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Live Alive, Not Just a Life: Guidelines for Rebelling Against “Reality”

In: Confidence, Life,

1. Be daring.
True living is more than just keeping your heart beating and a roof over your head. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that is “just how life goes.” There are way more possibilities, and, yes, IT IS WORTH GOING AFTER.

2. Be confident.
We get so upset when others blow off our ideas and desires, but we have no problem doing it to ourselves. Take your ideas, feelings, wants, wishes, yearns & urges seriously: those are your only true guide. Other people have no idea what’s best for you, so stop seeking their validation.

3. Be inquisitive.
Stop doing everything by the book: it’s time to start drafting your own revised edition. Rules don’t always exist in the name of the greatest good; more often than not, they exist because someone wants to establish or maintain power. And that’s just not a good enough reason. 

4. Be deliberate.
Life is a series of choices. You choose every single direction that your life takes. Use that to your advantage.

5. Be brave.
There will be people out there who won’t support what you’re doing. Who cares?

6. Be introspective.
Figure out what you value, and make the necessary changes to align your life with those values. If you value time more than money, stop working 60 hour work weeks. The only way you’ll get more time, is by doing less. (MATH.)

7. Be prudent.
Speaking of money, IT ISN’T AS IMPORTANT AS WE’RE TAUGHT TO THINK IT IS. Money comes, and money goes, and it provides little value itself until you actually exchange it for something that is valuable to you. So, ask yourself that question. What do you value? That’s where the majority of the money you spend should be going.

8. Be zealous.
No one ever won any awards for having good intentions.

9. Be panoramic.
In the scheme of things, if you’re going to be late to work, it doesn’t really matter. If you don’t get an A, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re proven wrong about something, it doesn’t really matter. Relax, and enjoy the ride. Will this matter in 100 years?

10. Be lighthearted.
The world is not judging you as much as you think they are. Most people are too wrapped up in themselves to even notice what you’re doing.

11. Be stimulated.
Perhaps one of the greatest goals we can seek for ourselves is exhilaration. Are you enthralled by your life?

12. Be thoughtful.
Thinking about canceling on an invitation to a friend’s baby shower or birthday party because you have too much work to do?  Don’t. Your friend is more important; work can always be done later. Nothing is that urgent. Relationships, however, are your foundation.

13. Be relentless.
You don’t just need to love yourself; you need to respect yourself, too. And the way you garner that respect is by doing the things you’ve set out to do.

14. Be courageous.
Being content with your life and being proud to call it yours are two different things.

15. Be delighted.
Last but not least, wine should be drank with meals. Preferably Malbec. It’s freaking delicious.

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85 thoughts on "Live Alive, Not Just a Life: Guidelines for Rebelling Against “Reality”"

  1. teevee says:

    I love your writing and the way you challenge people I imagine you rub some people the wrong way, but I find it motivating and a breath of fresh air.

    You cover a lot of my own personal beliefs in this post and am having a hard time thinking of something to contribute.. but if press harder, I would say:

    16. Make It Happen(MIH) Choose to live life with purpose and stick to your goals. And I guarantee that some of the people that thought you were sipping on a little too much bubbly will be inspired to make changes. I have had the pleasure of being thanked by several people that said I have in some small or large way inspired them to make positive changes in their lives BE INSPIRATIONAL!

    1. TMFproject says:

      Yeah! Be inspirational! All on board!

      And me? Rub people the wrong way? Nevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvverrrrrrrrrrr.

      The truth is, if they're being rubbed the wrong way, they're not a good fit for this site.

      As always, thank you for the wonderful comment–hope the hula hooping is coming along! 😉

  2. I think 'Be Panoramic' should be the new sexy motto for the Midwest. And I'm stealing it for uses far beyond your intended meaning because it's fabulous!

    Also, I'm really glad you're not dead. We've renamed the tour the AAACK! tour and it's on for July so you better just figure your life living stuff out and come play (and work in the fun way) with us!

    Also also, respecting yourself is so huge! How can you take care of yourself, really go after what you want and ever feel any satisfaction if you're constantly second guessing your thoughts and actions because of a lack of respect?

    Also also also, have you tried CARMENERE???? Next best thing to forever spinning circles on the beach in a yellow polka dot bikini in the summer sun without getting a sunburn or nauseous.

    1. TMFproject says:

      I think “Be Panoramic” needs to be the motto for the AAACK tour–which I'm assuming stands for Amber, Amber, Ashley, Colin & Kristin? LOL. AAACK!!! I can just see us now recording all of ourselves yelling that into the camera like a bunch of raging, cross-country driving lunatics. And oh, how I love it! July is perfect. Let the good times roll.

      Imagining the yellow polka dot bikini image on the beach just totally made me have the urge to go to the Florida Keys. Don't ask me why, but it's clear that this needs to be a stop on the tour. And yellow polka dot bikinis will be the official uniform. (Man up, Colin!)

      Carmenere is now on my hit list. And you will absolutely be receiving a phone call once I make the hit.

  3. simpleinfrance says:

    Hah . . .we just splurged on an Argentinian Malbec-even though we live in France and it's sacriledge–we just like it!

    By the way, my husband just went through a near-death experience in December. For a few weeks, it did not look good for him. I was distraught, but at least happy at the fact that the two of us had done all kinds of things and had lived–with very few regrets all around. It made the possibility of grieving a lot less complex. It's one thing to be sad your experience is over–it's a whole different story to be caught having never had an experience to begin with.

    One tiny regret we had: I think both of us had been wanting to 'settle down' for a long time. We've done the crazy years of travel etc. Maybe all that traveling and roaming around was a kind of rebellion of sorts–at least after a while. Although, generally speaking, I can think of many times in my life when I set convention aside and was glad I did. I think I'd add: don't be afraid to do something that seems 'normal' or conventional if it's really what you want to do!

    1. TMFproject says:

      That's such a great point to be made–it's more or less being at peace with your life. We know when we're not fulfilling ourselves, and I think it can cause an underlying perpetual guilt that probably manifests itself in horrible ways, like bingeing on an entire Domino's pizza with your right hand and chomping on buffalo wings with your left.

      P.S. Let me know if there are any fantastic French wines I should be hunting for!

    2. Nate says:


      This is the the key:

      “don't be afraid to do something that seems 'normal' or conventional if it's really what you want to do”

      Don't be 'unconventional' just to be unconventional. Be who you are. Are you happy working a full-time job? Great, then do it! Don't worry about what others think or say. Do you hate what you do? Great too! Then spend some time figuring out what you do…or, even better really looking into why you don't like it. A lot of times it's not the job itself….or, better stated, the reason you're unhappy may not be what you think. Examine that.

      At any rate, I'm not sure I really get what's 'normal' or what's 'unconventional.' That just gets into semantics and debate. Just be who you are….that's all.

  4. David Walsh says:

    This is the best thing you've written, which makes it all the more appropriate given the 'last post' hypothetical. “Other people have no idea what’s best for you, so stop seeking their validation. Do what you need to do for you. Be confident.” A-effing-men.

    Here's to living another day to be alive another day. And get your ass to Bangkok – we've got a sangsom bucket with your name on it.

    1. TMFproject says:


      Why thank you, love! Meeting up tomorrow night with Rob Granholm of The Life Design Project and Bobby Fiorentino of BobbySoFamous–I don't know if you know him or not. So wishing you were here in Philly to join us over some Yuenglings. That said, I think that the combination of you & Sean Ogle both in Thailand makes for a very, very convincing argument to hop a plane A S A P!