MotivationLet’s face it, humans are lazy. Laziness is natural, not something that’s wrong with us.

If our ancestors expanded all of their energy, they wouldn’t have enough energy to respond to an immediate threat.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, refers to this as Conservation of Energy. He explains in his book, “We’ve evolved to avoid expending energy unless absolutely necessary.”

Years ago, humans needed to always have gas left in the tank to respond to immediate threats. Today, that gas isn’t needed because most of us are not facing life or death situations constantly. This is where it helps to understand the concept of motivation. 

How can we motivate ourselves to take action, even if it’s against our natural tendencies?  The solution–violate our expectations as to what our mind believes is possible.

For example, you’re in a job right now that’s just OK. You’re making enough money to pay the bills. But overall, what you think about Monday through Friday is getting to the weekend. This doesn’t necessarily stress you out; it’s something you accept.

Now, imagine you switched lives for a few days with a successful entrepreneur. This entrepreneur ran a business that was on auto-pilot and generated thousands of dollars a day. It required you work two hours a day from anywhere in the world.

What would happen? Your expectations would be violated. When you go back to your old routine, your “OK” job becomes an immediate threat and you’re motivated to act.

Since there’s no entrepreneur who’s willing to switch lives with you, you must violate your expectation in other ways. This is where I find blogs so helpful. Reading about how others achieve remarkable things, helps to violate your expectations. In turn, your mind is constantly expanding what it believes is possible, and as a result, you no longer need motivation to act.

Now you understand the concept of motivation, I want to share with you the blogs who have helped violate my expectations as to what’s possible. If you have any others, please share them in the comments.

  1. The Art of Non Conformity – Chris is traveling to every county in the world. He also created the Empire Builder Kit which contained a dozen or so in-depth case studies that helped violate my expectations.
  2. Smart Passive Income – After getting laid off from his job, Pat built an online empire. His income report is one my favorite posts to read each month.
  3. Man vs. Debt – Adam sold his crap, paid off his debt, moved to New Zealand for a year, traveled around the U.S. for a year, and built a six figure business while doing so.
  4. Extreme Jacob – Jacob became financially independent at age 33.
  5. Debt Kid – A story about a Gen Y’er trying to pay off $250,000
  6. I Will Teach You To Be Rich  – Each Friday, Ramit shares in-depth case studies of people growing their income
  7. Get Rich Slowly  – Sunday J.D. posts a reader success story.
  8. Tynan – Tynan has one of the most interesting stories of any blogger I’ve read. He made a lot of money from poker. Bought a lot of stuff. Sold it all. Now lives out of a backpack while traveling the world.
  9. Derek Sivers – Derek sold his business C.D. baby for $22 million and now spends his days learning
  10. Tim Ferriss – Worked a 4 hour work week, generating $80,000 a month. Become a bestselling author, twice.
  11. The Points Guy – Awesome blog on earning miles. The Point’s Guy has earned over 550,000 this year.
  12. Nomadic Matt – Quit his job in 2006 and has been traveling since.

Are there any blogs that violate your expectations on a consistent basis? If so, please share them in the comments.

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Money TreeAfter reading thousands of blog posts, hundreds of books, and dozens of research papers all on personal finance,  I’ve come to a few conclusions about money. Well more like 40…

Here’s the 40 things I find that everyone should know about money in order to live a rich life. (My favorites are in bold)

  1. If you want happiness, spend your money on experiences, not on stuff
  2. A financial goal not written down and with no deadline, is only a financial wish
  3. The only person that will truly ever care about your money is you
  4. There is no single way to manage your money correctly
  5. You can have anything you want in life, as long as you prioritize it
  6. Investing in index funds, isn’t average
  7. The goal for an investor is to earn the highest return after-taxes and expenses
  8. 99% of financial news is meaningless
  9. The 1% of financial news that does matter isn’t on TV
  10. Investing really can be as easy as putting your money in a good targeted retirement fund
  11. The best investment, is an investment in yourself
  12. You have a limited ability to save money, and an unlimited ability to earn money
  13. You control what’s possible, by what you believe is possible
  14. Money without time, is worthless
  15. You don’t have to make money back, the same way you lose it
  16. Compound interest really is magical
  17. The fastest way to decrease your net worth, is to borrow money to buy an asset that depreciates
  18. It’s not about how much you make, but how much you keep
  19. You can borrow to pay for your kids college but not for your retirement
  20. For a young investor, it’s better to focus on how much you save, rather than focusing on a marginal increase in investment returns
  21. An employer match is an immediate return on your savings
  22. Money can make you money, which can make you money
  23. The goal of money, is to manage it to reach your goals in life
  24. Investing is simple, it’s just not easy
  25. The purpose of a budget isn’t to determine where your money went, but where your money should go
  26. The unexpected will happen, an emergency fund is your insurance
  27. The cheapest insurance is self insurance
  28. What can’t be self insured, must be insured
  29. It’s better to actively manage your life, not your investments
  30. You can only change one financial habit at a time successfully
  31. When trying to change a financial habit, make that change as small as possible
  32. Your environment, shapes your decisions
  33. Information, doesn’t lead to action
  34. You don’t lack willpower
  35. You overestimate how much money you need to live your desired life
  36. Money is a tool to get what you want, it’s not the end goal
  37. Your mind is your greatest asset
  38. There’s a small correlation between your salary and happiness, but only to a certain extent
  39. If you THINK you can afford to buy something, you can’t
  40. Life isn’t about money, it’s about time

What am I missing? Let me know in the comments.

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Photo by: Aaron Paterson


Once a year,  the greatest minds in the world gather at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design)  to share “ideas worth spreading”.

I’ve watched hundreds of talks over the last few years, which always leave me inspired.  Here are the 8 best Ted Talks I’ve watched, that are targeted towards members of Generation Y.

If one of your favorites isn’t included, let me know in the comments. 

# 8 – The New Way to Work – Charlie Hoehn

Summary: A six-step process of finding a career path that fulfills you and will eventually pay you. Out of this list, it’s the only talk that speaks directly to Gen Y.

  1. Choose a few areas you want to work in
  2. Get some skills
  3. Build your online presence
  4. Pay the bills and cut costs
  5. Contact targets and prove your worth
  6. Transition to paid work

Key Takeaways:

  • Make up your own rules
  • Economy doesn’t have to control your life
  • Work for people smarter than you
  • Get some skills that are in demand and difficult to learn
  • Google is more important than resumes
  • There’s no better time to take risks in your career than your early 20′s
  • Chase what interests you and makes you happy

# 7 – Fear and Permission - Chris Guillebeau

Summary: How to write your own permission slip.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fear is powerful
  • At some point in life, you’re going to have to confront your fears
  • To start overcoming fear, give yourself permission to act in your interests

# 6 – Let’s raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs - Cameron Herold

Summary: An unconventional approach that Gen Y’ers can use to raise their kids

Key Takeaways:

  • If kids can embrace entrepreneurship, there’s no problem we can’t solve
  • Don’t try to raise kids to be great into a system
  • Kids install business and finance habits at a very young age
  • Canadians still think Luongo is a legitimate goaltender (hockey joke)

# 5 – Are We In Control of Our Own Decisions? - Dan Ariely

Summary: Reviews research behind our irrational decisions

Key Takeaways:

  • Much of our decisions aren’t ever realized
  • When we have many choices, we often end up confused and pick the default choice
  • The better we can understand our cognitive limitations, the better world we can design

# 4 - 8 Secrets of Success – Richard St. John

Summary: Short but built on years of  research.

  1. Passion
  2. Work
  3. Focus
  4. Good
  5. Push
  6. Serve
  7. Ideas
  8. Persist

Key Takeaways: Great way to remind yourself that success isn’t rocket science.

# 3  - How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Summary: An inspirational model for inspirational leadership


  • All leaders  know What they do, some leaders know How they do what they do, the great leaders know Why they do what they do
  • The great leaders start with the Why
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it

# 2 – How we are Killing our Kids with Bad Food – Jamie Oliver

Summary: A revealing talk about the current state of our food and health

Key Takeaways:

  • If we don’t change our eating habits, we will live shorter than previous generations
  • Diet related disease is the biggest killer in the world today
  • Obesity is expensive
  • We can need to change this

# 1 – How to Live Before You Die – Steve Jobs

Summary: Just watch it. Nothing I can say will do this talk justice.


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5 Simple Ways To Take Your Education Beyond Information

September 6, 2011

Most weeks, I’ll complete a minimum of 2-3 books. My RSS reader is filled with great blogs I keep up with daily. I don’t miss an episode of a few podcasts. I’m an information addict. I’ve learned a lot through this constant influx of information. But just because this information is convenient, doesn’t mean it’s [...]

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The British Airways Miles Credit Card

September 2, 2011

In April, during their 100,000 point promotion, I applied and was accepted for the Chase Visa Signature British Airways Miles Credit Card. I couldn’t resist the offer of the 100,000 points. That’s good enough for two round trip tickets from the U.S. to Europe. At first, I didn’t know if I was going to keep [...]

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