Peak Moments

Here's a fun exercise: take 60 seconds and write down the peak moments of your life. A peak moment is a fixed point in time that has strong, positive memories. You summited the mountain! You achieved something monumental! Things will be different now. The obvious ones are things like weddings, births, graduations, and so on. But pay attention to the others as well. When you look back on how far you've come thus far (whether you're 15 years old, 80 years old, or somewhere in between), what stands out?

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Travel Hacking in North America

Greetings from the road between Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee ... soon to be Oxford, Mississippi. I've been on tour for five weeks now, and a number of people have asked, “What kind of travel hacking are you doing on this trip?”

The best answer is: Not much. The schedule is fixed. One day per city, with no flexibility on dates. I've done 32 stops over the past five weeks, usually back-to-back, and the priority is to structure everything around the meetups. In addition to that, I've done media interviews every day, all of the work I do on an ongoing basis, and some planning for two bigger projects that I'll be announcing soon.

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What Would You Do if You Knew You Would Not Fail?

I like thinking about hypothetical questions, and this one is a good start. Most of us have some kind of dream trapped within us that has somehow become stifled by the fear of failure. So, yes, it's good to think about this question and bring your answer to the surface. The problem, though, is that most things that are worth doing involve a real possibility of failure. Marriages fail, other relationships falter, businesses close their doors all the time. A big goal, like the ones we looked at recently, always involves a certain degree of risk.

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Running in St. Louis

I stepped outside my hotel room and put my headphones in. Taking the elevator down to the lobby, I looked out at blue sky and sunshine—much nicer than the previous day of cold rain.

Then on the way outside, I did something that brought on instant embarrassment, pain, and déjà vu: I walked directly into a glass door that I didn't know existed. I thought the door was open, but sadly, it was not ...

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Notes from the Road, Vol. V

Greetings from Durham, North Carolina, near the Duke campus where we did last night's Unconventional Book Tour stop.

One week ago, I ran ten miles in non-stop pouring rain. The only thing that made it easier was thinking about everyone else running the Portland Marathon on the other side of town. Ten miles in the rain gave me blisters, but at least it wasn't 26.2 miles. I escaped to the indoors, went to Chipotle, and now all is well.

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The Agenda: Wrap-Up

I started writing the Agenda series in Algeria two months ago, in preparation for the book launch and a week of guest blogging at There are a few points I left out of the series, most of which I decided were irrelevant to the message. For example, I'm very passionate about travel and entrepreneurship, but I didn't write much about them in the series, because these are two expressions (not the only ones) of the non-conformist life. Not everyone wants to travel or own a business, and while I'll continue to do much of my work for those who do, I also understand that there is more than one way to create your own independence.

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The Agenda, Part IV: Efficiency Is Overrated

Welcome to Part IV of The Agenda. Here is Part I (Ask Why), here is Part II (The Individual as Hero), and here is Part III (The Need for Contribution).

Visiting every country in the world is getting difficult. I've almost completely ran out of “easy” countries. These days I spend as much time arranging visas as I do planning the actual trip. It takes time, energy, and money: even with my best travel hacking strategies, I expect the overall cost to increase in the final two years of the project.

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The Agenda, Part III: The Need for Contribution

Welcome to Part III of The Agenda. Here is Part I (Ask Why) and here is Part II (The Individual as Hero) ...

I was depressed like everyone else after 9/11. Having just been in NYC the week before made it especially poignant—I remembered walking around a lower Manhattan that would never be the same after that Tuesday. I spent that fall thinking about the big questions of life—what am I really here for? Since it's obvious there is evil in the world, where can I find the good?

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