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If You Have No Challenges, Maybe It’s Time to Change Your Life

Have you ever walked around endless airport highway ramps for more than a mile? When it’s after 10pm and you’ve got your carry-on bags with you?

Yeah, so I did that the other night. Short version: when you arrive in DFW and are staying at the off-airport Hyatt Regency, you’re supposed to take the SkyTrain to the C gates, and then hike through the parking garage to the entrance. I’ve done it that way before, and it’s not terribly difficult.

This time I was hanging out in the D terminal, working from my favorite U.S. airline lounge, and I decided to walk outside and skip the whole SkyTrain thing. How hard could it be? I’ve been to DFW, oh, I don’t know—several hundred times if not more. Sure, it’s a big place, and there was that time I got lost trying to return a rental car and missed my flight, but still.

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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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The More You Improve, The Harder It Gets

I always love a good quest. While flying Southwest Airlines recently (it’s a long story) I happened to pick up the in-flight magazine and read about a guy who’s trying to become a professional golfer.

DanPlan3 The whole article is interesting but isn’t the easiest to read in online format. The short version is that Dan, an ordinary guy from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, is trying to become a professional golfer despite never having much of an aptitude for playing golf before.

Dan pursues the quest partly because he wants to see if it's possible. Does talent come about entirely through "putting in the hours"? Here's a real-life case study to find out.

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How to Change When Change Is Hard: Lessons from a Timid Mouse

496852946_4c9e3f6824_zI was coming back from a run up and down Mount Tabor in Southeast Portland. I know the route well. It’s about a 5-6 mile loop from my house, depending on which path I take. More often than not, when I’m home for a while I run it at least once a week.

As I neared my neighborhood toward the end of the run, I noticed a cat in a driveway. Being a cat person, I often say hi to felines when I see them out and about on my run. Cats being cats, sometimes they follow me for blocks, intent on being my friend for life, and other times they can’t be bothered to acknowledge my presence.

This cat, I noticed, was different. He was sitting on his hind legs in the driveway, staring intently at something. Maybe it’s because he was so intent on the object of his fascination, or maybe I was just tired toward the end of the run—but for whatever reason I decided to slow down and walk over to the driveway.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I said to the cat. (Yeah, I talk to cats the same way I talk to people. If you’ve ever had a cat, you understand.)

The cat gave no response. He was fully immersed in something, and as I got closer, I could see what it was. There was a mouse! A tiny one, shivering in an isolated section of grass near the driveway—and just a paw’s swipe away from the cat.

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What If You Had to Work Only One Hour a Day?


One Hour a Day, No More

I once caught bronchitis, and it lasted for more than a week. I spent much of the day sleeping or complaining.

But of course, I still had to work sometime. My energy level was constantly low, but every so often I'd muster enough strength to work through a few tasks or half-heartedly reply to emails before crashing on the couch.

The rest of the time, when I wasn’t sleeping or complaining, I was on the couch reading or watching bad TV shows on my iPad. Once in a while I’d be inspired to boil water for herbal tea. It was rough—even worse than the dreaded man flu.

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A Year in the Life of You

I came back from Tuvalu and my gym was packed with dozens of people I had never seen before—an influx of New Year's Resolutions. "How many of them will still be here in February?" I wondered. Whether you're pro- or anti-resolution, there's nothing inherently special about a new calendar year. If you don't like the western calendar, there are plenty of others.

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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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