The Agenda, Part I: Ask Why

In 2009, I visited with Seth Godin and his Alternative MBA students. Afterwards, I asked Seth for advice. “I know it's a long list,” I said, “But what's one thing you think I can improve upon?”

He said, “I think you need more of an agenda. Consensus is overrated!” That was a very Seth thing to say, and I liked it. For the rest of the year, I thought about the agenda.

This is a six-part series to explain how I think we can change the world. I originally started AONC with the goal of writing for 1,000 people. Now my goal is 100,000 people, and it looks like that's only a year or so away. Lesson learned: small goals turn into big ones if you take them seriously. And also: it's good to be clear on what you're really about.

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Mountain Climbing, Motivations, and The Deep-Seated Fear of Failure

When I first started doing media interviews in 2008, I noticed that one question would almost always come up: “Why are you so obsessed with travel?” (I learned to call it the mountain-climbing question, because it's the same one climbers are asked about Everest and K2: “Why?”) The question bewildered me until I got used to it. For a long time, I didn't know how to answer; the quest to see the whole world was just something that made sense to me intuitively. I like travel, I like goal-setting, so why not put the two together?

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