Chris Sparks
Productivity Coach, New York
Chris is the founder of The Forcing Function, which provides productivity coaching to top performing entrepreneurs, helping them build the systems and habits to maximize their time, energy, and focus towards building their business and designing their personal lives. He is the author of “Inflection Point," an insight-packed manual for personal growth and transformation.
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Chris is the founder of The Forcing Function, which provides productivity coaching to top performing entrepreneurs, helping them build the systems and habits to maximize their time, energy, and focus towards building their business and designing their personal lives. He is the author of “Inflection Point," an insight-packed manual for personal growth and transformation. As a former professional poker player, he was ranked as one of the top 20 online poker players in the world. As a growth marketer, he successfully helped several early-stage startups reach scale through analytics optimization and cross-channel customer development. He is an avid traveler, having spent time in 65 countries around the world.
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On Death: Fear & Other Feelings
Denying Our Mortality
Everything we do is a denial of our own mortality. That’s why people have children or create lasting works of art, in hopes that something lives on after they’re gone. #death #mortality
16 Jun 2017
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On Death: Fear & Other Feelings
Life's Buffet of Possibilities
I do an exercise with my clients where I make them think about life in the long term and write their own obituary. Knowing that eventually, the people you’ve known will die and what you’ve built will be no more, what kind of life do you want? How do you want to spend your life? #mortality #death #lifepurpose
16 Jun 2017
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On Death: Fear & Other Feelings
Without Death, Does Life Have a Purpose?
Coming to terms with death is a crucial step to making the most out of life. The knowledge that our time is limited gives us the incentive to make the most of what we have and pursue these long term goals. Things matter as much as we think they do. #death #lifepurpose
16 Jun 2017
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The Role of Religion
I grew up attending a religious school
I think the decision to send your children to a private religious school has a lot of merit to it, especially when you have limited options. Growing up in Cleveland, where city schools were deplorable, my parents sent me to a private religious school. #religion #freedom
16 Jun 2017
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The Role of Religion
Man-made Downsides of Religion
I find that the many downsides of religion are man-made, particularly when it becomes a business. Beautiful things, like the pursuit of meaning and purpose, become tainted and used to justify deplorable acts. #religion #lifepurpose
16 Jun 2017
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Good, Evil & Drawing the Line
Objective Good is Possible in the Near Future
I think the hard questions that have been subjective judgment are now coming under objective view. It’s possible in the near future we’ll have mutual consensus on what a justifiably good act is. #goodandevil #morality
16 Jun 2017
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Bonds, Breakups & the Essence of Relationships
Recognizing When You Have a Great Relationship
When you’re in a healthy relationship, being around each other is a team effort that makes the both of you better. Relationships are a mirror of your true self and your true self will be illuminated in the eyes of your significant other. #relationship #sex
16 Jun 2017
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Sex & Sexuality
America’s unhealthy relationship with sex
The Puritan ethic of abstinence, that sex only happens between married people, is outdated and unrealistic. This leads to inadequate sex education, leading to a lot of teenage pregnancies. Repressing and putting sex on a pedestal has a lot of insidious effects on society. #sex #sexuality #sexeducation
16 Jun 2017
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The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness Is the Present
Much anxiety stems from a confusion between meaning and happiness. While meaning is something we pursue, happiness is a choice. Happiness may seem external, but it’s contained within us. #happiness
16 Jun 2017
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The Pursuit of Happiness
The $70,000 Mark
There are things that have been found that always bring us happiness -- a strong social environment and a fulfillment of material needs. Until about $70,000 per year, depending on where you live, money is a factor in your happiness. Beyond a certain level, money hasn’t been found to have any effect on happiness. #happiness #money
16 Jun 2017
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The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness Is Only the Beginning
I have found that the things that bring me happiness are fleeting. What does remain is meaning and going after higher level goals. I’m at a fortunate place in my life where I have the means to pursue these higher level goals and I can help others find it. #happiness
16 Jun 2017
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Being Alone & Feeling Alone
Isolation Isn't an Option for Me
It’s very important to know yourself. I know that I value time by myself, so I never feel pressured to go out and be social. I’ve made it a priority to put myself in situations where isolation isn’t an option, whether I’m traveling or working. #beingalone #aloneness #social #selfawareness
16 Jun 2017
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Dealing with Anxiety & Depression
We're Stardust
Much like playing a poker hand, I remember that I can’t possibly know everything I need to know and without letting emotions get in the way, I try to find the best course of action. Additionally, having the perspective that we’re stardust helps me realize how small problems can be. #anxiety
16 Jun 2017
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Dealing with Anxiety & Depression
Poker Changed How I Dealt With Anxiety
I’ve figured out how to deal with anxiety out of necessity. Before playing poker, my methods of dealing with anxiety were very unhelpful. What changed is that I decided to make a living playing poker and if you’re going to do that, you can’t let small setbacks throw you off track. #anxiety
16 Jun 2017
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Money, Society & Status
Every Conversation Is a Status Transaction
One of the first lessons you learn in improv is almost every conversation is a status transaction. All that we say, in many situations, is an attempt to raise our status within a group. This colors conversations in an interesting way. #socialstatus #statustransaction
16 Jun 2017
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Dealing with Anxiety & Depression
Blacking out memory
When I think about dark periods in my life, I notice periods where I don’t have a lot of recollection of what I did day-to-day. Right after graduating college, I got a job in Detroit and moved up there alone. I got a call that my job wasn’t going to start for a while, and with no family or friends nearby, I felt isolated. #depression
16 Jun 2017
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Dealing with Anxiety & Depression
Changing My Environment Shifted My Mood
What really shifted the depression I faced after moving to Detroit was a change in environment. It was my 21st birthday and I decided to go to Las Vegas with a group of my poker friends. We decided that we didn’t want the weekend to end, so we got a place together and moved out to LA. #depression
16 Jun 2017
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Money, Society & Status
The Compressed Information From Our Clothing
Status can be a very useful source of information. We compress information to signal to others our belonging to a group or current status within a tribe. For example, there’s a lot of compressed information that goes into what a person is wearing. #socialstatus
16 Jun 2017
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Money, Society & Status
Social Status Is Here Because We're Maladapted
Humans have an interesting evolutionary history. The reason that social status plays such a large role is that we still have a maladaptive idea that a loss of status could mean being ostracized from our tribe. We have carried this fear forward into today’s time of abundance. #socialstatus #success
16 Jun 2017
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Money, Society & Status
A Poor Unit of Exchange
There is no happiness that can be found in any amount of money. I think people mistake money for the things you can buy with it -- things like freedom, autonomy, the ability to experience things. I find it a poor unit of exchange. #money #freedom #success
16 Jun 2017
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Money, Society & Status
Poker Changed My Perspective on Money
My perspective on money shifted when I got to college and started playing poker. I had a knack for it, and I started playing at big tournaments in LA. In order to play well, you need to become completely unattached from the value of a dollar. The challenge is transitioning out of that back into real life. #money #poker
16 Jun 2017
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Finding & Fulfilling Our Purpose
The best way to learn
I’ve stumbled upon a secret: the best way to learn a skill is by teaching it. It seems straightforward but I find it powerful. I call it a force in function, meaning it forces you to perform at a higher level. #lifepurpose #coaching
16 Jun 2017
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Finding & Fulfilling Our Purpose
Life Has Meaning If You Find Meaning Behind It
The continual pursuit of purpose is what makes life meaningful. Life has meaning if you find meaning behind it - why not choose to create a narrative of your life where the things you do have purpose? #lifepurpose
16 Jun 2017
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Finding & Fulfilling Our Purpose
The Purpose Is to Seek a Purpose
I subscribe to the Victor Frankl school of thought, which says the meaning of life comes from the pursuit of the meaning of life. The purpose is to be seeking a purpose. A big part of what I do now with coaching is helping others find, discover, and pursue their purpose. #lifepurpose #coach
16 Jun 2017
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Achieving Harmony & Balance
Know What You Can Control or Play the Hand You're Dealt
Knowing what’s in your control and what isn’t in your control and discerning between the two is a key to harmony. In poker there’s a saying: play the hand you’re dealt. Accept what’s in front of you and know that every card you’re dealt is an opportunity to make the perfect decision. #harmony #balance
16 Jun 2017
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Productivity
Tools aren’t essential for success
Many people think “if I had the right tool my problem would be solved”. This is never the case. There is no tool that will solve anything for you and it isn’t essential for success. I’ve found that the best tools have already existed, which are pencil and paper. #wordsintoaction #removingblocks
16 Jun 2017
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Productivity
The four buckets of obstacles
Obstacles that prevent people from making progress fall into one of four buckets: time management, ability to focus, energy management and procrastination. #wordsintoaction #timemanagement #procrastination
16 Jun 2017
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Productivity
See If the Idea Has Legs
Turning words into action starts with knowing where you want to go and why. From there, it goes to finding the course of action to take. Reaching your goal is a series of small steps. #wordsintoaction #ideas
16 Jun 2017
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