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There’s No School for What You Need to Do

At one of the stops on my current tour, the bookstore host introduced me by saying in part “... and Chris earned a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Washington.” It surprised me a little because no one else has ever mentioned that in any introduction that I can recall.

Sure, it’s public information, but who cares? No one reads my blog because I went to college. No one buys my books or comes to an event because I earned an advanced degree, or any degree for that matter.

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How to Win the Career Lottery

If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would your life be different? Maybe you’d buy a new car or take a dream vacation. Maybe you’d quit your job... or maybe you’d keep doing exactly what you’re doing right now. The point is that you’d have a lot of new opportunities and choices all of a sudden. This short video, based on the lessons of Born for This, tells more.

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Dream Trip Student Earns 21,000 Points from Taking Free Surveys

Last year I co-taught a 28-day course on how to make your dream trip a reality. Throughout the course we heard story after story of people earning hundreds of thousands of miles and points. That was great, but what’s happening now is even better: we’re hearing lots of great stories of how students are using their miles and points.

As I say often, earning miles is great, but putting them toward free travel is much better. 😃

Today I saw a great example of how someone earned a significant number of points without applying for credit cards. The headline says it all: she earned 22,000 Hilton HHonors points by completing online surveys.

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Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World: Nominations Wanted!

I tend to ask a lot of questions. Why jump off the bridge just because everyone else does? What are "the rules" and who made them?

If your life is a movie and you’re the director, why did you add this scene to it?

Today, I have a question for you that might be even easier than those: Can you introduce me to an awesome person who's doing something really special?

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Ending Soon: 100,000 Hotel Points Bonus Offer (+ Another 75,000 Points Offer)

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with annual fee)

I recently highlighted the largest current signup bonus in the travel world: 100,000 points with the new Hilton HHonors Surpass card. This is a limited time offer, meaning that the travel companies only put it out for a brief window of time before pulling it or lowering the bonus to a much lower amount.

There’s also an offer to earn 75,000 points, another limited-time promotion, without paying an annual fee. Both of these offers are legit and worth considering, even if you don’t usually stay in hotels.

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Fun Project: The 2016-2017 “Get to Work Book” Is Now Out!

IMG_8127_copy Link: The Get to Work Book

Here's a fun project that a wish I’d made it myself. But even though I didn’t, some very good friends of mine did. It's like a journal or a planner, but better—and here's how the creator describes it:

GET TO WORK BOOK® is a daily planner + goal setting workbook designed to help you make progress on your big goals by taking things one day at a time. While (sadly) it can't do your work for you, every inch of it was thoughtfully designed to help you get to work.

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The Historian Who Couldn’t Escape from Alcatraz

In the introduction to one of the chapters of my new book, I wrote about escaping from Alcatraz. If you’re trying to get out of an unfulfilling job, it can sometimes feel just as difficult as getting out of prison. I used the Alcatraz story as a metaphor, but a reader who wants to remain anonymous passed on a story that I really liked. Here’s the story.

My uncle was a historian at the Maritime Museum in San Francisco. He gave me a tour of their private collection once, items that were too delicate for public display.

In a large metal drawer, he showed me the fake human heads made of soap that the escaped inmates had used to fool the nighttime guards. Can you imagine? Collecting the tiny end slivers of soap after a shower. Getting them back to your cell. Finally saving enough to create a head. They also made a makeshift drill out of hair clippers and a screw. You get really creative when you need to escape!

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Dream Jobs Don’t Always Have Glamorous Beginnings

Rosemary3 Rosemary Behan has crafted a career in journalism that allows her to travel the world. In this profile, she shares how she got started—and how you can still break into the changing world of travel writing.

People often ask me how I became a travel journalist, and the honest answer is, by accident. I started at the Daily Telegraph, reading and replying to reader letters (most of them complaints about travel companies and holidays gone wrong), and my first assignment was to write about London’s worst hotels. Not a glamorous beginning, but it eventually led to a job as travel news editor for the paper.

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The Answer in Your Inbox

AnswerInbox When you’re not sure what your “thing” is—when you don’t know quite where to look to find that job or career that brings you joy, flow, and a good income—the people you talk to every day can help you find it.

The answer may come from your inbox, whether that inbox consists of the actual emails you receive with the same questions over and over, your social media feeds, or just the conversations you have with your friends.

In other words, the people in your network may actually have a better sense of what your most marketable skills are than you do.

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Resign Your Job Every Year

*My brand-new book, Born for This, is all about helping you find the work you were meant to do. This series explores some of these lessons.

Lesson: Make a commitment to resign your job every year, unless your current job is the best one.

When you’re stuck in a rut or simply not sure if your current job is the best choice, here’s an idea: once a year, on the date of your choosing, commit to yourself that you will quit your job unless staying put is the best possible choice for you at this time.

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There’s Always a New Trick to Learn

"The great thing about a world record is that it gives meaning to a mundane task.

I don’t worry too much about people emulating me because people who have the get-up-and-go to do something like this usually have the common sense to know when something's going wrong.! It's a good time to be an inventor. If people want to learn to do something, they can easily get the information where before it was quite hard.

There’s always a new trick to learn. There’s always something you can do bigger and better."

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It’s Raining Points and Miles! Earn Up to 382,500 in the Next 2 Weeks

While I’ve been on the road for my tour, the travel hacking world has been busy. We usually see this phenomenon toward the end of the year, but apparently this time it’s happening much earlier.

I recently mentioned the 100,000 points offer for an all-new card from Hilton, along with an increased offer for another Hilton card. A couple weeks before that, I mentioned the increased signup bonus for the Marriott card.

Since then, two additional new cards have come out, and two other signup bonuses have been increased for a limited time. It’s been hard to keep up with all the new offers that have been flying in, so I’ve compiled the information on the available opportunities below.

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The Black Spot in the Painting

Consider a painting by one of the European masters. Somehow you’ve discovered this painting in your grandmother’s attic. It’s worth a fortune, or so say the appraisers who come to your house to inspect it.

They’re going to take it away for auction, but before they do, you insist on keeping it on your mantle for a month. Every day you look at it with pride. This painting has been in your family for centuries! Soon it will bring you wealth, but first it brings beauty and elegance to your living room.

The painting is spectacular, with thousands of careful brush strokes and just the right blend of colors. The artist had clearly spent decades mastering his craft. Of the dozens of his paintings that were still known to exist, you sense that this was one of his favorites.

Except for one thing. Just off-center, in the midst of perfection, lies a single black spot. The spot isn’t huge, but it’s not tiny either. When you look at the painting, there’s no missing it. How did it get there? Surely, you think, it was a rare mistake. Perhaps the painter was tired at the end of a long day and accidentally splashed a dash of black in the midst of all the color. Or maybe some well-meaning apprentice came along later to retouch the painting and ended up making a mess.

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“I’m not optimistic because our problems are small…”

Why build a clock that lasts for 10,000 years? Because the future is always getting shorter and shorter.

“Everybody was doing things faster and faster. I needed to slow down, stretch out, and think on a different time scale.

Any engineer wants to build something that lasts. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to build. From the beginning I wanted to make a little model of the clock, and then make a bigger one and a bigger one. I finally realized the clock couldn’t go in a building—it had to be in a mountain.

I’m very optimistic about the future. I’m not optimistic because our problems are small … I’m optimistic because our capacity to deal with problems is great."

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My Morning Routine: Why I Do the Same Things Every Day, and How I Work from Anywhere

I’ve been a longtime fan of MyMorningRoutine.com, which regularly interviews interesting people to learn how they spend their mornings. Some of my favorite profiles include features from Steve Kamb, Lisa Congdon, and Yuki Shimuzu.

The founders recently asked to feature me on the site, and of course I was thrilled! You can read my full answers over there, or a brief selection below.

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What is your morning routine? (Please note the approx. time you wake up).

First things first: I’m on the go to at least 20 countries each year, in addition to more than 100,000 miles of domestic travel. At the moment I’m kicking off a 30-city book tour that has me waking up in a different place nearly every day for five weeks. Therefore, sometimes there’s not a routine, or at least the routine varies greatly by time zone.

I was recently in Jakarta, Indonesia and ended up working a modified night shift for most of the week. I worked on my projects through the night, woke up for “morning coffee" at 2pm in the afternoon, and then everything was pushed back from there. It felt a little disorienting because I’d show up at the hotel restaurant for “lunch” around 10pm, right before they closed for the night. Then I’d have “dinner” during normal breakfast hours before falling asleep as the sun rose.

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