Live A Life You Choose

G+D Newsletter | Weekly on Thursday Morning

Focused around 1 thing: helping you live a better life, however you define it. 

To live a life you choose.

No advertisements. No clutter. 

I’ll never send anything I’d hate to receive myself. 

Managing Expectations

How the skill of managing expectations is one of the most critical to living a good life, and is currently one of your biggest obstacles ** Expectations have a powerful impact on our emotional and mental headspace. The gap between expectations and reality is an overwhelmingly common source of all our woes. We see this personally, socially, and professionally. Personally, we start hobbies we don’t actually have interest in. We fill bookshelves with books we

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Digital Dust

Minimalism, or more specifically “simple living” is a philosophy that focuses on…simplifying your lifestyle. It colloquially centers around reducing excessive material goods, not focusing on the pursuit of material wealth as a source of purpose, and overall living a more virtuous, simple life. I like to think of it as not buying a bunch of random stuff you don’t actually want and not making work the focus of your existential purpose (unless that is what

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What do you mean “get off”?

Among all the clichés and allusions regarding what life is like, my personal flavor is that life is like an amusement park. As a kid you’re experiencing a crazy array of new experiences – good and bad. The fear of a sky-scraping roller coaster, the disappointment of a $12 park lemonade, the sickness of a bag of cotton candy, and the exceeding excitement of stepping into a ride and buckling in. As kids, we have

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Snowstorms

When a blizzard rolls in, snow flurries signify its arrival. The glossy white mist quickly consumes the area, hurling tiny comets across our field of vision. One of the most immediate sensations is effectively being blinded. The snow wisps into our eyes, coating our cheeks and eyelashes – quickly melting and re-freezing. Our eyelashes start to glue together from the ice, and our faces become red and statuesque. The body position I most associate with

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Imperfect Vector

An important distinction I draw in my life is the time before and after I was making truly conscious decisions. That doesn’t separate from accountability, but it does draw a uniquely distinct line between the past few years and the rest of the time I’ve been alive. This distinction helps me when I reflect on how I’ve lived, how I got to this phase of my life, and where I’m consciously trying to go. Key

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A Quiet Breath

“I close my front door and turn on the light…I let out a breath and hold in a sigh” Among the few constants in life, losing momentum might be the most frustrating. The progressive slide back into unwanted rhythms we thought were behind us. Seemingly unending new ways for the ebbs of life to sting us after our lofty highs. Abandoning projects and hobbies we know are good for us – things which make us

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Holiday Homestead – 2020

With the holidays here and very nearly gone, I wanted to share something small I started last year – a holiday playlist. I had hoped to share this a bit sooner and put a little extra curating into it, but falling behind seems to be the trend around G+D these days. Oh well, I suppose. This playlist started when I was listening to a great Spotify original mix of classic Santa inspired tunes. When all

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Flight Risk

Within the first year of my consulting career I was labeled a ‘flight risk’ by the department leadership team. I know this because several managers I was close with told me so. A ‘flight risk’ is someone who has a high probability of leaving the firm for another job. Not passively if offers come up, but actively seeking other opportunities with leaving the current firm being a driving force. This is typically brought on by

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Dream-Crushing and Safety Rails

We’ve all seen or know someone that sucks the energy out of room. Whatever the situation is, you can count on this person taking an overly realistic or boring approach. The person who in that moment, invokes visions of a disgruntled stranger popping a child’s balloon or an internet Karen screaming at retail employees because she has fabricated disrespect. Their mere presence results in an extra mental wall being erected by the rest of us.

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Fading Into The Fog

Why do we lose track of the things that bring us the most joy when things get difficult?   I’ve seen this written in dozens of articles and it’s been confirmed through countless anecdotal conversations, along with my own seemingly endless cycles of first-hand experience. The experience of waking up realizing days or weeks of gone by and you’re losing that rhythm…that edge that you had been cultivating. Sleep cycles feel random and more draining

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Player 1 Press Start

There are single player games and there are multiplayer games. Solitaire and Sudoku are single player games. Monopoly and Scrabble are multiplayer games. This clear separation exists in the video games as well. There are single player driven experiences, which tend to have a strong focus on rich story development and immersion – games like God of War and BioShock. Then there are multiplayer driven experiences which focus on head to head online competition and

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It’s What Has To Be Done

I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot – in podcasts, interviews, and even personal conversations with people I most respect and admire. Maybe it’s a timely coincidence, or maybe for the first time I’m simply appreciating the value within this phrase. Regardless, it’s been rattling around my head the past few weeks. It’s been an ever present force drawing focus to itself and directly challenging how I view work, opportunity, and struggling through new personal

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Float Like A Cloud and Flow Like Water

As I get older, my conversations steer toward “well, what’s next?”.  This is inescapable with the people I am closest to. We discuss work, interests, and aspirations – then riff on what makes the most sense to do or how to make it happen. How to make the right move.  This is highlighted through my relationship with an old consulting buddy. Our careers have always been aligned, and therefore we share a heightened level of empathy and

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Sun’s Coming Up

I’ve been skydiving once. I have a clear recollection of that day and how I continued to process what was happening. The weight of what I had committed to settled in as I drove deeper into endless plots of corn and soybeans. On that drive I realized I didn’t know the name of the skydiving company and had done research vetting reliability. It then registered that our entire friend group was somehow content that the

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It’s So Often Boring…Oh And That Doesn’t Bend That Way

At my first job out of school, me and all the other consultants in my practice were issued our standard Lenovo’s. Model T450 if I remember correctly. Your laptop was a good signifier of your status and/or specialization at the company. The professional elites – Director level types – were given sleeker, lighter Lenovo models – “Yoga”. Besides convenience, the key distinctions were that it was a touch screen, and that the screen could bend

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A Walk Through A Garden Of Eden

There are places that, when traveled to, enhance our experience of life. Fantasies about Michelin rated meals, historic landmarks, and sun soaked beaches – things we plan long in advance to take a break from our day to day lives. Sometimes while on these trips, we have experiences that don’t just add joy to us experiencing life, they help change the way we look at it. The last really big vacation I took was to

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Mjolnir’s Return

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The trend started over 10 years ago with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man has been a wildly entertaining and enjoyable ride. The films have undoubtedly had a positive impact on our social culture in their relatively short existence (while acknowledging how long comic books and supporting media have been around..). Maybe not in a way that has Oscar buzz around it, but in how we can all

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A Rudderless Ship

Patience is a virtue. An aphorism that we have all been told, told to other people, and told to ourselves. Patience and consistency coupled together are a powerful concoction – the makings of greatness. But blind patience is weaponized attrition. It can leave us complacent and apathetic as our life plays on a reel in front of us. Like a vector, patience requires energy and direction to be truly meaningful. For me, patience has typically

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A Way We Can All Be Like Mike

Image Source: The Last Dance   Michael Jordan is synonymous with greatness. I don’t need to give any background because everyone knows who he is. And The Last Dance only reinforced and detailed his achievements. He is the benchmark of hard work, discipline, and talent in a single entity. Everyone always wanted, and will always want, to be like Mike. We live in a world of abundance viewed as scarcity and of opportunity seen as

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You’re Going To Die

Do you remember what it was like before you born? That’s most likely what we’re facing at the end when the lights go out for the final time. Not an experience of everlasting non-existence, just the final flick of a switch to set it back to nothing. I do sometimes find myself hoping I’m wrong – that the serene, rolling landscapes of a heaven turn out to be real. Mostly for the people I care

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Do Your Tools Need An Upgrade or Are You Not Ready?

Reading is one of the single most powerful activities in how it compounds over time. It can increase your ability to focus, expand your understanding of concepts and the world around you, and inspire your mind to become more creative and see the world in new ways. There are 2 key aspects of pizza making from which I draw a parallel to reading: · Quality of ingredients into the oven equals the quality of the

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Living Above The Line

I would have never guessed that a single horizontal line would be one of the most interesting models I learned about. Shane Parrish’s blog Farnam Street (and Podcast Initiative “The Knowledge Project”) is one of the most unique and informative resources I have ever come across. If you have never heard of it, or not made time to check it out, I cannot encourage you enough to go to fs.blog and see what him and

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A Slow Drip

I was so close to not writing this. That last moment where you nod and confirm you’re going to hold of doing something until tomorrow when it was meant for today – I was at that moment and knew I’d regret it if I did it. Today was just a bit busier for me than normal. Waking up early, I made some cookies and headed off to my parents’ house to visit with them –

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4 Helpful Questions

Every day I try to remind myself to ask and answer 4 questions: What are my ultimate goals? What motivates me to be creative? What will stop me from achieving these goals? What can I do about it today? What are my ultimate goals? – It’s helpful to have some clarity on what you’re working toward. If you could snap your fingers and change your reality, what does that desired end state look like? What

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Well, You…No, You Gotta Do More Than That

Image Source: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)   It’s crazy for me to think how much of my time I have spent wondering what to do. I wouldn’t necessarily call it reflecting…it’s always been more of a loud, near constant panic. Trying to figure out what steps I needed to take to get out of my normal day to day life. I would read all the inspirational posts, subscribe to anyone that seemed to have it

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Take The Blame, Take Control

So much of what happens is not our choice or in our control. It makes it exceedingly easy to carry pieces of a passive mindset or victim mindset with us, which in turn only release control further. Things that happen in life, while difficult, are typically completely normal and common, but with a passive mindset they become increasingly oppressive and start to shape our narrative about our own lives. This increasing lack of agency over

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The Caged Hummingbird

I had a dream a couple weeks ago. I can’t recall if it was a daydream or while I was asleep, but I still remember how vivid it was. In this dream I was sitting out on my balcony, looking out a few of the different house plants I have arranged on a small table. One of these plants is essentially a tiny palm tree, about a foot and half big. Looking at the top

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Starting New Habits

There are 24 hours in a day, and you are currently occupying all of them. Even without trying, one way or another the hours get allocated because they must. There is no saving time. There is no redistributing it once the day is gone. And the cycle repeats every 24 hours. Regardless of how prepared we are. It often feels like we’re wasting mountains of time. So much of what we do is relegated to

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They Lied About The Grass

By most metrics, I have a good job. I am compensated competitively, I have an uncommon amount of autonomy and schedule flexibility, and I have very few people I report to and have to interact with. I work at a small business that is technically a start-up, which increases my value and importance to the organization. I have insurance. Vacation days are plentiful. I want so much to be different professionally. I have done everything

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Perspective + Relativity: 2020

When external stresses fundamentally change how we live our daily life, we are forced into a situation of evaluation. We reflect on how severely the change has impacted our lives, what adjustments have to be made in response, and how we will choose to view the world around us in light of this new information. It’s a struggle of choice and perspective that was not requested but mandated. As a particular event grips the world

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Building An Invisible Army

You wake up, bit of a blur. Didn’t really sleep as well or wake up when you had hoped. You throw some clothes on and head out to grab a couple of things before the day starts. Not really paying attention, as you are focused on the task at hand, want to get back to bed, and are watching thoughts on what the day might bring rush through your head. Then something interrupts all that

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A Sense of Togetherness

I saw a close friend of mine for the first time in a comparatively long time and in the myriad of topics discussed, we landed on your impact to other people and social responsibility / courtesy. Whenever we head out into the world, we are making dozens of little decisions. And often unknowingly, we do things that impact other people, their choices, their comfort, and their perspective on the day. In situations where a society

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Capturing Nostalgia

The most beloved products are of good quality, consistent, and make the buyer feel excited about their purchase. The most excitement that can be created is usually linked back to a meaningful story, a connection to a community or an organization, or inspiring a sense of purpose and hope. We all want to trust that once we are in a certain tier of product looking through various brands, we don’t have to worry about quality

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Optimizing Into Fragility

For years my underlying obsession was finding a way to optimize my life and break away from needing to hold down a normal job. To live outside the rigid parameters that corporate culture defines for us. Looking to people I had envied, I identified skills and accolades they carried and worked backwards to assign a daily task for myself. I was convinced that in creating this perfect list of requirements, through sheer Grit, I would

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It’s Everywhere You Look

George Orwell’s 1984 is the first (and so far only) book I have ever read in a single day. I thought it would be good to familiarize myself with a classic that told a story that has been the standard fictional depiction for societies to point to as examples of dystopian and authoritarian progression. It’s a stomach churning read which in the later portions of the story, I found myself unable to look away even

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A Great and Sustained Change

I recently had the realization that I derive the most value from changing and growing as a person. New hobbies, that first bite of a well-executed recipe, realizing how foolish my perspective and actions had been the previous year, and particularly the journey started here with Grit + Dynamite – all these kinds of things help me realize a state of mind I could never describe and thought was only a reward for those that

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One More Year

Time is frequently painted to be both the most precious and villainous energy in the universe. It is invaluable, cannot be created, and no amount of political or financial capital can recapture lost Time. We use it in the literal to describe living in the moment, being present to truly enjoy life; along with the abstract to articulate the curse and unrelenting attrition of Time’s arrow. I find the most consistent struggle I have with

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I Just Want A Glimmer Of Hope

“I just want a glimmer of hope” That’s the only lyric to this song. Echoing throughout the sonic waves of Glimmer. The brief clip of 2 guys speaking about music production (namely the utilization and oversimplification of bass) is a nice capture of one of life’s simplest but purest treasures – conversation. It may also be a commentary from Parker on his own music produced on the album. Regardless, as soon as the discussion ends

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Open Letter from Grit + Dynamite

How to start….hmmm….I guess I can just start? Probably the best way is just to start writing. Yep…just start. I think a lot of people often give that advice – just take action and you’ll find yourself along the way. Seems to be working so far? If you’re reading this – first, thank you for visiting our site! We’re really excited to have you and hope that you find something that brings you back each

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