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happiness

Comparison, Economics, and Pizza

Every child understands one economic principle. It’s the principle of scarcity of resources. I learned this as it applies to pizza.

Whenever my parents would order pizza, it seemed like there was never quite enough for each of us Malm children to have our fill. So in order for me to get as much pizza as I wanted, I had to make sure I got it before my brother did. Or if I wanted the pieces that had the most pepperoni, I had to go for those first or trick my siblings into grabbing the cheese-only slices.

Scarcity of resources is the principle that in order for me to have something, it means that you can’t have it. If there are only a million dollars in the world, and I want to be a millionaire, nobody else can have any money. Depressing, no? (more…)

kindergarten

If you don’t have something nice to say…

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’m not sure when it happened. But that’s no longer the adage people live by. Now it’s, “If you don’t have something nice to say, spread your negativity all over social media.”

We learned the first truth about holding our tongue in elementary school. We learned to be nice to others. We learned that if you want friends, you have to be kind and encourage people.

But later on in life, we get rewarded for rudeness and negativity. People laugh at our cruel jokes. Followers retweet our criticisms of the Osteens. Cynical bloggers gain page views. So we drift away from the “don’t say anything negative” philosophy to the “spew all your negativity” approach. (more…)

your-value

Writing a Book Won’t Make You Famous

It’s funny. Before I had a book published, I’d tell people I was a writer, and people would look at me like, “Yeah, right.” I know they secretly pitied my wife, knowing she must live in abject poverty.

But now that I have a book published, people seem to think I’m famous. They think I’m doing well financially. They even ask for my scrawl of a signature if they buy a copy of my book. It’s weird.

People think that getting a book published makes you something. But the truth is, that means absolutely nothing if nobody buys it. It only means I had the right connections and was easy to work with. Monetarily, I’ll probably make less money per hour of work than I do on any of my other projects. This took far too long to put together for the probable return on investment. Yet this little published book somehow gives me new credibility. (more…)

creative

3 Reasons You’re More Creative than You Think

One of the big struggles in editing Created for More was making it a book that would appeal to people who don’t consider themselves creative. A lot of people think they aren’t creative, but I think that’s a bunch of hooey.

I believe people are massively creative, they’re just afraid to tap into that creativity. And I’m about to prove that you’re creative. Here are three reasons you’re more creative than you think. (more…)

insecurity

What Came From Writing My Book

What came from writing my book? More insecurity. I know this isn’t exactly a hopeful post I’m sharing today. But stick with me, it gets better.

Part of the promotion of any book is to write a ton of guest posts for other blogs. I wrote about twenty guest posts in a week or two. (While on vacation in Miami.) And each time I wrote something, I read it then scrapped it. I wasn’t liking anything I wrote. It just wasn’t very good. Eventually, after wrestling with the pieces for a little bit, I got them to a decent place.

Next insecurity: people actually reading my book. Now that I’d promoted the heck out of it, I had to wait for people to read the dang thing. Would people like it? I saw people tweeting about the first few chapters. But then that stopped. (Most people don’t read past the first few pages of a book they buy. Is that what was happening here?) (more…)

outside

How to Say No to Your Spouse

Friday I posted about how to say “no” to someone’s idea for you—whether it be for your money, time, or energy. But I got the question about how to do the same sort of thing for your wife. How do you say “no” to your spouse’s idea for you—something they want to partner with you on? This is a massively complicated question—dependent on your particular relationship and what your spouse actually wants you to do. But there are two things I have to say on the topic…and I think they can make a big change to the way you relate with your spouse.

First of all, a project can be a form of investment into your marriage. I do all sorts of things I don’t want to do out of love for my wife: workout, eat paleo, watch So You Think You Can Dance… I don’t do these things during my work hours, but when I’m with my wife, my time is completely hers. Maybe this project needs to be an investment in your marriage.

Secondly—and this is the big one—have you made your spouse part of your dream? Let me explain. (more…)

sayingyes

How to Say No

I was biking down South Beach with my wife, when we stopped at a Public (grocery store) to grab some water. It was a smoldering hot day, and for some reason we decided to rent bikes and ride a few miles. I stayed outside with the bikes while she went inside to buy the water.

That’s when I was approached by two smiling faces with clipboards. “Hi! We’re with the UN’s disaster relief fund. We’re the ones who go in and help after disasters like what happened in Haiti and Iraq. Would you be willing to donate a few dollars to help with that? A few dollars could help save lives.”

The ball was in my court. I could either reach into my wallet and grab some cash I’d allotted for our vacation. Or I could say “no” and seem like a selfish jerk who didn’t care about anyone but himself. I said “no”, and I didn’t feel like a jerk one bit. (more…)

quote

What To Do With a Great Idea You Can’t Act On

My wife gave me a brilliant idea. It’s one I’d be uniquely qualified to pursue and it could be very lucrative. I’m still not sure if I’ll act on it, but I’ll go ahead and share it with you.

The idea is a store where you can roast your own coffee beans. It would almost be a Build-a-Bear Workshop for coffee. You could choose the country of origin for your beans, choose the intensity of the roast, then sit and sample coffee while it roasted. As you waited, the barista could show you new ways to brew coffee or teach you about the process.

Obviously the cost of the coffee would be one source of revenue. But the biggest source of revenue would be gift items, branded mugs, and brewing equipment. I imagine most people would use this service to buy a gift for their coffee-loving friend. The idea is genius, but I’ll probably never act on it. (more…)

Created-for-More

What Went into Writing My Book

My new book released today! So excited. But I’ve been getting quite a few questions about how I wrote it—the background of the book. So I thought I’d share some of the numbers of writing Created for More.

Also, while you’re here, I’d love if you order the book and help spread the word. It might seem that getting published is the only measure of success. But if nobody buys the book, it’s considered a failure.

All that aside, here are a few of the numbers of writing Created for More. (more…)

deadline

One Thing You Should Never Do When It Comes to Your Dream

People ask me how I’m able to accomplish so many goals. I’ve seen a lot of dreams come to fruition. But many people have a hard time putting their dreams to work and actually accomplishing them.

I’ve found this one tip helps me tremendously. It’s something I don’t do. The tip is this: Never add an item to your to do list without a deadline attached to it.

Here’s why: If you don’t attach a deadline to your dream, you’ll never do it. There will always be something else competing for your attention. There will always be an emergency that takes priority. Or when motivation is low, you’ll simply ignore it. (more…)