I’m a retail architect that studies human behavior, perception, and decision-making. I’m fascinated with the intersection of where commerce and community meet.

What the train wanderers taught me about waiting for the right opportunity to arrive

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While it would be unheard of today, I walked to elementary school every day as a kid in the south. It was a long trek, about 25 minutes in total, through the old brick neighborhoods, then past the big steepled church, art deco post office, and the modern supermarket just beyond the edge of the main street.

The most exciting part of my journey was crossing the railroad tracks that split our town in half. If my pals and I got the timing right, we could catch the Northfolk Southern Railway freight train come roaring across our path.

The sheer heft of the million-pound freight train—huffing and puffing its way past us—was a mighty sight for a young boy to behold. I wasn’t sure what was in those train cars or where they were going with all that force, but whatever it was, it was important enough to put our busy little town on pause. …


To love your lover is to love their dreams.

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“I can’t wait for you to get this childish hobby out of your system!” Marie shouted as Harry laid on the floor, wrestling with one of his students.

And with that, she stormed out of the gym in a huff.

Harry looked embarrassed…as if his mother just told him he was too old to be still playing with GI Joe’s.

As students, we weren’t used to seeing our action-hero smacked down like this. There was an awkward silence for a few breathless seconds. …


The three fences couples must get over to “make it”.

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“So, what’d you think of my new girl?” Felix asked as if he were referring to a new convertible sports car he just leased.

“She seems like a wonderful human,” I said.

He was hoping for a more enthusiastic response from me. But I didn’t want to participate in this visual evaluation game with him like we were judges holding scorecards at a dog show.

Felix always had a new modelesque girl on his arm, but these relationships never went far beyond the first few dates.

My friend was a serial dater, and he had all the trappings of a professional player. But what Felix wanted most in his life was to settle down, get married and start a family. …


The three categories for how people stack their priorities.

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No sooner had I put one foot in the front door of my home before my roommate, Mark, slipped a Mojito in my hand.

While I appreciated the gesture of a handcrafted cocktail after a long day of work, this evening wasn’t the best night for me to get sloshed. I still had work to do for a big presentation early the next morning.

Mark looked deflated when I told him I couldn’t party (on a Tuesday night). But out of guilt for Mark’s hospitality, I said I’d have one — ok, maybe two — of his delightful libations.

“But after that, it’s back to work for…


Three critical questions to ask before putting someone in the “true friend” category.

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Each day we wake up like a fully charged Tesla (or perhaps a Nissan Leaf in my case). We tackle our morning with a lot of oomph and pep to get past our roadblocks.

But as the day wears on, our battery wears down.

And after a long list of errands, appointments, meetings, and pit stops, we find ourselves running low on power. Yet, we still need to keep some energy in the tank to spend quality time with our loved ones and enjoy life a bit more.

On top of the power required to get over the bumpy terrain of life and carry our workload, our battery’s biggest energy-suck are the people we have to interact with daily. …

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