The Greatest Decision of Your Life

The Greatest Decision of Your Life

The lights strobe around me. The music bounces off my ears, reverberates in my heart, and shakes my body. I watch bottle after bottle of champagne pour out of the back room. Each one accompanied by sparklers, signs, and whatever else is supposed to make me feel special in that moment. Confetti falls from the ceiling, and club-goers wonder what we could possibly be celebrating. It’s a scene of pure excess. Pure emotion, really.

I’m surrounded by friends, women I don’t know, and the unmistakable feelings of lust and excitement. It’s easy to get lost in the moment. Too easy. And on that thought, my hand raises to signal for another round or three. Or four. I can’t lie: it feels great every time. Or let me correct that. It feels great every time—in the moment. 

But something happens after the moment…

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Morning After #3: Creeping, Crawling, and Clawing

Morning After #3: Creeping, Crawling, and Clawing

In a sea of swimming fish, lately, I’ve felt like a lobster. 

A bottom feeder creeping, crawling, and clawing my way along. Devouring anything I could get my hands on. Just waiting to get picked, boiled, and broken. They say I’ve got about forty or fifty years; it should feel like I’ve won the lottery. Leaves me to question, Why it doesn’t?

I hope that last day will be admirable, though. In service of someone who’s never had the taste of lobster before. Isn’t that what we all wish for?

I can see her now. Hair blowing in the wind sitting beside the Atlantic…

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Escape the Rat Race: 47 Lessons for Every Twenty-Something (or Anyone Else)

Escape the Rat Race: 47 Lessons for Every Twenty-Something (or Anyone Else)

From time to time, my friends in their twenties will reach out to me. They’ll ask me questions about life. Some of them are more direct than others, but it’s always about “finding” themselves. It’s like they’re searching for something. 

I mean, Aren’t we all? 

Most of the time I think to myself, How can anybody, honestly, help anybody to “find” who they are? Let alone me. It’s such a loaded question. I mean, everyone’s situation is different and unique, mine included. But I get it. Most everyone is confused in their twenties: “Is this the right career? Am I going to get married? Should I buy or rent? What makes him or her so special? How can I do this? Should I do that?” On and on it goes. I can’t pretend to know all the answers to these questions. I won’t even try, but here’s what I do know…

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Morning After #2: I Wanted to Tell You, But Somehow I Couldn’t

Morning After #2: I Wanted to Tell You, But Somehow I Couldn’t

I’ve seen this play out a million times in my mind.

We’re on a small boat floating at sea. A dead silence surrounds us. Tikis hover far in the distance. There’s no waves, but palm trees are slightly waving. Our frozen drinks have umbrellas, just how you like them. You, well, look just like you. Glowing. I can’t see your eyes because we’re wearing sunglasses, but your smile says all I need to know. When I glance over, the sun dances off your nose—reflecting at the perfect angle each time, reminding me that having courage in that moment was a good decision…

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A Modern-Day Dating Problem: Two Questions That Need Answers

A Modern-Day Dating Problem: Two Questions That Need Answers

My knees aren’t wobbly yet, but this is about the time on any Saturday night when a glaze spreads over my eyes. Tonight, I’m more annoyed than entertained. I’m like a spinning top: where and when I’ll stop, I’m not really sure. I can’t spot one woman I’m interested in talking to. My ego keeps yelling at me, “No way, not good enough,” while my empathy reminds me, “You can’t do that. You know how that would end.” It’s sort of ridiculous when thought about out of context, but I trust my eyes, even if they are vodka-dipped.

An hour later, the top finally stumbles. “So sorry,” I say.

She looks up, smiling ear to ear. “It’s okay.” 

I ask, “Have I seen you here before?” 

“I don’t think so,” she says. 

“Well, hi, my name is Doug.” And just like that I’m spinning again….

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The Accident: Reflections, Details, and Lessons

The Accident: Reflections, Details, and Lessons

Here I am sandwiched between two blue marvels. Spinning like a mobile hanging from the sky, suspended above the ocean. As I float in the air, things seem to be moving much slower than one would expect.

It feels like a different kind of freedom than I experienced just moments ago. A waiting process that’s out of my control. Something I just have to believe in. Now I know why religion became so popular throughout time. In the grasp of no one and nothing, controlled by the uncontrollable, what else do you have to rely on? Right or wrong, being in this moment has made me realize that sometimes all you have is hope. Fate is your only destiny…

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How to Be Happy

How to Be Happy

You want to discuss happiness, right?

There’s a place we must start. Something uncomfortable I must share with you.

You’re going to die one day.

This is not a new idea. It’s actually not an idea at all. It’s a basic truth. One you’ll see or have seen pop up a lot in my work.

You see, happiness is not about what you do for work, how much money you have in the bank, or finding a life long partner. Happiness is about living. Living is about choices. And there will always be more ways to live than the one way you’re currently living. Universally, there’s no better teacher of living than death. Death enables appreciation for life. It forces you to understand there will be a finality to your life. So my method for being happy requires you to face the fact that you’re going to die and realize you have some choices to make before that happens. Don’t feel overwhelmed, though. My method is quite simple, you’ll see…

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