"Live Like There's No Tomorrow" is Terrible Advice

It seems like good advice.

It stops procrastinating. If today was our last day, then we would get started on that important project immediately.

It increases appreciation. If today was our last day, we would appreciate what we have. 

It makes us enjoy the moment. If today was our last day, we would make the most of our remaining seconds.

That's why "Live Like There's No Tomorrow" is on mugs and t-shirts and coffee shop chalkboards.

And that's why we all nod our heads in agreement and give the same advice to everyone else.

But it's actually terrible advice. 

It's terrible because it doesn't acknowledge the dark side to not having a tomorrow. 

If we aren't going to make it to tomorrow, for example, then what will we eat today? A reasonable portion of vegetables? No! We'll have pizzas and Big Macs and cinnamon rolls till we pass out. And why not? It's our last day. I want to taste something goodI

If today is our last day, then what will we do with our money? Save it? For what? We'll spend it. We'll buy a whole bunch of fun things until the money runs out, and if we need more money, well, we can just rob a bank. Who cares? We won't be around for the punishment. 

If today is our last day, then how will we treat the people we don't like? With politeness? No! We'll say every nasty thing we've ever thought and punch them right in the face. No reason to hold back now!

So, in summary, if we "live each day like there's no tomorrow" then, if there happened to be a tomorrow, we'd wake up feeling sick and bloated with zero dollars in our bank account while cops are banging at the door to inquire about yesterday's assaults. 

Interestingly, living only for today doesn't work in business, either.

In business, every entrepreneurial endeavor starts with the idea of Going Concern. Every business must start with the idea that this business will carry on far into the future.

That's how the accounting principles are set up and how the business creates all of its infrastructure. 

Otherwise, what would happen to that business? The owner would spend all of the investors' money, rob the company coffers, and maybe even harass the employees. Business without Going Concern is a nightmare. 

In fact, Investopedia says, "If a business is not a going concern, it means the company has gone bankrupt and its assets were liquidated."

If a company lives like there's no tomorrow, it's out of business.

In short, living like there's no tomorrow makes sure there won't be a tomorrow (even if there is).

The truth is: we should do the opposite of that popular saying.

We should choose diets that will keep us healthy for the many days to come. 

We should invest wisely and save our money for the future. 

We should treat people kindly in hopes of having long-lasting relationships.

We should appreciate today, sure. But living like there is a tomorrow can make all of our other days good, too. 


My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

There's No Such Thing As Talent

It's true. There's no such thing as talent.

I know what you're thinking: Of course talent is a real thing, you moron! People have been talking about talent forever!

First, you don't have to call me names.

Second, I have a question for you. If talent is a real thing, then tell me what it is. 

I'll wait.

You could start with a plain definition that says, "talent: Natural aptitude or skill."

Okay. What does "natural" mean? Does it mean we're born with talent floating around our bodies? If so, can you show me what talent looks like? Just point it out or carve a chunk of it out of your calf muscle.

I'll wait again. 

What? You can't show me? That's weird. Does that mean it's not a thing?

Well, maybe that's because talent is a skill.

Fine. What is "skill"?

Skill is the ability to do something well. Hmm.

What does "well" mean? 

If your cousin is the best mechanic in the family, does he do repairs well? But if there's another mechanic who's the best in town, then does your cousin still considered skilled? What about the most accomplished mechanic in the world? Does he do it well? 

How good is well?

See the problem? Trying to put our finger on what "talent" is leads us down a deep rabbit hole that ends up exactly nowhere.

But what about superstars at sports or music or things like that? They have talent!

Do they?

Superstars aren't born that way. No one is.

Mozart the genius was not good at composing right off the bat. Michael Jordan didn't make his high school basketball team. Steven Spielberg got rejected from film school three times. 

If they were "talented" how come they were so terrible at what they did?

Here's the important thing, though. The fact that that talent doesn't exist is a good thing. Maybe the best of things

When we see an amazing finished product doing incredible things on the stage, field, or canvas, it's merely the culmination of a lot of hard work. 

Every eye-popping display came to be through focused practice. That's it. They were terrible at it, just like us. They just decided that they wanted to be great, and so they set out on the multi-year course that led them to remarkable.

The myth of talent holds us back. It's a roadblock. 

"I can't do it because I don't have talent."

If there's no such thing as talent, the second part of that self-defeating statement disappears.

We all can do it. We all can be skillful. We all can be superstars. 

That's the door that opens when we stop believing in "talent."

So the next time someone says, "That person is SO talented," just throw up in your mouth a little and go back to practicing.

Eventually, they'll all think you have talent, too.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.



How to Lose Friends and Make People Hate You

I'm sure you've heard that nobody reads anymore.

Of course, that's not true

But I bet most people don't read books from several decades ago, and that's a big mistake. The old books are often way better than the new ones. 

And one such "classic" (although I hate that word) is How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's phenomenal, but it's not what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the opposite of that.

Last Saturday night, SNL did a sketch that talked about the New England Patriots--and how much everyone hates them. The point: everyone's tired of the Patriots and everyone despises them. It's funny.

It got me thinking, though. Why is that? Why do so many people hate the Patriots? They've embodied excellence for almost twenty years, and they play the most entertaining Super Bowls of all time. 

Yet they're hated.

Then I got to thinking more: who else has been the best in the world for almost twenty years? Answer: Roger Federer. He also embodies excellence and has played in some of the best matches of all time.

So do people hate him?


Go back and watch this year's Australian Open final. At 3-1 in the fifth and deciding set, the fans started chanting, "Ro-ger! Ro-ger!" at the top of their lungs. This is at a neutral site in a match against a nice, uncontroversial opponent (Cilic). There's no reason why the crowd should be crazily backing Federer, but they are.

Two different dynasties, two distinctly different feelings. What gives?

The answer is that there are certain things we all can do to be hated, and there are things we can do to be loved. Here's a breakdown on how not to be hated:

1. Be honest. Federer has said many times how hard he tries to give an honest, interesting answer to whoever is interviewing him. In fact, Federer has apologized live for not giving good enough answers. For the Aussie final, he even came out and said how nervous he was and how crestfallen he would've been had he lost. 

The Patriots are the opposite of that. They never give anything away and never tell the truth. One of their best defensive backs was benched right before the Super Bowl and no one will say why. It's understood that the answer to this important question will probably never be known. At the same time, it's also understood that any Patriots player will never give up any information and that all injury reports and player updates from New England are always fake. Most famously, when asked fair questions after an important loss, Belichick refused to give any honest information except the superficial phrase, "on to Cincinnati."

You want to be hated? Be dishonest.

2. Treat everyone kindly. We've talked before about how well Federer treats the "little people." He goes out of his way to even make sure the ball kids have an easy job. He signs autographs diligently after wins and stays until everyone's obligations are met. He treats every reporter with respect, so much so that a reporter at the Australian Open actually caught flak for not being an impartial journalist and hugging Federer after a match.

The Patriots, however, take a different tack. They throw the "insignificant people" away like yesterday's trash. During the infamous Deflategate scandal, the employees who were involved were let go and/or suspended while no one else took any blame. 

Further, the Patriots are notorious for getting rid of players who've won for them and replacing them with cheaper fill-ins. While that might be "good business" (debatable), it's also a way to not be loved.

And throughout their entire successful run, the Patriots have been condescending and rude to just about anyone who asks them questions. 

3. Be the same on and off the field. Search around for Federer anecdotes and you'll hear different version of the same story: Federer is a really nice guy. On the court, he takes care of ball boys, he treats reporters kindly, and cares about other players. Off the court, he goes out of his way to be kind to everyone he meets. Former world #1 Patrick Rafter even came out this week and said, about Federer, that "what you see in public is how he is."

The Patriots are untouchable and unknowable. Even with Tom Brady's Facebook documentaries, nobody really knows him. Even when he released his new book he just became more esoteric. What kind of person lives like this?? Same for Belichick. There have been several people who have said that Belichick isn't really such an awful person off the field. While that might be true, the huge chasm between coach and person doesn't make him more relate-able. It makes him more hate-able. 

4. Don't cheat. If you cheat, or if people think you cheat, you're not going to be loved. Federer is notorious for trying to do the right thing by his opponent. He's also knows for helping out hitting partners and not trying to steal secrets he can use in later matches. 

The Patriots? They're made cheating a brand. From Spygate to Deflategate, it's understood that the Patriots are going to bend or break the rules. That makes it very difficult to love them.

It's easy to say that winning a lot brings its share of contempt and jealousy. And that might be little bit true.

But that doesn't explain why Federer is selling out stadiums and exhibitions and practice sessions after twenty years of winning. That doesn't explain why he's been named as the tour's Fan Favorite for fifteen years in a row. That doesn't explain why people are screaming for him in countries all over the world. 

Being hated is a lifestyle and a choice. If we don't want to be hated, we can always choose something different. 

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


Age is Arbitrary

Have you heard? A 36-year-old just won the Australian Open. 

That's amazing. 

Have you heard? A 40-year-old quarterback is about to play in his 8th Super Bowl.

That's amazing. 

Wait, why is it amazing?

Maybe the statistics?

According to one study done in 2009, the peak of a male tennis player's career is in his "mid to late twenties." And according to a more detailed study done two decades earlier, the peak age for a men's tennis player is 24. 

Considering Roger Federer is a decade older than both of those "peak" ages, and the fact that Federer is clearly still the best tennis player in the world, I guess that would qualify as amazing.

At the same time, the average NFL football player's career is 3.3 years. After four years of college, 3.3 years would make a typical player about 26 years old. That means that an NFL player's peak would come before 26.

Tom Brady is not only fourteen years older than the "peak" age, he's still an elite player and will probably win the MVP this season. I guess you could call that amazing.

After all, we've never seen anything like this before.

But we know now that our minds control our bodies to a great degree. For example, if we think negatively, it makes us sick. Conversely, if we don't think cynically, we stay healthy and live longer.

Whatever we think, our bodies create.

Last year Federer decided that his age was irrelevant. He was going to stay healthy and go for Majors. The result? He's won three of the last four Grand Slams he's played. 

Brady decided, quite publicly, that his age meant nothing. He decided he was going to play well for at least five more years. This Sunday his team is favored in the Super Bowl (because of him) and he is the betting favorite to be Super Bowl MVP. 

These "amazing" athletes decided not to listen to people or worry about statistics. They decided they would do something else.


What if we decided our bodies aren't inferior just because we're "getting old"? 

What if we decided that it was possible to walk 3.47 million steps in a calendar year?

What if we decided that we were going to be knife-fighting, spear-fishing madmen at age 75?

And what if those things came true?

It makes me wonder.

Would it be amazing? 

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


The 2018 Billion Dollar Fitness Challenge!

I have a never-ending fascination with fitness.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Probably everyone would say they want to be fit, yet the National Institute of Diabetes says that "more than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity"in 2014. 

And probably everyone would say they want to be healthy, yet the line for Chik-fil-A is always around the corner (day or night). 

Why is that?

What is this disconnect between wanting to be lean and mean while being the exact opposite? Where does all it go wrong?

As with all things, it starts with belief.

When we see a fit-looking person, we admire it--and then we dismiss it as impossible. 

"I'd love to look like that, but who has time to work out 6 hours a day or eat tofu hamburgers or sleep in kale pajamas."

If our busy schedules make it impossible to pursue a life-consuming fitness regimen, then what's the point in even starting such a regimen? We'll never have a chef or a personal trainer or the budget to buy all those fancy foods, so why bother trying?

Plus, Filet-o-Fish sandwiches taste so, so good. 

In short, if we believe it can't be done, it won't get done. Fitness turns into something for somebody else.

But what if fitness wasn't really that inaccessible? What if it was actually something that anyone could do? Would that change anyone's life?

I wonder.

This year I'm betting everyone on the internet that I can walk 3.47 million steps by the end of the year (December 31st, 2018).

By the way, did you know that 3.47 million steps is about 1,700 miles? Did you know that 1,700 miles is almost exactly the distance from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles?

That sounds impressive! And absolutely not helpful because no one would ever do that, right?

Not so fast, my friend. 

Getting 3.47 million steps is just 10,000 steps a day. If you break it down, in a 30 minute walk, you can get about 4,000 steps. If you went on a 30 minute walk during lunch (just making phone calls or listening to music or podcasts) and did the same after dinner, you're probably at 10,000 steps because of all the steps you take in your everyday life. 

Or you could take three 20-minute walks. 

The point is: it's not that hard to get the steps. It's not a big life-changing event.

Furthermore, in my bet with the internet, I will win $1 from everyone if I also do 10,000 pushups and 10,000 squats. That's a lot!

But it's also only 30 a day. Ten in the morning, twenty at night. It just takes a few minutes and they can be done anytime.

As it turns out, the hardest part of getting fit is keeping track. We humans are notoriously terrible at writing things down or keeping a consistent log. But, of course, all we need is a spreadsheet or an app and the recording is easy, too.

All told, doing an amazing fitness feat is actually not that hard at all. Anyone can do it.

It's really a sucker bet. 

And, $1 at a time, it's going to be the easiest billion dollars I've ever made.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


How to Handle The Terrible Pitfalls of Success

Sloane Stephens lost again last night.

If you're a tennis fan, you know that last year Sloane Stephens somehow won the U.S. Open. To say that her winning a Major was a surprise was the understatement of the century. Stephens was unseeded when she won (almost never happens) and had lost in the first round of two of her previous four tournaments. 

Not to mention that 2017 was the most parity-stricken year in women's tennis history (as many as 8 women had a chance to finish the year #1) and the seeds fell down in front of her all the way through the draw. Stephens didn't play a seed higher than #9 the whole event.

Incredible unlikeliness aside, the real question is: What would Stephens do after this unexpected windfall?

After all, we know that bad things happen to people who gain tremendous success:

  • 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years.
  • 78% of NFL football players are bankrupt (or in dire financial stress) within 2 years of retirement.
  • 60% of NBA basketball players go bankrupt within 5 years of retirement.

So what has happened to Stephens since her Major win?

She's lost her last 8 matches in a row. She literally hasn't won a match since she won the U.S. Open.


For lottery winners, a huge problem is that they feel they don't deserve it. Most of the time, lottery winners aren't already rich. When a winner, who was poor, suddenly becomes rich, it's very uncomfortable. So they spend and spend and spend until they end up right where they were before winning the lottery. 

And balance is restored.

If you think you're not exceptional, being called exceptional can be an awful burden. You can feel hollow inside. You can feel like a fraud. And the best way to get rid of those awful feelings to become not exceptional.

If you feel like you're really a poor person, then consciously or unconsciously you'll make investments that will end up going bad. Would a confident billionaire invest in an inflatable raft company (like a bankrupt baseball player once did)? Probably not. Would a confident billionaire turn over control of all of his investments to unqualified family members or shady fast-talkers? Probably not. 

But the lack of self confidence leads to decisions that are desperate or ill-informed. If you believe that riches belong in your bank account, then the riches will stay right there. If you believe you're just a poor person who happened to make it, and that other people are the ones who deserve to handle the money, then the money will go away.

If we want success, we have to first believe we deserve it. The mindset must come before the winning. 

Without the proper mindset, success goes away and may not come back. There's a reason Stephens has lost 8 matches in a row. She doesn't believe she's a Major winner.

Until that changes for her (or for us), success will always belong to someone else.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

Doughuts and Lists are the Key to a Life Well-Lived

Doughnuts are fantastic.

I know you think they're not healthy, but studies have shown that the coffee and doughnut combination is actually a memory enhancer. It's true

Out-of-control obesity rates aside, it would be a helpful service to know where one could find some top quality memory enhancement (coffee and doughnuts). 

That's where lists come in. Lists are simple little tools that make people's lives better. Sure, it's just one person's opinion, but when that person is unquestionably 100% right, then the result is nothing but positive. 

That being the case, here are few lists that can hopefully change lives:

Best Doughnut Places on Earth (beignets are included): 

  1. La Colmar (FL)
  2. Cafe and Bar Lurcat (FL)
  3. Stan's Donuts and Coffee (Chicago)
  4. Destination Donuts (Columbus, OH)
  5. Krispy Kreme (fresh from stand-alone store)

Best Dessert

  1. Cinnamon roll at Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas)
  2. Almond croissant at Grain de Cafe (FL)
  3. Chocolate cake from Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop (FL)
  4. Profiteroles at Cosmos (FL)
  5. Strawberry shortcake from Nordstrom's Cafe/Bistro 
  6. Peanut Butter Pie at Tommy Bahama's
  7. Any milkshake at Holstein's (Las Vegas)

Best Pizza

  1. Napoli on the Bay (FL)
  2. Grimaldi's (New York)
  3. Vesuvio's (FL)
  4. Tommy's Pizza (Columbus, OH)
  5. The Crust (FL)

I know it's impossible to beat those lists, but if you have any lists of your own, you can email me at scotwelsh@gmail.com. I'd love to have my life enriched!

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.



How To Immediately Beat Everyone You Know

As a coach for 22 years, the first thing I would do with my students is introduce them to the best tennis strategy ever invented.

I'll share that strategy with you now.


To immediately beat your opponent, your nemesis, or your best friend, here's what you do:

Hit...the ball...in.

That's it. 

You don't need any special coaching or special equipment or a special fitness regimen. You just need to put your entire focus on that one principle.

Everyone else worries about what racquet to buy or what strings to use.

Everyone else worries about stepping in or turning their shoulders or putting their off-hand rigidly out in front of their body on their forehand.

Everyone else worries about what club to hit at or which coach would be best for them or how many ranked players are in the program. 

That's why everyone will lose to you.

In thinking about all of those ancillary things that don't solve the real problem, those people are leaving themselves vulnerable to what matters most. 

They will hit it out and worry about their new strings. You'll hit it in and win the point. 

They will hit it out and berate themselves for not moving their feet. You'll hit it in and win the game. 

They will hit it out and blame the fact they don't get enough good competition. You'll hit it in and win the trophy.

The simple things aren't sexy. The simple things aren't complicated enough. The simple things don't get to show off all the rigid stroke gymnastics that were obviously taught by an "expert" coach.

That's why those people will always hit the ball out.

And that's why you'll always win.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

My Favorite Things of 2017

2017 reminded me of a story.

A very famous sports psychologist once recalled a conversation with Jack Nicklaus (statistically the greatest golfer of all time). 

The psychologist was at some sort of convention where Nicklaus was the speaker. Jack was speaking about how to have mental toughness.

Toward the end of his talk, Jack made the comment that he'd never missed a short putt on the last hole in his whole career. His point was: you need to be tough when toughness is needed. All in all, it was a good talk.

Afterwards, the psychologist was lucky enough to meet with Jack backstage. Without trying to be rude, but curious nonetheless, the doctor mentioned offhandedly that he had actually witnessed Jack missing a short putt on the last hole during a tournament. He felt bad about contradicting the all-time great, but he was interested in hearing Jack's thoughts.

You know what Nicklaus said? 

"That's not true. I never missed a putt on the last hole."

Still not wanting to be rude, our doctor lightly pressed on.

"No, it's true. I was there. I saw you miss."

Confronted with irrefutable evidence, what did Jack say then?

"Sorry, but you're wrong. I never missed a putt."

The truth is: Nicklaus did miss that putt. The other truth is: Jack just completely erased it from his mind. Why? Because it was unnecessary.

If you want to be the best in the world at something, you don't go around worrying about all the ways you might fail. It doesn't serve any purpose. How could being negative equate to elitely positive results? It doesn't, of course.

Nicklaus was utilizing the technique that countless other titans have used. If you want to be the best of all time, you throw out anything negative in your head. 

A lot of people have done a lot of complaining about how bad 2017 was. I get it. A lot of stuff has gone down. 

But if your goal is to be incredibly happy, then you need to throw all that out. If it doesn't make you happy, then there's no point in hanging on to it.

To that end, here's my list of my Favorite Things of 2017. Feel free to let them make you happy, too.

2017 Favorite Things

  1. Waking up this past January to see this. I know it's ridiculous for grown adults to root for sports teams. It gets more ridiculous each year. But Federer winning is something else. When he wins, nice guys finish first.  When Federer does something amazing, the world gets a little nicer. When Roger wins, beauty wins. Kindness wins. Benevolence wins. Federer is probably sports' last chance to showcase something like this, and he's the last "sports team" I'll probably ever root for. Apres Roger, le deluge. But in 2017, it was glorious
  2. Comedian Nate Bargatze. He didn't start his career in 2017 but he became my new all-time favorite in 2017. He makes me laugh harder than anyone right now, and he'll even give you tips on what to do if you get bitten by a snake
  3. Wimbledon, 2017. Wait. It happened AGAIN?? This past year was so great.
  4. Almond croissants from Grain de Cafe. I like croissants just fine. I guess I like almonds, too. Who hates almonds? But nothing I had experienced in life had led me to think that I might like almond croissants. So when Jill offered me a bite of her croissant, I never would have guessed that I'd fall backwards off my chair and start rolling around on the floor sobbing with joy for twenty minutes. It's flaky yet moist nirvana like nothing I've ever had. The world can't be bad if almond croissants exist. 
  5. Narcos, Season 3. I was happy with the first two seasons. They were fantastic but it was over. After all, Pablo was gone. What could possibly happen next? Oh, I was so wrong. Season 3 picked up right where we left off. If I can't watch Sherlock, give me Narcos anytime.

There you have it. Hope you have a great holiday! See you next year!

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

Should You Declare Your Goals Out Loud?

If you watch sports, you constantly see athletes telling everyone they're the greatest.

And sometimes their prophecy of greatness comes true, and it's mesmerizing.

So is that how we should do it? If we're not where we want to be, is that the path we should take?

Should we go around the office telling everyone we're going to be CEO?

Should we tell all our friends we're going to invent the next Facebook?

Should we tell all our peers we're going to be #1 in the world?

Is that what we're missing?

In my coaching career, the most spectacular failures were from athletes who went around boasting outlandish goals. Not only did these blowhards not make it, they flamed out horribly.

Interestingly, the ones who did make it big went about their business quietly, never bragging or predicting. They had personal dreams that they expressed only to themselves (or their coach), and never to the world.

So what should we do?

On one hand, bragging out loud gets the ball rolling. It can get you attention you never had. It can open doors that might be currently closed. It can get you clicks and Twitter followers and mentions, which can then move your plans forward. 

Saying goals out loud can also provide inspiration and work ethic. Telling a team that's never won a championship that they're going to win a championship can cause a shift in thinking and intensity. Saying dreams publicly can provide the social contract that forces a group to start doing the work-- and keep doing the work.

But it can also backfire terribly.

Saying a dream out loud can shrivel that dream almost immediately. Saying you want to be a writer, for example, will invite skepticism from friends and family, filling you with doubt and forcing you to defend yourself rather than work on the goal itself.

By being public, every failure is magnified and fear can keep you from fixing the problem. The pain can become so great that the avoidance of fear can become the #1 priority. 

Worse, declaring dreams out loud can take something beautiful and destroy it from the inside out.

Remember the scene from Stand By Me when Gordie was all alone and saw that deer? Even though it was a powerful, special moment, he never told his friends. Why? Because saying it out loud would destroy the beauty of his memory.

There's nothing wrong with audacious goals. In fact, they're necessary to make change.

But consider keeping it to yourself.

After the hard work has been put in and the goal has been accomplished, there will be plenty of time to discuss all the amazing things you've done.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

The Best Things I Bought This Year

Some people say that being materialistic is the devil

Others embrace it

Some people give away all their possessions

Others believe buying tiny giraffes can bring us so much joy

But whether you are materialistic or not, there's no arguing the fact that certain things can make our lives better.

To that end, I bring you my list of The Best Things I Bought This Year. They made my life better and hopefully they do the same for yours. Plus, nothing on the list is expensive, so you can go out and get these today. 

The List

  • A Doorway Pull-Up Bar. Full disclosure. I may have bought this a little over a year ago. But I stand by it! You know what the #1 key to workout success is? Actually doing the workout. You know what the #1 key is to actually doing it? Immediate accessibility. There aren't many things better for you than pull-ups. Having a pull-up bar there for you every time you walk into a room makes it easier to get a few in all throughout the day. My pull-up bar is one of my favorite things.
  • FatWater. This weirdly named product is from the Bulletproof Coffee guy, Dave Asprey. He's the guy who's goal is to live to be 160 years old and his products are supposed to help us live long and prosper. I tried FatWater and I love it. The goal is to provide a drink that keeps us alert and awake and energized with no crash. And there's no caffeine, just essential oils. It's made a difference for me. Try one (or a case). It's expensive (about $3 per bottle) but, for me, absolutely worth it.
  • Lapgear Executive Lap Desk. I do a lot of work on the computer and my neck always hurts after several hours sitting in a chair. The answer? A good lap desk. You can work comfortably from a couch or bed (or anywhere) and still be productive. The work gets done and the body feels fine. I can't work without it.
  • Bose Headphones. These have been way better than anticipated. They're great for listening at home, on airplanes, or on the beach. The sound quality is amazing. They have a microphone, too, so they're great for conversations. I use them all the time. I'll probably get another pair. 
  • Xtreme Comforts Cool Pillow. It's pretty much inarguable that sleep is the most important thing we do. Better sleep = better life. So I tried buying a cool pillow to see if it made sleep any more fun. It did! Having a cool pillow over a regular pillow makes a huge difference. I'll never go back to a regular one again.
  • The Seven app. I didn't buy this one this year. I didn't even buy it at all. It's free! It's a workout app that takes...seven minutes! I've used it to train high performance athletes and I've used it myself. Penn Jillette still uses it to maintain his 100 lb weight loss. The short answer: it works. 

Hope this helps you improve your life or give a good gift. Happy 2017!

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.



The Joy of Being Trustworthy

The Fear of Missing Out is a terrible thing. 

I know, because that was the guiding principle of my younger, foolish life.

When dating, I never wanted to let the girl know where I was. I never wanted to commit to anything. I never wanted her to come over unannounced. 


I wanted to keep my options open.

What if someone else wanted to go out that night? If I had no firm commitments, I could take her up on her offer.

Or what if I met someone new at the coffee shop? If no one knew what I was doing, I had plausible deniability AND the freedom to go out with a new person. 

The best of both worlds. 

And the worst life.

I didn't know it at the time, but, by never being trustworthy, I was really missing out on the best feeling in the universe:

The joy of being trustworthy.

My FOMO lifestyle came to a horrible end.

Girls who cared about me eventually got burned out by my vague non-committals. I thought my strategy would always leave me options and instead it left me alone on the floor of an empty house. 

Rock bottom, and then some.

That marked the end of my FOMO strategy. I once heard a wise man say, "There's something indescribably great about your partner always knowing where you are."

He was absolutely right.

Now I take great pains to always tell her where I am. She doesn't even have to ask. I want her to know. I want to be accountable. I want to be trustworthy. 

It makes me so happy. 

Try it sometime. Find a person you want to be accountable to and be accountable. Let them check your phone anytime they want. Give them your email password. Make sure they know your schedule. 

Be 100% trustworthy and see what happens.

It sounds scary, but it's not. On the contrary.

It will make you so happy, too.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

Sabotaging Happiness

Every comedian talks about the one person at their shows who isn't laughing.

It makes me wonder: how did it get that way?

That person paid money, cleared his calendar, made special arrangements, and got all dressed up. And for what? To sit in a room of strangers and scowl?

How was the comedy show, Billy? 

Terrible. I paid $75 and didn't laugh once.

I understand. Maybe the comic was too foul for Billy's sensibilities. Maybe the comic had political views that made his blood boil. Maybe the comic hit on a sensitive subject. 

All of those things would be problematic. 

And avoidable...if Billy's goal was to be happy. 

A few minutes of internet research would show that the comedian was profane or politically incompatible. The sensitive subject wouldn't feel great, but surely the comedian didn't know Billy's specific situation. It would be easy to let that topic slide and go back to having a fun night out.

Any of those options would have allowed Billy to spend his money elsewhere or given him the night out he supposedly wanted. Instead, knowing that he gets mad at bad words or politics or a number of other things, he blindly went to a comedy show that most likely will touch on those hot-button topics. 

It's almost as if he wanted to be angry.

The same is true in our personal lives.

How's your relationship going, Johnny?

Terrible. She's acting like a total psycho.

I understand. She flew off the handle at something she technically had no right to be angry about. Johnny said he'd be home later. Two o'clock in the morning definitely qualifies as "later."

She's crazy.

But, again, it was 100% avoidable...if he wanted the relationship to be happy.

Johnny didn't have to be vague. Vague equals shady and vague equals undependable. He could have said he'd be home after 2 am. He could have said that he wasn't sure about when they'd be done and that he would call her around midnight to confirm. He could have decided to not go one more bar and gone home. 

Do any of those and no one would act crazy.

It's almost as if he wanted to cause trouble.

And it's all unnecessary.

There's a old saying, "You can be right or you can be happy."

The truth is: with a little less sabotaging, you can be both.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


When No One is Looking

There's a saying: the true test of a man's character is what he does when no one's looking.

Coincidentally, I've always been fascinated by athletes' behavior when the camera lights aren't on.

For example, sometimes if you watch replays of tennis matches, you can see what players do as they walk on the court. Or you can see them during breaks when TV is at a commercial. Or you can watch them walk off and interact with fans. 

Or even during live matches, you can watch how they treat the ball kids or the umpires or the fans nearby. 

It's quite revealing.

It's one thing to smile and give an interview when the world is watching. It's another thing to needlessly bark at a teenage ball kid to bring you five waters on a non-televised changover.

Whether they like it or not, athletes are role models. We're all looking to emulate success, and athletes are an easy examples to follow. If we're like them, consciously or subconsciously, we think we'll be better versions of ourselves. 

That's why character matters. It matters how you treat the "little" people. When arrogant depots are in charge, the culture around them mirrors their example. If the ruler is evil, then so is the kingdom.

On the other hand, if the ruler is benevolent, everyone prospers. If everyone is treated with respect, if respect is given even when the lights aren't on, then kindness will radiate outward like waves from a pebble in a pond.

For example, men's tennis is in a glorious era right now. The camaraderie between players is at an all time high, the integrity of the game is at an all time high, and fan support is through the roof. 

Is it a coincidence that all this has happened while Roger Federer has been on top?

There are unending reports of Federer's kindness. From player stories to anecdotes on Quora to eyewitness stories of people who've met him. Those stories are everywhere.

But if you're the cynical type and think those stories aren't real, an easy way to find out the truth about someone is to watch them in those quiet moments when nobody else is watching.

A story no one talks about is how Federer treats ball kids. Playing pro tennis is extraordinarily hard. It's physically taxing at the highest level and mentally debilitating because you're all alone. It's like a boxing match every day.

So it's easy for a person to lose it and want to explode. And who is close by to explode at? The ball kids.

A lot of pros do all sorts of things to ball kids. Some yell at them, some roll their eyes at them, some are sarcastically belittling and impatient. No one calls the players out for this because TV can't insult their stars but also because usually no one is paying attention.

But I always watch that sort of thing.

And Federer never snaps.

He's always nice, no matter what. And he always does this thing where he directs any random ball perfectly to where the ball kids are sitting. If he misses a serve and his opponent returns it back, Federer will lightly pop the ball to the kid at the net so that the kid doesn't have to move a muscle. Watch for it; he does it all the time. It's just a little kindness that is important to him that nobody else even notices.

Except this past week at the World Championships,

It looked like Federer finally snapped. He was cranky and in a tight match and his opponent had hit the ball back after a missed serve. 

Instead of popping the ball to the ball kid like he's done a million times, Federer pounded the ball straight down in frustration so that the ball went high into the air.

Had he lost it? Was his anger getting the best of him? 


As it turns out, right before he was about to hit a crucial second serve in a big match, Federer took a second to glance sideways to make sure his high bouncing ball had reached the ball kid okay. 

He was frustrated. He was angry. But he still wanted to make sure that his temper tantrum had directed the ball safely to the ball kid, causing the kid no trouble. 

He never treats the little people poorly.

Not surprisingly, last week Federer was chosen at the Fans' Favorite Player for the 15th year in a row.

The leader creates the culture. The culture in men's tennis is the best it's ever been. It's not a coincidence.

And it all starts with the little things.

The lesson? If you want to change the world, treat everyone you meet with kindness.

Even when no one is looking.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

Being Logical can Save Your Life

Andre Agassi is one of my favorite athletes/human beings.

He’s thoughtful, well-spoken, and the best husband who’s ever walked the face of the earth.  That’s not even considering the countless children he's helped through his Prep Academy.

But, on this topic, somehow he got it galactically wrong.

Recently, Agassi came out with an opinion. He said that Roger Federer is not the best tennis player of all time.

Agassi’s logic?

He said that Federer can’t be the greatest of all time because he has a losing record to his rival, Rafa Nadal.

Unfortunately, Agassi isn’t alone. There are others who make this same, ill-fated argument.

For them, and for you, the reader, I’m going to debunk this argument once and for all. By doing so, I guarantee the light of truth will shower over you, bringing unending clarity and joy.

Admittedly, the head-to-head record seems like a decent argument. After all, if Player A beats Player B more often than not, Player A must be better. That seems logical, right?


Here’s a quick quiz. Who’s the better player? Andre Agassi or Andres Gomez?

Agassi won 8 Majors, won the career Grand Slam (Australian, French, Wimbledon, US Open) and was #1 in the world for 101 weeks.

Andres Gomez only won 1 Major, only reached #4 in the world, and you’ve never heard of him.

That’s a no-brainer. Clearly it’s Agassi.

Not so fast, my friend!

When looking at their head-to-head record, Gomez leads 3 to 2.

According to Agassi & Company’s argument, Gomez is the better player. They played in the same era, and Gomez won more matches head-to-head. Gomez is the best!

Let’s do another one.

Who’s better? Rafa Nadal or Dustin Brown?

Nadal has 16 Majors, the career Grand Slam, and has been #1 for 154 weeks. Dustin Brown has no Majors, no Major Finals, and has a career high ranking of 64.

Another no-brainer. Except that Brown is 2-0 versus Nadal.

If two players play in the same era and one has a better record head-to-head…

Saying Gomez is better than Agassi and Brown is better than Nadal is utterly ridiculous.

Which is why saying Nadal is better than Federer is also utterly ridiculous (as of November, 2017).

In the previous case studies, what easily won the argument? TOTAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS! Not head-to-head.

It’s the sum of all the parts that makes something logical. To look at an arbitrary, misleading, single fact leads only to heartache and despair.

So, considering the logical big picture, let’s now look deeply at Federer versus Nadal.

Federer has 19 Majors while Nadal has 16. They both own the career Grand Slam. Federer has been #1 for 302 weeks while Nadal has been number one for only half that (154). And Federer has 6 (going on 7) year-end ATP World Championships while Nadal has none. That's 25 major titles to 16.

See? No contest.

But it doesn’t end there. Federer has actually won his last 5 matches against Nadal. Experts have said that both Federer and Nadal are playing their best tennis right now in 2017, which means that Roger has beaten the best version of Nadal 5 times in a row.

One last thing. Federer has an 11-9 lead on hard courts and a 2-1 lead on grass courts. That’s a 13-10 lead on faster surfaces.

The entire basis of Agassi and Company’s argument is the lopsided record against Nadal on clay. On one surface that Nadal is freakishly suited for, Nadal leads.

How about one more fun fact? Since 2004, Nadal has won only 1 title after the US Open (between September and the end of the year). One! Federer has won 22. 

It's not logical to make a best-of-all-time argument using only head-to-head. And that's important.

It's important that you don’t fall for bad opinions based on bad logic.

If you do, you could end up believing that Jeff Skilling was a hyper-intelligent visionary or that General Custer was a charismatic leader of men.

No, to live the best life, use sound logic that always looks at the big picture.

And never, ever say Nadal is better than Federer again.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


Be Open-Minded, But Mind Your Openness

A wise man once said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Every great advancement for the human race has come from technology."

In other words, every great change has come from an open willingness to think different.

Being closed off leads to freezing in the cold while other cavemen sit by that newfangled fire stuff, watching my newspaper employer go out of business while new internet companies take over, and staying with stodgy mutual funds while billions are made buying bitcoins. 

Not having an open mind can have disastrous consequences. 

But does that mean we should be open to everything?

Should we listen to William Orton in 1976 when he said, "The 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication."

Should we really be open to Byte magazine when they said in 1998, "Y2K is a crisis without precedent in human history"?

And should we really spend Halloween in the pumpkin patch instead of getting a bunch of delicious candy? 

Being open to all of those things would also have been a disaster. 

So which is it: be open or be closed?


One thing seems to always come true. You are the average of the five people around you.

The key is to be around five great people. 

In specific, be around smart people. Being open to smart things can make our lives better.

The question then is: how do we know we're listening to smart things?


A smart opinion will make you think, and a smart opinion will make sense. A smart opinion is also not emotional.

Bill Orton didn't like the telephone because he worked for Western Union. Of course, he didn't like the telephone. The telephone was bad for him.

Byte magazine needed eyeballs on its publication. Nothing creates attention like fear-mongering. Say things that make people afraid, and notoriety will follow.

And Linus wanted some presents on Halloween. That's why he yearned for the Great Pumpkin.

In all of those cases, evidence was low and emotion was high. When dealing with high emotions, being closed is a great choice.

There are good reasons why fire could be useful. There are good reasons why Apple was revolutionary. There are good reasons why Bitcoin is going through the roof. 

Being open can change our lives in the best ways possible.

Just don't be too open.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


Spoiling the Broth

There's no reason for it.

Well enough could be left alone and everything would be perfectly fine.

More importantly: Why do they do this to me?

Here's what I mean.

Listening to music is one of the most important things in my life. It plays in the background when I need to be creative. It makes me euphoric when I'm feeling happy. It helps me heal when I'm feeling sad. It wins me dance contests when I was in college.

Music matters.

So why do artists try to screw that up?

There are three things that make me want to get in a fistfight to protect the thing I love:

  1. When artists stop singing and let the crowd to take over. By any metric, Justin Timberlake is a great performer. He can sing, he can dance, and his shows are tightly organized. So why does he constantly stop doing his job and let the crowd take over? See it here. He's the expert. He's trained for years. At the same time, we've paid good money. We've made special travel plans to see him. What I didn't do is go to all that trouble to listen to thousands of drunk people sing his songs. What gives? Who wants to go to a show and listen to a Starbucks barista sing JT lyrics? If you need a break, Justin, take a break. We'll wait. BUT SING YOUR OWN DARN SONGS!
  2. When artists go off-beat on purpose. Can anyone explain this? For example, Pink's lyrics to Who Knew start: You took my hand/You showed me how/You promised me you'd be around. Excellent! Poignant! On-beat! But sometimes in concert, she might go: You took my hand./You...showedmehow./You...promisedme...you'dbearound. Off-beat! Rushed! Abrasive to the ears! Why do that? How does pausing and then hurrying the next line help the song in any way? It doesn't. It only makes it worse. It always makes it worse. The person who's been waiting months to hear Pink sing this song live now gets slapped with this sub-standard version. And, again, it doesn't make anything better in any way. But a lot of people do it.
  3. When artists sing "mayyyy" instead of "me." When was the international song-singing summit where it was universally recognized that dragging the vowel out in the word "me" was acceptably artistic? It's not the same word. They don't sound the same. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE! My least favorite example of this occurs in All Cried Out by Allure. This was a powerfully emotional song when Lisa, Lisa and The Cult Jam sang it, and Allure does a nice job with it up until the 2:52 mark of the video. At that point, the unthinkable happens. The first line is, "I gave you all of me." (pronounced properly, "me" rhyming with "see") No problem. The next lines are, "How was I to know/You would weaken so easily." Perfect. Great line and "easily" rhymes marvelously with "me." But that's not what they do! They sing, "You would weaken so easilayyy!" What was that? Easilayyyy? That no longer rhymes with "me." The word "easily" was specifically chosen to bookend the rhyme with "me," and yet they sang it with an "...ayyyy" on the end when they absolutely didn't have to. It helped nothing and hurt everything. Inconceivable!

So what's the big deal? My deeply philosophical answer is that sloppiness begets sloppiness. A great coach once said, "You can't be a slob six days of the week and expect to be a champion on the seventh." In that regard, doing those sloppily ignorant things could be harming your life in subconscious ways.

The other answer is that ridiculousness can hurt sales. I will never go to live concert if I know the artist has a history of letting the crowd sing. And I will never purchase a song with unnecessarily butchered rhymes. 

If there are people like me out there, then doing silly things can hurt someone's bottom line.

Then again, maybe it's just mayyyy.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.


The Blind Spot

It's the thing that puzzles me most of all.

The Blind Spot.

The thing we believe is true even when evidence shows it's not.

For example, how many of us believe we only use 10% of our brains? That's true, right?

Nope. In fact, the 10% myth is so wrong it's almost laughable. It's unbelievable how long we've carried that falsehood in our minds. 

Yet the really fascinating question is: How many people will go ahead and believe it anyway?

The answer, of course, is many.


Why do we have this Blind Spot?

There are several reasons. One, we tend to compartmentalize. People have one part of their brain for beliefs and a separate part of our brains to gather facts. And those two sections don't talk. 

On one hand, we believe in something. Hooray! On the other hand, all the facts contradict that belief. Whatever. 

The two don't bleed into one another.

Another big reason is that we're all more emotional than we'd like to admit. On certain topics, we don't use reason to find truth. We instead want to believe something first and then use reason to try to help us hold on for dear life.

My son couldn't possibly have committed that crime! He was so nice as a boy and never did anything mean to anyone. 

But, sir, he confessed and was found sleeping in the stolen car.

He didn't do it!

But what's the big deal? So what if we believe little things that obviously aren't true?

The cost can be quite high.

For example, what if you bought a stock back in 1987 and lost money on it. As a result, you believe, The stock market is rigged! even though, obviously, it's not. What's the cost? About $207,000.

That's what you'd have now if you didn't have that negative belief and had invested $10,000 in the stock market back in '87.

Or it can cost us outrageous success.

Several years ago, a now-famous American high school football coach realized that kicking the ball away is stupid. There's no justifiable reason for it and the math shows that it's absolutely a losing proposition. The only reason coaches do it is: that's the way it's always been done. 

So the coach, Kevin Kelley (Pulaski Academy), decided that he wasn't going to kick anymore. He decided his teams would run plays until they scored or until they were stopped. No punting on third down and no kicking off after scores. The math said that his teams would be wildly successful if they stopped doing it, so he stopped.

Everyone thought he was an idiot. His fans thought he was mad. You punt if you don't get a first down. That's what everyone does!

How has it gone for Kelley and his team? His overall record is 165-25-1, and he's won six state championships. 

But here's the fun part. 

After all of Kelley's winning, after he's proven time and time again that the math is right, after he's dominated high school football for over a decade, guess how many other coaches have copied him?

Zero. No one. Nobody else does it.

That's the Blind Spot. 

And it will probably vex me forever.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

What I Learned From Harvard

This past weekend I had a great time visiting Cambridge, MA, home of Harvard University. 

I was there to visit with one of my old students who is currently a postdoc at Harvard.

He's the type of teenager who decided to win a state championship because it would be a fun thing to do. He's the type of 20-something that's so down-to-earth, you forget he thrived at hard-core academic institutions such as University of Chicago, Dartmouth, and now Harvard. And he's the type of scientist that thinks nothing of spending months in the field taking baths in piranha-infested jungle rivers or walking a mile each way to study primates in the Ethiopian mountains.

I was visiting him because he's fun to hang out with but also because I knew I was going to come home smarter. And Cambridge in the fall isn't a bad idea either.

So did I have fun? Absolutely. Did I learn anything? Well, let me tell you...

  1. Environment can inspire. I'm probably making this up. I'm probably a lunatic. But sitting at a cafe near M.I.T., I could feel the "smartness." Sipping my coffee and waiting for him to arrive, I felt like I was sitting somewhere important. I felt like I wanted to write a groundbreaking theorem. I felt like I wanted to learn another language that afternoon. I felt inspired. It could have been the gorgeous architecture or the thoughtful-looking students riding by me on their bikes, or my active imagination. Whatever it was, it was palpable. And stirring. And it got me excited. We could all do better in an environment like that.
  2. I really think we are the average of the five people around us. I've heard this said many times, and I've never quite believed it. But after being immersed in Cambridge, I'm a convert. When you're in a cafe at Harvard, you're sitting next to professors or grad students or future geniuses. You're listening to multiple languages all throughout the room. You're listening to people having important conversations and watching people having important thoughts. My student and I were just there to have fun and eat some good food. That was the point of my trip. And yet, we happily spent hours discussing politics, religion, race, diet, economics, millennials, football, tennis, and trading. This was our light conversation--and it was so fun. Being around him made me automatically use big words that I normally never use at all. They just came out. Why? Because I was around a genius. My average had been increased. Want to get better? Be around people who are better.
  3. Live in a city where you can walk. It's pretty much not arguable that walking makes you smarter. That's why where we live matters. Plopping down in front of the TV or a smartphone will never improve our lives like a walk can. So if we live in bad weather or a place inhospitable to exercise, over time we will suffer for it. At Harvard, we met at a cafe at 11:00 am and had some coffee. Eleven hours and 28,000 steps later we had a small plate for dinner. We'd walked the whole city! And it was so easy. Cambridge/Boston is made for walkers and bikers. We saw everything, had great conversations, and didn't even notice we'd walked over 12 miles. We ate great food and stayed healthy because we stayed on our feet. In a different city, we might have had lunch and called it a day to go take a nap. Being active matters. It helps us in every way. Try to get yourself to a place where you aren't forced to stay put.

Inspiring environment, smart people, and activity. Not a bad recipe for a fun life. 

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.

Does Goal-Setting Work?

As a 23 year-old blowhard, I told the first college team I ever coached that we would win the conference championship in three years. 

It was a ridiculous statement.

First of all, 23 year-olds don't know anything about anything, so that's pretty ridiculous in itself.

But looking at recent history, predicting a conference championship for this team at this school should have qualified me for a psychiatric exam. In the school's history, there had only been one conference championship in any sport. And my team's conference record in the previous five years was 18-37. 

And yet I believed, without a single doubt in my head, that we would win the title.

Can you guess what happened?

Three years later we had the trophy. 

I set a goal, ridiculous as it was, and it came true.

There's a whole anti-goal-setting movement that's become popular lately, and these people will tell you that goals are destructive. Goals make us feel bad when they don't get accomplished and actually set us up to fail.

They say we should, instead, look only at The Process. We should never say things like, "Our goal is to be #1." No, to be effective, we should only try to be as good as we can be each day. We should embrace the PROCESS of getting better. If we do that, we never get sad about un-reached goals and we stay on a constant path of improvement that will end up in a good place.

That makes sense. That sounds really good. 

But what about my three-year goal that went exactly as predicted? Would sticking to The Process have enabled that to happen?

Isn't it possible that focusing on The Process could actually slow us down quite a bit? If we settle for incremental improvement, but have to no goal to reach, we can end up moving at a snail's pace. For example, I've seen tennis players get better fundamentally while focusing on The Process of fixing their strokes--and then go out and get smoked during matches. 

On the other hand, I've seen kids who state their goal of getting to a certain ranking level then win match after match all the way to their previously-stated goal.

How do Process people explain that?

The thing is: there's one fundamental element that runs through both goal-setting and using The Process. 

And that's action. 

If you set a goal and you're an aggressive personality, that goal immediately spurs you into action. Having a goal permeates your day and gets you to do the amount of work necessary to get to the promised land.

However, if you have a different personality, then sharing a goal might make you shy or distracted. For that type of personality, just working on The Process is perfect. You don't have to worry about people criticizing you for not reaching your goal yet. Those distractions are eliminated. All that's left is a huge amount of work on improving incrementally. Eventually, you wake up and you've hit a nice target.

So, in the end, which philosophy is right? I think maybe it's both. Maybe both are happening at the same time.

As long as we're taking action, anything is achievable.

So pick the philosophy that gets you out of your chair, and you'll be just fine.

My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.