Creating From the Future

Who am I being in this situation? What’s my intention? How am I showing up?

Every show I play, whether it’s for an audience of 15,000 or 50, I look at it as a party, and I’m the host.
—Tyler Farr, country music singer and songwriter

You already know how to be a great leader. You also know how to solve any problem you have and how to create anything you want to create. You just don’t know that you know.

Most of the time, when you’re solving a problem or trying to create something, you do something and you get a result. …

Creating From the Future

What would it take for your life to work out perfectly?

A major chord is when everything in your life works out perfectly, when you have everything you could ever possibly want. Everything. You have the woman you want, you have the music you want, and you have enough money to live comfortably. That’s a major chord.
Martin Scorsese’s movie, New York, New York, starring Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro.

I saw New York, New York in the theater when it was first released in 1977. For some reason, this scrap of dialog has stuck in my head for over 40 years.

I went through a dark passage a few…

Creating From the Future

If you are half-hearted anywhere you are half-hearted.

Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent.
— Miles Davis

Give everything to everything.

If you are just beginning and certain that you are an imposter, give everything to everything.

You may be hesitant, lacking confidence. You may be afraid of saying the wrong thing (you may say the wrong thing). You may be certain you’re not good enough. You may be bored. You may know halfway through a conversation that you don’t want to work with this person, never want to see them again. You may…

Creating From the Future

We make the mistake of thinking if we only got now what we needed then that everything would be okay.

W e make the mistake of thinking if we only got now what we needed then that everything would be okay. But no amount of what we needed then will fix what was never broken. The solution was there all along: to let ourselves be ourselves in the world.

It’s late at night after a long day of work. I’m sitting in the office with a friend and co-worker. We share tales about our past, talk about our fathers.

There’s a lull in the conversation. He looks at me and says, “You know, your father is dead.”

“Huh? I know.”

Creating From the Future

Hint: Start with a Tic Tac

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
—Francis of Assisi

You can knock over the Empire State Building with 29 dominos. Each domino knocks over about 1-and-a-half times its mass. The last domino is as tall as the Empire State Building.

Now here’s the real question: How big does the first domino have to be?

About the size of a Tic Tac!

Coaching From Essence

What you know in your bones is a great place to start.

Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.
― Horace

I ’m new to coaching,” she begins, “so I don’t really know what I’m doing. The few coaches I know seem to have a toolkit. They went to school. They’re certified. They’ve been doing this. I don’t know if I have anything valuable to offer.”

She’s an engineering lead at a San Francisco startup and was drafted into helping her startup friends before she had any idea about coaching. …

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

— Joseph Campbell

Before Covid, and before I fled the City for the hills a couple of hours south of San Francisco, I would often meet my clients at La Boulangerie, a café about a ten-minute walk from my apartment in Noe Valley. I liked meeting clients in cafés because people usually talk about personal things over coffee. I wanted them to feel comfortable talking to me about personal things — like their most authentic dreams. …

One client is an architect who wants to create his ideal firm.

Another is a business development executive searching for his next career opportunity.

Another is a creative writer and designer mired in self-doubt about the upcoming marketing campaign for the new product launch.

My first intention is always to understand the story my clients are weaving. I become inquisitive, drawing them out, and demonstrating my understanding by summarizing what I’m hearing.

I listen carefully to the language they are using to describe their situation. I listen for how they see themselves, what they believe, what they value. In the…

When I coach entrepreneurs and leaders of early-stage companies, the topic often turns to what they need to focus on to create a successful enterprise. It really comes down to a handful of critical things, what I call The Five Creations of a Leader.

First, you have to create a product. A product is a promise. You have to have a real solution to a real problem, and you make a promise to the customer that you will deliver that solution. In investor jargon, you need to be selling pain killers, not vitamins. Everyone will pay money for a pain…

I wrote this draft more than three years ago, in the fall of 2016. I didn’t have the courage to post it. I’m publishing it now, exactly as I wrote it because it has a happy — a very happy — ending. And because I love you.


I was poking around in Facebook and found the draft post below. My first impulse was to delete it, but then I was struck by how different my life is now.

Let me begin at the end.

On September 14, 2017, I met my beloved, Michele Taipale . It was a MeetMindful date…

Robert Ellis

Make a list of everything you really want but think is impossible. I coach leaders. I coach coaches who coach leaders.

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