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Tag Archives: personal development

Let the Wave Crash Over You: One Year Later

Readers: One year ago today I lost my brother, Ken. This new post contains my one-year reflections. Like the first time I told the story, it’s written as a direct letter to him.

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Dear Ken,

I’d say that it’s hard to believe a year has passed, but the greater truth is that it’s hard to believe it happened at all. When I think of it now, as I do every day, my mind still runs to the same place of shock and disbelief.

There were days during the year when I thought about it less than others, and maybe some days when I began to look forward. As today’s date approached, though, I reverted to that place of disbelief where everything feels suspended in time.

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If You Have No Challenges, Maybe It’s Time to Change Your Life

Have you ever walked around endless airport highway ramps for more than a mile? When it’s after 10pm and you’ve got your carry-on bags with you?

Yeah, so I did that the other night. Short version: when you arrive in DFW and are staying at the off-airport Hyatt Regency, you’re supposed to take the SkyTrain to the C gates, and then hike through the parking garage to the entrance. I’ve done it that way before, and it’s not terribly difficult.

This time I was hanging out in the D terminal, working from my favorite U.S. airline lounge, and I decided to walk outside and skip the whole SkyTrain thing. How hard could it be? I’ve been to DFW, oh, I don’t know—several hundred times if not more. Sure, it’s a big place, and there was that time I got lost trying to return a rental car and missed my flight, but still.

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“The Memory Diet” with Shari and Judi Zucker

The Self Improvement Blog

Why do we need a Memory Diet? We hear more and more about Alzheimer’s disease these days. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s and progresses from there until

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The Cost of Emotional Dependency

The Self Improvement Blog

Let’s talk about the cost of emotional dependency…and how a revolutionary new protocol & virtual reality are freeing us of our self-destructive behaviors. Imagine a world where you can enjoy everybody because everyone in your world is there by choice, not need. Imagine being able to use all of your mental power to invent, conquer, achieve, and love instead of wasting your brain’s resources on seeking love and validation from

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8 Easy Actions to Kickstart Your Way to Free Travel

When you’re just starting to learn about free travel or travel hacking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a deluge of information and recommendations.

But fear not! Here’s a current and highly practical list of things you can do right now to kickstart your way to the trip of your dream.

Bonus: most of these actions are very simple to complete, and almost all of them are FREE.

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Self Love and Humor as Self Improvement Tools

The Self Improvement Blog

Several people have asked me why I don’t pick a topic and give you a bunch of pointers on how to achieve your goal. For example, “Ten Ways to Stop Procrastination,” or “Becoming a Top Speaker in 5 Easy Steps” or “6 Ways to Be More Loveable.” The answer? I could do that and it probably wouldn’t get you far if you followed it. I’m not saying that lists of

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Do You Want to Have a Really Bad Day?

The Self Improvement Blog

O.k. I know that’s a stupid question. Who wants to have a really bad day? Probably no one. But many people set themselves up for a bad day without realizing it. So if you know how you can program yourself for a bad day, does it follow that by avoiding these things you can avoid a  bad day? Beats me. But let’s look at it. The chances are that you

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Winners Give Up All the Time

Lesson: “Never give up” is bad advice. Real winners don’t hesitate to walk away from an unsuccessful venture.

Contrary to popular belief, if you want to win, you shouldn’t always just keep going. You should regroup and try something totally different. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win” is a lie. To win, sometimes you need to find a new game to play.

You may be familiar with this old adage, often attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Einstein was right in that the real danger of going in- sane, or just failing over and over, doesn’t usually come from doing something new. Rather, the worst failures come from something that we’ve been doing for a while.

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If Everyone Becomes a Non-Conformist, Won’t We All Be Conforming?

I used to get this question a lot, sometimes framed in skepticism but other times just curiosity. The simple answer is that not everyone wants to become a non-conformist, or any other particular means of self-identification. Plenty of people are happy with the way things are, which is the definition of conformity. It’s not always a bad thing.

It’s also like asking, what if everyone wanted world peace? It would be wonderful If everyone wanted world peace, but not everyone does. People generally operate in their own interests, and some people benefit from conflict and strife. It’s no surprise that the world is full of constant conflict.

Being a non-conformist, or just a rebel in general, isn’t about fighting for the sake of fighting. Nor is it usually about rejecting an orthodoxy or culture. When it is about those things, the rebellion is usually superficial and short-lasting.

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Awareness, Empathy, and Action: Turning a Decade Old Lesson into Reality

Stormy How do you translate your travel experiences into something tangible and meaningful, for those that aren’t on the road with you? Stormy Sweitzer drew on two powerful experiences to write an inspiring adventure book for young adults.

It was 1988 and I was mortified. I was on a tour of Soviet Eastern Europe and I had just seen my grandmother sneak food from a hotel buffet, wrap it in a cloth napkin and tuck it into her purse. But I will never forget the moment when I later looked to where she had just been “checking something out” and saw a man in a worn suit pick the familiar-looking napkin up off a ledge, open it, and eat the food she’d purloined.

She hadn’t been saving it to eat later; she was using the resources available to her to help a stranger in need. This was the greatest lesson I have ever had in the importance of awareness, empathy and action. This one experience had such an impact on me, that it lead me to study abroad in both high school and college, and then join the Peace Corps after. This philosophy of awareness leading to empathy, leading to action, was slowly permeating every aspect of my life.

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