Listening to him talk was like panning for gold. He’d go on for hours, mostly about himself, or about one of his new girlfriends that were half his age. We used to work together.

Each morning, he’d drive up an hour late in his Porsche convertible, wearing some terrible Tommy Bahama shirt. He’d call me into his office and I’d sit there, sifting through miles of mud and needless chatter before anything that resembled relevance would shine through. But when it did, it was gold.

Despite the constant river of sh*t flowing out of his mouth, he managed to come up with one great idea a year. The board members knew that if they were patient, eventually one of his long winded ramblings would produce something golden.

We’ve all heard how it’s the getting past failure that leads to success. That overcoming hardship keeps us strong and resilient. It’s the highs and lows of life that hold the answers.

But what about the time spent in the middle? The seemingly useless chatter of the world. What lessons hide in the ether of everyday monotony?

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The best way to accomplish big things while keeping life balance is by creating rituals. All the greats had some form of a ritual in order to produce work and keep (somewhat) sane. Whether or not realize you it, you have rituals in place now. Some help you and some are probably setting you back.

Daily Rituals is a collection of the world’s best writers, artists, and creators daily habits. It’s “how they create (and avoid creating) their creations.” I keep this book nearby for finding new ideas and as a reminder that I’m not alone in the struggle to make time to create.

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When I opened my eyes this morning, I looked over at the corner of the room and took a deep breath. It was the corner near the fireplace, where for the last two weeks, I sat, crossed my legs, and closed my eyes for twenty minutes of mindful meditation.

Now, some people may still consider meditation as a strictly spiritual practice. Something reserved for chakra juggling mystics after new moon parties. However, tons of scientific research credit meditation and mindfulness with reducing anxiety, improving cognition, and decreasing distraction.

In a world where external stimuli chase us down like an avalanche, a mindfulness practice can be a beacon in the snow storm.

Craving the benefits of this so-called bicep curl for the brain, I had enthusiastically committed myself to a 30-day mindful meditation challenge. This morning would have been day 18.

I sat in my corner, felt the heat of the fireplace and wiped the sleep from my eyes. Eager to begin my cerebral scrub down, I set the timer. That’s when it hit me—yesterday came and went, and I didn’t meditate.

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