This one goes out to all the people in the world who are afraid of something. Oh wait—perhaps I need to choose a smaller audience. Trying to write for everyone is usually a mistake.Read More
This is the winning entry from the Unconventional Writing Contest. It was written by Allan Bacon. You can learn more about Allan at the end of the post… or just by reading about his adventure in this article.Read More
At any given time, most of us have no shortage of challenges we’re trying to work through or overcome.
Entrepreneurs must create something out of nothing — a process that is both fun and tiring. Ambitious people who work in organizations have to work with colleagues in pursuit of collective goals. Sometimes the colleagues aren’t as ambitious or have other ideas.
Those of us who go it alone have plenty of issues, too. If someone ever implies it’s easy out there, put your skeptic hat on.
Thankfully, there is one challenge that is entirely optional. This challenge is the question of how to be yourself, otherwise known as authenticity.Read More
Congratulations to the great Lance Armstrong on his third-place victory in Paris yesterday.
I'm aware that third place is not a real victory. Lance knows this too, and said so himself in the post-race interviews. However, when you've been out of the tour for four years, you broke your collarbone a few months ago, and you're more than a decade older than the teammate who ended up winning, I think that third place is pretty good.
Lance is still a winner in my book. He's already planning to come back next year, and I'm pretty sure he won't settle for a mere third place out of 180 riders in 2010.Read More
To be truly awesome, you have to go above and beyond the efforts of those around you, look for alternative solutions, and refuse to back down from the truth. There's a whole article about it for those who are curious.
But it all starts with showing up. Or, as a friend of mine puts it:"I'm sorry you feel bad about not meeting your goals -- what I would suggest is that you begin meeting your goals, in order to feel better." Read More
On the flight back from South America last week, the airline was showing Yes Man, a film starring Jim Carrey. Left to my own devices, I rarely finish a movie, but I watched the first two-thirds of this one and thought it was great. The premise of Yes Man is that a guy who usually says no to everything - requests from friends, growth opportunities at work, and so on - has to make a sudden switch where his default answer becomes yes to any request he encounters.Read More
I spent most of last week in and around Park City, Utah on a family vacation. I usually run in Portland, Oregon, where the elevation is about 230 feet (70 meters) above sea level. In Park City, the elevation is about 7000 feet (2134 meters) above sea level.
Among other things, the altitude adjustment makes for one tired runner. I felt like I had picked up a pack-a-day smoking habit just before setting out to run a 10k.Read More
Every day I get emails from all kinds of fun people who are getting started on the journey of building an online community. Some of them want advice, and I'm happy to help wherever I can.
I always say to take my $0.02 for whatever it's worth, and ignore me if something works better for you. Also, I'm focusing here on online communities, but they share many of the same characteristics as offline ones.
In the 279 Days report, I wrote about the practical aspects of community building. We looked at RSS vs. email, how to create an e-book, and so on.
This post will look more closely at the underlying philosophy of a community. First of all, what makes a community? Definitions abound, but here's mine:
A community is a group of people united through a common struggle with the same stories.Let's look at the definition and related features in more detail. Read More
In 279 Days, I included links to many of the people I respect and have learned from since I started this site. I did this because I wanted to give credit where credit is due – and each of these folks deserve a lot of credit for helping me.
Here they are again, with a quick synopsis on why I think they are awesome. If you’re looking for people to learn from (I always am), I encourage you to check out their work.Read More
Something’s been bothering me lately, and judging from what I know about the people who read these articles each week, I bet it’s bothered some of you before too.
It’s that phrase—“Welcome to the Real World.”
Have you ever heard that? It’s usually intended as a sarcastic remark about what someone else has said or is doing.Read More
What if we could come to the end of our lives with true fulfillment, looking back on a rich history of experiences, relationships, and accomplishments?
Either metaphorically or literally, we could point to a list of steadily-pursued dreams that turned into accomplished goals as we moved through different phases of life.
The sad alternative, of course, is to come to the end of life unfulfilled – something best phrased in this intense quote from Thoreau I’ve been pondering a lot recently:
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.Read More
Here in the Spring of 2009, it's easy to say that the financial crisis has decimated the global economy:
*Unemployment in the U.S. (and many other countries) is at a 25-year high
*An average of 40% of wealth has been lost by investors around the world
*Consumer spending is down almost everywhere
*Federal Interest rates are close to 0%
The gloom-and-doom is getting serious, people. Are you all ready to go down in the storm shelter and start putting gold under the mattress? Hopefully not, because we have something important to talk about today.
I’m not trying to make light of hardship in any way. I’ve previously explained that the recession sucks. All of us have been affected one way or another. If I had the choice, I’d prefer to have 15% gains for no work every year. Bring back the bubble!Read More
I sat in the back of the room as the keynote speaker talked about his experience as a war veteran. It was a good story for the first five minutes, filled with close calls, bonding with peers, and learning about the outside world.
Then he kept going. He talked for 10, 15, nearly 20 minutes about the war before moving on to the subject he was supposed to speak about.
The war in question (Vietnam) took place more than 30 years ago. Yet to hear him talk, it was as if he had just returned from a tour in Iraq. He told the story as if it had all happened yesterday, and anyone listening could appreciate how the time in the war had made him into the person he was that day.
But it also made me wonder… what has he been doing for the past 30 years?Read More