If you need encouragement . . . .

. . . I’m here to encourage you.

You have resources beyond understanding. This down moment can be a springboard into awareness. What is it, this feeling you’re feeling? 

What can you glean from this moment? Clarity about where you’re at is a thing of power. I’ve found one of the quickest ways to pivot is to first acknowledge truly, deeply, exactly where I’m at. There’s a haunting transcendence to feeling a low without pushing against it.

From there, it’s easier to conjure where I want to be. To feel that future pull. To accept that right now it is what it is . . . and yet . . . it’s not what it will be

Once you feel something fully, something dark, without trying to calve off from the reality of it, it’s surprisingly easy to let it go. I wish I could credit the one who spoke this truth to me, but I think it was many. I heard it from too many sources to ignore. 

In acceptance there is release. In release you find buoyancy. In buoyancy there is hope, and then a way forward.


Today’s order: SuperSize my soul


One thing leads to another: How lucky for us

Sure, one thing leads to another, an ape-ezoid launches a rock into the air and hundreds of thousands of years later Sputnik takes to the sky 

But I’m talking this, on a personal level, and it gives us all an opening: One day you wake up and you do what you do one touch differently, one jot differently.

You take the stairs instead of the elevator. You park farther away in the parking lot, you eat smaller portions . . . a year later you’ve skinnied up by 50 pounds. 

Or (personal tale alert):

Your life collapses financially  you sell your home on the quick  you move into a tight temporary space  you must gang up with your kid again at night  there you are, all three of you sleeping in the same bedroom again for the first time since your child was an infant  flash forward three years later in a new (smaller) (older) home with a bedroom for him yet you still maintain the family bedroom. 


Because the best moments of kid-adult play and conversation occur at bedtime in one room. Who knew? It won’t last forever . . . it may not last another year, though how charged an atmosphere of frolic it is!

One (seemingly bad) thing led to another (very good thing).

One thing . . .


. . . leads to another

(very cool thing)

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Hard workers, long workers and vision workers: Which one are you?

Hard work is what your roofer does. Hard work is what your yard worker does. Hard work is what I did driving 12-14 hour days cross country for several weeks at a time without a day off, sleeping in my van often because the money was short.

Long work is what an attorney does who does not love his job when he works long hours.

Vision work is mission work. It’s a part of your mission in life. This blog is that for me. You are consumed by it. You are energized by it. You live it.

Hard workers almost never strike it rich. 

Contrary to what you’ve heard all your life, hard work will not get you there. Hard work  by itself  is not how you strike it big. If that were true migrant workers would be billionaires and run the country. If that were true we’d all be swarming the popular eateries to land that 12-hour-a-day job scouring pots and plates at the hot and swampy sink in the kitchen. 

I’ve had that job, maybe you too. The only riches it brought was its spur to move on to easier ways of making a living.

Effort channeled into long work or vision work, that’s different.

Long workers generally become affluent. They work long hours at a profession that is financially rewarding. 

Vision workers  mission workers  are rich regardless of their circumstances. They live and breathe a greater vision. Every action is choreographed toward that vision. Encounter a vision worker and you can feel the vision in their presence. It’s palpable. It’s in the air they exhale. It’s no accident that we celebrate vision workers.

They are Oprah, Jobs, Buffet, Edison, Ford.

They are Vonnegut, Matisse, (Maya) Angelou, (Woody) Allen, (Twyla) Tharpe.

They are Mother Teresa, Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King, Jr.

They are Leo Babauta, Steve Pavlina, Christopher Foster.

There is another category of worker, one who crosses all categories: the joy worker. (Click here to read about Bug: A joy worker.)


Motion and thought

To a person in motion, a philosopher’s thoughts are ludicrous.

~ Gil Vega

I’m sending you elsewhere today

Today I’m sending you to Mollie Player, who inspired this thought:

We’re born into a wealthy nation. Today we don’t even have to travel to see how good it is here, we can Internet surf our way to far flung locales. We have toilets that flush, personal waterfalls whenever we want them adjusted to our ideal temperature (we call them showers), anything we want to know at our fingertips. We have so much packed into the tiniest studio apartment that billions don’t have who are living today.

The above is a comment of mine on a post of hers I think you’ll appreciate . . . . there’s kind of a pun here . . . but never mind, off with you. Click on that link and enjoy a bit of Mollie today.


Steven Pressfield on shadow careers

Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk.

If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.

Are you pursuing a shadow career?

Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you?

Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music?

Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself?

If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is a metaphor for.

That metaphor will point you toward you true calling.

Steven Pressfield, from Turning Pro.

If you seek to begin something  or to fully embrace something  that feels like your mission in life, The War of Art and Turning Pro are essential reading. Pressfield writes with short intensity, in power bursts as if through a jackhammer. Each segment is a page or two or three at the most. The above was such an example.


Breakfast with a friend

I breakfasted with a friend the other day  that sounds so last-century British, doesn’t it?  he was mired in the long travail of it all, the prospects stuck in limbo, the years of difficulty, the payoffs lingering beyond reach. 

Thoughts too squeaky high note weren’t for him. At that time he could only feel the low notes, nothing was high or light for him. High notes were only annoying. 

I’ve felt that, feeling so low that a happy person grated more with every syllable uttered . . . as this site must do to those who come to it on a too-down day.

What did I say to him that day?


I listened. Sometimes you just want to release the crap from your soul, and an attentive listener is all that is required.

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The miraculous and the mundane

The miraculous quickly becomes mundane.

Our task is to reverse the process.


A reader asked: What minimalists do you follow?

In a previous post (The trick to money is having some) I noted:

I follow several minimalists (on the Internet, not around town). This is not because I wish to become a minimalist but because I’m a moderationist who can be inspired by the minimalist ethos, to waste little, to be encumbered by little.

And to live much, I should add.

The question has come up several times now  what minimalists do I follow?

Let me speak to the minimalists who speak to me . . . .

Zen Habits
Leo Babauta espouses an elevated minimalism, one that soars. You feel in every post a majestic freedom of spirit that comes from eliminating the useless and trivial. If you are not familiar with Leo’s work, what are you doing here?! Get over there now. Tap into that rich, rich ore he’s been mining for years.

The Minimalists
Two minimalist dudes who once lived corporately well. I relate to them because I too abandoned a successful corporate life, seventeen years ago. 

Rowdy Kittens
You’re gonna love this one for her home alone. See what Tammy Strobel and her mate created. They live in an exceptionally tiny home on wheels. 128 square feet, built on an 8-foot by 16-foot trailer. Here are the photos to prove it.

Gwen Bell and Ev Bogue
Minimalists with vagabond hearts. They no longer blog, they leap from platform to platform, and now you can only follow them on Google +. They traveled the world until they recently got the Google Fiber bug and are now camped out in Kansas City.

I am not a conservative  except fiscally for our country in the long run  yet I enjoy reading thoughtful conservatives. I can embrace some of the thought, dispute or disagree with other aspects  and overall be far richer for the experience of having communed with their thought field.

It is the same with each of these minimalists. There are many others out there. It’s a refreshing mini-revolution taking place among a mostly younger crowd reclaiming life in their own spare ways.