My Auschwitz Experience

“Has all this suffering, this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning to survival; for a life whose meaning depends upon such a happenstance—as whether one escapes or not—ultimately would not be worth living at all.” – Dr. Viktor Frankl, Psychiatrist and Auschwitz survivor   As soon as Natalie and I booked our trip to […]

Tribute To A ‘Grit Paragon’

“When the storms come, what matters is who you’ve become in the process of your life. Because if you’ve been faithful in the little things, in every area of your life, and put your trust in the right place, then when the storms come, you’ll be able to sleep through them.”  – Joshua Medcalf, from his book “Pound the Stone” […]

My Unlikely Benefactor

This week marks 10 years since my first day working in Chicago.   I moved to the city in November 2006 with $2,000 to my name and no job. Impractical to say the least, and the exact opposite of the advice I’d give to, say, my little brother.   I spent the first few weeks sleeping on a mattress in the living […]

George Bailey and my Christmas GOAT

My closest friends and family know I couldn’t let the holidays pass without posting about one of my favorite movies and favorite movie characters of all time. It’s a Wonderful Life is easily my Christmas movie GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), and George Bailey is in my pantheon of fictional characters right next to Phil Dunphy of Modern Family, Atticus Finch (although his […]

On Millennials, and the Lasting Legacy of My Favorite Educator

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams   My Millennial generation is often characterized as a group of spoiled, entitled babies, gladly accepting our participation trophies and going about our business. And who knows? Maybe there’s some truth behind the stereotypes. Maybe we were told too often as kids how great we are, […]

The Responsibility of Hope

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy   12 years ago I was home from college for the summer, and took in the 2004 Democratic National Convention with my parents. I wasn’t particularly interested in politics (I was 21 and hadn’t yet had an opportunity to vote in a presidential election) […]

Inspiration From the McConaugh-ssance

 “No cheatin’ the man in the glass.”   I’m sorry, but does it get much better than Matthew McConaughey? For years I’ve admired so much the gracious spirit, grounded confidence, and positive energy with which this guy lives his life. Has he made questionable career decisions and stumbled at times? Sure. But he’s always struck me as someone who appreciates and learns […]


I can’t give a big enough endorsement for the podcast, “Presidential.” Put on by The Washington Post, the series deep dives into the life, leadership style, historical context, and legacy of each American President, devoting one episode to each and releasing them in chronological order. Check it out here. I just finished the Teddy Roosevelt episode, and these are my […]

12 rounds with my Spiritual CEO

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Churchill Becoming a CEO   By the end of my 20’s, I had drifted away from any sort of consistent spiritual practice or reflection in my life.  Living in the heart of Chicago as a 20-something young professional offers so much in […]

Start With Why.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy   2015 was a huge year. Probably my biggest, most eventful, and memorable one yet. It was the year of weddings – my wife’s and mine, two of my best friends and their brides, plus […]