2 Ways to Have what Tom Brady Wishes He Had

Why it’s Important to Consider What Matters Most and to Pursue It

I recently heard a story about New England quarterback Tom Brady that illustrates the importance of knowing what matters most and pursuing it. By 2005, 27-year-old Tom Brady had already won three Super Bowls. Brady was making millions of dollars. He was dating a model. He had it all. Or so you might think.

Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen at the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY on May 1st, 2017

Tom Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen

That year 60 Minutues correspondent Steve Kroft interviewed Brady. Kroft asked him what he made of his success. This was Brady’s stunning reply: (more…)

10 Lessons from 10 Years of Marriage

On the Occasion of Our 10-Year Wedding Anniversary

This blog is about the pursuit of what matters most. My angle is to help you have more time and money to that end, as time and money are huge levers. But they are only levers. What matters more is what matters most. Today I am celebrating a key ingredient of what matters most to me: my marriage. Today is Sarah’s and my 10-year wedding anniversary.

Brian and Sarah, with Sarah holding flowers

Our Wedding Day: May 19, 2007

In commemoration of this occasion, I thought I’d share 10 lessons from 10 years of marriage. Many apply to any pursuit of what matters most. Here goes: (more…)

In a Difficult Situation? Change, Leave, or Accept It.

How to Find a Way Beyond Frustration

Do you ever feel stuck in life? Like you’re caught in a negative situation that you can’t do anything about? I think we all do at times. Perhaps you’ve felt this way in a relationship, a job, or any number of other circumstances. There are few poorer or sadder ways to spend this life’s limited time than feeling trapped and powerless.

Man looking out over the ocean, contemplating a difficult situation

Such situations are frustrating. They make it hard to live for what matters most. It’s easy to complain about them, but complaining doesn’t make them better. In fact, it makes them worse.

There often aren’t easy answers to such situations. And I’m not about to provide one. But I did read something recently that I found illuminative and empowering for circumstances such as these. The simple quote I read is this: (more…)

Why I Proposed at the Foot of the Cross

And How Suffering is an Opportunity to Express our Love for What Matters Most

I wasn’t sure how to sneak a diamond ring into Israel without my girlfriend noticing. If I put it in my backpack, she might stumble upon it as we traveled. But if I carried it on me, would it set off the airport metal detector? The last thing I wanted was to have to show the ring to the TSA. If they saw it, my girlfriend would, too. What then? Would I drop to a knee and propose in airport security? I didn’t want to think about it.

Sarah and I praying at the foot of the Cross

Sarah and I praying at the foot of the Cross, where we got engaged

In the end, I carried the ring in a money belt, which I wore inside my pants, around my waist. (Yes, I thought that upon popping the question, my girlfriend would say “yes” despite the fashion statement that wearing a money belt makes. Guess I thought she really loved me.)

The only time I took that money belt off was to quickly send it through airport scanners. Otherwise, I kept it glued to me. And what with the Israeli heat, I don’t use “glued” lightly. (more…)

How to Live the 80/20 Rule for What Matters Most

Why the 80/20 Rule is a Key Principle for Having More Time and Money

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of effects are determined by 20% of their causes. The rule is also known as the Pareto Principle, after the 19th Century Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto noticed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the peapods. (Weird thing to notice.) He also showed that about 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

Man contemplating how he can use the 80/20 rule to achieve 80% of the result with 20% of the input

The Pareto Principle is not a law, like gravity. It’s a rule of thumb. It fits a wide array of phenomena. Consider, for instance, these applications of the rule across a variety of fields: (more…)

Life’s too Short to Ignore a Dream

Why to Pay Attention to Your Deepest Desires

What do you dream about when it’s quiet? On a hike, on vacation, on retreat, or when lying awake in bed–what desires emerge? Is there something you want to do that the noise of life drowns out but that resurfaces whenever the noise subsides?

Looking out over the Ocean in Mexico

If so, life is too short to ignore such dreams. I know, because I’ve ignored them and wished I hadn’t. (more…)

How to Build a New Habit this Lent

3 Steps to Harness the Power of Habit to Live for What Matters Most this Lent and Beyond

Forming good habits is one of the most powerful means of pursuing what matters most. That’s because habits make up more than 40% of the actions people perform each day, as noted in Charles Duhigg’s 2012 bestseller The Power of Habit.

A Resolution this Lent: Leave my iPhone and Keys on Desk

Today is an especially great day to begin a new habit. That’s because today is the first day of Lent, a period of 40 days of preparation leading up to Easter Sunday. Although the primary focus of Lent is not habit formation, many Catholics and other Christians seek to adopt better habits during this time. As this article in the Los Angeles Times recently pointed out, non-Christians also use Lent as a chance for a resolution reboot.

So, how can you create a habit that sticks? (more…)

2 Quick Steps to Give Free Money to Charity via AmazonSmile

How to Financially Support Charities You Care About Without Costing You a Penny

Would you like to give more to the charitable causes you care about? Do you shop at Amazon? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, you should take advantage of AmazonSmile, an easy way to benefit the charity of your choice at no additional cost to you.

Girl extending hands to give wad of cash

The way AmazonSmile works is simple: (more…)

It Pays to be Kind

How Kindness May Recently Have Saved Me Between $70 and $525

My wife and I recently returned from dinner to our hotel room while on vacation. She soon realized that she couldn’t find her iPhone. Because she is a sane person, she doesn’t have it glued to her 24/7 like I do.

I called her phone, but we didn’t hear it ring. We listened more carefully: we didn’t hear it vibrate. Uh oh.

I used the “Find My iPhone” app to track her phone from mine. I could see her phone moving at a pretty good clip up and down nearby streets. That was actually good news because it all but confirmed her suspicion that she had left it in the taxi we had taken to the hotel. Having not gotten a receipt from the driver, I had no way of getting in touch with him through the cab company.

I called my wife’s phone again. I texted it. I used the “Find My iPhone” app to play a sound, which overrides even silent mode. No response. “$700 down the drain,” I thought (and maybe said aloud). (more…)

What Christmas can Teach us about Money

2 Lessons We can Take Away

As someone who writes about money, I might be expected to check my conscience at the door. After all, one cannot pursue both virtue and money, right?

The easy reply is that it’s not money, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil. So as long as you don’t love it, you’re okay.

The problem with that reply is the failure to acknowledge that it’s easy to love the stuff.

Its attractiveness is understandable. After all, together with time, money is one of our very most powerful resources. But whereas time can only be saved, money can be both saved and acquired, so it has an extra way of captivating us.

(more…)