Reset

The Second Best Thing You Can Do Right Now

Wondering what to do during this time of chaos? I have a proposal.

First, the best thing you can do is what you already know about: keep people safe by washing your hands, refraining from gatherings, etc.

But unless you’re on the front lines (THANK YOU to everyone who is), most of those actions are passive. When you’re sitting at home with clean hands, what can you do besides turn on Netflix?

This is my proposal: the best thing you can do is be safe, but the second best thing is to be productive.

Read More

The Cost of Unnecessary Worrying

I hope you’re holding up okay in the new world order. Instead of talking to you about social distancing (I’m guessing you’ve heard about that already), today I’ll just give you a personal observation: Since I've started trying to worry only about things I can influence or change, I’ve been a lot less anxious.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t worrisome circumstances out there. It just means that, aside from what you’ve already heard about, there isn’t a lot you can do to change them.

Meanwhile, unnecessary worrying has a cost, without providing any benefit. Worrying about something you can’t control doesn’t make that thing any better.

Read More

Opportunity Waits in the Time of Uncertainty

Wow, what happened to the world in the past week?

I’m writing to you from my sanitized desk in an underground bunker ... well, it’s not quite like that. But what a difference a few days makes.

All of a sudden, millions of people have found themselves working remotely or not working at all, unexpectedly arranging childcare because the schools have closed, and running over neighbors in the toilet paper aisle at Costco.

Well, guess what: I’m not going to say “life goes on” (even though it will) and I won’t claim this isn’t a big deal (it is). We should take COVID-19 seriously and do what we can to stay safe.

That said, there’s only so much you can control. Sure, you should wash your hands more often, but ultimately what happens next is out of those same hands.

If there's any good news, it's this: with uncertainty comes opportunity.

Read More

Habits of Highly Effective Real People

Humans are not machines, and we don’t all want the same things. But we do want to do something purposeful, to use the time we have to the best of our ability—and we also long to discover our authentic selves.

If our lives consist of a series of choices, how do highly effective real people make them? Here’s a short list of characteristics for your consideration.

First and foremost, they know what’s important to them.

I’ve been saying for a while that the greatest productivity hack is to love what you do. It is much, much easier to be both productive and satisfied when you spend most of your time on something you find meaningful.

I often go back to this principle as a compass point. It really does no good at all to become efficient at the wrong things. On balance, it’s actually negative because the more efficient you become, the more likely it is that you’ll continue on the wrong path. Therefore, it’s better to fail quickly at the wrong things, so you can discover the right ones.

Read More

Coming April 7, 2020 – THE MONEY TREE: Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard

Big news today! I wrote a new book! It's called THE MONEY TREE, and it comes out April 7th. 💰🌳⁠

I'm very excited to share this sneak peek of my first *full-length story* that will be published in the U.S. and Canada in April. Yes, it's fiction! Something I've never done before, but I got inspired and started outlining and ended up making something that I really like.⁠

The subtitle is "A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard." We decided to be as literal as possible with the cover. 😀

The Money Tree_front cover

Read More

Start Your Resolutions on January 6th

Resolutions can be powerful, and they don’t have to begin on any given day.

If you want to form a new habit, just start doing it. The important thing is sticking with it, not when you start.

Just imagine: if you began an important new habit on January 6, and then managed to stick with it the rest of the year—wouldn’t that be much better than one you began on January 1, only to drop off within a few weeks?

Read More

New Year, Same You

What if, instead of “New Year, New You,” you decided you were satisfied with the course you had already set?

What if you're already happy with who you are?

This doesn’t have to mean you have to stop improving. Change and growth are healthy. It just means: if you were already doing the right things in the “old” year—wouldn’t you want to keep doing them?

For me, challenge is one of my values. I want to set big goals and attempt hard things. But it's not a new value; it’s one I’ve had for a while. If I ever lose interest in challenging myself, I suppose that would be a new me. It’s just not a version of myself I’m remotely interested in.

Two years ago, I was in a dark place and feeling uncertain about a lot of things. Since then, I’ve made a number of changes in my life, both large and small. Many, many times in the months that have passed, I’ve looked up from whatever I’ve been doing with a sense of wonder.

I can’t believe I’m here, I think. I’m so glad I was willing to walk through that dark place.

Read More

All The Things You Didn’t Do

Once upon a time, you had the chance to be brave. Your name was selected, your number was called. You were the chosen one, at least for this particular moment on planet Earth. All eyes were on you, and the stakes were high.

It was a big moment. So what happened?

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but what happened was ... you caved. At the critical moment, you turned your back on the task at hand.

Read More

The Three Conditions for Making Ordinary Magic

Magic is all around you. Maybe you’ve even made some magic of your own.

What you might not realize is that there’s a formula for such a thing. This formula requires three conditions to be met before magic can occur:

1. You have a crazy idea. 2. You can’t stop thinking about the crazy idea. 3. You decide to do something about it.

Note that all three conditions need to be met. Merely meeting one or two of them isn’t sufficient.

Read More

To Every Thing, A Season

You probably know the song, the one that borrows its lyrics from the book of ‎Ecclesiastes: to every thing, there is a season for every activity under the heavens.

Seasons have been on my mind lately, as I’ve been transitioning from my busiest month of the year into a time of more focused creative work. I’m grateful for both of these seasons—I wouldn’t want to choose between them—but my life and work in each of them feels very different.

In my creative work season, I’m working on a new book and I take joy in writing every day. I’m able to exercise more and feel less stressed about being behind on a million things. So is this fundamentally better?

I don’t think so. Because last month I visited 14 cities, speaking to readers and the media about 100 SIDE HUSTLES—and then I hosted a weeklong event in Portland for 1,000 people. All of that was fun, too. Almost every day I thought, “Wow, I can’t believe I get to do this! I feel so fortunate.”

The challenge comes if you try to apply the same rules of order or general expectations to each season.

Read More

Return of the Annual Review! Let’s Do This! (I mean, if you want.)

danielle-macinnes-222441-unsplash Over the past eight nine ten! years, nothing has helped me to accomplish big goals and stay on track more than a single exercise I complete each December: the Annual Review.

Last year I got a little off track and didn't finish for the first time in a decade. It wasn't pretty. Good news: just like Britney, I'm back.

For much of the next week I'll be working only half-time while I consider some of my successes, failures, and lessons learned from 2018.

Read More

Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Hear Is “It’s Going to Be Okay”

I've had a few people write in to ask me if I've stopped blogging. Nope—but I'm sorry! It sure looks that way.

I've just been on hiatus while writing a new book. I'll tell you about it soon, and I very much look forward to getting back to regular posts here. (In the meantime, the daily podcast continues.)

For now, I thought I'd pop up and express something that's been on my mind. Every now and then, I see a post offering "Advice for My Younger Self," and I've been asked to share mine in interviews from time to time.

The question I've learned to ask, when working through various issues, is, "What is six-year-old Chris feeling right now?" It's an interesting practice, at least to someone like me who doesn't naturally think this way.

If I could go back in time to talk to a younger Chris, though, I'm not sure it would be the six-year-old version. I think it would be a version somewhere in the 11-14 age range.

Read More

No Reservations to Parts Unknown: Thank You, Anthony Bourdain

I wasn’t always an Anthony Bourdain fan. My first exposure to him came when I read a critical comment he’d made that didn’t sit right with me. But that was evidently just a passing comment, and I didn’t even know the context, so a couple of years ago I started paying more attention to him. I enjoyed his show whenever I saw clips of it in hotel lounges and airports around the world.

Then I read a New Yorker profile that radically shifted my early perspective. I loved it! I remember reading it more than once while traveling in some country or another, no doubt one that he'd been to as well.

I liked the article so much partly because I identified with his style and approach. I could see parts of myself in how he lived. Not in terms of the level of success, since I am no Anthony Bourdain in that department, but in terms of his work ethic and willingness to keep pushing himself over and over.

Read More

If You Want to Make Money, Don’t Study Hard in School

If you want to make money, question the rules and don’t study hard in school. That’s the finding of a new study.

In 1968, researchers began studying 12-year-old students who were in the sixth grade. They examined the influence of their intelligence, characteristics, behaviors and their parents' socioeconomic status.

Then, 40 years later, they followed up with those students. Not surprisingly, the students who were described by teachers as "studious" were more likely to have prestigious jobs. But, the studious kids didn't make the most money in adulthood.

The highest income earners were the "naughty kids." The kids who broke the rules and defied parental authority became the highest income earners as adults.

Read More

The Truth Is a Terrible Thing, But Not Compared to Falsehood

Reality isn’t just what someone tells you. They could be lying to you, or they just might be speaking from their own limited perspective. We know this, right? We can't just accept at face value everything we hear.

But reality also isn’t just what you tell yourself, at least not if you're trying to avoid something. You too have a limited perspective. You have weaknesses, insecurities, and fears that can be surprisingly resilient in their pursuit of a false narrative.

Reality is at least somewhat objective, at least when it comes to basic facts. Sure, you can interpret those facts as you’d like, but facts are facts.

When you choose to persistently believe something that you know, deep down, might not actually be true, you’re lying to the most important person in your life: yourself.

Read More