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“The Beauty Is That It Could Fail”: A Real-World Story of Risk

The new host of Prairie Home Companion steps in after forty years of someone else running the show.

Toward the end of the meeting, Thile suggested a new idea. He wanted to perform a live request every week with his new house band. The rules: A minimum of two of the players should have heard the song, but none could have previously played it.

Rowles liked it. Hudson looked wary. Someone else said, “It could fall flat.”

Thile pointed out that its flopping could be entertaining as well: “It’s Evel Knievel.”

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“The key to optimism is how you explain what happens to you.”: Emiliya Zhivotovskaya at WDS

Later this month we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2017, a week-long gathering of creative, remarkable people—taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2016 event. Emiliya Zhivotovskaya is a leading voice in the world of positive psychology and the science of flourishing, as well as a widely sought-after speaker, educator, facilitator and coach.

At the age of 5, Emiliya and her family fled from Kiev, escaping the fall of Communism and the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Growing up in a foreign country, she faced challenges unknown to the average kid growing up in a New York suburb.

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“The purpose of work is to create.”: Mr. Money Mustache at WDS

Next month we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2017, a week-long gathering of creative, remarkable people—taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2016 event. Pete Adeney, or Mr. Money Mustache as he is most commonly known, retired at the ripe age of 30 in order to start a family. Six years into this new life of his, he realized his peers were still not only stuck in their well-paying jobs, but barely able to meet their ever-increasing lifestyle inflation bills.

Thus, Pete formed the blog Mr. Money Mustache to teach fellow Americans how to live a slightly less ridiculous life than average in order to amass an incredible surplus of money while still young and able to put it to good use. The blog has reached over 16 million people and become a study on life, happiness, and the joy of being able to focus on work that means something to you.

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“The next time something feels impossible, stay hungry.”: Chelsea Dinsmore at WDS

Next month we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2017, a week-long gathering of creative, remarkable people—taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2016 event. Chelsea Dinsmore took to the stage as our third keynote speaker of the day. She's the owner and Chief Inspiration Officer of Live Your Legend, a community whose mission is to change the world by helping people find their passion and build a career around the work that only they are capable of doing. Live Your Legend hosts monthly in person meetups in over 200 cities across nearly 60 countries, focused on creating in-person connections with like-minded living legends.

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“Instead of perceiving fear as an obstacle, I choose to see it as an opportunity.”: Michelle Poler at WDS

Next month we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2017, a week-long gathering of creative, remarkable people—taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2016 event. Following our first speaker, Jonathan Fields, we welcomed courageous video blogger, Michelle Poler, to the stage.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. It kept her safe and comfortable. But when she moved to New York to pursue a Masters in Branding at the School of Visual Arts, Michelle quickly realized that NYC was not for the fearful.

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“You’ve got to be unapologetically you.”: Jonathan Fields at WDS

Next month we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2017, a week-long gathering of creative, remarkable people—taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2016 event. To start us off, here's a video from our opening speaker, Jonathan Fields. A New York City dad, husband, entrepreneur and author, he founded mission-driven media and education venture, Good Life Project®, where he and his team lead a global community in the quest to live more meaningful, connected, and vital lives.

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Is There a Hole in Your Bathtub?

Imagine that you’re filling your bathtub for a nice relaxing soak. You’ve got the water on full blast at just the right temperature, and the soap suds are perfectly proportioned. Yet there’s a problem: the water rises to a decent level, but never quite tops out to where you’d like it. Despite leaving the water on and stepping away for a while, nothing changes.

Then you realize the source of the problem: there’s a hole in the drain. It may just be a small one, but it’s a hole—water disappears down it in one direction only, never to return.

What do you do? You could leave the water on full blast for the entire soak, which might not be that relaxing. Or you could try to fix the problem by plugging the hole.

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If Your Vision Isn’t Being Understood, Never Hesitate to Change Your Tactics

From Mike Birbiglia’s “6 Tips for Making it Small in Hollywood”:

"I once heard an interview where Ron Howard said that he tests the rough cuts of his movies with a ton of audiences. He doesn’t do it to be told what the movie’s vision should be, but to understand whether his vision is coming across. If not, he makes changes. Your vision is not being conveyed a majority of the time."

This relates to some other things I’ve been thinking recently.

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Black Sheep Basics

Be proud of being the black sheep. If everyone agrees with you, maybe you’re not being bold enough.

For a while, even as someone who never worked a real job, I was afraid to put forward an opinion that I knew was likely to be challenged. I had heard all the proverbs and stories about how those who change the world for good are often criticized, but it was hard to walk the walk. I was afraid of being put down!

I was also afraid of causing offense. The irony is that I thought I was being polite in going with the flow—not conforming to it myself, necessarily, but not really challenging it in others.

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Should You Perform for the Audience or Just Entertain Yourself?

Link: Sir Paul on Fans, the Beatles, and Himself

When Paul McCartney goes on tour, he plays a lot of songs. A recent set list included 27 songs and stretched for more than three hours. People get their money’s worth, which is why they keep coming back.

You can think of yourself as an artist that seeks to challenge yourself by trying new things, and there’s nothing wrong that perspective. But there’s also nothing wrong with asking, “What do the people want?” and then thinking about how to give it to them.

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8 Ways to Have More Time

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who needs only four or five hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, I’m not—without a consistent minimum of 6-8 hours, and usually on the high side of that range, I don’t perform very well.

If you’re like me and need your sleep, and if you’re not otherwise superhuman, you may need to hack your way to greater time and productivity. Many of us are constantly looking for more time. These 8 tips might help.

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How to Live in Fear

Are you tired of being courageous and fed up with bravery? Seeking an alternative to risk-taking?

Not to worry. Choosing to live in fear is both easy and safe. Simply follow a few simple guidelines, and you'll live comfortably ever after.

Keep calm and carry on. Beware of danger, true love, and real life.

Play it safe. Never charge down a mountain. Don't run, don't leap, don't go too fast. Be wary of opportunities and new perspectives. Above all: stay the course.

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Just Because It’s Supposed to Work Doesn’t Mean It Will

Dan finished his education degree without ever stepping into a classroom.

After he graduated, he realized he didn’t like teaching and wasn’t good at it. The very first day of student teaching, where the goal was to serve as an intern before accepting a full-time position, he knew that this was not the career for him.

You’re probably thinking: hey, that’s life! He just had to stick it out, and then he’d be fine. And it’s true, sometimes there’s a learning curve on the road of purpose. We’re supposed to challenge ourselves, and it takes time to gain real-world skills.

This was different, though. Dan really didn’t like teaching. It felt uncomfortable and unnatural. He knew he could probably soldier on through the internship, but he didn’t want to go any further.

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Winners Give Up All the Time

Lesson: “Never give up” is bad advice. Real winners don’t hesitate to walk away from an unsuccessful venture.

Contrary to popular belief, if you want to win, you shouldn’t always just keep going. You should regroup and try something totally different. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win” is a lie. To win, sometimes you need to find a new game to play.

You may be familiar with this old adage, often attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Einstein was right in that the real danger of going in- sane, or just failing over and over, doesn’t usually come from doing something new. Rather, the worst failures come from something that we’ve been doing for a while.

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