How to write your way to freedom, cultivating stillness, and how to make better decisions

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

​Insight 1: Write your way to freedom

In 2020, I forever left the therapy world and ventured into entrepreneurship (without any idea how to run a business).

Entrepreneurship represented freedom from bureaucracy, shitty bosses, and bullshit dress codes.

I wanted to run my own business as an executive coach, but had never done it before. I’d done therapy for years, but I’d only ever been allowed to help people survive, to become “subclinical.” I’d never been allowed to help them flourish. It’s a slightly different skillset, and I wanted to make sure I did it right.

So I invested thousands of dollars and months of my life to get certified to do executive coaching (collecting more techniques on top of the 12 years I’d spent getting a doctorate in psychology) and was ready to go out and conquer the world with all my newfangled skills.

But then I hit a brick fucking wall…

I realized I had no idea how to get clients, position myself in my niche (let alone know what my niche was), build an audience, put my ideas out into the world, and knew virtually no one outside the therapy world I’d decided to leave behind.

I was sitting on a powder keg of potential with no way to light the fuse…

Learning how to write well helped me light that fuse.

Here’s a quick article on how I’m writing my way to freedom, and how you can do the same.

​Insight 2: Cultivate stillness

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be alone with your thoughts?

Most people spend their entire lives jumping from one distraction to another purely because they can’t handle being alone with their thoughts.

Either because their thoughts are intrusive and run wild, or because deep down, they don’t like who they are.

But here’s the thing…wherever you go, there you are.

It sounds like a Dr. Seuss quote, but it’s powerful.

You can’t escape you.

Every room you enter, you carry your thoughts with you.

So if you can’t bear those thoughts, you’ll spend every waking moment trying to distract yourself from them.

But inspiration, creativity, and breakthroughs come from moments of stillness.

Want to know why you haven’t made progress in a while?

You’ve probably been in reactive/distraction mode too long.

If you want to practice cultivating stillness, so you can tap into creativity and stop running from yourself, try out this exercise.

​Insight 3: Learn when to explore and when to enjoy

How do you when to explore new opportunities, and when to double down on existing one?

When it comes to exploring, curiosity and wanderlust are adaptive.

But Shiny Object Syndrome and FOMO aren’t.

How do you tell the difference?

When it comes to doubling down, contentment is when we’re satisfied with what we have.

But complacence is when we’re afraid to take action.

How do you tell the difference?

This Farnam Street article walks you through a few mental models to help you strike the right balance between exploring new opportunities and enjoying what you’ve already done.

​Question for the Week

What is one habit you could add to your routine this week that takes less than 10 minutes a day?


  • Reading
  • Walking
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • 30 jumping jacks in the morning
  • Practicing mindfulness while making your morning coffee/tea

Each of these allows you to cultivate stillness, explore your creativity, and focus on being proactive instead of reactive.

​Coaching Corner

Today’s question comes from Matt:

“I’ve never had a coach. In your opinion, what is the main benefit they bring?”

It depends on what you’re looking for from a coach, but overall, here are the most common benefits/reasons people hire a coach…

A great coach helps you:

  • Think bigger
  • Get out of your own way
  • Overcome limiting beliefs
  • Hold yourself accountable
  • Stay focused on taking meaning action forward

Fundamentally, coaching is about facilitating transformation by leveraging human psychology to help people reach their potential.

Some people come to coaching because they want help balancing the long-term vision for their company with short-term execution items to get there.

Some people want help identifying blind spots, self-sabotaging behaviors, or limiting beliefs keeping them from reaching their potential.

Some people just want a thought partner—a neutral third party person they can bounce ideas off of and who will call them on their bullshit (many business leaders are surrounded by “yes-men,” so struggle to have a psychologically safe environment to be honest and get honest feedback.

The right coach can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

Which is why world-class coaches who are effective at helping their clients get results make top-dollar (high-level coaches charge anywhere from $500-$3,500/hour).

Got a question you want me to answer here?

Share Your Insights

Know someone who’d love this content? Share it with them!

My goal is to help people be more intentional with how they live, work, and create.

So if you enjoy Building Blocks, I’ll be forever grateful if you help me spread these insights by sharing this issue with one other person you think would find it valuable.

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Until next time—memento mori,


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