4 Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Life

Here I am on an Alaskan cruise just before I went dog sledding, and these are 4 of the most important things I’ve learned about life.

1. There are two types of people: those who don’t know what they’re doing and those who pretend like they do.

Existence is stupid. Regardless of how you think we got here (I personally believe in God), the fact that we exist and eat and talk and build things and love and procreate is just weird. Existence is an absurdity that we’ve come to accept.

When someone acts like they know everything and have everything under control, well, they don’t. They didn’t even choose to exist. They don’t know with absolute certainty that they’re living the best possible life or if there is such a thing. We’re all on this confusing ride together.Read More

How to Be Resilient

Resilience is arguably the most valuable skill to have in life. If life is a ride of peaks and valleys, resilience is a turbo boost whenever you’re in the valleys.

Resilient people generally have better lives because they bounce back from hardships faster and stronger. Robust resilience is marked by steadfast action in the midst of resistance. It means you don’t merely take life’s punches—you punch back, too!

The best argument for resilience might be what happens when you are NOT resilient.

If you aren’t resilient…

  • You’ll be at the mercy of circumstance. You’ll have to hope things go your way, because if they don’t, you’ll crumble.
  • You’ll be mentally battered by people and events that you have no control over
  • You’ll suffer from preventable periods of depression and misfortune. Small misfortunes will routinely expand into larger misfortunes because of your response to them.

Basically, if you aren’t resilient, you’re at the mercy of a cruel world.Read More

How to Harness Your Anger to Fuel Positive Change

I’ve been angry since college.

I never got a job in my field (Finance) after I graduated. No entry level position. No foot in the door. Nothing.

It made me mad to be rejected so many times by prospective employers without being given a single chance to prove myself. It seemed unfair.

Every successive job I didn’t get felt more and more like another “you’re not good enough” or “you’re an unnecessary and expendable cog in the system” slap to my face. These people in suits who decided my worth for me became my symbolic enemies. In reality, they were just doing their jobs, but that didn’t stop my anger from brewing (and it wasn’t decaf).

Unexpectedly, that anger helped me, but only because I transformed it into something useful.Read More

Aim to Improve Your System, Not Yourself

“Self-improvement” is, counterintuitively, not the ideal aim if you want to live better.

System improvement is superior.

The Fulcrum and the Lever

In the picture above, the man is using a fulcrum and lever. He’s pressing down on the lever, while the small piece of wood with a square base is the fulcrum. The lever rests on the fulcrum to create leverage, effectively multiplying the man’s power and making it significantly easier to move the object at the other end.

The fulcrum and lever combination makes it so that even a small amount of force on one end can have a powerful effect on the other end. This is a great metaphor for how we approach self improvement.Read More