Shifting your focus can pay massive happiness dividends

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Three days ago, I logged a three-and-a-half-hour surf session. As is often the case, I was the first in the water, last out. I’d only stood up four, maybe five times on my new fish board in all that time. The rest was wobbles, wipeouts, and face-first falls.

When I…

It wasn’t the Stoics

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Have you ever been blessed with an eccentric philosophy professor? You should consider picking one up on your next round of errands (free-range, the factory-farmed professors aren’t worth listening to).

I was blessed with a delightfully crackpot philosophy professor when I took…

None of them involve money

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One of my favorite jokes I’ve ever heard was delivered to me by a terminally ill man. He knew I was looking for a serving job, so I could quit as a retirement home night-cook and go back to school.

“I was looking in the classifieds today,” he said…

The re-entry that left me in the wilderness

The author (second from left) with some fellow Peace Corps trainees in Pokhara, shortly before the evacuation

“We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path”

-Joseph Campbell

“Have you been to China? Do you feel sick?”

Two mask-less police officers…

“I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the ways of peace…”

What’s the first thing you think of when I say “1950's?” Is it mad-men suits and sexism? The beginnings of suburbia? The Korean war? Mccarthyism? A room full of suit-and-cocktail-dress-clad humans who are all puffing down on cigarettes?

Through our modern lens, the 1950s seem like a hellscape. Yet, as…

The best advice I’ve heard in the last year

The author sneaks into a friend’s selfie on a recent camping trip

Depending on the season, between 20–30% of Americans surveyed report being depressed at any given time. Think about that for a second. Depending on how cold it is outside (and even when it’s warm and sunny outside) one-fifth to one-third of 330 million people report feeling depressed.

The worst part…

An ancient method to recharge your batteries

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“Returning to source is stillness, which is the way of nature. Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source for serenity — to replenish the soul -which enables them to grow and flourish.”

-Rhonda Redbird

If you’re anything like me, you knew what mattered when you were…

“There are no winners in a culture war”

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“You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness”

-Cheryl Strayed.

In one of the parables that I still hold…

I’ve overcome imposter syndrome to launch exclusive content! Follow along as I heal the mind-body connection through the power of new movement

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“Don’t be satisfied with the stories that come before you; unfold your own myth”


“Centuries of travel lore suggest that when we no longer know where to turn, our real journey has just begun.”

-Phil Cousineau

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Let’s not forget why we’re here

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Last week, this platform that pays us for whatever random, often unedited thoughts we have announced that they’ve lined up a panel of successful writers and are planning an essay contest with several cash prizes.

And the majority of the community shouted “f*ck you guys!”

Oh, the entitlement.

I’ve only…

Aaron Nichols

Vagabond. Yogi. Surfer. Here to inspire, open to gigs. If you’re loving what you’ve read, follow The Well-Lived Life!

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