When he sees your Story but doesn’t ‘like’ your picture

On a Monday afternoon last month a freshman walked into the weight room and said to me, “Why didn’t you write a blog post today?”  It was the first day I didn’t write one in a long time. She went on: “The first thing I do every morning is grab my phone and check for your blog post.”

Try this: for the next two weeks don’t post anything to Instagram. No pictures, no stories, then see if anyone asks why you haven’t been active in the past two weeks. If they don’t ask then they don’t miss your content. If they don’t miss it it’s not good enough. Make it better.

To hell with views and ‘likes.’ Make beautiful things.


Don’t be a d***

Apologies for the lewd title, but I had to get your attention.

This week I heard faculty and staff members talk behind each others’ backs, argue, and actually give attitude to their bosses.

This week I heard student-athletes talk behind each others’ backs with alarming frequency, tweet things about other people they’ll regret in five years, and be openly defiant to authority figures.

You’ve seen the same things this week. Somehow we’ve come to consider this behavior normal. It isn’t.

When asked his advice on how to build a world-class network Tim Ferris said, “Don’t dismiss people, don’t be a dick, and don’t rush. Play the long game.” All the above behaviors are examples of playing the short game: it feels good in the moment but leads nowhere. At worst it leads backwards.

It’s amazing how far you can get by being nice.

[On March 10 I’ll be the opening speaker at Buffalo State’s Strength and Conditioning Conference. Registration is only $25 for students and $90 for professionals before March 2. It’s a great way to start building your network.]

[Today is the last day to sign up for my winter break e-mail list on the five routines I follow every day to feel energetic, creative, and productive. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. tonight.]

Why some girls are mean

Think about the last time you were mean to someone. Same reason.

It’s pointless to spend time wondering why some girls are mean. Some girls are looking for a fight, and nothing you say or do will change their posture.

Your time is better spent considering how you can be more empathetic in your very next interaction, because you have been mean before too.

A special announcement for winter break

Winter break is five weeks long. Those five weeks can be productive, creative, and fun, or they can be boring, repetitive, and purposeless. It depends on the routines you follow over those 35 days.

For the next five weeks I will publish five articles about the five routines I follow each day in order to feel energetic, creative, and productive. One article will be sent each Friday by e-mail. They won’t be published publicly.

If you want to receive these articles type your e-mail address into this Google Form:


I will never use your e-mail address to spam you, though you’ll be the first to know if I ever do something like this again.

The deadline to register is this Friday (12/15) at 11:59 p.m. The first article, titled “My morning routine” will be sent out on December 22nd.

To a healthy, energetic holiday.

Your engagement ring

Diamonds are not forever. As a symbol of eternal love, “diamonds” were invented in 1938 by the De Beers corporation.

De Beers launched a nation-wide ad campaign that year claiming the only way for a man to show his affection was to spend two months’ salary on a small gem. Two months’ salary was intentionally selected by De Beers to increase profits.

This wouldn’t matter if diamonds were actually valuable, but they aren’t. As De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said in 1999, “Diamonds are intrinsically worthless.” Diamonds are not rare at all–De Beers just happens to have a global monopoly on diamond mining, allowing them to restrict supply.

The punch line: diamonds have almost no resell value. De Beers doesn’t want it back.

By all means, if a $5,000 engagement ring brings you $5,000 worth of happiness, go for it. But first make sure you’ve thought deeply about what happiness is.

(h/t Adam Conover)

On therapy dogs and final exams

One potential problem with final exams week is that there are too many final exams.

I spent all weekend studying for my Victorian Literature final. The professor set up the exam brilliantly: he gave us five essay questions to study for and we could only reference one author per question. We were forced to go through a semester’s worth of material to make connections between the texts we studied. I learned a ton while studying.

[side note–notice that everything important happens during the studying, not during the exam itself or the grade thereafter.]

I don’t know if I would have learned as much if I had five finals to study for. The problem isn’t the stress per se; the problem is that the overwhelm impedes learning.

But a second potential problem with final exams week is that students today can’t cope with the stress of final exams.

This was the opinion of a student-athlete when I brought the question to her attention. She showed me this video about millennials’ ability to cope with stress, which we spent the next ten minutes watching. It made me think more deeply about the question.

Either way, if you have to bring in “therapy dogs” for your students during final exams week you probably have a larger issue to deal with.

[side note–this isn’t to say that bringing in therapy dogs isn’t a great idea. After all, they’re really, really cute.]

“I’m huge”

Last week after a training session a female athlete wanting to weigh herself got off the scale and said, “I’m still huge.”

She’s not looking for someone to point that she’s not huge. She knows that.

She’s looking for someone to look her straight in the eye and say, “You’re beautiful.”