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A Short Collection of Unconventional Ideas


A year after you leave college, no one will care what your GPA was.

Once you fully understand what you want, it’s not usually that difficult to get it.

At all stages of life, people will gladly offer you unsolicited lists of things you “must” do, be, or have. Most of the time you can nod your head, walk away, and ignore them.

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.

Potential is good when you’re 15 years old. After that, you need to start doing something.

Simplifying your life is like running – not that complicated. You don’t need gadgets or monthly magazines to do either of these activities.

“Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” –Martin Luther King, Jr

Before people become widely accepted as heroes, they are usually hated by large segments of the general population. See Gandhi, Jesus, Martin Luther (the original), Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and many others.


Contrary to what you may have heard, it does not always “take money to make money.” You can start many businesses for less than $100.

You don’t need employees to have a business. In fact, it’s probably easier not to.

In many organizations, it’s not hard to stand out by being remarkable. Sadly, this is true in non-profit organizations just as much as in cubicle nation.

If you’re only working 10 productive hours a week but technically have to be on a job site for another 30 hours, why not spend 5-10 hours of the extra time doing something useful instead of just surfing the internet? Ideas: learn a language, write a novel, plan your retirement, whatever.


If you save $2 a day for three years, you can go anywhere in the world. Most places will take much less than three years.

The list of really big mistakes that you can’t recover from is very short. You can walk into glass doors in Singapore, arrive in Pakistan without a visa, or even double-book yourself on two non-refundable flights from Asia. Most of the time, everything turns out fine.

On your next flight, why wait in discomfort with all the masses? Stand outside an airline lounge and politely ask a friendly-looking person on the way in if they’ll vouch for you. Almost all lounges let members bring one or two guests in for free.

There aren’t that many dangerous places in the world. True, Somalia would not make a good vacation spot. But the list of Somalias is short, and the list of amazing places is long.


If you don’t enjoy spending long periods of time working by yourself with no external validation, a career in the arts is probably not a good choice.

Despite appearances to the contrary, it’s OK for artists to make money.

Jackson Pollock: is it really art? Your opinion is the only one that matters.


Sometimes things that seem “too good to be true” actually turn out to be true. If you’re skeptical by nature, you might miss out on some of them.

You are not a bad person if you want to do something for yourself.

You don’t have to feel guilty for having more than other people do. The goal is to help them get more by creating wealth, not by taking it away from you.

These things are optional:

  • Cars
  • Credit Cards
  • Houses
  • Bank Accounts
  • Phones
  • Insurance
  • Email

[Note: They can all be useful; just understand that they are also optional.]

Sometimes, the underdog can defeat the establishment. (Then, the underdog becomes the establishment, but that’s another story.)

Almost anyone can learn to do 100 push-ups in six weeks. True story: I completed my push-up challenge by doing the final exercises in the Ulaan Bataar airport in Mongolia this summer, waiting to fly back to Korea.

It’s not that hard to change when you really want to. Smokers who try to quit several times before succeeding often say that only on their last attempt did they really want to change.

There is almost always more than one way to accomplish something.


That’s what I’ve got so far. Care to add anything below?