Doing 5 minutes of stand-up comedy is on my life’s bucket list. I can’t think of anything more terrifying than standing in front of a crowd of people that are watching and waiting for you to make them laugh.

I don’t know what I’d say. I don’t have any jokes!

With stand-up, it doesn’t matter who you are, who you know, or what your net worth is—if you tell a joke that doesn’t work, it’s painful. Painful for you and the audience. I get so uncomfortable watching a stand-up bomb that imagining being the one stage makes me sick to my stomach.

Steve Martin wasn’t actually born standing up, but he did dedicate 30 years of his life to perfecting the art of telling jokes on stage. 10 years of learning, another 10 years of floundering in tiny clubs, and finally, 10 years of growing success.

By 1978 Steve Martin had become the biggest concert draw in stand-up comedy history. By 1981 he walked away from stand-up altogether. His life’s work! He reached the top, looked around, and decided he was ready for something new.

His memoir, Born Standing Up, is a story of perseverance and tenacity. Here are some lessons from the wild and craaazzy guy:

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If you thought everyone you came into contact with today was going to die tomorrow you might choose your words a little differently. Your tone may change. You might even let them pull into your lane after all. I know they didn’t use their signal, but come on, “they’re dying man!”

I pulled into the gas station yesterday and was immediately cut off by a guy in his truck. He took the last spot. I waved my arms, pulled right behind him, got out and demanded an explanation.

I don’t know why I was so ready and willing for confrontation at 7 am but that’s probably a different story.

I slammed my door and said, “What the hell was that man? You cut me off here!”

I could tell by the look of shock on his face he had no idea what I was talking about. He apologized profusely. I was immediately defused. Adrenaline turned to shame.

He got in his truck and happily moved for me. I think he had pity on me. He must have wondered, “Why is this human acting so stressed at this hour?” Maybe he thought today was my last day on earth.

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Hello, beautiful people!

It’s been awhile since I’ve sent out a newsletter, but not because I haven’t missed you. As you may or may not know, I spent 3 months globe-trotting about in South America, but alas, my dance below the equator has ended. I am now in a new home in Ocean Beach, CA.

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In 1796, Italian distiller Antonio Carpano sat down in the summer heat and took the first sip of his latest creation. He just invented a new aperitif. A lighter and sweeter alternative to red wine. He named the recipe vermouth.

For years aperitifs were used before meals to help digestion. The word even comes from the latin word “aperire,” which means, “to open.” But vermouth became an overnight success. It became so popular in Europe that soon a new meaning for the pre-dinner cocktail was born.

Today, the aperitif is an homage to transition. It signals the shift from busy afternoon to relaxed evening. It is a state of intermission—punctuating the space between endings and new starts. The aperitif is the marketing genius behind, “Happy Hour” and the culprit responsible for the phrase, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.”

But the idea of taking a ritual, such as drinking, to punctuate the day goes beyond ice cubes and orange peels.

I recently found myself speeding towards severe cognitive burnout. Too many projects, too little space. The chapters of my day bled into each other. I felt like one long, run-on sentence that scrambles the mind and torments the page.

I needed transitions—alcoholic or otherwise.

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In his fourth book, Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday offers his readers one of life’s most valuable gifts: The chance to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Examining the rise and fall of some of history’s most notable names — Jackie Robinson, Ben Franklin, Alexander The Great, Howard Hughes, to name a few — the book serves as a roadmap to managing the one thing that has ruined countless careers, relationships, and lives — our own ego.

His definition is not meant in the Freudian sense, but as, “an unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition… The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility — that’s ego.”

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