David R. Stefan, Ph.D.

After more than a decade as a therapist, career coach, and college instructor, I formed a production company and set out on an extended global expedition; working and living in 20 states and 12 countries on six continents, I fulfilled a vocation exploration project called “12 Months to Live”.


Guided by the quote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is men and women who have come alive,“ I brainstormed what makes me come alive. 


I drafted a life list framed by the question, “What would I do if I had 12 months to live?” and then mapped out a series of adventures. Each month for a year, I experimented with a new career or personal passion: I worked with the United Nations World Food Program in Nepal, walked alone into the Cascade Wilderness for a three day/three night solo fast vision quest, and shot an adventure film while trekking up Everest.

After completing my circumnavigation of the globe, I rediscovered my calling as an educator and therapist.

Now, I’ve launched a new adventure – helping others dream up, design and complete their own Come Alive Projects.

While on my '12 Months to Live' journey around the world, I filmed my travels and conversations with characters that crossed my path, including a laughter yoga leader, a 90-year old Kmart cashier, and a girl who couldn't laugh.


I then produced a documentary and a podcast called Dr. Dave and the Girl Who Couldn't Laugh to share the lessons I learned in pursuit of my come alive project.   


At the Come Alive Collaborative, we provide a series of resources to help you discover and follow whatever life is calling you to do.  

At the center of our podcast, articles, and coaching sessions are small group learning experiences, or what we call 'collaboratives', that guide you through the development of your own personalized Come Alive Project.​