Reset

The Emotional Balance Sheet

CarlRichards-EBS I often enjoy the personal finance columns by Carl Richards. In a recent one, he explains how to create an “emotional balance sheet” to quantify (or at least tally) your non-financial assets.

Carl tells the story of how he and his wife Cori made the choice for her to become a full-time mom, despite the fact that the family would lose more than $1 million in earnings over the next twenty years.

He’s quick to point out that the moral of the story isn’t “all mothers should stay home with their children”—which is good, since presumably many readers would make different choices. The lesson is a) to be clear about your intentions, and b) learn to value non-financial assets.

Read More

After the Wave

Thanks to everyone who sent notes or sentiments or just thought about Ken and our family after reading yesterday’s post. I appreciate it all.

I’d also like to encourage you to not borrow trouble. This isn’t your burden, or at least it isn’t for most of you. I wanted to share what had happened for anyone who cared, but you don’t need to feel bad or think that there’s something you need to do.

In the best of cases, a story of loss can inspire you to live more intentionally and to not take your loved ones for granted. I’ve often felt inspired and challenged by stories of loss myself, so if that happens for some of you as a result of hearing about Ken, that’s great.

I’ll still be writing the blog, daily whenever possible, and I don’t want it to be all about sad things. As always, I’ll be writing about entrepreneurship and seeing the world and whatever life lessons I happen to pick up along the way.

Read More

Let the Wave Crash Over You: A Letter for My Brother

Chris & Ken in the early years (ages 7 and 2) Dear Ken,

When I look back at all the memories we shared together, there are so many that stand out.

I tend to think of our childhood, which was not particularly a happy one for either of us—but my memories of you and me are consistently happy. I remember when we lived in different states and sent things back and forth to each other in the mail every week. We talked on the phone a lot then, too, but having something physical arrive in the mailbox was a fun thing that we each enjoyed.

I remember all the video games we played together. Well, I probably don’t remember all of them, since there were so many. But I remember going from console to console as we both grew up, sometimes competing against each other (you were always better at Sonic; I could usually beat you at Street Fighter) and sometimes cooperating.

Read More

A Story of Friendship and Values


6830056067_178036162e_z

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.

Read More

The Five-Year Road Trip: Two Adults and Two Teenagers Live Full-Time in an RV

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Dissatisfied with the typical suburban lifestyle, the Boyinks packed up their teenagers and hit the road. For the past five years, they've lived together in an RV, traveling America, meeting like-minded families and having adventures.

Originally, we traveled based on what we wanted to see. Now, we focus on who we want to be with. We’ve made friends with other traveling families and route planning is more collaborative.

Admittedly, there’s been some talk of finding land where we could all park our RV’s, let our kids hang out, grow a garden together, and just come and go as the need arises. The more we talk about it the more it starts to sound like a hippie commune...but maybe that isn’t so bad.

Boyink33

Read More

A Simple Thing You Can Do To Improve Any Relationship


7742438324_18919c558a_z

What if there was one thing you could do to be a better friend, partner, or spouse?

It's pretty simple: to improve any relationship, honor the other person’s dreams.

Figure out what they want to do, to become, or achieve, and then help them do it. Don't do it for them—it's their dream, after all—but show interest and offer tangible support.

How can you do that today?

Read More

“We Don’t Know What it’s Like Not to Travel”: On the Road with Sarah Glashegal and Scott Haywood

Sarah and Scott are at an exciting time in their lives: after incorporating regular travel into their routing, they're now transitioning from a rooted life in America to a more nomadic lifestyle. Here's their story.

Himalayas
I’m Sarah, and my partner is Scott. We met several years ago and fell in love - not just with each other, but also with the realization that we could fulfill lifetime dreams of traveling the world with the one we love.

We've lived mostly in the Midwestern U.S., but Scott recently took a job teaching at a middle school on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, where I’ll soon move full-time.

One of our passions has been learning about the work of artisans we meet in our travels. This turned into an online business called From Around the Globe to help these artisans reach a wider audience. In doing this, we’re actually aligning with our core values: to be respectful, caring, and helpful members of the world community.

Read More

The Amazing Marriage Adventure: Liz and Ryan Bower’s Quest

Liz and Ryan Bower are wedding photographers who believe in the marriages they document—and not just that first special day. They noticed that champions who might share the realities of life-long partnerships seemed to be few and far between.

They decided to hop in an RV and find true stories of loving marriages to share from every state of America.

We are millennials, story-tellers, wedding photographers, and dream believers. Most of all, we believe in helping to create amazing marriages that stand the test of time.

Our love of love dates back to our teenage years. We were high school sweethearts with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion to live a more meaningful life. So we started a photography business, Liz and Ryan. Six years later, and after 100 weddings captured, we realized there is a lot of hype surrounding weddings, but not a lot of hype surrounding marriages.

This eventually led to our quest: The Amazing Marriage Adventure. For 2015, we are living in an RV and traveling the U.S. to document at least one married couple’s story in all 50 states. Along the way, we’ll host couples' coffee-shop meetups to encourage community and truly open the lines of communication in celebration of marriage.
Katie and Andrew.

Read More

Taking a Travel Break Mid-Career: On the Road with John Fiddler and Kathleen Egan

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

John and Kathleen opted to take a mid-career break and travel the world under three tenets: sightseeing, athletics (trail running, climbing, and long distance hiking), and volunteering.

We're two 40-somethings on a multi-year career break traveling the planet. Along with adventuring through the wild landscapes of the world to see the sights and cultures of the planet, we’re trying to give back to communities as we travel.

From kayaking the length of the Baja peninsula, trail running around Europe, backpacking through Southeast Asia (and getting married there!), to being the first expedition to traverse the high route of the Great Himalaya Trail (87 days, unsupported), to now exploring and volunteering in Africa, it has been a crazy and incredible two years.

Read More

Traveling the Eco-Friendly Way: On the Road with Ivana and Gianni

Ivana Greslikova and Gianni Bianchini are two full-time travelers with a passion for eco-tourism. Here’s how they incorporate supporting conservation efforts in their travels:

Tell us about yourselves.

We are Ivana (from Slovakia) and Gianni (from Italy). While living in Germany, we decided to quit smoking. Our goal was to save money for a big trip, but we realized we’d be able to save enough for a Round-the-World experience.

What started as a one year plan became an indefinite journey. We are nature lovers, eco-travelers, and we’re passionate about photography. We try to immerse ourselves in the local culture while on the road.
Gianni5

Read More

It’s Okay to Schedule “Real Life” Into Your Calendar


scheduling-real-life

While looking for people who have their "Dream Job" or career to to profile as case studies for my upcoming book, I came across a great quote from Kaitlin on one of the initial survey forms:

"I've accepted that it's okay to schedule 'call parents' in my calendar so long as it helps me actually do it. It doesn't make me a bad person for scheduling real life into my calendar.”

I completely agree with this. You shouldn’t feel bad about “scheduling real life.” If you thrive on business goals and struggle with relational ones (that was me all last year), try being intentional about the relational goals.

One of my relational goals this year is to write or call one friend every day. So far I’m well on track—and having it written down as a stated goal is what makes it happen.

Read More

Talking About Suicide Attempts

Approximately 3% of the adult population has seriously attempted to end their lives, but most of those who do never speak of it. “The nation’s oldest suicide prevention organization, the American Association of Suicidology, decided in a vote by its board last week to recognize a vast but historically invisible portion of its membership: people…

Read More

The Family Who Doesn’t Understand

Several times on the never-ending book tour, people came up to me with multiple copies of my book for signing. “My family doesn't understand me,” they said, “So I'm giving them your book.”

"Thanks," I always said ... although I worried a little about signing books for people who didn't necessarily want them. I learned to invent a specific inscription for these copies:

"To Barbara: I'm not sure you'll like this book, but your daughter isn't crazy."

Read More