Don’t talk about your goals.

There are four kinds of people:

1) Those who don’t talk the talk, or walk the walk.

These are people who don’t show any sort of ambition for a better life. They are typically complacent and take no action to make a change.

2) Those who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

We all know these people. They have an endless stream of plans and ideas. Then, a year later, they’re standing in the exact same place.
Many words; little action.

3) Those who talk the talk, and walk the walk.

These are ambitious and mobile people who make sure others know about what they’re doing. They are active on social media. They casually manage to bring up their successes in conversation.

4) Those who don’t talk the talk, but walk the walk.

These are the people who make great money, but never talk about work. They are in phenomenal shape, but never talk about working out. They do incredible things, but we never hear about them unless we ask them.

This is my favorite kind of person.

To be clear, I’m not saying you should never talk about the things going well in your life. I just think it’s better for those around you if you practice a habit of humility. It’s also better for yourself. Let me explain.

Studies show that telling people your plans and goals makes you less likely to actually accomplish them.

This is because the dopamine hit we get from telling people what we’re going to do makes it feel like we’ve already done it.

“I’m going to get in shape.”

“I’ll start reading way more.”

“I’m thinking about taking this awesome job opportunity.”

What are we looking for when we say stuff like this? Validation.

“Wow, yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, you’d be really good at that…”

The recognition feels good. Sitting down each and every day to build stronger habits…That’s boring, and it’s hard.

Conclusion:

It’s okay to tell people what you want to do. Friends. Mom. Coaches…

But keeping most of your ideas and actions to yourself proves that you’re doing it for you.

I have much to say about New Years resolutions. But if you have one this year, tell nobody. It will be ten times more rewarding when you accomplish it.

*Final note: If something about you is impressive, you don’t have to say anything. People will say it about you.

Are marshmallows ruining your life?

A cup of marshmallows on a table

Give your future self some God damn marshmallows. Let me explain.

The age-old battle of self improvement is that of immediate pleasure vs. delayed gratification.

Many have heard of the marshmallow experiment given to children. A kid is given one marshmallow and are told that if they just wait 10 minutes, they will receive another. When the experimenter leaves the room, they observe the kids as they almost always squirm in their chairs and naturally devour their tasty treat.

We run experiments like this on ourselves every single day. Usually they are more significant than getting an extra marshmallow, but each “experiment” begs the same question:

Will doing this thing I want to do right now be a favor to my future self, or am I fucking that person over?

Answering this question in hindsight is easy. Answering it in the moment almost always feels impossible.

Should I have another drink before driving home?

Should I order fast food?

Should I go exercise?

In these immediate moments, the answers seem clear:

It’s just one more beer. I’ll be fine.

I’m starving and a Crunchwrap Supreme sounds divine.

I’m exhausted and the gym can fuck off.

Having to disregard your emotions and desires right now is incredibly difficult. That’s why so many of us don’t do it. It requires thinking about something as if from another person’s point of view. You have to play the part of a responsible third party.

You’ll regret getting pulled over way more than not having another beer.

You always feel like shit when you eat fast food.

You have never regretted getting a workout in.

When you do this, it can feel boring, lame, unadventurous…And hey, live your life. Say fuck it on occasion. But it’s incredibly useful to get in the habit of asking this question.

Will doing this thing I want to do right now help my future self or hurt them?

Or…

Two girls eating marshmallows

Am I okay with settling for one marshmallow, or can I hold out for something better?

The best time to be a good person

Being in the holiday spirit is a lovely thing, but it shouldn’t be the reason to do nice things.

Telling people you love them.

Striking up conversation with strangers.

Making improvements in your life…

None of these require it to be Christmas or New Years.

The best time to be a better person is today. Whichever day today is.

Happy

Christmas Harry!

Should I really be posting this?

Is it okay to promote positivity when so many people are suffering?

This is a question I’ve had to ask myself countless times in the last few years. Posting blogs, videos and blurbs on having a positive mindset, building strong habits, living a fulfilling life…

I’m aware that there are certainly times where someone with clinical depression, say, has logged on to FaceBook to see me preaching on about how getting your shit together isn’t as hard as you think.

This past weekend, I posted about how the pandemic has given me the opportunity to solidify my reading habit. One of the people who saw the post just lost their father to Covid. My heart sunk when I found out.

That’s when I realized that this question doesn’t have a binary answer. It has two answers that exist at the same time.

1) Just because others are going through a hard time, should not mean that we obsess over trying not to hurt a single person’s feelings.

There are simply too many people with too many problems to constantly worry about offending someone. Especially on social media.

If you post a video of children playing in an orchestra, and a million people see it, at least 1000 people will leave a nasty comment. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley has 48,000 thumbs downs on YouTube.

If you post a picture of yourself skiing, it’s entirely possible that someone who just lost their brother on a skiing trip sees that photo. Does that make you an untactful asshole?

To be clear, I’m NOT saying you should do whatever the fuck you want. Like I said, I firmly believe this and my stomach still turned when I found out about my friend’s dad. But there’s a difference between being mindful and walking on eggshells. Hell, I’ve written a blog every day for over 400 days. It’s guaranteed that I’ve written things I regret.

Be mindful, but live your life. If you show enough people what you’re up to, someone is bound to be unhappy with it.

2) People who are going through a hard time are allowed to feel what they fell.

In my writing, in my coaching, in my attitude…I’m all about focusing on what can be controlled and how we can use that to move forward.

But I’m not a fucking psychopath.

When I learn that someone has lost a relative or is agonizing over something, I don’t respond with, “Well, what are you going to do about it? Where’s the opportunity here?”

If I say these things, it’s only after I have given them a hug, told them I love them, and ask them if there’s anything I can do for them. Just because I believe we can do great things in the midst of our suffering doesn’t mean I think suffering is fun.

This may sound like the other end of the spectrum from the first statement, but this isn’t a binary problem. And that’s the point. Again,

Both of these are true at the same time.

The person who posted about their ski trip isn’t an asshole AND the person who just lost their brother on a ski trip isn’t overly sensitive.

This may seem like a half-assed conclusion, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to the original question.

Is it okay to promote positivity when so many people are suffering?

To some, absolutely. To others, absolutely not.

Just take it as it comes and make adjustments if needed.

So you like art, huh? (How to do fulfilling work)

Group of college students walking on campus

When I was 18, I don’t think I even knew how to spell ‘fulfilling.’ I mean, where do all these L’s go?

“What do you plan on doing with that degree?”

I heard this all the time when I was in college. It always made me want to punch someone.

Theatre and acting were my passions in school and being asked this made me feel as though my entire being was in dispute.

Now, I’m 26. And I have a totally different opinion on this question. Let me explain.

I have written in the past about making the decision to go to college. This blog is about asking the right questions to figure out what the hell you want to do with your life.

Seriously. What are you going to do with that?

This is a shitty question. It may be well intended, but shaming an 18 year old–basically a child–isn’t the best way to get them closer to a fulfilling career.

But while it is a shitty question, it is not a shitty idea. It just needs to be reworded. I think it can best be revised into three questions.

1) What do you LOVE to do?

Woman looking out a car and smiling

What excites you every time you get to do it?

Traveling? Playing music? Drinking coffee? Reading Harry Potter? Texting your ex?

This is the fun part. Don’t censor yourself.

2) What are you REALLY GOOD at doing?

Guy skateboarding on a sidewalk

Whether you enjoy it or not, what are you incredibly skilled at? What are your strengths?

Cleaning? Giving foot massages? Managing people? Writing? Smoking weed?

A fun and helpful exercise is to ask your closest friends, “Hey, I’m doing an experiment. What would you say are my greatest strengths? What do you think I’m really good at?”

The responses might surprise you.

3) What skills or knowledge do you have that people would PAY MONEY FOR?

Person paying with their credit card

This is the crux of the original, dumb question.

It’s great that you love theatre or art history or architecture or women’s studies or political science…

But at the end of the day, you will have bills and debts to pay. That means you need money. And that means you need to be able to provide value that others will pay for.

I mean, how do any of us make money? We provide a person or a company some sort of value.

A dishwasher brings the restaurant value by cleaning the plates and glassware so it can keep running smoothly.

A CEO manages people and logistics so their employees and shareholders can thrive.

A movie director designs a film so it can be as entertaining as possible for its millions of viewers.

What can YOU bring to the table?

Putting it all together.

Girl sitting on steps on her laptop

Literally. After answering these three questions, think about how you can put them all together. Where is the convergence? Where do your answers intersect?

You don’t want to do work you absolutely fucking hate. That’s not sustainable.

But you can’t just do something solely because you enjoy it or are good at it. It doesn’t matter how much you love art. Your passion for something alone won’t get someone else to give you their money.

Finding a harmony between these three questions is not easy. It takes a ton of time, experimentation and sacrifice. But on the other side of this Resistance is meaningful work that pays your rent.

A case study on fulfilling work.

To provide a hard example, I’ll conclude with my own experience in answering these questions.

1) What do you love to do?

Talk to people about their habits and goals.

Write.

Make people laugh.

2) What are you really good at doing?

Connecting with others.

Articulating my thoughts and feelings.

Teaching myself things.

3) What skills or knowledge do you have that people would pay money for?

Online marketing.

Content writing.

Expertise in building habits and systems to help others live better lives.

So what the hell do I do?

I’m a content writer: I help businesses connect with their customers by telling their stories in a clear and captivating way. I get to write and be funny–two of my favorite things to do.

I’m a life coach: I help people live healthier, more productive and more fulfilling lives. We sit down to set goals, create plans and hyper-focus on what matters most to them.

Again, this did not happen overnight. And it’s still a work in progress. It always will be.

But if you are having even the slightest doubt over what you should be doing with your life, start with these three questions.

Then go from there.

Building systems

A system is anything that makes future action easy, or at best, effortless.

My alarm wakes me up between 6:30 and 7 in the morning. Nine times out of ten, I hit snooze until 7.

My system? When it first goes off, I hit snooze, lay on my side and face my phone so I can hit snooze again immediately each time it rings. When it inevitably goes off, I don’t have to adjust my entire body; I just move my finger a few inches and press the button.

The result? A much more comfortable wake-up process.

Other systems include: automating payments or donations, habits, responding to emails at the same time each day, setting clothes out the day before, scheduling out your day/week…

What could you do now to make future action easy or effortless?

So you wanna be a rockstar?

Crowd at a rock show

When I was in high school, I wanted one thing:

To be the leading man in a punk rock band.

Or so I thought.

When I wasn’t strumming power chords alone in my room, I was watching hours of live performances by Blink 182, Green Day, or Sum 41.

I wanted to dye my hair black. I wanted a lip ring. I wanted a tattoo sleeve.

I wore long black socks up to my knees, sagged my shorts so they looked like capris, and did everything I could to emulate Tom Delonge. I even tried to talk like him at times.

A few best friends and I started a band and would play all of my favorite pop punk songs.

I dreamed of being on stage and performing in front of thousands of people.

Dreamed…

The funny thing was, when it actually came time to go to our drummer’s house for band practice, I would count the minutes until it was over.

Practice was hard. It wasn’t sexy. There were no fans screaming our names.

I really wanted to get better at guitar. Better at singing. Better at landing gigs…

Then, whenever I had opportunities to do any of these, the Resistance would be too great and I would do nothing instead.

That’s when I realized:

I liked the idea of being a rockstar more than I actually wanted to be one.

It’s pretty easy to figure this out with whatever your aspirations are. Just take whatever you want to do/be/pursue. Then hold it up next to the actions you take each and every day.

Is it really important to me to get good at guitar if I never practice scales, chords, or challenge myself?

Is it really important to me to be in great physical shape if I never work out and eat whatever I want?

Is it really important to me to foster healthy relationships if I never reach out to those I care about most?

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be?

What are you doing consistently to make that a reality? This will show you if it’s what you really want, or if you’re just chasing the idea of it.

Putting it in your Twitter bio won’t make it a reality.

Just like playing I Miss You for the thousandth time won’t make you a rockstar.

You have to sit down and do the boring, unsexy work. Every. Single. Day.

Craft vs. Art

Craft is what we are expected to know. Art is the unexpected use of our craft.

Ed Catmull

In other words:

Improve your skills.

Then fucking use them.

Call your friends.

I drove 4 hours to Virginia Beach yesterday.

For 2 hours, I talked on the phone with one of my best friends.

For another hour and a half, I caught up with another good friend from college.

The result: the drive took me 30 minutes.

Call your friends.

“Add Title”

“Start writing or type / to choose a block.”

These are on my screen every morning before I write the day’s blog.

Some days it’s inviting. Like, what are you going to make today?

Other days it’s daunting. Like, what the hell could you possibly write about that you haven’t said a million times before?

No matter which one it is, I find that if I just start typing, I find my way.

You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going.

If you just start moving and making decisions, the path will reveal itself.

Peeing my pants in a Sam’s Club.

Here are two stories about Life:

1) Life loves you.

This weekend, I drove down a major road to get to my buddy’s house. It’s flooded with stoplights. I made every single one.

When I got into his town, I ran into the liquor store to grab a bottle of wine. The dude there always cards me and never smiles.

He rang me up, didn’t card me, and gave me a polite nod as I thanked him and left.

2) Life hates you.

In February, I rushed into my car to drive to work one morning. It was freezing and my heat was broken. Three minutes in, I had to pee.

Logic would have had me pull into a gas station or a Wendy’s. But I was already running late, so I gritted my teeth and declared I would be fine. I was 40 minutes away.

Halfway in, I’m squirming, making faces and cursing at Gods I don’t believe in. I kept my focus on whatever Post Malone was singing about. Then I got a call from my supervisor.

He told me that I’m going to a different store. Fuck.

I put the new address in my GPS. It added 22 minutes to my drive.

I’m gonna fucking pee my pants, I thought.

Being on the highway, I’d have to take an exit and be 20 or 30 minutes late to a job I was new to. So I fought with my bladder until I made it to the store. I was almost crying.

I was so distracted by my bladder that I didn’t notice my car was on empty until I parked. The light was flashing at me. I swept through my bag as quickly as I could, only to find out that I had left my wallet at home. I jumped out of the car.

Alternating between jogging and speed walking, I made it into the store, and had the most relieving pee I’ve ever had. It was like exorcising a demon. I think I groaned a little.

Conclusion.

In one of these stories, it felt like Life was holding all the doors open for me. I had a guardian angel. God was fist-bumping me and giving me a massage.

In the other, it felt like Life was holding me down and spitting in my mouth.

People say, “Everything happens for a reason.”

That’s nonsense. Everything just happens.

Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s fucking brutal.

Whatever the case, all you can do is take it on the chin and adjust accordingly.

Appreciate the good. Maneuver through the bad.

That way, you won’t piss your pants in a Sam’s Club parking lot.

How to become a billionaire in 2 minutes.

Here are all the things I’m proud of:

My relationships.

By continuously pursuing quality time with my friends and family, and increasing the value I could possibly bring them…I have cultivated a tribe of brothers, sisters, and confidantes.

My work.

Between quitting my job this year to start my own business, writing this daily blog, and launching my coaching business…I’m lucky enough to say that all the work I do leaves me excited and fulfilled.

My fitness.

I didn’t start exercising regularly until about 2 years ago. Between that and training in martial arts, I’ve been incredibly active on a regular basis. Nothing crazy; I just have to work out at least 3 times each week. Keeping this up has made me super happy with how I look and how I feel.

So what?

Did I write this blog just for the humble brags? (Yes)

No.

The point is: You don’t have to do anything otherworldly to live a healthy and fulfilling life. You don’t need an EPIC morning routine. You don’t need the 18 THINGS BILLIONAIRES EAT EACH MORNING.

That stuff’s great, but…

All you really need are pretty good habits that you do consistently.

Stupid questions

“Was 1917 in World War I time?”

My friend asked me last night as we sat down to watch 1917.

I chuckled. “Yes.”

The subtext under my voice was, “Of course it was, you moron.”

We do this a lot. Someone asks a question we are shocked they don’t know the answer to. Then we give them the same condescending tone we use when we learn someone hasn’t seen Good Will Hunting.

This quick and subtle jab at someone’s intelligence or experience may seem playful, but it can really do some damage.

Someone trusts you enough to ask you for an answer they don’t have. Then with your response, you shame them for not knowing while trying to show off how smart you are.

It’s likely that the person just accepts the jab and moves on. It’s also likely that they feel dumb and avoid going to you for answers in the future.

Is there such thing as stupid question?

Yes. Because we’re all pretty stupid in our own right.

Do you know the answer to everything?

If you don’t ask questions which make you feel stupid, is that because you’re smart as fuck, or because you’re not putting yourself out there?

Have you seen Good Will Hunting, you idiot?

Put your phone down and look at me: How to focus.

Couple not focusing on each other.

Many of us think we can focus on several things at once.

That’s bullshit.

Unless you’re combining a focusing task with a mundane task (like listening to a podcast while doing the dishes), multitasking–or multi-focusing–is impossible.

The human brain is designed to focus on one thing at a time. This is why we can’t listen to two conversations at the same time and take in all the information. It’s why we crash our cars when we’re texting. It’s why we have to ask our friends to repeat themselves when we’re thinking about something else.

We can’t focus on one thing when something else has our attention. It’s a zero-sum game.

This has consequences for our work, our relationships and our minds.

Work:

Man not focusing on his work.

Most of my coaching clients and friends admit to having ten tabs open on their screens while trying to get shit done. Email. FaceBook. Articles. News.

It is natural to feel like we’re taking care of ten different things at once. But the result is that we get absolutely nothing done.

Dissecting our attention like this blocks any chance of getting into a flow state (getting in the zone). This is where the magic happens. No matter the type of work–creative, business, learning, planning–long periods of focus on a single task is the key to absolute productivity.

Even if it’s something as simple as answering emails. Sitting down for an hour to craft well-written, personable responses…those would be some of the best damn emails ever sent.

People are distracting too. Someone is working on their computer, trying to get in the zone. Then, a coworker casually pops in their office to say hi. Harmless right?

On average, it takes the brain 17 minutes to return to the level of focus it had prior to distraction. This is why highly productive people lock themselves away, close their doors, and shut off their phones.

Relationships:

Guy not focusing on his friend working out.

When I’m talking to someone, and they’re looking down at their phone, I wait.

Not passive-aggressive. Not spiteful. Just patient.

The typical response: “I’m listening.”

No you’re not.

Listening means you’re looking at someone, taking in what they’re saying, and responding with a thought-out idea of your own.

When someone isn’t completely listening to us, we notice it. It feels like they’re not really there. Like they’re somewhere else.

When we’re showing our friends a movie we love, this is why it hurts when we see them on their phones.

How crazy is that? Even when we’re sitting down watching a screen, we want to feel that shared connection with others. What the fuck, stop staring at that tiny screen–stare at this bigger screen with me.

Focus our minds:

Girl not focusing on her surroundings in a pool.

Attention is like a muscle. It’s a skill, which means it can be trained and it can be weakened.

People who take breaks from smart phones and social media, for example, admit heightened levels of focus on their task at hand.

It’s amazing what can happen when there’s literally nothing to focus on besides whatever is in front of you. In that moment, it’s all that exists. It’s your entire world.

A conversation. A project. A problem.

I have several friends who are unable to concentrate on any one thing for 15 minutes. It’s scary.

The scariest part? They’re totally unaware of it.

How do we pull people out of the Matrix when they don’t know they’re in the Matrix?

Tristan Harris

Conclusion:

Couple focusing and laughing with each other.

When you’re working, when you’re having a conversation, when you’re focusing on something…leave everything else alone.

Ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I should be doing right now?” Then do that thing. Do it 100%.

Watching Netflix with a buddy? Watch the shit out of it.

Hearing your partner vent about their day? Listen, absorb, and respond.

Working on your computer? Close your email, close your tabs, and dive into deep work.

Rather than doing ten things to the first degree, try doing one thing to the tenth degree.

You’ll be amazed at the results.

Value is Friendship

One of my best friends hired me for an online project. I finished it yesterday.

He offered me the gig because he knew I was trying to establish my online business.

When I was done, I thanked him profusely for the opportunity. Then something weird happened.

He brushed it off quickly and thanked me for all my help.

I thought, “You’re thanking me?” That’s when it hit me.

He didn’t hire me because we’ve known each other since preschool. He didn’t hire me because I make him laugh. He didn’t hire me because he was trying to do something nice for a buddy.

All of those played a role in the partnership, but above all, he hired me for one reason:

I brought him value.

The 23 hours I worked on this project were 23 hours he and his partner didn’t have to.

I saved them time. I saved them headache.

And they were willing to pay for that. Being friends was simply a bonus.

Friendship is love. But it is also value.

What value do you get out of your friends?

What value do you provide them?

Don’t Take My Advice

I understand the contradiction here.

I’m telling you not to take advice. If you don’t, you would have indeed followed my advice. Trippy.

There are a million different people with a million different experiences with a million different ways of doing things.

You are you.

Regardless of how successful anyone has been, you must always remember that they have values, stories, and strengths which differ from your own.

I’m not saying you should ignore every single person who could teach you something. Observe others. Get inspired by them. Try out their methods.

Just don’t feel like a failure when their methods don’t produce the same results for you.

Try a bunch of shit and see what works and what doesn’t work for you.

One day, someone will look at your process and try to emulate you.

Asleep at This Keyboard

This morning, I feel utterly exhausted.

It’s days like this where I have to fall back on my habits.

Dragging myself through my morning routine–planning, reading, writing, stretching, meditating…It feels as though I’m on autopilot.

Thank God for habits. This process is so engrained in my being that it’s easier to just do the thing than it is to think about doing it.

Why build strong habits?

Because they will keep you afloat when you feel like a lazy piece of shit.

How to Use Your Friends

Let me clarify.

Here are a few things on my calendar this week:

• Business consultation with a friend. He’s a business owner and we exchange my coaching sessions for his business advice and strategies. Business.

• Session with a certified life coach. I met her through a mastermind group and she gives me weekly sessions as I recopy and redesign her website.

• Personal training session with my buddy who is a fighter and trainer. I’ve given him coaching sessions and he gives me weekly fitness sessions where we do HIIT workouts and boxing drills.

• Coaching session with my writer friend. I give her biweekly coaching sessions. She proofreads and edits my writing.

My point: Are you surrounding yourself with skilled and valuable friends?

Obviously, when I say ‘use’ your friends, I say it tongue-in-cheek. I don’t mean you should only cultivate professional relationships with others.

But many of us think friendships are those of unconditional love. I don’t think that’s true.

Real, unconditional love is rare. My mom, for example. When I’ve been my worst self, to when I’ve been my best…she has loved and supported me 100%. That’s incredible, but we shouldn’t count on that.

The vast majority of relationships–no matter how much love is involved–last because each party gets some sort of value of out them.

You love your funny friend because YOU love to laugh.

You love your friend who listens well because YOU love to be heard.

You love your partner because they make YOU feel safe, free and loved back.

Technically, we don’t do anything without our own self-interests in mind. Even when we donate money to charity, we do it because WE want to be helpful or to seem helpful.

There’s nothing wrong with this “selfishness.” If it makes us better people, if it makes our lives better, and if it makes us more valuable to others…that’s a wonderful thing.

What value do you provide your friends?

What value do they provide you in return?

Use them. Be used.

What Fast Food Taught Me About Addiction

I ate poison this weekend. Let me explain.

On Saturday, I was feeling sleep-deprived and under the weather. In a state of fuck it, I ordered fast food online. I won’t name the establishment, but it might rhyme with Baco Tell.

Forgetting it was 7pm on a Saturday night, I went to pick it up and sat waiting for my order for an hour. I didn’t bring my phone in with me because I assumed I would be in and out in 2 minutes.

After about 20, the urge to check my phone began to possess me like a demon. I noticed this compulsion, and sat still to test my patience and mindfulness.

Once it passed, there was only one thing I could focus on: my surroundings.

I can’t remember the last time I experienced such fascinating people-watching.

Two DoorDashers sat on their phones with frustrated demeanors (I wasn’t the only one with a long ticket-time). Every time the cashier came closer to the front, the DoorDashers, in unison, would exaggerate their posture and facial expressions to make sure he knew how unhappy they were.

Two dudes stood in front of me, both well dressed. They were engaged in playful small talk and banter. I figured they were either a new couple or had just become friends.

There was also a short, hispanic man with headphones on. He danced as he placed his order on the touchscreen. I wondered what he was listening to.

Looking around at all these characters, I realized something huge:

We are very bad at sitting and doing nothing.

I wanted so badly to check my phone. Why? To squash my boredom.

When’s the last time you sat and did nothing for 20–no…5 minutes?

We are addicted to stimulation.

Even when we are engaged in conversation with someone at dinner, the second they get up for the bathroom…slip…out comes the phone.

We’re at a table full of close friends. Everyone has their phone lying on the table.

We’re waiting in line for something. Out comes the phone.

How many times have you seen someone watching TV with a phone or tablet in hand? How many layers of stimulation do we need??

To be clear, I’m not judging anyone. I think our amazing technology has pulled us into some sort of Matrix.

I also don’t think our obsession with stimulation makes us bad people. But I do think it has warped our attention spans and that it damages our ability to simply enjoy what is happening in the present moment.

The next time you go into a store or restaurant– Hell, the next time you go out, don’t bring your phone. See what happens.

If the thought of that gives you anxiety, that’s a huge sign that you need to try this.

When you have nothing to stimulate you, look around.

Strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Do some people-watching.

Compliment someone’s pants.

You don’t need to check something right now. Trust me.

Remember Your Training

You’ve been training your entire life for today.

Every single decision you’ve ever made has led you to where you are right now.

Your bank account is the grand total of all the times you’ve earned money and purchased something.

Your body is the grand total of all the times you did (or didn’t) work out or eat well.

Your relationships are the grand total of all the conversations and experiences you’ve had with others.

Remember your training.

Hiding My Trashy Self

I care what you think about me. Let me explain.

We’ve all heard something along the lines of, “Don’t give a shit what others think about you.”

I understand the merit of that statement, but I’d like to push back a little.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to present yourself in a positive light. If every single one of us were 100% authentic, 100% of the time, the world would be full of assholes.

Pretending to be someone else and being your best self are two different things.

Right now, I’m wearing sea-foam green sweatpants, a woman’s tank top, and $5 Walmart moccasins. When I go to a nice dinner this weekend, I’ll be wearing dress pants, a button down shirt, and a tie.

Will wearing nicer clothes mean I’m pretending to be someone else? Am I hiding the trash monster that I really am?

The Sexiest Thing in the World

I used to think love was being with someone you needed to be with.

It took me a while to realize that you should instead just be with someone you want to be with.

If you’re with someone you feel like you can’t live without, what will you do if they:

• leave for a few weeks?
• break up with you?
• get sick?

These are not fun to ponder, and they will be incredibly painful no matter what…but they all happen.

I firmly believe that you need to be 100% good to go all on your own first. Then, and only then, should you find a partner who loves and supports you.

Not a crutch. Not a rock. A partner.

Someone who takes you from 100 to 120, not 50 to 80.

Last week, a friend asked me, “What’s the sexiest thing in the world to you?”

My answer: “A woman who doesn’t need me.”

Take care of yourself. Live an incredible life.

Then, find someone who makes it even better.

Why I Look Homeless

Cost is arbitrary.

The real kicker is the value something brings someone.

For example: I’ll gladly pay extra for a grass-fed steak over the cheaper, factory-farmed cut.

On the other end of the spectrum, you will never, ever see me paying for new, expensive clothing.

I value clean, ethical, and nutritious food.

I don’t value my sense of fashion.

What’s important to you? What do you value?

What would you easily pay extra for that others wouldn’t?

You Don’t Need Permission

For most of my life, I put off pursuing things I was interested in.

Here’s why.

Like most others, I had tons of ideas and plans of what I wanted to do, what I was going to do, what I should do…

Then months would go by and I’d be in the same exact spot.

No blog. No muscles. No business.

Just words.

It took me years to understand why.

The obvious answer? Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of getting what I wanted and then having to deliver.

But it goes a step deeper than that.

What held me back all those years was this:

I was waiting for permission to pursue the things I was interested in.

Permission from whom? I have no idea.

“I can’t start taking myself seriously as a writer/actor/entrepreneur until I build my credibility up first. Then people will allow me to do it.”

It felt as though anything I hadn’t mastered was an exclusive club. A club where I did NOT feel welcome. But then I just looked around and tried to find exactly who wasn’t letting me in. All I found were ghosts.

I’ve had family members and a few friends passively judge my life decisions. But it was all short-lived.

If you just say fuck it, keep your head down, improve your skills, and do something you find interesting and get better at it every week…a few months from now you’ll be shocked by how far you’ve come.

You don’t need permission. Just start.

The Boring Truth to Becoming Happy

Three years ago, I was in the lowest place I’ve ever been.

Right now, I’m certain I’ve never been more happy or fulfilled.

I love the work I do. I love the relationships I’ve built. I love how I have fun and take care of my body.

How did I get here? Simple…

I’ve made sure to never waste a day.

I don’t mean that I’ve never taken a day off. There have been plenty of hungover afternoons in bed ordering DoorDash…

What I mean is that I’ve never taken a day off from pursuing my values–the things which are most important to me.

Thus is the life of an Essentialist: putting effort into the things that matter most…on a daily basis.

The result: you become 1% better/happier/more fulfilled each day.

This is an average, of course. There is always a push and pull. Two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes it’s more like eight steps forward and seven steps back.

But if you just keep moving at a steady pace (no need to sprint every single day), you’ll average out at about 1%.

Improving your skills. Expanding your comfort zone. Doing difficult things.

All of these inch you toward…(dare I say it?) your true potential (barf).

So why is it so fucking difficult to acquire a deeply fulfilling life?

Well, based on my 1% theory, the problem seems to be that no one really notices a 1% change.

When I read Dune earlier this year, turning one page out of 900 didn’t make me feel any closer to finishing it. I would read five chapters in a night and feel like my bookmark was in the same exact spot.

No matter how many times I pushed through Resistance and sat down to read, it felt like I wasn’t making any progress.

But that obviously wasn’t true. I eventually finished the tome. How? I just kept reading.

Consistently and intentionally pursuing your values every. single. day…You may not have a ton of orgasmic life-changing moments, but you will have some and those will be great. However, the real juice comes when you’ve been doing it for a while and can look back to see how far you’ve come.

There haven’t been any days where I’ve felt wildly different than I was the day before. But comparing who I am today to who I was three years ago…it’s like comparing myself to a stranger.

Keep going.

You don’t have to rush, just don’t stop.

Lazy Saturdays

It’s 5pm.

I can’t remember the last time I sat down to write the blog this late in the day.

I also can’t remember the last time I stayed in bed lazily, had food delivered, and took a nap…all in one day.

An organized and structured life makes me happy and fulfilled. But a little spontaneity and laziness here and there can do wonders for the soul.

Meow.

Why I Tell My Friends I Love Them

Because, well, I do.

It catches even my closest friends off-guard sometimes.

I’ll say things like:

“Much love to you, man,” or

“Love you man. Talk to you later.”

In short: All of my friends–the people I love most–will die some day. When that happens, I’m not going to look back and wish I said it more.

Now, I’m not saying that every conversation with a friend has to be about how much you love and appreciate them. But even though it can feel cheesy in the short term, telling your friends (especially guy-to-guy friends) how you feel about them is an incredibly healthy thing to do.

For me, it makes it easier to maintain my most important relationships. When we speak it into existence, our actions follow suit.

It wouldn’t feel right if I told my best friend I loved him, but then never called him or went out of my way to see him.

TL; DR:

If you were in a terrible car accident and were laying in a hospital bed, who would be at your bedside?

You won’t have your success. You won’t have your accomplishments. You won’t have your possessions.

The only thing you’ll have will be the relationships and connections you’ve cultivated over the years.

So tell those people that you love them, dammit.

Happy

Thanksgiving, bitch.

My Favorite Drug

Here are all the drugs I’ve ever done:

•Adderall
•Alcohol
•Caffeine
•Cocaine
•Ecstasy
•LSD
•MDMA
•Nicotine
•Nitrous Oxide
•Oxycodone
•Psilocybin
•“Shroom” pills
•THC
•Vyvanse

My favorite?

Clean health.

I’ve had amazing and god-awful times doing each one of these. The one drug which has never failed me has been when I’ve been clean, well-rested, and fit.

You might be rolling your eyes right now. That’s okay.

Getting a full-night’s sleep. Exercising regularly. Eating well.

All of these combine to create a high that is sustainable–which leads to incredible results.

Clean health is a drug I feel safe prescribing anyone. Try it.