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 good predictor for whether or not she and I would actually be compatible. A relationship with someone who checked all the boxes would sometimes turn out to be a disaster. I think this may have been the point my friend was trying to make when he told me that a relationship is not an Excel spreadsheet. Continue reading
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 over the course of time. Continue reading
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 life. I wondered silently if I would feel like that in a few years – past the peak, looking downhill on a life doomed to be considerably less stimulating.
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 it immediately and my heart plummeted.
It was the shut-off notice from the power company. Continue reading
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 body will remain in the default state of Doing Nothing. It will not make friends for you if you don’t socialize, it will not find you a new job if you don’t seek out opportunities. Continue reading
A photo from a trip I took to Patagonia. I love this quote. PS. You know you wanna Pinterest this…
I see a constant stream of Facebook status updates about people hating work and desperately craving the short vacation that the weekend brings. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trust and how it affects your personal and professional lives – two things that often beg escaping.
A few months ago, I decided to outsource some administrative tasks for my business – tasks that I’ve been doing for years. It was an enormous relief at first – the cost was low and the contractor was highly rated and highly recommended. But over the past few months, I’ve noticed a series of mistakes that have eroded my confidence in the quality of the work.
I realized today that I have a near-constant feeling of anxiety nagging at me. See, your brain is enormously active and attentive even when you’re on autopilot – despite the fact that I may be deeply engaged in another important activity, like the latest episode of Mad Men, my subconscious is vigilantly aware of the fact that I’ve entrusted an important task to an unqualified individual. Continue reading
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).
#22 – make molten lava cake. mmmm.
My List of 50 Potential Things To Do If I’m Bored
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.
Today, we're going to breathe some new life into stuffy business concepts.
For me, New Years Eve was never so much about resolutions as it was about drinking champagne. Sure, on December 31st I can’t help but think back nostalgically on the year that has passed, but I have always felt that the holiday was too public a time to really reflect. Besides, champagne has a way of…uh, narrowing your focus down to the moment at hand, rather than looking at the big picture. Continue reading
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
Smile = proof of a happy life