Public Talks & Interviews

How to Find Your Passion

This may be the best talk I’ve ever given.

It’s had over 150,000 views on YouTube, which is significant for a 30 minute video. People at Cambridge University came across it and asked me if they could do research on my speaking style. Hundreds have contacted me because of it and this has lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. I have no idea how many people it has helped, but I still hear from people often thanking me and telling me how it has impacted them.

For the first time since I published it almost seven years ago, I watched it in full today.

What stood out for me is the planning I had put into this. I had specific points I wanted to make. I had specific phrases I wanted to speak. I knew all of the stories I was going to tell. I had spent so much time planning it that I did not need a script. It was all in me in at the front of my mind. And in hindsight, it was the perfect blend of preparation and improvisation. Since then, I have leaned more and more into speaking improvisationally because I love the state of being I am able to transmit when I speak without a plan and from spirit. Watching this talk though reminds me that it is the integration of both planning and improvisation that creates a masterpiece.

The funny thing is, I had no plans to give a talk like this. At the time I was working in the relationship field, helping single men and women in London to connect and create love.

One day in 2011 Matt Kendall, founder of the new meetup group Interesting Talks London, asked me if I’d speak on living a passionate life. Despite it not really fitting with what I was already working on, I surrendered to his confidence that I had something to say about it and agreed.

In hindsight, this was a massive turning point in my life. The willingness to follow the call, despite my plans, took me in directions and to heights I had hadn’t even dreamed of yet.

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What is the world asking of you? What call to adventure have you been ignoring?

How to Not be Jealous – Live Q&A

While speaking at the Inside Out Movement in Zurich earlier this year, someone asked me “How can I observe others’ success without feeling envious?”

It’s always a bit strange for me to be asked questions about how to ‘do life’, as if I might know the answer. I’ve never purported to know the answers or to know how to ‘do life’ well or right. Having spent years sharing insights that I’ve had about how I’ve been able to do my life and work better however, I suppose people assume I might have something to say about what they are facing.

Recently, when on a stage, I’ve given up deflecting such questions or turning them into an opportunity to ‘coach’ people to find their own answers. (I still very much do this in dialogue, but even then not always.) If someone asks me a question and something from my own experience comes to mind now, I just share it.

The key for me in this is not losing myself in the process. It is important to me to not fall for the story that ‘I have the answers to people’s questions’ – be them about life, entrepreneurship or whatever. It matters to me to share what I can see, while at the same time, not buy into my own bullshit.

Having said that, in this video I describe how I deal with (and avoid) jealousy…

How to Love Everyone You Meet – Live Q&A

While speaking at the Inside Out Movement in Zurich earlier this year, someone asked me, “I want to love all humans. How can I get to that point?”

In watching this clip of myself, I had to cringe a number of times.

Firstly, because I spend the first two minutes giving the guy Florien a hard time for asking the question the way he did. I’m framing my response up as trying to help him ask more empowering questions, which is true and useful, but in hindsight, I can see also that my motivation was to remind myself not to buy my own bullshit when people ask me advice.

Ironically, after beating him up for asking my advice, I ended up giving him some advice anyway…just in the form of a question.

Through dialogue, I shared my ideas on how loving people is not about what we need to do, but what we need to STOP doing.

The even bigger and final cringe for me is how the video ended. After our five minute conversation, Florien is even more confused. I decided to take the route that this was a good result, which in many cases can be true, but in this case I think it was a cop-out.

It would have been useful if I followed my own advice in this moment. If I had loved my inner judge of myself as ‘someone who has the answers’, maybe then instead of trying to stop that self from showing up, I could have actually heard Florien. Maybe if I’d been easier on myself, I wouldn’t have gotten in my head so much.

I think the truth is I didn’t have a good answer because I struggle with the same thing.

So much so that I once asked a mentor of mine a very similar question!

“How can I create in myself a desire to serve everyone I meet?”

His response was simpler and much more useful:

“Think loving thoughts.”

The Purpose of Life – You Are Here to Create

Earlier this year, while speaking at the Inside Out Movement in Switzerland, I shared publicly for the first time the story of my wife and I losing our first child to miscarriage. It was devastating, and to be honest, it is still not easy for us to share. I am doing so anyway for two reasons.

First, miscarriage is not spoken about enough. It sneaks up on many hopeful couples as a devastating part of the journey to parenthood. You only find out how common is once it happens to you. Suddenly friends and family come out the woodwork telling you how it happened to them too.

Second, the miscarriage was an incredible growth and learning experience for us. In this video, I explain one of the insights I had that solidified my understanding and sense of purpose in life.

There has been other growth around how my wife and I relate, which I will likely share at another time. Here though, for those who follow my work on being a leader and a creator, I want to share a perspective that has helped to liberate and empower me as an entrepreneur, husband and new father.

How Problems Can Give You Power

Often when we look for ways ways to fix problems we create even more of them.

However, when we choose to see problems as opportunities, we immediately begin noticing the positive aspects. This engenders a sense of possibility and excitement which gives us energy. Our attitude brightens, our creativity expands and we act from a place of potential rather than lack.

 

 

Mom’s ‘Don’t Have Enough Time’

Mom’s I meet often struggle with guilt around balancing their desire to pursue their personal goals with caring for their kids and family life.

Most important is switching from a scarcity mindset to a capacity mindset. Looking at how much time you do have, rather than dwelling on how much you don’t have is the key to using that time effectively and being at peace with the ever changing balance.

In addition, if you avoid doing something out of fear (scarcity) or guilt, then what are you teaching your children? Your kids learn so much more from who you be than what you say. What do you really want to teach them about what is possible for them in their life?

The ‘How’ is Within You

Looking around for answers on the outside will not help you close the gap between who you are and who you are being.

Don’t listen to others (including me)!

Ask yourself what you are being called to do as a NEXT STEP and do that. You only ever need to know the next step and deep down inside, you already know what that is.

Your Probability of Success

Are you wondering how likely it is that you will succeed in creating your dream?

What is holding you back? Fear? Money? Overwhelm?

First off, I suggest you embrace the possibility of success over the probability of success or failure. Living on the path of possibility instead of probability is more fulfilling and it can lead to incredible and amazing things. 

Secondly, by saying ‘No’ to all the aspects that you don’t want and proceeding only if you can do it your way will ensure your product will be the fullest expression of your uniqueness. This has considerably more value to the world than you may imagine.

Your Destination is the Path

When you want to know how to get from the seed of an idea to the end result of your vision, remember this:

The destination is the path.

Connecting with your vision and coming from that vision in every step, is the simplest ‘how’ to creating.  By repeating this over and over again, you create the essence of your vision in every step.

 

Goals vs. Intuition, What’s Best?

Some people rely on intuition to know what and how to create next.

Others use goals and structure to craft their visions into reality.

I don’t think one is better than the other. A balance of these ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ approaches is what seems most true to me.

Personally, I create structures that serve my heart. For example, I build habits to help me act with consistency on what I am called to create.

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