Podcast_Parenting Parenting with a Story Podcast Series: Real-life lessons in character for parents and children to share Based on interviews with over 100 people from 25 countries around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about: ambition, open-mindedness, creativity, curiosity & learning, courage, integrity, self-reliance, grit, hard work, self-confidence, money & delayed gratification, health, positive mental attitude, dealing with loss, kindness, patience, fairness & justice, humility, respect for others, friendship, social intelligence, forgiveness & gratitude, appreciation of beauty. 

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How to Build Confidence in New Situations

I think all parents want their kids to have a healthy sense of confidence, especially when they’re going into a new or unfamiliar situation — like attending a new school, or moving to a new neighborhood. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a proven way to do that in exactly those situations? Well, it turns [read more]

“What do you care what other people think?”

One of the most prevalent human frailties — one that begins in childhood and stays with us the rest of our lives — is a concern about what other people think of us. To a 10-year-old, it might be what the other kids will think of her new tennis shoes. To a teenage boy, it [read more]

The Problem of Getting Something for Nothing

Thomas Paine once observed, “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.” If true, that might suggest that something we obtain for free we don’t esteem at all. But so what? Does it really matter if we esteem something too lightly? One person who knows something about that is John Chancellor. Paying for [read more]

What Happens When a Japanese Woman Decides to be Friends with a “Very White Male”

Becky Okamoto is the principal and founder of an operational consulting company called the Evoke Strategy Group, LLC. But she’s an engineer by training, and spent most of her career in and around manufacturing. Meeting Marvin Earlier in her career, she was part of the leadership team at a production facility in California. It was [read more]

Surviving Prom Night

Prom night is supposed to be one of the most exciting events of our lives. At least that’s what Walethia Aquil thought as a senior at Northwestern High School in Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately for her, it turned out to be one of the worst. Just a few weeks before the prom, Walethia didn’t even think [read more]

Here’s What Happens When You Wait Too Long to Say, “I’m Sorry”

When Darrell was in the third grade he did something he’s regretted for the thirty-five years since. What was his unforgettable and unpardonable sin? He wrote a poem. A very bad poem. Darrell’s class had been learning the rhyme and meter of several forms of poetry. One particular week they learned about limericks. That’s a [read more]

The Only Way to Listen Better by Talking More

Listening is one of the most important communication tools we have. In fact, it’s one of the only two requirements for actually having a conversation — the other being it’s far more popular teammate: talking. But even when we do listen, most of us listen with the intent of responding, not with the intent of [read more]

Dealing with Loss: The Great Berkeley Fire of 1991

People lose things every day—a set of keys, a matching sock, or the homework they can’t find on their computer—all minor daily frustrations. Not the kind of loss most people need help dealing with. The kind we need help with is the kind of loss that stops your heart, forever alters the course of your [read more]

Professional Comedian Drew Tarvin Shares an Antidote for Prejudice and Hatred

If you follow my Lead with a Story blog or podcast, you’ll know that last week I had professional comedian and self-described “humor engineer” Drew Tarvin on to talk about one of the most attractive parts of human nature — courage. This week I’m having him join me on my Parenting with a Story channel to [read more]

Facing Down the Demon of Perfectionism

Giving up isn’t always a bad thing. There are many legitimate reasons to give up on any task. Maybe you’ve accomplished enough of it already. Maybe the cost of continuing outweighs the benefits of succeeding. Or maybe you’ve just lost interest in the goal. But there are some bad reasons to give up as well. [read more]