Tag Archives: Excellence

What Are You Fighting For?

So many of us go through life without really considering what will give us a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. We have been conditioned to go to school, get a good job, buy a big house and lots of material possessions. All we have to do is work for 40 plus years until retirement to finally enjoy life.

What if that is not enough? Do your possessions make you happy? Or, do they just take away your time and money from what is important? Personal satisfaction and life fulfillment are not found at the shopping mall or on TV.

In a previous post, I outlined some of the key characteristics of an excellent life. I believe a big part of finding more meaning and fulfillment in our lives comes from contribution. This animation presents a simple question to ask yourself to ensure you are doing what is most important to you. I hope you enjoy it.

If you enjoyed the video, I would love for you to share it on your own blog or through the social media icons on the left.

What is an Excellent Life?

The current summary tag line of this site is “Celebrating Global Citizens in Search of an Excellent Life.” The pursuit of a better life has been an important focus for me over the last few years, there is an important question which I haven’t really addressed to any great extent –  what is an excellent life? What does it take to be successful, fulfilled or personally satisfied in life?

On your deathbed, when you look back on your life, will you be happy with what you’ve accomplished? That is the ultimate question most of us will ask ourselves. The problem is that the question is too often asked when it is far too late to do anything about it.

The Good Life

I’m a Selfish Person

Travel and living abroad are fantastically enriching experiences on many levels, however, I don’t travel to make the world a better place. I do it entirely to satisfy my own interests.

I also enjoy playing guitar, reading, exercising, eating and other activities that are of no benefit to the outside world. I think that is okay, we all need to follow our own interests and do the things that bring us happiness, but I believe there is …

Forget Jet Setting – Here is a real JetSetCitizen

JetSetCitizen?

I  Made a Mistake

JetSetCitizen is not a very good name for this website. The idea of jet setting to exotic locales, while exciting and romantic, is definitely not the message I want to promote. My idea of a JetSetCitizen is more about being a global citizen and the personal responsibility that requires. Really experiencing foreign cultures and connecting with people around the world can be transformative and enlightening, if you let it.

Travel is Not a Competition

Travelling for the sake of getting passport stamps or crossing items off a bucket list are just other manifestations of our rampant consumerism. Some travellers compete by how many countries they have been to or attempt to regale in tales of how authentic or exotic their experiences are. How different is that from trying to one-up your neighbor’s latest purchase? Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, many of us are keeping up with the Indiana Joneses.

Maximize Profit or Maximize Good

We have been sold the idea that we have to produce and consume more to ‘advance.’ The strength of an economy is measured by growth in total production, whereas other measures like happiness, health, social relationships, clean air, wildlife, access …

The Secret to Finding Your Passion

Papa Roach Concert in Amsterdam

The Secret to Finding Your Passion

Most of us are searching for a life calling that is financially, spiritually, and emotionally rewarding. Wouldn’t it be great to get paid to do what you love? Imagine being excited to get started on Monday morning, rather than dreading the start of another soul killing week. Here is the solution, but first we need some background information.

The Problem with Passion

There are some problems with the popular views of finding your passion, that likely get in the way of finding an occupation you truly enjoy:

1. Not every passion will earn you a great salary.

You might have a passion for watching movies, reading, eating potato chips, shopping, or even drinking coffee. While it is not impossible to earn an income doing those things, it is unlikely. You might be able to find related work, but it definitely won’t be doing the enjoyable part of those activities all day long.

 2. Passion is not enough.

Really enjoying an activity is not enough. For example, you may have a passion for playing guitar, but that doesn’t mean you will automatically become a rock star. You also need the image, charisma, distribution, marketing …

How to Find Happiness in Life

We often hear expressions like “the journey is its own reward,” yet most of us tend to live jumping from one achievement to the next. We often think that everything will be so much better when we graduate, get a job, get a raise, buy our own house, get married, pay off our car, start our own business, or retire. We talk about living for the moment, yet remain focused on the next accomplishment, purchase or life milestone.

Benny Lewis shared this great video recently that puts this in perspective.

Instead of looking for the next mountain to climb or goal to cross off your bucket list, how about just enjoying what you are doing now?

Inspiring TEDx Video of Neil Pasricha from 1000AwesomeThings.com

Neil Pasricha of 1000 Awesome Things

Neil Pasricha of 1000 Awesome Things gave a funny and motivational talk at TEDx in Toronto last fall. He talks about how he started his blog, his book deal and how many amazing things there are in the world to be thankful for.

It is a great presentation and message but I also love how simple his idea was for his blog. The simplest ideas are often the most well received. I talked about big ideas like this in previous posts: Get Rich Quick: Big Ideas for Big Money! and Big Ideas to Make Big Money. The problem is that simple can actually be quite difficult because people tend to be overly critical and dismiss the ideas too early.

It is very hard to do what everyone else is doing and succeed, a simple, yet novel idea is the only way.

8 Months in to Our Anywhere Lifestyle

We are in Istanbul!

We are in Istanbul!

It has been 8 months now that Motoko and I left Japan. We are having a great time with our lives but this is also not an idyllic lifestyle. It is great to be able to see the world and have complete freedom, but we are really starting to miss having a regular routine in our lives. Here is a short summary of our current situation.

We  are in Istanbul

We are currently in Istanbul and loving it here. The hospitality of Turkish people has been amazing. Turkey is very unique in that it is a bridge between European and Middle Eastern cultures.  It is so different then anywhere else we have been but I will write more about the country later.

Our Financial Situation

We haven’t been able to sell our house in Japan because of the terrible real estate market there, so we have been paying bills and a mortgage for an empty house. It would have been nice to get rid of that obligation, but such is life. We are now thinking of spending a few months every year in Japan. Unfortunately, we got rid of all of our furniture so it will …

Lessons in Customer Service from Discount Airline EasyJet.com

Great Customer Service from EasyJet

Great Customer Service from EasyJet

My wife and I have recently taken three EasyJet flights in Europe and were quite impressed with the level of service despite the low cost. We have flown EasyJet and a couple of the other low cost European airlines in the past, but this time we got to see firsthand how the airline deals with customer service problems. To be honest, our expectations were extremely low because we tend to believe that ‘you get what you pay for’ however EasyJet managed to over-deliver.

Here is a list of our EasyJet flights;

  • London to Amsterdam,
  • Amsterdam to Geneva,
  • Geneva to Budapest

The total cost for two of us including two checked in bags was 503 euros (Checked in luggage costs extra). So on average it works out to about 84 euros per flight per person.

What is EasyJet?

EasyJet is a bare bones airline. It can offer cheap flights because it operates extremely cheaply. This means no free drinks or snacks on board. EasyJet uses distant terminals far from the airport center without the connector arms that allow passengers to quickly enter the terminal. There is no assigned seating so passengers have to fight to find …

Life is Good!

Biking in Calgary, Canada

Biking in Calgary, Canada

I have been back in my home country of Canada for about four months, now I have two more weeks to go before I leave again. It has been great to be back home, but I think I enjoyed it more because I know it is not permanent. My wife and I have not made any roots and have not anchored ourselves to a lifestyle we don’t want. The greatest insight I have discovered is that life is fantastic.

Sometimes it is easy to forget just how good we have it. Several friends and relatives have recently undergone major medical surgeries. I have heard many complaints about how far they had to drive to get to the hospital, how long the waiting lists were to get a hospital bed, how many times their surgeries had been postponed, how late the doctor was, etc.

I understand people under-going life threatening operations are under huge amounts of stress and want to get out the hospital as soon as possible, however I think they may be over-looking how lucky they are to be in a rich developed country with amazing technological advances and medical knowledge. Canadians in particular should …

Is it Nature or Nurture that Determines our Talents?

I definitely don't have the Marathon Gene

I definitely don’t have the Marathon Gene

On a recent post on Untemplater.com, I wrote about how I think talent is created, not born. I called the post, You are a Monkey so Stop Thinking You are so Special. I learned a couple of things from the comments, apparently people don’t like being called monkeys and some people place a lot of emphasis on the genetic side of the debate.

Of course genes are important in many circumstances. It is difficult to be a professional basketball player if you are short. It helps to have big hands and feet if you want to be a world class swimmer. Good eyesight is necessary to be a pilot. So yes, genes do shape our future to a degree, but how often does genetic makeup really limit what we can accomplish?

The purpose of the monkey post was to show that since humans have 99.9% of the same genes as chimpanzees, maybe we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on our genetic makeup. The worst part of an over-reliance on nature over nurture is that it causes many people to give up before they even try. “I am tone-deaf so I can’t play musical …