January 2014

The Power of Yes

27 January 2014 · 13 comments

For a long time, I was afraid to try new things, to meet new people, to do anything that might lead to failure. These fears confined me to a narrow comfort zone. I spent most of my time at home, reading books or playing videogames. When opportunities came to try new things, I usually ignored […]

The Power of Resilience

23 January 2014 · 3 comments

Seth Godin wrote recently about three ways to deal with the future: accuracy, resilience, and denial. In Godin’s paradigm, accuracy is predicting correctly what will happen tomorrow, and is the most rewarding way to deal with the future. The problem, of course, is that’s tough to make accurate predictions. You have to invest a lot […]

Long Way Round

22 January 2014 · 18 comments

My desire to travel was originally inspired by books. The television show The Amazing Race, however, goosed me into action. I loved seeing the different countries and cultures teams visited as they raced around the world (“…for one million dollars!”) After I began my own series of travel adventures, however, I realized the “reality” shown […]

During the month of January, Kim and I are conducting two simultaneous experiments. First, we’re not eating carbohydrates. Second, we’re not drinking alcohol. The “no alcohol” experiment is for me. Last January, at the request of my therapist, I went dry. I also cut out caffeine and any drinks that contained calories. Basically, the only […]

If It Bleeds, It Leads

20 January 2014 · 9 comments

If our lives are filled with fear, that may be due in part to the prevalence of internet, television, and radio. Our fears are fueled by the modern mass media, which makes money by highlighting extreme and unusual events. Here, for instance, is the front page from Saturday’s on-line edition of USA Today: Headlines from […]

Tenacity vs. Talent

14 January 2014 · 20 comments

It’s interesting to watch people react when I tell them I’m learning to play the guitar at age 44. Some folks are excited, but most people say something like: “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I have no talent for music.” I usually just nod my head and move the conversation along, but what I’m really […]

The Source of Fear

13 January 2014 · 4 comments

Our lives are filled with fear. Some of our fears are physical. We’re afraid of spiders, snakes, and dogs. We’re afraid of heights, crowds, and enclosed spaces. We’re scared to jump out of airplanes (or even to fly in them), to go swimming, or to touch a drop of blood. We’re afraid we might be […]

On Wednesday, I listed the eleven common irrational beliefs enumerated by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper in their book, A Guide to Rational Living. This book served as the launching point for a recent discussion at Ask Metafilter. RapcityinBlue asked, “What have you been wrong about, realized it, and it changed your life?” This question […]

In college, I was a psychology major. I didn’t do anything directly with this education, although it provided a strong foundation for my financial philosophy while I was writing about personal finance. Over the past two years, however, I’ve begun to read (and re-read) certain popular psychological manuals from the past fifty years. Though pop […]

As we begin our year-long exploration of personal and financial independence, I want to explain how I’ll approach the project. Every Monday, I’ll post a chapter from my unfinished ebook. I’ll publish these chapters in order so that, if read consecutively, they form a coherent whole, an overall narrative. Yesterday’s article about the regrets of […]