“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.”
I just returned from an amazing two-week vacation to Norway where I reconnected with extensive family, toured some Nordic cities, climbed the highest mountain (in Norway and Northern Europe), zip-lined down an Olympic Ski Jump, and took part in the latest Norwegian trend: hot sauna, cold plunge and repeat.
Before I left, I was very stressed about the time away and all the things I wasn’t going to get done. Funny thing happened, the world didn’t fall apart and it was all there waiting when I got back. The difference is now, I feel rested, reenergized, reinspired, and ready to go.
It turns out those feelings aren’t a coincidence. Research proves that vacation is critical to our health and well-being.
In fact, Europe mandates 20 days of paid vacation, (some countries have increased that to 30 days) Unfortunately, the US is known as the “no vacation nation”. Some employers...
Years ago, I began to hear how cold plunges and cold shower were healthy. That sent shockwaves through my system, and I vacillated between total denial and the compelling desire to prove that theory wrong …. surely subjecting yourself to freezing cold water, by choice, was a terrible idea.
You see, when I was young…okay, okay, I admit, even now as a grown adult, I would stand by the side of the ocean, lake, pool or anywhere there was cold water and wait until everyone was about to get out. Then I would jump in and immediately jump out again…just so I could say I did it but I wouldn’t have to spend any time in the .
I know it’s kind of wimpy, but I’ve been just fine with that. However, recently I've had several teachers, friends, and even strangers, yes, a woman on the subway tell me about the incredible value of cold showers and how I "had" to do it. Ugh…..it was clearly a sign.
So I begrudgingly tried to...
Last winter, my friend Gigi told me a funny story about the time she moved to Brooklyn in her early twenties.
She was living in Ithaca, a small town about four hours upstate, and she was all excited to try to make it as a singer with her band in New York. Two days before she moved, though, she realized something relatively important: she didn't have any moving boxes. (Sometimes these things slip our minds, don’t they?) She didn't want to buy any, since she imagined they were prohibitively expensive, and she was broke. So she asked her roommate, Chris, if he had any.
"No," he said, "but let's go find some."
They walked downtown and started asking around. One person they asked, a guitarist playing Beatles songs on a street corner, suggested they ask at the liquor store. There, the manager there gave them a few Heineken boxes. Then he gestured to the shipping store across the street.
"They sell boxes," he said. "You can get all you want there."
So they went...
Awhile back, I began coaching an entrepreneur named Heidi – a successful, confident interior designer who just couldn’t figure out why her marriage was a mess.
“I don’t get it!” she said, pacing around my office. For someone who sounded so baffled, she looked incredibly put together – stylish heels, tailored suit, waves upon waves of blonde hair. “My partner and I just can’t seem to make it work. We’re going to therapy, and I’m trying everything our therapist says – we’re communicating more, I’m visualizing, I’m even meditating. But we still can’t seem to stop fighting. I’m at the end of my rope.” She stopped pacing at looked at me imploringly. “Can you help?”
“Tell me about the relationship you want.” I said, and she reeled off a list of things.
“Good communication. Love. Intimacy. Trust,” she said breezily, like she knew the right answer and had...
In 2015, the engineer and “Smarter Every Day” founder Destin Sandlin discovered something surprising: he could no longer ride a bike.
He’d grown up bicycling; he hadn’t had any injuries. Physically, he was capable of it. He just couldn’t ride it…because he’d accidentally “unlearned” how.
Destin had spent the year learning to ride something he called a “backwards bicycle” – a bike that had been re-engineered so that when you turn the handlebars to the right, the bike goes left. When he first started, he could ride his normal bike fine, and this bike was impossible. Physically, it’s not any more difficult than riding a regular bike.
Mentally, though? That’s a whole different matter. Basically, to ride the backwards bike, your brain has to rewire itself to understand that the handlebars work in the opposite way that you expect. Everyone who has tried it, many of whom are confidence that they can...
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