JetSetCitizens

We’re Having a Baby!

We're having a baby!

If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll already know that Motoko and I are having a baby. He’s only about six weeks away now. That will obviously bring some big changes. After 15 years of marriage, here are some of thoughts on our new lifestyle. I really like whether everything is going so far.

I am Canadian

We’ve decided to deliver the baby in Canada. Before and after the delivery we’ll need to have regular doctor visits and some stability in our lives.

We were considering Hungary, Japan and Thailand, but Canada was the clear winner. Our first two checkups were with a great doctor in Budapest, but it made more sense to go to Calgary. My immediately family is all here and everyone speaks reasonably good English. 🙂

We’ve tried medical services in about half a dozen countries, Canada is the best by far. All doctor visits are 100% covered by our free health care system and the quality and service are first rate.

Many Canadians complain about the long wait times, but I’d suggest they try other countries to see just how good they have it. Winters can be long and cold, but Canada is a pretty amazing …

What Robin Williams’ Death Can Teach Us About Living

Robin Williams

 

Robin Williams was a brilliant actor and comedian. He was rich, famous and achieved every bit of the American dream, yet he was still human. Even the most successful can suffer from substance abuse and depression. Robin is certainly not alone. There is a long list of celebrities who lost their lives to overdoses or suicide. Achievement, wealth and all those things we typically equate with a dream lifestyle are often not enough.

This post is not really about Robin Williams. I don’t mean this to be any commentary on his life or death.  I certainly don’t claim to know anything about his mental state. He was a great man that will be long remembered.

I only mention Robin Williams’ death as a reminder to what is really valuable and important in life.

What is Success?

If rich and famous celebrities can have everything and still not be happy, what does it mean for the rest of us?

I used to love reading personal development books, with their “you can do it if you work hard” message. Those books also did a lot to shape my idea of what success is.

It has taken me a long time to …

How to find Meaning and Purpose in your Life

Find Meaning and Purpose

Are you searching for more meaning and fulfillment in your life? You’re definitely not alone. There is only one way to really be satisfied and fulfilled. The answer is very simple, but it’s definitely not the easiest choice to make.

What if you didn’t need money or attention?

Derek Sivers recently wrote a post that I think hints at one of key issues of our time.

If you stopped doing all these things you’re just doing for the money, or the attention, what’s left? Who are you, if you don’t do these things? Many of my friends are touring musicians. One has been quite unhappy with it lately. She realized it was once a dream, but now she’s just doing it for the fear of being forgotten. But if she stops, what’s left? She’s defined herself by this pursuit for so long.

Many of my friends are entrepreneurs. A few have mentioned this deep hollow conflicted feeling. Their business ideas are not things the world wants. They’re following the current tech entrepreneur stereotype, building social apps and pursuing investors. They’re hating it, and having to admit they’re doing it only for the jackpot. But if they stop, what’s left?

When

Success in the Zombie Apocalypse

Success Zombie Apocalypse

Most people need a cataclysmic event in their life to really make meaningful changes. A death in the family, loss of a good job or a terminal illness are often required to start taking our lives seriously. It doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes is a little courage and motivation to focus on what’s most important now. To find that inspiration, take a moment to imagine your role in the zombie apocalypse.

Where Will You Be in the Zombie Apocalypse?

When most of the world gives up the fast food drive-through to become flesh eating un-dead with a taste for raw human brains, what will you be doing with your life?

When our streets are filled with zombie hoards hoping to chew off your face, will you be focused on locating a power generator to watch re-runs of Breaking Bad?

Will you spend your free time at abandoned home-centers to pick out some new designer patio bricks to match that new barbecue you’ve appropriated from your half-eaten neighbours. (Don’t worry, you never liked that guy before anyway. He always had a nicer car than you.)

Will you continue working in your office cubicle, staring at numbers on …

Are New Year’s Resolutions Un-Buddhist?

New Year's Resolution - Buddhism

I recently wrote how moving to a new country is a great way to reinvent your life. The start of the new year can also be a great opportunity for change and improvement. Getting better at life is something we should also be striving for, but I think western ideals of success and personal development are not always effective. Modern economies have brought us great abundance and opportunity, but we also seem to have much more anxiety and stress. I think we have a lot to learn from Buddhism when it comes to living a satisfying life.

The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

I’m sure all of you have come across numerous posts advising you on how to best make your resolutions stick this year. There’s no shortage of advice on how to improve your life. Resolutions used to be much simpler such as losing some weight before spring or quitting smoking, but in recent years the intensity seems to be increasing.

In the blog posts I came across, there are dreamlining and goal setting exercises encouraging us to vividly image our dream house, our dream car, beautiful spouse, all the possessions we will own, the power and …

The Coming Leisure Society: What if Money Didn’t Matter?

Leisure SocietyImagine you lived in a perfect society where you had enough food, clothing and shelter so you didn’t need to struggle to make a living. You’d have access to education, entertainment and a reasonable amount of goods and services. You’d be comfortable, but not rich in the conventional sense. If all your immediate needs were met and you didn’t have to work many hours, what would you do with your time?

This might seem like a pointless question to ask, but I believe it is a critical one of the 21st Century.

The Leisure Society

Back in 1930, during the great depression, the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote about a coming age of leisure and abundance.

I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries one hundred years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is to-day. There would be nothing surprising in this even in the light of our present knowledge.

Keynes was predicting that it would be possible to get to 15 hour workweeks by 2030 just from slow gradual improvements in productivity. After 83 years, it doesn’t seem like we’ve made much progress towards that age of leisure, however, …

Are Goals Foolish?

Goals

I’ve had a few people in the last year ask me about my goals for the future. I get questions like, “What does your ideal life look like?” or “Where do you want to be in 5 Years?” Questions like that imply that current life is inadequate and I should be striving for something more. What if I’m happy with my life now?

The Problem with Goals

I believe there is some value in setting goals and striving for more, but most goals and bucket list items seem to be superficial and self-serving. I don’t need a better job, more money, an advanced degree, more Twitter followers or a fancy house to be happy.

I don’t need to climb mountains, get lots of stamps in my passport or take up extreme sports. All of that is largely selfish and meaningless. I’m not trying to impress anyone, so why would I chase such silly pursuits?

There are many things I’d like to get more of, such as: health, knowledge and friends. Maybe I’d also like more patience, confidence and tolerance. However, none of those are an end goal, they are all part of how I choose to live my life.

I …

Simple Success Manifesto – My Latest Book

Why I Attend the World Domination Summit

World Domination SummitMy wife and I just had the opportunity to spend another amazing weekend in Portland at Chris Guillebeau‘s World Domination Summit (WDS). Just as last year, I left feeling inspired and transformed. It is truly an amazing experience.

Portland is a beautiful city full of great restaurants and cafes and the conference has many inspirational speakers and workshops, however, the greatest personal value I get is from the opportunity to meet so many talented and motivated people. This is one of the best places in the world to meet with people I’ve known online, connect with old friends and discover new like-minded bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Going to WDS feels like returning home to a small town where every one is friendly and helpful. We all seem to share similar beliefs and it feels like we are resonating at the same wavelength while the rest of the world is way, way out of tune.

It’s great to be around so many people where I don’t have to explain why I live the way I do or why I work towards my crazy dreams. These people get it. These people are my people. It’s the rest of the world that is …

When Disaster Strikes – State of Emergency in Calgary

Calgary Flood Before Photo

Calgary’s Bow River on June 17th 2013

Calgary Flood - Bow River After

Calgary’s Bow River on June 21st 2013

Calgary Floods 2013

Calgary Floods 2013 June 17th

Calgary Flood 2013

Calgary Floods 2013 June 21st

State of Emergency in Calgary

My home city of Calgary and surrounding areas in Southern Alberta are under a state of emergency today. There is mass flooding from heavy rains and run-off of winter snow from the mountains. More than 100,000 people have had to be evacuated. Even the downtown core has had to be shut down. It’s disasters like this that really make me understand what is most important in life.

My wife and I are in Calgary now for the summer, but we are safe. We have plenty of food and water, electricity and internet are working in our area, but a good section of the city has had water, electricity and gas turned off.

Local rivers are at record heights and are expected to stay high for several more days. Roads to the west of the city are flooded over so many people are stranded in neighbouring cities.

There will undoubtedly be hundreds of millions of dollars of damage with many completely losing their homes. Luckily there have only been a few fatalities …