I held the check in my hand. I was shaking. Where I’m from, you keep your ambitions modest and “never get too far above your raisin’.” Going to a place like Harvard to take a course was for those “other folks,” not people like me.
At the time, I had a young son to support, already existing college loans, and a mountain of credit card debt I couldn’t get out from under. …
Our brains are overloaded. Roger E. Bohn and James E. Short at the Global Information Industry Center at UC San Diego suggest the average American took in around 34 gigabytes of data per day in 2009 (here’s the original estimate, via NYT). That was a year before Instagram was released. Nobody was searching “side hustle” on Google yet. Cryptocurrency wasn’t mainstream yet. Whatever the amount was in 2009, I’m almost certain that we’re processing more today. No wonder why we’re constantly feeling brain overload.
I’m a big fan of the recipe for increased productivity made famous by executive coach Dan Sullivan which is aptly named — “Free, Buffer, and Focus Days.”
In short, “Free Days” are the days where you don’t do anything work-related whatsoever; “Buffer Days” are the days you work on your business without any client work or appointments; and lastly, “Focus Days” are the days you work in your business and do your client work and hold appointments.
When I was coaching and consulting, barring a schedule change with a client, Dan’s suggestion was tops.
I’d start the week with a…
Why is America “The Greatest Country in the World™?”
Unlike Italy (Caesar), Greece (Alexander the Great), and Mongolia (Genghis Khan), America never ruled half the known world. In fact, America is only 200 years old. It’s one of the youngest countries of all.
So why do they get that slogan? America gets that slogan because for all 200 of those years, they’ve been yelling it at the top of their lungs. When the founding fathers put their signatures on that document, they said: “This is what makes a country great.”
Ever since, America at large has been saying, “Look! This…
If some Costa Rican guy wearing a “Pura Vida” t-shirt hadn’t stolen most of my money, we never would have met.
If some Italian dude hadn’t made a massive mistake and told her he needed a break, we never would have met.
If I hadn’t taken what little money I had left to buy a one-way ticket to Barcelona, we never would have met.
If she hadn’t gone to Dublin and worked odd jobs to learn English, we never would have met.
If I hadn’t.
If she hadn’t.
I think about that a lot. Our big decisions. The supposed bad…
Last year, I moved again — this time to my beloved Edinburgh. One of the first things I needed was a second-hand bike. But, it wasn’t easy to get one in the time of corona. Most offers I saw on Gumtree were either out of my price range or complete crap.
As I was close to giving up, I spotted an ad for a nice-looking £50 mountain bike, close to where I lived! I messaged immediately and an hour later, I was riding the bike back home.
You’d think that I was ecstatic to find a good bargain. …
If his mom hadn’t called him about the suicide book he’d ordered from the library, Tim Ferriss might not be here today. Thankfully, most of us will never need such a chance encounter or staged intervention. Why is that?
Why don’t we all require literal life-saving, given we all fight the same existential battles? I have a theory: You’re already being saved. It just happens differently than you imagine, and you don’t realize it does.
Every day, tiny parachutes protect you from falling. You don’t know who made them. You don’t see them on your back. …
Your mind has many layers. All day, you keep jumping from one to another.
There’s the work layer, which contains your to-do list, your career goals, and a million process workflows.
There’s the organization layer, which reminds you to do grocery shopping and keep your adult life together.
There’s the social layer, which sends a friend’s joke into your ear mid-lunch and prompts you to call your mom.
Each of these layers breaks down into a million smaller sheets, and you’re Tarzan, trampolining from level to level inside the bouncy castle of your mind. That can be exhausting. …
In 74 years, Betty Harper has drawn 20,000 images of Elvis Presley. That didn’t stop in the pandemic. “Since the pandemic, I’ve probably done almost a hundred pictures of Elvis,” she says. “It’s kind of relaxing. It’s like comfort food. You know the face so well.” Harper might have stumbled into creative wellness, but she certainly isn’t the only person who finds these repetitive rituals soothing.
“Alright gents, what’s your excuse? My wife and I are training for a dance competition in May. This is our 2nd rehearsal. If anyone knows Pink, we’d love to invite her to our performance! Shaina Swan is on fire!”
If I’d seen the words above from anyone else on Facebook, I would’ve kept scrolling. But the accompanying video of my friend Kevin Swan dancing with his wife Shaina (Shay) sent me to the moon.
Better living for busy professionals.