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Personal Transformation

The Authenticity Summit: Happy Accidents

The Authenticity Summit: Happy Accidents
by August Turak
August Turak walks us through how others may lead us to the path that can change our lives and others, how life lessons and transformations can be unexpected, how we become our behavior and how life gives us "Happy Accidents" on The Authenticity Summit video series hosted by Kim McGuire.
 

Walk in Faith

Walk in Faith
by August Turak
August Turak was interviewed on Walk in Faith in a special two-part series which happens to be one of DeSales many initiatives across The Tablet, NET TV and Currents, Nuestra Voz and the Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN). DeSales Media Group is the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, publishing news and information with a Catholic point of view.

Mepkin Abbey Q&A

Mepkin Abbey Q&A
by August Turak
What is a Monastic Guest? As a monastic guest I actually get to live and work side by side with the monks. I have been doing this for many years and it provides a much richer experience.

Why do you go? Many reasons... It's a chance to reconnect with people I love and respect. It's a way to remember what is really important in life. And, it's a way to experience what the monks like to call "the freedom of obedience."

What do you mean by, "the freedom of obedience"? A monastic guest is the lowest head on the monastic totem pole. I just do whatever Brother John asks me to do and I am grateful for the privilege to do it. For most of us,...

The Perfect Weekend

The Perfect Weekend
by August Turak
I just finished up an incredible weekend with Steve Shriver and Ray Sosko-- two old friends from grade school. It was also Ray and Steve who, when we were just twenty, accompanied me to that momentous lecture by that hill billy Zen Master who radically upended my life.

What made our reunion so special is that it was almost utterly free of the bane of my existence: CHIT CHAT. Hour after hour and with not a hint of boredom or fatigue our conversation effortlessly flowed. Politics, philosophy, science, Roman history, technology, mysticism, poetry, sexuality, art, psychedelics, parenting, mythology, economics, leadership,demographics, the meaning of life, the Three Stooges or the genius of Fire Sign Theater it didn't matter: We covered 'em all...

My Father's Question

My Father's Question
by August Turak
August Turak, Sr. with his children

Interludes of openness and candor between my father and me were exceedingly rare. So rare in fact that I remember and treasure every one of them.

Several years before he died at 86 he suddenly said. "Augie, what you've built your life around is too abstract. People need things that are down to earth and tangible. Practical things they can feel and touch. What you're offering is too ethereal."

"I know what you mean Dad," I replied, "but that is exactly the point. What most folks consider real is what I find ethereal and what they think is ethereal is what I think is rock solid real."

He looked at me quizzically. "Look at...

The Magical Memories of My Merry Christmases Past

The Magical Memories of My Merry Christmases Past
by August Turak
I grew up in a 950 sq. ft. house with a tiny kitchenette, one bath, seven younger siblings, and the occasional dog. Not to put too fine a point on it, we didn't have much money so my parents were forced to scrimp on just about everything.

But no matter how tough times were my parents went "all in" for Christmas. As kids we never went to the movies, but we got every toy in the world for Christmas!

Making a magical Christmas meant my father (who was usually already working two jobs) would work the night shift at the post office as a temp helping Uncle Sam with his Christmas rush. My mother would work like a galley slave meticulously cleaning...

The Kickass Life with David Wood

The Kickass Life with David Wood
by August Turak
August Turak was recently interviewed by Master Trainer David Wood on The Kickass Life Podcast! This is the # 1 Personal Development podcast on iTunes. David chats with some of the worlds most fascinating and influential thought leaders who are impacting the world around us helping us learn how to live a kickass life!

In this interview with David Woods, Turak shares: Why he went to Mepkin Abbey and what it was like for him He will talk about service and selflessness What is the life worth living Why Trappists are so good at business Building his business and enjoying the challenge Combining heart with hard work and what’s the secret How he started writing What authenticity means to August The secret to happiness The importance of Trust Click here for this podcast episode.

David Wood and The Kickass Life...

Turak on Friday Night Live

Turak on Friday Night Live
by August Turak
On August 9th, 2013 Turak appears on Friday Night Live with host Mark Sutherland on Static Beach Radio. Turak speaks to Sutherland and his co-hosts at 7:10-7:25 PM (EST) and again a couple hrs later, 9:05-9:30 PM (EST). Be sure to tune in!

Click here to listen live.

An "On the Air" sign blinks red Friday, August 9th signaling Mark Sutherland to kick off his live show on Static Beach in Hermosa Beach, CA. Ready to jump in are co-hosts Staphanie Reibel and Robin Goodridge, of Bush rock band fame. "Friday Night Live," which broadcasts from 7 to 10 p.m., is a roundtable of chat between the trio interspersed with music, guest interviews and live acoustic performances, which serves the beach and...

Turak's Business Secrets on Charlotte Talks

Turak's Business Secrets on Charlotte Talks
by August Turak
On Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 August Turak appeared on NPR's Charlotte Talks with host Mike Collins to discuss Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks.

Click here to listen to the show.

When Mike Collins last spoke with August Turak, he'd just written his thoughts about concepts he learned from visits with Trappist Monks in South Carolina in a Forbes.com article. He laid out several "secrets" of the monks' practices that are centered on service and selflessness that could be used to make businesses better at what they do. Since then, he's written an entire book on the concept and has shared additional inspiring stories of the monks. Mr. Turak lays out how businesses could learn from the Trappist Monks' practices, and he joins...

Miracle on the Mississippi, Down in the Delta

Miracle on the Mississippi, Down in the Delta
by August Turak
Doug Friedlander & Anna Skorupa One of August Turak's recent articles on Forbes, Miracle On The Mississippi: 10 Leadership Lessons From Helena got some much deserved attention and inspired a recent article in The New York Times.

Down in the Delta, Outsiders Who Arrived to Teach Now Find a Home by Brent Schulte appeared in The New York Times on July 21st. Doug Friedlander's dedication, determination, and above all else his many acts of service and selflessness have once again made the news! Much thanks to Doug and his lovely wife, Anna for all their many acts of service and selflessness and for all the ways they continue to give back in Helena, Arkansas and beyond!

Here is an excerpt...

Service and Selflessness Spotlight: Images Everything

Service and Selflessness Spotlight: Images Everything
by August Turak
Images - www.flickr.com/photos/billcarter The AugustTurak.com team was recently challenged with the task of obtaining twelve or more original, high resolution photos of the monks at Mepkin Abbey as well as the photographer’s permission to use those images for Turak's upcoming appearance on MSNBC's Your Business. This was a huge and seemingly impossible challenge because of the time frame – we needed to locate and contact the photographer very quickly. With no time to spare, we needed to get the photographer's permission and the original image files and submit them immediately!

With the help of the communication director at Mepkin Abbey, we tracked down the photographer and began negotiations for obtaining the needed photos. It is with heartfelt gratitude that...

August Turak on the SmallBusinessTalent.com Podcast

August Turak on the SmallBusinessTalent.com Podcast
by August Turak
 

“I think that you’ll find August’s unique perspective both practical and uplifting.”    - Stephen Lahey

August Turak was recently interviewed by Stephen Lahey on the SmallBusinessTalent.com® podcast on business/personal transformation. The SmallBusinessTalent.com podcast provides you with fresh sales and marketing ideas from real-world experts — people with years of hands-on experience building healthy businesses with strong sales and marketing results. The free SmallBusinessTalent.com podcast is hosted by Stephen Lahey and is published once a week. Lahey provides you with practical advice and useful sales and marketing content. All podcast episodes are well-edited — condensed to stay focused, but long enough to deliver actionable information. It’s all about helping you grow your business in a more profitable and fulfilling way.

A Wake-Up Call For Leadership

by August Turak
Oh men, how long will your hearts be closed, will you love what is futile and seek what is false? Psalm 4:2



I was channel surfing one day when I found myself watching an obviously brain injured young woman being attended to by three nurses. She was in a semi-comatose, twilight condition and the nurses were trying to wake her up.  Propping her limp body into a sitting position, they began poking, prodding, and speaking to her sharply while she, with eyes rolling wildly in fear and confusion, angrily flailed at them trying to get them to leave her alone so she could go back to sleep.

Ignoring her resistance, a nurse eventually forced a tooth brush into her hand. With...

The 3 Secrets to Conflict Resolution

by August Turak
Good leaders are great at resolving conflict. Great leaders keep conflict from arising in the first place. Here’s how they do it. In engineering “friction” can be defined as any waste of energy that has been harnessed to produce work. Entrepreneurs grow wealthy by reducing the economic friction between buyers and sellers. In business there is a form of friction that all too often kills plans, wastes energy, and ruins friendships: people fighting with each other. I’ve investigated my fair share of work place squabbles. I almost never found two-legged villains at the heart of the problem. Instead I discovered hard-working, well intentioned people that had unintentionally allowed a disembodied demon into their midst: Ambiguity. In one instance a sales department and shipping department were at...

Duke University - Five Years with a Zen Master

by August Turak
The Duke University Self Knowledge Symposium proudly presented August Turak who gave his renowned lecture, Five Years with a Zen Master on September 26th in Duke University’s Bryan Center. The crowd was on the edge of their seats as Turak took them on a wild, wonderful ride sharing his experiences in his search for the meaning of life as a young man. Turak delivered an inspiring message of struggles and hope and shared what he discovered including the importance of giving back to the community. In the spirit of service and selflessness and giving back to our community, we offer you; our viewers, the opportunity to watch for yourself in our latest video.



Warren Buffett and Cardinal Lamberto: The Two Best Kept Secrets to Success

by August Turak
These secrets are so powerful that they could almost be considered pure grace. But though we have been surrounded by them for centuries, we rarely take them to heart.

As a huge fan of the first two Godfather movies, like many people I was disappointed by Godfather III. But I found one scene both profound and compelling. Michael Corleone has turned for advice to Cardinal Lamberto. Reading Michael’s unspoken guilt over the murder of his brother, the Cardinal extracts a stone from a fountain.

“Look at this stone,” he says. "It has been lying in the water for a very long time. But the water has not penetrated it.” He breaks the stone open on the fountain. “Look, perfectly dry.” Michael reaches into his...

Zen Leadership: The Toughest (Best) Business Decision I Ever Made

Zen Leadership: The Toughest (Best) Business Decision I Ever Made
by August Turak
He cared deeply, lived carelessly, and couldn’t care less, and he died in the same obscurity into which he was born.Yet he remains the greatest leader and most remarkable man I have ever met. Everything that is best in me I owe largely to him.

 



In 1973 I dropped out of college and took a job jockeying a jack hammer in order to study full time under a West Virginia hillbilly, family man, house painter, and Zen Master hovering just above the poverty line in Wheeling, West Virginia. A poster child for the anti-guru, he claimed no lineage, accepted no money, and I was his first student. He cared deeply, lived carelessly, and couldn’t care less,...

Charlie Munger's Valentine: Why Finding True Love Is Like Picking Great Stocks

Charlie Munger's Valentine: Why Finding True Love Is Like Picking Great Stocks
by August Turak
What I found in my extended attempts to complete my stunted education, was that, plugging along with only ordinary will…my ability to serve everything I loved was enhanced far beyond my deserts. – Charlie Munger

 

The Valentine’s Day episode of This American Life on NPR chronicled the extraordinary things that people will do for love. One spurned woman was so broken hearted when her ex-boyfriend refused to return her calls that she left his phone number on restroom walls imploring other women to intercede for her. So many of her sympathetic sisters rallied to her side that he did call: Only to angrily demand that she stop leaving his phone number on restroom walls.

As the saying goes, I can relate. As a callow,...

The Zen Kitchen

The Zen Kitchen
by August Turak
I am at the end of my rope. I am nauseated by life; it is insipid, without salt and meaning. If I were hungrier than Pierrot I would not choose to eat the explanations people offer. One sticks a finger into the ground to smell what country one is in; I stick my finger into the world, it has no smell. Where am I? What does it mean to say: the world? What is the meaning of that word? Who tricked me into this whole thing and leaves me standing here? Who am I? How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it, why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just...

Change Everything

by August Turak
What do I do? Begin to practice detachment by looking at your situations realistically and objectively. Try to separate your emotions when you take an honest look at yourself. What things need to change and how do your actions affect others. Write down 3 things you can do to improve yourself and your relationships. Ask people close to you to remind you when you are not improving them.

Don't figure it out, find out: Apply wisdom, equanimity, and detachment to every challenge… including love. Find out what Turak is really offering those who are willing to take the trip. Start by leading yourself. Read about how Turak’s offer to work for Louis R. Mobley, founder of the IBM Executive School for free if Mobley...