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On goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. It’s not necessarily the goal itself that brings the most reward, but the journey to move towards whatever destination you’ve set. Though the initial plan can indeed be beautiful, other riches are often discovered along the way.

It’s kind of like throwing the perfect party: You can book the venue, set a theme, plan activities, choose decorations, and serve delicious drinks, but at a certain point, you have to let serendipity take hold. For both lofty goals and good parties, trust is required — that after all the hours of planning and hard work and sacrifice, magic will happen as soon as you let go.

Free dinner party guide

Summer is on the way, and along with warmer days comes more opportunity for outdoor get-togethers.

I’ve put together a free dinner party guide to help make your next dinner party meaningful.

You’ll find an easy checklist to remind you of the more important elements of event planning (budget and theme) and a few suggestions to help structure your gathering. With a bit of thought and care, you can turn an average experience into something unforgettable.

Happy dining!

10 questions to ask at a dinner party (instead of “What do you do?”)

You’ve invited twelve of your closest friends over to your place for dinner — except no one knows anyone else, and they’re all from different parts of your life: work, parenting group, school, bowling club, gym class.

You’ve hired a chef and set the table. Now…how do you get people to talk?

“What do you do?” is an easy question. Overused, expected.

Here are 10 other questions you can ask, straight off the tables of Project Exponential dinners:

  1. Grand Central Station has room for a new restaurant in the basement. What should we recommend?
  2. The Embassy has asked us to suggest a week-long itinerary for a group of influential foreigners who want to visit America. No one speaks the same language. Where should we take them? What should we do?
  3. We’ve been commissioned to orchestrate vending machines that will be placed in high-traffic tourist areas like Times Square, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Sea World. What’s inside?
  4. The U.S. Department of Education wants us to design a course that will become part of all high school curricula. What do we teach?
  5. How do you encourage risk-taking and entrepreneurial thinking among a team that is afraid to break the rules?
  6. We’ve been given access to a 3D printer and can print ONE THING to be distributed worldwide. What is the thing?
  7. If we were to write one book that everyone here [at your dinner party] could contribute to, what would it be?
  8. The mayor wants us to develop a ride-sharing program that encourages interaction among residents and visitors. Ideas?
  9. Apple wants us to throw their next company party. Is there a theme? Who do we invite?
  10. What one problem do you presently wish you could solve?

If you’d like, you can write questions on cards and pass them around the table. If you’re feeling really ambitious, separate your guests into teams beforehand and group individuals with complementary skills. Let me know what happens.

A free ebook

Something big is happening. A movement is bubbling, rising to the surface. And it’s about relationships.

People are recognizing the true value of connection. They are refusing to settle for superficial conversation and are looking for relationships that hold real meaning in their lives. More and more individuals are organizing, coming together, creating change. The capacity for what can happen when the right people find themselves united is infinite.

We each have the ability to contribute to this movement by creating more connections in our own world.

I’ve written a free ebook to encourage you to do so. I hope that after reading, you’ll be inspired to bring together the people in your circle, in whatever way you can. A dinner party is a great way to start.