Photo by I Do Nothing But Love on Unsplash

Ben, Father of 3 — Comfortable, but Not Free

Ben and I went to college together. He is married and has 3 young kids. He works full-time in real estate development. His wife works full-time in public relations. Ben and I connected the other day about fatherhood, work, family, and building a more balanced life.

Ben is in it right now. He knew it would be busy having three kids in a dual-career family, but he didn’t know it would be this crazy.

Ben’s concluded that American society — our workplaces, our school system, our lifestyles — are not built to accommodate dual-working parents with young children.

There’s too…

“I quit”

I received a text this morning from a friend and former MBA classmate who works in strategy consulting. We’ll call her Nancy.

“I am giving my notice today,” the text read. “And I thought about you and your decision to pause, to do something different with your life. Would love to connect.”

I gave her a call. During our conversation, we touched on many topics:

  1. the feeling of freedom after quitting a job;
  2. the joys and overwhelms of parenthood;
  3. the absurdity of gender stereotypes;
  4. the perils of extrinsic motivators like money & success;
  5. the value of building a marriage with…

Photo by Juan Davila on Unsplash

Dear Self,

If you’re reading this, you’re feeling lost. Or overwhelmed. Or stuck.

You’re not thinking straight. You can’t relax. You seek clarity.

Listen up. All you have to do is remember a few things. It’s really quite simple.

Take care of your body

  • Exercise more. Run and hike.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Eat well. Cook as much as you can.

Take care of your heart

  • Love yourself. Feel grateful for everything you are.
  • Love everyone around you. Feel grateful for everything they are.
  • Actually feel your feelings — be sad, be happy, be lonely, be angry. Don’t suppress your feelings or judge yourself for how you’re feeling. Just feel.

Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

We can dissect Hamilton on many levels — lessons, history/politics, words/writing, singing/acting, etc. But that's not what this post is about.

Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is a story about how to live a life of significance and meaning.

“America, You Great Unfinished Symphony, You Sent For Me. You Let Me Make A Difference. A Place Where Even Orphan Immigrants Can Leave Their Fingerprints And Rise Up.”

According to creator Lin Manuel Miranda, we only have one shot at life and we all have something important to contribute.

In addition, we each define success for ourselves, and it’s our responsibility is…

Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

I’ve talked to quite a few people lately about career challenges.

Some people are struggling to find their purpose.

Others are struggling with fulfillment. Some are having difficulty resisting the temptation to chase money.

Two women I talked to this week said they’re looking for ideas on how they can create career plans with their partners as they start to grow their families.

They don’t have kids yet but they’re still struggling to make the pieces fit together in their lives and relationships. They know it will only get harder.

I have two girls (ages 6 and 4), have navigated…

Money is everywhere

It’s found its way into virtually all aspects of our society and our lives.

It’s polluting our democracy, our oceans, our education system, and our police forces.

It’s taken over our bodies — our brains, our thoughts, and our hearts.

Money is consuming our lives.

It’s consuming our society and our democracy.

Based on our current relationship with money and our current trajectory, we’re headed for tough times.

But I’m an optimist. I do not believe that blazing infernos, civil wars, mass extinction, and killer pandemics are our future.

I believe we can dramatically improve our collective relationship with money…

Are you feeling stuck? There’s a way out.

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

In December 2019, I quit my job at Pinterest.

I’d had a great run. I spent 12 years building, marketing, and selling products to help advertisers spend their money as efficiently as possible. I got my MBA while working full-time. I built a very comfortable life.

I really loved online advertising, at first. I was building the primary monetization model for the internet. And I loved the internet. I felt the internet was an incredible force for good in the world. I still think it is.

But over time, the internet just got bigger and bigger, and internet advertising grew to become the largest part of advertising. And it…

Get to a place in your life where you can focus on self-actualization

I want the best for you. I truly do.

I want you to get to a place in your life where you can focus on self-actualization. This is the top of Maslow’s pyramid —where you are able to focus on your desire to become the most that you can be.

It’s where I am right now.

It’s what enabled me to share with you my 5 steps to a fulfilling life and career. It’s what led me to talk to several of you yesterday about your careers and lives, finding your values, and discovering a greater future.

After I wrote…

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Last year, my life was way out of whack.

I was not living with intention. I was not feeling fulfilled. I was not living my best life. I had to make a change.

I was at a natural inflection point — I’d recently finished a three-year evening/weekend MBA, and still had more questions than answers. I didn’t know what to do next, but I knew I could no longer do what I was doing.

I took the first step. I quit my cushy, high-paying job. I’d sworn I’d do this a few times before, but this time felt different. …

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

The one democratic principle is that “the end of all government is the happiness of the People…the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the point to be obtained.” John Adams, 1781

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” Thomas Jefferson, 1809


Jefferson and Adams famously didn’t agree on much. But on the primary role of government, they were aligned: happiness and the well-being of citizens must be the primary aim of good government.

In the United States, it feels like we’ve drifted so far away from this that we’ve collectively forgotten it’s possible, let alone expected, for a government to actively pursue our happiness.

Luckily, there are many ideas ripe for adoption among organizations and countries around…

Sean MacMannis

I write about empowering creators and becoming the best version of yourself. Dad 2x. SF-based.

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