Reality distortion field is a term most often associated with Steve Jobs. Jobs’ belief that the world would yield to his singular vision drove forward extraordinary innovations, and enabled noxious management practices. Any person who tries to ‘pull a Jobs’ and convince, or compel, others to pursue implausible goals emits their own version of a reality distortion field; with varying results. You might know someone — a coach, a manager, a colleague, a family member — with this tendency.

Just as reality distortion fields usually accompany unlikely projects, most social entrepreneurship work happens in a capital distortion field.

Similar to…


Have you ever screamed with your whole body?

Sometimes, that’s how raw it feels to be an entrepreneur. Screaming with intensity. Screaming with joy. Screaming with fear. Screaming with strain.

You’re sure that you’re not going to make it. And yet, you’re equally certain, that if you can somehow give it all, you might. So, you ‘scream’, and try to pull every last scrap of yourself into the effort to transcend yourself, and grasp the outcome that is just beyond your reach.

It’s one of the most exhausting, nuanced feelings I’ve ever experienced. It’s surprisingly well portrayed by an animated…


It took billions of years of evolution for Homo sapiens to develop a notion of interrelation — the insight that our lives depend on our relationships.

It took tens of thousands of years before humans applied the concept of interrelation beyond the physical boundaries of their own lives.

The ethical implications of interrelation — that individuals, groups, and states enact their morality through their relationships — have been explored for thousands of years, with no end in sight.

And now, for the first time ever, a material percentage of humans have achieved a level of comfort and security where they…


Homer Simpson is a Buddhist Icon


I am called to the power of the child.

I want the spontaneity to cry when I’m sad, wriggle (and hoot!) when I’m happy, love my sister and parents without reservation, and make friends with ease.

I want to feel tender after courage, to get unashamedly enthusiastic, to express myself with authenticity and hope, and eat ice cream and take a bath everyday.

I want to see myself as beautiful, just as I am. No — I want to be unconscious of the prospect of ‘beauty’. I want to remember that there is a child inside of every person who could never be un_____anything.

I want to learn without fear. Act without shame. And be myself every day, every day.


I woke up this morning a little heartbroken. Wednesday I went on a great first date. Yesterday I texted her… no response.

In floods the shame.

And the confusion. The wracking disappointment. It’s a familiar flush of embarrassment and fury that has helped drive my learning (and life) since I was first bullied at five.

“What did I do wrong”

“Why couldn’t I have been better”

“Why can’t I be normal”

“What do I need to change”

I’ve gotten quite good at converting that anguishing question into action. …


Startups need savagery.

What is ‘savagery’? And why do startups need it?

Savagery is a willingness to fight to the death. Startups, by default, are ‘dying’. Savages help startups survive because they are wired to do what it takes to live, now, and then deal with the consequences, later.

There tend to be lots of consequences later. Savagery can be very problematic. I know because I was a savage; am a savage. I know how to fight to the death because I learned it from my mother.

My mom knows how to fight to the death because she grew up…


I am, at once, an extraordinarily normal and abnormal person.

And in that contradiction I am not alone. I am one, with everyone.


You give up your coffee table for two cute girls. You talk briefly. Everyone is gracious and excited.

As you settle on your new stool you wonder. “What are they thinking?”

If you leave later, without a word, your minor courtesy remains uncomplicated.

If you attempt to interact with them again, you may muddy your original intent. You are no longer just a ‘gentleman’. You are now a man who turns a brief, pleasant moment into an unasked for (albeit, not necessarily unwelcome) advance.

We all want to meet spontaneous and generous people. The act of giving up a table demonstrates those qualities; but the follow-up potentially undermines those qualities; but without a follow-up no relationship can be built…

A coffee shop paradox.

Jacob Zax

Learning!

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