Just an average guy, living an above-average life!

Worrier or Warrior?

Worrier: Someone who gives way to uneasiness, anxiety, allowing their mind to dwell on difficult troubles. WARRIOR: A brave and experienced fighter who combats their tasks and is remembered by many. (also a cool looking yoga pose 🙂) Which one are you today? A worrier or a WARRIOR!? Have a good one, Joel

Happy Monday! Back to “reality”.

I always found it tough returning to work after a long weekend. Most people do. But something changed a few years back… I started watching unhappy people, and noting the things they do. Then, I tried to do the complete opposite. Instead of complaining about Mondays, I embraced them. Instead of talking about the things Read more about Happy Monday! Back to “reality”.[…]

Better dreams to dream

  “Many people dream of money, because they have no other dreams to dream”.   I’ll admit, I used to dream about money quite a bit. I had big hopes, and saw dollar signs when I closed my eyes. But things changed when I… started spending more time outside. Traveling, camping, surfing, riding my bike. Read more about Better dreams to dream[…]

happy thoughts

Be like Peter Pan… Think happy thoughts!

Happiness is contagious. Not just from people –> people. Happiness is contagious within your own brain and thought patterns. It starts with 1 tiny little positive thought. That happy thought births another. Then those thoughts multiply over and over. And if you allow it, the happiness continues to grow and grow until you see the Read more about Be like Peter Pan… Think happy thoughts![…]

Resentment and grudges – let them go!

“holding a grudge is literally like locking yourself in prison for a crime you think someone else committed, and doing it before you’ve even investigated to know if a crime actually took place or not” – Amy Anderson Today: Don’t jump to conclusions about other people Communicate your feelings Let go of any grudges or Read more about Resentment and grudges – let them go![…]

Taking no risks… is risky!

Taking risks is what helps us grow.   No risks = no growth.   No growth means being unprepared for new challenges.   Being unprepared means you will fail the competition.   Failing the competition means you miss out on the prize.   The prize might be something you really want. Like a free lifetime Read more about Taking no risks… is risky![…]

work life balance

Work / Life “Balance” – Merge and Shift your Mindset

I’ve always found it hard to maintain a “work/life balance”. For most of my life, I thought that work and life had to be separated. Each one was allowed specific time, and you needed to spread the time evenly doing one or the other. Too much of work, or life, would throw the balance off. Read more about Work / Life “Balance” – Merge and Shift your Mindset[…]

Saying No to Book Recommendations

I get about 10 book recommendations a week. You probably do too. Friends at work recommend reading this book, others encourage you to read that book, etc. Many of us have an overwhelming to-read list that grows faster than the pace we can actually read. (and some titles you can’t even remember why they’re on Read more about Saying No to Book Recommendations[…]

Weebles wobble – but they don’t fall down!

The Weebles have a slogan… “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”   It’s a cool reminder for us humans too… Today, random stuff will come at you, knock you over, push you sideways, you’ll make mistakes, and you might even get hurt. But you won’t stay down. Life is about always getting back up, Read more about Weebles wobble – but they don’t fall down![…]

surf art

Where there’s a will, there’s a wave

On Wednesday I went surfing, I was out there with about 50 other people. But, out of those 50 dudes, only 5-10 were actually catching all the waves. The other 40 guys were all missing out. Why?… They were either sitting in the wrong spot, too lazy to paddle for waves, too scared they were Read more about Where there’s a will, there’s a wave[…]

Today’s Affirmations. Tell these to yourself.

Read these out loud to yourself…   “Today will be a great day”   “I am in charge of how I feel, and I choose to be happy”   “No matter what the world throws at me today, I will figure it out. I’ve handled everything this far in life, and each day I’m getting Read more about Today’s Affirmations. Tell these to yourself.[…]

Winners never quit, and quitters never win!

Winners never quit. and Quitters never win. You just gotta keep trying and pushing and shoveling and focusing and toughing it out until the job gets done. Might not be easy, but it’s always worth it. PS. If you never quit *and* you never win, maybe you’re doing it wrong. Change something! Have a good Read more about Winners never quit, and quitters never win![…]

An infinite supply of love and happiness

Every one of us has an infinite supply of love and happiness. It’s like an energy source- it never runs out. And because it never runs out, you don’t ever have to hold back or be stingy when expressing your love and happiness. You can use as much as you want, as often as you Read more about An infinite supply of love and happiness[…]

A few more funny volunteering stories!

It’s been 10 months since I started volunteering with Meals on Wheels (just 1 shift per week). My job is to deliver meals to people who can’t source food for themselves. Some clients are sick or disabled, but most of them are just extremely old. It’s not a glamorous job, but I make the most Read more about A few more funny volunteering stories![…]

Priority vs. Priorities

Did you know… 100 years ago, there was no plural for the word “Priority”? Priority means the 1 most important thing. But over time, humans got really busy. We started multi-tasking. We came up with new words and now “Priorities” exists. Priorities just means ‘important stuff’. It’s a diluted version of the original word. I Read more about Priority vs. Priorities[…]

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![…]

Rent Collection & Updates During Quarantine

When I published my last fourplex post, I had no idea how many of my tenants would or could pay rent for the month of April. Now that I have all the figures, I wanted to share a quick update. First, you might be wondering why it took so long to get rent income information. Read more about Rent Collection & Updates During Quarantine[…]

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![…]

rock paint ideas

10 x Nice things to cheer up your neighbors (and yourself)!

A few people emailed me this week saying they were struggling to stay motivated, positive and happy. You are not alone. We all have our moments. One of the quickest ways to get happiness is to *give* happiness. So here’s a few ideas you can do for your friends and neighbors to cheer them (and yourself) Read more about 10 x Nice things to cheer up your neighbors (and yourself)![…]

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[…]

Fourplex investment property

4 x Fourplexes – Emergency Funds and Recession Planning

Every real estate investor has their own risk tolerance, and as such, plans for emergencies differently. I like to think I’ve got a pretty good emergency plan, but honestly, it’s never been truly put to the test. When I started buying investment real estate ~6 years ago, I tried to adapt a conservative mindset and Read more about 4 x Fourplexes – Emergency Funds and Recession Planning[…]

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 WriteAPrisoner.com.) 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 🍋🍋🍋[…]