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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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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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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Twentysomething

Sometimes I stroll into the grocery store and a big, goofy grin spreads over my face. Look at me, buying my own groceries. It’s not that I particularly love grocery shopping, exactly. Despite being 26 years old, I just still get a kick out of being an adult. I distinctly remember homecoming weekend, sophomore year of college, sitting around with a group of alumni recounting their glory days. They spoke of how much they missed college, how things were never the same after they graduated, and how the four years they spent in school were the best years of their
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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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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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Yesterday you said tomorrow

Life’s Biggest Secret

The remarkable thing about life is that you are the master of your mind, the undisputed main character in an epic journey through this world. Command your mind or your body and it will obey. You can use this power to shape your future as you see fit; your legs will walk to the gym even if you’re lethargic, your vocal chords will produce sound even if you’re nervous to speak up. But, for all of the incredible features that come standard on the Human Body, autopilot is not one of them. In the absence of instructions, your mind and
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The Procrastinator’s To-Do List

I’ve devised a special test that can quickly distinguish a procrastinator from the general population – don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing. But, I am sorry to say, your test has come back positive. People who get things done – or, ‘organized freaks,’ as I call them – don’t read articles about procrastination. The subject simply doesn’t apply to them. In fact, these people don’t read self-help blogs at all. They’re too busy out doing stuff like color coding their calendar or drawing a map of the contents of their luggage (seriously). As a procrastinator, the likelihood that you
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How to Apply Business Principles for a Better Personal Life

We’ve all heard stories about the workaholic corporate-type with no personal life, or the driven entrepreneur with a singular focus on business. But in reality, there’s a lot we can learn from the business world – ideas, practices, and philosophies that can be applied to lead an easier, more fulfilling, and more productive life. I have a few favorites that I’ve raided from my entrepreneurial war chest and implemented successfully in my day-to-day routine. Follow along as we transform boring corporate jargon into Zen-like awesomeness.
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8 Simple Philosophies That Changed My Life

We’re all faced with complex challenges – even exciting new opportunities often come wrapped in a frustratingly delicate package. When you know what is important to you on a basic level, you can quickly distill complicated problems down to a digestible and navigable decision. Simple solutions are often the most elegant and there are a few philosophies that have guided me through some particularly difficult situations – and ultimately led me to follow my dreams to Argentina. Here are the eight guidelines that keep my life exciting, meaningful, and most importantly, unusual. Zack’s 8 Simple Philosophies for a Happy, Healthy Life
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