"It was true: the entire ball game was what you gave attention to vs. what you willed yourself to not." -David Foster Wallace There are many things on the typical daily list of tasks and appointments that can be ignored or mindlessly plodded through. For best results, don't just make a to-do list; make a to-stop-doing list. I wrote about to-stop-doing lists in the original AONC book.Read More
In talking with Chris Brogan for his new podcast recently, he said something I've been thinking of ever since. It was a question that you ask yourself when evaluating new opportunities. This question didn't actually come from Chris—I believe he said it was from one of his other podcast guests—but Chris is the one who implanted it in my head.
The question is: How will this new opportunity help me serve the community I already have?
Wow. Tough question.Read More
To wake in the morning full of life and energy, awaiting the day with anticipation and purpose.
To step out into the world ready to accomplish a significant task.
To engage and initiate instead of merely responding. To take the active choice that you will make something happen.Read More
Happy Thanksgiving from World Domination HQ. Earlier this week I made it home from São Tomé via Lisbon and London. Due to a big snafu at JFK airport ten days ago, I wasn't able to make it to Guinea Bissau on this trip. However, I do still have the elusive visa and will be making another attempt (hopefully the last one!) next month.Read More
The best part of The $100 Startup was telling the stories of all kinds of people who started successful businesses without spending a lot of money. Happily, the book has been a big success, with more than 100,000 copies sold in the first few months and at least 15 foreign translations in progress. I'm now beginning the research process for my next book, which we expect to reach even more people. This book is about quests—a project of measurable challenge that you work toward over a long period of time.Read More
Bob Dylan spoke to Rolling Stone recently. I liked these parts: You've described what you do not as a career but as a calling.
Everybody has a calling, don't they? Some have a high calling, some have a low calling. Everybody is called but few are chosen. There's a lot of distraction for people, so you might not never find the real you. A lot of people don't.Read More
The pursuit of happiness is as old as modern civilization. Books, elixers, religions, and philosophies are all devoted to it. Happiness is a quest, an obsession, and a universal aspiration. But what does it take to be unhappy? In some ways, it's easier than happiness itself. New research and much life experience offers a simple recipe for genuine discontent.Read More
When I wasn't getting extorted or doing drugs in Yemen, I enjoyed touring around with my fixer. Several times, I noticed that when we passed a beggar on the street, he took a small amount of money from his pocket and gave it to them. Observing this behavior caused me to think. I'm supposed to give to the poor, but do I really?Read More
You may have heard that there is no such thing as a free lunch. This is untrue on every level, and also a terrible lie. Over and over throughout our short lives, all of us have been given something for nothing. We don't deserve free lunch, yet it continues to arrive on a regular basis. No charge, ma'am. This one's on me, sir.Read More
If you want to change the world, follow a dream, or otherwise find your own identity, you need to be able to do big things. In addition to being a prerequisite for growth, doing big things is also a lot of fun. But how do you do them? What steps do you take? Thankfully, much of the work required to do big things relates to the mindset of deciding to do them. With that in mind, consider these suggestions for your own pursuit of meaning and adventure ...Read More
Have you ever withdrawn $100,000 in cash from the bank? Me neither ... until last week. This post includes a video from last weekend's World Domination Summit, and a brief explanation on why our team invested $100 in each WDS attendee.
A number of people have asked me to share more about the surprise we unveiled at the end of WDS 2012. As mentioned on Thursday, you can read the experiences of many other people who were at WDS all over the internet. (This list will be updated soon, since there are now more than 150 posts.)Read More
When I shared the story of a man who tightroped across Niagara Falls, someone said, “That's easy! He had a safety harness.”
Every day I hear from someone who thinks my quest to visit every country in the world is invalid because of some technical reason.
When I talk about people who leave their jobs to make their own way through self-employment, I hear about the advantages these people have and how it must be so simple for them.Read More
I don't often discuss news articles or reblog things from elsewhere, but I loved a recent article on an independent musician who recently raised $1.2M through Kickstarter for her new album.
A couple of things struck me from this story.
Point #1: “It doesn’t feel like a windfall,” Ms. Palmer said in an interview before the party. “It feels like the accumulated reward for years and years of work.”Read More
Back when I played music I used to say I was self-taught, because I never went to music school or took lessons. But then someone corrected me: “Really, you taught yourself everything?” he said.
“You never listened to other people's music?" he continued. "No one ever showed you something? You never asked for help? You didn't steal your early ideas from other musicians, like all musicians do?”
I got the point: I may have lacked formal education, but I benefited from those who had gone before. One way or another, I had learned from my peers. And after that experience, I stopped saying I was self-taught.Read More
Greetings from East 42nd Street in New York City. I'm here to begin a new journey as The $100 Startup goes out to the world tomorrow. Here are a few notes on the early beginnings. It all started back in 2009. I had established the blog and began a new way of life: writing for a living. Or mostly, writing because it was what I wanted to do more than anything else ...Read More