How to Love Your Job

3 Ways to a Job that You are Passionate about and Good At

Do you jump out of bed in the morning looking forward to your work? Or is your job boring? Or a grind? Or even something you dread? What would it mean to you to have a job you love?

Man leaning back in his chair, smiling with content about his job

I was recently introduced to a paradigm for thinking about work that I find brilliant. It’s one of those ways of thinking about things that is so simple yet so profound. For most people, I’d wager it is the key to their job satisfaction. (more…)

21 Ways to Get the Most out of Sleep

Quick Tips from the Book “Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success”

It’s incredible that we—myself included—give such little thought to something that we spend so much of our life doing: sleeping. When I’m rested, I’m efficient. I’m effective. I am energized to pursue what matters most. Perhaps you feel the same way. But it’s hard to get rested. And being tired makes everything harder, slower, and less enjoyable. Perhaps you agree again.

In his recent book Sleep Smarter, Shawn Stevenson writes, “The research is in, and it’s 100 percent conclusive: When you don’t sleep well, you get slower, less creative, and more stressed, and you underperform.” That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can sleep well.

Stevenson provides 21 essential strategies to sleep your way to a better body, better health, and bigger success. In this post I share the top actionable insight or two that I took from each of the book’s 21 chapters: (more…)

How to Get the Best Seat on a Southwest Flight [Complete Guide]

And Do So Without Paying $150+ Extra for Business Class

Whenever you fly, you want to get the best seat on the plane for your money. With Southwest, getting the seat you want is more complicated. That’s because there are no assigned seats on Southwest flights. Rather, as passengers board the plane, they may choose any unoccupied seat.

I'm holding my son Michael on a Southwest flight

My son Michael and I on a Southwest flight last summer

Over time, I’ve given an inordinate amount of thought to how to get the seat you want on a Southwest flight. Here’s a complete guide to scoring your desired seat, whether that be an exit row, an aisle, or a window. (If you prefer the middle seat in the back row near the lavatories, you can stop reading now.) (more…)

The One Thing I Want for My 40th Birthday

And How to Double Your Money in a Completely Different Way

I’m turning 40 this week! Thursday, November 16th is the big day. For a brief moment, I’ll be right on top of the hill. 🙂 And for once, I know what I want for my birthday. Instead of receiving gifts, I want to raise $10,000 for an organization called charity: water. $10,000 is the cost to drill one well and provide clean water for an entire village.

Ugandan holding two bottles: one with dirty water, the other with clean water

Water before and after charity: water provides a well for a village

But let me back up. (more…)

How to Make the Most of Your 28,835 Days of Life

Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in life for what matters most to you? If so, you might appreciate the following video. I saw it for the first time about a week ago. The video shows how the average American spends the 28,835 days of his or her life.

Some who watch the video find it depressing. But that needn’t be the takeaway. In this post I’ll consider how it can inspire us to make the most of our time. (more…)

How to Get the Benefits of a 50-minute Workout in 10 Minutes

A Recent Study Provides a Great Workout for Those Who are Busy or Don’t Exercise

Of all the reasons that lead to chronic diseases, the highest risk factor that is within people’s control to alter is whether they exercise. And one of the most commonly cited reasons people give for not exercising is “lack of time.” I feel that pain. Do you? Would you like to reap key benefits of exercise in a fraction of the time? An academic paper making the rounds concludes that you can. Specifically, the study finds that you can realize the same key health benefits of a 50-minute workout in just 10 minutes.

A woman and man doing a sprint workout

In this post I will summarize the study and share my thoughts on the 10-minute workout. (more…)

How to Get a Spectacular Hotel Room Upgrade for Free

This Approach Has Worked for Me 9 out of 9 Times

The weekend before last, my wife and I stayed 2 nights at the historic Hotel Del Coronado, just south of San Diego, CA. Using Hilton points, I booked a free stay for us in a standard room, which sells for around $350/night. I wasn’t excited about the room. It wasn’t on the ocean, didn’t have a view, etc. But we were upgraded for free to an Oceanfront Tower Resort Suite on the top floor of the hotel. That room sells for over $1,500/night. It was 900 sq. ft. large. And it had the two features that I wanted: a spectacular ocean view and a balcony to enjoy it from.

View from the balcony of our hotel room upgrade

The view from our upgraded room’s balcony at Hotel Del Coronado

The upgrade was a gratuitous gift from the hotel. That said, I took certain steps to ask for the gift. I’ve now taken those steps to try to secure an upgrade on 9 separate occasions in three different countries. In all 9 cases, I succeeded in receiving a free room upgrade. Some of the upgrades, such as the one my wife and I just received, have been jaw-dropping. Others have been more modest, but still extremely meaningful to me, providing larger rooms, connecting rooms, better views, etc. Each upgrade has added substantial value to my family’s trip without costing a penny.

In all 9 cases, I booked the rooms for free using points prior to asking for, and receiving, an upgrade. Most people might be hesitant to ask for an upgrade on a paid stay and would be downright embarrassed to ask for an upgrade on a free room. But I have no shame in asking. And neither should you. Worst the hotels can say is “no.” But that’s not what they say.

Here’s how to get hotel room upgrades—sometimes incredible ones—for free: (more…)

On Suffering the Loss of a Child

And How to Strive for What Matters Most in Difficult Circumstances

On a Friday afternoon last month, just when one’s thoughts might wander to the weekend, I received the call. My wife had gone to the doctor for a routine checkup. But the doctor couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat. At 9 weeks along, we had lost our 4th child—Mary Rose—to miscarriage.

My family, huddled together, looking into the grave of Mary Rose

The burial of Mary Rose and other miscarried infants in Mount Olivet Cemetery; Wheat Ridge, CO

The floor seemed to go out from under my feet. Too many realities struck me all at once; I couldn’t process them.

The initial shock turned quickly to sorrow as some of the implications began to take root. One of the hardest aspects for me is accepting that I won’t be able to get to know her, at least not in this life. I won’t be able to memorize and anticipate her smile. I won’t be able to hear her voice. No “papa doggy” rides. No sleepless nights, which I would gladly have endured.

To not be able to experience Mary Rose is a gut-wrenching loss. To suffer it profoundly is understandable and fitting. Feeling the loss keenly manifests her loveableness.

Yet at the same time, to suffer—and only to suffer—the loss would be to miss an opportunity. For good—some good, at least—can come from anything. Even from death. To find that good and bring it to birth is to honor even more the life of the one who passed. I owe it to Mary Rose to try to make of her death the greatest contribution possible to what matters most. But how? (more…)

Why Insurance is Never a Good Deal

And 4 Times When You Should Pay for It Anyway

When you purchase a computer, should you buy insurance in case it breaks? Or should you purchase travel insurance for a trip? What about car insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or life insurance? You can save a lot of money over a lifetime by answering these difficult questions well.

Building destroyed by Hurricane Irma on St. Maarten island

Properly understood, insurance is always a bad deal. But there are 4 times when you should get it anyway. Let me explain. (more…)

4 Reasons Why You Have More Time if You Pray

You May Be Too Busy Not to Pray

Prayer is an unusual activity. With most activities, if you engage in them, you have less time for other things. But not so with prayer. Engaging in prayer provides more, not less, time for other things. Philosopher and author Peter Kreeft puts it this way: “We think our lack of time is the cause of our lack of prayer, but our lack of prayer is the cause of our lack of time.”

Woman engaged in prayer

Following are 4 reasons—drawn from billionaires and from saints—why it is, paradoxically, the case that you have more time if you pray. (more…)