MWD’s Bestowed Book-O-the-Month

Announcing a monthly book giveaway on

There’s only one thing better than reading a great book for the first time; reading a great book for the first time for free.

For the Bestowed Book-O-the-Month, I’m giving away a book to one lucky winner randomly drawn from subscribers of my email newsletter. This giveaway will be a new copy of something I’ve read within the last 24 months so I can make sure I’m passing along a title I would recommend people spend their own hard-earned money on. I’ll also include a page (or two or three – depending on the book) of notes I took while reading the book.

Story Behind the Story: Top 10 Reasons People Never Get Started

How the sausage gets made around here

I’ve been reading (and listening to) a fair amount of Derek Sivers recently, and he gave me permission to launch a new blog post series I’ve been contemplating. I’m starting the series for my own purposes, as beyond me it will probably have all the appeal of a snow cone stand in Siberia.

Making the sausage

I thought it would be fun – even if it’s only fun for me – to give a behind-the-scenes view on the creation of some of the things I write. I won’t do it for every post, but there are a few where I enjoy reliving the journey from concept to final product. This particular one follows the actual post directly (or fairly close), but moving forward I’ll probably reach back a few posts or more to tell the story. Due to the nature of this series, the writing will be a lot more casual and “stream of consciousness” than my normal posts. (This is where the savvy reader thinks and that’s different how, exactly?)


A rush to judgement is a race you never win

Too often and too quickly we rush to judge, decide, and label an event as soon as it happens. Of the four religions/philosophies I have spent time studying, all of them caution against this rush to judgement. I was guilty of it myself this week, and it reminded me of one of my favorite Buddhist/Taoist fables.

Maybe, the farmer replied

5 Years Distilled Down to 5 Minutes

A personal development stove-top reduction

Inspired in part by Derek Sivers, and in part by Michael Pollan (“Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”), here is everything I will be writing about over the next five years distilled down into a few simple statements.

Establish goals and work backwards.

Take action. Start now.

Create a no exceptions policy around the “engine” driving you towards your goals.

That’s it. I’ll be expanding upon those three points and ideas related to those three points for the next five years. I won’t run out of things to say. I currently have a backlog of 44 writing topics lined up for my next 44 posts. And generally for every one post I finish, I add two more topics to the list. But you don’t need to read any of them. Just follow the three directives above and you’ll be able to accomplish practically anything you set your mind to.

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Top 10 Reasons People Never Get Started

Trip hazards before you even make it to the starting line

What stops someone from taking action? Why invest so much time in what they are going to do only to never start? How can they plan a journey of a thousand miles and never take the first step?

Traffic Light

Establish Goals. Take Action. No Exceptions. These are the three core concepts to my method of accomplishing the biggest goals and dreams any individual or organization may have. Of the three, the one that seems the simplest and without need for explanation – Take Action – is actually the one concept where I see most projects and goals stumble, fall, and collapse. An average plan haphazardly followed will beat a perfect plan that remains locked in a drawer every single time.

Week 13

An opportunity to reflect and plan. 4 times a year.

A very special week (March 27th – April 2nd, 2017) is upon us and the majority of people will plow through it unaware. It’s the first “lucky” week of 2017. Don’t treat it like just another 1 of 52. Put this week to work for you and make it – along with the 3 others in 2017 that follow it – one of your best weeks of the year. I’m referring to the 13th week of the year.

13th floor

The number 13 conjures up a lot of unnecessary paranoia and superstition. Many buildings – especially casino hotels – go straight from floor 12 to 14. Friday the 13th can’t go by without  commentary from both news anchors and office busy-bodies. The number 13 is so rare on a sports uniform that when someone does wear it, they stand out. What’s the big deal with the number 13 anyway and why is it considered to be so unlucky?

5 tips from Warren Buffett


As a follow up on my article from last week on Do the Opposite, the video linked above contains 5 tips from Warren Buffett. These tips were selected by CNBC from the many interviews Buffett has given the network over the last decade. You can look at these tips as investing-only tips, or you can look a little deeper and see how they apply to much more than investing.


Do the Opposite

What Walt Disney, Earl Nightingale, Warren Buffett, and Qantas Flight 32 have in common

Walt Disney surveyed the area and felt a wave of disgust – squalor surrounded him. The ground was dirty and covered with litter, the ride operators were unfriendly, the paint was cracking on one of the rides, but worse than any of that, the parents looked positively bored. Walt decided to do the opposite of everything he saw around him at this shoddy and depressing local amusement park, and in that moment, the idea for Disneyland was born.

Walt Disney shows how to do the opposite

Now, almost 70 years after that particular Sunday afternoon in 1948, people stroll into Universal Studios Florida, Six Flags, Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, or any of the 6 Disney Parks locations around the world and take for granted the high level of expectation they have for the experience – the quality and quantity of rides, cleanliness of the parks, and helpfulness and politeness of the staff. But it wasn’t always that way. Disgusted by just about every aspect Walt had observed first-hand, the original Disneyland was built on the principle of doing the opposite of EVERYTHING from all the other amusement parks he visited with his young daughters on Sunday afternoons.

respond vs react

Though small, the gap you see in the right-hand column of the respond model makes a big difference. It is THE difference between reacting and responding. This gap is where character, maturity, and wisdom reside.