thoughts on life

The Purpose of Fear

The biological purpose of fear is to help the human body avoid pain. If you’ve ever burned your finger by touching a stove, you know what I mean. When you get too close to a hot stove, something you KNOW will cause you pain, it’s beneficial to feel fear. It prompts you to take action [...]

How to Disagree without Being Threatening

In the United States business culture, we have an idiomatic expression called “The Elephant in the Room.” The expression comes from the idea that if you were having a meeting with a bunch of colleagues and there was literally an elephant in the room, the natural response would be to say, “Oh my, hey there’s [...]

Who the Hell Are You?

At social gatherings in major cities in the United States, it is customary to say “hello” when meeting new people. The first two questions most people ask are: 1) What’s your name? 2) What do you do? The first question isn’t surprising. Its purpose is to know how to refer to you by name. The [...]

How to Deal with Irrational People (aka everyone)

When I was at Stanford, I did my undergrad degree in Economics. For a brief time, I considered majoring in Psychology and took a number of classes in that field. During this time, I was always puzzled by an inherent conflict between the fields of economics and psychology. Economics presumes “man” (and woman) is rational. [...]

Why I Hate New Year’s Resolutions

I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions — mostly because most people make a habit of giving up on their goals. I like setting goals based on my birthday — a private date that’s just for me and not for anyone else. I used to work in a business that derived a [...]

The Paradox of Paradox

I find the word paradox fascinating. Definition: A paradox is a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true. Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking. A paradox I’ve noticed in my own writing is how sometimes I will knowingly contradict myself. One [...]

5,000 Reasons to Be Happy + Deconstructing Happiness

The other day, I suggested a thought exercise around the 80/20 of happiness. I suggested you write down 50 things you were grateful in your life and attempt to do so in 3 minutes. Well several hundred of you did exactly that and posted in aggregate over 5,000 things you were grateful for in your [...]

The 80/20 on Happiness - Part II

One of the wonderful things about writing for my newsletter is appreciating the incredible depth, talent and diversity of my readers. In my last article, I wrote about the 80/20 on Happiness. When you wake up in the morning and also right before bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Do this for [...]

The 80/20 on Happiness

If you’re looking for a quick 80/20 rule on how to be happier in your life within 7 days, then do the following: 1) Wake up in the morning and think of 3 things that you are grateful for 2) Before you go to bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for Do this [...]

The Logical Argument for Chasing Dreams

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the roles of dreams, the hope they provide, and the role they play in life. I’ve been conflicted about this topic for much of my life and career. I’ve associated with two polar opposite peer groups. One that says the only thing that matters is chasing dreams — [...]

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