treadmill

You Are Not ‘Behind’

Have you ever felt like you were behind? I used to feel that way. I would read articles about a 26-year-old entrepreneur with a billion-dollar company or a 16-year-old kid who invented a new kind of fusion reactor and a slow creep of panic would start to rise in my chest. I would read about my favorite author who published their first book at 27 and I was already 25 and I had not even written one page and I started counting backwards to figure out of it was even possible to finish a book by then and I can’t
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Mountain in Peru

What I’ve Learned About Love

I think we all are looking for one true love, a partner in crime, someone to share our secret world. Love is complicated, though, and it is hard to know what to look for in another person. When I was younger, I came up with a list of ‘non-negotiables’ – ten attributes that I wanted to find in a person like ‘moral,’ ‘communicative,’ and ‘lifelong learner.’ At the end of a relationship, I would reflect on my list and change it based on what worked and what didn’t. I found myself frustrated that my list of qualities didn’t seem to be a
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Beach view from Fripp Island

Projects, Process, and the Deep Cleanse

I heard a story once about a mechanic. Calloused and worn, his tired hands were stained deep with grease and grime that told the story of his hard work. Though the water would run black when he rinsed his hands, the gritty industrial cleaner in his shop bathroom removed just the surface dirt and made little difference to their appearance. He took vacation once per year and it was always the same. His parents had left him and his sister a small cottage by the sea – it was a single room, the kitchen not more than a lone burner
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Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.

Are you stressed?

Take a bath. If you don’t have a bath, take a shower. My brother says to never make a big decision before you take a shower. You may not be on the verge of making a decision, but water has a magical way of clearing your head. When you’re toweled off, take a look at what you are doing when you are away from your stressor. Stress drains you emotionally. It drains your soul, in a way. Are you doing things that are filling you back up? Or are you doing things that deplete you further?
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Creating a Vacuum (or, when to move on)

Careers and relationships are curiously similar, I think, and as a pair are quite unique in how we approach them. We dive headfirst into these commitments with only partial information – information which, more often than not, turns out to be inaccurate. I don’t mean to imply that job openings and potential romantic partners are intentionally misrepresented (though, I’ll admit, they sometimes are). I mean to say that they are simply two aspects of life that must be understood experientially – initial descriptions and appearances suffice only to lure you in, and you’ll only truly understand them by experiencing them
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Jealousy, Relationships, and the Voices In Your Head

The brain is a wondrous instrument – it builds detailed mental models of how our world functions, storing a dizzying array of information based on historical observations that we’ve made. The purpose of these models, or schemas, is to provide us with a framework for decision making prior to committing to a given course of action. It allows us to play out a scenario within the comfort of our own minds – it’s a sort of forecasting system, a Dopplar radar for social functions, that is designed to add a degree of predictability to our world. When you’re invited to
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habitquote

Facing Reality

Flick, flick. Nothing. The power was out in my apartment. In the middle of June. Awesome. I walked out the door and down the hall, finally coming across a neighbor on the floor below me. “Hey man, is your power out too?” I asked. The neighbor shook his head no and that’s when my mind began to put the pieces together. The piled up mail on the counter. The voicemails on my phone that I hadn’t checked in days. I walked back into the apartment, took a deep breath, and fanned out the mail like a deck of cards. I saw
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The view of Pike's Peak from the top of the climb. Credit: Jordan Hayes

Investing in Loss

My forearms are burning. I open and close my hands a few times, observing the frustrating sensation of having them respond at about half the speed that I’m requesting of them. Over my left shoulder is a spectacular view of Pike’s Peak, far below me a group of climbers – some onlookers, some stealing a moment of shelter in the shade – but the view that’s really capturing my attention is the rock formation six inches in front of my face. My right hand – and by hand, I mean some portion of a few of my fingers – is
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Eat, Sleep, Watch TV

Building Blocks to a Happy Life

I’m a great worker. I haven’t always been that way, but a combination of better-defined goals and a genuine love for my job has made it relatively easy for me to sit down and crank out a solid six hours of productive work per day. But six weeks ago, I examined my day-to-day life and I realized that this was the only constant that I could point out – the only action that was reliably repeated day in and day out. I believe that most highly successful people have routines. Moreover, I think that routines are a way of defining yourself
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