Life

The Perfect System

Most of us are constantly looking for the Perfect System:

  • The perfect morning routine
  • The perfect system for dealing with email
  • The perfect system for productivity, to end procrastination
  • The perfect system for finances or building wealth
  • The perfect system for learning anything
  • The perfect system for being mindful, getting fit, losing weight, decluttering, building new habits, being a parent, building a new career, and on and on.

A world without retirement

We are entering the age of no retirement. The journey into that chilling reality is not a long one: the first generation who will experience it are now in their 40s and 50s.

Looking for tips to be a “Morning Person”

Starting a new job where its a 9am start time, looking for tips for how to become a “morning person.” I’m naturally more nocturnal but in this case its going to help me if I can shift to being a so called “morning person.” Have you had to do this yourself before?

I will never compare my life to yours. That’s why I’m happy.

I’m happy because when I look in the mirror, I don’t compare myself to anyone. Not anymore. I don’t compare the way I look, the way I feel, the work that I do. I don’t compare my level of happiness. I don’t compare my achievements.

Where Are You Really From

Many people aren’t from one place and are in constant motion. So why must we choose one nationality from a drop-down menu?

Design a Lucky Life

Our brains have an incredible capacity to forge tangible results out of a mindset. When we build a habit in a particular way of thought, we begin to train our brain to see the world through that lens. In this instance, if you’re looking for ways to be lucky, you’re strengthening the neurons that refine your awareness in the relevant domains.

How to be perfectly unhappy

How to be perfectly unhappy.

Happy Ambition: Striving for Success, Avoiding Status Cocaine, and Prioritizing Happiness

If all of your self-esteem eggs are in one basket, you’ll become very obsessive about the state of that basket. As your identity is tied up in one job and one career, you compare yourself more easily to all the other professionals are also specializing in that single line of work.

How to escape the overthinking trap: stop judging yourself

The despair from comparing ourselves with others is the original fake news. We need to develop a new relationship with our thoughts.

You (and Your Therapist) Can Change Your Personality

Lately, personality psychologists have taken a more moderate view: If personality traits do change, they change slowly, and the overall difference over time tends to be modest.

What inspires you to persevere through adversity?

What are some of the things you ‘surround’ yourself to keep going even after repeated failures. Failing can be related to any task in life - startup/job/relationships. What are some of things which inspire you and help you pull yourself back to chug along the track again.

I trained myself to be less busy — and it dramatically improved my life

My overwhelming schedule left me exhausted and empty. Here’s how I fought back.

Charles Bukowski: The Slavery of the 9 to 5

To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.

Why paper is the real 'killer app'

With apps taking over our lives, there’s a movement afoot as people yearn for simpler, technology-free times.

The secret to living a meaningful life

Your ambitions to improve your life do not need to be confined by your personality.

Why digital detoxes are a waste of time and are just 'nostalgia-laden nonsense'

Living a ‘purer’ life isn’t about turning off your smartphone.

How I Got My Attention Back

Technology is commanding our attention in infinite, insurmountable loops. A country trip off-grid helped me escape.

Don’t Tell Your Friends They’re Lucky

Luck has a lot to do with success. We just don’t want to admit it.

Filter Out the Noise

It can seem like our lives are filled with busyness, noise, distractions, and often meaningless activities. What if we could filter out all that noise, and focus on the meaningful?

The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking

Here’s a New Year’s challenge for the mind: Make this the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain.

The Diderot Effect: Why We Want Things We Don’t Need — And What to Do About It

The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

Pictures Show How Modern Life Is Altering the Natural World

Edward Burtynsky photographs changing landscapes—each one an imprint of human ambition.

How Social Isolation Is Killing Us

Social isolation is a growing epidemic, one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences.

If you could live and work somewhere, where would it be?

If you could pick one place or city in the world where you’d live and work (software dev) for the next 10 years. Where would it be? And why would you pick that place?

Why You Should be Planning for 2018, Not 2017.

The principle is simple: Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard.

Proof that life is getting better for humanity, in 5 charts

Proof that life is getting better for humanity, in 5 charts.

8,760 Hours: How to get the most out of next year

The end of a year is the perfect time to review one’s life, goals, plans, and projects, as well as plan for the upcoming year. I’ve been fine-tuning my own review process for several years and thought others might be interested to know what I do and how.

Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary

The good life is the simple life. Among philosophical ideas about how we should live, this one is a hardy perennial; from Socrates to Thoreau, from the Buddha to Wendell Berry, thinkers have been peddling it for more than two millennia.

Living as a Service: is Subscription Co-Living the solution for transient Millennials?

The concept of “ownership” as we know it is quickly changing. Traditionally, we’ve been tied to the idea of possession, paying for products and services outright or taking years (or decades) to pay off a home mortgage or car loan. Nowadays, everything seems to be available for rent or subscription.

How to Sleep

Should you drink more coffee? Should you take melatonin? Can you train yourself to need less sleep? A physician’s guide to sleep in a stressful age.

I am not a self-made man.

We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice, and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we’re stuck with nowhere to go. I have been blessed to find mentors and idols at every step of my life, and I’ve been lucky to meet many of them.

Who Still Lives at Home with Their Parents?

Living at home with your parents isn’t just for little kids anymore. Young adults are now more likely to live with their parents than in any other living arrangement, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

The Busy Person’s Lies

A December Gallup poll found that 61 percent of working Americans said they did not have enough time to do the things they wanted to do. Some of us feel this more acutely than others: A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that 9 in 10 working mothers said they felt rushed all or some of the time. In an attempt to understand this frenzy, I spent the past 12 months studying my own time during what might turn out to be the busiest year of my life.

Why 30 is the decade friends disappear — and what to do about it

New research recently found that starting at age 25, we lose more friends than we make each year.

Embedded beings: how we blended our minds with our devices

Our devices are so deeply enmeshed in our lives that we anticipate them being there at all times with access to the full range of the internet’s offerings.

Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded

Being “needed” does not entail selfish pride or unhealthy attachment to the worldly esteem of others. Rather, it consists of a natural human hunger to serve our fellow men and women. As the 13th-century Buddhist sages taught, “If one lights a fire for others, it will also brighten one’s own way.”

You should only compete with one person: yourself

It’s easy to compare yourself against other people especially as they flood our screens with images. But when you compete against other people, you judge yourself based on their values and metrics. The problem with this is even if you win, you only do something that’s important to them, not you.

You Don’t Need a Master Plan — You Just Need to Start

Starting something in the hopes of making an extra $1,000 a month is every bit as worthy as trying to colonize Mars. Start small and give your ambitions room to grow.

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken.

I Don’t Really Believe in “Work-Life Balance”

If you actually are trying to become great at something, it’s probably on your mind all the time. It’s very hard to love something and not be working on it or talking about it.

How being alone may be the key to rest

How much rest do we think we need, who is getting the most, and what are the most restful activities? The results of the world’s largest survey on rest indicate that to feel truly rested, a lot of us want to be alone.

The Perils of Peak Attention

Two new books assess the quality of our digital lives: How do we shake off the village when we carry the world in our pocket?

What do you regret in life?

What do you regret in life?

Should I save money or travel abroad?

I’m 22 and am debating whether or not I should be buckling down and saving for more college/life savings or if I should use my extra money for travel. Advice from those of you older and wiser is appreciated

I Wore an Expensive Watch While Traveling, and People Treated Me Wayyy Differently

For the traveler whose time is spent making snap-judgment impressions all day, every day, an expensive watch can be a shortcut to a kind of acceptance, however cheap it might be.

Weekend wasted again

I decide to do something over the weekend may be a small project or learn something new or prepare for interview, but Saturday and Sunday goes by and I do nothing but to browse internet, facebook, youtube and going through links. At the end of Sunday, I feel like, I wasted my weekend and get little bit depressed. If anyone has gone through process, can you please share how to got out of this loop on every week end?

How can I stop being average?

Getting out of your comfort zone sounds awesome but the odds are that while this will expose you to new experiences, you’re unlikely to be above average at anything you try at first.

Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.”

Why I Stopped Taking My Mobile Phone to My Bedroom

But I realized that one are that technology was having an unhealthy impact on my life and that was in the bedroom. Like many of you I dragged my mobile phone into my bedroom at night and would occasionally check email or Twitter or Facebook before bed. I used my iPhone as my alarm clock and I often did 20 minutes of email in bed in the morning before starting my day.

How to Retire at 40

Three early retirees tell their story of living on 4 percent or less.

Making Modern Toughness

We are all fragile when we don’t know what our purpose is, when we haven’t thrown ourselves with abandon into a social role, when we haven’t committed ourselves to certain people, when we feel like a swimmer in an ocean with no edge.

Our life in three stages – school, work, retirement – will not survive much longer

Babies born today have a good chance of surviving to be 105. If they are to exploit the great opportunities raised by longevity we must abandon outdated notions of a traditional life.

How to Tell If You’re a Jerk

If you think everyone around you is terrible, the joke may be on you.

I Used to Be a Human Being

An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts. It broke me. It might break you, too.

The Free-Time Paradox in America

The rich were meant to have the most leisure time. The working poor were meant to have the least. The opposite is happening. Why?

The Passion Fallacy (or, Why You Need More Than “Passion” to be Successful)

For starters, you need to stop thinking about what you enjoy, and instead - start thinking about your strengths and the opportunities around you.

Why you feel busy all the time (when you’re actually not)

It’s become a status symbol to be busy, which is absurd when you consider its effects on well-being.

Why are Adults so busy?

I’ve always wondered growing up - what makes adults so busy? Sure, you’re working a 40 hour a week job but the rest should just be fun and games, right?

Why I Rent a Tiny Apartment Rather than Buy a Big Home

I’m not saying that you should never buy a house. Just don’t make it your life ambition, much less try to fit your entire life inside it.

Design Your Way to a Happier Life

Don’t worry about finding your ‘passion.’ Think like a designer: Try out quick prototypes of multiple ideas to learn what actually makes you happy.

Why can’t we see that we’re living in a golden age?

If you look at all the data, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to be alive.

What's an item on your bucket list that's off the wall unique, but still realistically achievable?

What’s an item on your bucket list that’s off the wall unique, but still realistically achievable?

What was your “why didn't I start doing this sooner” moment?

What was your “why didn’t I start doing this sooner” moment?

Loneliness Is a Warning Sign to Be Social

“Loneliness is a warning system,” says Louise Hawkley, a psychologist at the University of Chicago. It is our body telling us we’re breaking from the social bonds that nourished us as a species.

How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself

In the novel Catch-22, the author Joseph Heller famously wrote: “Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.”

How to Become the Best in the World at What You Do

This post is a framework to quickly get you into the top 5–10 percent of your field so you can begin the real quest of becoming the best at what you do.

What did you learn too late in life?

What did you learn too late in life?

Against the Cult of Travel, or What Everyone Gets Wrong About the Hobbit

Modern culture is in the throes of a real love affair with travel. It’s become a central element of our zeitgeist, a main tenet in living a fulfilled, non-pedestrian life. Everywhere you turn, and no matter the dilemma, travel is offered as the cure… But is our faith in travel justified? Or have we forced it to bear the weight of far heavier expectations than it should be made to carry?

How do you find friends after moving to a new city?

How do you find friends after moving to a new city?

Out of ideas, what to do?

I am having a lot of free time during this period but I don’t seem to get any good ideas into my head like it used to be when I was busy. What do you guys do when you don’t have any good idea? How do you look for inspiration? Have you guys faced similar situations?

What was your "why didn't I start doing this sooner" moment?

What was your “why didn’t I start doing this sooner” moment?

Why the Cost of Living Is Poised to Plummet in the Next 20 Years

But what people aren’t talking about, and what’s getting my attention, is a forthcoming rapid demonetization of the cost of living.

I’ve never had a goal

I do things, I try things, I build things, I want to make progress, I want to make things better for me, my company, my family, my neighborhood, etc. But I’ve never set a goal. It’s just not how I approach things.

When you feel stuck in life

You have the drive and motivation to get to your destination but once you are there – you’re left wondering – “what else could I have done? What else is there to life? Because if this is all there is then I’m not happy.” And, truth be told, I am not happy. I’d like to be something – more than just an office person. More than just someone who works that 8-5 shift.

The Scientific Argument for Mastering One Thing at a Time

The counterintuitive insight from all of this research is that the best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Instead, it is best to focus on one specific habit, work on it until you master it, and make it an automatic part of your daily life. Then, repeat the process for the next habit.

It’s Not What You Want to Be When You Grow Up — It’s Who

What should I be doing with my life? That’s when I (finally) started to recognize the pattern. If I always asked myself the question assuming I had to make a life altering career choice that very day, I would always be stumped, scared and frustrated.

Why exhaustion is not unique to our overstimulated age

What often goes unnoticed, though, is that anxieties about exhaustion are not peculiar to our age. Those who imagine that life in the past was simpler, slower and better are wrong.

Work/Life balance is bullshit.

For me the concept of work/life balance is bullshit. The fact that we call it work/life balance automatically implies that one of the two is negative and we need to balance it with the other.

I am Werner Herzog, the filmmaker. AMA.

Well, I would say, reading is some kind of essential prerequisite to everything you do. Whether you are a scientist or a filmmaker, or just a normal human being working in a more “normal” profession. I cannot argue much about it. Read, read, read, read, read. The other side, traveling on foot, nobody does it and what I said will disappear into thin air any moment from now. Traveling on foot has actually given me insight into the world itself. The world reveals itself to one who travel on foot. I can give you one example, you start to understand the heart of men. I was, for a film, at the Johnson Space Center and had to take to five astronauts who had done a space mission in a space shuttle. I wanted to persuade them to be extras in the film in a very strange way. They were sitting in a semi circle when I was taken in and my heart sank that I didn’t know “what should I say? what should I do?” I looked around and looked into their faces and all of a sudden I had the feeling, I understand these people. I understand the heart of these men and these women. I said “since I was a child, when I learned how to milk a cow with my own hands, I can tell that since I’ve traveled on foot and in the meadow first you milk a cow to have something to drink. I know by looking at faces, who is able to milk a cow.” I looked at the pilot and said “you sir!” and he burst out in smiles and says “yes, I can milk a cow.” Somehow when you make films, you understand the heart of men. In a way you cannot learn it, the world has to teach you. The world does it in it’s most intense and deepest way when you when you encounter it by traveling on foot.

I’d like to add that when I travel by foot, I don’t do it as a backpacker where you take all your household items with you, your tent, your sleeping bag, your cooking utensils. I travel without any luggage and I do not travel, let’s say, the specific trail 2000 miles which is marked. I do traveling for very intense quests in my life. I do that on foot.

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

When I hear the realism that comes from founders with setback it elicits an understanding of what it takes to be successful at a startup that frankly can’t exist unless you’ve walked in those shoes before.

How I Became My Own Boss By Side Hustling and Doing What I Love

I believe in the side hustle 100%. It’s unrealistic to think that you could ever reach a moment where you can just cut off all financial security and start the career of your dreams. Unless you have years of savings or planning a couchsurfing trip.

What’s lost when we photograph life instead of experiencing it?

Indeed, the compulsive urge to immediately, electronically exhibit one’s self is a phenomenon made uniquely possible by our digital age. Yes, there are benefits to being able to share more images with a greater audience. But the impulse to incessantly document and post has taken precedent over simple focus and direct human connection.

The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

The talent trap: why try, try and trying again isn’t the key to success

The idea of “grit” speaks to our deepest wishes: we all want to believe in our own limitless potential, and that of our children.

How Did You Start Over?

Have you ever just said F@#%k it? ..Wiped the slate clean? Just dropped the mic…and walked away into a whole new uncharted life? Career-wise that is. Would love to hear your story/musings/wisdom.

Has anyone successfully implemented the 4 hour workweek?

Curious to have a discussion surrounding whether people have successfully maintained a four hour work week. Also included can be those that have completely automated businesses too. On a personal note, I find freedom in being able to not work the 9-5 job. If I were to work 9=5 this would be certainly side income with the hope to then quit the 9-5.

The Four Burners Theory: The Downside of Work-Life Balance

Essentially, we are forced to choose. Would you rather live a life that is unbalanced, but high-performing in a certain area? Or would you rather live a life that is balanced, but never maximizes your potential in a given quadrant?

The War on Stupid People

American society increasingly mistakes intelligence for human worth.

The solution to just about everything: working less

A 21st-century education should prepare people not only for joining the workforce, but also (and more importantly) for life.

Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods and the Power of Travel

On today’s show, Andrew talks about the transformative power of travel, a life-changing trip to Madagascar, and the decision he made to be himself, rather than a character of himself, on Bizarre Foods.

Has convenience turned you into a monster?

Like me, you might be a liberal who loves Uber and Airbnb. But the darker side of the new economy isn’t something we can simply ignore.

Steps to Turn Off the Nagging Self-Doubt in Your Head

Most of us lose time to negative thoughts; reframe your thinking and feel more positive.

The Japanese art of (not) sleeping

The Japanese don’t sleep. They don’t nap. They do ‘inemuri’. Dr Brigitte Steger explains.

Selfishness Is Learned

Many people cheat on taxes—no mystery there. But many people don’t, even if they wouldn’t be caught—now, that’s weird. Or is it? Psychologists are deeply perplexed by human moral behavior, because it often doesn’t seem to make any logical sense. You might think that we should just be grateful for it. But if we could understand these seemingly irrational acts, perhaps we could encourage more of them.

Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice.

Next time people say, “just be yourself,” stop them in their tracks. No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head. They just want you to live up to what comes out of your mouth.

How to Be an Optimal Human

Science-informed suggestions to help you have greater health, growth, and happiness.

I found your passion

Trying to find your passion is a recipe for disaster – or at best, a recipe for horrible disappointment (note: the recipe includes pickles). What if you can’t find it? What if you find it and then a few days later you realize that wasn’t it at all?

The Face Everything Technique: Why Avoiding Difficulties Doesn’t Work

Our minds want to run from whatever discomfort, pain, difficulty we’re facing… and this is a good strategy for temporarily not having to deal with difficulty and pain. So in the present moment, we might feel some temporary relief. But what it does is relegate us to a life of running.

Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bullshit

Quitting your job to pursue your passion is bullshit. This messaging is only beneficial for privileged people and very dangerous for working class people.

Posting photos online is not living. You are producing your own obituary

As you point your phone at everything from Notre Dame to a slice of chocolate cake, remember these images will take on significance only after you have gone.

Why 2014 Marked a Historic Shift in Housing Arrangements

For the first time since the 1880s, more young Americans are living with their parents than with a romantic partner.

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together.

What is something someone said that forever changed your way of thinking?

What is something someone said that forever changed your way of thinking?

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy

It’s a paradox: Shouldn’t the most accomplished be well equipped to make choices that maximize life satisfaction?

How Not to Care What Other People Think

They say you stay up too late and got nothing in your brain? It’s normal to care what important people in your life think of you. But if caring too much makes you stressed or you live your life by others’ expectations, it may be time to push back. Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen offers nine ways to stop caring what other people think.

Johannes Haushofer CV of Failures

Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective.

When Your Calling Seems Vague and Unclear, You’re on the Right Track

Most people don’t know what to do with their lives. And that’s okay.

150 years ago, a world-famous philosopher called busyness the sign of an unhappy person

And indeed, as we race from the office to the gym to a dinner, proudly showing off our jam-packed schedules, it’s worth remembering Kierkegaard’s warnings about busyness from centuries ago. He wrote:

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy—to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work… What, I wonder, do these busy folks get done?

Why Luck Matters More Than You Might Think

When people see themselves as self-made, they tend to be less generous and public-spirited.

This Hobo Life

Kids are still unplugging and trying out The Hobo Life—but what happens when you add Wi-Fi and Indiegogo campaigns and iPhone apps to the experience?

The Truth About What It Means To Be Successful

So what, then, is success? Because it is not money. That I know. And it is not some physical achievement. That I know. It is not a book written or a reward received or a job completed or a promotion anointed. Here are the stages of success that I think exist. I can easily be wrong. This is what works for me now.

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Here are the bite-sized nuggets of wisdom our LIVE Chat guests—from singers to pro basketball players to venture capitalists—want to share with the world.

Take what you can get (?)

Surviving is succeeding, no doubt about it. Doing the work is better than not doing the work. Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. But, and it’s a huge but, you define yourself by the work you do, and perhaps you need to redefine what you’re willing to take and where you’re looking for it.

Fear Is Why We Have Too Much Stuff

Fear is what causes us to buy things we don’t really need. Fear keeps us holding onto stuff we don’t need.

How Minimalism Brought Me Freedom and Joy

A lot of people get minimalism confused. It’s not necessarily a good way to live. Or a free way to live for many people. It’s just the way I like to live. I like to be a wanderer. Without knowing where I am going to end up. To explore with no goal. To love without expectation.

The ages of distraction

Busy, distracted, inattentive? Everybody has been since at least 1710 and here are the philosophers to prove it.

Give yourself permission to have work-life balance

Burning out early helps no one. WHY are we running? What are we running towards? Are you trying to get promoted, a better title, more money for your family, an early retirement, good healthcare? Ask yourself these questions so you at least know and you’re conscious about your motivations. Sometimes we forget WHY we work.

The Difference Between My Rich Friends And Poor Friends

Being rich isn’t about money. It’s about abundance. Here’s why.

There’s More Than Enough Time, When You Use The Time You Have

The following is a short list of principles, that if applied, will empower you to make the most of every moment of your life. To be sure, developing these habits is not easy in our heavily distracted and externally-driven world.

The College of Chinese Wisdom

Telling young people to discover their true selves causes confusion and anxiety. Better to follow Confucius, who knew that our identities are in constant flux.

Late sleepers are tired of being discriminated against. And science has their back.

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on the science of chronobiology, which finds we all have an internal clock that keeps us on a consistent sleep and wake cycle. But the key finding is that everyone’s clock is not the same. Most people fall in the middle, preferring to sleep around 11 pm to 7 am. But many — perhaps 40 percent of the population — don’t naturally fit in this schedule.

People Want Power Because They Want Autonomy

New research suggests being in charge is appealing because it offers freedom—not because it allows people to control others.

Reboot or Die Trying

A star political blogger for Grist.org, David Roberts spent so much time posting and Tweeting and staring at screens that he almost went nuts. So he pulled the plug for a year, restarting his relationship with technology and actively seeking health, balance, and adventure in the real world. What he learned just might save you from meltdown.

Why You Should Stop Reading About Productivity

But the reason you’re not productive isn’t because you don’t know what to do with all of your extra time, it’s because the hours of your day have been wasted. If you’ve already spent 8 hours doing something unrelated to what you should be doing, no tip or trick will help you gain back that time. It’s gone.

Why do we work so hard?

Our jobs have become prisons from which we don’t want to escape.

Even Astronauts Get The Blues: Or Why Boredom Drives Us Nuts

We’ve all been there: bored in class, bored at work, bored in stand still traffic. But why do we find boredom so unbearable? And, if we hate boredom so much, why do we still take boring jobs? This week on Hidden Brain, we try to answer these questions and more – hopefully, without boring you.

Moving Out of Silicon Valley because of housing? Where to?

Has anyone moved out of SF/SV to work in a different tech city? If so, where?

How to Learn to Love to Practice

Anyone who wants to master a skill must run through the cycle of practice, critical feedback, modification, and incremental improvement again, again, and again. Some people seem able to concentrate on practicing an activity like this for years and take pleasure in their gradual improvement. Yet others find this kind of focused, time-intensive work to be frustrating or boring. Why?

Life is not like Instagram: I’m a Tortoise

The pros and cons of carrying your home on your back and creating a living out of travel.

Confessions of a Failed Self-Help Guru

I traveled around the country telling strangers how to balance their workloads and better their lives—until I learned the hard way that the people offering to solve your problems are often the ones who need help the most.

No, honey, you can’t be anything you want to be. And that’s okay.

Telling kids that they can do anything—whether fueled by imagination or hard work—obscures the critical role of chance in success. Not every child who wants to be a surgeon or sports star can become one, even if they work hard at it. At the same time, in every success story there is the grace of good fortune. As Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman puts it: “Success = Talent + Luck. Great success = A little more talent + A Lot of Luck.”

The Life Project: what makes some people happy, healthy and successful – and others not?

The factors that most affect our life chances are revealed as the first group of British babies followed in a remarkable cradle-to-grave study turns 70.

How the Idea of a 'Normal' Person Got Invented

The notion that there is a “normal” height or a “normal” salary is a relatively new one, and it’s had a profound effect on how people think about each other and themselves.

Disposable Friendships in a Mobile World

When people repeatedly move from place to place, they may be more willing to let go of relationships.

In Defense of “Running Away From Your Problems”

We’re conditioned early on, especially as women, to value security above all else and cling on to it at all costs and it takes an exceptional sort of fearlessness to tune out the expectations of the people in your life and risk your own security, in pursuit of genuine happiness.

Douglas Rushkoff: 'I’m thinking it may be good to be off social media altogether'

The media critic on the malfunctioning tech economy, digital detoxes and why Facebook is unhygenic.

Happiness Hack: This One Ritual Made Me Much Happier

Unfortunately, the less time we invest in people, the easier it is to make do without them, until one day it becomes too awkward to reconnect. “Since we haven’t spoken for so long,” we think, “where would we even begin? If we were still close friends wouldn’t we have spoken more by now?” This is how friendships die — they starve to death.

The importance of just starting

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself.”

To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind

We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

What people around the world mean when they say they’re happy

In English, for example, the word “happy” can refer to different things. It might mean a fleeting mood you feel when someone surprises you with a gift or you think of friends and family. Or it could refer to a deeper and less malleable state of satisfaction with your life. But not all languages refer to happiness the same way.

The question of staying motivated is answered before 10 am

Getting stuff done in the morning is important because it makes our brains sing. When we accomplish something big in the morning—a good workout, writing, decent progress on a project—we set ourselves up for success throughout the rest of the day. That’s why having a morning routine is so crucial.

The Differences between Happiness and Meaning in Life

Happiness and meaning are strongly correlated with each other, and often feed off each other. The more meaning we find in life, the more happy we typically feel, and the more happy we feel, the more we often feel encouraged to pursue even greater meaning and purpose. But not always.

How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map

Humanity has conquered the world. It’s hard to appreciate what that means, but the video above, by WorldPopulationHistory.org, shows just how incredible the growth and expansion of humanity has been over the past 2,000 years.

Multitasking is Killing Your Brain

Many people believe themselves to be multitasking masters, but could it all be in their heads?

the five minute journal will make you happier

How using the Five Minute journal method made Tim Ferriss and thousands of others 100% happier.

Work imitates life

The utopian workplace is here, complete with roof gardens, therapists and time to nap. Can the employee ever escape?

When Do You Become an Adult?

In an age when the line between childhood and adulthood is blurrier than ever, what is it that makes people grown up?

Fuck Your “Life Hacks”: If you want to change, then change.

But fuck all these end of year bullshit get-your-life-together-with-these-five-steps articles. Medium and Twitter and fucking Facebook have been completely saturated with them for two weeks now. The only life hack you need is the one about cleaning your oven overnight with, like, a box of baking soda or some shit.

Ask the aged

Who better to answer questions about the purpose of life than someone who has been living theirs for a long time?

What To Do When You Screw Up Badly

After making enormous mistakes myself, and learning from other people’s mistakes, I’ve learned 4 lessons that might help you next time you screw up.

You Don’t Need More Free Time

Americans work some of the longest hours in the Western world, and many struggle to achieve a healthy balance between work and life. As a result, there is an understandable tendency to assume that the problem we face is one of quantity: We simply do not have enough free time. “If I could just get a few more hours off work each week,” you might think, “I would be happier.” This may be true. But the situation, I believe, is more complicated than that.

Life Changing Lessons from a Dying man

Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, expected his students to pay attention to his lectures. But he would never expect that the rest of the world would listen to it too. As of today, more than 17 million people have tuned in Randy Pausch’s last lecture.

The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do (And What to Do About It)

Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. Even prolific artists like Victor Hugo are not immune to the distractions of daily life. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: Akrasia.

Rules for Getting Organized & Decluttered

I know in my life, going from being overwhelmed with clutter to minimalism was a slow but rewarding journey, and now I feel happy every time I look around and see the lovely space around me. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I’m here to testify that it’s not impossible, and it just takes some small steps that add up over time. Here are the rules I suggest — though I don’t suggest adopting them all, and especially not all at once. Try a few out, see how they work for you, then try a few others.

Via Negativa: Addition by Subtraction

Just as effective as adding something to our lives, if not more so, is subtracting the things that might be holding us back. In truth, oftentimes the path to becoming a better man is found in following the via negativa — the negative way.

The Zen of Ice Cold Showers

In many ways we are a culture exceptionally filled with stress, distraction, anxiety, struggle and despair. But we don’t have to let the scale and severity of the challenges dictate how we live and feel about our lives. Because we all have a superpower.

Work-life balance: flexible working can make you ill, experts say

Practices such as working from home could do more harm than good, research finds, as many employees never ‘switch off’.

How Young Adults Spend Their Time: 2004 vs 2014

For all the changes that we observed over the past decade, much has also stayed the same. Twentysomethings are spending similar amounts of time on exercise, household maintenance, and education. And even in areas like sleep, where there has been a change, it’s not an amount that fundamentally changed this group’s life. For the areas that have seen large movement in time use, like travel, shopping and playing games, it seems like the main catalyst for that change has been the Internet.

Don’t Edit Your Imagination

As children, we have vivid imaginations. We stay up late waiting for Santa Claus, dream of becoming President, and have ideas that defy physics. Then something happens. As we grow older, we start editing our imagination.

You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Can’t Kick a Bad Habit? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

When it comes to gaining control over bad habits, like eating food we know isn’t good for us, I shared with her the only thing that has worked for me. I call it “progressive extremism,” and it works particularly well in situations in which substituting one habit for another just won’t do.

Stop Being So Self-Conscious

Or consider the ups and downs of everyday life. I said something inappropriate at a party last week, and I’m still a bit mortified. Yesterday, I gave a great talk; today is a real bad hair day. This year I worked hard on my introductory psychology class; last year, I phoned it in. Because such contrasts are so salient in our minds, we think others are sensitive to them as well; we think they notice. But research finds that they don’t, at least not to the extent we think they do.

On Quitting: Part II

I said in my last post, “You will never figure out what’s right until you fix what you already know is inherently wrong.” So I’ve been doing that and simplifying the hell out of my life. That includes everything from relationships that weren’t good for me to bad habits like biting my nails. Recently I’ve even removed things like alcohol and sugar to help me keep this focus while I figure out what’s “right”. The key has just been to S L O W it all down. It’s so hard at first, but it’s gotten easier every day.

Why Copying The Habits Of Successful People Won’t Make You Successful.

The daily habits and thought processes of your idols are certainly a contributing factor to the quality of their lives, but only because they have realised that those things work for them. Those things add something of value to their lives on an individual level. Those things are deeply personal, and they’re not something that can be copy-pasted into your own life with any guarantee of impact or effectiveness.

Your life on earth

How you and the world have changed since you were born.

What I Learned from Losing $200 Million

The 2008 financial crisis taught me about the illusion of control, and how to give it up.

If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think

It’s really easy to get off-course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course-corrections. But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling.

They Rejected Us

Everyone’s been rejected - these are our stories.

How to stop getting stuck

There is no point in waiting for the perfect moment. There is no such thing as a perfect moment.

The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”

Why I Stopped Helping People And You Should Too

My mother taught me never to give unsolicited advice, nor try to help anyone unless they ask you for it. I always thought that maybe she was just cold. As I get older, I have started to realize that she was right. My mother is one of the kindest people in my life.

As We May Live

Nearly 100 years after our modern idea of home was invented, we started a company that aims to create something better. Because seemingly exotic lifestyle choices available to a few should be accessible to many. It should be easy for you to live a life that’s more communal. Global. And interesting. While we’ll address reliable housing for nomads first, the bigger story is outlined below.

The Tail End

Setting aside my secret hope that technological advances will let me live to 700, I see three takeaways here:

  1. Living in the same place as the people you love matters. I probably have 10X the time left with the people who live in my city as I do with the people who live somewhere else.

  2. Priorities matter. Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you—not by unconscious inertia.

  3. Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious.

Costs of under-confidence

This reminds me that one of the under-rated skills in life is the ability to know one’s skill.

How I became a morning person (and why I decided to make the change)

I traded a typical night-owl schedule—up ’til midnight or later, staring at a screen, writing, doing design work, coding—for an uncommon routine where I go to sleep early, wake up early, and get a lot of work done in those quiet morning hours. Here are the lessons I’d share with anyone who wants to wake up early.

Five people with extremely unconventional homes

Housing can be a lot more difficult than just choosing a place and moving in. Sometimes, when the situation calls for it, creativity and innovation come in handy. Here are five stories of people that have disregarded the “traditional” way of living and found their place on their own terms.

How to Be Alone: An Antidote to One of the Central Anxieties and Greatest Paradoxes of Our Time

“We live in a society which sees high self-esteem as a proof of well-being, but we do not want to be intimate with this admirable and desirable person.”

Altucher Confidential

Most people worry about what other people think of them. Most people worry about their health. Most people are at a crossroads and don’t know how to take the next step and which road to take it on. Everyone is in a perpetual state of ‘where do I put my foot next’. Nobody, including me, can avoid that.

“Don’t Pursue Something that Someone Said You Should Want”

“Don’t commit to one idea of the future but instead, commit to a problem that you want to solve. Then you can stay committed to the problem and continually try to find the ongoing and ever-changing answer to that problem.”

This Is What Happens When You Try To Do the Impossible

For 5000 years or longer, humanity has driven forward with story-telling. Too many people forget that but the only way to really communicate effectively is through story… Too often we apply for grants. Or we apply to a company. Or we apply to the government. And then we wait. And we wait. And we want that one special person to choose us.

Born to Be Conned

Stories are one of the most powerful forces of persuasion available to us, especially stories that fit in with our view of what the world should be like. Facts can be contested. Stories are far trickier. I can dismiss someone’s logic, but dismissing how I feel is harder.

Happiness Doesn't Help You Live Longer

A new study of hundreds of thousands of women finds no difference in mortality between the happy and the unhappy.

What I Learned from Four Years Working at McDonalds

For me my time at McDonalds was invaluable. Yeah, I never want to scoop fries or make burgers again, but I learnt something more important. I started to chip away at my arrogance. I challenged the ways I dehumanized people for their job. I stopped equating dislike for big shitty companies with dislike for their foot soldiers. I developed more empathy.

My father had one job in his life, I've had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time

In the ‘gig’ or ‘sharing’ economy, say the experts, we will do lots of different jobs as technology releases us from the nine to five. But it may also bring anxiety, insecurity and low wages.

To extend my life, I changed my perception of time

A cool thing about moving to another country is that your life gets longer. Last year I calculated, that I should move to Colombia, and since then I’ve lived about two months more than I would have otherwise. I know you think I’m bullshitting you, but hear me out!

The World Is Not Falling Apart

Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times.

I sat down with a millionaire who operates 10 businesses while sailing around the world with his family

This is what he told me.

The Science of Gratitude

Research suggests saying thanks regularly can benefit your health.

How to Want Very Little

Imagine a life where we could enjoy simple, free pleasures like going for a walk in nature, meditating, reading a book, writing. By buying less we’d have less debt, less clutter, less to take care of. We’d need smaller houses, less storage. Perhaps we could even work less to support all this buying, unless the work were something we loved to do.

The day I became a millionaire

Once you’ve taken care of the basics, there’s very little in this world for which your life is worth deferring. You’ve likely already found or at least seen the very best things (whether you know it or not). Make them count.

AI will reorganize the human population

Our vision is to make moving so easy and information about life quality so transparent that we would end up with a world where countries and cities compete for each citizen (not vice versa).

Fuck Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance doesn’t exist in a world where sippy cups, Algebra lessons, Swedish massage class, yoga, conference calls, editorial deadlines and living in a third language all co-habitate in the same mental space. It just doesn’t. And, it’s asinine to pretend that it does.

Viewpoint: How creativity is helped by failure

The problem in the world today is that we only see the final product - the amazing movie, the super-efficient vacuum cleaner, the vogue theory. What we don’t see is the deeper story of how these innovations emerge. The tales we tell about creativity overlook this, too. We think of Archimedes shouting “eureka” or Newton being hit on the head by the apple and instantaneously inventing the theory of gravity. But these stories are pure fiction. They get the direction of creativity the wrong way around.

A Healthy Way to Aspire to a Better Life

I have a friend who is unhappy with his life — being in debt, lonely, with a job he doesn’t like, in a town he doesn’t like.

Give it five minutes

There are two things in this world that take no skill: 1. Spending other people’s money and 2. Dismissing an idea. Dismissing an idea is so easy because it doesn’t involve any work. You can scoff at it. You can ignore it. You can puff some smoke at it. That’s easy. The hard thing to do is protect it, think about it, let it marinate, explore it, riff on it, and try it. The right idea could start out life as the wrong idea.

Alan Watts: What if money was no object?

So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it’s so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say ‘Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers’ But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way! Another person says ‘Well I’d like to live an out-of-door’s life and ride horses.’ I said ‘You wanna teach in a riding school?’

Why I Made a List of Memorable Life Experiences This Morning

I wrote the above list because I genuinely wanted to see if the experiences I’ve been through have been sufficiently fulfilling, if the decisions I’ve made over the years have been worth it overall. Travel itself does not equal automatic happiness. It’s what those experiences mean to each of us, how they match with what we hoped to gain from life.

Resist and Thrive

This is a talk about what happens when a culture is driven by the need for money to make more money.

Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds

Daydreaming has a bad reputation, but neuroscientists are beginning to realise that a wandering mind is not only typical – it might be beneficial.

The 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index

Is a nation’s prosperity defined solely by its GDP? Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future. This is true for individuals as well as nations. The Prosperity Index is the only global measurement of prosperity based on both income and wellbeing. It is the most comprehensive tool of its kind and is the definitive measure of global progress.

Put your life into flight mode

It wasn’t overly surprising, really, to learn from two recent psychology studies that being “on call” is stressful, exhausting and dampens your mood. The tribulations of sleep-deprived junior doctors are legendary, while zero-hours contracts and unpredictable work schedules are subjects of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic. But there are plenty of things wrong with those kinds of jobs: the sleep disruption of shift work; the family disruption of irregular hours; low pay.

Why It's So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work

The paradox of the American Dream: The best cities to get ahead are often the most expensive places to live, and the most affordable places to live can be the worst cities to get ahead.

How do I stop comparing myself to others?

I always have this problem of feeling inadequate. I’m a junior CS student at a decent but not great school. Some of my friends go to Stanford or UT Austin and have already interned with multiple top companies, while I haven’t accomplished anything of significance… I’m really impatient to achieve big things. It’s like I need to in order to justify my existence. How do I transition to a healthier state of mind and stop feeling worthless?

Coliving: A Solution for Lonely Millennials?

In a new model of living, residents will have their own “microunits” built around a shared living space for cooking, eating and hanging out.

RECONSIDER

Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe. No, they have to fucking own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it. It’s not enough to serve customers, they have to capture them.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed - A Portrait of the Modern Family

The data are the latest to show that while family structure seems to have permanently changed, public policy, workplace structure and mores have not seemed to adjust to a norm in which both parents work.

How to Live Like a Foreign Ambassador on Less Than $30,000 a Year [The Secret of Geoarbitrage]

What I want to focus on here is the “very nice home” aspect of living like a foreign ambassador — and how you can do that too, even if you have a modest income. The secret to making this happen is found in one word: geoarbitrage. And it’s far more interesting than it sounds…

I’m 28, I just quit my tech job, and I never want another job again

June 12, 2015, was my last day as a programmer for a Bay Area tech company. I gave them four years of my life, making their website faster and making fellow developers’ jobs easier. I left knowing I don’t want to get another job in tech. I don’t want another job at all.

Grit beats talent

The later Nobel laureate James Buchanan used to advise his graduate students: “keep your ass in the chair”. Woody Allen claimed that “80% of success is showing up.” And Gary Player used to say: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Some recent experiments show they are right.

Hunter S. Thompson on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life

In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. Thompson’s letter, found in Letters of Note, offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice I’ve ever come across.

There is something extraordinary happening in the world

We still haven’t realized of something extraordinary that is happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from society, I’ve released myself from attachments I had and fear that locked me to the system. And since then, I started seeing the world from a different perspective. The perspective that everything is changing and most of us have not even realized that. Why is the world changing? In this post I’ll list the reasons that take me to believe this.

Don't Start a Company, Kid

In January, I’m going to wander from college to college begging the soon-to-graduate to apply for jobs at Big Nerd Ranch. Several of the most promising will tell me something like, “I’m starting a company with a friend. It is like Instagram for pet owners.” This post is about why starting a company is just dumb. And I know: I started a successful company.

What Makes Us Happy?

Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.

Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning

These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And nope, there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress.

Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

The vagabond ecosystem is changing thanks to cellphones, Wi-Fi, Craigslist and Google Maps.

7 things I did to reboot my life

I had this epiphany at the beginning of September: This thing that I’m doing? This series of choices I make every day? It isn’t working. I don’t like the way I feel, I don’t like the way I look, I don’t like the things I’m doing. Things need to change. So I took a long, hard, serious look at myself, and concluded that some things needed to change.

Most People Won't

Most people won’t. But every once in a while someone puts themselves out there. Makes the leap. Faces rejection or failure or worse. And comes out the other side. Better. Changed. Bolder. Most people won’t. Which means those that do change everything.

Three Stories About Billionaires

Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22, once was at a party in the Hamptons. A guy came over to him and pointed at a young, 25 year old standing in the party who worked for a big hedge fund. Heller’s “friend” said to him, “see that guy over there? He made more money last year then you will ever make with all of your books combined.” Joseph Heller said, “Maybe so. But I have one thing that man will never have.” His friend was skeptical. “Oh yeah, what?” Heller said, “Enough.”

The ‘Get My Shit Together’ Afternoon

Even the most diligent of us has loose ends we can tie up: unnecessary costs, insurance, emergency preparedness, and so on. I’m no different. I’m pretty responsible, but I’m not perfect. So I built a list of things I can do in an afternoon to get my shit together. This isn’t about eliminating risk from our lives. It’s about spending just a little time to build healthy buffer and reduce the risk of problems disrupting our lives down the road.

Why too much choice is stressing us out

From jeans to dating partners and TV subscriptions to schools, we think the more choices we have the better. But too many options create anxiety and leave us less satisfied. Could one answer lie in a return to the state monopolies of old?

9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings

Reflections on the rewards of seeking out what magnifies your spirit.

Hacking happiness into the daily commute

Commuting, for those of us who must do it every day, is generally not an experience to be relished. The hours lost in a useless limbo travelling to the workplace and back, day in, day out, are not generally ones that are well-spent or enjoyable.

How to be an "Overnight Success"

I bet so many reading this are not happy because they aren’t getting what they want in life; they are expecting it too quickly and want all their dreams to come true today. But they fail to comprehend what actually goes into achieving that. Most of the time, their goals are coming at the expense of Netflix or video games. Not money. Actual time. You need to put in the time and actual work.

How i learned to balance work, family, and life through remote work

This might sound familiar to a lot of people. We just accept this as a fact of life. Your work eats into the rest of your life, you have to structure everything else around it. Everything else goes into the ‘gaps’; weekends or what you have left of your evening during the week. But sometimes work even eats into that… But it doesn’t need to be this way. I love my work, and my life outside of work: why should the one detract from the other?

How to lose weight in 4 easy steps

You realize that it’s not about hitting a goal weight, or lifting a weight. It’s about being able to wait. Waiting, being patient, and trusting that life will slowly inch along and things will eventually get better. After all, change takes time. But time is all it takes.

The Ultimate Guide To Reinventing Yourself

I’ve been at zero a few times, come back a few times, and done it over and over. I’ve started entire new careers. People who knew me then, don’t me now. And so on. I’ve had to change careers 15 times. Sometimes because my interests changed. Sometimes because all bridges have been burnt beyond recognition, sometimes because I desperately needed money. And sometimes just because I hated everyone in my old career or they hated me. Sometimes because I fell in love. Love is a map that changes. There’s other ways to reinvent yourself. Take what I say with a grain of salt. This is what worked for me.

We Don't Need No Education

At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet of standardized testing and indoor inactivity is choking the creativity right out of our kids. The alternative: set ‘em free.

I gave it all up ... to live off the land

Last year, my boyfriend Laurence and I gave up our jobs to go in search of an alternative way to live. I’m from London but had been living in Stockholm for four years, teaching textiles. I had a permanent job, my place was comfortable and warm, and I lived by the sea. But something about my life was unfulfilling. I felt that working full-time took up too much of my mental energy, and I was eager to discover if I could feel happier with less structure and more freedom.

The Terror and Tedium of Living Like Thoreau

When you’re alone in a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness, the simplest question becomes the most complicated: How do you fill a day?

More time is better than more money

Money is an attempt to buy time, but it rarely is able to buy any of the above. When we don’t have time we use money to try to get us to the secret door on time, or we use it avoid needing to know the real prices, or we use money to have someone explain to us what is really going on. Money can get us close, but not all the way.

There's More To Life Than Being Happy

Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness.

America’s national vacation problem

As Americans enjoy an extra day away from the office over the long Labor Day weekend, many will reflect on the end of a summer when, once again, they took far fewer days of vacation than workers in other countries.

How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne

As the names implies, situational awareness is simply knowing what’s going on around you. It sounds easy in principle, but in reality requires much practice. And while it is taught to soldiers, law enforcement officers, and yes, government-trained assassins, it’s an important skill for civilians to learn as well. In a dangerous situation, being aware of a threat even seconds before everyone else can keep you and your loved ones safe.

No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are.

Choose to be good with your life without comparing it to anyone else’s — which is hard, but necessary. It’s never apples to apples. Since you’re never seeing their whole story, it’s more like apples to elephants.

Alan Watts on Money vs. Wealth

Among our most toxic symbol-as-reality tricks springs from the concept, use, and pursuit of money: “But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.”

Do Not Follow Your Passion. And Other Useful Tips.

Ben Horowitz is the cofounder of a16z, one of the most successful VCs in the USA. In May 2015 he gave an inspiring commencement speech at Columbia University. The speech had three powerful conclusions: 1. Think for yourself; 2. Do not follow your passion; 3. You live in the age of opportunities.

Where Is Home?

More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own. Writer Pico Iyer — who himself has three or four “origins” — meditates on the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still.

Work Hard, Live Well

As an industry, we are falling short of our potential. We could be accomplishing more, and we could be providing a better life for all of the people who work in technology. If you’re going to devote the best years of your life to work, do so intentionally. You can do great things AND live your life well. You can have it all, and science says you should.

How To Suck At Life

My life sucked when I was fired from a job and lost my home and got a divorce and my mom stopped talking to me. It sucked when I broke up with another woman I really liked because I was afraid she wouldn’t like me if I went broke… It’s always going to suck. But occasionally it’s punctuated by moments of un-suckness. It’s my fault when things go bad. Blaming is draining.

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But Time Just Might Do It

While on vacation in distant locales, people often find that time moves quite differently than in the places they’re used to. In the tropics, we settle into the grooves of “island time” and relax thanks to a more leisurely rhythm. A trip to a big city can leave us exhilarated but also drained by the energetic whir of life there.

How To Make Work-Life Balance Work

Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

The Moral Bucket List

I came to the conclusion that wonderful people are made, not born — that the people I admired had achieved an unfakeable inner virtue, built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments. If we wanted to be gimmicky, we could say these accomplishments amounted to a moral bucket list, the experiences one should have on the way toward the richest possible inner life. Here, quickly, are some of them.

How To Live On Twenty-Four Hours A Day

Which of us lives on twenty-four hours a day? And when I say “lives,” I do not mean exists, nor “muddles through.” Which of us is free from that uneasy feeling that the “great spending departments” of his daily life are not managed as they ought to be? Which of us is quite sure that his fine suit is not surmounted by a shameful hat, or that in attending to the crockery he has forgotten the quality of the food? Which of us is not saying to himself—which of us has not been saying to himself all his life: “I shall alter that when I have a little more time”?

We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is. It is the realisation of this profound and neglected truth (which, by the way, I have not discovered) that has led me to the minute practical examination of daily time-expenditure.

Anthony Bourdain's Life Advice

CNN’s coolest globe-trotter on punctuality, omelets, and how vanity got him clean.

David Graeber Interview - ‘So Many People Spend Their Working Lives Doing Jobs They Think Are Unnecessary’

The anarchist author, coiner of the phrase ‘We are the 99%’, talks to Stuart Jeffries about ‘bullshit jobs’, our rule-bound lives and the importance of play.

Unconventional, Entrepreneurial Lives And The Challenge Of Loneliness

But for all the rah-rah-rah, there are serious, under-discussed challenges with an idiosyncratic, comparison-destroying life.

All Too Common Ways We Allow Our Lives To Suck

Not happy with your professional or personal life? If that’s the case, the problem isn’t your upbringing, or a lack of opportunities, or bad luck, or the result of other people holding you back. The problem is you. If our lives suck, we’re letting it happen. Maybe the problem lies in what we believe – and in what we do.