This is now a Monthly Newsletter.
I'm Making Room for What Matters More.
Today is my birthday! Now, I know it's tacky to ask for what you want for a birthday present, but here's what I would really like: please read this newsletter all the way through to the bottom, and click the link at the end. That would be a great present.
When I sat down to do my Annual Review for 2015, I know I was going to have to re-prioritize my creative projects.
This newsletter (which originally started as Pura Vida Multimedia updates, and then became Laptop Living, and then Habits of Excellence) has been a fantastic outlet for the ideas that make me itch.
Almost half of this list has been carried over, from project to project, as I pivoted from brand to brand.
The rest of you have subscribed at some point during that evolution, to follow along with what I've been thinking and writing and talking about.
Out of all the millions of things to read online, you decided to spend some time with me. That means a lot.
As grateful as I am for your continued attention, I have to make (yet another) pivot.
See, I've been experimenting over the past few years, edging closer and closer to what the Japanese call "Ikigai."
Every time I pivot, I get a little bit closer to Ikigai.
This time, though, I'm not going to take you with me.
Unless you decide to come along.
What's Happening Next
I'm going to continue writing the Habits of Excellence newsletter about once a month - so you'll still be hearing from me. I'll continue to write about the habits that make us into better people - just not as frequently.
If you'd like to be on my weekly newsletter list in 2016, you'll need to opt-in here:
The Father Fitness Project
I'm making a personal development website for dads.
The way I rolled the dice, I didn't naturally have what it takes to be a good father. I had to really work at it. If I'm not actively trying to maintain a positive mindset, I have a grumpy disposition. I get cranky when I haven't eaten for a while. I don't like being interrupted when I'm in the middle of something.
Having kids is the best way to show you the face of your shortcomings, and then you get a choice: do I want to stay this way?
Or do I want to be the better dad?
Being the better dad has made me change my habits, my reactions, my schedule, and my priorities. It's made me into a better person.
If I can help a man or two to become better fathers to their children, maybe their kids are going to grow up to be better people - and better people make a better world.
That's the kind of noble purpose I've been looking for.
Mission + Vocation + Passion + Profession = Ikigai
I first caught the scent of my Ikigai in this direction when I wrote a blog post for my wife - 10 Lessons From 10 Years of Marriage.
Out of everything I'd ever published, this was what affected people. This was what made people stop the small talk and say, "What you wrote really affected me."
I had never considered writing about family and relationships before - given my complicated history with family and abuse (which is a story for another time) I never thought of myself as somebody with anything relevant to say, but I listened.
I thought. I planned. I modified. I did a lot of writing, and I designed this:
When I taught myself to develop new habits to tame my cranky and grumpy side, I did it because it made me a better father to my kids.
When I was a better person, my kids got a better version of me.
What if, I realized, I could help other men to tame their lesser selves, and build themselves up to become better people?
After all, it's so much easier to be the better dad when you're not tired, or stressed, or hungry, or worried, or broke.
So for the past year I've been collecting the tools and ideas that people use to improve themselves, and packaging them together in a highly digestible format, so busy dads can implement these new habits quickly and easily.
That's my plan, anyway.
If you'd like to follow along, subscribe here. Otherwise, I'll send you another Habits of Excellence newsletter next month, and we'll keep talking about how to be better people, together.
“The important thing is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” - Charles DuBois
Lastly, if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear your opinion about this newsletter. Totally anonymous, so be real. It helps me (more than you know) to get your honest feedback.
Call it a birthday present.