I discovered minimalism by accident when I figured out that traveling is tons more fun with just a backpack. Then my husband and I realized the same principle applies to our "regular" life as well, so when we moved recently, we brought less than half of our stuff. One of our guiding lights in this process has been Joshua Becker. We were fortunate enough to meet Joshua at SXSW this year and visit again on our recent trip to Portland. I've been inspired by how he's united his family in escaping the typical consumer treadmill. But I was astounded to learn that he's built his platform and written a best-selling book - all while serving his community as a full-time pastor. Today, I'm thrilled to share his powerful insights and wisdom.
In this episode of The Habit Chef Podcast, I'll share the surprising lessons we've learned from our accidental family project and exactly how you can get started with yours. If you don't have kids, I'd encourage you to keep listening and apply this same concept to a work team or group of friends. The benefits and principles will be the same. Listen in, and you’ll learn why we must change the way we parent to better prepare our kids, which type of project is best for learning, how to get started with the same technology businesses use, which key habits and skills are most important, and where to go for free or affordable resources and tools.
Lately, we've been talking about the power of propaganda. The academics can debate whether we see 300 or 3,000 commercial messages a day, but we can all agree that it surrounds us. And the effects are usually not positive. Since the bulk of the messages are delivered through our media, that's an excellent place to start fighting back. Last week, I shared the inaugural edition of KKFM, a weekly digest of themed programming designed to help you kick mainstream media to the curb and replace it with positive messages that support your goals. It's a deep dive into why you must choose yourself – and how to do just that. On this week's podcast, I also shared some tips for setting up media systems that support your good choices. This week's edition of KKFM addresses one of the most prevalent myths of our culture - that these travel and unconventional work situations only apply to singles. I want to introduce you to a dozen fabulous families that are living adventurously - together.
In this episode of The Habit Chef Podcast, you'll hear how my teenage daughter developed strong financial habits and what it means to her now. Listen in, and you'll learn why it's important to teach good habits to your children, what systems you can use to make the process easier, how a simple, free tool makes a huge difference, and the surprising positive ripple effect that could be started.
My Dad was unconventional well before it was cool. He was a "lifehacker" long before the blog was popular. He shrugged off society's institutions a generation before the rest of us realized how broken and unreliable they really were. Dad intentionally carved his own path, willingly sacrificing to remain true to the life he envisioned. Decades before I'd heard the words "lifestyle design," I was learning its principles firsthand. Unfortunately, I was too distracted and naive to realize the power of what I'd seen. It's funny how life cycles that way. I remember vividly rejecting lessons from my parents, only to search for them now. Perhaps one has to realize that chasing "normal" is a miserable path before being willing to cut an alternative one. For this Father's Day, I thought I'd share the three main principles of intentional living that my Dad taught me. Maybe (like me) you're ready to hear them now, or maybe they'll give you the courage to share your own unconventional lessons with your kids.
In episode 5 of the podcast, we shared the story of the boy torn between a million dollars and a mere penny doubled every day for a month. It might not be obvious at first, but the penny is clearly the better option. The same is true for our habits. Want to develop a new habit or break a bad one? Start really small. Find the penny. When everything inside you wants to launch into a new life, to start off with a bang, to make tremendous progress with one swift change, resist. That rarely works. Instead, find the penny.
After last week's post about deciding what to learn, I received several emails asking what skills I thought were most important. Certainly, skills like project management, public speaking, and self awareness are essential to building a career or a business. I doubt you're surprised by any of those. So, here's a list that might surprise you. Here are five skills you probably don't even know you need. If you don't have them, they're likely holding back your career (or your business), organizations you volunteer with, and even your parenting.
There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know. -Donald Rumsfeld Forget any political connotations to the statement above and think through the concept it conveys. It's absolutely true. To thrive in modern society, we must persistently remind ourselves that the third region exists. And we must work to shrink it, both by knowing more and by knowing what we don't know. We must learn how to learn, and we must learn to decide what to learn.
Gandhi told us to "be the change you want to see." John Maxwell teaches us that the first act of leadership is to start with yourself. I thought I understood that. I've been studying leadership for years, but it wasn't until I viewed it through the lens of parenting that I understood this principle: We can't lead anyone to the mountaintop unless we've already been there. This is true for our children, our employees, or anyone we love. If there's a mountain we're not willing to climb or a giant we're not willing to face, we're simply passing it on to the next generation. Thinking about that stopped me in my tracks.
One month ago, I lost one of my mentors. She'd guided me for more than half my life. The finality of our last conversation replayed over and over in my mind. Thankfully, it was an encouraging one, symbolic of our relationship. I cried harder than I have in years. In the days after, I realized something even more painful: This was likely only the first. Obviously, most of my mentors are older than me. And many of them are struggling with their health. Selfishly, I want them to get better. I want to enjoy several more decades of their friendship and leadership. They've helped me through several difficult stretches, and I want to celebrate the other side of that together. I also know that I'm not alone. I know that you want those you love to be healthier, and that you want to set a good example for those who love you. More than that, I've made the journey myself. Just over three years ago, I was there too. My clothes were always too small. I had headaches every afternoon. My digestive system was a mess. Nearly every day, I took some sort of pill to feel better. I never had enough energy to do the things I wanted. Like an explorer without a map, I stumbled frequently and often found myself in uncharted territory. Through trial and error, I discovered what worked for me and my family, and eventually my friends. In the years since, I've been able to back up my experiences with scientific research and case studies. I'm confident that what I know will be "common sense" in a decade or so. There's just too much evidence to be ignored for much longer. But I'm not willing to wait.