Living a soul-driven life. 

There’s an exercise I often lead with people I coach that reveals a surprising truth: most of us don’t really know what we want.

In this exercise, I ask a simple question: “what do you want?”

And then I repeat this same question over and over again.

In the first minute or so, the expected answers come out. Those generally are the things that are top of mind, the things they want most immediately, like wanting more money or new clients or other material things. In their minds, if they were to have those things, they would be happy and fulfilled.

But then, when they have finished listing all the material things they want, and all the success they desire, they become a bit emotional, sometimes tearful, and begin to go deeper.

They become silent.

They gaze at me with curiosity and unknowing.

They begin to mumble, they slow down enough to begin hearing their soul’s voice.

This is always a precious moment. A sacred opening.

It is in this moment they realize that what they really want most is a life of real purpose. A life filled with intention, fulfillment and inner peace.

I call that a soul-driven life.

It is in this moment that they begin to pay attention to what really matters most to them.

It’s easy for us creative types to lose sight of our soul’s voice. That’s because our creative free spirit gets drowned out by the monkey mind chatter that our ego consistently broadcasts. Our work becomes consumed with solving other people’s problems and along the way we become less creative and less in touch with who we really are.

Our ego is doing a great job at wanting more, wanting faster, wanting bigger. It gets so loud that when it doesn’t get what it wants, it has the ability to create a dark cloud over our lives, resulting in depression and hopelessness. This dark cloud can turn us into self-doubters or worst, fear-based people-pleasers.

Our ego is constantly wanting. And the louder our ego is, the further we get from living our soul’s purpose.

We live in a media-driven culture that sends us constant messages that we are not enough. Our ego eats these messages up like a starved animal. If only we had that luxury car or that fancy house or that big name client, our life will be better. We believe this campaign and beat ourselves down for not achieving the milestones we supposedly were meant to achieve. We compare ourselves and suffer.

What you want will always come from somewhere. It will always have an origin. What you want will either come from your ego or from your soul. The question is, which one are you listening to? Which one is driving your life?

There’s a beautiful parable I once heard about a grandfather talking with his grandson and he says "there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear."

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”

Our ego wants to look good, to win, to be right, to succeed, to be known, to be in control. Our ego wants to receive for the sake of receiving. And the more it gets, the more it wants.

Soul is pure. Soul is the essence of our being. Our truth. It is who we truly are underneath the mask we so carefully and masterfully created in order to cope with the world. It is the part of us that lives behind our ego, the part of us that is divine.

I spent many years of my life unconsciously driven by ego. That brought me success, accolades, and wealth. But at the end of the day, much of that achievement didn’t bring me real happiness. I found myself running on a hamster wheel, feeling unfulfilled by my work, depressed and exhausted.

That’s when I stopped running and asked myself “What do I really want?” And guess what? I had no idea either.

All I knew was what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want to feel like I’m swimming upstream. I didn’t want to keep running on the hamster wheel for the rest of my life.

When I stopped to ask myself this simple question, that's when my soul journey began. 

We tend to focus so much on what our ego wants and forget to focus on what it is we need that truly matters. We fool ourselves thinking that what our ego wants is what we need and yet when we achieve those things we think we want, we often realize that we are still empty inside.

Our soul, in its purest divine form, wants to create, to influence and serve others. And when we live in a soul-driven way, we get to do just that and get more than what we want. We get what we truly need. Meaning, fulfillment, and inner peace. 


It takes time for success.

I have one major pet peeve in life - people who waste my time.

You see, time is the most valuable thing I have. More valuable than money. I will never get back lost or wasted time, but I can always make more money. Every minute of my life is a precious one and I am the kind of person who likes to make the most out of life, so I treat my time with honor and respect.

Arriving late is a way of saying that your own time is more valuable than the time of the person who is waiting for you.

Time is a valuable gift, and if someone throws your gift away, why would you want to keep giving them more gifts?

I used to have friends who would joke about the way I manage my time. They would call me "anal retentive" or “rigid”. Those people aren't my friends anymore. That's because the way they treat time in their life is in a loose, unconscious way. They would constantly be late for our dates with lame excuses and often forget we made plans, resulting in needing to reschedule at the last minute. After a while, that type of behavior became exhausting and eventually those friendships faded away into obscurity.

Integrity and respect are the two most important values I look for in my relationships, both personal and professional. The way a person treats time will be a direct reflection of the level of integrity they live in, as well as a way to recognize how present, conscious, and dependable they are.

When you study the common traits of successful people, you’ll discover one thing in common - they have all mastered managing how they treat time. They manage themselves and their relationship with time in a way that’s respectful.

Successful people make conscious choices every day as to how and with whom they want to spend their time. They actually take the time to think about time. They know when to say no, they keep their word, and when life happens (and it always will) and they aren’t able to, they will still honor their word in a way that respects the relationship.

Mutual respect must exist in any healthy relationship. Time is a way to measure the level of respect that exists between people. Respect is like air. When it’s gone, it’s the first thing you will notice.

My most successful, long term and healthy relationships all have deep mutual respect as well as a mutual understanding that the way we treat the time inside of the relationship is a reflection of the respect we have for each other.

I know that I am part of a small group of people who think and live this way. I know this because people are often surprised when I show up on time or when I meet a deadline. We’ve become a culture that lives in such a fast paced way that being late has become the norm.

Being on time goes beyond my relationship with others. It also is a big part of maintaining a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle. The way I manage time with myself is key to my happiness and well being. I create time that is dedicated to the basic things I value (and need) in life, like exercise, meditation, meals, and sleep. This forces me to be diligent with what I say yes and no to. I make choices of how I spend my time according to what I value.   

“I don’t have the time for…” is a poor excuse for not taking ownership of your life. It is victim thinking. It may feel like you don’t have the time to devote to things you want and yet I bet you find yourself wasting precious time watching mind numbing TV or scrolling the Facebook feed.

We all have the same twenty four hours in a day. How you choose to spend them will determine the quality of your life.  

Over the years of coaching creative people, I learned that they have a different relationship with time according to their personality type. They have their own time consciousness because they perceive reality differently. They are, after all, artists.

Creative people tend to treat time like a huge pie that can be sliced into an infinite number of pieces. To them, time is always expendable. As long as they are having fun, there is always enough time. They keep adding one thing after another and  pretty soon, they have trouble being on time or meeting deadlines. And then they procrastinate because getting down to details is not fun. It’s not surprising that so many creative people feel stuck.

The good news is that just because someone treats time in this way doesn’t mean they are unable to change. I’ve seen people turn around and completely shift how they organize their time when they realized that the key to their success was in their hands.

What it takes is a commitment to want to change and the work that is required to make it happen.

Managing time may feel like hard work. And sometimes it is. It can feel unnatural, restrictive and limiting. But the outcome is worth it. I promise you more powerful results, better relationships and deeper fulfillment from every day of your life.

Your mentoring challenge: For the next thirty days, become one with your calendar. Be on time to everything and keep your commitments to yourself and others for thirty days. If you are unable to keep a time commitment, honor it. Do whatever it takes to make it right.


Say yes to the mess.

We all go through periods in life when things are a bit of a mess.

When I say “mess”, I don’t mean the mess you’d see on a typical reality show where people’s lives are totally out of control.

The mess I refer to is the time when we go through significant changes.  When we lose what appears to be our “everything” and we don’t know what to do next.

For some it could be a loss of a job or a major client. For some it could be a loss of a relationship. Whatever the mess is, it is generally filled with fear of the unknown, self doubt and worry.

How you manage yourself inside this mess depends a lot on your inner strength and your ability to cope with the unknown. If you are not trained in how to handle anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, and welcome patience — you won’t be able to flee from this terrible “cloud of unknowing.”

This space is often referred to as a “liminal space”. The in-between space. Where you’ve left the tried and true and haven’t yet been able to replace it with anything else. When you are between your old comfort zone and the newness of what’s to come.

The liminal space is where transformation takes place.

When we learn to allow this space to exist, we can experience tremendous self growth.

But most of us are afraid of this space. We avoid it.

We compromise our lives, our relationships, and the things that really matter to us just so we don’t have to go through the pain of living in the unknown.  

The liminal space is a waiting space. It can actually be the most important time in your life if you allow it to be. This space has power and gifts.

Our life can seem like a mess during this time, but if we simply say yes to this mess, if we allow ourselves to be just a bit out of control of needing to know how things will resolve, we can tap into deeper inner wisdom.

I suspect I’ve become an expert at living in this liminal space.

I’ve experienced it twice in my life. First, when I decided to sell my design firm ten years ago, not having any idea what I wanted to do next. And then more recently, a divorce that prompted a two year journey around the world where I went soul searching for who I wanted to become.    

As romantic as traveling the world may sound to you, this space was not an easy place for me to live in. It was hard, dark, and often times, a lonely space. I had to allow myself to be drawn out of "business as usual" and remain patiently on the "threshold”.

I’m the kind of guy that is used to being in control of his life. The master of his own destiny. And here I was traveling from country to country, having to give up control of knowing what’s going to happen next. There were days where I had no idea where I would be sleeping next or how I would be getting to my next destination.

But as hard as some of those days and nights were, I had faith. I knew that being inside this space, allowing the mystery to unfold, would only lead me to where I am supposed to be.

I knew this because I know the value of deep inner work.  

That’s why I kept saying yes to the mess.

I said yes to healing my grief, yes to facing my fixations, and yes to knowing my shadows, all of which I avoided for so many years.

And the results?

Miracles. My life is in the best place it has ever been and my work is feeling more powerful than ever.

A liminal space is unavoidable. And often times, we aren’t aware that we are in it. However,  if you are willing to wait and not run away from facing your mess, I can promise you that the inner work you will do during this time will transform your life and lead you to a bigger, better place.

Photo: Santa Fe Sky © 2014 Peleg Top 


I'm back.

Have you ever found yourself in a place where from the outside, your life looks amazing to everyone else but on the inside, you are feeling unhappy and ready for a change?

That was me three years ago.

I woke up one day to realize I was living inside of an unhappy marriage, that my work as a coach was unfulfilling and that my creativity was dormant.

So, I made some big changes.

I got divorced. I sold my house. I sold or gave away most of my possessions. After putting what remained of my stuff in storage, I packed a suitcase and left for an unplanned travel sabbatical.

I traveled for two years living totally off the grid. No social media or email. No audience.

Hence my silence until now.

I visited and lived in 14 countries. I lived simply out of one suitcase, trusting strangers and adjusting to unfamiliar environments.

And, I also learned a lot.

I spent two years meeting teachers, healers, poets and muses who gave me new insights and allowed me to tap into infinite wisdom that will stay with me forever.

I learned to be a better listener. I learned to ask better questions. I learned to love more.

But most of all, I woke up.

I woke up to my authentic self, to the work I want to do in the world and to my creativity. I got clear that my life’s purpose is to make a difference in the world through deep coaching work and powerful teaching. I got clear that my role as a leader in the creative industry is crucial for the wellbeing and prosperity of my fellow creatives.

And now, I’m back.

I’ve returned home to Los Angeles with renewed energy and a clear vision of who I want to be in the world. In your world. I’m excited to visit your inbox again and look forward to inspiring you and sharing what I’ve learned with you. 

In the coming weeks, you will learn about some exciting new programs and learning opportunities that I am creating to support your life and your business. There are courses, retreats and workshops coming, as well as inspired writing I will share about my own journey.

Hopefully, there will be an opportunity for us to meet and maybe even do some work together.

It’s good to be back.

I’ve missed you.

What the Passover holiday is really here to teach us. 

This evening marks the eve of Passover, the holiday where Jews around the world celebrate the story of Moses leading the people of Israel from slavery to freedom.

As a Hebrew man myself, I’ve come to appreciate this time of year in a whole new way ever since I came to understand the metaphor and message this holiday brings us. Passover marks a time when we collectively can pause and reflect on our spiritual journey and on what we are willing to let go of.

Every part of the Passover story represents our spiritual path from being slaves to our ego to becoming liberated and free. If we can experience our own Passover internally, this holiday can have a deeper meaning that can be truly celebrated.

I can imagine that you’ve heard the actual Passover story as it is told in the Haggadah (the book that is read during the Passover meal). It’s one of those stories that lends itself perfectly for a Hollywood type movie script and indeed, Hollywood has made many block buster films on it (The Ten Commandments, Prince of Egypt, and the most recent one, Exodus).

The story tells us of the people of Israel who were slaves to Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. Pharaoh represents our ego and its control over us. This control is so strong that we often come to believe that we have no other choices in life and that our situation is hopeless with no change in sight.

Our ego will convince us that we’re small, weak and helpless. It’s a like background soundtrack in our mind that stays on auto-play every second of the day. It says “don’t bother, you’ll fail anyway” or “no one will like you if you do that” or “you aren’t good enough”. These thoughts are our prison and unless we recognize that they are only thoughts that are controlled by an ego that wants to hold us back, we’ll stay in this prison forever.

Moses represents our free spirit, our inner value and our desire to progress and grow. He is the voice of our essence. He is challenged by the Pharaoh who refuses to free the slaves but his will is so strong that he brings on ten plagues onto Egypt that finally convinces the Pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves.

Moses isn’t alone in his leadership. The story tells us of the guidance and support he receives from God and the faith he has in his power. If it wasn’t for Moses’ trust and faith, he wouldn’t be able to connect to his own courage and create change.

Can you imagine if Moses was afraid of the unknown? Or if he would doubt his ability to lead or question the power of the spirit that moved through him? Moses reminds us that the power to lead ourselves to our own inner freedom and liberation is in each of us. It’s up to us to stop doubting ourselves and to trust that we have the power and the support we need to liberate ourselves from the prison of our ego.

So today, whether you celebrate Passover or not, take a moment to pause and reflect on your life and the prison that you may be in right now. Are you yearning to go from slavery to freedom? Maybe it’s freedom from a workplace, or a relationship, or your eating habits, or the amount of time you spend on your mobile device? Each of us has their own prison that we know of and may be afraid to admit.

My wish for you on this eve of Passover is that you stop wishing for a change and start taking action towards freedom. Be brave, be bold and trust that you have what it takes to liberate yourself from anything you feel stuck around. You have the creative power to be anything you want to be so trust that it is possible. Get clear on what it is you want to be freed from and the universe will align itself to support you.

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