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What Would You Say If You Could Go Back in Time?

Welcome to the beginning of the strangest year the modern world has ever known. You don't realize it now, but life as you know it is about to change drastically.

Remember how you've been talking to everyone about "working from anywhere" for the past decade? Well, now the entire workforce will be leaving their offices and telecommuting. One problem: they can't actually go anywhere. Working remotely usually implies freedom, but in this case it points to constraint. Simply put, the workforce is working remotely because it's not safe to work together.

Most of the world's borders will have closed, though if you want to visit the Maldives, you can buy an unlimited pass to a luxury hotel for all of 2021.

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We did it. Now what? 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Friends and readers, we did it. It actually happened!

I'm reminded of the quote that's attributed to Winston Churchill: "You can always count on America to do the right thing, after it has exhausted all other options."

The monumental U.S. election results won't change everything, but they do send a clear signal of most Americans' wish for change. We have slain the dragon, for now.

When I wrote about the election a few weeks ago, I got more response than anything I've shared in years. In fact, in ten years of writing online, I don't think I've ever had more negative comments (though, fortunately, the positives outnumbered the negatives 3-to-1). Well, here we are now, and the world is a very different place.

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A Love Letter to Trump Supporters ❤️

john-silliman-yoZWr8iQ93o-unsplash I’d like to speak to any of my readers who have supported the current U.S. president in the past, or who are planning to do so again this year. There aren’t a lot of you, but you tend to be very vocal—and believe it or not, I’ve been trying to understand where you’re coming from.

I wrote and rewrote this post at least three times before figuring out what I wanted to say. I knew that if I insulted you, you wouldn’t listen—which is fair, because I don’t tend to listen to people who insult me either.

One of you wrote to me recently to say that I must think everyone who supports Trump is a moron. But that’s not true, I replied. I think a lot of them know exactly what they’re getting with their candidate.

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Feeling Depressed in 2020? It’s Not Just You 😔

When we all went into this thing in March, I tried to remain as positive as possible. I still believe everything I said before, about how I want to come out of this time better than I was when it started, etc. We can only worry about what’s within our control. And of course, let’s try to be kind to one another.

But then the spring turned to summer, and the summer to fall (at least in my part of the world). And nothing really got better! Quite the opposite, in fact.

Now we’re all setting low expectations for standards of wellbeing. “Hope you’re hanging in there” is the new “Hope you’re doing well.” And let’s face it, lots of people aren’t doing well.

So, finally, I’ve come to the point of feeling defeated about the whole year—and I know it’s not just me.

Day-by-Day

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Working Hard at Something That Doesn’t Matter

“Our greatest fear should not be failure but succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.”

Last year, pre-pandemic, I went to a three-day yoga retreat in Arizona. I'd never done such a thing before and was thinking of signing up for a longer one, so this seemed like a safe introduction.

The yoga itself was good. I enjoyed the classes and met a few nice people.

Among the group of one-hundred or so attendees, I noticed that several of them spent a lot of time working on their selfie game. Some even had a pro photographer in tow, who documented their poses, attempts at acro yoga, and bikini collections.

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The Steps Before the First Step

If you try to tackle a big project and end up getting stuck somewhere along the way, it might mean that some steps are missing.

Imagine trying to complete a difficult, 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Even though it has a thousand pieces, finishing the puzzle requires to complete more than a thousand steps.

You need to spend time sorting, grouping, and looking for edge pieces. You also might have to undo some parts of your work as you go along—which adds more steps, since now you need to override previous tasks that you thought had been completed.

This is all logical enough, but a) it takes time, and b) if you haven’t ever done a large puzzle before, you might get frustrated. You might give up along the way, leaving your puzzle half-finished and sitting on the kitchen table for weeks. Finally, you push the pieces back into the box, swearing off puzzles until the next family holiday gathering or global pandemic.

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The Courage to Change Your Mind

Here's a helpful filter to know when to worry: does something sound too good to be true, or does it sound so bad that people give up and stop thinking for themselves?

Either way, when everyone around you agrees, it's worth asking some questions. Questions like: "What’s really going on here—and who is threatened by disagreement?"

Consider it an opportunity! When it comes to Coronavirus life, an astounding amount of groupthink is currently taking place. It’s as though everyone is taking the collective temperature (no pun intended...) before deciding what they believe and how they should act.

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New! A Reading Group Guide to The Money Tree

Link: --> Download the Money Tree Reading Group Guide

In addition to the Third Way group that I’m starting, a lot of people have asked for materials to facilitate conversations around The Money Tree.

I’m glad they did! We now have a free reading group guide that you can access for book clubs, friends and family, or just your own reflections. If you’re reading the book with a group (or if you’d like to!), this might help.

Spoiler warning: if you haven’t finished the book yet, you might want to hold off before looking at this document.

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If You Find Yourself Dreading Appointments You Made Long Ago, Start Asking “Would I Do This Tomorrow?”

You know the feeling you get when an appointment approaches on your calendar and you’re not looking forward to it? Maybe you’re even dreading it?

Ugh. I totally forgot about that, you think. But I guess I need to to do it, since I agreed long ago.

We've all been there. Some of us find ourselves there all the time. The good news is, there’s a trick to make that happen less and less.

It comes from understanding that when someone asks you to do something you don't really want to do, you’re more willing to agree if it takes place far into the future. You tend to think, “Oh, that’s a long time from now. I’m not thrilled about the idea, but sure, I can do that.”

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The Real Imposter Is the Part of You That Hesitates

Hesitation What holds people back from making a bold choice or following a dream?

When you ask, often they’ll point to the lack of knowledge. They simply aren’t sure what to do, so they wait for someone to give them a step-by-step plan.

Other times, they mention a lack of resources or some kind of access—perhaps they need money, or maybe they're holding out on a specific connection or certification.

After writing and sharing online for more than a decade, however, I’m pretty sure that these cases are the minority. Instead, the thing that stops more people than anything else is internal resistance.

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The New York Times Reviews The Money Tree (and actually says good things)

Link: New York Times on The Money Tree

When I heard that the New York Times was reviewing my new book, I was simultaneously excited and worried. I was excited because, well, it’s the New York Times! And despite several of my previous books selling well, they never really paid much attention to me.

But I was also worried because the Times is not always kind to authors. In fact, many of their book reviews consist largely of 600-word critiques on why a particular book is terrible. I’ve even known authors who have stopped writing for months or years because of a bad review.

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How to Write a Novel

First up, thank you so much for your support of THE MONEY TREE! Despite the numerous challenges of current events, the book is getting out to lots of people.

Now that it's out, a number of readers have asked me to explain more about a big change I made. Specifically, my new book is unlike any of my six others: it’s fiction. I created an imaginary world of characters, and did my best to bring them to life.

It started partly because I wanted to do something new. The more I thought about it, the more nervous I felt ... which of course is often a good sign. A sense of nervousness and even feeling a little afraid can be helpful in showing you what you need to do next.

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New YouTube Series: Watch Live Every Weekday at 9am PT

Daily YouTube Series: --> Subscribe Here

So I decided to start a YouTube channel, because a) why not, b) I need to adapt just as I encourage other people to do, and c) I’m not going to 40 cities at the moment.

Every weekday at 9am Pacific time, I’ll be teaching a short lesson and taking live questions.

The theme of the new show is: Finding Opportunity in an Uncertain Time. We’ll be looking at different, creative ways that people are making things work during a time of disruption / disorder / chaos, and talking through projects with anyone who’d like to share theirs with the group.

Here's an example from Day 2:

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Big News: The Money Tree Is Out Today!!

Buy Now: Amazon | BN | Audible | Apple Books | Indie Bookstores

Greetings, friends and readers!

A very quick note to say ... my new book The Money Tree is out today! 💰🌳

My new book is all about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard. I hope it will help people who are navigating difficult financial times, especially anyone with debt or those who are struggling during this time of chaos and turmoil.

The-Money-Tree-Book-cover-indoors

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