All Posts By

Justin Foster

Commandments & Commitments

By Leadership, LifeNo Comments

Tattoo on my right forearm. Design by @reluctanthobo

“Commandment” is a strange word that is likely correlated with rigid religious doctrine or biblical stories. For the sake of this discussion, I’m using the term to describe a divine order. You might call it a calling, a mission, a purpose. 

I have received some specific commandments over the years …

In the darkest era of my adult life (2007 – 2010), I repeatedly prayed the question “What do you want me to do?” The answer was always the same: “LOVE MORE.” I first took this to mean love others without expectations or conditions. I later realized that it also extended to loving myself unconditionally; to see my own pricelessness and worth. This commandment has been so important to me, it’s tattooed on my right forearm (the picture above).

When I decided to face my brokenness and wounds, the commandment was “heal” as well as “explore”.

When I first decided to leave Boise after nearly 20 years, the commandment was “go”.

When I was trying to figure out how to create value in the world, the commandment was “teach what you’ve learned”.

When I decided to create a business with Emily, the commandment was “build”.

In the past year, I’ve received the commandment to create; to embrace my identity as a creative. This has recalibrated my priorities from task-orientation to creative output. The result has been consistent output – from musings on social (almost daily), co-creating content with Emily and writing these Monday posts (this is #19 for the year). 

I vigorously followed these commandments – which greatly influenced my current life, state of being, mindset. I am a different person because of them. My days are different because of them. So are my relationships. 

But there are a few commandments that I have either ignored or sporadically followed …

“Take care of your body” – I am reminded of this almost daily. Yet there is a stubborn resistance that has produced a lot of narratives in the form of excuses.

“Receive” – I am a striver. I’m an almost 100 D in the DISC. I’m an 8 on the Enneagram. My identity has been around making things happen. The commandment to “receive” requires a new kind of patience and trust that I’ve yet to master. 

In all of these commandments, I’ve learned that none of them happened (or will happen) without my commitment. It is a collaborative effort. Without commitment and discipline, these commandments are idle. Not commitment in the form of rigidity, hardness or shaming – just simple follow through. It’s also not a set-it-and-forget-it thing. These commandments – and my commitment to them – must be revisited constantly.

I am also learning that commitment is not just following a system or formula. Something seems to be lost when I do that. For me, commitment needs to be nurtured and grown – through things like: stillness, rest, solitude, freedom, silence, nature, connection. 

The relationship between commandments and commitments is a continual unfolding mystery made up of daily choices, listening, observing. Each experience where both are in harmony brings with it growth, peace, confidence, meaning, joy.  

What are you being called to do? Are you doing it?

Recent Podcast Appearances

By BrandingNo Comments

I love being on podcasts. It combines two things I love: interesting people and talking!  I especially love being on the podcasts hosted by my friends. Each of these four hosts are wonderful, soulful and brilliant. I highly recommend following them on social as well as subscribing to their podcast!

Career Blindspot by Juan Kingsbury
Juan and I discuss a wide range of topics including staying creative in a crisis.

MVP Business with Steph Silver

Steph and I nerd out over branding, marketing, messaging and more.

 

Shift Awake with Jacqueline Jasionowski

JJ and I discuss how to uncover your soul’s message to the world.

 

On the Path with Naomi Seifter

Naomi (the founder of Picnik) and I talk about how to discover what you’re here to do and returning to your true self.

 

 

 

Six Ways to Cult-Proof Yourself

By Leadership, LifeNo Comments

Dwight so desperately wanted to have his own cult.

We know the stories. There are thousands of them. Rational, well-educated people suddenly or slowly being co-opted into cult-like groups and movements.

Sheesh, Justin. That’s a heavy topic for a Monday.

Yeah, probably.

So I first want to acknowledge that “cult” is a loaded word. It carries with it a lot of variable contexts based on our individual experiences and biases. Consider this … when you read the word, what image came to mind?

For the sake of this discussion, I’m defining a cult as any group or movement that encourages low conscious thinking and behavior. Based on that definition, a cult could be a business, a religious group, a political movement, a sports team and/ or celebrity fan base — and even a family dynamic.

The analysis of why and how one becomes part of a cult is fascinating. However, I want to focus on this …

How do we cult-proof ourselves?

Here are six concepts to consider:

  1. Know who you are. Many of us have not done the work to find out who we truly are. We are frequently a composite of our childhood experiences, social/group norms and general social conditioning. As such, we get our identities from our roles and skills; from the group we belong to. This creates a gap between the illusory self and the True Self. And the wider this gap, the more susceptible we are to manipulation.
  2. Heal your emotional wounds. We all get wounded by life. Some of us are more deeply wounded than others. When left unhealed, these wounds become scabbed over — just waiting for someone to come along and pick at them. Cults always present an enemy as the source of your wounds. This creates hatred and resentment, which are oxygen for cult-like groups. When you heal these wounds, they cease to be an invitation to manipulate you.
  3. Practice humility. Humility is an illusion killer. It prevents pretense from becoming our reality. It makes us seek out help and counsel. It prompts us to search for wisdom. It shines a light through our own fog of bullshit. It gives you a beginner’s mind; the spirit of a learner. The more humble you are, the less likely you are to be co-opted into a movement or group.
  4. Be a critical thinker. Critical thinking is rooted in the mantra “question everything” and in the question “Is that true?” Critical thinking encourages a healthy sense of skepticism — especially related to one’s own biases and reactions. Mindfulness and meditation practices are especially helpful here. The more of a critical thinker you are, the more of a threat you are to a cult — which becomes a natural repellant.
  5. Boost your spiritual intelligence. Intuition, awareness and creativity are all immunizers against cult-like thinking. All three come from within — the soul. Intuition tells us the truth about people and situations. Awareness helps us see around the corners of our own blind spots and biases. Creativity fuels imagination and art. Awake people have these traits of spiritual intelligence. Note: awake is different than “woke” — which, in my view, is a cult.
  6. Be a heretic. Cult-like movements and groups are orthodoxies. They require a level of sameness and submission. In order to ensure this sameness and submissiveness, dogma is presented as truth. Questioning is presented as disloyalty. As such, being a heretic is a sure-fire way to not be a part of a cult. Of course, being a heretic also means attracting persecution and pushing back against our own deep need to be liked and accepted. It’s also important to note that the line for heresy is ever moving. What was heresy can become orthodoxy pretty quickly.

As mentioned, our need for belonging is strong. Especially if we are in a place of fear and uncertainty. This need for belonging, for safety, can be high-jacked by everything from persuasive advertising to tyrannical leaders. To prevent ourselves from being unwittingly co-opted, we must have healthy boundaries and self-awareness. We must take ownership of our thoughts and actions. We must love with clear hearts and clear minds. We must remain as curious as children but as cautious as lions.

The Mystery of Business

By Branding, Entrepreneurism, LeadershipNo Comments

An accurate picture of the future.

Much of the doctrine of modern business is based on establishing a predictable level of certainty. After all, predictability is comforting – to leaders, employees and shareholders. Removal of uncertainty, therefore, a constant task. This is why much time and energy is spent at the altar of planning. Plans make the unknown future more predictable, right?

It is in this pursuit of predictability that systems and processes and models and formulas are developed and adhered to. Predicability is at the root of the reliance on data. Predictability is the reason for the question “what’s the ROI?” Within these systems and processes is an emphasis on productivity – getting the maximum out of all resources.

The enemy of predictability, by default, is the unknown. The unforeseen. The unexpected. Billions are spent on consultants and programs to battle the unknown. Yet, very few predict when a new competitor will emerge. Even fewer predict globally altering events like terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

This worship of predictability has largely removed the role of mystery in business. Ironically, mystery has a way better track record than predicability. Our greatest industries and enterprises and inventions did not come from the safe confines of predictability. They came from vision, creativity, risk, intuition. They came from the embracing of the unknown; of harnessing it like the wind, not controlling it.

Of course, I am not saying give up all systems and processes. They are useful, important tools. I am saying make room for mystery. When done in the proper order, systems serve mystery. They make it real and tangible.

Consider these areas of allowing mystery into your business …

Incorporate the power of intuition into decision making.

Let iteration replace perfection as the baseline of performance.

Embrace love, not power, as the primary intention and action towards who your business is serving.

Trust the timing. Short-cuts, unethical behavior, the attitude of lack are all indicators of not trusting the timing.

Paraphrasing Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, let your customers tell you how profitable you will be. And let the market tell you what they need.

Take 20% of the time you spent on planning and redirect it to investing in the culture of the business.

If you want some predictability, here are a few things that are 99% predictable:

  • Shitty leadership is expensive – and often fatal. When the culture of a business becomes toxic, its inevitable end is death.
  • Shoddy products and services will be rejected by the marketplace. Which, in turn, will increase your ad spend.
  • If your people operate in fear, are over-taxed and over-systemized, innovation will suffer and new competition will emerge to replace you.

On the positive side, there is one thing you have the most control over: your brand. As a leader, you decide the language, the purpose, the experience of the brand. You establish the standards. You decide the category you want to own. You have a tremendous influence on your brand’s reputation. Your behavior is a direct contributor to word-of-mouth. How you treat yourself and others is directly reflected in the culture. But here’s the paradox: in order to embrace that which you have the most control over, you must make room for mystery.

Because business is ultimately about humanity, I believe that business is art mixed with science. And all real art and science make room for mystery. Will you?

Souls Knit Together

By LifeNo Comments

A grove of aspens has the same root system.

Friendship is one of the most enduring human experiences. References to friendship go back 8000+ years. The concept of friendship has endured every significant era, tragedy, evolutionary leap. 

In his timelessly relevant book “Anam Cara”, John O’Donohue poetically lays out the Celtic concept of a “soul friend” (the English translation of Anam Cara). A similar concept is “Agape” – commonly translated as “divine love”. True friendship links the body, mind and soul of two people- with both contributing to each other without reduction of identity. 

While every culture in every era put a premium on friendship, these modern times have seen a reduction or dilution of the concept of friendship. There are circumstantial friendships (classmates, roommates, co-workers, neighbors). There are digital friendships (friends and followers on social media, contacts in your database). There are strategic friendships (business, survival, combat). In modern romantic relationships, “friend mode” is seen as less than “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. 

So the concept of a “soul friend” in contemporary society may feel strange, foreign or woo woo. But I am a direct witness and participant in the experience of having mystical friendships. Outside of a few long-term friends, this is a newer concept in my life. It was when I began a spiritual- and self-examination around 2010, that I started to notice how certain people crossed my path at certain times. Since then, I’ve experienced dozens and dozens of soulful connections. Some flamed out due to timing or circumstances. Others have endured and grown. Some I talk to almost every day. Others a few times a year. In either case, the connection is strong and vibrant. Mystical friendships are like having many “best friends”; a sort of polyamorous and fluid band of brothers and sisters.

These mystical friendships are my tribe; my people. I belong to no denominational, political, social groups. Not because I’m opposed to them but because these mystical friendships nourish my soul. I have a vision of all of these mystical friends gathering in one place. How awesome would that be?!

These mystical friendships have several essential traits. These traits can show up in a romantic/intimate relationship or a completely platonic relationship. Mystical relationships can span decades or a magical few hours. 

  • Mystical friendships don’t need to rush into or force form. There’s little to no need to “define the relationship.”

  • Mystical friendships produce some sort of output or manifestation. They are not passive or casual or convenient.

  • Mystical friendships can withstand any conversation; any truth.

  • Mystical friendships run more on Kairos time (God/nature’s time) than on Chronos time (human time). 

  • Mystical friendships have different compasses but point in the same direction.

  • In mystical friendships, plans are negotiated but needs are not.

  • Mystical friendships transcend time and space – and even death.

  • Mystical friendships run on “hypernome” – a Greek term for everlasting endurance, fortitude, purpose, courage.

How will you know if someone is a mystical friend? Pay attention. 

The first few markers of a soulful connection include: energetic compatibility, a sense of having met before, an instant depth of conversation, a natural momentum.

You will notice that these soulful friendships will often be seen as a threat to existing relationships, systems, agreements. This is why mystical friendships require courage. 

You will notice that dark forces will also arrive. They are attracted to your light. They are not mystical friendships because they want to possess or control you. 

Final thought: 

Your first mystical friendship is with yourself – or more accurately, your Self. When you are your own mystical friend, other soulful connections begin to show up in your life.

 

Where Does Extremism Come From?

By LifeNo Comments

Photo credit: Joshua A. Bickel, Columbus Dispatch

My oldest passion is studying history. As a kindergarten student, I remember devouring any books I could find on history-  many of which were way above the usual kindergarten reading level. Because of my readings, when we played “cowboys and Indians”, I was always on the side of the natives. I read whatever I could find on history: non-fiction, historical fiction, facts, Time Life books. 

When I was around 12, I read about the horrors of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. This shifted my attention from general history to trying to understand how events like the Holocaust could happen. What made populations susceptible to propaganda? Why was it so easy to manipulate their fears? How could people be so complicit with evil? 

History does not really repeat itself, but it’s patterns do. Although a lifelong curiosity, history took somewhat of a back seat until 2016. In Trump’s shocking rise to power, the leftist violence in the form of Antifa and college protests, to internet trolls, I saw a repeated pattern. By combining my knowledge of history with current events, I became re-interested in answering this question:

Where does extremism come from?

Short answer: extremism is a mental illness. But there’s so much more to it than that. 

Here is a sketch I created simply called “The Extremism Loop”.

Let’s break it down …

The root of all extremism is fear. Fear is the ego-mind’s primary role. It’s designed to keep us alive. However, when this fear is exploited and stirred up by ideological and religious beliefs, the fear becomes our identity.

The fear produces a type of low consciousness. Essentially, putting the central nervous system into flight-fight-freeze mode. This creates a defensive posture where everything is a threat. This wiring is especially present for people with untreated trauma wounds. 

Low consciousness creates binary thinking. Everything is seen on a pathological level – healthy or sick. Or a moral level – good vs bad. Again, binary thinking is a feature of the ego designed to keep us alive. But when it is manipulated, it creates an us-vs-them lens. 

Binary thinking inevitability manifests as tribalism. This is us-vs-them taken to extreme levels. This is first voiced in language. On the right, the entire motivation is “owning the libs”. On the far left, it is talk of systems destruction. Your “side” becomes your identity and produces a false two-sided war – especially in a crisis.

Some additional observations …

  • If you are already a fearful, low conscious, binary thinker, you are far more likely to be attracted to tribalism in the form of either religious extremism, authoritarianism (nationalism or fascism)  or revolutionary ideology (anarchy, Marxism, etc). All of which become the beer goggles of rational thought. 
  • The Extremism Loop spins faster during a crisis. Each of the four areas are exacerbated by propaganda. Unlike some countries, most propaganda comes from the private-sector – with the two biggest influences being right wing media and evangelical leaders.  
  • Extremism produces its own echo chambers and encourages a kind of anti-intellectualism. This, in turn, creates conspiracy theories and rumors that are shared and repeated. This homogeneity of thought makes these echo chambers even more toxic. 
  • History shows that extremism does not just fade away. It comes to a fiery end as the result of two things: idolatry and violence. Evidenced by brutal beatings by leftists of people wearing MAGA hats and alt-right white supremacists committing acts of violence against counter-protestors.  Thanks to social media and extremist-based media, it’s easier than ever to worship and promote your idols and incite violence.

So what is the antidote to extremism? This is probably a good topic for another post, but I would say these three things:

  1. Practice healthy skepticism (especially of your own thoughts and feelings). 
  2. Seek to understand those that think differently than you. 
  3. Have Love be your root motivator, not fear. 

If you are interested in other readings on this topic, check out:

The Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt

The works of Erich Fromm

The works of Hannah Arendt

The #1 Life Skill

By Leadership, LifeNo Comments

Norman Rockwell “Triple Self Portrait”

Depending on what you have access to, there are millions of life skills to become good at. We can take classes, watch YouTube videos, buddy up with an expert, attend a workshop for pretty much anything. So to narrow it down to a #1 life skill may seem like a bit of hubris.

Hear me out.

This skill can be started immediately but takes years to master.

This skill has the greatest impact on all the areas of your life.

This skill is free.

Everyone has access to this skill.

It is the skill of Self-Intervention.

Self-intervention is pretty much what it sounds like. It is the ability to intervene on a thought pattern, a feeling, a behavior.

We are the only creatures that can observe our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Why do you think that is? Based on evolutionary theory, there must be a specific reason we are designed this way. I think it is because consciousness is at the top of the evolutionary ladder; the high point on the hierarchy of being. Consciousness reveals your authority to choose, your ability to connect with others, your power create. And higher levels of consciousness and awareness are the direct result of learning to master self-intervention.

A few examples of how self-intervention is transformative …

  • You are not your thoughts. When you think you are your thoughts, they become your identity. And when your identity is your thoughts, you listen to them. You become mentally fragile. You become obsessive. Self-intervention with your thoughts is simply learning how to witness them. You can do that right now. Once you see the space between the observer and the thoughts, you can see that you can control your thoughts. Maybe not as they arise but certainly control how you respond to them.
  • Your feelings aren’t facts. One of my favorite books is “The Coddling of the American Mind”. In the book, the authors identify what they refer to as the 3 Great Untruths — one of which is “always trust your feelings.” My version: feelings aren’t facts. Yes, they feel real. And yes, they may be a signal to pay attention to something. But assuming that your feelings are the same as reality is a recipe for lifelong suffering. A starting phrase for self-intervention with feelings is “Is that true?” By questioning the feeling you create distance with it. It allows you to trace the source. Similar to a check engine light.
  • Watch your language. Self-intervention mastery applies to all behaviors — but it starts with the language we use. Ontologically, our language informs our being. It produces the narrative loops that drive our behaviors. It brings form to how we prioritize our attention and what we value. When we over-use illusory language (either delusionary positivity or despairing negativity), we become detached from reality. Even a small change of language can lead to an entirely different, more grounded mindset. A simple one to learn is this: change from “I have to …” to “I get to …”. This is not some sort of positivity cocktail to make you feel better. It literally re-wires your brain to see things from a different perspective.

There are many other areas of self-intervention (especially related to specific situations) but these are the foundational concepts. With these three, you can build on them to greater and greater mastery of self.

As always, I’d like to hear from you. If you practice any or all of these, please comment with your insights. And if you start practicing any or all of these, please let me know the outcomes.

Everything is Obsolete

By Entrepreneurism, Leadership, LifeNo Comments

 

Credit: Libreshot

 

Your business model is obsolete.

Your leadership style is obsolete.

Your skills are obsolete. 

Your systems are obsolete.

Your marketing is obsolete.

None of these may be true for you (yet), but what if they were? What would you do? 

Kind of depressing, right? But there is hope! 

Here are some questions to arrive at some hopeful, honest insights …

What are my non-negotiables? This can be a combination of beliefs, standards, mindset, behaviors. They are the fertile soil of what you will do next. They become organizing principles for planning and taking action. For me, it’s freedom. Freedom is oxygen for my soul. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I take it from anyone. Knowing what matters most to you gives you a starting point from which to rebuild.

 

What is my vision? If everything is obsolete, your first task is to survive. But even in the darkest moments of survival, there needs to be a vision of the future. Not a delusion or escaping to some sort of “happy place” to deny reality. But a picture of your future world. An exercise we do with our clients is “Will/Create/Become”. The instructions are simple: craft a short paragraph describing your future state (you choose the timing). Use those three words. Be declarative and specific. Note: this exercise is one of the modules of our new course. Check it out here.

What is my mission? This is that elusive “WHY” that becomes a fuel source for purpose, systems, planning, allocation of resources. It’s what you are here to do. It’s the story you want your life to tell. In my experience of coaching hundreds of people in the finding and articulation of their mission, I’ve always found it to be in the same place: inside you. This is why having some sort of contemplative or inquiry practice is so essential. 

What do people need? Selling 101: find out what people need it and provide it for them. This is often one of the lost arts of selling. For the past 4 – 5 decades, there has been an increasing amount of selling the non-essential due to many recent innovations that are more entertainment than essential. Finding out what people need and providing it to them is the bedrock of community-level capitalism. From it springs the marketplace, the provisional storehouse, the crop grower, the craftsman.

What am I working with? Talent is the blend of natural gifts and learned skills. Your natural gifts never become obsolete. Your learned skills most certainly do. As we shared in a recent webinar (watch recording here), taking inventory of your life includes both spiritual assets and material assets. Spiritual assets are most often related to your natural gifts: ingenuity, creativity, courage, futuristic thinking, problem solving. Material assets are most often related to learned skills and existing resources: technology, know-how, your network, access to capital. 

Straight lines don’t exist in nature. Everything grows in a spiral and exists in a circle of life. The cycle of everything is order, corruption and chaos. This makes life iterative. It is a comforting illusion that what got us here will never go obsolete. All it takes is one unplanned crisis. 

How to Spot a Narcissist

By Leadership, Life, Self-WorthNo Comments

People with narcissistic tendencies are dangerous — physically, spiritually, emotionally. They are especially dangerous in a crisis where the pressure of a situation reveals the depth of their narcissism. Thus, it’s important to be able to spot them — and deal with them in a rational, thoughtful way.

First, let’s do a level-set …

Psychologically, I’m referring to Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You can do your own search on this issue, but this article has a good summation:

Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration.

Spiritually, I’m referring to someone fully consumed by their ego-self. A metaphor I frequently use is the rind and the fruit. Picture an orange. The rind represents the external identity we’ve adopted to make it through life. The fruit represents our interior true Self. A spiritually healthy person has a fairly thin rind and lots of juicy goodness on the inside. The more the trauma or delusion, the thicker the rind — and the less the fruit. Someone fully consumed by their ego-self is comprised primarily of rind.

It’s important to note that we all have narcissistic tendencies. More on that later.

With those references in mind, here are five ways to spot a narcissist:

  1. Fragility — Narcissists are famously thin-skinned (which is ironic considering the above metaphor). They tend to become petulant, defensive, angry when confronted. This is because the rind is being pierced — which means their entire identity is threatened. This is why they are always comparing themselves to others.
  2. Forgetfulness — Because narcissists live almost completely in the world of illusion, they are forgetful of their own statements and proclamations. They don’t remember what they said, what they promised, what they threatened. They lack the recall ability of rational thought. This is why narcissists are notorious for not reading, avoiding hard data and being easily swayed by conspiracy theories.
  3. Bad at Moral Math — Narcissists have a strange way of keeping score. They will do 100 horrible things and one “good” thing. When confronted with their horribleness, they will bring up the one thing and proclaim their righteousness. This is also how a narcissist’s enablers apologize for his/her behavior. A famous version of this is in regard to the Italian dictator, Mussolini — where it was said: “At least he made the trains run on time.”
  4. Impulsiveness — Narcissists are fast at what should be slow and slow at what should be fast. They are notoriously impulsive with relationships — or staff in a working environment. They are notoriously slow at grasping facts, data, science.
  5. Destructiveness — Because narcissism is both a mental and spiritual disorder, it never ends well — unless there is some sort of intervention or awakening. If not, it inevitably ends in some sort of bunker — either a literal bunker or a mental one.

So how does one deal with a narcissist? Here are three ways:

  • Practice distancing — The thing the narcissist fears the most is being ignored. Attention in any form fuels their ego. It’s tempting to debate or argue with narcissists. But they love that shit. The best thing to do is to remove yourself from their presence.
  • Set clear boundaries — This is using declarative words and firm voice to establish a clear buffer. Imagine speaking to them as you would a child. This is useful if you have to deal with a narcissistic person in your family or an ex-partner/co-parent.
  • Be empathetic (but not an enabler): As mentioned, we all have narcissistic tendencies. We have identities, roles, views that we get very attached to. I say this because empathy is one of the most effective tools for dealing with narcissists. It’s not so much about empathy for them and more about understanding where they’re coming from as to not become like them.

It is important to remember that, ultimately, narcissists are consumed by fear. Their aggression, self-aggrandizing, reactivity, bluster are all fear responses. Fear of being found out. Fear of being ignored. Fear of being alone. The antidote for fear is Love. In this case, a deep, abiding self-love that is grounded in humility, worthiness and confidence.

Ryan Holiday shares it this way:

“When we remove ego, we’re left with what is real. What replaces ego is humility, yes — but rock-hard humility and confidence. Whereas ego is artificial, this type of confidence can hold weight. Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.”

 — Ryan Holiday: “Ego is the Enemy”

5 Best Books to be Reading Right Now

By Books, Leadership, LifeNo Comments

Rockwell Kent

As a life-long reader, one of my favorite things to do for people is to provide curated customs lists of recommended books. Most of my recommendation lists have been curated based on each friend’s specific interests or topics (mindfulness, spirituality, business, leadership, etc).

Now, I’ve had several friends ask me what books that I recommend in the midst of this crisis — so I thought I’d share them with you. I’ve read every one of these books — some several times. (All links go to Amazon.)

“Biography of Silence” — Pablo D’Ors

This is the best book I’ve ever read on the power and importance of meditation in modern times.

“Man’s Search for Meaning” — Viktor Frankl

Much has been shared about this classic — but it remains the source code for finding meaning in suffering.

“Red Teaming” — Bryce Hoffman

I have been thinking about how different the reaction to the pandemic from businesses and governments would be if they’d read this book. Disclosure: Bryce is a great friend and client — but the endorsement is 100% sincere.

“Everything is F*cked” — Mark Manson

The awesomeness of this book is indescribable. It is a blend of research, satire, history, philosophy and so much. It is the perfect book to buy today and start reading right now.

“The Power of TED” — David Emerald

The only fable in this list, this is the best book I’ve ever read about getting out of a victim mindset — and for dealing with people with a victim mindset.

I’d love to hear your top 5. Please share in the comments!

Enjoy and be safe!