Hi, I'm Michael.

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As an ENTP in Myers-Briggs, I’ve had a winding career path:

  • Working on some of the top-rated video games of all time at Square Enix and Naughty Dog;
  • Doing postgraduate research on a prestigious full scholarship at the #1 university in Japan (which I ended up leaving early, but that's another story);
  • Leading user experience design and digital product management for some of the top brands in the world;
  • Management consulting, Agile coaching, and executive coaching leaders at Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and startups.

Super successful, right?

On paper, sure. But I realized I wasn’t happy. I felt empty inside. Numb. Not connected to anything bigger than myself (I was a strong atheist; I wasn't deeply passionate about a cause; and, there wasn't any community I felt real belonging in).

So, after years of settling for my life feeling "meh, ok"—and telling myself that my job was probably fine, maybe my standards for happiness were too high—I finally decided to prioritize what I really needed.

My transformation:

I took dramatic action, pushing myself way outside my comfort zone. Everything from sky diving, to plant medicine journeys, to ecstatic dance in a forest yurt, to getting ultra-vulnerable in front of big crowds of people.

Along the way, I quit my fancy, high-paying career, and I signed up for all sorts of training to prepare me to support people with their deepest challenges.

Eventually, I transformed my experience of life—I felt dramatically more connection and fulfillment; more impact and ease in getting important things done; and more aliveness than I knew was possible.

I’d love to help you do the same.

My personal mission—working toward solving two main problems in the world:

#1: The modern world is immensely complicated.

I write deep-dive articles and tiny-books to simplify complex topics—from anti-racism to cryptocurrency—without losing the key nuances and flattening their multi-faceted nature.

Approaching personal growth through a lens of easefulness, I help people feel more alive, fulfilled, and grounded—over rich, famous, and burnt out.

So many people in the "lifehacking/productivity" space claim that all you need is one system, one app, one best practice technique. Then you'll be able to achieve your dreams.

I don't believe that. Our poor brains evolved tens of thousands of years ago. They simply weren't designed to handle the ridiculous complexities of modern life.

I want to help, and I'm lucky to have been born with a mind that loves to synthesize information. 

So I think of myself as a personal growth pathfinder.

Since quitting my corporate job, I've very intentionally arranged my life to prioritize free time and mental bandwidth. This way, I can spend my time exploring, experimenting, and figuring out what's most valuable for me to recommend to others.

Also, I'm yet another heterosexual white guy writing about how to live a great life. So, I like to approach this work with both humility and curiosity. 

I don't have all the answers. But I can at least highlight the most common threads of truth I've uncovered across a variety of reputable sources. 

#2: So many of us feel depressed, overwhelmed, and nihilistic or jaded.

If you’re like I was for most of my life, you’re a highly-intelligent logical Thinker who spends a lot of time in your head.

And that head is full of ideas.

You feel like you have so much potential inside. You know you're capable of big things, and you know the world needs help right now.

But you so often feel stuck. It's hard to finish what you start.

Hard to pick just one thing that feels like your true calling.

Hard to keep your energy and motivation up.

"Ugh, why does this keep happening?"

or "Meh, maybe none of this actually matters."

or "Damn it, this idea felt so alive just a little while ago, and now it already feels dead to me."

Like I said, that was me for most of my 20's.

And after a lot of hard work, I managed to dramatically change my life (most days at least!).

Now, I help people like you boost your motivation, design your life purpose, and feel more alive. 

The three main tools I use (depending on the person and situation) are transformation coaching, Hakomi somatic counseling, and Myers-Briggs.

Beyond the professional, who am I?

Analytical challenger + Compassionate counselor: I spent most of my life stuck in my head—I'd always been highly-analytical and skeptical of anything woo-woo. But, along my  journey, I've become a lot more open-minded, feelings-oriented, and spiritual (not religious; see below for what this word means to me).

I'm now at home in two very different worlds, and I'm aiming to bridge them:

The fast-paced corporate world of technology, business, cognitive analysis, organizational leadership, competition, individual focus, and world travel

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The slow, embodied world of mindful seekers, dance, counter-culture, intentional festivals, meditation, plant medicine, deep vulnerability, and local community

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  • I live in Portland, Oregon in an intentional-community house that my partner and I created with five other people (plus my cat, Mr. Truffles, who's our mindfulness teacher)
  • I'm an ENTP in Myers-Briggs (the "Visionary, Debater, Inventor"), which means I have constant new ideas but hate routine. I'm a 3w2 (one-to-one) in Enneagram, but that's resonated with me less.
  • My most important values are:
    • Connection (intimacy, community, authenticity)
    • Freedom (autonomy, health, safety)
    • Growth (openness, self-improvement)
    • Spirituality (wonder, curiosity, present-moment awareness, life purpose-driven; not religion)
    • Truth (learning, accuracy, clarity)
  • My favorite book is The Way of Kings, and my favorite movie is Spirited Away
  • Here are some of the ways I spend my time:
    • Attending and hosting "authentic relating" retreats where we practice being transparent and vulnerable
    • Trying to impress my awesome cat with toys instead of the boxes they came in
    • Pretending that I'm a coffee snob even though I can't actually name any of the tasting notes
    • Reading sci-fi and fantasy
    • Coaching people, and being coached by the awesome people I've been lucky enough to attract into my life
    • Facilitating groups to venture outside their comfort zones
    • Meditating, and continuing my endless pursuit of self-discovery
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My Journey

Running away from the void

I’ve lived in Montreal, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Washington DC, and now Portland.

Why so many moves? I told myself I was searching for fulfillment and happiness. I tried to find it at each place, then I got bored, felt stuck, and moved.

I kept running because I felt a void inside me that I didn't understand. I knew something big was missing but I wasn't sure what. And there was a physical tightness in my gut that chased me wherever I went.

I finally realized that wasn't sustainable.


Leaning into my edge and putting my comfort on the line

I’d always been a very analytical, logical person who had shied away from serious emotional and spiritual growth. I had stopped identifying with religion as a teenager, and—as much as I hated myself for it—I had looked down on overly-emotional “feelers.”

I knew I wasn't truly happy, and several years ago I decided to take a hard look at my life and do something about it.

I'd always rejected the idea of "putting down roots" somewhere since I thought that would be admitting defeat. I thought it would mean abandoning personal development to just settle down and be like everyone else.

But I decided to actually test that theory and stay put in Portland to see if I could find a lifestyle and friends that finally resonated with me.


Transforming my life

It worked.

I settled down in Portland and I tried everything from meetups, to church, to speed dating, to partner dancing, to practicing authentic relating and mindfulness in a yurt in the forest.

Most of all, I found communities that I really resonated with, and I finally found my people. I felt like I belonged, and that was incredible after so long feeling lonely.

I started going to community retreats every month, and I went from being the guy standing awkwardly on the side watching other people dance to being the first one out on the dance floor.

I realized how many stories I'd been telling myself that simply weren't true—like that dancing was for other people (physically-oriented people, I told myself, not mentally-oriented people like me).

And after a lot of hard work, I finally learned what it's really like to feel alive.


Speaking of finding my people and feeling more alive…

Not to brag, but I happen to have been part of a new Guinness World Record: the most people dressed in dinosaur costumes (beating the previous record of 252, we had 380).

Silly? Yes, and that's the point. Back before my big transformation, I wasn't comfortable with play. I would have thought that events like that were for other people.

Not anymore (most days at least!).

group of people in dinosaur costumes

The elusive "life purpose"

Here's an example of an important lesson I learned the hard way.

Personal development authors love to talk about life purpose. They'll casually mention theirs as if they'd always known it.

Worst of all are the self-help books that talk about "finding" your purpose, as if it'll simply come to you one day on a backpacking trip across Southeast Asia or at a Vipassana meditation retreat.

For years, I'd been trying to "find" my life purpose. I traveled. I read all the books. But nothing ever felt quite right.

Here's the truth.

It's a lot harder than all that. But once you really figure it out, it does change everything.

After years of treading water, I worked with a coach who challenged me to explore a completely different side of life—the world of feelings, embodiment, and ecstatic experiences.

It will be different for each person. But those things turned out to be exactly what I needed to be pushed toward. And after a lot of hard work, I finally realized that my purpose wouldn't ever find me.

I had to create it.


My life purpose is to be the pathfinder who investigates alternative paths to personal growth; then, to model and teach the most effective ones to help other people feel more alive and aligned with their life purpose.

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It's a bit of a mouthful, but it's very specifically written to capture all the nuances that are important to me.

And I want to be transparent about something: That's what it looks like after 9 iterations (and that's 9 for this latest version alone—there were many other versions over the years that never felt quite right).

See what I mean? Reading through it, you might assume I came up with it in a single afternoon.

Nope. That purpose statement represents months of work.

And because of that, there's real power behind it. It feels more alive to me, and that makes me want to take it seriously.

But, truthfully, it would have taken me far longer to get there if I'd continued my effort alone.

I'd meditated on it, I'd read all the big lifehacking books, and I'd gone through the most commonly recommended life planning exercises.

But the real shift came when I worked with a coach. Someone who got to know me and my specific needs, not the general reader that the book authors are speaking to.

Someone who really heard me and challenged me to go after what I truly needed.