One of my productivity secrets is obsessive singular focus. Give me a task, and I’ll put my head down and get ‘er done. Ryan likes to joke that the last time we moved, he left for work from one apartment, came home to a different one, and the location was the only thing different. I’m that good.
Once there is a goal in front of me, I throw everything at said goal to achieve it.
Ryan and I were together almost six years before we got married a few weeks ago. People (like me) enjoy asking long-time couples once they’re married, “Do you feel any different?” And the answer is usually, “Not really.”
But I do. For me, marriage is an unknown. I didn’t grow up with an example of marriage or what it meant. My father died when I was in second grade, but even if he had lived, my parents were not married. They loved each other, spent their free time with each other, slept with each other (and then there was me – surprise!), but did not marry each other, for reasons too intricate for now.
The hardest thing in doing what you want is coming to terms with it. I’ve spent more than ten years doing that, maybe more, maybe since I was a little person? When I was young, my mother gave me a book to record my dreams. I never wrote down the visions that came to me at night, only what I fantasized about during the day.
To come to terms with opting out of your career, is primarily to come to terms with money. The first step toward leaning out is to get a raise. Maybe a side job. Also, max out your 401(k) and your Roth IRA. Fill up your emergency fund – and feel free to call it a “screw you” fund if it helps you contribute more. Because opting out? It’s best suited for those with money.
Our money paradigms - often negative – say that those with a lot of it are undeserving, and came by it via luck (“the rich get richer”).
Generation Y does not need permission to fail. We got medals and ribbons for that very reason as kids. Gen Y normalized failure. Failure is not scary. It means you get to stay in the status quo, which most of us are very comfortable in. You get to keep being who you are, and that isn’t all bad.
Finding your career purpose is tough. If you come up empty after journaling, quizzes and vision boards, it may be time to take real action. Over at US News and World Report today, I talk about the three steps you can take to gain immediate clarity around discovering your dream job.
Ah, happiness. It’s so elusive, right? My guess is that you spend the great majority of your time online reading and browsing aimlessly, seeking that secret to happiness, that thing that will make you motivated and feel happy for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week if you’re lucky.
In fact, it seems that everything is “how to be rich, be happy, quit your day job, have sex every day and live well” and in these five buckets (happiness, money, work, life, relationships), we’re seeing people repeat the same things over and over to the point where there is no value anymore.
Happiness is relative, but I’ve been really happy lately. Secrets to happiness? Yes, I’ve got those. Try exercising, meditation, setting goals, spending time with friends and family, trying new things. Those should all sound familiar; people tell you those things all the time and they may or may not work for you. The real secret? I’ll get to that in a moment… (and it isn’t something foolish like follow-through).
Meditation, though. That’s something people are hot about lately. “It’s like a key that opens the door to the treasury within,” filmmaker David Lynch tells a New York Times columnist. “Here’s an experience — poooft!
This is a guest post from my dear friend and change-maker Sam Davidson. Sam Davidson is a writer, entrepreneur, and dreamer who believes that the world needs more passionate people. To help people find and live their passion, he has written 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need. He is the co-founder of Cool People Care and Proof Branding, and lives in Nashville with his wife and daughter.
Ryan is so very tall and my condo is so very small. So it was not without reservation that we recently moved in together. We talked about it a lot – the important things, the mundane, the humdrum. In talking about moving in together, we broke our record in effective communication. And then we talked some more. “If we could communicate like this for the rest of our lives,” Ryan said, “we’d be the best couple ever.” And so it went… until.
You know, moving is very stressful, and moving in with someone you intend to spend your life with is this gigantic life decision, and somehow all of the pressure and insanity of it all got put into one question – did we need to buy another dresser?
For the past eight or nine months, I’ve created a bubble around me of people I trust, making sweeping efforts to withdraw from drama. Through this process, I learned; the bubble always pops.
Here’s what that’s like for me: Imagine, you’re a crumb and you fall onto the sidewalk and an ant discovers you. His tiny ant friends are soon alerted and before you know it, you’re swarmed! A disgusting black blanket moves furtively and anxiously to completely and methodically chew through your every last morsel. The very thought makes me sick.
It’s goal meet-up check-in time! This is your mid-month reminder to take a breath and see how you’re coming along. How are you all doing?
I’m not doing too badly, but the coming of Fall seems to be an unofficial New Year where all your dreams and thoughts and ideas bubble to the surface. So I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with not just my goals, but everything I want to do. Do you feel that way? Like, I’m walking against the wind, and try my darndest, I’m just not getting anywhere.
“That’s called the dip,” Ryan reminds me. “You’re trying to get to the other side.