My year-long quest to create a guide to mastering money

“How would you like to write an Unconventional Guide?” my friend Chris Guillebeau asked me last spring. As long-time readers know, I’ve joined Chris to travel across the U.S. by train, travel across Norway by train, and produce the first three editions of the World Domination Summit conference here in Portland. When he’s not traveling… Continue reading My year-long quest to create a guide to mastering money

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

For fifty years, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced “me-high cheek-sent-me-high-ee”) has studied human happiness and creativity. Much of his work has focused on flow, which is his term for “optimal experience”. Here’s how he describes it: We have all experienced times when instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we [feel] in control of our actions, masters… Continue reading Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

How to Achieve Success

In my spare time — what little there is of it — I’ve been continuing my research into the nature of fear and how that relates to success and achievement. Why does fear hold some people back yet serve as a motivator for others? As part of this, I’ve been re-reading all of Malcolm Gladwell.… Continue reading How to Achieve Success

The Blue Zones: How to Live a Long and Healthy Life

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of extending human life. As a boy, my favorite characters in the Bible were those like Methuselah who lived for hundreds of years. (Noah, of ark fame, was reportedly 600 when he built his boat, and he lived for another 350 years after the flood!) I’m also drawn… Continue reading The Blue Zones: How to Live a Long and Healthy Life

What is Love? Looking for a Definition of Love

For most of my adult life, I’ve been a pretty rational guy. I’ve prided myself in a scientific mind, one unclouded by spirituality and mysticism. Yet as I’ve experienced profound personal changes over the past few years, I’ve found myself more and more fascinated by abstract (or “spiritual”) questions, the likes of which I haven’t… Continue reading What is Love? Looking for a Definition of Love

Famous First Lines

On Saturday, our book group met to discuss Ernest Hemingway’s 1941 classic For Whom the Bell Tolls. Most of us thought it was great. I loved the language in the book; I hadn’t read Hemingway since high school, and I’d forgotten that he used to be one of my favorite authors. Here’s how he opens… Continue reading Famous First Lines

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Escape from Freedom

“We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.” — M. Scott Peck One reason I enjoy dating Kim is that although superficially we’re unalike, and although we’ve had vastly different life experiences, deep down we have similar values and life philosophies. This means we have some interesting conversations about the way the world works,… Continue reading Escape from Freedom