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Co-creator of 2 cool boys with an equally cool woman • Career Coach • Business Insider, Fast Co., Forbes • Follow along for career tips and life reminders.
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If some Costa Rican guy wearing a “Pura Vida” t-shirt hadn’t stolen most of my money, we never would have met.

If some Italian dude hadn’t made a massive mistake and told her he needed a break, we never would have met.

If I hadn’t taken what little money I had left to buy a one-way ticket to Barcelona, we never would have met.

If she hadn’t gone to Dublin and worked odd jobs to learn English, we never would have met.

If I hadn’t.

If she hadn’t.

I think about that a lot. Our big decisions. The supposed bad…


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“I’ve arrived!” the young Hungarian announced to an audience of none. The year was 1921. The place was San Francisco. He’d been traveling for days, but instead of looking for a place to rest, the man had one last thing to do.

“Excuse me ma’am!” he politely said to an elderly woman. “Would you be so kind as to tell me which building houses the city press?”

“You can’t miss it!” the woman replied while pointing straight ahead. “It’s that building right there with all the flags hanging from it.”

After giving the woman a hat tip to show his…


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It was the fourth week of quarantine when my wife began to cry.

One of her dad’s favorite things to do is to go hiking every Tuesday with his buddies. For the ten years I’ve known him, the only thing that’s ever stopped him from going is either being hospitalized or lockdown. Bad weather doesn’t stop Lluis. He loves the mountains. It’s his place. The moment he steps onto a trail he blends into it. But even more than the mountains, he loves getting a day out with his friends. They’ve had this weekly tradition for over a decade.

It…


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“They can’t tell me how to live my life!”

When COVID started to rip through the US, some people I know decided this was their time to be a rebel. “Here’s a selfie from an event I just went to!” they announced showing pictures of them and their friends hugging it out. “Long-live our neighborhood BBQ!”

It didn’t matter that people were dying around the world.

It didn’t matter when I told them I knew people who had already died.

It didn’t matter we could predict the future with 100 percent accuracy.

They’d made up their mind and they weren’t…


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“I just paid $3,000 to miss my kid’s first birthday!”

The day was October 6th, 2015. The place was a random hotel lobby in Costa Rica. I’d flown there from Spain expecting to attend a hearing in my feeble attempt to get back the $250,000 my business partner’s dad had stolen from me half a decade prior. It was my fourth trip in as many years. I couldn’t believe my attorney was now telling me I’d need to make it a fifth as the hearing had been canceled an hour before I was set to take the stand.

“How’s this…


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“Done is better than perfect!” “Your drive for perfection is stunting your growth!” “What you made is good! Just ship it!” I understand the logic of this advice that’s dished out like candy by productivity experts. And in most regards, I completely agree.

But at the same time, many of the creations I hold closest are a result of banging my head against the wall until I got it exactly right and met the standards of my own definition of perfection.

This article is a prime example of that. I couldn’t care less that it didn’t go viral. It wasn’t…


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“You’re not going to believe it! You’re not going to believe it!” shouted the young man as he ran across the courtyard. “I just heard something about one of your friends!”

“Whoa, slow down,” replied Socrates lifting his eyes from the scroll he was reading to face the young man. “Before you tell me the news, I’d like to give you a little test.”

“A test?” the young man fired back frustrated his eagerness had been met with resistance. “What kind of test? I don’t like tests!”

“Don’t worry,” Socrates smiled. “It’s not very hard. In fact, it’s quite simple…


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“This is a joke!” screamed an overly amped-up koala. “These trees are way too big! I don’t know a single monkey — let alone koala — who could possibly make it to the top!”

Shaking slightly with quickly growing self-doubt, the nine brave koalas attempted to claw their way up Lonely Eucalyptus —a patch of trees so tall the furry animals believed thunder was a result of their branches tickling the clouds.

And sure enough, the negative noise from the ground began to impede the positive advancement above as each minute that passed the faster the koalas began to drop.


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I didn’t really understand what was happening the first time I was taken to see the man in the hospital. I was young. But I knew it wasn’t good.

I remember seeing him lying in bed. Him reaching for my hand through all them damn tubes. Me flinching. I remember the man looking me dead in the eye and asking me why I couldn’t talk to him. I regret not saying anything back. I regret just standing there. My palms sweat just thinking of that. I was probably led out of the room after doing that.

What do you say…


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I pulled into the gardening center expecting to be greeted with champagne but it never came.

It was my big day. My first solo assignment of loading and delivering a truck-bed full of mulch to a client. For the weeks prior, I’d spent countless hours learning how to operate what’s known in certain circles as an “earth moving” tractor to effectively move big things.

The boss’s right-hand man called me delicate pretty regularly.

I didn’t really fight that. He drank a lot. But he wasn’t far off. At the age of 16, I wasn’t exactly the handiest of young men…

Michael Thompson

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