Live Life Love | Volume Twenty-One

Hello Everyone,

Happy holidays! I usually do not start with my life experience but this quarter I’ve switched a couple things up. However, before I share I would like to express my gratitude for taking the time to continually read my newsletter by offering the first person who leaves a comment on the Tim Ferriss interview a signed copy of his latest book The 4-Hour Chef
(be the 1st to leave a comment and I will email you directly for your mailing address). I finally was able to break a nine minute mile in a half marathon this quarter. It happened at this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon.

2012 San Jose R 'n' R Half Marathon | Michael Rucker

R ‘n’ R Half Marathon | San Jose, CA | 2012

Sometimes people can get in the way of themselves… I certainly can. Over the years I’ve gotten some great advice through the interviewees in this regard. Jeff Atkinson stated one of the most important aspects of achievement is switching motivation from a goal-obtainment mindset, to one of enjoying the process of achieving a goal, in other words the process should be the goal. Mike Gervais stated, “posture of being open to change and a continual passion for rich experiences,” is the secret sauce, and in this quarter’s encounter with Tim Ferriss he indicated he is more impressed by a person with an extraordinary history of progress when compared to someone with an extraordinary tally of accomplishments.

So it has finally sunk in; improving sustainable achievement is about enjoying, trusting, iterating, and improving the process. The traditional goal – albeit admirable – is an end point, a destination, and often fleeting. Concerning yourself more with the goal than enjoying the process is missing the point. At a personal level I’ve recently focused on switching to this paradigm and can report considerable improvement in most aspects of my life. For the fear of pontificating or boring you with how this new approach allowed me to finally break the 9 minute mile barrier I share with you this video created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker based on the work of Alan Watts, it conveys the sentiment of this quarter’s message better than I can do with words alone.

This quarter’s wellness interview is with Sky Christopherson. Sky is a successful entrepreneur, filmmaker, and former member of the U.S. Cycling Team. As a filmmaker Sky authored and directed The Greater Meaning of Water and is currently working on another project about the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His latest entrepreneurial endeavor is Optimized Athlete, a company using biometric tracking to improve athletic performance. My interview with Sky Christopherson about biometric hacking can be read here.

Although I never plan on breaking from the five question format of the Live Life Love project for these quarterly interviews, my normal one-to-one interview process was modified this quarter when I got a chance to sit down with Tim Ferriss (famous author of The 4-Hour Workweek) during a small group session. Five entrepreneurial questions for Tim Ferriss and his answers can be found here.

Around the holidays most of us try to count our blessings and personally I’m grateful for many things. As a result of donating to Public Enemy (circa Newsletter 11) I recently got a mention in their latest compact disc.

Public Enemy - Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp | Michael Rucker

Attribution in the latest Public Enemy album | 2012

As a result of not giving up on the goal I set up in Newsletter 16 I am able to relish in the success of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon. As a result in humbling myself at the beginning of 2011 (circa Newsletter 14) I can now report I will be speaking as an expert in biometrics at next year’s IHRSA convention.

La Tomatina | Buñol, Spain | Michael Rucker

Come see me speak at the 2013 IHRSA Convention

For contribution this quarter I donated to a few charities, one being the United Way who is orchestrating aid for those affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I will end by sharing something that was shared with me because of my prior contribution to Caine’s Arcade (circa Newsletter 19)… in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy Caine and his entourage wanted to remind us that for all the bad that is being reported, there is a wealth of good in this world that gets little exposure… they shared this link 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year which I think is pretty cool. If you need a pick me up I recommend you check it out.

Wishing you joy, fulfillment, and flourishing for you and yours during this holiday season and in the New Year ahead.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Twenty

Hello Everyone,

This marks the end of the fifth year of the Live Life Love Project. I cannot believe five years have gone by already! Getting to meet and talk with so many fascinating people has been a real honor and strengthened my belief in the power of reciprocity. Looking back at past interviewees it’s amazing what these people have accomplished since I was able to sit down with them. Todd Dipaola made the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Ed Baker sold his company to Facebook and stood next to Mr. Zuckerberg himself during Facebook’s IPO. Matt Szymczyk’s company was just awarded a game-changing patent. Bryan Pate’s ElliptiGO bikes can be seen everywhere now. Dr. Michael Gervais was called out on international television by Kerri Walsh Jennings as being a crucial part of her success in the Olympics. Simply great stuff… inspiring and motivating! This quarter I’ve reached out to two more entrepreneurs on the fast track to success.

This quarter’s business interview is with Eric Quick, the Founder and CEO of Cloud 9 Performance Solutions. Eric has over twenty years experience in food production including time with notable companies like Disney, Safeway, and Revolution Foods. My interview with Eric Quick about using technology for good while still making a profit can be found here.

This quarter’s wellness interview is with Kenneth Snyder, the Founder of LifeGadget. LifeGadget is a budding company that aggregates social, activity, and wellness data to build a comprehensive and contextualized view of oneself. My interview with Kenneth Snyder about the power of personal data can be found here.

My contribution this quarter went to John Z’s effort to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. John not only finished The Disney Half Marathon this month, but also was able to double his fund raising goal for pancreatic cancer as a part of this admirable achievement.

I have a lot this quarter that qualifies as new life experience but what I’m most proud of is attending my first Quantified Self Conference and being allowed an “office hours” slot with my colleague Ryan McFadden.

Quantified Self Conference 2012 | Michael Rucker

Quantified Self Conference | Palo Alto, CA 2012

I’m developing a thought-leadership position in the area of technology and behavior change. As all my personal passions start to meld together — psychology, health and wellness, technology, and marketing — I’m quickly finding my professional footing as these fields serendipitously are converging in the consumer market of biometric and medical tracking. Someday soon, someone will be writing about my success in their opening paragraph.

Speaking of paragraphs, my sincerest gratitude for reading this all the way to the last one. Wishing you happiness and your own success as we close out 2012!

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Nineteen

Hello Everyone,

As always I hope this message finds you well. Here in California summer has kicked off in spectacular fashion but wherever you are in the world I hope the jovial spirit that summer brings is with you.

This quarter I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Champion Charities benefit breakfast that featured a one hour roundtable discussion with five of California’s most legendary quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Jim Plunkett, Joe Montana, Steve Young and Tom Brady. A runner-up for this quarter’s life experience to say the least… but it was also a great opportunity to learn about peak performance from some of the most notable competitors of my time.

Picking just one of the many profound takeaways from that experience to share, it is that all five of these people are where they are today because they persevered. In their lives they have rarely let setbacks influence their ability to be ready when the opportunity to be a champion presents itself. Montana described his 2 and 14 first season with the 49ers. Aaron described how he never let up on getting better even though “Title Town” was not receptive at first to his presence. And Plunkett, his renewed career with the Raiders is simply one of the most incredible stories of perseverance. The thread between them all is that they did not let failure stand in the way of their success. Many of us succumb to the folly of the path of least resistance. These gentlemen stand as an example of the spoils that await those that take the road less traveled.

This quarter’s business interview is with Alex Kaplinsky, the CTO of SolutionSet. Alex is an incredible mind that has helped develop some of today’s most innovative websites. My interview with Alex Kaplinsky about innovative Web design can be found here.

This quarter’s wellness interview is with Brian Russell who is the CEO of Zephyr Technologies, a biotechnological company that specializes in mobile health and remote monitoring products. My interview with Brian Russell about wearable sensors can be found here.

My contribution this quarter went to Caine’s Arcade. As a child in many ways I was very much like Caine and I was incredibly moved that what I do for a living now was used in such a way that an otherwise anonymous community rallied around this child and forever changed his life. Simply amazing!

Hands down this quarter’s true life experience was celebrating my first Father’s Day as a father with my daughter.

Father's Day | Michael Rucker

Father’s Day 2012

There is only a distant second from this experience, which is either breakfast with Aaron Rodgers, Jim Plunkett, Joe Montana, Steve Young and Tom Brady as described above, or the trip Anna and I took to the Pacific Pinball Museum in Caine’s honor.

Pacific Pinball Museum  | Michael Rucker

Pacific Pinball Museum | 2012

All around an exceptional past three months, in addition to the what I’ve already discussed, professionally I launched another enterprise project If you have a quick second, take a look and let me know what you think.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Eighteen

Hello Everyone,

I hope 2012 has been as exciting for you as it has been for me. As many of you know this month I welcomed the birth of my first child Sloane. The whole birthing process is simply amazing and I am happy to report Mother and Daughter are doing great!

My life has been so rich this past quarter but there is always room for improvement. In Positive Psychology two concepts that help people live happier lives are Relishing and Resilience. Relishing is the act of choosing to think about positive experiences when you let your mind wander – opposed to dwelling about negative past or future events. Resilience is, in part, the mental defense you build up against depression and negative feelings when you live optimistically and relish positive experiences.

Last month I had a great day… a wonderful day… leading up to a very short but negative interaction with a San Francisco bus driver. The incident lasted five minutes and was a distinct outlier from most of the happy experiences I have had in the Bay Area. Yet that day and a few days after I let this five minutes linger and influence the memory of an otherwise brilliant day. I let a moment in time damage an entire day of positive experience. I can do better! If you see me do this again, tell me to go home and read my newsletter.

For my health and wellness interview this quarter I was excited to get the chance to meet and interview Nadeem Kassam. Nadeem is a serial entrepreneur and investor who has been focusing on innovation in the health and wellness arena for over a decade. His latest endeavor is the new BASIS watch, a biometric device getting a tremendous amount of early buzz. My interview with Nadeem Kassam about biometrics devices can be found here.

This quarter’s business interview is with Jerome Breche. Jerome is the co-founder of SnapEngage, a customer engagement start-up that empowers anybody to quickly get a robust chat system embedded onto a website. My interview with Jerome Breche about customer enchantment can be found here.

Aside from the awesome life experience of becoming a father, this quarter’s other life experience was learning to fly. I really enjoyed the challenge and the thrill of being able to control an aircraft.

Learning to fly

Learning to fly | Palo Alto Airport | 2012

Lastly, this quarter’s contribution went to Planned Parenthood. I’m comfortable going on record that it is my belief that health and wellness should transcend political and religious debate. Within the context of this belief, it is my opinion that Karen Handel’s political maneuvering to try and reduce the funding of Planned Parenthood was just short of diabolical. I am proud to be part of the movement that publicly rebuked her behavior through economics.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead.

Wishing you the best in the year ahead.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Seventeen

Hello Everyone,

It’s the seventeenth edition of the Live Life Love newsletter, which finds us almost at the close of 2011. First, let me open by wishing you and yours the best holiday season possible! This year please accept this email as a humble substitute in lieu of a greeting card. It has been quite an engaging quarter so there was no bandwidth to get out traditional cards unfortunately; as many already know my wife and I are expecting a baby girl come the New Year. I’m really excited to experience the changes fatherhood will bring and I’m fairly confident that more than a couple of the future quarter’s life experiences will include this new edition to the world. Hopefully she’ll be inspired to start a project of her own some day.

Last quarter I set the milestone of running a sub-nine minute mile pace in a half marathon. I missed that goal by 43 seconds, but in the process ran the first long distance race where the second half was faster than the first (referred to as a negative-split) and I still ran faster than any previous race (referred to as a personal record – or PR for short). These two events occurred while participating in the inaugural Walnut Creek Half Marathon. Although I would have enjoyed logging a sub-nine finish, I graciously accept a new personal record, and more importantly my first negative-split, as a victory and this quarter’s life experience.

Walnut Creek Half Marathon 2011 | Mike Rucker

Walnut Creek Half Marathon 2011 Finish | 1:58:43

For this quarter’s business interview I connected with Erik Allebest who is one of the founders of, a website that helps anybody improve their well-being and health through various innovative online tools. Among Erik’s specialties are Web marketing and building sustainable monetization models. He is also the founder of My interview with Erik Allebest about Web entrepreneurship can be found here.

My health and wellness interview this quarter is with Alex Gourley. Alex is a University of California, Davis alumni and one of the co-founders of Active Theory, the company behind BitGym, a mobile application that has been getting a lot of recent buzz including recent features in TechCrunch and VentureBeat. My interview with Alex Gourley answering five questions about technology and exercise can be found here.

Regarding contribution this quarter I was excited to use the platform Kickstarter to help a high school friend and a college friend get one more step towards their goals. Dean Yamada is an inspiring filmmaker with some significant success already under his belt, he is trying to “kick start” his latest film project Cicada (more details about Dean’s project can be found here: Eric Quick has a history of success in inspiring people to eat healthy with more than a decade of executive experience in the food industry. His latest project is a mobile application to inspire kids to make better eating choices (more details about Eric’s project can be found here:

One of the powerful ideas behind the Live Life Love project is data. In one respect it is the data/information I’m able to share from some brilliant minds in my areas of interest. More selfishly, it is the data/information that I submit each quarter committing myself publicly to create a life experience and contribute to the greater good (at least once every three months). Success is never a result of the “start”, it’s a result of the “continue”. If you have yet to experience keeping a journal or log where you track progress towards a worthy goal I challenge you to give it a try (whether it’s publicly shared like mine, or kept private is your choice). As we embrace the information age we’re living in it’s clearly evident that we can harness and utilize data in limitless ways to improve our lives. (Check out this great TED video highlighting the power of data…

Chris Hogg speaks at TEDx Silicon Valley 2011

…it is specific to improving health, but the concepts can easily be applied to improving overall well-being too.) By committing to collect data against a goal, you enrich your “continue”.

Whether this method towards success works for you, or it is another of your own design, my hope is that 2012 is one of many years to come that you exceed all your goals. As always, let me know if I can help in any way.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Sixteen

Hello Everyone,

I hope this latest edition finds you well and you’re in the process of wrapping up the end of a great summer. From the feedback I’ve received, or events I’ve been able to attend… weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations… there was so much to observe and celebrate these past three months that it appears to have been a rousing third quarter for most. As many of you know, the entreating I did a couple of quarters ago paid off and resulted in a well-suited job in the health and wellness sector. Plus, the entrepreneurial hobby with my father continues to be engaging. For all of this I am quite grateful, especially to the college friend and the high school friend (KJ & JM) that helped make it happen. I look forward to keeping this momentum going and doing my best to pay it forward.

My next major goal is running the Boston Marathon by 2016. My best marathon time to date is just under 4:30:00 so I’ve a ways to go… quite a ways! To make it happen I’ll need to break the goal up into smaller milestones. This tactic towards achievement has served me very well with other goals. The first milestone is running under a nine minute mile pace in a half marathon race. I’m committed to making this happen as next quarter’s life experience. As such, I’ve signed up for the Run with the Jets Bay Area Half Marathon and the Walnut Creek Half Marathon. Goals are always more fulfilling when shared, so please consider this email an open call for training partners! Regarding the project’s deliverables this quarter, here you go…

I was extremely fortunate to get to spend some time with this quarter’s health and wellness expert Dr. Liz Applegate. Dr. Applegate has worked with a wide range of competitors from professional sports teams to USA Olympic athletes. She has also published six well-received books on nutrition. My interview with Dr. Applegate answering five questions about nutrition can be found here.

This quarter’s business interview is with Scot Hacker. Scot recently built an entire social goal sharing platform from the ground up. He also has authored two books about technology and is an all around incredible mind. My interview with Scot Hacker about website engineering can be found here.

My life experience this quarter was learning to kiteboard. A couple of friends and I took lessons out in the Berkeley Marina and loved it! It is something I definitely recommend trying to anyone that likes to be on the water. Anyone want to learn how to fly? That is next year’s experience and I have already reserved a spot for two. Let me know.


Kiteboarding | Summer 2011

Lastly, I was privileged to get the opportunity to support the effort of Robert and Kristen this quarter, a husband and wife team who walked a combined 120 miles during the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. I look forward to continuing to support more of these fine efforts as the project continues.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Fifteen

Hello Everyone,

First off, thanks for taking the time to check out this quarter’s newsletter. My invocation experiment last quarter was met with unintended results, none-the-less I’m filled with gratitude from all the warm responses I received. I assure you all is good and things are moving in the right direction. One of the main aims of this “project” is to stay publicly committed to succeeding at the goals that were set forth when it was launched. The project’s success, and by extension my success, is influenced by engaging these commitments and taking some risks. I’ve been dogmatically preaching the benefits of optimism and positive psychology for more than three years now because it has served me well. However, last quarter I was compelled to highlight that there are a few more pieces to the puzzle.

This short allegory quickly sums it up better than I can: Throughout his life a man asked his creator (insert the deity that works for you) to assist him in winning the lottery. Almost every week without fail he pleaded, yet lottery winnings never manifested. He kept his faith and continued this ritual until the day he died. Now face to face with his maker the man proclaims, “I asked you my whole life to help me win the lottery. I made the best attempt to live life with love… plus you must have foreseen I would’ve used the money for good… yet I was never obliged. I’m not bitter as I’m sure there are reasons, but I am curious to know why?” …the reply, “I’ve wanted to help you your entire life, but buddy… you never bought a ticket.”

Things are getting exciting and I want to again extend my gratitude. This summer is filled with weddings, races, and concerts, which means there is a good chance I will get to see many of you in person over the coming months. Until then, I wish you a fantastic and rewarding summer! Without further ado, here are this quarter’s deliverables:

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Deena Varshavskaya who is the founder of Wanelo (short for Want, Need, Love) which is a community platform for online shopping that recently made Entrepreneur magazine’s list of the most brilliant companies in 2011. She has a lot of great information to share about social shopping and female entrepreneurship (there is a must see illustration of antiquated gender roles within the post). The interview with Deena Varshavskaya about Wanelo can be found here.

Health and Wellness: This quarter’s wellness interview is with Ellen Burton. Ellen is currently the program officer for Exercise is Medicine®, which is a multi-organizational initiative coordinated by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to help promote exercise as a form of preventative care. It is an extremely important and ambitious endeavor. My interview with Ellen Burton about the Exercise is Medicine program can be found here.

Life Experience: This quarter I traveled to Miami for the first time to enjoy the Winter Music Conference. I went with a great bunch of guys and got to listen to a lot of great music. Miami is as crazy as it is made out to be.

World Music Conference | Miami | 2011

World Music Conference | Miami | 2011

Contribution: There were some great opportunities to give back this quarter. I helped sponsor Jamie’s sister in her London Marathon effort raising money for Mencap. I sponsored another friend’s effort to raise money to help fight Angelman syndrome at the Angelman Walk-a-thon in Sacramento, CA. Finally, continuing with my effort to help music based charities, I made a modest donation to Musicians On Call, which is an organization that connects musicians with ailing patients in health-care facilities.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Fourteen

Hello Everyone,

It has been a fun challenge trying to personally reconnect with all of you that get this; even if it was in part a thinly veiled way to have the opportunity to ask some of you to support my sport supplement project. I must admit that last quarter’s newsletter lacked a bit of authenticity, and for that I apologize. It didn’t lack integrity by any means… it was just a bit blasé about the details. In my opinion, the holidays are reserved for positivity and giving. It is fair to say that this project for the most part is ‘taking’. I ask you to take a little bit of your valuable time each quarter to read what I have to say. In return, I do what I can when you ask me to. December wasn’t the time to unload tribulations.

Truth be told, the end of last year was actually quite intense. I had just enrolled in a PhD program to further study human performance. I returned from the Athens Marathon in November to discover that my company had completely moved operations offshore, leaving me without a job. Meanwhile, on the side I had been hammering away trying to get an entrepreneurial project together which has cleared me of my savings. There were a couple other major personal setbacks as well – basically an onslaught of challenges. None-the-less, it did little to shake my resolve. Something that deserves mention is one of the chief reasons I didn’t crack is my wife Anna. As many of you know she is an unsung hero in all of this. One of the consistent attributes of successful people is their ability to surround themselves with people smarter than they are. In this regard, I count my blessings. My gratitude goes out to her, and all of you, for your help along the way. For the last two decades I have lived my life using Rudyard Kipling’s If as my creed. It continues to serve me well for this final adventure, but I have made the commitment to find a suitable replacement moving forward (as its utility has run the course). Any suggestions in that regard are welcomed, preferably something with a little more serenity baked in.

Here are this quarter’s deliverables (if you need a refresher about what this Project is all about I have posted a brief summary here):

Health and Wellness: This quarter’s wellness interview is with Margaret Moore (also known as Coach Meg). Ms. Moore is the CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, which is widely known for setting the gold standard for training and credentialing of professional wellness and health coaches. Click here to read my interview with Margaret Moore about wellness coaching.

Entrepreneurship: This quarter’s business interview is with Barbara Lippard. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of SCORE, a nationwide, non-profit organization with 13,000 counselors and approximately 400 chapters in the United States. They are a remarkable small business resource, click here to read my interview with Barbara Lippard about SCORE.

Life Experience: Regarding life experience this quarter, the Myers, Anna, and I went to Scotland for Hogmanay. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve – a celebration and carnival rich in Middle Evil tradition and one heck of a kick butt party. Highly recommended!

Hogmanay 2011 | Edinburgh, Scotland | Michael Rucker

Hogmanay | Edinburgh, Scotland | 2011


Contribution: This quarter’s contribution came in the form of sponsoring the child of an old college buddy Rob J. in his effort to jump rope for the American Heart Association. The request came in as, “I’m excited about raising money for other kids – kids with hearts that don’t exactly work right.” How do you say no to that? I sponsored Jill L. in her Bay Area half marathon effort. I also made a small donation to Sweet Relief which provides financial assistance to career musicians who are dealing with illness, disability and/or age-related problems.

So the next chapter begins: With lint left in my pocket, can I find the right job, pull off becoming a PhD and build another mini empire on the side? With luck, good friends like you, a great partner, and a little tenacity I’m not too worried. It’s not all good, but it’s pretty close!

A quick plug: To my friends on the cognitive science side of things, just a quick reminder that the SharpBrains 2011 Summit is next week. If interested in attending, you can receive 15% off admission by using the reference code rhb2011 at checkout.

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Thirteen

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays! I hope 2010 has enabled you to flourish in happiness, reward and satisfaction. Through direct discourse, or eavesdropping on social media conversations, I feel safe to state that it has been an interesting year for most of us. Personally, through happenstances and deliberate architecture, it appears that regarding my own affairs this trend will continue through 2011. There are some specific challenges afoot, as well as some budding opportunities, all of which I am grateful for.

This quarter’s life experience was a trip to Athens, Greece, to compete in the 2500th anniversary of the “original” marathon. The historic course starts at the city of Marathon and follows the route Pheidippides purportedly took to Athens to carry news of the Greek victory over the Persians in 490 b.c. With the exception of the Antarctica Marathon, this course was probably the most challenging of the marathons I’ve competed, but ultimately will be one of the most memorable for reasons that lack the need of explanation.

Athens Marathon 2010 | Athens, Greece | Michael Rucker

Athens Marathon | Athens, Greece | 2010

I booked the trip through Marathon Tours and was lucky enough to get some time with company’s CEO Thom Gilligan who basically invented the endurance and adventure travel industry category. He is the former president of the Greater Boston Track Club and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, and made the cover of Travel Agent magazine. This quarter’s fitness interview with Thom Gilligan about destination marathons can be read here.

For this month’s business interview I connected with Matthew Szymczyk. Matt has turned his company Zugara into a successful employee owned Augmented Reality (AR) development studio over the last decade. Matt and his team create custom and propriety AR software along with providing other creative services to a growing list of clients that include Sony, Reebok, AT&T, Muscle Milk, and Nestle. Matt’s company is also a member of The AR Consortium and he has become a well cited expert, author and enthusiast of AR technology. My interview with Matt Szymczyk about Augmented Reality can be read here.

My social contribution this quarter came in the form of sponsoring two of my friends in their philanthropic athletic goals, and in the spirit of “thinking globally and acting locally” I made a charitable contribution to the Berkeley SPCA to help rebuild their facilities, which they lost due to fire this year.

I wish you the best with your worthy pursuits in 2011 and beyond!

Warm regards,

Live Life Love | Volume Twelve

Hello Everyone,

Fall has crept up, causing many of us to reflect back on summer and wonder… what happened? My wife and I actually had a pretty eventful summer, and before I continue I would like express my gratitude to Darren Pujalet for his assistance during this time. When we left Manhattan Beach for the Bay Area we initially attempted to rent out our primary residence and ultimately ran into some trouble when our first experience as landlords meant dealing with a broken lease. Faced with a depreciating asset and lack of positive cash flow we were quite confident that, at best, we would have to attempt a short sale. I’ve quite a few successful friends in real estate through my Leadership Manhattan Beach efforts, whom are all quite capable, but ultimately we felt the most comfortable having Darren assist us with the sale. I believe that positive reciprocity is an important aspect of the human experience, so I ask for forgiveness in this public display of appreciation, however real estate is a referral business and in the end (although we still came out a bit in debt) Darren saved us from a short sale and ultimately commanded a selling price not seen in our condominium complex since 2008. For that effort alone he deserves mention, plus he is simply one heck of a guy. His website is

After three years of effort on this project a few of you have, in good-nature, called my motives into question inquiring if the aim of Live Life Love is some sort of reinvention. My answer: sort of. To be sincere, I haven’t evolved that much: I still think farts are funny, I still drink too much beer, and I’m still learning the socially established duration acceptable for taking notice of a beautiful stranger and enviably miss the mark by one or two seconds each time. If any evolution has taken place thus far, then it has been a concerted effort to actively happily achieve as opposed to achieving to be happy. And further, to try and foster this collectively with the relationships I cherish. The economics of this summer have changed me a little bit but not in the way you might imagine. It has actually deemphasized my focus on monetary concerns. In fact, my wife and I have both taken decreases in income to improve our well-being. Although this has required adjustments to our standard of living, I believe we’ve both experienced an increase in our level of happiness. Another acknowledgment goes out to Deena Varshavskaya for passing along the recommendation to read Stumbling on Happiness, which has provided the science my skeptic brain needed to confidently broadcast that this is not an ill-fated course of action. Ultimately, time will be the judge. Anyway enough for now, here are this quarter’s deliverables:

Entrepreneurship: Hammad Zaidi is this quarter’s business interview. He is the CEO of Lonely Seal Releasing, a film and television distribution company that has represented over 40 projects, including Julian Lennon’s Whaledreamers and Harrison Ford’s Dalai Lama Renaissance. He is also a great friend, mentor, and role model. Our discussion is about taking calculated risks. My interview with Hammad Zaidi about calculated business risks can be found here.

Wellness: This summer I reconnected with a high school classmate, Brodie Burris, for this quarter’s wellness interview. Brodie is the President of the Michigan Association of Oriental Medicine, the Founder of The Lotus Center of Ann Arbor, and a standing member of the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. He is a seasoned acupuncturist and our discussion centers around acupuncture’s place in sport medicine. My interview with Brodie Burris about acupuncture and sport injury can be found here.

Life Experience: Intrigued by seeing a constant barrage of automotive bumper stickers in the Bay Area promoting the Mystery Spot on my way to work each morning this summer I made the trek. The Mystery Spot is an interesting little tourist trap hidden in amongst the trees on the way to Santa Cruz.

Mystery Spot 2010 | Santa Cruz, CA | Michael Rucker

Mystery Spot | Santa Cruz, CA | 2010

Contribution: This quarter it was my pleasure to contribute to Thom’s effort in the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour 2010 and also to give a little something back to NPR since the station has become such a welcomed companion during my commute.

As always, thanks for taking a look at my quarterly posting. Wishing everyone a beautiful fall!

Warm regards,