bin-packme

How to Use MakeSpace Like a Surprisologist

We are always on the look out for new ways to spread surprise (the best ideas are typically waiting around for us in plain sight) so we were delighted to make friends with the folks at MakeSpace (a super easy, super fun service to store your stuff and keep track of it). Here are my favorite 6 tips to create surprise…

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Bubbles

Keep Your Child Eyes

On my way home today, I encountered a toddler stumbling down a hill with all her 2-year old might and screaming: “wowwww!”Then she spotted a tree, stopped, and whipped her head back to stare at it: “wowww!” She ran her fingers across a rusty fence: “wow wow wowww!” It made me smile. Everything surprised and…

dream

Dream the Life

The other day a wonderful former co-worker of mine congratulated me on living my dream. It was sweet and startling. I’m always telling people to live their dreams, but somehow it never occurred to me that I have been living mine. If what I’m really doing is “living my dream,” then let me tell you…

gift

Surprise Etiquette

This is a question I wrestle with often: to surprise or not to surprise? Surprise intensifies emotion, making something pleasant super pleasant and making something unpleasant double plus unpleasant. Like this: No Surprise Version: Tim: What would you like for your birthday, Tom? Tom: A hundred dollars. [Fast forward to Tom’s birthday] Tim: Hey, Tom,…

memory

Invest in Your Memory Portfolio

I often find myself in a tug of war between doing what’s best for my moment and what’s best for my future. Savor an extra piece of chocolate now or avoid the temptation and feel healthier later? Go on a walk with my dog now when the weather is beautiful or stay in the Work…

scriptease

Do a Scriptease

The weather is finally getting warmer. It’s the perfect time of year to experiment going script-less. Observe: Here’s a real conversation my dear friend David Burk had with a Zappos customer service agent, Ian H, because David’s shoes were shipped to the wrong address and signed for by “Customer lady.” Ian H.: I understand. We…

toilet

Get Unspoiled

I’ve used a lot of different toilets in my day. As a kid in Ukraine, I was well-acquainted with toilet 1.0: four walls surrounding a hole in the ground (also known as the outhouse). I also had my share of stall-less public toilets (like the kinds in Sochi that shocked much of the developed world). Thanks to…

time

The Ultimate Time Hack

I was about four years old when it hit me that I was running out of time. It’s one of my earliest and most vivid memories. I was jumping up and down when that horrifying realization pinned me to the ground: every single day I will have less time. Less time to jump, to think,…

dictionary

Overhaul Your Vocabulary

Recently, when working on our book, I bumped into a thought that I can’t seem to get around: OUR VOCABULARIES NEED AN OVERHAUL. About 18,000 words into the book, I realized I was struggling to find words that capture individuals who are comfortable with changing their minds and refraining from jumping to conclusions. Rummaging through…

bored

Turn Dull into Delightful

Most of us spend at least 8 hours a day working. This includes schoolwork, housework, and every other activity that ends in “work.” As a high-functioning workaholic (yes, I work in the bathroom), I’ll be the first to tell you that this isn’t a bad thing. Psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi agrees. He found that people actually tend…