Initial thoughts

My coaching friend ran a workshop yesterday and had us do a lovely exercise.

We ran through the different aspects of the root chakra: physical, home, and financial health.

In each category, we broke them down into subcategories and had to write our immediate emotional thoughts. Here were mine.

Physical

• Sleep: sacrificed, suboptimal
• Water: great, peeing a lot
• Diet: mostly good, unorganized
• Exercise: consistent, necessary
• Stretching: infrequent, in the doghouse
• Hygiene: clean, fresh

Home

• Vibe: minimal, intentional
• Relaxation: bed, office
• Safety: solid, dogs

Financial

• Income: vital, growing
• Savings: not enough, a little each month
• Debt: mountain, heavy
• Toxic money: none really
• Income goal: $100K+, relief, safety, freedom

The coolest part about this exercise is how many of my responses surprised me. Try it and see what thoughts pop up.

Running group calls

I held a workshop last night open to a bunch of my friends, family, and colleagues.

Few things delight me more than connecting people who otherwise would’ve never met.

Hearing one of my coaching friends say, “I loved what Karen said…” made me smile. I was like, That’s my aunt!

I’ve learned a few things from running group calls:

1) People love talking and engaging, even if they think they don’t. It makes the time pass quickly and people enjoy gaining different perspectives on the same topic.

2) The worst thing a curator can do is ask the group: “Does anybody have any thoughts?” Just fucking call on someone. They will share their thoughts. Don’t give them a choice. The six seconds of silence after that question is asked is valuable collaboration time. I call on folks at random every time and no one has ever said, “I actually don’t have anything to say.”

3) The more I prep and plan a group call, the more flat and robotic it sounds. My best calls have been where I’ve let the momentum of the conversation take the wheel. It may be slow at the start, but once people begin sharing, it becomes a flywheel that spins itself.

Why is this so hard?

A red panda sleeping in a tree

Yesterday, I’m quite certain I experienced the effects of sleep deprivation for the first time in my life.

All three nights this weekend, I attended an event that led to me staying up late. Two of those nights I drank alcohol which always fucks with my sleep quality. And according to my tracker, I averaged four and a half hours of time spent asleep Friday through Sunday.

So what was yesterday like?

The Sleep Foundation lists these as the major symptoms of acute sleep deprivation:

  • Slowed thinking
  • Reduced attention span
  • Worsened memory
  • Poor or risky decision-making
  • Lack of energy
  • Mood changes—including feelings of stress, anxiety, or irritability

That sums my day up perfectly.

In the morning, I sat down with my cup of coffee and for the first hour of my day, I had to constantly remind myself of what I was doing. I would start one thing and jump to another, forgetting what I was doing in the first place. The pit of anxiety in my chest was thunderous.

At noon, I hopped on my regular Monday call with my coaching program and I don’t even remember what we did or what I said on it.

When that was over, I began my next three hours of work, made it about ten minutes, threw in the towel, and went and laid in bed.

I can’t remember the last time I started a day of work and then stopped in the middle of it. Unfortunately, this didn’t calm me down because my chest was telling me I should be working harder, not resting.

Ugh.

Why is this blog post called what it’s called?

It’s because it doesn’t matter how much I talk, write, or preach about how vital it is…sleep always seems to be something that’s easy to sacrifice.

Yesterday humbled me. So today, with my rested and refreshed brain, I’m writing down a few rules for myself on my whiteboard:

1) At 10pm, the phone must be on airplane mode.

2) If there are coaching sessions scheduled the next day, no more than two drinks the night before.

3) If an offer or request doesn’t light me up, I have to say No to it.

If we want to prioritize our energy, we have to treat it like a priority. That’s what yesterday taught me.

3 questions when I’m in a rut

1) How am I complicit in creating discomfort in my life?

2) How can I take ownership over what my life looks like?

3) How is this making me stronger?

Not today

Some days I sit down and spend an hour writing what I hope is an articulate and thought-provoking blog.

But not today.

Today I just felt like writing this.

Actually do stuff

A guy surfing on a huge wave

When I talk to people about creating content, starting a business, or improving a skill…I make sure to bring up the difference between Action and Motion.

Action is doing the things we actually need to do to create what we want. Motion is preparing and planning to do those things.

Both are necessary, but all too often I see people stuck in the Motion hole.

“I want a girlfriend, so I’ll get a gym membership.”
“I want to start a blog, so I’ll research all the best website builders.”
“I want to run a business, so I’ll read the top five business books and create the perfect business plan.”

Learning and giving ourselves a base is absolutely necessary. But in order to actually get what we want we have to just dive in.

Motion tends to make us think we’re doing something productive, when we’re really just procrastinating the Actions we’re scared to take.

If we want a girlfriend, we need to talk to and ask out more women.

If we want to start blogging, we just need to pick an easy way to publish and start writing.

If we want to run a business, we need to find people who will pay money for our product or service and sell it to them.

95% of what we need to know will come from Action and experience: getting rejected, writing shitty blogs, and making hundreds of mistakes.

When we need growth, we don’t need more preparation; we need to take more Action.

I’ve written this affirmation every day in 2021

A blank sheet of paper next to a cup of coffee

I started dabbling with affirmations last year. I thought they were total bullshit.

I’ve never been into the idea of manifestation or the law of attraction. Naturally, we should have a clear vision of what we want…but the only way to make it happen is to consistently do the work and actions necessary.

We don’t manifest a healthy body. We exercise and eat well to create one.

We don’t manifest more money. We provide more value and change our financial habits to create more money.

We don’t manifest better skills. We practice until we get really fucking good at them.

….BUT affirmations don’t have to be about wanting something from nothing.

On New Years Day, I decided that my life would have a new mantra. I wrote it down in my notebook and have continued to write it every day since:

“I love doing scary things.”

Has this turned me into a fearless and rich person? Absolutely not. But, whenever opportunities or risky ventures have presented themselves to me this year, I’ve simply reminded myself that I love doing scary things.

I’ve never taken more intimidating (to me) action in my life than in the past eight months. I’ve…

• started a freelancing business
• halted that freelancing business to go full-time with my coaching business
• paid $12,000 for coaching programs
• put myself out there as a coach to a bunch of people from my past—getting ignored and rejected constantly
• started running group coaching calls/workshops
• bought plane tickets I couldn’t afford
• did a triathlon
• wrote this blog every day and shared my favorite ones
• told a woman I had feelings for her
• started writing a book
• built an established business when, my whole life, I’ve said I know nothing about business

What I’ve learned from this:

  1. Affirmations aren’t bullshit if we use them to guide our mindset toward taking more action. Simply writing things that sound powerful isn’t enough, but if we do something about it, those words can change our lives.
  2. We don’t have to be fearless; we have to be courageous. Fear is natural, but we must not let it stop us from creating the life we want to live.

An extra hour of sleep

Sleeping in is one of my least favorite things to do.

When I wake up—regardless of how tired I am—I prefer to just get out of bed and start my day.

But for some reason, last night I only got about four hours of sleep. At least that’s what my sleep tracker said when I first woke up at 6:30 this morning.

I made the split decision to do something I never do.

I texted my friends to let them know I couldn’t join them on our weekly swim. Then I set a new alarm and went back to sleep.

Thank God I did. I don’t feel amazing right now…but I certainly don’t feel like the zombie I was when I first woke.

The lesson:

Living a productive life is great and all that….but sometimes we just need some extra rest.

Gathering data

It’s four weeks into writing my book. Here’s how it’s going.

I’ve interviewed four people so far. All have been amazing and each conversation has brought me back to my days of podcasting.

From super successful business owners to folks who have dedicated their lives to helping others in need…I love listening to people talk about what they’re most passionate about.

That’s been a pattern I’ve noticed. We tend to continue creating things we love. I don’t know many painters who just do it to make some extra cash. Maybe we start something to help pay the bills, but we can only sustainably keep it going if we love the game.

Another thing that keeps coming up is this idea of convergence. It’s where the answers to three questions meet.

Those questions are:

1) What are you really good at?

2) What do you love to do? (i.e. What excites you?)

3) What can you do that people would pay money for?

Answering each of these questions provides powerful ideas of what we can do with ourselves.

As I interview these badasses, I’m noticing the things they create passionately align with this convergence.

Fun fun fun.

Preorder your copy of Do The Thing here.

Are we allowed to feel bad?

A toddler playing with their stuffed dinosaurs.
Me and my thoughts yesterday.

I had a really shitty day yesterday.

After showering and getting dressed for my three back-to-back coaching sessions in the morning, I sat down in my office. Of the three calls scheduled, one canceled last minute, and two didn’t show up at all. 0/3.

Sometimes I welcome a canceled call for the extra free time. But three in three hours took an enormous mental toll.

Waves of financial anxiety and doubts of self-worth came rushing in. I even made a Twitch account out of spite. I mumbled: “Stupid coaching. I’ll just be a streamer. Coaching is stupid anyway…”

Whenever this happens it feels like two entities are competing with one another: Logic and Emotions.

Logic was telling me:

This is not even close to the end of the world.
• Lots of people in lots of places have it WAY worse than you do right now.

• Why are reacting this way?
• People would kill to have your problems.

But despite all this, my Emotions kept rubbuting:

• This fucking sucks and I’m sad.

I felt it in my eyes and face. It was like my vision was slowing down.

Luckily, I had a fourth session scheduled in the afternoon. My goal was to not bring any of my energy from the day into our conversation.

We did our session and it was amazing. He had incredible insights, he made me laugh, and we had a lovely deep dive into his thoughts and fears.

Only after we finished did I tell him about my day. He said he could tell something was up simply from my body language when we hopped on the Zoom. I thanked him for his time and for making my day better.

In the evening, two of my best friends invited me over for dinner. I was a bit nervous because I was doubting my ability to have a clear and present conversation.

On top of that, one of the friend’s dads just had a funeral. How could I deserve to complain about my day when she just buried her father?

It’s not a competition

We swapped stories and it was bittersweet to hear her discuss the anxiety and closure-filled week. When she asked about how I was doing I figured I’d just be candid and open up.

They both listened to every word I said and showed nothing but love and support.

When I admitted it was weird to talk about my “problems” knowing they had just gone to her dad’s funeral, she immediately responded: “It’s not something to compare.”

Really good peoples.

We drank wine and played with their dog and my grey day drifted off like storm clouds. The tension in my eyes was gone. I just felt grateful.

Lessons

1) It’s possible to both a) acknowledge our good fortune and b) feel sad…at the same time.

2) One of the most important things to have in life is friends to whom we can open up wholeheartedly without being judged or scorned.

3) We will never arrive at a day where we’re completely safe from shitty things or negative emotions. We can only improve our skills in handling them and ask the people around us for help.

4) I’m going to be a professional streamer.

5) Lol jk.

The best thing about writing this blog

It’s not the recognition from people who read it.

It’s not the number of readers increasing each month.

Those are lovely, but the best thing by far…

Writing every day makes it so much easier to articulate our thoughts and put words to them.

Since starting this daily blog two years ago, I’ve become a wildly better speaker and communicator overall.

That’s priceless.

All good, dog

Yesterday was strange.

One canceled session, two no-call no-shows, and a ton of dead time. I don’t do well with dead time.

I rarely have even one call in a day that doesn’t happen. Yesterday there were three.

As uneventful as the day was, it was mentally draining. Fears and doubts about my ability as a leader came creeping in.

But then something happened which made me forget about all of that.

My best friend dropped off his dog so I could watch him for the weekend.

Hank the dog playing at the park

Life ain’t so bad.

Thursday swims

My best buddy and I did a triathlon a few months ago.

Prior to that, I could barely swim a single lap without gasping for air.

Since then, he and I have swam every Thursday morning at our local center.

It’s been a slow progression, but each week I find myself swimming more and more laps without having to stop for a break.

With practice, we have no choice but to get better at something. We inevitably begin to flow and figure shit out.

If I keep swimming, I’ll get better. If I stop, I won’t.

30 more visits with Grandpa

A grandpa smiling while sitting on a couch
Not my Grandpa lol.

Vacay

I went on a lovely family vacation this past weekend. Lakehouse, swimming, tubing, laughing.

But the most memorable moment came when I walked down to the boathouse to find my Grandpa standing at the bottom of the walkway. It looked like he was mentally preparing himself to ascend a mountain.

He had just gotten a pacemaker put in days before. I asked him what was up.

He told me he gets out of breath easily and so I held out my hand to help him up the steps. Once we made it up the first section, he thanked me and assured me he could take it from there.

“All good Gramps,” I responded. “We’ll go up together.”

We got to the deck and he took it from there since he had the handrails to balance himself. I walked back down to the dock to grab the beer I wanted and I noticed I was crying.

It wasn’t a sob. My mouth wasn’t moving. But tears streamed out of both eyes.

This was the first time I got a ‘slap in the face’ reminder of the universal truth: Our time is limited here.

A new lens

After that happened, I saw my Grandpa in a different light. I already love talking to him. He’s hilarious and one of the cleverest men I’ve ever known.

But for the rest of the weekend, I didn’t just enjoy my talks with him…I cherished them.

Every joke and story he told, I found myself uncontrollably beaming. I also looked at my calendar to find the best weekends in the coming months to drive down and visit him and my Grandma.

On top of that, I did some math.

My Grandpa turned 80 this year. Assuming he lives to be 90 years old, I have 10 more years left with him. But that’s incorrect.

On average, I see my Grandparents three times per year. Maintaining that trajectory, I don’t have 10 years left with my Grandfather…I have 30 more visits.

After this weekend, I can check off one of those boxes. 29 to go.

Is this depressing?

No. Not to me.

Talking about this shit is sad, yes. But I much prefer to be open and candid about the inevitable, rather than bury my head in the sand and pretend like death doesn’t exist.

I know people who do the latter and they tend to be the ones who shut down when the worst occurs. Not productive.

Understanding that we’re all approaching death isn’t morbid. It’s empowering.

It forces us to desire more presentness, listening, and compassion.

It invites us to say “Yes” to the things that matter more often: trips with friends, phone calls with family, playtime with kids or pets.

We can obsess over the number of checkboxes we have left with the people we love…or we can focus on the quality of each of those boxes before we check them off.

Having people we love who are alive is a gift. We get to call them, laugh with them, disagree with them, hug them, learn from them…

Even with someone we don’t particularly like—if we found out they had a month to live, we’d forgive their faults and forget our grievances with them. We’d hear what they had to say and make sure they were comfortable and cared for.

What if we did that more often with more people?

Conclusion

It’s up to us to enjoy the box we’re currently checking.

I’m not dreading the number of boxes I have left with my Grandpa. I’m ecstatic for the next box I get with him in a few months.

Why you don’t need confidence

A confident woman looking in the mirror

I coached a fellow coach yesterday who said she wanted to leave the session with enough confidence to do x, y, and of course…z.

We started exploring.

What’s your definition of confidence? What does it look/sound/feel like?

When in your life have you been truly confident?

How much confidence have you decided you need before you can take action? On a scale from 1 to 10?

She told me about her career as a teacher. She studied education for seven years and then jumped into teaching kids, year after year after year. She said when she stood up and taught a classroom she knew who she was and what she was doing.

I reflected back: “It sounds like you gained tremendous confidence after learning and practicing something for many years…And now you’d like that same level of confidence with something you’ve only just started.”

We explored further.

She explained that as a teacher, she could provide the answers, but as coaches our job isn’t to give away solutions but to help others discover the solutions they already have access to.

She had an insight: “When I’m coaching, I’m not the teacher. Life is the teacher. I’m just supposed to be with them in that space where they can learn their own lessons.”

“Holy fuck,” I said. “That’s awesome!”

When I asked her what her biggest takeaway was, she responded without pause: “I don’t need to worry about confidence. I need to focus on authenticity. I’ll show up as me and practice until I get really good at everything I want to do. The confidence will come.”

Sheeeeesh. I wanted to her hug through my laptop screen.

This was such a lovely example of overcoming one of the most powerful stories we tell ourselves: I need more confidence so that I can…

Don’t get me wrong, confidence is amazing. The flow that comes from a belief in oneself can be euphoric. But it’s not a prerequisite for taking action, it’s a byproduct.

Natural talent is fun, but most of our confidence comes from doing something a lot and getting better at it. When we think we need more confidence what we really need is more practice.

Just jump in. The confidence will come.

Dying to get back

I went on a lovely family vacation this weekend. Dad’s lake house. Thursday to Sunday.

We went tubing, boating, and swimming every day. I ate garbage and slept in a bunk bed.

One of my favorite parts of taking breaks like this is that I’m always itching to return to my space and routine.

It’s Monday, my favorite day of the week…and I sit here with a smile on my face.

3 days of little tips (pt. 3)

Ask each of your close friends—or the people who know you best—what they think you’re biggest strengths and blind spots are.

What can I do more of? What can I do less of?

The more people you ask, the more you can put together patterns and work on things. Plus, you’re guaranteed to hear things you never thought you would hear.

3 days of little tips (pt. 2)

Start a life calendar.

For each month, jot down things you’d like to remember: events, accomplishments, insights.

As the years pass by, it’s difficult to remember the year we did certain things, let alone the month.

3 days of little tips (pt. 1)

Keep a list of your favorite quotes in your phone.

I’ve had one since 2016 and it’s lovely to go back and see hilarious things my friends said and insightful quotes I read from my favorite books.

Good

A man climbing up a steep rock

One of the most popular personal development cliches is to embrace failure. Fail forward. Fail over and over again so we may improve our skills.

On a recent phone call with my friend and business mentor, we discussed the vitality of challenges. He brought up Jocko Willink’s famous concept: ‘Good.’

My friend and his team recently underwent a huge transition in their business, with him taking on a bigger leadership position. He was telling me about the newest obstacles on his plate: maneuvering the varying values among teammates, finding the best practices for communication, and finding bigger and better clients.

As he laid all this out I couldn’t help but think: Good for you.

As I told him this, I explained that he’s becoming a wildly better leader. He’s experiencing stress tests. No one improves by doing the same thing every day and never being challenged.

I tell the same thing to my fellow coaches all the time.

Many coaches hesitate to take action because they’re afraid of looking dumb, having an awkward conversation or encounter, or not coaching well. I’ve experienced all of these and it sucked every time.

But it was after blunders like these where I felt the most growth in my skills as a coach and as a business owner.

People think they should get better before taking action so they make fewer mistakes. That’s backwards. We must first take action and make a ton of mistakes, for that’s the only way to get better.

The next time something challenging comes up in our lives, we can sit back and think, Good.

How I maintain my energy

A pile of double A batteries

On a coaching mastermind call yesterday, we discussed ways we stay energized.

For me, it’s three things.

1) When I’m in a rut, I check my health trifecta.

• Am I getting at least seven hours of sleep each night?
• Am I eating a lot of processed foods and sugar?
• Have I exercised at least three times this week?

2) I take one weekend off each month.

I happily work on weekends since that’s when many of my clients are available. But once a month, I take a long week or weekend off to travel somewhere (usually on the east coast).

It’s a refreshing break after three weeks of hard work and I always return home feeling amped to get back to my routine and do it all over again.

Since I have no kids or other major responsibilities at this time, I figure I should take advantage of it while I can.

3) I spend a lot of time doing things I enjoy.

Chess, martial arts, exercise, quality time with friends, reading…

I find it vital to our souls to spend a good amount of time away from anything having to do with work or money. Like a vacation, it makes us appreciate our time back even more.

We should all have a thing. Preferably something challenging—a skill or a craft—we can practice and get better at.

For me, these three things are perfect substitutes for any drug or stimulant.

Marry pt. 2

The wedding I went to this weekend was amazing.

I saw old friends I haven’t seen in years, got all dressed up (something I love to do), and danced the night away.

I also:

• DoorDashed $60 of McDonald’s at 1am and fell asleep before it arrived.
• Laughed until I cried as my friend crawled (literally) into the room the morning after.
• Am pumped for the five weddings I’m attending in 2022.
• Feel eternally grateful for staying in people’s lives.

Fun fun fun.

Marry

I’m going to a wedding today. My first one since pandemic began.

A friend from college. Approaching 30 is weird.

The only thing I’m nervous about is my tendency to go to bed around 9:30pm. Maybe not tonight.

Maybe tonight I party it up in the dirty Jersey.

Pray for me.

Out the gate

It’s the end of week 2 of writing my new book. Here’s an update.

The book will come out on or before my birthday, March 2, 2022. It will consist of creators and entrepreneurs who just took action and did the thing.

Yesterday I did my first interview. It was amazing.

It was with my coach and the head of my coaching program. Not only was it just pure fun, but I also got a vivid timeline of the extraordinary events of his life which led him to creating the community that has changed mine. The interview lasted an hour but I could’ve gone on for three more.

I can already tell one of the biggest challenges in writing this will be replaying these interviews and finding a clear and cohesive way to transcribe them into chapters. I’m already subconsciously asking, What can I cut out? What has to be included? How can I arrange this?

It also got me pumped to simply learn more about the awesome shit people have done and are doing. I’ve secured five other interviews, ranging from someone who runs a national jiujitsu school to someone who built an art collective in Rwanda.

What I learned this week:

1) Sometimes people are too busy to tell you about themselves, but most of the time they’re thrilled to do so. People love feeling interesting. So one of the best things we can do is be interested in people.

2) No matter what we want to create, the only thing getting in our way are the stories we tell ourselves.

3) Conditions will never be “perfect,” so we might as well take action now before we’re ready.

Preorder your copy of Do The Thing here.

Dance if need be

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is put on our favorite album and pace around our home.

Mouth along with the songs. Dance if need be.

Start the day right.

How long does it take to build a habit?

A woman building the habit of flossing her teeth

Every month or so, I watch a video of James Clear talking about habits. Here’s the one I watched yesterday.

It’s always a refreshing realignment. His explanations are scientific, actionable, and best of all…simple. His book Atomic Habits is one I feel everyone should read.

Be it from his book, his blog, or his interviews, here are the big things I need to remind myself each month:

1) The quality of our habits tells us everything about our lives.

The number in our bank account is the sum total of our financial habits. The way our bodies look and feel is the sum total of our diet and exercise habits. The state of our living space is the sum total of our cleanliness habits.

We don’t need to “clean our room”; we need good cleanliness habits and then our rooms will always be clean.

2) We repeat what we enjoy.

Discipline and willpower will only get us so far…and most of the time they don’t get us far at all.

This is why the failure rate of fad diets is so high. Torturing ourselves into being healthy is wildly unsustainable. Statistically, the best results come from tiny, progressive changes in our daily habits.

Short exercises. Eating fewer processed foods. Drinking a glass of water.

None of these sound glamorous. That’s because they’re not. What sounds sexy (and I see this in coaching sessions all the time) is throwing five new habits on our plate at once.

“I’m gonna…”

• do an hour-long workout five times a week.
• finish four books this month.
• wake up at 5am on weekdays.

The same thing happens every time. The person, fueled by motivation, crushes the first day or two. But then when they return to their normal state, they remember they don’t enjoy the work needed to sustain any of these systems. They went from 0 to 1000 and gassed out. They ran a marathon without training for it.

It doesn’t sound as cool but the effective approach would be: “I’m gonna…”

• work out for five minutes before I shower.
• read at least two pages each morning.
• wake up five minutes earlier each morning.

It’s the unsexy, incremental changes which move us toward the person we want to be. But those changes have to be easy and enjoyable.

3) It takes forever to build a habit.

I don’t mean: Ugh, this is going to take forevvverrr.

In the personal development world, we often hear numbers thrown around for how long it takes our brains to feel something as habitual. I’ve heard 21, 66, and 100 days.

These are all averages so there’s no guarantee how long anything will take for anyone. It could happen this week or in eight months.

The truth is, building a habit takes a lifetime. If we stop doing the thing for any reason then we’ll have to start over.

I’ve been doing the same morning routine for almost four years now. There have been plenty of weeks where I’ve strayed or neglected to do parts of it. And each time, I have to slowly build it back into my ritual.

As James says, when people ask how long it takes to build a habit, what they’re really asking is, “How long do I have to work?” In other words, How long until I can just go on autopilot?

But our autopilot capabilities will always be tested, no matter how deeply ingrained the habit is. Changes in schedule, priorities, interests…Anything can throw us off course.

It’s up to us to steer ourselves back toward where we want to go.

Ugly beginnings

Last week, I announced I was writing a book. It’s about what it takes to stop thinking and start creating what we really want to create—be it a business, a YouTube channel, a blog, whatever. It’ll consist of lessons and stories from badass creators and entrepreneurs who just did the thing.

Naturally, I’ve been reaching out to said badasses this past week and will continue to do so.

Much of my outreach has been to people in my network. A ton of “Who do you know’s.” But I’ve also been sending direct messages and emails to my favorite creators: podcasters, YouTubers, musicians.

One out of twelve of them has responded so far. And I’m thrilled with that ratio!

The woman who responded, an incredible entrepreneur, is well-known in the Indie Hackers world. She wrote one of my favorite articles of all time. She posed all the normal responses one should before committing to anything (especially with someone they don’t know):

• What exactly does this entail?
• How much time will this require?
• I might have to say No to protect my time/energy.

It’s vital to bring these up immediately when anyone asks us to do anything…and she did it in the most respectful and candid way. Once we’re totally on the same page, we’ll see if it’s something she’d like to do.

The first ‘set-in-stone’ call I set up was with one of the most powerful creators and entrepreneurs I’ve ever known: my coach.

He’s built a community of over 100 life coaches from six different continents and has radically changed the trajectory of my life. It’ll be an honor to sit down with him for an hour and learn more about his journey.

Aside from that, I’ve gotten in touch with several friends of friends who are doing wildly cool and impactful things: running an arts collective in Rwanda, becoming a standup comedian, running a charity which provides underprivileged kids with toiletries…

I couldn’t be more excited to continue exploring.

In just one week, here are my biggest takeaways:

1) Most ‘big time’ people will say No Thanks or won’t respond. When that happens, I’ve lost nothing. We’ve gone from zero contact to zero contact. And who knows…eventually someone will get back to me.

2) Most people are so down to help—especially if they’re getting something out of it and it’s not a huge time commitment.

3) As Byron Katie says, “You can have whatever you want in life if you’re willing to ask 1000 people for it.”

Only 988 more to go.

Preorder your copy of Do The Thing here.

Fulfillment formula

A woman in front of a chalkboard with formulas written on it

Here’s an overly-simple formula to ensure a level of fulfillment in our lives:

Step 1: Find something we like to do that’s difficult

Step 2: Do it all the time

Step 3: Get better at it

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3

Be it an instrument, a sport, or a craft…having an activity we look forward to or something that challenges us is crucial—especially if it has nothing to do with our work.

When it comes to this, I’ve found that “Find your passion” is shitty advice.

Every now and then, someone finds something they are obsessed with immediately and that’s lovely. But for the other 99% of us, passions are developed…not found. They are grown like a plant, not discovered like pirate’s treasure.

In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport proves that the number one factor in how passionate a person is with something is their amount of experience/skill level in it.

We’ve all felt this. As we get better at something, we have more freedom to play around and do cooler shit, which tends to make us enjoy it more.

I’ve felt this with soccer, chess, tennis, jiujitsu, and writing.

Not that I’m particularly good at any of these things…but I have gotten better at them and have subsequently felt an increase in how much I enjoy doing them.

What do you like doing? What would you love to do consistently until you get pretty damn good at it?

Some days are perfect

It’s 10pm as I’m writing this.

Today, I cried tears of joy while driving home.

I got breakfast and mimosas with one of my best friends and his fiancé. I haven’t seen them in months since they’ve been up north preparing to have a baby. Today, I met that fucking baby, held her, and reached enlightenment.

Then I met my other friend to see a movie—The Green Knight—in theaters for the first time since the pandemic began. We rode scooters back to his apartment in perfect weather.

I drove straight to my mom’s house to take care of her dogs—walk, feed, and play with them.

Finally, I met up with another best friend to play chess, go out on his boat, and grab dinner. Leaving the dock, I looked back at the pink-sky sunset over the water and couldn’t believe this all happened in less than 12 hours.

I write about the lessons, struggles, and questions I explore on a daily basis. But sometimes I just need to sit back and reflect on how fucking grateful I am to have the life that I do.

My friends, my environment, my capabilities…

I’m not sure if I deserve them, but I certainly try to.

I think I like today. I think it’s good.

First book!

I’m writing a book. It’ll come out toward the end of 2021 or early 2022.

It’s about shutting the fuck up and just creating what you want to create: a business, a podcast, a blog, whatever.

I’ll be interviewing creators and entrepreneurs to gather insights on what it takes to just do the thing.

Pre-order your copy (for half-off) here.