Peaky Blinders saved my life

This Monday, I did something bat sh*t crazy.

It was completely out of character.

I’d never done anything this wild in my life.

I woke up and watched an episode of Peaky Blinders.

At 8 am on a frigging Monday morning!

I think I’m in the midst of a spiritual awakening.

The Taskmaster must step aside

Let me explain why this is nuts.

My entire life, my operating system has been one of discipline, consistency and ungodly amounts of willpower.

A few examples:

  • During my 14 years on Wall Street, I only read non-fiction books that would improve my market value
  • I’ve meditated 40 minutes a day for 10 years
  • Since having kids, I’ve averaged 2 TV series and 1 (non-kids movie) PER YEAR
  • I’ve written a weekly essay for 400+ consecutive weeks
  • I’ve dollar-cost-averaged the S&P 500 since I was in high school and have never sold a share

Now this Taskmaster has served me extremely well.

Many of the great joys in my life (like surfing every day) are thanks to its unrelenting focus and high expectations.

But it comes at a cost.

High blood pressure.

A fierce inner critic.

Male-pattern baldness and alopecia.

And probably, most painfully – the need to make every moment of my life productive.

The wisdom of the blob in my chest

This all changed in the blink of an eye.

I was in a coaching session doing some attachment work with the phenomenal Jess Morey.

She was using an approach known as Internal Family Systems (often abbreviated as “IFS”).

And despite being totally sober, I had a spiritual release that genuinely felt like I was on psychedelics.

First, Jess asked me to find tightness or stress in my body.


I carry my stress around my upper chest – particularly above my heart.

Next, Jess asked me to describe it.

What did it feel like?

What shape did this stress have?

What color might it be?

(Usually, these questions annoy the f*ck out of me, because my brain and body tend to feel very disconnected. But I played along.)

Next, Jess asked me to talk to the tight blob in my chest. First, she wanted me to ask it, “How are you doing?”

Immediately, Tight Blob replied, “I’m tired.”

Then, Jess asked me to ask Tight Blob, “What do you need right now?”

And without even thinking about the answer, Tight Blob responded:

“It just wants to be thanked.”

And I immediately burst into tears.

(And I’m not a crier.)

Thomas Shelby saved me

From that moment on, it felt like a burden had been lifted from my chest.

I literally started falling asleep around 8 pm.

I couldn’t “plow through” hard workouts.

And didn’t feel the need to grind through every item on my to-do list.

For the first time, I gave myself permission to just chill.

Enter the TV series Peaky Blinders.


One of the benefits of barely watching any movies or series during your 30s and 40s is you get to binge all the good shit.

And so here I was, on a Monday morning.

I hadn’t meditated.

I hadn’t surfed.

I hadn’t opened Slack.

Instead, I was on a breakfast date with Thomas Shelby.

And it was glorious.

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