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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.

The moment her story and my story became our story

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…


Being a calming influence when things go south is a seriously attractive quality

“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…


Love is water

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…


Don’t underestimate the importance of “where”

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…


Sometimes it takes a while for the dots we’re collecting to finally connect

“I know why you’re tired all the time!” my dad said after I finished complaining about my job over the delicious turkey leg my mom had made. “You’re doing something you weren’t meant to do!”

The year was 2008. The day was Thanksgiving. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Are you serious?” I shot back. “You encouraged me to take that job! You said it’d be good for me! Time and time again you told me not to leave it!”

“Look at you!” he replied. “It has been good for you! But you’ve reached the point where you’ve learned…


If a lot of people give a little, it can add up to enough

I turned on my computer and was met with the following message — “A Writer Sent My Family a Box Full of Rainbows and Unicorns.”

Before I even clicked on the article I knew who the author was referring to. My friend Darcy Reeder was going through a rough time. It was one of those days that make you question everything and anything trying to figure out a way to put your right foot in front of the left again.

“Our friends are so generous, I want to be generous like that too!” Darcy said to her daughter after opening…


A short time of laying low can pay off for the rest of your career

“Dad! Dad! I saw Red again!”

It was the third time that day my son Liam had said he’d seen a little red fish swim out from under the rock he’d been standing on. I thought for sure he was joking or the sun had begun to blur his vision. But not two minutes later, just as I told him it’s time to go home for dinner, the little guy peeked his head out from under the rock, and to my surprise, Red wasn’t only red, but fire-engine red.

The next day, despite knowing the odds of seeing the exact…


A case for letting relationships reveal themselves without the help of information we’ve already discovered online

I recently got a request to meet with a guy in my town who wants to be a writer. Combine having not made a lot of in-person friends over the past 18 months and most people in Spain thinking I’m a fortune teller because I write on something called “Medium,” I jumped at the opportunity.

Walking home after our conversation, however, I questioned why the guy wanted to speak with me. Not every time, but quite a bit, he would cut me off when I began to explain something or attempt to tell a story. “I just read your status…


Few things influence what we do more than the people we meet

Despite the pushback from everyone around him and dwindling funds in his bank account, on a lonely spring night, the young man closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and slid the check into the mail.

Weeks later, while walking the pristine campus before the first day of the summer course he splurged for, his mind was riddled with doubt. “Maybe they’re right!” he thought to himself. “Maybe I don’t belong here!”

To make matters worse, at 8 AM the next morning, his red plaid shirt immediately clashed against a sea of tweed jackets that dominated the classroom. …


He proves once again that less is more

The author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, shared something recently that I thought was pretty smart. In fact, I think could save the internet from eating itself. Or at a minimum, make a few people pause for a second to think about what kind of writer they want to be.

James has over 1,000,000 email subscribers which is pretty impressive considering he’s only published one book and sends only one email a week to his subscribers. James is obviously a good thinker but it’s a very simple strategy that’s allowed him to stand out —

“The most important thing is…

Michael Thompson

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