Steve Jobs (left) told three stories in his 2005 Stanford University commencement address, each employing the Hero’s Journey story archetype. Dr. Martin Luther King told just one in his famous 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, employing the archetype The World the Way It Is/The World the Way It Could Be.

Know your heroes

Although I know several great writers, I know very few great storytellers.

Because a story is a particular type of writing that emphasizes an emotional arc of challenge, personal growth, triumph or tragedy, writing a story is a different experience (for the writer) than journalism, or technical writing, or ad copy. To create an emotional arc for the characters, many writers must experience the negative emotions for themselves, and this is why great story-telling is so difficult — because it requires the storyteller to be vulnerable in ways that most writers are unwilling to experience.

Nonetheless, there’s lots of great…

My experience has been that ice baths are way better than cold showers. I find the cold showers a miserable, wretched experience suitable only for when I'm traveling.

By contrast. Ice baths are a meditative experience for me.

Not until you know what you’re giving up.

Thomas Jefferson codified “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the inalienable human rights the Government is obligated to defend, but he never explained what people might be expected to sacrifice to obtain these rights, because a “right” is not a “value.” Too often, people confuse the two. (Photo by Alicia Razuri on Unsplash).

Every organizational leader must concern themselves with the decisions made at all levels of their organization. Even the lowest paid employees, at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy, are making decisions that help shape the future of the organization.

And because every decision is an irreversible commitment of resources, the people who make those decisions are choosing some alternatives at the expense of others. When cashiers choose to smile, they give up frowns. When forklift drivers choose precision, they give up speed. When carpenters choose screws, they are not choosing nails.

Every decision is a choice between two or more…

Creativity can be dangerous

Toys are a great way to ignite our imaginations, even if we don’t always know how the resulting fire is going to burn. When work as done fails to conform to work as imagined, sometimes things get broken. Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

Everyone who has spent more than two days in a job has discovered that the description of and practice of their job are often two different things.

For example, in my job as a University professor, you might think my job is teaching, mentoring, and research. In fact, much of my job is filling out forms. Some days, several hours of my work day will be spent completing some damn form, and I hate it.

But what’s really awful is that the forms themselves are incomplete, obsolete, or sometimes, just ignored. At Arizona State University, we have forms that haven’t…

And wound up divorced, anyway.

Photo by Thomas Picauly on Unsplash

I didn’t know I married an alcoholic.

There’s no history of alcoholism in my family. My parents barely drank at all, and neither did I until I was well past the legal drinking age of 21 years old.

So I didn’t have the experience I needed to recognize the warnings, and by the time it should have been obvious, I was so deeply invested in my denial that I didn’t want to know.

My daughter changed all that, when she was 14 years old.

I was grocery shopping with her and my son (16 at the time) and she said…

"But" is a magical word that erases everything in the sentence that comes before it.

When my Father died two weeks ago, I discovered that I'm still afraid of my sisters. I'm afriad they'll gossip about me to the rest of the family, convince my other relatives that I'm a terrible person and that I will be cast out for life (because I do not do what my sisters tell me to do).

Nevermind that none of that is true. There is something about the death of a parent that can cause us to revert to a childlike state.

And children are master's at learning how to please their parents.

Thomas P Seager, PhD is CEO of Morozko Forge, a company in Phoenix AZ that makes ice baths for shipment all over the world.

It was quite by accident that I discovered my testosterone was very high for my advanced age of 52. A routine blood test had revealed elevated levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is associated with greater risk of prostate cancer.

Because prostate cancer typically grows so slowly, I elected to treat my PSA with a ketogenic diet and regular monitoring, rather than a biopsy and surgery. I reasoned that if I could bring my PSA down in six months or so, I might avoid invasive and painful surgical procedures, without much increased risk of malignancy.

That worked for me…

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