are related. In fact, the word “inspiration” is a three-step recipe for ending anxiety and living joyfully in a difficult world.

Are you following love into fear?

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

When I was 14 years old I realized that I could either: 1) do something that scared me every day, or 2) live under my bed hoping to catch and eat the occasional mouse, like a snake. I was so frightened of life that I could see my life as an agoraphobe rising over the horizon.

I chose a life of fear. Thank God.

I’ve been guided by fear my whole life, but not the way you’d think. Being afraid of something—as long as the something sounded remotely interesting—became my cue to throw [...]

Stop Doubting and Start Writing

“When I write,” Kurt Vonnegut famously said, “I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” We all feel that way when we set out to do something truly important. I doubt that Vonnegut ever believed his writing achieved as much as he wanted it to. But it changed a lot of things, all over the world. For one thing, it changed a Mormon girl growing up in Provo, Utah. It changed me.

The best parts of my childhood were made of books. That’s why, as I grew up, I came to see every task as [...]

Freedom from Fixed Ideas

Almost every client I’ve ever coached, including multi-millionaires, has been worried about money. Everyone’s after the magic that will pop abundance into their bank accounts. Often, that magic is hideously oversimplified, boiled down to ridiculous magical thinking.

On the other hand, everything I’ve observed in decades of coaching and observation tells me that there really is a process—subtle and far from obvious, but real—that draws wealth to some people, and almost seems to snatch it away from others.

I’ve spent enormous amounts of time pondering this, thinking of all the people I’ve coached, trying different processes myself. Recently, I realized that [...]

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