Image for post
Image for post

I did not set out to fast for 102 hours when I began my journey into the Badlands of North Dakota in pursuit of following a dream I had this past August. The result, paradoxically, was both confusingly enlightening and terrifyingly exhilarating.

Before I set out, I intentionally worked to keep my expectations (of what might happen and what insights I might gain) low. My goal was simply to open my mind, heart, and spirit and receive whatever might come.

The first three days were filled with long hikes in the northern unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, journaling, writing poetry, and reading Bill Plotkin’s book Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche — which, through either synchronicity or Amazon’s creepily powerful algorithms, found its way into my life at precisely the right time. …


Image for post
Image for post

There are one hundred people striking at the branch … to every one person that is striking at the root.”

As an author, speaker, change management consultant, and futurist, Thoreau’s quote has always resonated with me on a number of different levels.

But what if it’s not true? What if it is, rather, something I need to unlearn?

Well, it is.

There is, in fact, something deeper, larger, longer and just as critical as roots: mycelium — the vegetative part of fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.

One thousand times longer than the network of tree roots, mycelium holds together our entire ecosystem. Moreover, because our entire modern, global ecosystem is a “wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment,” our future — and the future of thousands of future generations — rests, literally, upon mycelium. …


Image for post
Image for post

I’ve been aware of the plight of monarch butterflies for more than five years and, in response, I planted a modest milkweed garden, attempted to make Minneapolis a monarch butterfly sanctuary, and started a Facebook group — Bring Back a Billion Butterflies — to help educate others about the looming crisis. I have even spoken publicly of how monarchs served as a wake-up call for me both personally and professionally.

This all seemed sufficiently satisfying until I received a news story on my phone from my sister — After Thanksgiving Count — Western Monarch Near Extinction. …


Image for post
Image for post

Editor’s Note: In 2012, I wrote Foresight 2020; A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow. In the book, I encouraged executives to think about the world of 2020 by outlining a series of predictions. In the opening chapter, I documented a pandemic breaking out in the year 2016. Obviously, I had the year wrong but my point was never “to nail” the exact time and place of any of my “predictions”, rather it was to provoke the reader into considering things currently not on their radar screen. In this same vein, below is my annual list of “predictions” for the coming year. …


Image for post
Image for post

In her latest book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson begins by recounting the story of August Landmesser, a German shipyard worker who defiantly resisted the Nazi Party by not saluting at a rally in 1935.

Today, Landmesser is deservedly singled out for praise and recognition, but he still has much to teach us — although the lessons are not necessarily those one might expect.

To begin, with the benefit of hindsight, it is too easy to think that if we were in Landmesser’s situation we, too, would have displayed the inner fortitude and courage to stand alone against a frenzied throng of co-workers, friends, and fellow citizens and not also throw up our right arm in a rigid “heil” salute to the Third Reich. …


Image for post
Image for post

I am going to ask you to do something within the next 24 hours of reading this post. The hack is simple, but not easy. If you do it, it has the power to jumpstart your life.

Here it is: Go take a cold shower and stay under the cold water as long as you can tolerate it.

Now that I have told you the hack, there are only two paths you can take: You either do it or you don’t.

If you don’t do it, you can create and manufacture any number of plausible, rational, and acceptable reasons for why you choose not to do it. Maybe you think it won’t deliver the promised results; maybe you think it is unnecessary or just plain stupid; maybe you think it unwise because you may catch a cold (you won’t); or maybe you think you’ll get around to doing someday but just not within the next 24 hours. Regardless of the veracity of these reasons, if you don’t do it, you must accept that you did not do it. …


Image for post
Image for post

A tree spoke to me. For such a momentous and profound experience, you would think that I’d be able to tell you the exact date and time of this event. I cannot. I can’t because I ignored, dismissed, and pretended that it never happened for over a year.

I do remember that it occurred on a lazy, nondescript August evening in the summer of 2018. The time was about 8 pm, and I decided to go for a walk after dinner. …


Image for post
Image for post

We frequently hear the phrase “Follow your dreams.” Often, it denotes the idea of pursuing one’s worldly passion. There is nothing wrong with this and, generally, it’s solid advice. I am, however, interested in the phrase “Follow your dreams” at a deeper level — at the level of the soul.

In January of 2019 my father died. His death wasn’t expected but, being 83 years of age, it didn’t surprise me either. Shortly thereafter, I began keeping a journal. I didn’t connect my journaling to his death at the time. I have subsequently come to understand that the death of a parent causes some people to reflect upon — and even confront — their own mortality. …


Image for post
Image for post

On his way to work, Nathan Apodaca’s truck broke down along an Idaho highway. Most people’s reaction might, understandably, be one of frustration or anger. A person’s reaction might even border on despair if their dilapidated truck had 320,000 miles on it; they were coming from a broken motor home with no running water; and they were about to be late for a manual labor job which they depended upon for their livelihood. All of the aforementioned were true in Apodoca’s situation.

Fortunately for humanity, Apodaca responded in a different way and has provided four powerful lessons in how we can better live our lives and make the world a better place. …


Image for post
Image for post

I am a life-long resident of Minnesota and am embarrassed to say I had never been to the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA) before last month. Whether it was the pandemic, the long, hot summer of political unrest, or merely a minor midlife crisis, I decided to remove this unsightly blemish from my resume by spending five days in the area in late September.

With a friend and an experienced guide, I set out. …

Jack Uldrich

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store