Thoughts + Opinion

An exploration of existence, empathy, and living a good life

G+D Newsletter | Weekly on Thursday Morning

Focused around 1 thing: helping you live a better life, however you define it. 

To live a life you choose.

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I’ll never send anything I’d hate to receive myself. 

Thought Stream #3 | There Is No Surrogate For Your Own Mind

There is no surrogate for your own mind. At our fingertips we have an abundance external input, people we can call for advice, and endlessly googleable information which is often irrelevant. Through an endless series of distractions accessible via black mirrors, and automating away agency through work and routine, we

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Expertise #1 | Not Quite 10,000 Hours

The most pervasive narrative that paves the road to expertise is to get our 10,000 hours in. An idea made popular by author Malcom Gladwell in Outliers. The idea being that if you spend 10,000 hours on something specific, you can become a true expert and therefore implicitly become successful

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Dark Energy

Much of life has meaning in relevant opposites. Anger has kindness. Cafeteria food has gastropubs. The corpo zombie shuffle has blinding benders in Vegas. Everything has its inverse mate, is my point. It’s opposite, not necessarily, like, an evil version, just a matching reflection.1 We understandably assign real value to

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LALYC #1

I recently had a series of small experiences which have had a material impact on my life. It feels like a door has been blown off the hinges and a new perspective has firmly manifested. As a result, I’ve been thinking about the direction of G+D quite a bit. Particularly

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Inertia

Life reflects the decisions we make each day. This monotonous collective compounds over every passing year into something far greater than each individual action. There is a comparatively small number of tremendously consequential decisions which can shape our life: Where we go to school, where we start our professional careers,

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Thought Stream #2 | Chase the Justifications

Each week, I often ask the same group of people a cluster of panicked questions. On the worst weeks, it might even be daily (sorry, guys). My standard barrage of inquiries flow out of me like a burst hydrant desperately looking to extinguish the existential flames scorching my brain. With

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Violin of Doubt

In 2007, the Washington Post put together a one-day social experiment to test whether or not “in a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”1 The idea was to take a masterful musician at the top of their respective genre, place them in a Washington DC subway station,

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An Uncertain Cure To Indefinite Optimism

I mean what are we doing? What are we learning? What are we building? Why does it feel like we’re one stubbed toe or bad conference call away from totally losing it? It feels like every minor inconvenience has the potential to the be the green light to finally go

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Thought Stream #1 | Orbits + Moments

As the Sun careens through the universe like a runaway freight train, the Earth effortlessly dances its celestial orbit in unison. The annual finale of this cosmic tango provides a neat little signpost to the seven billion humans (and counting), each doing their own little dance across the globe, that

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Why We Can’t (Shouldn’t) Look Away From The Void

We all have that dark little corner of our mind. Sometimes that dark corner broadcasts deafening PA announcements of our fears and regrets. Other times, we get quiet whispers of madness which convey intrusive thoughts such as jumping in front of an approaching train or eating three dozen doughnuts and

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How can we start to pursue purpose?

Life is often compared to an ocean. The rolling waves mimicking the rhythm and forces of life. This metaphor gives us a global perspective. Something high level to sit in awe of; something in which to feel peace and humility, to develop a “this too shall pass” mindset as a

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Digital Dust

Minimalism, or more specifically “simple living” is a philosophy that focuses on…simplifying your lifestyle. It colloquially centers around reducing excessive material goods, not focusing on the pursuit of material wealth as a source of purpose, and overall living a more virtuous, simple life. I like to think of it as

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What do you mean “get off”?

Among all the clichés and allusions regarding what life is like, my personal flavor is that life is like an amusement park. As a kid you’re experiencing a crazy array of new experiences – good and bad. The fear of a sky-scraping roller coaster, the disappointment of a $12 park

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Snowstorms

When a blizzard rolls in, snow flurries signify its arrival. The glossy white mist quickly consumes the area, hurling tiny comets across our field of vision. One of the most immediate sensations is effectively being blinded. The snow wisps into our eyes, coating our cheeks and eyelashes – quickly melting

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Imperfect Vector

An important distinction I draw in my life is the time before and after I was making truly conscious decisions. That doesn’t separate from accountability, but it does draw a uniquely distinct line between the past few years and the rest of the time I’ve been alive. This distinction helps

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A Quiet Breath

“I close my front door and turn on the light…I let out a breath and hold in a sigh” Among the few constants in life, losing momentum might be the most frustrating. The progressive slide back into unwanted rhythms we thought were behind us. Seemingly unending new ways for the

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Flight Risk

Within the first year of my consulting career I was labeled a ‘flight risk’ by the department leadership team. I know this because several managers I was close with told me so. A ‘flight risk’ is someone who has a high probability of leaving the firm for another job. Not

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Dream-Crushing and Safety Rails

We’ve all seen or know someone that sucks the energy out of room. Whatever the situation is, you can count on this person taking an overly realistic or boring approach. The person who in that moment, invokes visions of a disgruntled stranger popping a child’s balloon or an internet Karen

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Fading Into The Fog

Why do we lose track of the things that bring us the most joy when things get difficult?   I’ve seen this written in dozens of articles and it’s been confirmed through countless anecdotal conversations, along with my own seemingly endless cycles of first-hand experience. The experience of waking up

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Player 1 Press Start

There are single player games and there are multiplayer games. Solitaire and Sudoku are single player games. Monopoly and Scrabble are multiplayer games. This clear separation exists in the video games as well. There are single player driven experiences, which tend to have a strong focus on rich story development

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It’s What Has To Be Done

I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot – in podcasts, interviews, and even personal conversations with people I most respect and admire. Maybe it’s a timely coincidence, or maybe for the first time I’m simply appreciating the value within this phrase. Regardless, it’s been rattling around my head the past

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Float Like A Cloud and Flow Like Water

As I get older, my conversations steer toward “well, what’s next?”.  This is inescapable with the people I am closest to. We discuss work, interests, and aspirations – then riff on what makes the most sense to do or how to make it happen. How to make the right move.  This is

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Sun’s Coming Up

I’ve been skydiving once. I have a clear recollection of that day and how I continued to process what was happening. The weight of what I had committed to settled in as I drove deeper into endless plots of corn and soybeans. On that drive I realized I didn’t know

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It’s So Often Boring…Oh And That Doesn’t Bend That Way

At my first job out of school, me and all the other consultants in my practice were issued our standard Lenovo’s. Model T450 if I remember correctly. Your laptop was a good signifier of your status and/or specialization at the company. The professional elites – Director level types – were

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Mjolnir’s Return

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The trend started over 10 years ago with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man has been a wildly entertaining and enjoyable ride. The films have undoubtedly had a positive impact on our social culture in their relatively short existence (while acknowledging how long

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A Rudderless Ship

Patience is a virtue. An aphorism that we have all been told, told to other people, and told to ourselves. Patience and consistency coupled together are a powerful concoction – the makings of greatness. But blind patience is weaponized attrition. It can leave us complacent and apathetic as our life

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A Way We Can All Be Like Mike

Image Source: The Last Dance   Michael Jordan is synonymous with greatness. I don’t need to give any background because everyone knows who he is. And The Last Dance only reinforced and detailed his achievements. He is the benchmark of hard work, discipline, and talent in a single entity. Everyone

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You’re Going To Die

Do you remember what it was like before you born? That’s most likely what we’re facing at the end when the lights go out for the final time. Not an experience of everlasting non-existence, just the final flick of a switch to set it back to nothing. I do sometimes

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Do Your Tools Need An Upgrade or Are You Not Ready?

Reading is one of the single most powerful activities in how it compounds over time. It can increase your ability to focus, expand your understanding of concepts and the world around you, and inspire your mind to become more creative and see the world in new ways. There are 2

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A Slow Drip

I was so close to not writing this. That last moment where you nod and confirm you’re going to hold of doing something until tomorrow when it was meant for today – I was at that moment and knew I’d regret it if I did it. Today was just a

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4 Helpful Questions

Every day I try to remind myself to ask and answer 4 questions: What are my ultimate goals? What motivates me to be creative? What will stop me from achieving these goals? What can I do about it today? What are my ultimate goals? – It’s helpful to have some

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Well, You…No, You Gotta Do More Than That

Image Source: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)   It’s crazy for me to think how much of my time I have spent wondering what to do. I wouldn’t necessarily call it reflecting…it’s always been more of a loud, near constant panic. Trying to figure out what steps I needed to take

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Take The Blame, Take Control

So much of what happens is not our choice or in our control. It makes it exceedingly easy to carry pieces of a passive mindset or victim mindset with us, which in turn only release control further. Things that happen in life, while difficult, are typically completely normal and common,

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Perspective + Relativity: 2020

When external stresses fundamentally change how we live our daily life, we are forced into a situation of evaluation. We reflect on how severely the change has impacted our lives, what adjustments have to be made in response, and how we will choose to view the world around us in

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Building An Invisible Army

You wake up, bit of a blur. Didn’t really sleep as well or wake up when you had hoped. You throw some clothes on and head out to grab a couple of things before the day starts. Not really paying attention, as you are focused on the task at hand,

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A Sense of Togetherness

I saw a close friend of mine for the first time in a comparatively long time and in the myriad of topics discussed, we landed on your impact to other people and social responsibility / courtesy. Whenever we head out into the world, we are making dozens of little decisions.

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Capturing Nostalgia

The most beloved products are of good quality, consistent, and make the buyer feel excited about their purchase. The most excitement that can be created is usually linked back to a meaningful story, a connection to a community or an organization, or inspiring a sense of purpose and hope. We

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A Great and Sustained Change

I recently had the realization that I derive the most value from changing and growing as a person. New hobbies, that first bite of a well-executed recipe, realizing how foolish my perspective and actions had been the previous year, and particularly the journey started here with Grit + Dynamite –

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One More Year

Time is frequently painted to be both the most precious and villainous energy in the universe. It is invaluable, cannot be created, and no amount of political or financial capital can recapture lost Time. We use it in the literal to describe living in the moment, being present to truly

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Open Letter from Grit + Dynamite

How to start….hmmm….I guess I can just start? Probably the best way is just to start writing. Yep…just start. I think a lot of people often give that advice – just take action and you’ll find yourself along the way. Seems to be working so far? If you’re reading this

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