You MUST believe that everything is going to be okay.

I had to get this off my chest today. I keep hearing people complain that they are failures, and that they won’t ever achieve their goals, speaking as if the universe itself conspires against them.

Look,
You have to believe in your inevitable success.

That’s not to say that you can simply laze around and eventually become an accomplished writer, entrepreneur, lawyer, etc., but assuming you actually go about doing everything you need to do, then there is nothing holding you back from success in the field of your choosing.

There are two reasons why you might disagree.

1) You think that you lack talent; that there is something innately lesser about the core of your being such that even hard work, persistence, and good practice, consistently summoned over the course of years, will not lead to success.

2) You think that life is a game of chance, and that nobody can predict how the dice will roll.

Now here’s two reasons why that’s bullshit. Continue reading

Depression and the Dreamer: My Story

Ever since my voice first cracked, depression became a major problem. At first, it was the acne, then my seemingly permanent braces, and finally, a vague, deepening feeling of insecurity. I was refugee skinny, my face was weak, and I would wake up every morning, stare at my mirror image, and think of all the structural changes that I wished my genetics had determined instead. A bit of bone here, a little less hair there, a smidgen more muscle everywhere. I was ugly. That was my view of myself, and it influenced everything about me.

But I made it through high school relatively unscathed, mostly because I pushed myself to be active in athletics, earned high marks in my classes, and developed a sense of humor that earned me friends enough that I was sure I was a person of value, even if I was physically unattractive. Importantly, I forced myself to discover and cultivate aspects of my personality that gave me a feeling of value as a human being.

Unfortunately, my depression was not left behind in high school. The unique pressures of college introduced new and even greater problems. In college, though my looks transformed – many even thought I was attractive (oh happy day!) – I found myself struggling with my social self-worth. I met great people and was part of a fun group, but I was no longer the center of attention, a role that I had grown used to in high school as the ‘clown’. My social anxiety and insecurity, however, was ultimately minor in comparison to new issues concerning my academics and career path, and what followed was the most severe, long-lasting depression of my life.

But let’s backtrack to the beginning of college. Continue reading

Travel and Relocation, Savior to the Dreamer

Is your current work or dream location-independent? Is the only thing tethering you an Internet connection? If not, can you make it so? Then this is for you.

We live in an age of unprecedented movement and opportunity. Stop taking it for granted.

In medieval Europe, lives were so fundamentally tied down to a single location that it was not uncommon for people to take on the name of their village or town as their own last name.

The War of 1812 was fought for months after the Americans and British had officially ended it. Why? The ships sent to relay the Crown’s orders to its soldiers took months to crawl across the Atlantic. Whoops.

And here we are, exactly 200 years later, able to cross the Atlantic in 5 hours, treated all the while to an endless stream of video entertainment. Wherever you are in the world, you can be somewhere entirely different within the scope of a single workday. The world is smaller than ever before, small enough to fit well within the bounds of big dreams.

TRAVEL IS FOR MORE THAN FUN.

Okay, so you know that travel is easier, cheaper, and safer than ever before. Cool, but you don’t need me to convince you to go on a vacation.

Stop thinking of travel as an escape.

Yes, travel can be an effective, if temporary escape from the rigorously scheduled life. Yes, travel should be fun and full of vibrant interaction with the local culture and people and history. But it can be so much more. Travel can help you achieve your dream. Long-term travel let’s you choose a set of circumstances where you can more effectively dedicate yourself while avoiding unnecessary stresses and constraints.

Think of travel as a way to maximize your freedom and earnings while minimizing risk.

If you’ve decided to grow some courage and chase your damn dream already, then follow these two simple steps to maximize your chances for success. Continue reading

CHASE YOUR FUCKING DREAMS.

If you knew that you would die in 10 years, would you work the same job? Would you study the same subjects in college or graduate school? Would you live in the same city? Would you try to meet different people? Would you travel more?

What about 15 years? 20 years? 25 years?

If you would change the way you live or study or work, then consider this:

Assumption #1
The tail end of one’s life is largely a byproduct of the rest.

Assumption #2
You are somewhere between 20 and 40 years of age.

Conclusion
You have roughly 25 years (give or take 10) to make good on your dreams.

Tick tock, motherfucker. Continue reading