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For Christmas, I gave Jenny a family portrait drawn by one of my favorite artists. His name is Bump Galletta and I absolutely love his illustrations. (You should check out his work!) In addition to the portrait, he created a video documenting the process. What's interesting is...

This week I took a risk. Instead of launching a book the traditional way, I decided to do something a little outside the proverbial box. If people pre-order Do Over, I email them a digital copy of the book. Not just a part of the book, the whole book. Not just when it comes out on April 7, but right now. Not if they pay extra, but for free. Do-Over-3D-bookshot-with-spineI’ve never seen a publisher give away copies to everyone who orders a book months before it comes out. It’s a risk. What if giving away all those digital copies hurts the sales of digital books? What if the process of delivering them to people doesn’t work? What if people read the book over a two month process instead of all at once in April and the momentum is divided? These are risks, but I was willing to take them because I asked the three questions you should always ask before you take a risk.

Very few people came to the funeral. It was a quiet ceremony without a lot of fan fare. No one spoke at the service because we were all so glad to see it go. Death is never easy but in this case it was, for the funeral was not for a person, but rather a phrase.

(This is a guest post from Casey Lewis. He is awesome and regularly contributes to this site!) Last week we found out that The Lego Movie did not get an Oscar nomination for best animated movie in 2014. Now I personally haven’t seen this movie yet. My 6 year old has, but I just didn’t make it to theaters for this one. As the news broke about this film not getting a nomination, the internet went crazy. Apparently this is a pretty good movie and director Philip Lord was snubbed. While it’s hard to know what exactly happened here, I love Philip Lord’s reaction.

A few weeks ago, I told myself, “I am going to Internet so hard in 2015!” That wasn’t an official goal, but more of a statement you yell at your laptop in coffee shops full of suddenly terrified people who don’t want to sit near the guy who yells at laptops. I thought I was going to blog daily. I was wrong.

I live tweeted the Golden Globes last weekend or last year depending on when you're reading this. (If you're reading from the future, I sure hope we have hover boards.) If you missed it, I think the most popular, deep insight I had about the Golden Globes was this tweet: "I'm going to carry a diamond studded cane but not use it." - Prince. "Why?" - Everyone at #GoldenGlobes "Because I'm Prince." - Prince Changing lives people, I'm changing lives. I definitely gained some new followers, who will be promptly disappointed the next day when I don't continue wry commentary on who wore which gown best, but I also lost a lot.

At least once a week, someone tells me the “successful people myth.” The names change, but the general story is always the same: “Did you hear about Jimmy? He launched an online course/sold a business/raised rabbits in his backyard and made a ton of money. He’d only been doing it for like three weeks. Why didn’t we think to do that? It’s so easy!” The result of that conversation is always the same, I feel like a huge loser. I have arms and legs just like Jimmy. I have access to the same Internet he has access to. Why didn’t I do that? I’m so dumb. There’s a huge pile of cash that everyone knows about except for me. I’m an idiot. Maybe you don’t feel that way, but I promise you’ve heard the “successful people myth” too. It’s not a bad story, but there are three lies hidden in it. Let’s kidney punch each one for a moment:

It's easy to get stuck. In a job. In a relationship. In a project. In those moments, you feel like you're out of options, that the cards have all been played, that the doors are all shut. I've felt that way before. I would say that I felt that way during most of 2014. I'd experienced a big career transition. I'd made a big decision, but I didn't really know what to do next. It wasn't a lack of action. I was in serious motion, but it felt like I was wearing roller skates on an ice skating rink. My arms and legs were flailing about but I wasn't going anywhere.

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of comparing yourself to other people. I said, "Comparison leads to arrogance or shame, but never happiness." A number of people responded and said things like, "but what if it inspires you to step up your game? What if it makes you say, 'If so-and-so can do it, so can I?'" I think the feedback I got helped me see something important, there's a big difference between inspiration and comparison. Seth Godin inspires me. The way he writes, the way he communicates his view of the world, the way he takes risks inspires me. Robin O'Bryant inspires me. I wrote about her in my new book Do Over because when she was told "no" by every publisher she didn't give up. She self published, sold her books out of her trunk and eventually hit the New York Times Bestsellers list. Those are two, of the many, people who inspire me, but inspiration is not the same thing as comparison. Let's look at some of the differences:

At what age do you stop having nightmares about college? Because I'm apparently not that age yet. The details are always the same. I've skipped class all semester but suddenly showed up for the day of the final. And it's one of those classes where 100% of your grade is based on the final. I start to sweat and run to the administration building to drop the class, but I've missed the cutoff. It's too late! Then I wake up. Have you ever had that particular nightmare? The other one I sometimes have is about writing research papers. When I was in college, nobody had personal computers, instead we had personal hells called "Computer labs." These stress chambers were rooms, often located in windowless spaces in the library basement, that contained the most temperamental computers ever built. You never knew if they were going to work or if the printer would jam or worst of all, if you'd actually get one when you showed up in the lab. The worst feeling was walking through that door and realizing all the computers were already taken by other people who were better prepared than you.

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