The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)

Don’t be a groundhog [yes, I know this is a hedgehog, but I liked the shot]. (Photo: Anxious223)

There are a lot of rich and depressed groundhogs.

This is a critical concept, so let me introduce it with an e-mail I received from a reader and executive at a Fortune 500 company a few hours ago, edited for length:


So I was out snowshoeing this morning and found myself completely taken in this moment thinking I was like the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale and that I was walking through the Black Forest. And I was there, at least in my mind, which, really, is all that matters. …Here’s how this is relevant to you – the problem most people are going to have with your book is that these people don’t know how to dream. I think your book is like the 2nd in a series… unless you can find moments of the sublime in whatever present moment, and unless you can dream about creating the next one, what does it really matter how much time you free up from work?

Here’s how we make this e-mail hit home for you and get you $720 in the process:

1) On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how life-changing or personally fulfilling have the last two weekends been?

2) Is retirement from the 9-5, 50-weeks-per-year routine one of your current goals? (Yes/No)

3) How confident are you on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, in your ability to fill 20-40 years of retirement, whether in one stretch or spread out as mini-retirements?

If your answer to 2 is affirmative, here are two worst-case scenarios… Continue reading “The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)”

Test Driving the Unreleased Audi R8, the Supercar Even Women Fantasize About (Plus: A Favor)

I love fast cars. Enter the Audi R8 supercar. OMFG.

I get a massive amount of e-mail — almost 300 per hour at one point during major media — which is why I outsourced my inbox in the first place to virtual assistants.

Sometimes, though, comes a snort-worthy e-mail — a zinger exciting enough to make me choke and spurt morning coffee out of my nose like a fire-breathing dragon (not recommended).

Here is one of them, received last week, from James Tate of Traction magazine:

“I’ve got a gray six-speed Audi R8 booked from the 28th through the 4th of Feb. and can do any of those dates. Any chance you’ll be in town?”

Continue reading “Test Driving the Unreleased Audi R8, the Supercar Even Women Fantasize About (Plus: A Favor)”

Services for a Hyperspeed Life: Faster Speed Dating, 100-Word News Summaries…

I was interviewed recently from Uruguay by Marco della Cava of USA Today for a cover story that appeared yesterday titled “Speeding Up the Mad Dash.” It’s a quick read and good food for thought:

If you’re reading these words, the chocolates and flowers are on their way. Because given the gazillion draws of modern life — the cellphone, the BlackBerry, the boss, the kids, the TiVo, the dog — it’s a small miracle this sentence has made it into your day.

Our fast society is only getting faster, putting inordinate demands on our time and prompting the people and companies that service our lives to come up with ways to help us reclaim some of it.

Don’t have time to read all those magazines you subscribe to?

Not a problem. A new website called Brijit offers one-paragraph summaries of even the most complex and deeply researched tomes. [2021 Ed. note: Brijit stopped its summary service in 2008.]  “It’s like drinking from a fire hose these days,” says founder Jeremy Brosowsky. “There’s more good stuff than ever, but the problem is consuming it day to day”… Continue reading “Services for a Hyperspeed Life: Faster Speed Dating, 100-Word News Summaries…”

Tips for Personal Branding in the Digital Age: Google Insurance, Cache-flow, and More…

Branding is no longer for Fortune 500 companies and Madison Avenue agencies with excessive budgets and inadequate tracking.

Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records.

Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name.

Going to a job interview? Ditto.

Here are 4 tips for preserving or promoting your name, whether personal or business, in a digital world:

1. Get Google insurance:

Register the URLs for your name and variants, and consider creating a blog. The objective here is to own the first 1-5 results that appear on search engines if someone searches your name. I don’t think most people should be bloggers, but having a Google-friendly and SEO-rich blog platform like WordPress or TypePad that is updated even twice per month as an online journal is worth the investment for having first say in your image. This recommendation comes from Mike Fertik, CEO of the much-buzzed ReputationDefender.

2. Remember to maintain positive “cache-flow”… Continue reading “Tips for Personal Branding in the Digital Age: Google Insurance, Cache-flow, and More…”

Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep

I once went almost five days without sleep in 1996 just to see 1) if I could make a week (I couldn’t), and 2) what the side-effects would be.

I was a new neuroscience major at Princeton at the time and hoped to do research with famed serotonin pioneer, Barry Jacobs.

Hallucinations cut my sleep deprivation trial short, but I’ve continued to experiment with sleep optimization and variation as a means of improving performance.

Here are a few effective techniques and hacks I’ve picked up over the last five years from sources ranging from biochemistry PhDs to biologists at Stanford University… Continue reading “Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep”

10 Computer Shortcuts: Obvious to Techies but Unknown to the Rest (Plus: New World Record)

I’ll cover my head in shame: I only discovered keyboard shortcuts about a year ago. There, I said it.

Here are a few shortcuts that take out excessive mouse use and — cumulatively over thousands of computer movements per week — save hours and hours.

There a million and one “shortcuts,” but learning them all takes forever. The headache savers below are those I use almost every time I touch a computer. Though self-evident to most techies, I hope a few Luddites like me will find them a revelation. If using a Mac, use the Cmd key instead of Ctrl… Continue reading “10 Computer Shortcuts: Obvious to Techies but Unknown to the Rest (Plus: New World Record)”

Depression: How You Label Determines How You Feel

This post was not planned.

But… I have lost two close friends from both high school and college to suicide, and Heath Ledger’s unexpected death, which shows all the signs of suicide, saddened me on a profound level. It just shouldn’t happen.

To paraphrase Dan Sullivan: the problem isn’t the problem. It’s how you think about the problem that’s the problem.

Here are three concepts that I and others have found useful for preventing the inevitable ups and downs from becoming self-destructive thinking and behavior:

1. Depression is just one phase of a natural biorhythm and thus both transient and needed… Continue reading “Depression: How You Label Determines How You Feel”

The Holy Grail: How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again

What if you never had to check e-mail again?

If you could hire someone else to be spend countless hours in your inbox instead of you?

This isn’t pure fantasy. For the last 12 months, I’ve experimented with removing myself from the inbox entirely by training other people to behave like me. Not to imitate me, but to think like me.

Here’s the upshot: I get more than 1,000 e-mail a day from various accounts. Rather than spending 6-8 hours per day checking e-mail, which I used to do, I can skip reading e-mail altogether for days or even weeks at a time… all with 4-10 minutes a night… Continue reading “The Holy Grail: How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again”

How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight

- AFFLICTION WEIGH-IN RESULTS AND PHOTOS - MMA WEEKLY - Mixed Martial Arts & UFC News, Photos, Rankings & more

For thousands of athletes, cutting weight is a critical science. Heavyweights are an exception. (Photo: MMAWeekly)

Gaining 34 pounds of lean mass in 28 days? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

Losing 20+ pounds of fat in one month without exercise? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

So let’s add another item to the list of impossibles: I have lost more than 20 pounds in less than 24 hours on more than a dozen occasions.

The most extreme example was 33 lbs. — from 185 lbs. to 152 lbs. — in less than 20 hours, which produced a rather unpleasant 120 beat-per-minute resting pulse while attempting to sleep.

In 1999, I was a gold medalist at the Sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) national championships in the 165-lb. weight class (here is a video sample of Sanshou). This is perhaps the most controversial accomplishment in the 4HWW, as I make it clear:

I arrived the on-site at 187 lbs., weighed in at 165 lbs., and stepped on the platform to compete the next morning weighing 193 lbs.

This post will explain exactly how it’s done — the techniques, the “drugs”, the science — and include excerpts from a series of articles I wrote for Powerlifting USA in 2004 called “The New Technology of Water”. Even if you have no need to cut weight, after reading this, you will know more about organ function and hydration than 99% of all athletes in the world… Continue reading “How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight”

5 Boundary-Setting Tips for the Work Obsessed

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Anne Zelenka, who serves as Editor at Large for Web Worker Daily.]

If you are so passionate about your work that you border on obsessed, you might find it near impossible to turn work off.

This is especially so in the web age, when you can stay connected no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing. What do you do when suggestions like “work only during certain hours” and “don’t check email on evenings and weekends” just don’t seem to be enough?

Here are five more powerful tricks for keeping work in its place… Continue reading “5 Boundary-Setting Tips for the Work Obsessed”