The Uncommon Life

Uncommon sense for an unconventional life

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The 3 tiers of personal & professional life – Where compensation & liberation collide

The 3 tiers of personal & professional life – Where compensation & liberation collide

Posted by in Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle Design | 0 comments

Common: Recognizing there are different jobs that carry with them different responsibilities and compensation structures, but assuming that most work exemplifies the same relationship between time, skillsets, and flexibility.

Uncommon: We’ve all heard of the “climbing the corporate ladder” but that is merely one metaphor in a larger system of upward mobility… not just in the economic sense (although that is part of it), but also in the sense of lifestyle freedom and flexibility.

I’ve come to recognize 3 important tiers or stages of both personal and professional life … where compensation and personal freedom collide depending on how one develops their UVP. In other words, these tiers show the correlation between one’s time and personal assets (knowledge & personality) and their compensation … and consequently, the type of life they lead.

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2012 in review

2012 in review

Posted by in ALL posts, Lifestyle Design | 0 comments

It has proven to be true for me: Every year appears to pass faster than the previous year. I felt ambushed by January 1, 2013. Maybe you can relate.

If you’re a regular Uncommon Life reader you’ll know that each year I reflect on the previous year. The process helps me internalize lessons learned and appreciate progress that I would otherwise overlook while setting my sights on new goals in projects.

A quick glance at my 2011 review reminds of what an incredible year that was for me. Thankfully, I don’t use previous years as a yardstick for the next. As a TUL reader posted on the last post, I too find that approach more overwhelming than inspiring. Instead I set out to create an entirely new adventure for the New Year.

There are many ways to reflect and review life, but I tend to begin the process with two simple questions:

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The perils of personal progress

The perils of personal progress

Posted by in ALL posts, Fear & Risk, Lifestyle Design, Practical Philosophy | 17 comments

Common: Attempting to play “the game” better than the person next to us.

Uncommon: We all want to consider ourselves a “winner” — to be great at something—and to have someone recognize that greatness. But embedded in this thought process is the belief that greatness is measured on a comparative scale and that fulfillment follows closely behind such accomplishments.

I call BS on both accounts. As I’ve written earlier, success has nothing to do with being part of an “elite” group. Instead of trying to play the game better than other participants, the happiest, most innovative and “free” individuals I’ve met work to change the game itself. They operate by rules that change the rules.

A friend of mine, Charlie Hoehn, not only believes this is true, but his life is an eminent example of this theory in practice. Charlie is a true “uncommoner.” He’s travelled the world, spoken at TEDx Carnegie Mellon, written the highly popular manifesto Recession Proof Graduate, and has worked closely with many Mavericks such as Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Ramit Sethi, and Tucker Max. You can learn more about him here.

Along his relatively short (still in his mid twenties) but admirable journey through life, Charlie has learned that if you get stuck playing the wrong game with the wrong yardstick, progress itself becomes a liability (Tweet this quote). But I’ll let him take it from here…

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The unreasonable power of embracing paradox – How uncommon results are birthed

The unreasonable power of embracing paradox – How uncommon results are birthed

Posted by in ALL posts, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle Design, Practical Philosophy | 2 comments

Common: The belief that the path to great success is paved with compromises.

Uncommon: It’s my hope that this post unravels this common assumption about success because, left unaddressed, it becomes a subtle psychological gash that hemorrhages one’s hope (and chances) of producing extraordinary results.

I believe most readers of this blog want to experience an uncommon life of their own making. But such a pursuit is often met with common advice that, well, leads to a very common life. If you’ve shared your “unreasonable” ambitions with the world, then chances are you’ve likely encountered counsel that fits the following model:

In order to get ‘x’ you must be prepared to give up ‘y.’

It’s the classic case of a false dichotomy — the misleading presentation of a situation in which only two alternatives are offered. We’re taught that we can have one OR the other, but never both.

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A recent collection of artfully uncommon musings

A recent collection of artfully uncommon musings

Posted by in ALL posts, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle Design, Practical Philosophy, Productivity | 0 comments

I know, my recent absence has been abominable. But I have not been MIA without taking my creativity with me.

In fact, I’ve actually been quite busy creating and sharing thoughts for an uncommon life.  Those who subscribe to my other blog, Maxims4Mavericks, know exactly what I’m talking about.

Roughly three times per week I have been sharing concise advice alongside a colorful, thought-provoking image — or as I call it, “paradigm bending pop-art.”

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The ‘exchange of value’ solution – And something you may not know about me

The ‘exchange of value’ solution – And something you may not know about me

Posted by in ALL posts, Fear & Risk, Lifestyle Design, Practical Philosophy | 1 comment

Common: Listening to advice and temporary barriers that bury inner passions.

Uncommon: If you’ve read my work before you’re probably aware of my past in publishing, writing, public speaking, and if you know me really well, my real estate endeavors. But there is another part of my past that you probably don’t know about.

I love drawing and design. A lot.

I’ve designed most everything having to do with Cool Stuff Media, Inc., The Uncommon Life, and Maxims for Mavericks. What most people don’t realize is that this love for art began at a young age conquering coloring books and sketch books with an unusual fervor.

I wasn’t a natural born prodigy, but I was committed – and passionate. As a young teenager and mediocre academic student, I clung to my interest in art for creative stimulation. The pages of my schoolbooks were barraged with sketches and fictional company logos. Despite my math teacher’s disenchantment with my artistic efforts, my passion and tenacity began to pay off.  In high school, to my complete surprise, I experienced national success and recognition for my efforts in art and design classes.

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