How to Level Up At Anything: Using Science to Approach Mastery
When you're not improving in your skills or craft, you're miserable. We all need a sense of progression and competence in our work. Here's how to efficiently improve—using intentional practice and outside input.
The Iterative, Incremental Method for Improvement
When you look at your life, you might see big problems. Big problems need drastic solutions, right? Not necessarily. Through observation, action, evaluation, and iteration, we can improve almost anything in our lives!
Book Review: This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
How many times have you moved? Do you wish you had deeper roots? In this book, Warnick explains that if you want to love your town, act like someone who loves your town. See my book club questions!
The Farmer's Lament, a Poem
Tolkien recognized the importance of lay poets and musicians. His characters sing and compose verse about the great deeds and events of their age. What about in our world? Here's one attempt, inspired by Tolkien's Durin's Song.
Ideation, Evaluation, and Iteration: How We Plan Our Lives
How do you design a product, project, business, or your own life? Here are the keys you can use to make options and not get stuck on an 'anchor problem'.
Book Review: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
Without external rewards and punishments, people wouldn't do much. Or would they? People are actually driven toward autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Book Review: Designing Your Life: How To Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
How you can use a designer mindset and iterative improvement to build your way forward to a coherent, satisfying life.
The Tragedy of Marital Strife: Why Marriages Fall Apart (And How To Stay Together)
Two of my friends' marriages fell apart. Why does this happen? And what can we do about it? Here's why I think marriages fail, and the strategies we use to keep ours strong.
Book Review: The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
We're accustomed to working on our jobs, our marriages, and so much else. What about our families? This book explains how families can be happier, healthier, and flourish together.
Why You Shouldn’t Save For Retirement (Five Things to Do Instead)
The future is uncertain, the economy isn't growing, and inflation is rising. It's time to invest in your family and local community, rather than putting money away.
How My Phoneless Semester Reminded Me To Stay Present: Life Isn't All Digital (Study Abroad #4)
Phones connect us to the not-present. But the present is where we are. Here's why, and how, a semester without a phone showed me the best of putting my phone away to attend to what's in front of me.
Life as a Practice: Pursuing Excellence in Daily Life
In a practice, you progress: you level up. If we treat daily life as a practice, what does it mean to level up? Hint: It involves effort, excellence, and virtue.
Why You Should Pursue Excellence, Not Success
Pursuing excellence will help you succeed—but pursuing success won't make you excellent. Here's why I follow this life philosophy, and why you should want to, too!
How to Practice Self-Denial—and What You'll Gain By Doing So
Human desires are insatiable. But if we do the counterintuitive—practice self-denial instead of giving in to those desires—we build virtue, gain freedom, and step closer to the eternal.
Forming Good Habits and Breaking Bad Habits: Aristotle's 4 Levels of Virtue
Virtues are good habits. Vices are bad habits. We can learn from Aristotle's four ascending categories from vice to virtue when struggling to become better people.
The Best Reason to Have Children
It amazes me that strangers feel comfortable saying to parents 'You sure have your hands full!' 'Why so many kids?' 'Are you expecting another one?' Uh ... it's okay to want and love children!
Recovering Beauty in Modern Life
Beauty is vital to humans, but there's a breakdown of beauty in present culture—in architecture, art, music, more. Why? How can we recover and cultivate beauty?
Why Outdoor Time Is Important For Kids
We spent a lot of time outdoors. Being in nature makes everyone happier—and allows our kids to have more freedom and independence.
The Power of Waking Up Early: 9 Tips for Becoming an Early Riser
I default to being a night owl, but rising early enables me to do more and be better. Here's how I switched my mornings from lazy to productive.
Book Review: Forest Therapy by Sarah Ivens
A book filled with suggestions for seasonal ways to embrace nature, ideas for incorporating the outdoors into daily life, and research on how being outdoors improves well-being.
Dialogue Takes Two: Why Sharing Ideas Matters
Friends have shut down conversations because they disagreed with me. But dialogue is important—for finding common ground, truth, understanding—and it's only possible if everyone in the conversation is willing to talk.
How We Live Debt-Free in a World of Chronic Debt
Debt is ingrained in the modern economy, but it’s not the best way to manage money or build wealth. We live debt-free, paid cash for a house, and can maintain our freedom on $20k/yr. How? Read on.
How We Are Intentionally Building Strong Community Ties
Before moving to Idaho, I'd never been part of a strong community. Now, my friends are people I can truly rely on—which is how it's supposed to be! Why is strong community so rare? And how can you build your own?