Thrive. Connect. Contribute.

Thrive. Connect. Contribute.

We tell positive stories of people who, thrive in life, connect with others, and contribute to the world in the face of adversity. We ask and answer this one question: "Tell me about a time when you were resilient." Why "Thrive. Connect. Contribute."? You are here on earth to connect with others and contribute to the world. But before you can connect and contribute, you must first practice self-care. In other words, you must thrive. Thrive. Connect. Contribute. In that order.


December 2, 2020 22 mins

What can we learn about masculinity from an adventurer?

John Beede a worldwide adventurer who has traveled to 67 countries, written 3 books, and given live presentations to nearly 1 million audience members.

He has climbed to the top of the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest. He has kite surfed in every ocean on the planet. In the last nine years, he survived avalanches, pulmonary edema, tribal warfare...

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What if your biggest setback can unlock a magical journey?

Jeff Harry uses a combination of positive psychology and play to unlock possibilities.

I asked Jeff to tell me about a time when he was resilient. His answer is epic.

“My best friend Dana and I are locking up the café,” Jeff Harry tells me. “We had put our heart and soul into it for the past year and a half. All my savings, and even money I didn't have - six figur...

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What do the happiest among us have in common?

Laura DiBenedetto’s story begins with bullying, abuse, bankruptcy, and burn out. More than anything, she wanted to be in control of her own destiny. So, at the age of 19, she launched the award-winning marketing company, Vision Advertising. Laura created, built, and ran the growth-oriented enterprise. She personally sold several million dollars in ongoing contracts. She was featured o...

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What opportunities are now available to you because of the pandemic?

There is a Jedi mind trick that can help you to be resilient. When you are up against an obstacle, ask yourself, “What does this make possible?” By learning to focus on the possibilities, you can build your hope muscle.

That’s precisely what Claire Downey has learned to do.

Claire had a dream job that allowed her to travel worldwide and meet all the sports s...

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Jennifer R. Farmer tells us how Black women thrive in work and life.  

We’ve been talking about resilience. Who better to talk to than Jennifer? She has a book available for preorder, First and Only: A Black Woman's Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life.  

Jennifer grew up in subsidized housing in Columbus, Ohio. “It was not uncommon for me to lay on the ground to escape the sound of bullets,” she explains. “When you grow up ...

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Our connections are a source of resilience.  

Picture it. You are in a strange city, far away from home. You are suddenly struck ill. Now, imagine, if you also ran out of money and you weren’t sure how you were going to get home. Your voice is so hoarse, when you speak, no one can understand you. Oh, and to complicate things, you are blind.  

That’s the situation that speaker, author, and blogger Maxwell Ivey found himself in a f...

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Catharine Clarenbach heard voices in her head. Now she helps others to follow their hearts.

Rev. Catharine B. Clarenbach is both a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Wiccan priestess. She spent most of the first thirty years of her life in the grip of mental illness. Almost every day, she heard voices telling her that suicide was the only way out of her pain. At age 31, she was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her l...

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How Trav Bell became The Bucket List Guy.  

In my wallet, is a neatly folded piece of paper. It comes from a daily calendar on November 30, 1995. The paper says, “Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it in your wallet and refer to it often.”  

On the back of the paper is my first bucket list. Today, I keep a bucket list ...

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Mandar Apte felt called to create peace. But first, he had to give up his dream job.

In early 1959, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King took a five-week tour of India to see the results of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent movement.

While in India, Dr. King said, “I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for j...

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After Iram Gilani nearly lost her life to gun violence, she found hope by building a community. Now she dedicates her life to helping others. 

Iram Gilani is a Pakistani-American author. She faced abandonment, neglect, isolation, molestation, physical and emotional abuse, forced marriage, bullying, homelessness, and a violent gun assault that shattered...

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Susan Hay hit rock bottom. Then she launched a global health and nutrition brand.

Susan Hay is the Founder and CEO of Thrive Health Magazine, a health and nutrition magazine. She also runs Thrive Media, a digital branding agency for Health, Food, and Fitness Brands.

After a 20-year career in branding and design, the lifestyle began to take its toll. “I began to find that my health was deteriorating,” Susan explains, “because of...

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June 28, 2020 21 mins

Uncharted territory.

This is the final installment from a storytelling class by Dane Stauffer, featuring storytellers who are 55 years old or older.

Today’s storytellers are talking about their in uncharted territories. Whether they are trapped in an apartment, puttering in a garden, in an unfamiliar landscape with a parent, or on the open road, they are finding ways to be resilient.

Ann Davey, I’m Sheboygan

Bio: I'm exp...

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June 27, 2020 19 mins

A shift in perspective.

Welcome back to part three of a four-part series on Stories of Resilience. One of the ways to build resilience is to reframe something, to see it in a new way.  

These stories come from a storytelling class taught by Dane Stauffer. The class is part of a Creative Aging initiative from Aroha Philanthropies. The class is targeted for those over 55 years old, with some participants in their 80s. The goal of ...

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June 26, 2020 25 mins

Resilience doesn’t have to look a certain way.

Resilience can look a lot of ways. Today, we’re going to hear four different people give their response to the prompt, “Tell me about a time when you were resilient.”

These stories come from a storytelling class taught by Dane Stauffer. The class is part of a Creative Aging initiative from Aroha Philanthropies. The class is targeted for those over 55 years old, with some participan...

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Tell me about a time when you were resilient.


Special Note: This episode was recorded before the killing of George Floyd. Should this interview have happened later, Dane and I would have had a different conversation with a different tone. We present this interview in solidarity with all who are working to dismantle systemic racism.


Dane Staffer is a busy guy. He is an actor, writer, singer, dir...

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When faced with a systemic problem, Brian Krohn thinks at the systems level.

Systems resist change, whether we are talking about systemic racism, institutional policies, or a global pandemic. To meet systemic challenges, you must think at the systems level.

Brian Krohn has spent his career changing stubborn systems.

It’s 3 AM on March 10, 2020. Brian is frantically sketching on a giant whiteboard in his basement workshop. The...

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Stefan Phang is driven to make a difference. He creates shared value through connections.

For more than thirty years, Stefan Phang has been working to protect children and end human trafficking. “When a family is in deep poverty, sometimes, the only thing they can sell is themselves, or their children,” Stefan explains.

Stefan has first-hand knowledge of the world of the underserved. He grew up in a shanti in Penang, Malaysia. ...

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Michelle Maryns is building a stronger and more inclusive economy by equipping underestimated entrepreneurs with tech-enabled business tools.


Special Note: This episode was recorded before the killing of George Floyd. Should this interview have happened later, Michelle and I would have had a different conversation with a different tone. We present this interview in solidarity with all who are working to dismantle systemic raci...

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Leticia Gonzalez-Reyes thought she would spend this year building her nonprofit. Instead, she is building her resilience. 

Leticia Gonzalez-Reyes started 2020 with so much hope. “So many of us thought that 2020 was going to be THE year,” she says. She started the new year at a gathering in Vancouver. “I am not a New Year’s resolution person. But at the start of every year, I choose a word for that year. My word for 2020? BUILD.”


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Rob Chesnut is the author of Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution.

As you continue your social isolation journey, what decisions will you make today? Some of us have serious decisions about how to provide for a family during an economic downturn. Others of us are trying to figure out how long we can go between showers. But for most of us, our decisions are not going to impact the lives of 150 ...

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