March 15, 2019

When it comes to relationships, we talk about sex a lot. A lot. When I was single, it was hard not to imagine the health and wellness of my future relationship was all about how we performed in the bedroom. Even as a married person, I am constantly bombarded by advice on how to improve our sex life, with an implicit (or explicit) claim that doing so will improve the relationship as a whole. Indeed, sometimes it seems our culture… Read more

March 13, 2019

It has been a hard week in the Willis house. I like to think we are pretty well-adjusted, mature, balanced humans. But life is just hard. We’re constantly trying to fix things, dealing with worries, processing the hurts of the pasts and the fears of the future. Life is hard. I don’t think we allow ourselves to accept this singular reality: it is hard to be human! Whether we admit it or not, I think there is a prevailing belief… Read more

March 11, 2019

We roll out of bed in the morning and a good chunk of our day becomes avoidance. We hit the snooze and go back to sleep. Our days are spent in benign conversation and menial tasks. The clock ticks like a judges gavel. We watch television and get drunk because we can’t think of better things to do. In short, we are experts at wasting time. Our moments pass us by and we yawn at them, waving complacently. The primary… Read more

March 8, 2019

The Two Circles are about the blurred lines between freedom and control. In our attempts to control others by withholding affection and casting blame, we shackle ourselves. We stick our influence in a drawer and cover it with layers of self-justification. We tell ourselves avoiding the dangers is what true freedom is. All the while, our influence is muzzled and our souls are crying out for more. The reality is there are only three things we can control. If we find ourselves… Read more

March 6, 2019

The new Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has become a popular entry into modern culture. People are talking about it. The personality of the host and the practices of her principles have caught our attention. Kylie and I watched just one episode of the show. Not really our thing. But what we did see was just why it is becoming immensely popular, especially among millennials.   Spark Joy Marie Kondo isn’t just teaching people how to clean. That’s not very… Read more

March 4, 2019

We all want to live a life of purpose. We want to empower our institutions and change our world for the better. In short, we want to be people of influence. We want to be effective, stewarding our influence in a responsible and meaningful way. Wielding influence can be difficult. For one thing, influence is not control. We cannot make anyone do anything. And when people fail to follow our lead, we tend to resort to either abandonment or control… Read more

March 1, 2019

Beginning in early childhood and lasting our entire lives, learning the consequences for our behavior is a vital part of maturity. It helps give us healthier expectations. It shows us how the world works. It actually teaches us a lot about the true nature of freedom. And, most importantly, it informs the degree and depth of our self-awareness and sense of ownership. We often talk about boundaries and consequences as if they are straightforward. But it is actually pretty complicated. One of the… Read more

February 27, 2019

There is one reason, and only one reason, that we engage in conflict. We have a lot of different names for this reason. We might say a value is being threatened. Or we might say emotions are triggered. Or we might say our expectations weren’t met. Really, these are three ways of saying the same thing. We enter into conflict because we have an expectation that has not been met. An expectation based on our values. We have formed a worldview based on our hopes… Read more

February 25, 2019

Have you ever noticed that when writing or reading something, there is often a list of three to describe something? Such as: being a leader is about who you are, how you influence, and how you engage in culture. This is called The Rule of Three. It is a writing principle that suggest lists of three are more humorous, satisfying, and effective than any other number. There are three little pigs, three musketeers, and three billy goats gruff. Think about… Read more

February 22, 2019

I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life. One of my favorite things to do is read a biography about a famous writer, to hear the process they use and the story of how they got published. What I am really doing is looking for a shortcut. I’m looking for some magic bullet, some secret sauce to teleport me to where I want to be. We all do this in a thousand different ways. This is why we lie… Read more

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