The Myth of Constant Growth in Relationships

In the How I Met Your Mother episode “The Exploding Meatball Sub,” Barney’s crazy sandwich concoction is far from the only thing to go up in flames.

Ted’s new girlfriend Zoey is both intelligent and pretty. Unfortunately, she’s also the head of the campaign trying to keep Ted’s skyscraper from being built in order to preserve an old building.

“Isn’t it hard for you guys to be on opposite sides of something like this?” his friend Lily, who sees eye to eye on almost everything with her husband and college sweetheart Marshall, asks. “Some of us want a partner who challenges us to grow and evolve,” Ted replies. As it will turn out, that’s baloney.

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Sometimes, the Work Is Easier Than the Workaround Cover

Sometimes, the Work Is Easier Than the Workaround

When my favorite writer stopped writing, I decided to save all his articles, lest he delete them. I knew I could save them one by one in Evernote, but since he had published over 100 pieces, I thought there might be a way to avoid this tedium.

I asked a developer friend for help, and he referred me to another mutual friend of ours. I messaged that friend on Slack but didn’t get a response. A week later, I emailed him. A few more days went by, but then, he responded.

My friend suggested two scraping tools for the job. I started comparing their features and pricing. As it turned out, one tool would limit exports on a free trial, so I went with the other one. I downloaded it, installed it, and made an account.

The tool was pretty technical, so it took a while to grasp the basics. Eventually, I got it to load my favorite author’s index page, where all his stories were linked. Then, however, the tool required making complex workflows, and to top it all off, it only seemed to export to CSV, not PDF.

At this point, I finally decided the juice was no longer worth the squeeze. I sat down after lunch, sipped some coffee, cranked up the music, and went to work. One by one, I opened each article in a new tab, clicked the Evernote Web Clipper, chose the right output settings, and saved it.

Some pages took forever to load. Chrome groaned under the pressure. Evernote kept changing its settings, so I had to fiddle with them each time. After about an hour, however, I made it. There it was: My favorite author’s entire essay collection, preserved for future readings.

All in all, saving 100+ articles by hand was boring, tedious, and eye-roll inducing. I felt grumpy, annoyed, and frustrated at times. In short, it was exactly what you’d expect it to be. It was also, however, the 100% right thing to do — the shortest path to results, and thus the quickest way to satisfaction.

“Work smarter, not harder!” It’s a piece of advice cited like gospel in meetings, speeches, and job interviews. But how much time do you spend trying to out-smart the work? Isn’t thinking the hardest work of all? Thinking a lot without meaningful breakthroughs — there’s hardly a faster way to exhaustion.

Sometimes, it’s better to admit you’re not that good at it. Sometimes, the work is easier than the workaround.


“The long way is the shortcut,” says entrepreneur and author Seth Godin. When it comes to strategy, that’s easy-to-take advice. Of course you shouldn’t rush your novel, launch your business without a plan, or sell out your audience for a quick buck.

But what about tactics? What about the everyday chores life asks us to grind through? Here, we resist the high road for its seeming length when, often, it is not just the ethically sound but actually the shortest — albeit strenuous — path to success. That doesn’t make any sense.

This week, my year-long struggle with taxes came to a head: The government wants to see proper invoices, including names, addresses, and VAT charges. When you’re a German sole proprietor with strangers abroad buying your online courses based solely on an email address, however, that’s easier said than done.

I had spent months looking for a solution. I tried every accounting software, every table-formatting trick, and every bulk import tool I could find. In the end, what did it come down to? Me, sitting on a couch at WeWork, manually generating 400 invoices by hand to submit at the last minute — and you know what? Once I got started, it wasn’t that bad.

In fact, doing accounting — something I hate with a passion — the hard way, taught me several valuable lessons. For one, I learned that I can (still) focus on one task for five hours straight. For another, I realized that, despite hating it, I can take care of my books well enough for them to be presentable. Finally, and this is the big one, slicing through one tedious task gave me the courage to not shy away from another. I’m sure my article-saving stint had a similar, confidence-boosting effect.

We tell ourselves we’re being smart for avoiding the work, but the truth is that only applies in certain scenarios. When the work repeats endlessly, for example, or when it’s impossible to deliver it on time. If it’s a one-off project you are uniquely prepared to do well, however, wasting time on workarounds is a distraction. It’s a pseudo-justifiable symptom of what’s really going on under your skin: You are afraid.

You’re afraid of monotony, misery, and frustration. You’re afraid your ego might shatter when it catches you doing menial work. You’re afraid you might fail despite doing the right thing — what if you take the high road, the long road, and you still won’t reach your destination? You’re afraid you’re not cut out for the simplest solution. If you type the wrong thing on the invoice, there’s no software you can blame. Most of all, however, you’re afraid grinding it out will work. What if grunt work turns out to be smart? Terrifying! After all, there’d be no reason left to avoid it.

When he went skydiving, Will Smith learned that “the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear.” He had spent an entire day fretting, only to feel blissful and excited at the exact time when he had the most reason to worry — the moment he jumped out of the plane. He wondered: “Why were you scared in your bed the night before? What do you need that fear for?”

Now I don’t know much about extreme sports, but my recent bouts with banal tasks indicate Will’s lesson runs parallel to how we should approach our everyday jobs: “The point of maximum friction is the point of minimum fear.”

Once you get going, you’re going — and in the going lies peace of mind. Your unfounded worry disappears, and with each sigh-accompanied step, you’re accelerating towards your goal. It doesn’t matter if you walk slowly, if you think the work is beneath you, or whether you know someone else could have done it faster. What matters is you’re the one doing it, and you’re still here, so, ultimately, life can’t be that bad. It’s the kind of tangible proof no amount of thinking can conjure, and that’s why grunt work has value beyond its results.


There’s a scene in Game of Thrones where, after being taken in by a not-so-kind stranger, two members of the Night’s Watch, a once revered military order charged with protecting the world, are shoveling pig poop out of a latrine.

“When people talk about the Night’s Watch, they never mention the shoveling,” Grenn says. “Or the shit,” his friend Edd comments. “They tell you about honor, pardoning crimes, and protecting the realm, but shoveling really is most of it.” “And getting attacked, or killed, or worse.” “And that. But when you’re not getting attacked or killed, usually you’re shoveling.”

I haven’t watched all of Game of Thrones, but I doubt the fate of any one character in that show is preferable to whatever constitutes your everyday shoveling. Yes, work sucks sometimes. It’s not all collecting checks and after-work margaritas. Often, your biggest win of the day will be produced by shoveling a pile of shit — I mean, papers — from one side of your desk to the other. That may not be sexy, but it proves that, especially when we feel the most resistance towards it, shoveling is, usually, the right thing to do.

When an unpleasant task stares you in the face, do look for the obvious detour. But when there’s none to be found, don’t keep scouring the digital forest for hours. Let out a “pfff” if you must, but then, like Edd and Grenn, relent with humor to your immediate fate: “Ah, look. More shit. I was starting to wonder what to do with the rest of me day.”

Step up to your role in the small scheme of things, and before you know it, you’ll see: Small roles are not to be feared. They give us strength to star on bigger stages, and without them, the shoes of our heroes will always feel too big to fill. Work smart, sure, but remember that includes knowing when working hard is the smartest thing to do.

You Must Meme Your Dreams Into Existence Cover

You Must Meme Your Dreams Into Existence

Why is America “The Greatest Country in the World™?”

Unlike Italy (Caesar), Greece (Alexander the Great), and Mongolia (Genghis Khan), America never ruled half the known world. In fact, America is only 200 years old. It’s one of the youngest countries of all.

So why do they get that slogan? America gets that slogan because for all 200 of those years, they’ve been yelling it at the top of their lungs. When the founding fathers put their signatures on that document, they said: “This is what makes a country great.”

Ever since, America at large has been saying, “Look! This is what makes a country great. And we’re doing it! Look at us! That is why our country is the greatest.” It’s marketing — but it works.

“Which country is the best?” is a stupid question, of course, but let’s ignore that for a second. For any of the years it has existed, including this one, you could argue a thousand ways that America is not the greatest country in the world. You could use facts. You could use opinions. You could use ideas. What about originally taking the land from Native Americans? What about slavery? What about the problems with energy, finance, poverty, food, race, and a million other things? Every country has problems. America is no exception.

And yet, if you could put your ear on the global chatter-chamber, you’d find there’s no debate: By and large, people around the world agree that the USA are “The Greatest Country in the World™.” It might not be more than half the global population, but it sure is a hell of a lot more than just the 328 million people who live there. How many dream of moving to the USA? Billions.

USA wins, and it wins because when it comes to “the country reputation scoreboard,” Americans have made up a competition and declared themselves the winner. They’ve memed the outcome they wanted into existence, and even if the memes were just made up, the result is very much real.

Achieving your dreams works the exact same way.


The sooner you wrap your head around the fact that all large-scale change must — in large part — be memed into existence, the better. It’s not all of it but most of it.

Most people don’t want to accept this. People who don’t understand Bitcoin, the GameStop drama, or how Trump could ever win the election want logical explanations for why things work.

“But it’s not backed by anything.”

“But it’s not a good stock fundamentally.”

“But he’s not equipped to be president.”

The truth is most things work because we collectively decide they should. Much more so than with facts and figures, we back them with belief — and human belief is one of the most powerful forces in the world. The story matters more than the data.

If we could travel through time and be there for some of the big moments of history, we’d understand this much faster. Imagine how skeptical the first users of paper US dollars must have been. “What the hell is this? I can’t bite on it to verify it’s real. It’s just paper!” Imagine how freaked out people were by the first light bulbs. “It must be witchcraft! They should hang this Edison guy.”

Early on, Martin Luther King was just a hot-headed guy with crazy ideas. So were Newton, Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, and Amelia Earhart. Then, the story changed.

When you actively try to change your story, you are taking back your power. You’re starting to meme your dreams into existence.


There’s a great scene in The Dark Knight where Alfred explains why Bruce doesn’t have what it takes to defeat Bane: “I see the power of belief.”

A few weeks ago, Jake Paul knocked out Ben Askren in the first round. How can a Youtuber (repeatedly) beat professionals? Training, circumstance, luck — sure, but at some point, you have to admit: “I see the power of belief.”

Ten days before the fight, one of Jake’s security guards died. That guard told Jake he had a dream of him knocking out Ben in the first round. Imagine what it feels like to fight for that. Imagine the power of belief. Can you feel it? Goosebumps.

Of course, Batman ultimately does defeat Bane, but not because of his renewed physical strength, better gadgets, or smarter ideas. He wins because he fights for something bigger, something he believes in so much that he makes all the above happen in the first place. Belief is a self-reinforcing loop.


If you want something, you need to tell yourself a story that leads to it. In that story, you must be the hero. Then, you keep telling it to yourself and everyone you come across.

“I’ll write the most popular young adult novel ever.”

“I’ll be the first person on Mars.”

“I’ll make green beans the most desirable food in the world.”

It matters not how asinine or unrealistic the story is. What matters is that it offers the power of belief — to others, but especially to you. You don’t need the facts on your side because if you persist with your story, the data will change over time.

When it comes to understanding what happens in the world as well as making your dreams a reality, the story isn’t everything, but it’s probably more than half. In today’s world of global awareness and instant story-spreading, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Decide what the story will be, then insist on it with your words and actions. One day, it is bound to happen.

Just like, one day, someone decided America should be the greatest country in the world — and today, that’s a story billions of people believe.

How To Live Without Regrets Cover

How To Live Without Regrets

If you could vanish from society and start a new life, what would you do?

At 83 million viewers in the first month, 6 Underground is Netflix’ 4th most popular release of all time — and it asks us this very question.

Directed by Michael Bay, the movie sees six self-appointed action heroes toppling a cruel dictator in the fictional country of Turgistan. Led by a nameless billionaire, played by Ryan Reynolds, they do so in Bay-typical fashion: with lots of guns, cars, one-liners, and explosions.

Despite its over-the-top action and straightforward plot, there’s a deeper meaning behind the films flashy facade: It’s a movie about what it means to live your one life right.

To carry out their operation without getting nabbed at the first airport, the team must first fake their own deaths. Sitting in a diner, they muse over the benefits: No more DMV lines, Christmas shopping, or work email addresses. No more taxes, criminal records, or getting arrested for being drunk.

Having already faked his death in a plane crash, Reynolds’ character then schools them all: “You’ve got it all wrong, you know. When you’re young, you lock yourself into all these bad decisions. Marriages, mortgages, all that kind of stuff. But you die, it’s all erased. Poof! Gone.”

And then, casually inserting a profound insight into a charming yet obscene rant like only Ryan Reynolds can, he delivers the punchline:

“The best thing about being dead is the freedom. From that point forward, all that matters is what you choose.”


You’re not a sniper, stunt driver, or parkour virtuoso. No genius billionaire will recruit you for his spy unit. Your bad decisions will never be erased. If you let them pile up, they’ll keep piling up, and each day, the mountain of regret will grow a little taller.

Regret is saying, “I’m not ready to launch my startup,” and then hoping one friend agrees. Regret is backing out of the tournament at the last second and then finding you can’t laugh it off. Regret is missing your son’s first table tennis game and then realizing there’ll be no more firsthand firsts the day he moves out.

Regret is everything that you could, would, and should have done, were it not for [insert reasonable but invalid excuse].

I have many regrets. Do you? The weight of that mountain won’t go away.

It never feels like it in the moment. This decision? Nah. We couldn’t heap rocks onto Mount Everest! But we do. We do every day.

A tiny hill of sand — that’s how it starts. “Wow! It’s so light, this decision. What’s a little more sand?” Time feels good when it runs through your fingers.

Soon enough, one day becomes ten. One year becomes five. Before you know it, you’re shoveling opportunities into the fire — and what feels like air in the moment will later drop like a stone.

A train at full speed wants to keep going. The beast needs coal, and it will devour everything you offer. It won’t crash like a prop car, but the trail of regret it leaves behind? That can stack to the skies. In the end, you’ll only cower in its wake.

A clear slate is a fantasy. You don’t have the means to fake your own death. No dynamite to blow up the mountain.

What you do have, however, is the freedom to choose. It’s something you’ve always had, always will have, and what you choose is all that matters.

That’s the true lesson of the movie: Forget the rules! You don’t need to erase your past to take charge of your future.

The only way to live without regret is to realize you’re already free. You have one life and one life alone, and in that fact, you’ll find all the freedom you need.

The freedom to start before you feel ready. The freedom to try something new. The freedom to show up when you decide it counts.

Stop piling up regrets. Start living! Don’t wait for a chance to start over. Don’t wait for critics to change their minds. We all make mistakes — but we can decide to not let them define us.

What you choose is all that matters. Choose what matters every day.

Don't Forget Your Light Today Cover

Don’t Forget Your Light Today

The Drink of Despair is an ingenuity of evil. Parching whoever drinks it until they’re desperate for water, this nasty potion will nearly kill its consumer. Naturally, it must be drunk to be overcome — and dark wizards use it to protect their important belongings.

When it comes to dark wizards, Lord Voldemort is the poster child rather than the exception, and so, in one of the series most tragic moments, Harry Potter must feed his headmaster and mentor, Albus Dumbledore, the nefarious concoction. The pair succeeds in sipping the cup, but their victory is short-lived: What they hoped to acquire is no longer there, and they now find themselves weak and defenseless — surrounded by, of all things, water.

It’s a trap, of course. An army of Inferi — spellbound corpses — is hiding beneath the surface. Inside the dark lake of what on any other day would be a welcome source of refreshment, they’ve been waiting to “welcome” the two intruders all along — and drown them.

Since Dumbledore is too frail to fight and Harry isn’t quite strong enough, the inevitable happens: The boy trips, the Inferi grab, and into the depths he goes. Just as it seems Harry’s number is up, with the last blink of his eyes, he spots a flash of red. It cuts through the darkness above. Warmth fills the water, and a second later, he can no longer feel the Inferis’ grasp.

Harry swims to the surface. When he pokes his head out of the water, he can see but one thing: Fire. Raging, burning, darkness-crushing fire.

A pale Dumbledore stands in a tornado of light. Wielding his wand like a lasso, the all-powerful magician directs the fire from its center, raining wave after wave of scorching inferno upon their opponents. Harry manages to reunite with his savior, and, together, they fend off the attack.

The boy can consider himself lucky: Dumbledore brought his light today — and it made all the difference.


I’m dancing with my demons
I’m hanging off the edge
Storm clouds gather beneath me
Waves break above my head

I’m not sure he ever saw the Harry Potter scene, but given these lyrics, Chester Bennington from Linkin Park may as well have been in it. Nobody Can Save Me is the first song on their album One More Light, the last record to feature Chester as lead singer before he died by suicide.

The song is upbeat, the lyrics encouraging. Walking on the edge between light and dark, it reminds us to bring our sunshine — to conjure our ring of fire:

If only I can save me now
I’m holding up a light
Chasing out the darkness inside
And I don’t wanna let you down
But only I can save me

Chester struggled with depression all his life. One day, he simply forgot his light. Having listened to him since I was 13, I’m glad he brought it for so long.

We all have a light. We are One More Light. That’s what Chester taught me. The light is deep inside ourselves, and only we may ignite it.

Been searching somewhere out there
For what’s been missing right here

It’s a beautiful gift he left for us. Thank you, Chester. One More Light. Don’t forget.


“Home,” the candle in our bathroom reads. “No matter when and where, it is a safe place. Whatever happened, it is a warm harbor.”

When I see the flame flickering in the glass, I remember: Home is where the light is — and the light is something we carry.

Wherever you go, let there be light. Hold it every day, be it a tiny spark on your shoulder or a wall of fire against the dark.

As long as you bring it, there will always be light. Put it in your pocket. Let it do its thing. But remember to take it with you.

Don’t forget your light today. It might make all the difference.

30 Lessons Learned in 30 Years of Life Cover

30 Lessons Learned in 30 Years of Life

Yesterday, I turned 30. When I was 18, I thought by 30, I’d have it made.

My 20s were a long, slow grind of realizing “made” does not exist. “Made” is past tense — but you’re never done! The only finish line is death, and, thankfully, most of us don’t see it until we’re almost there.

Instead of the binary made/not made distinction, I now see life as round-based. You win some, you lose some, and different rounds have different themes. There’s a carefree-childhood season, a teenager-trying-to-understand-society season, an exuberant-20-something season, and so on.

At 30 years old, I’ve only played a few seasons, but each round feels more interesting than the last. If that trend persists, I can’t imagine what one’s 60s or 90s must be like. By that time, you’ve seen so much — and yet, there’ll always be new things to see.

Most seasons last longer than a year, and there’s plenty to talk about with respect to the important, defining decade from 20 to 30 alone, but today, I’d like to do something different: I want to share one thing I’ve learned from each year I’ve been alive.

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The Rule of 70/20/10: Do Important Work or None at All

Ip Man, a Kung Fu movie about the legendary martial arts teacher of the same name, is rated a staggering eight out of 10 on IMDb and considered a cult classic among fans. The movie is almost two hours long, but if you skim through it, you’ll notice something: There’s not a lot of fighting.

Isn’t that what Kung Fu movies are about? Apparently not. You’ll see the master having tea, helping his friends, and struggling with everyday life. You’ll see him muse about politics, about war, and about philosophy. You’ll see Ip Man training and spending time with his family.

Why do people love this movie so much if, as it turns out, there are only three major fight scenes? They love it because each fight means something.

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Your Brain Is Your Ally, Not Your Enemy Cover

Your Brain Is Your Ally, Not Your Enemy

It’s a myth that we only use 20% of our brain, but I can see why it’s popular: It’s the perfect excuse.

How can I excel if the tools I need to do so are in a place I can’t access? If only there was a miracle drug…

In reality, even a single task can easily demand 35% of your brain’s capacity, and, over the course of a single day, most of us will access all 100% — just different areas at different times.

Still, many a movie has been made about said miracle drug, including Limitless, a film starring Bradley Cooper as a hard-up writer. After he discovers NZT-48 and finishes his book in a day, he makes millions in the stock market and enjoys his newfound life as a genius — until the side effects kick in.

It’s a nice movie to fuel our daydreams, but it also makes for a strong wake-up call because, as Lars van der Peet says in a video essay about the film, “it explores something we are all aware of: The perception that we are unfulfilled potential; that we aren’t doing everything we could and should be doing.”

Our frustration with our brains shows on many levels: You might be angry that you can’t remember what you wanted to say, feel depressed after being stuck on an important project for months, or watch movies like Limitless in lack of motivation to write your novel.

As understandable as these frustrations are, they are born out of misconception: Our brain was never something we were meant to have 100% control over — it is simply a partner we must work with.

There is no exact science on how much of our brain activity happens “below the surface,” but chances are it’s a lot more than what we process and register in a conscious manner. Whether it’s 80–20 or 60–40, the point is: Your subconscious is much larger than your consciousness, and you can’t force everything into the realm of awareness. Even if you could, you’d probably feel overwhelmed and wouldn’t be able to synthesize the information in a useful way.

Your brain is an iceberg. Most of it is under water. It is not your job to try and turn it upside down. Your job is to navigate whatever lies above sea level. Even the small terrain up top is constantly changing, and in order to navigate it well, you must trust in whichever part the iceberg decides to reveal.

“Make your unconscious your ally instead of your enemy,” Lars says.

Accept that creativity requires breaks, and that in those breaks, your subconscious is working for you, not against you. Your mind can process even when you don’t, and usually, it does its best work while you do none at all.

Organize your surroundings. Give your brain every chance to structure what it sends you by structuring your sensory input. A brain fed with views of a chaotic room will only feed you chaotic thoughts. Clarity on the outside, however, breeds clarity within.

Make new connections. Structure and routine lead to insights on the regular, but if they become too rigid, only a change of pace can provide stimulation. In the long run, your brain can only give you new ideas if you give it new input.

Finally, never let a good idea go to waste. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrambled for my phone to make a note, and I expect myself to do so many times in the future. Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime, and it is foolish to think it’ll repeat the favor just because you’re too lazy to take note right now.

Towards the end of the movie Limitless, the main character realizes he never needed a smart-drug in the first place: His limitations were mostly self-imposed. Instead of blaming his brain, he starts using it.

Your brain is not you. It will never define who you are, and yet, you must live with it every day. Treat your brain like a partner: You don’t control them, but together, you can achieve a whole lot.

In that sense, I think the real message of the movie is this: We have everything we need. We just have to work with it rather than against it.

How to Not Waste Your Life Cover

How To Not Waste Your Life

If you’ve wasted your whole life, can you make up for it in a single moment?

This is the question at the heart of Extraction, Netflix’s latest blockbuster and, at 90 million viewers in the first month, biggest film premiere ever.

Following Chris Hemsworth as a black market mercenary trying to rescue the kidnapped son of India’s biggest drug lord, the movie is full of car chases, gun fights, and a whopping 183 bodies dropping at the hands of Thor himself.

At the end of the day, however, it is about none of those things. It’s a movie about redemption.

After freeing his target, 15-year-old Ovi, from the hands of a rival Bangladeshi drug lord, Hemsworth’ character Tyler shows true vulnerability in a brief moment of shelter.

When Ovi asks him if he’s always been brave, Tyler claims he’s “just the opposite,” having left his wife and six-year-old son, right before the latter died of lymphoma.

Sharing the kind of wisdom only children tend to possess, Ovi replies with a Paulo Coelho quote he’s read in school:

“You drown not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in it.”


You’re not an ex-special forces agent. Your life is not a movie. There will be no obvious signs. No excessive violence. No rampant drug abuse.

Just a slow, steady trickle of days, each a little more like the last, each another step away from your dreams — another day submerged in the river.

The river is pressing “Ignore” on the reminder to decline a good-but-not-great project request. The river is saying, “When I’ve done X, I’ll start writing.” The river is postponing asking your daughter about her dance hobby because today, you’re just too tired.

The river is everything that sounds like a temporary excuse today but won’t go away tomorrow.

Trust me. I’ve been there. It really, really won’t. No matter how much you’d like it to.

At first, it doesn’t feel like you’re drifting. You’re just letting go for a bit. You’re floating. The river carries you. It’s nice. Comfortable. Things happen. Time passes. It’ll keep passing.

Eventually, the river leads into a bigger river. You’re in new terrain. You’ve never seen this place before. Where can you get ashore? Where will this river lead?

Soon, you don’t know what’s ahead anymore. You can’t see what’s next. The river could become a waterfall. It might send you right off a cliff. You’ll stay submerged forever.

There won’t be a big shootout at the end. Just a regretful look out the window. A relative visiting. “Oh yeah, that. I never did it. I can’t tell you why.”

All rivers flow into the sea. If you don’t push to the surface, if you don’t start swimming, that’s where you’re going.

No one is coming to save you. You won’t get an extraction. No one will beat you into writing your book or asking her to marry you or being a good mother. No 15-year-old boy will serve you the answer in a quote from a book.

The only way to not waste your life is to do your best to not waste today.

Write a sentence. Make a hard choice. Pick up the phone.

We all fall into the river from time to time. But we can’t stay submerged in it. Don’t let small regrets pile up in silence. Take one step each day. One stroke towards the surface.

You’re not a soldier, and no single brief can save you. No standalone mission will define your legacy.

Don’t hope for a shot at redemption. Redeem yourself with your actions.

Redeem yourself every day.