You don't have to live your life the way others expect. Learn more

Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Reset

“Turning 50 Is Extremely Liberating”: One Woman’s Path to Her Dream Job

I love second act stories! It's never too late (or too early, for that matter) to create a new life for yourself and change the world while you're at it. Tonya Hobbs took a big risk, and she couldn't be happier.

Here’s her story:
Finding the work I was born to do was the result of a full-blown, midlife-crisis. I had changed careers and returned to school for a master’s degree in social work at age 40, but as 50 approached I was plagued by the question “Is this all there is?”

I worked in a field I loved. My job was never done. Yet I longed for something more... I just had no idea what “more” really meant.

Read More

Limited Time: Get 60,000 Points (Worth at Least $750!) on the Best Small Business Card

Link: 60,000 Points for Chase Ink Plus Card

Great news! A huge 60,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus is back, on the very best all-around card for Small Business spending. These are very valuable (and flexible) points that can be used with many different airlines and hotels.

I have this card myself and use it every day, along with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I put personal charges on Sapphire and business charges on Ink Plus. You don’t have to use the cards this way, though—since many people are self-employed or otherwise have some kind of small business, you can just list your name as the business name when applying.

Read More

Hope, Expectations, and Winning the Lottery

" Most people know that the lottery is not a good investment plan. It’s not rational to invest large amounts of money in lottery tickets, because you’re almost certain to lose no matter how much cash you spend at the gas station or convenience store.

Buying a single lottery ticket or two, however, is actually quite rational. Most of us don’t play the lottery as an investment in anything other than dreaming. For a few minutes after you buy the ticket and before you scratch off the numbers, or maybe even for a few days if the winning numbers aren’t announced until later, you have the opportunity to walk around with a dream in your pocket.

Read More

How to Start a Blog or Any Website for Less Than $5

Link: Start a Blog for $5/Month

Since starting The Art of Non-Conformity eight years ago, I’ve been writing and posting regularly on the blog. A lot of things have changed since those early days, especially the way that people communicate on different networks, but my love of the format remains.

When you write a blog, you can publish immediate, unfiltered information to the world at large. There are no gatekeepers or censors. You can write about whatever you want, and you're free to expand your domain as you see fit. If you want to publish video or audio, you can do that on your blog too—but you don’t have to.

Starting a blog doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, you can do it for free over at Wordpress.com. Free is fine for a lot of people and it might be fine for you, but many of us will find that it’s better to invest a small amount of money and get more benefits and features.

Read More

If Plan A Fails, Remember that You Have 25 Letters Left

alphabet *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: Craft backup plans. They will allow you to take more risks and make better choices.

There’s no shame in having a plan B, or even plans C–Z. Use the “if this, then that” method to make a backup plan for every career choice, and then make a backup for the backup. If one strategy doesn’t work, move to the next.

Read More

The Easy Way to Earn Extra Points on Everything You Buy (No Annual Fee!)

What if you like the idea of travel hacking, but don’t want to pay an annual fee? There's a new way to earn cash-back or points—your choice—on a card that never has a fee.

The new Chase Freedom Unlimited card will give you $150 Cash Back just for getting the card (remember, there's no fee). You can "cash in" your free money at any time by applying it to your statement balance.

Alternatively—and often a better choice—you can transform your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points, as long as you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or another Ultimate Rewards-earning card.

Read More

“Busy Is a Bullshit Word”: How 16 Days Rafting the Grand Canyon Changed a Life

Angie2 How do you escape the disorienting world of always being busy yet never appreciating your life? For Angie Stegall and her husband Nelson, they took a forced vacation that turned into an epic adventure.

We weren’t happy, Nelson and me. With each other, yes—but with our lives, not so much. Our busy lives were lived in a city we felt very “meh” about. So when we had the chance to check off an item on Nelson’s bucket list—rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon—for 16 days, we decided to do whatever it took to go.

As it turns out, that white-water journey changed the trajectory of our lives.

Read More

Why I Like Giving the Same Talk 30 Times in a Row

26079465894_f2c0f36718_z Whenever I give a talk for the first time, I’m very nervous. Like a lot of internal struggles, I don’t think the goal is to pretend the nervousness doesn’t exist. It’s a talk, also known as public speaking, also known as the #1 fear for a majority of the population. If you’re not nervous at all, you're probably not treating it with the attention it deserves.

If it’s a new talk or a one-off, something that I prepared entirely for a specific experience and won’t repeat again, I spend at least several hours beforehand thinking about it. Behind the stage, or in the nearby stairwell, or around the block outside the venue, I’ll pace and look at my notes and think through what I’m going to say over and over.

Read More

Ebook Version of The Happiness of Pursuit is Just $1.99!

TheHappinessofPursuit-ebook-FACEBOOK- Link: The Happiness of Pursuit on Kindle for $1.99

This just in from my publisher: the Amazon Kindle version of The Happiness of Pursuit is on sale for $1.99 during this week only.

The book price is set by publishers, not by authors, so I don’t control when it’s on sale. But I do know that it’s never been offered for anything less than $12.99, so $1.99 is quite a discount.

Read More

Revisiting Montana, 25 Years Later

If you didn't love your childhood, you probably don’t love the place where you grew up. Maybe you tried to get as far away as you could. Years later, maybe you realized it wasn’t the place that was so bad, it was just the experiences you had at the time. Or maybe your beliefs were confirmed: that place really was designed to produce misery, and if you have any say in the matter, you’ll never go back.

These thoughts were on my mind as the Delta Connection plane from Salt Lake City touched down in Bozeman, Montana. I felt jumpy and anxious on the short flight, as if I’d had too much coffee or not enough sleep. This being book tour season, both of those things were probably true, but they weren’t the only source of the discontent.

See, I lived in Montana—the eastern, flat part—for several years as a child. I have very few happy memories from that time, and most of those involve playing video games or riding my bike around town by myself. They are memories of escapism, not of friends or community or anything that felt like “belonging.”

Read More

Limited Time: Use Southwest Airlines Points to Fly a Companion Free (For an Entire Year)

Link: 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points (Limited Time)

I almost never fly Southwest Airlines. When flying in the U.S., I usually prefer American Airlines (and sometimes Delta). However, Southwest has millions of loyal fans who love their point-to-point service, unassigned seating, and general friendliness.

For those fans—or anyone who appreciates free travel—you may want to take a look at the improved signup offer for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card. Instead of just 25,000 points (the usual offer), for a limited time you can earn 50,000 points after completing a $2,000 minimum spend in the first three months.

Read More

The Resumé of Failures

For every success, there are countless failures. Yet when we look at someone from the outside, especially someone who’s been particularly successful, we may not see the failures.

Scientist Melanie Stefan issued a challenge for academics to share their “CV of failures,” a formal listing of all the programs from which they were rejected, the funding they didn’t get, and the journal articles that weren’t published.

Here’s how she explains the idea:

"My CV does not reflect the bulk of my academic efforts — it does not mention the exams I failed, my unsuccessful PhD or fellowship applications, or the papers never accepted for publication. At conferences, I talk about the one project that worked, not about the many that failed."

Read More

Life & Adventures on Book Tour: Part II

26079465894_f2c0f36718_z Greetings from Denver! Weeks II and III of the Born for This tour are coming to an end, and it’s been a great experience overall.

For the most part, it’s been a non-stop experience. At one point I did 14 days in a row with only one day off from events or travel or both (usually both, since I typically do an event in the evening and then travel to the next city the following day).

Oddly enough, I only felt tired on the rare days of rest or during periods of lesser intensity. Maybe the lesson is: when you’re going non-stop, don’t stop. 😃

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Around the Web and the World