“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about.” ~ Joseph Campbell
About My Blog
In biology, “Convergent Evolution” is the idea that different species independently evolve the same features because they are the best solutions to a common problem–for example; birds, bats, bugs, and pterosaurs all evolved flight separately from one another.
Scientific breakthroughs are often achieved by multiple people at the same time. Newton and Leibniz, for instance, both developed calculus at roughly the same time.
And so in my adult life I’ve noticed that smart people often cluster around the same sets of ideas in seemingly unrelated domains of life. We are all seeking the best solutions to surviving and thriving in this world and often reach the same conclusions.
I’ve met an uncanny number of people who are interested in location independence afforded by online businesses, paleo diet and strength training for optimal health, improving relationships with science rooted in human nature, and forms of spirituality that don’t rely on superficial notions of supernatural beings and religious dogma.
If you are part of my tribe and these topics appeal to you, then I invite you to join me in my quest to get the most out of this adventure called life.
In many ways I grew up as just an ordinary meat and potatoes guy from Des Moines, Iowa. And in many ways, I’ve also taken on the flavors of the different places and cultures I’ve lived in since then.
A recurring theme in my life is that I’ve constantly had to find ways of using my brains to overcome my general lack of natural talent in other areas. I have discovered that most skills in life are learn-able.
Nearly anything you might want to do in life can be broken down into it’s constituent parts and learned to a high enough level to put you in the top 20%–even things you might not think like sports or being successful at attracting a high quality significant other.
I’ve also learned that meaningful wins in life don’t always just come from busting your hump as hard as possible. It’s equally, if not more important, to become good at identifying opportunities.
The articles I write on my blog have in some way, shape, or form all grown out of my personal experiences with “learning how to do life.”
Some of the the things I’ve done, in no particular order, include:
- Travel many places. I’ve lived in Iowa, California, New York, Texas, Japan, and Korea. I’ve also traveled to Mexico, Puerto Rico, England, Ireland, Sweden, China, Thailand and Germany.
- Graduate from Stanford University. Going to Stanford actually had the opposite effect on me that you might think. After graduation I thought here I was coming out of this great school, I must have the knowledge for what it takes to succeed in the world. My first few years out of school I realized that school really doesn’t prepare you for anything, and now you are faced with the challenge of discovering what kind of life you want to live and learning the necessary skills to make it a reality.
- Compete in triathlons. I joined my high school swim team in order to learn how to swim for triathlons. I was so bad my coach joked that he thought I might drown the first day of practice. Learning to swim for triathlons was a key lesson in my life on the learnability of skills.
- Learn Japanese. Asian languages are one of my passions. I spent about two years combined living in Japan and passed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
- Learn Korean. My second love in Asian languages. I have also spent several years living in Korea and learned to speak Korean fluently.
- Set a powerlifting national record. In March 2011 I broke the 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation national record for the squat in the 25-29 age group, 132 lb weight class.
- Appear in a fashion magazine (upper left photo). While living in New York, I really got into dressing sharp. I was on the way to work one day and photographers from Gainer Magazine (a Japanese men’s fashion magazine) approached me and took a few photos right there on the street.
- Eat a Paleo Diet. I had struggled with an on and off cold most of my life. In the summer of 2008 I decided I’d had enough. Inspired by a Korean saying that “food is medicine,” I set out to learn about nutrition and health. The science and principles behind “eating what our genes evolved to eat” made sense, and have made a dramatic improvement in my health.