Shedding your old skin…

  Happy Friday, y’all! Today I want to share a pretty cool story from my friend, Terri. I’ve known Terri for ~7 years, and she’s one of the most authentic and bubbly people I’ve ever met. Her story is about the sacrifices she made when starting her gratitude journey. It’s an awesome message. Enjoy! ********* Read more about Shedding your old skin…[…]

Making Problems Fun to Solve!

“When you realize life would be empty and boring without problems, you begin to accept them and you can even have fun with them. When you enjoy facing problems instead of resisting them, you take care of them when they’re easy before they turn into an overwhelming mountain.“ – Elizabeth Hallowell   Today, I’m making Read more about Making Problems Fun to Solve![…]

My Gratitude Journey

My Gratitude Journey – Guest post by Grateful Kae!

My buddy Grateful Kae has a crazy busy life! But she still finds time every day to write down the things she’s grateful for! Here’s her backstory… My Gratitude Journey It was a regular weekday evening, sometime in early winter several years ago. Let’s say mid-December. I was muddling through the usual after-school chaos with Read more about My Gratitude Journey – Guest post by Grateful Kae![…]


Equanimity – mental calmness

  e·qua·nim·i·ty (noun) mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. “today, nothing can disturb my equanimity” PS. Thank you all for your comments and support from yesterday’s email. I truly appreciate all your thoughts. One of my favorite replies I received yesterday was… “I am not writing to offer an opinion on Read more about Equanimity – mental calmness[…]

Hold me accountable…

Help me out… In September last year, I sent out this message, which was a public declaration of one of my goals… To get my California Real Estate License. The reason I committed to this goal publicly, was so everyone could hold me accountable, and encourage me if I fall behind or think about quitting. Well, today is the Read more about Hold me accountable…[…]

Pain is temporary

Pain is temporary – you’ll get through it

  “Pain is temporary. It may last minutes, an hour, a day, or even a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.”   I got this quote from a Lance Armstrong book. (Yes, I know he’s a cheater and lied to the world about taking performance drugs… He’s probably Read more about Pain is temporary – you’ll get through it[…]

“Mirroring” builds rapport and trust

Want to build trust quickly with someone you just met? Try this technique I just read about called mirroring. Basically you imitate (or mirror) the other person’s body language, expressions, and the way they talk. It shows the other person that you are alike, and it’s a subconscious sign of bonding. Try this when you Read more about “Mirroring” builds rapport and trust[…]

Tomorrow’s memories

“Create moments today, that you want to remember tomorrow”   I’m feeling lazy this morning… I could quite easily sit on the couch and watch TV all day. But if I did that, come tomorrow, I would have dull memories. I’m capable of creating so much more in my life. So today, I’m going to: Spend Read more about Tomorrow’s memories[…]

5am Emails – Housekeeping and Thank You!

Good morning, nerds! If you’re new to this email list… Welcome! Thanks for joining, and I hope you get some value from my short, pithy morning notes. I started these 5am daily emails with no particular goal in mind… Just wanted to spread some simple positivity with my coworkers each morning. It’s been 3 years Read more about 5am Emails – Housekeeping and Thank You![…]

3 Ugly Outfits – Dress Wisely!

Blame. Shame. Complain. These are 3 of the ugliest outfits you can wear in life. If you catch yourself wearing one of these, quickly strip off your clothes as fast as you can! (metaphorically, of course 🙂) Dress yourself with these instead: Praise. Pride. Peace. Praise people and build others up, even when they do Read more about 3 Ugly Outfits – Dress Wisely![…]

Problem Solving 101

Problem Solving 101

  “A problem well put, is already half solved. – John Dewey”   The clearer you state your problem, the clearer the solution. Here’s a cool trick: State your problem as a sentence. Change that sentence into a question. Restate the question 5-10 different ways. Question the questions I know, it sounds confusing! You might Read more about Problem Solving 101[…]

Pay it forward

Tomato trades and paying it forward…

Last month, one of our friends gave us about 30 tomato plants. He had hundreds growing in his backyard and needed to give some away. As compensation, we gave him 1 pound of mung beans and some home-made beer. A fair trade, we all thought. 30 tomato plants is too many for us, so we Read more about Tomato trades and paying it forward…[…]

Coffee routine

Routine; It’s Lethal.

  If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal!” – Paulo Coelho   Getting up at 5am every day is working well for me. The pros still outweigh the cons and I have 2-3 hours of morning freedom. But, sometimes I notice myself slipping into unproductive morning routines. – Rushing straight to the Read more about Routine; It’s Lethal.[…]

choo choo choseday

Tuesday = Choose-day

Apparently we make 35,000 choices every day… That’s a a lot! Some are conscious decisions, most are subconscious. Many people believe we can’t control our subconscious thoughts or choices. But I beg to differ. Subconscious thoughts can be controlled, and heavily influenced, by our conscious ones. When you choose to be happy, choose a positive Read more about Tuesday = Choose-day[…]

No knead bread

Dishing Out Compliments

“Hey Steve, nice haircut! Have a great day, you handsome man.” “Sally… I gotta say, the way you handled that customer complaint was amazing to watch. You are great at what you do and I’m learning a lot from you. Thanks!” “Hey TJ, last week you said xxx to me. I’ve been thinking about it more over the Read more about Dishing Out Compliments[…]

expired coffee

Fun times in Quarantine!

  A few fun updates from Joel’s house…   – Yesterday, while wearing my face mask, I thought it’d be a good idea to clean the front of it with an alcohol wipe. Turned out to be a horrible idea. I nearly fainted. Lessons learned – don’t put chemicals right near the breathing hole. – Read more about Fun times in Quarantine![…]

Don’t celebrate too early!

A few weeks ago my wife came to me with some exciting news… She was getting a pay raise at work! She heard all about it on a conference call… “Due to teachers having to work from home, the school is giving everyone a $70 per day pay increase!” Woohoo! We opened a nice bottle of wine Read more about Don’t celebrate too early![…]

homemade superman capes

People like YOU

  Being perfect at everything will please more people, right? Nope… Perfectionism has many downsides: – it makes life difficult for people around you – makes you want to avoid certain activities (if you think you’re not good at it, you don’t even try it) – it’s exhausting – brings stress and anxiety – not Read more about People like YOU[…]

Priate approach to problems

Problem Approach…

  ”The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem” – Captain Jack Sparrow    If you try and solve a problem with an angry or closed mindset, you’re adding difficulty to an already hard situation. But if you step back, remove any arrogance, get another perspective, appreciate the difficulty, Read more about Problem Approach…[…]

be happy chalk

101 Random Things I’m Grateful For!

  Over the past few months I’ve been pulling out my phone and jotting down the little things that I’m grateful for in life. Random events throughout the day, surprising moments in nature, or when I’m reminded of how blessed I am! Below is my list of things I’m grateful for. There’s a 101 listed Read more about 101 Random Things I’m Grateful For![…]

invest in rest

Invest… in Rest

  For me, rest isn’t something that just happens. I have to plan to shut off my brain (and sometimes my phone) and break my usual thought routines. Today’s plan: – I’m replacing Facebook with a real book. – Instead of reading the news, I’ll chat with real people and ask about their news. – I’ll be taking a nap on Read more about Invest… in Rest[…]

Be nice and stay positive!

If you don’t have anything nice to say – Try these instead!

  If you don’t have anything nice to say… Don’t say it. Write it in an email to yourself. File it for a few days then go back later and decide whether you still want to say it. Go for a long run and sweat out your frustrations. Force yourself to come up with something Read more about If you don’t have anything nice to say – Try these instead![…]

Easy choices hard life

What weakens you, strengthens you.

What weakens you, strengthens you. Imagine if life was always easy… From the moment you were born you got everything handed to you, you never got picked on as a kid, never given chores or hard work, everything was paid for, never had stressful choices to make, etc. If things were always easy, you’d wake Read more about What weakens you, strengthens you.[…]

Flower extraordinary

Living an Extraordinary Life

    Living an extraordinary life has nothing to do with comparing yourself to how ordinary people live. It’s about comparing yourself to yourself. Every day I try to: – Progress a little on goals – Learn some new stuff – Share or give things – Be a better version of myself than yesterday When Read more about Living an Extraordinary Life[…]

giving a presentation

Presentation about writing

Earlier this week I delivered an online presentation. I usually shy away from public speaking. It’s scary and nerve wracking, and involves a lot of preparation and practice… But I committed to doing this one anyway, because I believe: Doing hard and scary things in life builds a stronger and more resilient person. After the Read more about Presentation about writing[…]

Unstoppable Attitude

“Don’t forget that the economy cannot stop your work ethic. It cannot stop your drive. It cannot stop your quest for self-education, self-improvement, and personal growth.” – Brandon Turner   – What book are you reading today? – What exercises are you doing? – How are you staying positive? – How are you staying creative? Read more about Unstoppable Attitude[…]

Strong people need support too

“The downside of being perceived as a “strong” person is that people often overlook that your needs are also as strong as everyone else’s. What I’m finding out is that folks often assume that strong people don’t need any support. Which leaves you all alone”   I got this note from a good friend yesterday. Read more about Strong people need support too[…]

When the going gets tough

You know that feeling of trying and trying and trying and not getting anywhere?… And then you try try try even more and things still don’t work out? Well, that’s the exact point that separates the true heroes from the quitters. That’s the point where you get to decide how interesting your life is going Read more about When the going gets tough[…]

Your unique strengths

“The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths.” – Tim Ferriss   Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses… You succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them. Keep Read more about Your unique strengths[…]

Wild Kangaroos in the bush

Your “prison” ain’t that bad

I have 2 pen-pals, both are serving time in prison. Real prison. (I started writing inmates last year after listening to the podcast Ear Hustle, and I found my pen pals at One of my pals, James, is 24 years old and has been incarcerated since he was 15. Despite spending his entire adult life behind bars (and he Read more about Your “prison” ain’t that bad[…]


Slow down. Pull over. Refuel.

Happy Sunday! Sundays are a great day for reflection. Even 10 minutes of focussed reflection will work wonders on the quality of your day, and your life. “My friend, saying that you don’t have time to improve your thoughts and your life is like saying that you don’t have time to stop for gas because Read more about Slow down. Pull over. Refuel.[…]

When life gives you 🍋🍋🍋

  “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” – Dave Hollis   I’ve traded emails with many of you the past few weeks. And regardless of how bad the situation around us is, everyone is remaining positive and optimistic! – People Read more about When life gives you 🍋🍋🍋[…]

Prius with dog

Stay at home = lower car insurance?

Yesterday I got thinking… Now that my wife and I are stuck at home, I wonder if my car insurance company will lower my rate? (Based on the logic that we can’t drive our cars right now, and if quarantine continues into the year, we will be putting way less miles on our cars than Read more about Stay at home = lower car insurance?[…]

Be a survivor of the unfairness!

Life isn’t fair. No matter what life throws your way, no matter how unfair it may seem, refuse to play the victim. Refuse to be ruled by fear, pessimism, and negativity. Refuse to quit. Be a warrior and work through whatever challenges you face in life with courage, love, and positivity. And continually push forward. Read more about Be a survivor of the unfairness![…]

tough times

Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do!”   The universe has thrown us an incredibly tough challenge. We will get through it, together. – It’s time to toughen up – Be mentally and physically tough – Make tough decisions – Build a tough skin – Maintain a tough community – Toughen up our kids Happy Read more about Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.[…]

After all this is over…

“After all this is over, all that will have really mattered is how we treated each other” – Some neighborhoods have started putting back up their Christmas lights to help spread cheer. It’s catching on quick! – Celebrities like Jennifer Garner, Margo Robbie, Jamie Lee Curtis are reading bedtime stories to kids for free online! Read more about After all this is over…[…]

Fill in the _________

Fill in the blank spaces…   Although I’m locked up in ____(city)____, I’m feeling quite _____(good emotions)_____. Because in the grand scheme of things, my life is truly ____(description)____. I’m learning to _____(new skill)_____ today, and staying home let’s me be sneaky and _____(guilty pleasure)_____ too! Today I will check in on ____(family member)____, _____(neighbor)____ Read more about Fill in the _________[…]

The first time I farted in front of my wife… 🙈

  We had been dating about 6 months. You know that early phase in a relationship… when you’re still getting to know each other, on your best behaviour, etc. One night we were coming back from a dinner date and my stomach was starting to ache. I could feel some gas coming, and tried my Read more about The first time I farted in front of my wife… 🙈[…]

Baby steps –> in the right direction

I’ve made a commitment to continually improve myself and never stop learning and growing as a person. But, sometimes this makes me feel really overwhelmed because there are so many things that I’m not good at. So much to do and so little time to do it all! Where do I begin? I keep reminding Read more about Baby steps –> in the right direction[…]

The “Not-To-Do” List

Not-To-Do Lists… After yesterday’s note on being busy vs. productive, a number of people asked questions about the “not-to-do” list. So here’s a bit more information: What is it, exactly? It’s just a list of things *not* to do during that day. For me, it’s usually 3-4 things, and I put them right next to my real to-do Read more about The “Not-To-Do” List[…]

disaster or opportunity?

Hang in there! – You are not alone in this!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to about 10 people who were either turned down for jobs they applied for, missed out on promotions, or got let go from their jobs. 🙁 So I wanted to write a quick note for anyone else out there that might be currently going through the same… Rejection Read more about Hang in there! – You are not alone in this![…]

Keep it simple. Why complicate life?

Why complicate life?   Miss someone? ….Call Wanna meet up? ….Invite Wanna be understood? ….Explain Have questions? ….Ask Don’t like something? ….Change it Like something? ….Share it Want something? ….Earn it Love someone? ….Tell them! I love YOU guys. 🙂   Have a great Monday and remember to keep it simple! – Joel *Pic by Read more about Keep it simple. Why complicate life?[…]

Your blessed life…

  YOU are extremely fortunate. You’ve been blessed with an awesome life so far. If you think back and try to count all the blessings you have – you can’t count them all… Blessings are infinite! And today, even more blessings and opportunities await you. Good fortunes are just hanging around out there ready for Read more about Your blessed life…[…]

Happiness Doors

Happiness Doors – Look Around You

Happiness Doors   “When one door of happiness closes, another one opens. But often people look too long at the closed door, they don’t see the new open one”   Close your eyes for a moment and picture 10 doors, all in a row. Each one leads to happiness. Some doors are open, some closed, Read more about Happiness Doors – Look Around You[…]

Successful vs. Unsuccessful People

Successful People: Want others to succeed too Adapt to and welcome change Share and discuss ideas Take responsibility for failures Never stop learning Compliment others Forgive others   Unsuccessful People: Want others to fail Are scared of change Start rumors and gossip Blame others for mistakes Think they know everything Criticize others Hold grudges   Read more about Successful vs. Unsuccessful People[…]

Let’s play a game… Can you predict the stock market?

This is a simulation game to test whether you can predict the timing of the stock market… Try it: Market Timing Game All you do is click the [Start/Pause] button, and the graph will start moving. Then, use the [SELL] and [BUY] buttons to move your money in and out of the stock market. Goal is obviously Read more about Let’s play a game… Can you predict the stock market?[…]

Motivation Monday

10 x Favorite Monday Messages

Mondays were the worst. Until I made a change… I started writing myself positive messages every morning, forcing myself to have a positive attitude, encouraging myself to change, and motivating myself. Slowly but surely, things improved! Mondays are great for me now. It’s been nearly 3 years of morning emails, and 152 of them have been Mondays. Here’s a list Read more about 10 x Favorite Monday Messages[…]

5am alarm poem

My 5am Alarm Says… (POEM)

  Sometimes I beg my 5am alarm, “Please, not today. Can’t you see that I’m exhausted!” But my 5am alarm doesn’t care, and continues to bark; “Too bad, Joel. Don’t be lazy– You promised the universe you would help others today. It’s time to get up!”     Even after YEARS of getting up at Read more about My 5am Alarm Says… (POEM)[…]

Keep kicking ass – you’re good at it!

Are you a hard worker? Do you solve problems at work? Do you provide value? Do you come up with ideas that nobody else has? Do you work late or overtime? Do you help others with their work also? Do you put in extra effort, even when you’re not asked to? Do you care about Read more about Keep kicking ass – you’re good at it![…]

Others see RED. But you should see GREEN!

It’s been a rough start this week in the stock market. Everything is turning red and it’s tempting to freak out. But keep in mind these words from Warren Buffet…   “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”   Don’t panic like others. When most people see RED, you should Read more about Others see RED. But you should see GREEN![…]

Don’t complain… because…

“You are living someone else’s dream life”   Let’s think about this for a second… There is someone out there in the world right now that is less fortunate. When they close their eyes and dream of the perfect life, they picture your current situation. What you have, what you do, your freedom, etc… Given Read more about Don’t complain… because…[…]

I hate to be the bearer of bad news…

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but: Youare getting older, weaker, and more outof shape every day. 🙁 Sorry. After age 18, your body stops growing and starts a slow decline. BUT, here is the good news!… You can delay your growing oldness and out of shapeness by exercising regularly. Just 20 Read more about I hate to be the bearer of bad news…[…]

An invisible brain

Did you know… Henry Ford’s great successes and accomplishments only really started happening when he became good friends with Thomas Edison? Intelligence is multiplied when people collaborate. Even 2 average people working together can outsmart 2 geniuses working separately. “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may Read more about An invisible brain[…]

Feel | Felt | Found – A cool trick I learned in sales

This is an old sales tactic I was taught many years ago. It’s helped me in my sales career, but more importantly it also helps me A LOT with personal situations outside of work. It’s called: Feel Felt Found When someone comes to you with a problem, an objection, a complaint, or a narrow mindset… Read more about Feel | Felt | Found – A cool trick I learned in sales[…]