October 2016 Goals

In the last year, I've fluctuated between writing every day for 30 days and not posting once in two months

Frankly, neither of those is good for me. 

I like writing because it clarifies my own thoughts. Sometimes it seems useful to others. I like to be useful ("utility" can often correspond with "market value", which sometimes corresponds with $$$) and I like to think clearly.


I've got three open projects right now:

1. Learn back-end web development. (ew. a huge and complicated and ill-defined goal)

2. Launch a three-tiered course/offering about how to climb without fear over on climbersguide.co(Much less complicated, much more defined, than #1)

3. Climb 5.13. This has been a goal for ages. {excuse1} {excuse 2} {excuse 3}. With those excuses out of the way, 5.13 is a meaningful grade to me. Mostly, it's quite hard climbing. 5.13 is not hard to really really good rock climbers, but at least it gets a shrug from them, so it's good enough for me. (Simplest and best defined of all goals.)

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Wrapping my head around local politics 001

Warning: Buzzwords ahead about millennials.*

As a millennial, I want to “get involved” in my “local community”, and don’t know the best way to “mobilize my resources”.

vomit. I hate admitting that. But I still want to figure out if it is possible for me (little old me) to do something meanigful in the arena of local politics. (Here’s a rough overview of what I’d like accomplished)

So, what does any resourceful person do?

I headed to Google and searched for:

  • "politics for millennials"
  • "local politics for millennials"
  • "young people involved in local politics"
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Resources for People with Jobs

You spend most of your waking hours at work. So, spend a few of those waking hours when you're not at work thinking about how to improve the hours that you are working. Often, improving your work means you can improve your work conditions and compensation.

Many people in their 20s feel stagnant in their job(s). Don't let that be you.

Here's a list of useful resources. I'll update this occasionally.

Why this list of books, Josh? Why not just write "the best career advice ever! #7 will amazing you!" and call it a day?

Because I don't know things. I've stumbled into some things that seem to work, and along the way encountered many things that seem not to work. 

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How Can You Buy Happiness?

We like to buy things. But we should do more than just buy things.

Experiences can have a much bigger impact on people’s happiness than things, and a big part of that happiness lies in looking forward to the experience that you are going to have.

This article is long, but it is worth a read.

If you have $100 to spend on something, schedule something you will look forward to for a week or a month. Looking forward to something is as important as enjoying the thing itself. 

If you want to have 4x the fun, invite someone along. 

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Write Less Say More

I recently read a short piece about using software to improve your own writing. To paraphrase one of the suggestions: “do away with weasel words, the passive voice, adverbs, cliches.” 

I’m adding “complex sentences” to the list.

Out of curiosity, I looked through things that I’ve written. I am not pleased.

I am wordy. I create complex sentences, then interrupt myself in the middle.

(The last sentence started out as "I tend to be verbose and wordy, with many complex sentences filled with interruptions.” Anyone who can write “verbose and wordy” without immediately cringing ought to be kept far from a keyboard.)

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Five Lessons Learned in Buenos Aires

Five Lessons Learned in Buenos Aires

Note: This is an unedited draft of a post from July 5, 2015. Almost exactly one year ago, written after a week in Buenos Aires. Since writing this post, Kristi and I have continued on to more than a year of non-stop travel, though we're settling down back in Golden, CO in about two months. 

Kristi and I arrived here in Buenos Aires less than a week ago. We've quickly found a routine in some ways, and in others, are still very out of our routine.

  1. No matter where you go, you are still you. If you want to escape from all your insecurities, disappointments, and challenges, you have to figure out how to not take yourself along. 
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The Millionaire Next Door

I'm struggling to know what to write about The Millionaire Next Door.

It's got many wonderful traits, and I strongly recommend that you read it (I wouldn't mention it otherwise) but it's got some flaws. I'm afraid if I focus on the flaws, I'll turn people off from it that might otherwise read it, but if I don't, I'll do readers a disservice.

So, here we go:

Read The Millionaire Next Door because:

  • Most of us have an incorrect perception of what it looks like to be a millionaire, and that colors our thinking about wealth. (Hint: the "average" millionaire looks pretty unremarkable.)
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Avoid a car accident with a $3 tool

TL;DR: Buy a blind spot mirror for your car. They are $2, and can keep you from getting in an accident. Not a lot of people have them, though they're awesome.

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how to make driving safer.

Step 1 to making driving safer is "don't drive". (See also "increasing safety while wrestling with alligators" and "increasing safety with home-made parachutes"). 

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Three Android Apps I Use Every Day (and maybe you'll use them too)

I'm not here to talk about Twitter and Instagram, which... I use too much. Lets talk about things that make my life better, and might do the same for you.

(If you're an iPhone user, just Google for the iOS version of the following tools. They're all out there)

Rewire App: "Recurring behavior" tracking

I wrote "Habit tracking" originally, but I don't like that phrasing. I'm all for good habits, or eliminating bad ones, but I don't think you should try to form a new habit until you've figured out how to make it really, really easy.

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