Let the Future Work for You

Buridan's Donkey - named after French philosopher Jean Buridan - is an illustration in philosophy in which a donkey that is equally hungry and thirsty is placed exactly midway between a stack of hay and a trough of water. Assuming that the donkey would choose whichever is closest, it would die, unable to make a rational decision and choose one over another.

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How I am Preparing for Next Year

Preparing for the New Year can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. In fact, it's rather fun. Here's a rundown of what I'm going through during these last two weeks of this year to get ready for the new year. You can follow along or do your own thing. I'd love hear what you're doing in the comments below!

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Stop reading this immediately.

Go spend time with your family.

You can thank me later.

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An Unpopular Perspective on Pain

Some things can only be appreciated when contrasted with it's opposite. The things we love, we often take for granted until we've lost them. It is scientifically proven that gratitude is a key factor in happiness. In a roundabout sort of way... so is adversity.

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Plans are okay. Missions are better.

When I was younger, I use to make plans obsessively. I had a 6-month plan, a 1-year plan, a 3-year plan, a 5-year plan, a 10-year plan and a 20-year plan. And then I changed my mind about a seemingly inconsequential decision and it screwed up my 6-month plan and then my 1-year plan and then my 3-year plan until I finally had to sit down and rethink everything.

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You can choose to put yourself in the way of beauty

Beauty is everywhere; it's our choice whether or not we see it. Sometimes this takes practice... in fact, I'm still practicing. I'm practicing because I choose to see and appreciate the simple things. I choose to put myself in the way of beauty.

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The Benefits of Flirting with "Insanity"

Herd mentalities are neither a myth nor uncommon. We see it every day, built right into the tools and entertainment we use. Amazon and Netflix use peer rating systems because they understand that we trust our friends more than we do big box businesses. Artists, technicians and others in the service sector use testimonials because if your friends and neighbors are saying they're the best, you'll begin to believe it as fact. And of course, everyone is fighting against everyone else to build up their following so that they can stick their own hand in the cookie jar of influence.

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Okay, it's not a sin. But it's still stupid.

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6, makes this assertion that some things are lawful for him to do but are not helpful. In other words, God gave him a perfectly good head on his shoulders and he needs to use it. There are some things in this world that are not wrong by moral, legal or spiritual standards but are simply unwise. As our mothers always say, "just because you can doesn't mean you should."

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Simplicity is the mean of excess and deficiency

There's a philosophy often attributed to Aristotle, though also theorized by Chinese and Buddhist philosophers, of the Golden Mean. It is the "desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency." This theory asserts that even good things, in excess or deficiency, can turn into something undesirable; only when found in an appropriate balance - its mean - can something remain virtuous. For example, honesty is a virtue but in excess it would manifest as tactless and rude and in deficiency, as a lie.

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Simplify, ServeJacob Jolibois
5 Simple Essays to Prime Yourself for the Holidays

No time to write a full post - I'm busy enjoying a large plate of turkey and about a dozen different pies. But if you're itching for some good reading, I've got you covered. Here are five good reads to put the holidays into perspective.

Be mindful. Embrace simplicity. Serve others. Live well.

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Why everyone must become a content creator

Content creators are becoming some of the most valuable assets to brands. Companies and organizations often hire dedicated employees to fill these positions because they are beginning to understand that content tells a story and story is how we communicate. A content creator is a fairly intuitive term - it refers to someone who creates content to be digested by a specific audience to add value and spread awareness. We're not talking about ads. We're talking about blog posts, videos, images, social media posts and more.

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What if real life was an art project?

I was talking with a buddy of mine over lunch on Monday about the nature of art. He told me a story of someone confronting him about a particular Instagram series that he had started which involved image manipulation to create some really cool shots. This person said his series was a manipulation of the real world. Now whether they meant it as a jab or an offhanded comment, I can't say for certain. Nonetheless, we found the comment interesting.

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We can't manufacture time but here's the next best thing

Budgeting our time, is just as important as budgeting our money — perhaps more so. Yet we constantly overwhelm our schedules with water, leaving no room for the stones when opportunity shines on us. Spending our time on paper (or screen) before the month, week or day arrives is a great way to make sure the stones are given their space.

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How to gain a 3-5 year head-start right out of college

Every job position requires 3-5 years of experience but no one will hire you for 3-5 years to help you get it, ammiright?

I know the struggle - I was there just over a year ago. Why is this? The reason isn't because everyone's in on this evil plot to force you back into your parent's basement. Especially not your parents. The reason is that employers realize that the first three years of being employed right out of college are when many young adults get their first real taste of the working world and - as with any new environment - there's an acclamation period. A time when the employee learns the things you don't really get taught in college. Stuff like grit, creativity, initiative and self-reliance. Sure, you get some of that in college. You cook grits in the microwave, you get creative with the answers on a test and you rely on yourself to show up to class on time but it's hard to fully learn their importance until you're asked to take on something much bigger than a 20-page paper.

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Some politically incorrect thoughts on our high-strung, overly-sensitive culture

It's time that our nation grew a pair (sorry, was that offensive?) and moved past the petty offenses that seem to put everyone in a perpetually sour mood. We have a chance to upgrade ourselves and live by intentional choice not by emotional flash floods. What if everyone assumed that the "offensive" comment or tone or look or action was not actually intended to offend? I'm thinking we might find ourselves in the midst of a more pleasant society.

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Thinking about a liberal arts degree? Think about this first.

Ahh that age old question of what you should go to school for. Many are even questioning if higher education is even worth our time any more. I do think it's worth our time, but that's for another entry. Let's assume you're already planning on going to college. What should you get your degree in?

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Garden Math: a simple formula for multiplying actions into opportunities

If you're any good at math, you know the percentage of failure is much higher when only one seed is planted than if many seeds are planted. So what if, instead of planting only one seed, you took a bit of extra time to scatter a few more? It doesn't require much more effort than throwing one seed but with every handful, the chances of one seed sprouting grows higher and higher (horrible pun intended). Investors call it diversification.

I call it Garden Math.

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How to Organize Your Clothing Using the KonMari Method

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organization consultant who has made a name for herself through her meticulous and systematized approach to reducing clutter and organizing everything that remains. You can find her methods outlined in her book Spark Joy.

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What you're doing matters more than what you're "supposed to do."

People often get bent out of shape and worry over trying to figure out what they're supposed to "do" with their lives. Meanwhile, they're bypassing opportunities out of fear that they might lead them down the wrong path. But who's to say it's the wrong path when you don't know what the right one is? Heck, some people aren't even trying to forge their own paths and can be found sitting on a rock at an intersection where they were left years ago.

Consider this: What you are supposed to "do" with your life matters a lot less than what you are "doing" with your life.

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