I don’t know about you, but I cherish my alone time, my health, my own individual pursuits of what matters to me; my own healthy selfishness. And I’m always pleasantly surprised to be reawakened to the simple pleasure of doing my own thing after having spent a lot of time with other people.

Don’t get me wrong. I deeply love connecting with other people. Life would be meaningless with no one to share it with. (I think that’s inherent in my love for writing. Writing is nothing other than a desire to connect and share ideas). But the ability to recharge my own batteries and to recommit to my own personal constitution outside of the influence of others is something I love so much as well. Its what creates the space to allow my relationships to be joyful. It’s also amazing what connections you make naturally from this space, with others who enjoy and value what you enjoy and value. Whatever success I’ve had in my life — professionally, personally, academically, financially — I know is a result of honoring this alone time; the pursuit of getting myself clear and ready.

I don’t suffer from FOMO. I just don’t. I don’t know when, but somewhere along the line I learned that whether you go to the party or not or if people see you or not, that time marches on and that the most important thing at the end of all of it is your own peace of mind. For me, that means getting my sleep, exercising, eating well, writing, surfing. Maybe it’s an acquired taste — this joy of alone time — and my sense of gratitude for it seems to be increasing with age.

I just don’t find peace by trying to convince others to like me. I find peace by practicing disciplines that allow me to like me. Does it always work? No. I fall flat. But personal habits are the anchor that no one else can take from me, and in that I find joy.

In order to be effective in business, you have to be keen to the concept of improvement. But if the ground you stand on is sandy, improvement upon it cannot mature. The future will feel shaky. Get yourself right first. No one can do that for you.