You Don’t Need a Partner to Be Complete. Really. You Don’t.

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Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

I used to feel differently. In fact, for the better part of my post-adolescent years, I felt compelled to be partnered up. After all, our society — from old media to social media — inundates us with the notion that being alone is somehow a mark of failure…that it’s an indication of your unlikability, your unworthiness. And if it wasn’t challenging enough pre-COVID, a year of social distancing (I mean who came up with that term?) has made it damn near impossible to start a new relationship.

Following my 2016 divorce, I didn’t wait for the ink to dry on…

Leadership Isn’t Easy. That’s Why So Many Bosses Suck.

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Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

The Toxic Boss.

Everyone’s Buddy.

The Screamer.

The Narcissist.

The Egoist.

The Inexperienced.

There are many reasons leaders fail.

As many readers are aware — through direct experience — ineffective (or worse — toxic) bosses have a profound impact on the well-being of everyone in the workplace.

A failing boss makes the lives of every team member miserable.

They undercut morale.

They reduce productivity.

They incur unbearable costs on organizations due to high turnover and reduced productivity.

Yet ineffective bosses are obscenely common.

In many cases this is because the wrong…

Keep Buying Your Daily Latte

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I am not a financial expert. Not even close. If you want awesome financial advice check out this guy — his advice is spot-on: Rocco Pendola

But I can’t sit by quietly and listen to the “latte” advice anymore.

I can’t stand listening to so-called financial experts who reliably go straight for your daily $4-$5 Starbucks ritual purchase and tell you how wealthy you could be at the age of 65+ if you just sucked it up and made your coffee at home for the next 30 years.

Many things we do each day are reassuring and, yes, pleasurable rituals…

It Hasn’t Gotten Better.

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Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Seriously, why is this not part of the national discussion anymore?

No, not because Trump sucked the oxygen out of every discussion that wasn’t about Trump. This issue faded into the background years ago — and for the life of me I can’t understand why.

I believe that maladaptive, morally indefensible but culturally and structurally embedded behaviors do not simply go away when new polices are implemented and leaders say to stop.

Rather they are driven further underground.

Perpetrators become more adept at disguising abusive behavior. …

The Great Gatsby Believed. So, Should You.

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Shoot For The Moon /Author Photo

Author F. Scott Fitzgerald, in a posthumously published novel, The Last Tycoon, wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” It was a fragment in his notes for the book — maybe what he wanted to convey, maybe not.

Dig deeper, and you will find a different version of this often-misused quote:

“I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York’s boom days.”

This is from Fitzgerald’s essay My Lost City. It, I believe, reflects his concurrence…

What is it about “Mid-Life” that causes a crisis? Nothing. Mostly.

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The Result of a Crisis?




plural noun: crises

  1. a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.

Was it the two classic cars? The partner 20 years my junior? The divorce? What gave it away?

My so-called “crisis” appears to have been caused by a rapid succession of events that occurred — well — during mid-life.

But a crisis it was not.

Rather it was the recognition that I had spent far too many years worrying about the future and ruminating about the past…far too many years trying to prepare for an uncertain future…far too many years not…

A Mess of Contradictions.

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The Amish Contradiction

I am an anxious man, yet I am not defined by my anxiety.

I struggle with ego, yet I am generally successful in reigning it in.

I am a giver and a pleaser with a pathological aversion to saying no.

I am a failed husband, yet experienced tremendous personal growth through divorce.

I am self-aware.

I am self-conscious.

I am hard on myself while being easy on others.

I am reasonably confident and surely not arrogant.

I am proud of my accomplishments which include a reasonably successful career as a Coast Guard officer, a self-rediscovery and…

You are bound to get lost following passion.

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Follow This Pretty Good Path / Photo By Me

Too many well-meaning (and typically well off) people — Life Coaches, friends, mom… offer this advice to or some version of it to their mentees as a facile panacea.

If you are reading this, you’ve heard it or offered it: “follow your passion…do work you love…find your bliss…”.

Total BS.

The advice is overly simple, a bit of a cop out, and if acted upon, tends to result in frustration, disappointment and failure for the mentee.

Passion in this context is defined by Merriam Webster as: “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept”

An uneasy acknowledgement of my headstart

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Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash

I am spending Thanksgiving 2020 alone in a small hotel outside of Richmond, Virginia. White privilege afforded me this opportunity. I hate crediting that privilege for in any way contributing to the course my life has taken. I hate the fact that there is such a thing as white privilege. I hate the fact that many, if not most, significant opportunities that have come to me and allowed me to live a prosperous, secure life were borne of white privilege.

I would be a liar if I did not acknowledge these facts. Moreover, I’d be a hypocrite if I assumed…

Time? Money? Status? Ambition? Fulfillment? Joy?

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Pixabay / Pexels

When do we stop striving and start thriving? When do we stop saving for tomorrow?

When do we have enough?

If you let emotion drive your financial decisions, well then the answer is never. You’ll die without ever feeling as though you had enough — of anything. Satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment will elude you.

This essay is not about retirement planning.

I am not going to tell you to give up your cherished daily latte or develop a budget.

I am not going to offer investment advice.

Rather I am going to offer advice…

Stephen Chamberlin

A 25 year Coast Guard officer — and currently a full-time Airstream nomad.

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