Speaker Series - Dave Mochel

Prep Parents Organization and the Parents Organization

Discomfort and Joy: Thriving in the Presence of Stress, Anxiety, Challenge & Change


January 27 at 7:00pm, Weston Hall

We live in a world where comfort has been elevated to a virtue, and there has been a resulting war on discomfort. We are bombarded with opportunities for short-term distractions and promises of future escapes through acquisition and achievement. The reality is that, no matter how smart, funny, accomplished, wise, beautiful, wealthy, powerful, or popular you are, you are going to experience pain, upset, loss, disappointment, fatigue, frustration, and many other forms of social, physical, and emotional discomfort. The research is clear – our obsession with comfort is a major contributor to rising rates of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and despair. We are not facing an epidemic of stress and anxiety as much as a dearth of practical coping tools. Rather than struggling against discomfort, we need skills for responding peacefully and powerfully in its presence. We will discuss specific principles, practices, and language to help our students (and ourselves) find perspective, meaning, purpose, connection, and joy in the midst of the inevitable discomfort that comes with being human. 




Dave has been studying and teaching the practices and principles of mindfulness, well-being, leadership, and effective teams for

more than thirty years. After a career teaching neuroscience, human development, and physics in independent schools, he founded Applied Attention Coaching and Consulting. Dave helps individuals and teams adopt research-based practices for living, working, and communicating peacefully and effectively. He has worked with CEO’s, professional athletes, and people from every walk of life. His clients include Subaru, The Federal Reserve Bank, University of Wisconsin, Bank of America, and independent schools around the world. He is a lecturer in The School of Health and Human Performance at Stanford University, the author of Good Life Practice: A Quick Start Guide to Mindful Self-Regulation, a two-time cancer survivor, and the proud father of two wonderful young men. Dave has degrees in biology and geology from Williams College, a Master’s in Humanistic and Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz, and a clinical internship in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center