Thought Catalog


He’s Not Your Forever Person Unless He Makes These 13 ‘Complicated’ Things Feel Easy

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Twenty20, adamkuylenstierna
Twenty20, adamkuylenstierna

1. Texting. You shouldn’t have to analyze every text he sends. You shouldn’t have to show your friends your phone so they can help you plan out what to say next. If he’s the right one for you, the conversation will flow easily. It will be fun. Not stressful.

2. Flirting. If you two have chemistry, then you won’t be worried about what to say and when to flip your hair back. You’ll be able to tease him, like you’ve known him for years. Flirting with him will just feel right.

3. Being honest. You shouldn’t have to hold back your feelings out of fear of looking desperate. You should feel free to tell him the truth–about everything. About what you want. About what you’ve been through. About the things you’ve never uttered to anyone else before.

4. Figuring out where you stand with him. You shouldn’t have to interpret his mixed signals. You shouldn’t be left guessing how he feels. If you’re right for each other, he’ll admit how he feels about you. He won’t hide his emotions.

5. Kissing. You shouldn’t be worried about the smell of your breath or the taste of your tongue. If he’s your forever person, then all you’re going to be thinking about in that moment is him.

6. Looking pretty. You shouldn’t have to rip apart your closet, trying to find the perfect outfit. You shouldn’t spend hours on your makeup, because you want him to think you look good. He should make you feel beautiful no matter what–even if you leave the house in your pajama pants.

7. Planning dates. If he gets you, he won’t have trouble suggesting a date spot. You mentioned that you love animals? He’ll take you to the zoo. It’s that easy.

8. Coming up with things to talk about. If you click, you won’t have to show up to your dates with prepared topics. You’ll naturally come up with things to say, whether it’s about your waiter or the highway you took to get there. There won’t be any awkward pauses.

9. Fighting. No, fighting is never fun. But when you’re with the right person, a small disagreement won’t turn into a screaming match. You’ll actually find a way to have a civil conversation with him that ends in compromise.

10. Making time to see each other. You shouldn’t have to go weeks without meeting up, because you’re both so busy. Here’s a secret: When you really like someone, you’ll find time to see him. No matter how busy your schedule is, you’ll figure out a way to fit him into it.

11. Playing games. The right guy won’t play hard to get or wait hours to text you back. Come to think of it, once you find your forever person, you won’t have to play any games at all. The relationship will be straightforward.

12. Having sex. You shouldn’t feel pressured to sleep with him. And after it’s done, you shouldn’t feel used. The sex shouldn’t feel like a chore in any way. It should feel like a blessing. Like you’re right where you’re meant to be.

13. Saying, “I love you.” If he’s really your forever person, these words won’t seem all that scary. And you won’t hesitate to say them, because you’ll know that he feels the same. TC mark

16 Things You Should Still Do For Your Girlfriend Even After You’ve Been Dating For A While

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Everton Vila
Everton Vila

1. Flirt with her. Flirting shouldn't die out just because you've got her. If you want to keep her treat her like you're still trying to win her over.

2. Send her dirty texts. Do it when you're both at work, or when one of you is home waiting for the other person. Make her feel desired and wanted. Keep the sexual desire burning.

3. Kiss her goodnight and good morning. Don't ever go to bed without kissing her goodnight and never leave her without kissing her good morning, even if she's still sleeping when you leave. Once you stop doing that is when things start slowly falling apart.

4. Always stay honest. Don't start lying to her about anything because it will only make things worse, even if it's a little lie because she will find out and it will slowly tear away at her trust.

5. Take care of yourself. Don't just get lazy and stop caring about your body because you're already in a comfortable relationship. Keep working out (or start) and eat healthy, don't let yourself go just because you're not looking anymore. Do it for yourself and do it for the person who loves you.

6. Have regular sex. When you first started dating I bet you couldn't keep your hands off her, well don't stop that now just because you've gotten used to each other. Keep the love alive and if it feels repetitive try new things, open communication is the key.

7. Surprise her with things. Don't stop doing small things for her because the small things matter. Keep writing her little love notes, or buy her a doughnut on the way home, or fix something she's been meaning to get to.

8. Ask her about her day. It's a small gesture, but ask her about her day. Ask her if she did anything she's proud of. Ask her if she had anything exciting happen to her or what the best part of her day was. Keep it positive and let her know you care.

9. Tell her you love her, but also show her. Take her to a nice dinner or cook her dinner. Tell her you love her and give her wild flowers you picked her. Tell her you missed her and go for a drive together to talk about life without any distractions.

10. Kiss her when you greet her and leave her. Just like you kiss her goodnight and good morning, kiss her every time you greet her and leave her. You never know when things could happen and showing affection is always helpful to your relationship. And throw some random kisses in there, just because.

11. Always comfort her when she's sad. Don't acknowledge her when she's sad and leave her be. Give her a hug and let her know you're there, sometimes that's all she needs.

12. Never stop doing fun activities. Never lose the child-like sense you each hold in your heart. Whatever your things are – whether it be concerts, painting, four wheeling – keep doing those things together.

13. Never stop the open lines of communication. Communication is the most important thing, talk about what you need to and cry when you have too, but never go to bed angry at each other. Don't let bitterness drift you apart.

14. Don't stop complimenting her. Keep telling her she looks beautiful and sexy, even when she's in sweatpants because she should still look beautiful to you. Make sure she knows it. You can never hear compliments too many times.

15. Keep dating. Don't get so wrapped up in your lives and become so comfortable with each other that you forget to date. Go out together, set aside a night a week and do something just the two of you. Keep the romance alive.

16. Never stop being there for her. Date your best friend and never stop being friends. Always have fun and be there for her. Share everything with her, be her comfort and confide in her. It's you two against the world; make sure you can count on each other. TC mark

29 Things The Guy At Your Startup Loves To Talk About

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 06:30 PM PDT

Helloquence
Helloquence

1. Aesthetic.

2. How he doesn't need to eat solid food because he drinks Soylent.

3. Unless he's doing Paleo.

4. That he used his sleeping app to wake him up at 4:30am (optimal REM cycles achieved) and then switched to his meditation app and meditated for 90 minutes this morning. You woke up at 6am and should feel unaccomplished.

5. His admiration for co-working spaces.

6. Because he’s "working remotely" and considers himself a "digital nomad."

7. His definitive ranking of co-working spaces (ahem, curated communities). The best ones always have cold brew and imported beer.

8. And he appreciates the perpetual availability of the communal beanbag chairs.

9. “Think tanks.”

10. How networking events give him a high.

11. Because he's technically CEO (but also so is everyone else at the startup).

12. Stand-up desks.

13. Ergonomically correct keyboards.

14. TechCrunch.

15. Prefacing things with "soooooo this is what's happening in the tech world."

16. That one motivational book he read about living your best life and it being ok that you dropped out of college, and then making his entire staff read it too.

17. How you should check out the newest app he created, because it’s totally got a cult following already.

18. How much better it is for his posture to sit on an exercise ball rather than a regular chair.

19. Scheduling things depending on when he thinks he'll be "feeling it.”

20. This applies, also, for his work hours.

21. Love for new Mac systems.

22. Shitting on BuzzFeed.

23. How he pays $34.99 for a fitness app.

24. "Authentic flow of ideas."

25. Referring to Mark Zuckerberg as just "Zuck."

26. Claiming to read a book a week. Always Malcolm Gladwell or something related to Stoicism.

27. How efficient noise-canceling headphones are.

28. That he has an unlimited vacation policy (but he's actually too scared to take advantage of it).

29. Bragging about “transparency trends,” which just means he unflinchingly tells people how much money he’s making. TC mark

14 Guys Admit Why They Haven’t Stopped Thinking About That ONE Girl, Even Though They Never Dated

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 06:01 PM PDT

Twenty20, joelgonewild
Twenty20, joelgonewild

1. “Yeah, so, we went to high school together. I didn’t like her back then. She liked me. But we’re friends on Facebook now and she got hot. Like, supermodel sexy. I don’t know if I missed my chance or not, though, so I haven’t messaged her yet. I just keep liking her posts.” — Stephen, 23


2. “We were in an almost relationship. Out of nowhere, I stopped texting her, because I got scared of how fast we were moving. Biggest mistake of my life. I’ve thought about contacting her a million times, but she’s probably dating someone else now.” — Andrew, 22


3. “I don’t know what we were. Friends with benefits, maybe? We hooked up from time to time. Then she left, because she wanted something real with me. Honestly, I had feelings for her too, but I was too chickenshit to say it.” — Greg, 28


4. “We were best friends. I never told her how I felt, because I didn’t want to lose her. Turned out, we grew apart anyway, so I probably should’ve spilled my feelings when I had the chance.” — Bobby, 19


5. “I had a one-night stand a few months ago. But I’m a virgin. Well, I mean, I was a virgin before I met her. She’s a party girl. I know she’s slept with a few other guys since me, but it’s just been me and my hand, so she’s all I’ve been thinking about.” — Rufus, 20


6. “I see her on the train ride to work every morning. I don’t know how to approach her without looking creepy, so I just make eye contact whenever I can. Which is probably even creepier now that I think about it.” — Malcolm, 24


7. “I go to the movies with a group of friends every Friday and there’s this gorgeous girl that works at the food court. I always make sure to get on her line, just so we can talk for a few minutes. I’m planning on slipping her my number eventually.” — Nicki, 22


8. “She’s my boss. No way I’m making a move. Not losing my job. Doesn’t stop me from masturbating to her, though.” — Lee, 27


9. “I was good friends with a woman in one of my college courses. We’d always hang out and hold hands and flirt, but we never actually kissed. I should’ve kissed her.” — John, 27 


10. “We work together. We’re always pretty flirty. But she has a boyfriend. I’m not going to try to steal her away. Even though I think it would work…” — Manny, 25


11. “I don’t know if this counts, but there’s a girl I plan on dating. We text constantly. We flirt constantly. I’m pretty sure we’ll take things further. I’ll be disappointed if nothing happens.” — Emmett, 26


12. “I met a girl online. We’ve never seen each other in person, but that doesn’t matter. She’s the only girl I want to be with.” — West, 21


13. “Some chick I follow on Instagram. She doesn’t even follow me back, but I wish she did. Sexiest body I’ve ever seen.” — Phillip, 18


14. “I mean, I’m in a relationship now. I only really think about my girlfriend. Yes, I’m serious.” — Shane, 24 TC mark

Please, Once And For All, Choose Yourself

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 05:45 PM PDT

Anete Lusina
Anete Lusina

You've gone too far, given almost half of your life trying to fill someone else's void, offered so much just to prove you're being true, been broken too long and in the end, lost more than you've gained.

Why don't you take this day, this moment, this very second to think of no one else but yourself? Because, damn, you are so worth it!

Enough of the games you've been playing over and over again, aren't you getting tired of them? Your heart has been used and shattered by the same person, yet you're still there with a tight grip on a very thin thread without even realizing that you're the only one holding on.

Stop, please. It's not healthy anymore.

Give yourself some respect and walk away; you cannot save people. Do yourself a favor and save your heart.

Leave because you need to and you have to. There's plenty of reasons for you to pack up your things and walk through that door, you just need to open your eyes and see for yourself.

If he doesn't treat you the way you should be and the way you deserve, if he only takes and never gives, if he's belittled you, if he's used you for his own gratification, if he's neglected you instead of fighting for you—let him go. Stop romanticizing those mishaps and start living in the reality that it's not going to work out, not now and not ever.

Just because you don't want to hurt him or see him broken doesn't mean you have to abandon yourself. You are far better than that.

You have been born to become someone unique and strong. Don't let that be taken away from you. You're blessed with such good family members and friends; don't you dare let them go. You have great plans for your future, dreams to chase, and goals to achieve; don't let them fade away just like that.

Your world doesn't revolve around one person and your life won't end if you choose to stand for yourself and quit.

Go ahead, now! Decide for your freedom, for your will, for your worth. You might lose something, but this time it's for your own good. And soon you'll notice that you can breathe easier; the heaviness has been removed from your lungs.

You're going to have a fresh start, remove all the toxins of the past and replace them with something new, something you'll treasure and always be grateful for. Wipe away the tears and put on your realest smile. Do the things you've been wanting to do, but never had the chance to because someone or something's holding you back.

Be better, not for someone, not for anyone, but for yourself.

Let time do its magic to heal you, to put back all the pieces you've lost and to bring out the very essence of you.

Choose to be happy.
Choose to be free.
Choose to stand up.
Choose to rise above.

You won't regret it, I swear. You'll even thank yourself for letting your mind work rather than listening to the whispers of your deceptive emotions and feelings. Someday, you will look back and might even realize that you've escaped from the shackles of the person who ruined you and changed you. It may not be the best relationship you had, but it taught you how to be brave, how to come out strong, how not to give your trust easily, how to say no without feeling guilty and how to love yourself even more.

So please, once and for all, choose yourself. TC mark

7 People Share How Sex Broke Up Their Relationship

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Joe desousa
Joe desousa

1.

“Well, it was his first time and he kept trying to put his penis in the wrong place. We had been dating for about 6 months, but ‘it’ was so small and he was so weird about it, we just agreed we weren’t compatible like that.”

— Jessica, 19

2.

“Well, he was Catholic and I was raised Christian. I don’t really buy into the guilt trip they try to sell you when it comes to making love, but you could tell he totally did. One day I took my clothes off in front of him and I swear to God, the first thing he did after he covered his eyes, was go pray in the other room.”

— Kim, 27

3.

“Well he lived with his parents, which should have been the first indication that I should NOT sleep with someone whose mom was watching The Big Bang Theory in other room. She came in to ask a question and there I was, naked on top of her son. Did I mention she was Jewish?”

— Karmen, 24

4.

“I am not down to feel pressured by a man and that’s exactly what my ex did. A man should never make a woman feel unworthy or ashamed for not wanting to share her body. EVER.”

— Alexis, 22

5.

“I was raised Christian and he was raised without identifying with a religion. Which was okay, I thought my family was rubbing off on him and giving him fresh insight- that was until I walked in and my sister was LITERALLY rubbing off on him.”

— Grace, 25

6.

“I feel so embarrassed saying this; one day I just stopped getting hard by her or anything she did. Then it happened again, and again, and again. I tried so hard, so hard.”

— Dustin, 29

7.

“Well, we were already having problems. He interrupted all of our dates to answer calls from his mother, and somehow every time we tried to do anything sexual that is all I could think about. There’s something about already not feeling like a priority, and then mixing that with the image of someone’s mother that just cannot get me wet. That relationship ended real quick.”

— Harmoney, 26 TC mark

A Typical Day In The Life Of An Internet Troll

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 04:30 PM PDT

Jay Wennington
Jay Wennington

9:00am

You spend the first few minutes of your day choosing from your five identical GAP sweatshirts that are crumpled on the floor, next to your bed. You slip one on and feel that sweet, sweet urge to be incredibly irritating coursing through your veins. You continue wearing the grey sweatpants you slept in.

9:15am

Breakfast consists of grabbing multiple handfuls of Cap'n Crunch Berries while you do your first scroll through Reddit. Memes are your true sustenance. Black coffee is consumed during those mornings when you can feel your eyeballs shriveling up from staring at various screens for all hours. You refrain from properly hydrating because it makes you think rationally.

10:00am

You start your ritual of morning stretches as you go through your list of targeted websites. The ones with writers who have original thought and opinions, the ones that can't figure out how to moderate Disqus, and YouTube videos. You crack all of your joints because it's definitely going to be a long day and you can't get a cramp in the middle of sending a writer hate mail (anonymously). The likelihood of you leaving your basement and seeing daylight or feeling fresh air is nonexistent.

10:30am

You delicately line up your supply of Monster Ultra Blue and revel in the sound of cracking open your first can of the day. You inhale the familiar smell of gasoline and poison, and take a huge swig—with the theatricality of a cowboy swigging whiskey in an old western film. You kinda are like a cowboy, aren't ya? You smile warmly to yourself.

10:55am

As your computer starts up, you close your eyes and do the Internet Troll Meditation. You breathe in deeply, and while you exhale, you quietly chant to yourself: "My opinions on other people's personal experiences matter the most… My opinions on other people's personal experiences matter the most… Ohmmmm…"

11:00am

You begin with the personal essays. They are your favorite to target. You have about 3-5 specific writers who you feel like you would hate if you met them in real life only because their names sound annoying or their author photo is too small for you to confidently say they're not that hot, so you peruse their recent articles—essays on family and love and loss—and mindlessly comment absolute garbage. Because free speech. Everyone needs to listen to you. Ulysses sounds like it would be your favorite book if you actually read it. Your opinions matter the most.

3:22pm

Upon wreaking havoc on those essays, you transition into news articles. The Daily Beast, The New York Times, The Onion articles on Facebook that you assume must be real because they are on the internet and satire is fucking confusing and dumb because it doesn’t explicitly say it’s satire. Like, no disclaimer or anything.

Everyone who reads anything needs to also read your thoughts and feelings on the subject. That’s what free speech is all about, you think to yourself as you tell the writer to “shut the fuck up.”

5:10pm

A personal essay writer just replied to your comment. Excellent. You shotgun a Blue Hurricane Four Loko for special occasions such as this. You scream while looking into a mirror for five minutes before responding.

7:02pm

It's officially that time of day to start making things unnecessarily personal. What power you hold. You are a fucking modern-day cowboy.

Thus, with your stomach lining burning an acid hole in your stomach and your tongue an unnatural shade of neon blue from the energy drinks, you shoot off half a dozen or so emails from your fake gmail account to whoever wrote the most opinionated headline you scrolled by today. You call them a hack, you tell them their writing sucks, you say that they're lazy and banal because they lured you in with a relatable list which made you feel some sort of human connection with them. Damn it, you could've read Infinite Jest if you bothered, how dare this writer trick you with numbers.

9:00pm

You snap a No.2 pencil in half to remind yourself that you are strong and authoritative.

10:05pm

You've successfully turned the comments section on an article about a woman's personal experience with her ex-boyfriend into a full-fledged war zone about how sexist the writer is.

11:47pm

You eat a frozen burrito (that you didn’t actually heat up all the way, so occasionally when you bite into it, it is very much still frozen) as you admire your work unfold into a minefield of foulmouthed and unnecessary trolling that completely takes away from the articles you initially commented on. You watch the number of commenters rack up from tens to thousands. You shoot approximately four finger guns at your monitor. Mission accomplished. TC mark

The Truth About Meeting ‘The One’

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 04:00 PM PDT

JD Mason
JD Mason

“How will I know when I meet the right person?”

I often hear this question in my counseling practice. The answer is fairly complex.

There are two different reasons that people have for wanting to get married:

  • To get love, validation, security and safety
  • To share love and to grow emotionally and spiritually

If you feel insecure and alone, you are likely to look for someone who will fill the inner emptiness and give you the love you are seeking. You may want to find someone who will complete you and make you feel adequate and worthy.

The problem is that no one can do this for you – it is something you need to learn to do for yourself. Since we are always attracted to people who are at our common level of woundedness or our common level of health, a person looking to get love will attract a person also looking to get love. Each person hopes to get filled from the other, not realizing that each feels empty and really has nothing to give. Therefore, no one is the right person when the intent of getting married is to get love and security rather than to share love and learning. 

Instead of asking the question, “Is this the right person for me?” why not ask, “Am I being the right person?” Am I being a person who comes to a relationship filled with love to share, or am I being a needy person hoping to get love and validation?

The main reason that many relationships don’t work is because each person is disappointed in not getting what they expected to get from the other person. But when individuals do not know how to love and validate themselves and create an inner sense of safety and security, they certainly can’t do this for another person. Yet this is what each person expects of the other.

It is fairly easy to know if this is the right person for you, when your intent in being in a relationship is to learn together and share love. A person who comes from a full place within finds it easy to discern when someone is empty inside, and will not be attracted to the empty person. People who are truly open to learning about themselves, to growing emotionally and spiritually, to taking responsibility for their own feelings of safety and security, worth and lovability, will not be attracted to a person who is closed, controlling, and just wants to get love.

Knowing if this is the right person for you does not happen instantly. It takes months to discover whether or not a person is who they say they are. You cannot really know who a person is until you have conflict and find out what this person does in conflict. Some people can appear very open and loving until a conflict comes up and then they get angry, withdraw, resist or comply, rather than stay open to learning about themselves and the other person. An important question is, how does this person deal with conflict and how long does it take them to open up if they do close in the face of conflict?

Since none of us enter relationships fully healed, it is very important to know that your partner is willing to explore conflict, rather than just protect against it with controlling behavior. Conflict occurs in all relationships, and if both people are not open to learning about themselves and each other within the conflict, the unresolved conflicts will eventually destroy the relationship.

If you are a person who is open to learning and wants a relationship in order to share love, there are three essential ingredients that need to be present for the person to be the right person for you:

  • There needs to be a basic spark of attraction. If you do not feel physically attracted to this person within the first six months of the relationship, the chances are this attraction will not develop.
  • Each of you needs to be capable of caring, compassion, empathy and acceptance for who each of you are.
  • Both of you need to be open to learning in conflict, rather than just wanting to win and be right.

Other ingredients, such as common interests and values, are also important, but without the above three ingredients, they will not sustain the relationshipTC mark

Every Presidential Election That I’ve Lived Through

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 03:30 PM PDT

Nota bene: This is all true, and yes, I backed every wrong Presidential candidate ever, except for once. Also, I forget why I wrote this in the third-person, but maybe it was to distance myself from the horror of it all. Also also: I am old. Also also also: I still slightly stand by voting for Perot, because I liked that crazy little munchkin. And a special note to you “millennial” kids, if you have no idea who or what a “Perot” or a “Mondale” is, be sure to ask your parents.

1984: After convincing his entire elementary school class to vote in the ‘mock primaries’ for… lady’s man Gary Hart, Oliver quickly loses all political credibility — thus beginning, at the age of nine, a downward spiral that he will never recover from. Later that same year, he casts one of only three votes for Walter Mondale in the ‘mock election,’ and witnesses a Reagan landslide. Amusingly enough, “three” = exact number of electoral votes that Mondale actually receives.*

1988: Has long hair, wears ripped clothes, does not answer questions when directly spoken to, scribbles haiku in notebooks, does not care about politics. When asked his thoughts on the upcoming Bush/Dukakis election, Oliver thinks and finally replies, “That’s so bourgeois.”

1992: Wears a ‘Perot in ’92’ button to high school. Amazingly, there are no girlfriends in sight for Mr. Miller at this time.

1996: In the second most embarrassing incident of Oliver’s entire life, he votes for Bob Dole. The first most embarrassing incident of Oliver’s entire life involves: (1) his grandfather; (2) masturbation.

2000: Gets drunk in bar while watching election returns, tries and fails to write a short story about the election/bar-room conversations going on around him, cannot believe the evidence of Bush’s victory unfolding before his own eyes. Plus, in what seems to him to be the final insult, the bar is out of Yuengling.

2004: Makes overconfident phone calls to friends based on supposed “inside information” from the DNC. House-sits, studies for “Future Possesory Estates” law exam. While watching the election on TV, Oliver also plays the “President Forever” video game/ election simulator. While playing the video game, he marshals all his Democratic party resources correctly, uncovers and informs the press as to shocking scandals involving video game President Bush, defeats video-game Bush in all debates, and yet loses to video-game Bush at 2 a.m. (video game time) because he fails to carry the great state of… Hawaii. Final electoral score — Video game Kerry: 268, Video game Bush: 270.

After this disheartening simulated loss, Oliver gets badly freaked out. He makes phone calls to friends at Kerry Headquarters. Gets more freaked out. Turns off the TV in an attempt to “reverse jinx” the entire election. Turns TV back on. Makes overconfident phone calls to friends based on inaccurate predictions about certain counties in Ohio. Curses at TV. Drinks. Sleeps.

2008: The only good election ever. …Gobama!

2012 (projected): Moves to Quebec in protest of a Romney victory, but fails to master irregular French verbs. TC mark

(*Unfunny editorial correction: Mondale actually got 13 electoral votes.)

image – CBS News

Last Texts Of The Dying

Posted: 27 Oct 2016 03:00 PM PDT

I wanted to have an adventure. I'm an explorer.

I woke up and dragged my kids out of bed and said we were going for a walk. They screamed "WHY!?"

"SHUT UP!" I yelled back.

We zigged and zagged through Chinatown until we found an obscure alley that I had read about: Cortlandt Alley.

In the alley there was a shaft elevator that was open. Some people were inside it.

It's also the smallest museum in New York City.

Three walls, four or five exhibits per wall. There was one exhibit in particular I wanted to see: the final iPhone texts of people who were about to die. 

JamesAltucher.com
JamesAltucher.com

"Cool!" my kids said. And I was a cool dad for a nano-second.

I knew about this place because of the 2006 US Memory Champion.

Josh Foer is an explorer. First he was sent, as a journalist, to cover the memory championships.

Then he said, "I can do this!" And he trained for years until he won the championship himself (imagine being shown 5 decks of cards in random order for a few seconds and then saying out loud the exact order of the cards).

Then he got a $1.2 million advance to write "Moonwalking with Einstein" about the shady, and often violent, super-memory subculture.

And finally, he became a full-time explorer, devoting his efforts and the efforts of thousands of volunteers who help him, to collecting the 10,000 most interesting places of Earth.

Including, in his brand new book, "Atlas Obscura," the "museum" that I visited with my kids.

The Explorer's Code: 

I wanted to wake each morning, not anxious about my day anymore. Not worried about what so-and-so would say, or where my career was going, or what was I going to write today.

My only job each day is to explore something new.

So I called up Josh and asked him how I could be an explorer. He told me.

– Have a Mission

Every day, whether it's "be creative today." Or "go some place you've never been" or "talk to ten random strangers", make a mission.

Learn something new.

Missions are for people who DO. Mission statements are for people who DON'T.

– Uncomfortable Situation

Try to put yourself in as many uncomfortable situations as possible.

"For instance," he said, "you should apply for a temp job. See what it's like."

Or maybe one day you and a friend can make a bet: who can get the furthest out of town with just $100.

The uncomfortable zone is where you find out who you are, the comfort zone is where you sleep.

Task: make a list of uncomfortable situations. Stretch the idea muscle.

– Partners/Team

Josh has 100s of people who submit items to Atlas Obscura and atlasobscura.com. "There's over 10,000 weird and obscure places on there now."

He also started it with two partners.

Even superheroes need a team. Superman still needed the Justice League. Luke Skywalker still needed Han Solo and Princess Leia. Luke Cage needs Iron Fist and Jessica Jones.

Who are on your team? Are they good people? Do you each have your super power?

I am constantly looking for my team of fellow explorers.


"Try to experience wonder every day," Josh told me.

A few months ago, my mission was to throw out everything I owned.

What would it be like after 40 years of collecting things, to own absolutely nothing.

And a few months before that, my mission was to track down someone who had disappeared from my life.

I failed at that mission. But I experienced wonder along the way.

And today, I'm going to change my life forever. I will text you about it. TC mark