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4 Tactics For Becoming an Unconventional Tourist

The following is a guest post. My love of unconventional travel started when I was 12 years old. My dad had decided that, of all the ways to spend Christmas, we should go on a cycling tour around Cuba. And so we did it. We figured out how to...

I Hate Hair: Reasons Why Shaving Your Head Skyrockets Confidence

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Aron James: Hair loss is something that happens to our grandfathers. It is the sign of the wisdom that comes with old age; a rite of...

How to Be a Solo-Female Hiker: Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes shares how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Hayley Turner (a.k.a. Little Foot): I can still remember everything about that day, from waking up and walking 12 miles by noon, the dogs...

Do You Really “Find Yourself” When You Travel?

"I know this sounds cliché, but I have to ask—do you really 'find yourself' when you travel?" the girl asked me. Her young friend crouched next to my table, gently stroking the cats as they slept. Café Neko is a small coffee shop in Vienna that allows cats to wander...

When Not Everything Goes as Planned, It Still Goes: A Story About Finding Your Passion

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Jen: As a kid, I was told that I was lucky that I already knew what I wanted to do with my life. From age four, I knew I wanted to be...

The Digital Nomad’s Roadmap – A Complete Guide: Successfully Live, Work, and Travel Anywhere

So you wanna be a digital nomad. I’m not surprised: the future is bright for freelancers and location independent workers. Statistics show 40% of Americans will be contingent workers by 2020. That’s a lot of potential for digital nomads! Yet there’s no hands-on guide...

Limitations: Why the 9–5 Job Doesn’t Need To Stop You

Over the years I’ve had a number of conversations with people who talk about cool things they want to do, see, or make. A lot of these conversations end with “Well, I’d love to do it, but unfortunately I have XYZ,” and many times those XYZs are very valid limitations...

Stealing Second Base: From Side Gig to Self Employed Full Time

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world. Enter Katherine Stimson: “You can’t steal second base with one foot still on first.” In the spring of 2010, a Facebook ad posted by a total...

Dreams Are Like Pirate Treasure: Hard to Find, But Worth the Risk

All dreams start somewhere and typically, no matter the size of the overall dream, most dreams start small. Let’s say yours is to feel better at work every day. You focus on sitting up straight in week one. Week two finds you taking a 10-minute walk at lunchtime. Week...

Do Things Your Way (Or, What Is A Decision?)

Decisions are incredibly personal. We each make a million a day and tend to live with the consequences. Both of our own decisions, and that of those around us.


The Nature Of Decisions

There are big decisions, there are small decisions.

There are decisions that become routine, such as eggs and toast for breakfast. There are decisions that catch you off guard and find you caravaning off to foreign countries or uprooting your entire lifestyle for the sake of a whim.

But sometimes, you go to the grocery store because you ran out of eggs.

You catch sight of a flyer advertising something you always want to try.

A week later, you sign up for classes.

Your confidence increases as you take your newfound interest to the streets. You find yourself involved taking different risks. You find yourself meeting new and interesting people.

Your new network opens new doors.

Your life takes a 180° because you ran out of eggs one day. 


You Make The A Difference

Your life is not a book to fall asleep to.

Buying more eggs and selling everything you own seem wildly disconnected, but you can never tell which decision will take you to that next page. Or which page will take you to the next chapter.

But if you don’t keep reading, you’re never going to know. If you’re not willing to pay attention to the story, you’re going to get stuck re-reading the same page over and over again because you didn’t really take in what was happening. You try to move on, only to get lost and confused. So you read the same page again.

We’ve all done it while we’re laying in bed, falling asleep.

Your life is much more than a book to fall asleep to. You’ve got to wake up. Focus. Pay attention. Drink some caffeine if you must.

Play an active role in moving forward.


Decisions Are Opportunities You Take

You can’t control what opportunities are available to you. Sometimes you’re the wrong person, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

More often, you’re not taking the opportunities that are available to you.

Maybe you’re distracted by a shinier opportunity just out of reach. Maybe you weren’t paying attention to the opportunity at hand. Maybe you were too focused on a page 3 chapters ahead (or a terrible page from several chapters behind) that you forgot to look at the page you were on.

Sometimes opportunities fall in your lap. Sometimes opportunities have to be sought out. It’s a mix and match game, entirely unpredictable.

Decisions are what you do about opportunities big and small.


Plans Are Guesses, Life Is Unpredictable

At the end of the day, your decisions can only take you so far.

Your plans will help guide your decisions. Your life mission will help shape your plans.

But your plans are just guesses. We evolve, circumstances change, people come and go, life happens. You can’t predict all of it. You have to be willing to change direction and make a new guess.

You make the decisions you can handle today. That’s all you can ask of yourself.

Do the best you can with right now.


Action And Inaction

Both action and inaction are decisions. Doing something and choosing not to do it are both decisions.

Which type of decisions will you make?

At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with them.



1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Nice words of reassurance. I’m making a copy of this to refer to it when I get frustrated. I liked “Your life is much more than a book to fall asleep to. There really is no wrong or right way of doing things. Some people are just a bit more relaxed at the game table.


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