Dave-mask

Meet Dave

My mission is to increase well-being in the world — to help people be healthier, happier, and more effective. To this end, I put put my attention and energy into:

  • Supporting schools in fostering balance, growth, and connection
  • Creating educational experiences where people learn how to put their highest aspirations into daily practice
  • Teaching the fundamental skill of refocusing attention and energy on what is present, what is important, and what is effective

I study, think about, and have conversations about well-being every chance I get. When I climb into bed at night, I am usually reading some new research about the brain and behavior or human performance. Perhaps this makes me a bit nerdy, but I love it.

There is nothing more exciting for me than watching people discover the calm, confidence, and connection that they are really capable of. The hair stands up on the back of my neck when I think about it. Conversely, when I see people struggling under the weight of perceived limitations, self-doubt, unnecessary conflict, and the illusion of disconnection, I feel a sinking feeling in my gut and a heaviness in my chest.

I have experienced many of the challenges my clients face — I have worked with them using exactly the same techniques I now teach. Having been driven in the past by restlessness, boredom, frustration, anxiety, fear, and anger, I sometimes laugh out loud at the difference between what my days were like then and what my days are like now. It truly feels like a miracle.

I spent much of my life looking for the right situation so that I could be happy. I pursued relationships, achievements, acknowledgement, admiration, praise, and reward. No matter how much external validation I received, fulfillment seemed to elude me.

All of this was powered by a belief that the right set of circumstances would put an end to the anxiety, frustration, stress, and dissatisfaction that always seemed to show up. Life felt like a treadmill upon which I chased the solution that I believed was waiting just out of reach on the horizon. Hope was frequently followed by a heavy emptiness when the solution failed to arrive or satisfy. I was exhausted at the end of each day because so much energy was spent trying to manage how others felt or thought about me. Anxiety and panic became so overwhelming in my mid-twenties, that I punched a wall and woke up in the hospital with pins holding my hand together.

It was clear that something had to change. I wanted to understand the lasting wisdom about living a good life. So I read the seminal works from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, Judaism, Stoicism, Humanism, Positivism, Holism, and Empiricism. I also studied as much research related to human well-being as I could get my hands on. I was fascinated with how humans could flourish in extremely challenging situations, how our brains shape our experience, and how our behavior shapes our brains.

My work with people represents what I have learned in more than twenty-five years of studying, teaching, and coaching in the field of human well-being, neuroscience, and performance. The principles and practices I teach have been distilled and synthesized from thousands of years of enduring wisdom, thousands of scientific studies, and thousands of conversations with colleagues, students, friends, and clients.

Applied Attention is a mindfulness consulting company that partners with businesses, schools, and individuals to bridge the gap between what matters most and how time and energy are used. The goal is to teach people how to consistently refocus on what is present, what is important, and what is effective. Refocusing in this way is fundamental to optimal well-being and performance. This simple and powerful practice builds the fundamental skills necessary to embrace challenge, learn from others, and thrive in any circumstance. The result for individuals is greater engagement, flexibility, and resilience. Within teams and organizations, this practice creates powerfully positive and purposeful cultures.

I am incredibly grateful that I get to spend my time teaching this practice and observing the positive impact it has upon people’s lives, relationships, and communities. My most sincere hope is that you are practicing the life you really want.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and our chihuahua, Winston.