Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Uniquely Genuine

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Deep down, the things we all really want most are love and acceptance. That’s it. Strangely, it’s practically universal. We want others to care about our existence. We want people to think: “Hey, they’re not so bad.”

To gain this love and acceptance, we all want to be unique. “After all,” we think, “if someone just like me can be found on any street corner, why would anyone care about who I really am?”

So we create a plan. A unique plan. 

"What can I do to stand out above the rest? What will make others think I’m the coolest?"

"Ah, I know. I’ll make a lot of money and be famous for something. That has to be it. If I show everyone that I can do something they can’t, they will respect me! If the paparazzi follow me around, it must mean that someone thinks my life is significant. Right?"

So, we get really excited about these goals. We start thinking about how we can achieve them. Inevitably, we enter situations where our dream goes up against someone else’s dream. After all, their “unique” plan also coincidentally calls for luxury and fame. We learn the art of stepping over people. Kissing ass. Politics. Manipulation. Getting what we want. We see others that have what we crave, and we become green with envy. We pick at their flaws and talk badly about them with others.

The desire to be superior to others is a losing game. Statistically, in a hypothetical world where 7 billion people strive to be the richest or most famous, 6,999,999,999 people would become cold-hearted, aggressive, rude, egotistical, jealous, phony, backstabbing, overly-competitive narcissists. Ironically, in this quest that began as an attempt to be unique and gain acceptance, each person ends up doing the exact same things as everyone else. And sadly, most of the dominant personality traits that get picked up along the way are repulsive, causing the opposite of love and acceptance. Rather than waking up and seeing reality for what it is, this causes everyone to fall deeper into the slumber. The lack of perceived personal recognition only causes everyone to compete even harder, causing the chaotic stampede to accelerate its pace. Negative thoughts grow into negative self-images, which perpetuate negative personal habits, negative relationships, negative families, negative music, negative news, negative business models, and a negative quality of life for the majority of the citizens of planet earth.

Stop.

Stepping over people to attempt to achieve some form of “success” and be cool can never create true love and acceptance. In fact, it’s the fastest way to be forgotten, because THAT’S WHAT NEARLY EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING. High school was supposed to last for four years, not four plus decades.

Damn it. So the plan didn’t work. I’ll never be as rich as Bill Gates. I’ll never be as famous as Michael Jordan.

Oh, there’s another person walking right next to me. I wasn’t really paying attention. I was too busy in my own head thinking about what a failure my entire life has been. Hmm. They look really stressed out.. 

Maybe… no. 

No way. 

It couldn’t be. 

Is it possible… that their mind is cycling through the same bullshit mine is?

"Hey."

"Um, hey. Do I know you?"

"Nope. Not that I know of."

"Well, what’s up?"

"You look really tense. I’ve been stuck in my head all day in a thought loop about all of the things I don’t have, all the dreams that never worked out the way I wanted them to, about how much further I thought I’d be at this point in my life than I am. About the things I hate about my job. About frivolous things I have to remember to do to keep up this lifestyle that I don’t really enjoy all that much. I’m just really tired of it all. I’m tired of putting up a front and pretending like things are great when I feel like a failure inside. When I saw the look of distress on your face, I was wondering if, by some strange chance, you were thinking about something similar."

"Wow. That was amazing! Are you a psychic or something?"

"Not really. I just snapped out of my thoughts for a brief second and noticed that you looked a little stressed right now. And so am I. So I wanted to share those thoughts and let you know that you’re not alone. And that hopefully tomorrow will be an amazing day for you."

"I don’t know what to say. I definitely needed this. Thank you."

"You’re welcome."

"Hey, let’s hang out sometime. You know. Do something fun. Something where we can just enjoy life and forget about all of these pressures we put on ourselves to be perfect societal specimens."

"Absolutely. That sounds great."

"You know, in the entire time I’ve lived in this city, I’ve noticed that there are a plethora of self aggrandizing big shots, people with fancy titles, flashy items, and overly refined physiques on every corner. This is the first time I’ve met someone genuine, kind, and empathetic. You have no idea how rare that is. I hope you never lose that. More people should be like you."

———————

For a sneak preview of my upcoming book, go here: 

It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

Why Everyone Should Try Meditation

To understand meditation in a nutshell, go get a camera and take two pictures of the same thing.

For the first, hold your camera as still as possible, and take a picture.

For the second, shake your camera back and forth as fast as you can while you snap the photo.

The difference between the clarity in the two pictures is the difference in the clarity of a life with and without meditation.

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If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming superhuman as a child, practicing meditation is probably the closest thing possible to experiencing it as an adult. Developing a regular practice leads to the creation of a virtual bulletproof vest for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Meditation means different things to different people. There are dozens of types, styles, and schools of thought surrounding it; including Samadhi, Vipassana, and Zazen. My intention for this post is not to compare the pros and cons of the different practices. What I’d like to do is give you a glimpse into what benefits can arise as a result of any method you choose.

One of the most important functions that has evolved for human survival is the ability to adapt and adjust to our surroundings. The brain and body are dealing with an unbelievable amount of stimuli in every single moment of life, and focusing on all of them at once would be impossible. So, the mind tends to shift as many familiarities as possible to the proverbial unconscious back burner. For example, you probably weren’t paying attention to the feel of your shirt on your torso until you read this sentence. Now that I’ve mentioned it, I’ve brought it back into your conscious thoughts, and you do notice it. Somewhere in the next few paragraphs, your mind will place it on the back burner again to be able to focus on understanding this article. Pretty fascinating, no?

Our minds do this to us constantly. We forget about the things and patterns that seem to be the most consistent, in order to focus on something new and unknown. Have you ever been extremely excited by the purchase of a brand new car, only to lose all appreciation for it several days or weeks later? This is the mind at play. This is also one of the many reasons why I don’t ever plan to buy an expensive car. It’s basic human psychology.

No matter what conditions we are thrown into, they eventually become commonplace with time. Our minds have the tendency to take the good things for granted, and focus solely on what we don’t have. To make things even worse, we eventually get used to all of the things we try to use to fill the void. This causes us to desire an even stronger dose. Left unattended, the mind can become a built-in misery creation device; or our own worst enemy. The good news: it can be befriended and tamed with the right amount of discipline.

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For the purpose of simplification, I will describe a very basic type of meditation.

1. Sitting in a comfortable position, breathe in until your stomach and lungs are so far out that you don’t think any more air can fit inside your body. 

2. Then breathe in a little more.

3. Hold this in for a few moments. Exhale slowly.

4. Enjoy a brief pause before inhaling again. 

5. Close your eyes, and repeat this process again 5-10+ times. Don’t worry about keeping count, the number of breaths is unimportant. This will only serve to distract you from the true purpose of the meditation. Focus only on the breath, as if it were the only thing that existed in the universe.

Go ahead and do it now.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Stop reading and do it! No cheating! :)

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How do you feel now?

Research has shown that deep breathing practices have tremendous benefits for stress reduction, self esteem, and overall health. It increases concentration and memory. If you are a public speaker, you will be more natural and calm in front of crowds. If you play basketball, your shooting percentage will go up. If you write or invent things, meditation is like steroids. It’s almost an unfair advantage.

This is just the beginning.

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When meditating for longer periods of time (say 30-120+ minutes), that’s when truly amazing things begin to happen. In the deep silence, time slows to a halt. It can be seen for what it really is: a man-made invention that we all agree to use to simplify things, but something that doesn’t truly exist in nature. We begin to realize that our constant obedience to the concept of “time” has caused us to rush around through life, without ever taking breaks to be introspective. We end up overlooking important insights like these all of the time. Wisdom arises so much more easily; solutions to recurring problems become so clear that we wonder how we had never seen them before. 

Without the constant judgment and influence of those outside, we are able to reconnect with our very own deepest truths. We remember what it should feel like deep down to live the way we were meant to live, to treat others the way they were meant to be treated. We look ourselves directly in the mirror, see where we are lying to ourselves, and rediscover what we know is right. We regain access to the inner compass that we have been too busy to look at, causing us to veer way off course. We reflect on the decisions and actions we’ve made. We become happy about the ways we’ve grown, and remorseful about the times we’ve stooped below the level of human decency and empathy we know we should be living with every day. 

We unlock the capacity for healing deep scars, and moving forward with life. We experience compassion for others like we’ve never been able to before. A group of loud kids transforms from “a headache” into a group of young human beings playing and creating newfound joy together. A barking dog changes from being a nuisance to a great friend who wants someone to pet her, feed her, or take her for a walk. A homeless person on the street is no longer a worthless beggar, but a person who has faced extreme hardship, and needs care and guidance to find their way back to where they belong. A person ceases to work with the intent of extracting money from people, but instead to gain the satisfaction of knowing that the results of their creative process are truly bringing joy to others’ lives and reconnecting us with our lost humanity.

Meditation creates a greater capacity for empathy. It allows one to become a better friend, a better relationship partner, and a better person overall. It gives a person a silent radiance that draws others in; because we can all sense when someone is connected to something greater than themselves, and know that we could be doing the same.

For a sneak preview of my upcoming book, go here: 

It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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The Unbelievable Power of a Belief

One of our most overlooked superpowers in life is the unbelievable power of our beliefs. 

A quick note: This is not for the faint of heart. It is going to go deeper than possibly anything you’ve ever read into the inner workings of our minds and about what we really know about life in general. But – it is for a very good reason. If you decide to read it, you will come out the other side wiser, and much more in control over your own life. So do what you will.

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Let’s get started. What is a belief?

The dictionary defines it as:

1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing

2 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

A belief is something that WE PERSONALLY CHOOSE to form in our own minds about the way WE CHOOSE to perceive the world around us. It is our recognition that some idea or thing is true and valid. 

Again, our beliefs are things that WE DECIDE WE WANT TO THINK are true, based on the information we have taken in up until this point in our lives. 

Our beliefs are based off of OUR PERCEPTION of life, which is based solely on our experiences and knowledge about life. Just because we see something a certain way, does not necessarily mean that’s the way it actually is in reality. 

Perception and reality are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. As we get older, and we learn new things, we realize that certain assumptions we had at a younger age were not as accurate as the new view we currently have of the world. This is why I consider myself a student of life - because I know that all of the things I think I know about the world are only the best assumptions I can make using all of the things I’ve learned up to this point, and does not necessarily make any of them true. I understand that we will probably never know everything there is to know (in this life anyway), and there will always be new things we can learn from others throughout the course of our lives. That’s why I am a philosopher – a lover of knowledge. I love to keep an open mind, learn new things, and think for myself. I’ve found that I keep getting closer and closer to understanding the truth of what reality is, and as I do, it allows me to smash through my inaccurate perceptions that have held me back, and caused lots of pain and suffering in the past. Subsequently, I now know more about how to think about and interact with the world, and how to create a life that continuously makes me fulfilled at higher and higher levels.

I know your head is probably spinning right now, because mine is too. Sorry about that. Go get a glass of water and let that settle in for a minute or two, and re-read that last part if you have to. When you BELIEVE you have digested all of that, feel free to continue on.

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The reason why I went so in depth previously was because I really want you to understand first and foremost that PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY. It is only after we know that – that we can really start to understand how to control our beliefs. And I’ve learned that having control over your own beliefs is probably the most powerful thing you can do to find long-term joy and achieve miraculous things in this world.

Let’s examine one of the greatest examples in history of perception and reality being different. For thousands of years, it was a widespread belief that the earth was flat - and that if you were to go to the edge of it, you would fall off. Aristotle was one of the earliest to dispute this belief, and provided actual evidence against it. He stated that by simply traveling south, the constellations of stars would appear higher above the horizon, which would not make sense unless the earth was round. 

But people did not like this new idea at all. People do not like when their perception of reality is seen to be inaccurate and outdated. We do not like to be wrong. Throughout history, whenever someone has made a revolutionary discovery or idea, the general public always has the same reaction. First, they close their mind off to the idea, ridicule the person, and suggest they enter an insane asylum. Next, they become very afraid, and violently oppose the idea, many times even threatening to imprison or even murder the person who created it. And finally, after lots of struggling, it is accepted as the new status quo “reality” (when it is still actually just a newer perception).

Perhaps that is why I felt like my head was spinning when writing that paragraph previously. We humans are scared of the unknown. We like order. We like to feel safe and comfortable. We don’t like it when something comes along that threatens to change the way we see the world, even if it is for the better, because we just want to keep things the same. We are cowards. We would rather stay exactly where we are, no matter how shitty things can be, rather than try to see things in a new way, because even though it could make things one hundred times better for everyone, we fear that it has the chance to make things just a little worse, and decide it is too risky. We don’t like to deal with the fact that in reality, none of us really know why we are here, or what we are doing. That’s why many people don’t like to think for themselves, and would rather just keep busy in their day-to-day actions – it gives us comfort to just blindly follow the herd. Besides, if “all the cool kids are doing it” it must be good, right?

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Think about your beliefs about the world we live in right now. Where did you get yours? Did you choose all of them yourself, and examine why you believe them? I can tell you this – from my own experience, from spending years examining all of my beliefs about the world, I WAS SHOCKED when I realized just how many were passed down to me from others, and were not based on my own better judgment. I had so many beliefs that were self-limiting. I realized that almost all of the problems in my life were based on perceptions I had about the world that were the equivalent of the earth being flat. It’s no wonder so many of us suffer and struggle in our lives. We are walking around the world in a self-created prison based upon inefficient ways of thinking that we got from others who were just as clueless as us - AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW IT. 

Think about how many beliefs are passed down to us from our families, our friends, our culture, the mass media, and everything around us. How many of us have certain religious beliefs, political affiliations, favorite sports teams, views on marriage, views on racism, views on animal rights, and many more, just because these were the things that the people around us believed when we were young and didn’t know any better, so we just copied them? Does that mean that the beliefs we have chosen are all the right ones, and that all of the other ones are wrong? How many of us have then created stories and reasoning around these ideas about why we are right and others are completely wrong, when we haven’t even looked at why we even believe them ourselves in the first place?

Think about this scenario – You’re a helpless child. You can’t even fend for yourself. These big people that hang around you start to feed you, clothe you, and make you feel safe. They teach you things – like how to read, how to tie your shoes, and how to have table manners. They give you things and teach you how to do things that make your life better. So, if they were to tell you that you are supposed to root for the Yankees and to hate the Red Sox, why wouldn’t you believe them? If they tell you that Democrats are idiots, or that Republicans are morons, why wouldn’t you believe it? If they tell you that another race is evil, why wouldn’t you believe it? So, if they were to tell you that you’re too loud, too short, too fat, too ugly, too stupid, that you are worthless, and that you will never amount to anything in life, it is possible that you will WAKE UP ONE DAY 20 YEARS LATER, READ THIS POST, AND REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SPENDING YOUR ENTIRE LIFE NOT KNOWING WHY YOU NEVER FELT HAPPY, WHOLE, AND LIKE SOMEONE WHO DESERVES GOOD THINGS IN LIFE!

Beliefs can empower us or cage us in forever. Beliefs are that powerful.

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 I once heard a sad story. There was an elephant at a circus that was chained to a pole as an infant. He tried to break away, but was not strong enough to. Over time, he became monstrous. One day, the circus accidentally went on fire, and the elephant died. He was enormous, and could have easily ripped the pole out of the ground to run away to safety, but there was a SELF-LIMITING BELIEF IN HIS MIND that told him he would not be able to do it, and so he didn’t even try. 

Do you understand the impact your beliefs can have on your life? Do you understand that even though you may not be able to see how or why (just like the elephant), they have the ability to transform your life?

What I’ve come to understand is that EVERYTHING is based on belief. EVERYTHING. 

A few examples:

The U.S. national debt is in the trillions. How is it possible that our country still exists, purchases things, funds a massive army, and plays the role of a world superpower when we have a negative amount of money to buy things with? It is because investors are willing to put their money into the system, in the form of government bonds. Why? Because they BELIEVE that the U.S. government is stable, and that they can cash out their investments in the future for profit.

Why does a bank give some people a business loan, while not others? It is because based on their credit history and their proposal, the bank decides whether or not they BELIEVE that the person is a man of their word and will pay it back.

Why does Starbucks coffee cost three times as much money as McDonalds coffee, even though McDonalds coffee was found to taste better in a blind taste test? Because Starbucks has a fancy name, exotic flavors, and a nice atmosphere, and so people BELIEVE it is more valuable. 

Why do we pay $150 for a shirt with a tiny horse or alligator on it rather than a duck or a falcon? Because our society and advertising has made us BELIEVE that it is worth the money.

Why does a job hire one applicant over another? Because the chosen applicant did a better job of making them BELIEVE that he will get the job done.

Why are some men who are broke, out of shape, and abusive able to date women who are beautiful, inside and out? Because they BELIEVE that they deserve good women, while some good women BELIEVE they don’t deserve anyone better.

How did Thomas Edison invent the ability for humans to see at night? He BELIEVED that it was possible, and tried 10,000 different combinations until he found the right formula to invent the light bulb.

I could go on and on with this, but I think you can see at this point that our beliefs are crucial in lives. What you believe shapes who you are as a person, what things come into and out of your life, and affects your overall quality of life. 

Your beliefs are a tool to serve and empower you. Start thinking about which ones have slipped by your radar undetected for years and years, and are still holding you back right now. Just pull out a blank notebook, and start writing. Scribble down whatever comes to your mind. It doesn’t matter how silly or stupid it sounds. It’s just for your eyes. Write down as many as you would like – the further you go with this, the more you can align your life with your true identity. I’d say start with 5-10 things. Make a list of 5-10 beliefs you have, and figure out where they came from. If they are ones you no longer wish to have, write down new empowering ones to replace them. Of course, this is not an overnight fix, and it will take some time and diligence to overcome feelings of inadequacy that you have carried with you for years. But if you make a habit of reading the new beliefs you want to have to yourself every morning, for at least a few weeks, you will begin to really internalize them, and you will be amazed at how much it can change your life. 

———————

For a sneak preview of my upcoming book, go here: 

It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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Searching For Your Life’s Purpose

If you are searching for a higher purpose to your life and work, the path to discovery can be totally different than anyone else’s. Contrary to our experiences as students in school, the textbook of life doesn’t have the answers in the back to let us know if we’re right or wrong. This makes it the equivalent of searching for a treasure without a map; and furthermore, not even knowing what that treasure would look like if we did happen to find it. Quite the challenge, isn’t it?

From my own personal journey of discovering my life’s purpose, I can say that it was definitely beneficial for me to soak up the wisdom of those who have embarked on similar paths. It is my hope that sharing some insights I’ve come across through the years will be able to help you, in the same way that others have helped me.

You’ve probably heard others refer to a purpose as a “calling” to do something. Pay close attention to the word calling, as this is a major clue. If you listen closely, something is calling out to you like a bat signal. If you’ve had trouble hearing it thus far in your life, it’s because it has been drowned out by all of the excessive outside noise; very similarly to a faint star fading away behind the bright lights of a booming major city. A key to discovering it is to regularly create some personal time and space away from the outside noise, in order to get back in touch with your intuition. This is the part of you deep down that doesn’t need to be convinced with logic, or reasoning, or pros and cons. Your intuition doesn’t need to be convinced to love and nurture a newborn baby that is smiling at you. There are certain things it just knows. Finding one’s purpose is all about getting back to nature. What feels as instinctively natural to the core of who you are as smiling back at a newborn baby?

Look for what really moves you and makes you feel compelled to take action. What stirs your emotions and has the ability to seemingly bend time? Our memories are attached to our emotions; so if specific memories vividly stand out in your mind, dig deeper to find out why. For me personally, I am moved very deeply when I see others suffer. More specifically, when I see someone who is down and out, I feel a personal responsibility to breathe life back into them. To inspire. Nothing gives me more personal satisfaction than helping someone who feels lost see a light at the end of the tunnel once again. This drive to inspire has been the underlying factor in every major life decision I’ve made since discovering it several years ago. The type of work I do, the people I surround myself with, and the person I continually strive to grow into all revolve around this central core. As time goes on, the things that are more vain and out of alignment with who I am fall to the wayside, and the impact I am able to have grows even stronger. 

If you ask me why I like to inspire, I don’t really have a good answer. It doesn’t have an explanation. When I do so, it feels as if I am doing exactly what I am meant to do in life, as naturally as grass grows or the earth revolves around the sun. If you search deeply enough, you will discover your own personal treasure chest full of pure gold. When you do, you will find that all you want to do is give it all away.

———————

For a sneak preview of my upcoming book, go here: 

It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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Fuck Your Comfort Zone

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Yeah, I said it.

FUCK your comfort zone. It does not deserve to exist. Annihilate that mothereffer.

All throughout your life, it’s always been the one thing that stands between who you are, and who you want to become. Every time an opportunity has come up to step out into uncharted territory, to do something that would fulfill your soul, it’s been the invisible hand that squeezes the back of your neck and pulls you back at the very last moment.

The power it holds over us is immense. It can stop us from trying out for something we want. It can make us stand up against the wall at the party instead of shuffling in the middle of a giant circle of people. It can prevent us from telling that stranger in the coffee shop that we want to know their name, and what they’re like. Though it’s invisible, the power it has over us is undeniably real.

But here’s the great thing about having an invisible foe: It’s like the bad guy from The Matrix. He’s all in your head. He does not physically exist in reality. And once you understand that, you can learn how to destroy him.

It’s important to understand that when it comes to overcoming fears, you can choose to live your life in one of two ways:

Either you control them, or they control you.

No matter what fear it is, the willingness to stare it in the face and take action without batting an eye will create a major detour in your life. It will take you off-road; away from the dreaded little cookie-cutter-box-store life that others have tried to squeeze you into, and into the wild and rugged terrain that you’ve always yearned to explore. The rules of the universe begin to bend differently for you, and a radiant and silent power begins building up inside where there was once only a sickening overflow of timidness and regret.

The key: Take baby steps. Achieve small victories.

Make a list of everything that you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve always let fear hold you back from doing. And one by one, starting with the smallest, do them.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to share your views about something edgy, but are terrified of posting it on the internet to be judged and chewed up by the entire world; who will gather outside of your house and yell on megaphones about how incompetent and worthless your opinions are. Your boss will read it and fire you, your significant other will dump you, and your family will give you up for adoption. You will be an ex-communicated wandering leper, scrounging alone through the deserts, looking for a cactus that hasn’t read your blog yet in order to ask it for a drink of water to survive another day.

Scary, isn’t it?

I remember doing my first creative writing several years ago, on a piece of paper that I kept in my wallet. I was terrified to show anyone. It was a mini-inspirational speech that I would read to myself whenever I felt like giving up in calculus III. One night in college, half-delirious from pulling an all-nighter with a friend, I felt comfortable enough to show it to him. And guess what happened?

HE MADE A COPY FOR HIMSELF, SO THAT HE COULD READ IT WHEN HE WANTED TO GIVE UP ON STUDYING TOO.

I was blown away. I showed a few other friends, and they all told me I should be an inspirational writer or speaker. At the time, I shrugged it off, thinking they were just being polite, and went back to studying the dull principles of civil engineering.

Back then, I never believed that one day I’d have the courage to say things online in front of millions of people that most wouldn’t even discuss with someone until they’ve dated for at least six months.

When I was a kid, I was very quiet and shy. I hated speaking on the phone, and would just give people one word answers. Hi. Good. No. Okay. Bye.

Breaking out of the shell is a process. If you’re scared to take even a small step, find an even smaller one. Post something anonymously, so that it’s not even like people are judging you. Practice your speech in front of two friends before you do it for 20.

Every time there’s something I know I probably should do, but I’m afraid of it, I push myself to do it. I still remember the first time I went up to a stage to ask a question at a conference in front of 300 people — it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. It was scarier than when I jumped out of an airplane. But when it was over, I felt like a different person. Another time, I got on stage at a club and danced in front of 1,000 people as part of a hot body contest. The whole time I thought:

Who the hell are you, and what have you done with the quiet little boy who used to live here?

The best part: After I did that, a friend of mine who was out of shape joined the competition — with six pack abs we drew on with a black sharpie marker. AND HE WON. And it was one of the funniest and greatest things ever.

After something like that, the fear knob gets turned down in every other part of life. You think to yourself: If I can jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, if I can dance in front of 1,000 people, if I can move thousands of miles away to a city where I don’t know anyone, after quitting my job without something else lined up — why on earth would I be afraid to write a measly blog post on the internet from behind a computer?

Tell me what scares you in the comments. And tell me what you’re going to do about it.

———————

For a sneak preview of my upcoming book, go here: 

It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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A Writer’s Journey

Sometime between the years of 1984 through 2004: I become disenchanted with English class, declare it as my least favorite subject, decide that I hate writing, and lean towards math and science as often as possible.

2005: My first creative writing moment occurs as a spontaneous accident, as I write down some thoughts to try and motivate myself to not give up while studying for my calculus final.

2007: The year I decide I am going to write a book, and begin writing.

2008: The year I talk myself out of writing a book.

2011: The year I write several chapters of a separate short book, and leave it sitting unpublished in my email box, because I don’t think it is good enough.

2012: The year I start writing a book, then get sidetracked by the potential to create a tech startup.

2013: The year I crack 1.5M article views, and realize I should never have doubted myself.

April 9, 2014: The day I finish writing the book’s final sentence on page 215, and realize that I am officially an author.

June 4, 2014: The day I release my first book to the entire world.