How Losing Your Self-Esteem Is a Good Thing

It’s not every day that one of your favorite teachers gives a TEDx talk—but lo and behold—one of my favorite teachers just did! And it’s phenomenal!! Sorry for the excessive use of exclamation marks. I’m just so excited to share this talk with you. (!!!)

Professor Matthew Whoolery, PhD, is not only one of my favorite teachers, but he’s also a good friend and one of the first people to review my book (he even gave a blurb that appears on the first few pages). During my studies at the university, he and I had a lot of conversations about many of the ideas that he presents in his talk.

The primary focus of his message (and one of the ideas I emphasize in my book) is our need to forget about ourselves and essentially “lose ourselves” in the service of others (and God); because ironically when we lose ourselves in this way…we end up finding ourselves.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Professor Whoolery’s talk:

“You don’t need to esteem yourself—positively or negatively. The burden you carry is partly because in our culture we view ourselves as separate individuals. So we think a lot about how we’re doing—how we feel about ourselves. You don’t need to do that. Let go of that. Because, in fact, we are not separate individuals but interconnected with each other.

“Leo Tolstoy wrote a short story and the lesson that he taught in that story was that in this life we are not given to know what we need for ourselves but given to know what other people need. This binds us together—in love.”

Watch the video below and let me know what you think!

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The Best Advice For Parents of Troubled Teens

Early in 2015, I had the opportunity to interview Nathan Mitchell, the Clinical Director of the ANASAZI Foundation. The ANASAZI Foundation is a family focused intervention program that helps troubled youth. (And by “troubled” I mean someone who is struggling with the challenges of life. So by that definition we’re all, at one point or another, troubled.)

During the interview, I asked Nathan what he might tell parents of troubled teens. Now, this is a tricky area to offer advice because every situation is unique and requires prayerful consideration, patience, and effort; it’s really difficult to condense something as important as that down to a simple soundbite.

Nevertheless, Nathan said some pretty amazing things (which I’ve compiled into a playlist here) and towards the end of the interview he said something that was particularly powerful. To be honest, I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever heard—for any relationship. You can watch it in the video below.

If you liked this article, please sign up for my FREE bi-weekly newsletter. And click here to read my novel Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern—a swash-buckling adventure book filled with symbolism comparable to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.