Ignore simple explanations

The number of unintended consequences will always exceed the number of intended consequences.

It’s rare for plans and schemes and strategies to work out the way we want them to.

We’re living on a planet that is traveling 67,000 miles per hour orbiting a big giant ball of fire; we really don’t have as much control as we think we do.

“I’m just trying to run”

You can’t remove every piece of red tape, you can’t jump through every hoop, market conditions will never be perfect before you start.

You have to have a desire to do whatever it is you want to do and then crash the party.

Expect more obstacles along the way (not less). Weeds don’t stop sprouting just because you finished picking for the day.

No one believes you can do what you are about to do. There isn’t enough reassurance in the world to pull you through. You’re probably going to take some hits, but it isn’t as bad as you have imagined. You’ll need guts to push through the dip. You’re never going to feel good enough. You’re never going to be qualified.

But as Kathrine Switzer has pointed out, “I’m just trying to run.

No better words describe someone following their heart and doing what makes them happy. Quit caring about what others might think.

It will never get easier to run uphill. It just gets faster.

Self-deception (in the workplace)

It’s easy to seduce ourselves into thinking that by filling our time with busy work (emails, phone calls, meetings), we must be someone of great importance.

Busy work doesn’t mean you are doing productive work.

Staying busy might seem like a safe tactic to feel irreplaceable. But if your job can be written down into a simple set of instructions, we can find someone faster and cheaper.

Deep down, we know why it’s easier to fill our time with conference calls, board meetings and the never ending stream of emails; it’s because we are afraid. We are afraid of being judged. We are afraid that our best work isn’t good enough.

What’s indispensable in today’s market is to do work that might fail. Which means, we have to throw away the manual. We have to do work that requires emotional labor. Work that is bold and daring.

There is no map where we are going. No one can tell you what to do next. But if you insist on needing someone to point the way: Follow your curiosity. Do something interesting. Be generous.

Decide in an instant

Change doesn’t have to be a long, arduous journey. Change can be decided in an instant. All we have to do is merely decide the type of person we are going to be.


You’re now a ______________ (writer, painter, musician, athlete, teacher…you decide).

Now. Go. Do. And be the person you say you’re going to be.

The craziest thing we can do now

You could wait.

It may happen all at once, like winning the lottery.

But you’ll be waiting there for a long time.

And the world, and your opportunities today, will go right by you.

Or you can incrementally move towards wherever it is you want to go.

Drip by drip by drip.

The craziest thing we can do now is nothing.

What kind of failure?

Did you fail because you didn’t follow the manual? Because you didn’t follow the specs perfectly? Did you fail to keep the same promise you made yesterday? Did you break the social contract?


Did you fail because there was no set of instructions? Did you fail because you were doing something so daring and so audacious that success wasn’t a guarantee? Did you fail at doing something that you haven’t done before? Did you fail because you challenged the status-quo?

It’s clear that there are two types of failures: One because we flew too low and the other because we flew too high.

Most people will never recognize their full potential. The question is: Will you? How high will you go?

No one ever did anything of great value without having a few setbacks along the way. It’s a shame that the culture has taught us to hold back, to go with the crowd. It would be a bigger shame to waste one more day.

Stand up.

Stand out.


Make a ruckus.

The obstacle is the way

The challenge you’re about to face is precisely why everyone can’t do what it is you’re trying to do.

People like us do stuff like this.

You’re not looking for a short cut because everyone is already on it. You’re looking for choices.

Your compass point towards true north…Resistance. Often, you’ll find that is the direction you need to go. Charge it head on.

Origins of debt

Back in the 50’s, marketers ran into a problem. Everyone had bought everything they could afford. The simple solution then, was to charge it. Why wait? You can have everything you want. Now.

Today, that message has evolved. Debt is marketed as a necessary evil, unavoidable, something you cannot live without. Wealth Debt management.

Marketers continue to push harder for consumers to rack up more debt. In addition, the culture has taught us/programmed us to pay our debts. But what happens when we have a nation of citizens who can’t?

David Graeber has a fascinating book looking into this very subject. In summary, debt dates back further than money. Money wasn’t used to help us barter; instead money was used to feed an army. So, a nation would create a coin that citizens needed to pay as a tax. The taxes were used to feed the army.

The point I’m trying to make is this: Debt has been around for centuries. It’s nothing new. Understanding where it came from may help us understand where we are going. The results of having an entire nation enslaved by debt isn’t pretty, in the past it has led to slavery and much inequality.

The simple rule for borrowing money:

You might consider borrowing money if you are borrowing for things that go up in value. You should never borrow for anything that goes down in value.

An even better rule is:

Stop shopping. Buy less stuff. No restaurants or Starbucks. Eat black beans and rice. Drive a junker. Walk or bike or take the bus or carpool to work. Don’t go to a popular college. Start acting like you have no income. Work really hard. Don’t borrow any money. Live like no one else so later on you can live like no one else.

You could have the marshmallow now. It’s tempting. It’s almost too irresistible. Almost. So resist. Resist!

Debt has never been the key to unlocking one’s happiness.