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Five Things I Learned From Taking Three Months Off Work

My oh my, a lot has happened since I last posted. As many of you know, after losing my job back in June I decided to take a little sabbatical from work, including this site.

You may be wondering what the heck I’ve been doing for three months.

I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.

-Peter Gibbons, Office Space

Nope, definitely not that (although I did find time to watch this classic movie—you should too if you haven’t seen it).

Truth is, I did a lot. Julie and I traveled quite a bit. I spent lots of time with friends and family. I put together TONS of baby furniture/toys. And I made a concerted effort to live spontaneously and be in the moment every single day … something I hadn’t done in quite a while (if ever).

Here’s what I learned:

Things don’t matter.

People do. So be thankful for who you have in your life … and stop worrying about what you have or don’t have. If your parents and grandparents are still around, give thanks to whoever or whatever you believe in–God, Buddha, Allah, science–doesn’t matter. Do this every day. We never realize how important people are until we lose them.

Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.

–Thich Nhat Hanh

Trust that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I didn’t apply for a single job for three months. Why? Because I wanted to work on other things, and I knew I’d end up where I’m supposed to be. Was it scary? For sure. But two weeks ago a recruiter contacted me for a great new job opportunity, and yesterday was my first day on the job. Things always work out when you let go and trust in the Universe.

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.

–The Beatles

Plan a trip to go somewhere you’ve never been.

Going to Northern California had been on my bucket list for a long time. My wife and I talked about going this summer. Then I talked her out of it because I didn’t think we could afford it. In early July, I said screw it and booked the trip … and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We spent a week traveling to Lake Tahoe, Pleasanton, Santa Cruz, Monterrey, Big Sur, and Carmel. We hung out with some of our best friends. It was worth every penny. Spend your money on experiences, not things. They’re much more rewarding.

Once a year go somewhere you have never been before.

–Dalai Lama

Do something healthy every day.

Even something tiny. Eat a salad. Walk for 10 minutes. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. These things compound over time.  We are what we repeatedly do. Just do something. Note: I highly recommend reading James Altucher’s article about his Daily Practice. Do these four things every day and your life will get better, I guarantee it.

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

–Aristotle

Do work you love.

I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t think they work hard. But being “busy” is no excuse to not do what you love. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, start doing work that fulfills you today. I’ve been researching and planning for my new business, Pure Food Company, for months. I’ve stumbled gracelessly and changed directions multiple times (I’m currently working on a line of protein powders and bars). But I don’t care if it takes me 10 years. As long as I keep doing a little bit each day, I know I’ll get to where I want be eventually.

There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

–Nelson Mandela

I don’t know how often I’ll be updating this site now. Writing every week takes time. I enjoy doing it, but working 50-60 hours a week, trying to build a brand, and having a kid coming in two months means my time’s at a premium these days.

This much I do know: I’ll do what I can, with what I have, where I’m at (thanks, Teddy Roosevelt). And I hope you do too.

Change

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. -Alexander Graham Bell Today I want to let you in on what’s happening in my life … with this site … and where I’m […]

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5 Simple & Healthy 20-minute Recipes for People Who Don’t Have Time to Cook

In a world where so few of us are obliged to cook at all anymore, to choose to do so is to lodge a protest against specialization—against the total rationalization of life. Against the infiltration of commercial interests into every last cranny of our lives. To cook for the pleasure of it, to devote a […]

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The Golden Ticket to Getting the Body You Want

deliberate practice

Think about something you excel at–one skill you’re better at than most of your friends. Maybe it’s playing a sport or a musical instrument. Or maybe you’re great with numbers or are a talented writer. Is this skill something you were born with? For a very rare few, perhaps. But for most of us, the […]

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Genetics Vs. Lifestyle Factors: Which Is More Important?

Your life expectancy is largely determined by the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors. The question is, which plays a bigger role? Time to put my scientist hat on and end this debate. Don’t worry–it’s not gonna take long … because there’s some solid clinical evidence that gives us a clear answer. Lifestyle Factors […]

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