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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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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Some much-needed rays of sun on my road trip.

Knowing Yourself (and, some exciting news)

Despite a decent night’s sleep and an IV bag of iced coffee, I found myself feeling awful today as I sat down to try to get some work done. My mind was foggy and I simply had no energy to get myself going. For the past day or so, I’d been craving particularly bad food and at the moment, a cheesesteak, sour cream and onion chips, and a gallon of Arizona iced tea was sounding pretty good. Against my better judgement, I left the office in search of some food. As I stomped through the streets of downtown Chicago in
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#22 - make molten lava cake. mmmm.

Bored, Stuck, or Feeling Adventurous? 50 Randoms Things To Do

If you find yourself staring at a wall or otherwise fending off boredom, it helps to have a list of activities to reference. I’ve given you a head start below with 50 random activities and challenges to expand your mind, meet new people, and possibly alienate your friends. Some are easy, like go karaoking (#25). Others are a bit harder and more time intensive, like buying and operating a hot dog cart (#18). All are fun. Report back on your progress (with photos, please). My List of 50 Potential Things To Do If I’m Bored
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jobwarning

Want To Live A Happy, Healthy Life? Fire Your Boss

People tell me time and time again that they want to quit their job, but entrepreneurship is just too risky. Here’s a few facts I’ve collected that show you that staying in the cubicle farm is more detrimental than you may think. 1. Your boss is slowly killing you. According to a study of 3,000 Swedish workers, workers who rated their managers most incompetent had a nearly 25% higher risk of developing serious heart problems (the gluttons for punishment who stayed four years or longer increased that risk to 39%). I personally believe that bosses should be subject to the
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Building a Better Night’s Sleep

I’ve been told that I look like I’m about to exit the Matrix when I’m getting ready for bed. I consume a variety of pills, install devices on my body, insist on complete darkness and shiver in the bone-chilling cold. You might be thinking, “how is it possible that you’ve ever had a girlfriend?” or, “this guy is awesome!” (in which case, I’m wondering, how is it possible that you’ve ever had a girl/boyfriend?). Let’s face it – by the time the relationship progresses to a sleepover, it’s probably too late for them to make a smooth exit. They’re going to
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