This Moment Forever

This Moment Forever

One day early this month, Mike Cameron, an author and speaker friend in Canada, sat on the couch talking with his girlfriend, Colleen. At dinner that night they’d been discussing an interview Mike had just done with my buddy and Go-Giver coauthor Bob Burg. Now, sitting at home on the couch, they sat together, reading; the book in Colleen’s hands was The Go-Giver. One of the core concepts of the book is that the “secret” to success, on any and all levels, lies in living with a focus on giving, that is, on adding value to other people’s lives. At one point Colleen stopped reading, looked up at Mike, leaned in for a kiss, and then said, “Hey. I have a tip for you on adding value.” “Oh, yeah?” replied Mike. “Yeah,” she said. “When you think I look pretty, you should tell me.” What a great idea. How simple. How easy to overlook, to forget, to misplace. Yet it doesn’t take money, it doesn’t take advance notice or scheduling through Google Calendars. It takes hardly any time, and no effort at all. I do this every day. Multiple times. I tell my wife how lovely she is — because it’s true, and because the truth of it is sitting there right in front of me. What a good idea to simply say so. She does it too. I think I learned this from my father, who never ceased to let us all know just how much he loved us, and my mother, who was fiercely devoted to her children and didn’t hide that love-driven fierceness under any bushel. I re-learn it...
Reacher Transcendent

Reacher Transcendent

Child’s masterpiece is about the pain, poignancy, and inevitability of the passage of an age as it makes way for the next, and how we deal with that change.

A Long View on Politics

A Long View on Politics

Today I’d like to talk about politics. To take a long view of politics. Specifically, the politics of one city: Longview, Texas. And even more specifically, of one particular political act in Longview, Texas. What’s so special about Longview, Texas? Well, for one thing, it’s a booming little city. Two hours east of Dallas and an hour west from Shreveport, Louisiana, it manages to hold its own quite fine. Considered a major hub for the entire region, its Amtrak station is the second busiest in all of Texas. The economy is thriving, and has been so, even in tough times. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Longview as the sixth fastest-growing small city in the United States. I can’t help wondering if its relative prosperity has to do with its governing values. Longview likes to invest in its people. (All roughly 81,000 of them.) The city designates approximately 10 percent of its annual budget toward community services that directly benefit its youth. Its public school system is its third largest employer. In 2008 and again in 2011, Longview was named one of the “Top 100 Best Communities for Young People” by American’s Promise Alliance. Some famous people come from there. Matthew McConaughey is from Longview. Forest Whitaker, too. So is Miranda Lambert. So is Andy Mack. Wait — Andy who? Andy Mack. A surgeon with an active practice in Longview, Andy is a native of the city. Since May of this year he has also been its mayor (a volunteer position), and will be for the next three years. Which brings me to that specific political act. Mayor Mack has...
Fuzzy Clarity

Fuzzy Clarity

In 1996, I decided I wanted to have a career in Hollywood. Exactly how and when … that part was a little fuzzy.

Through a Child’s Eyes

Through a Child’s Eyes

The world of a child is not innocent, or naïve, or simplistic, or anything like an adult’s dumbed-down Disneyfied version of life. A child’s life and perspective is weighty with terror, wonder, bewilderment, yearning, and near-infinite depth of feeling.

If You Want to Change the World …

If You Want to Change the World …

One of my favorite speeches: The commander of U.S. Special Operations Command explains why changing the world starts with making your bed in the morning.

Birthday Present

Birthday Present

Last Wednesday was my birthday, and the universe gave me a present.

Honoring a Friend’s Example

Honoring a Friend’s Example

Chapter 4 of Among Heroes tells the story of Brandon’s and John Zinn’s friendship, their entrepreneurial struggles, and how it was John’s example that pulled Brandon through the most difficult time of his life — a few years after John’s death in Jordan in 2010.

Quiet Professional

Quiet Professional

Getting to know Matt affected me in two ways: First, it made me realize a dedication to serving that I hadn’t known was in me. He also made me want to up my game.

Larger Than Life

Larger Than Life

Dave was the embodiment of the expression larger than life. Everything he did, he took to a level beyond what anyone else would think possible. He was more hilarious, more outrageous, more audacious. As his mom, Maggie, put it, “Dave lived more in his twenty-nine and a half years than others could live in a hundred.”

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