How Scrooge’s Haunting Will Make You Change Your Life, Too

You might need more than one night, though.

Most stories involving time travel hold that time is non-deterministic: a small change in the past can amplify over time and drastically change the present. Some, like Doctor Who, believe it’s deterministic: there are fixed events which are unavoidable, though the path between them may vary a bit.

Until we can get a DeLorean up to eighty-eight miles per hour, we’re not going to know which theory is correct. But this is exactly the answer that Ebenezer Scrooge implores of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:

“Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

Scrooge correctly reasoned that there would be no point in the spirits exploring his past, present, and future unless the experience was a warning and an education. “I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!”

It was the perfect combination of past, present, and future. It was exactly what Scrooge needed to change. It’s what you need make the same kind of powerful transformation in your life.

Photo © Disney.

The Time Travel Mistake that can Secure Your Destiny

Small changes have a powerful impact over time

In Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, Eckels hires Time Safari, Inc., to take him back to the Late Cretaceous to hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When he faces his quarry, he loses all bravado and panics. He leaves the path, steps on a butterfly, and alters the present-day. Words are spelled differently. The other candidate won the election.

McCoy steps through the Guardian of Forever and stops Edith Keeler from being hit by a car. Keeler delays the US’s entry into World War II, Germany wins, and the Federation ceases to exist mid-sentence.

Marty McFly saves his father from getting hit by a car (different car) and almost erases himself from existence. Barry Allen saves his mother from getting killed when he was a child and… you get the picture.

It’s a trope of science fiction. Time travelers are always concerned about changing the present by making some small change in the past, but we never think that we can seriously change the future by making some small change today.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / eugenesergeev

Are You Short on Time, Money, or Energy?

And what will you do when you have all three?

There are three things you need in order to do anything, whether it’s productive work or having fun: time, energy, and money. If you have all the time, energy, and money in the world, you’re unstoppable. You can do anything you want.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably lacking at least one of those three. (I’m writing it, and I know I am.)

Which one we’re lacking varies from day to day and sometimes over the course of a day. Thinking in broad strokes, each one of them takes a turn being generally scarce as we go through life. Thinking in really broad strokes, they line up with the second, third, and fourth vicennia of life.

6 Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

All sleep is not created equal.

According to the National Institute of Health, we need 7–9 hours of sleep each night. On average, we get only 6.8 hours.

This isn’t sustainable.

After being awake for 17–19 hours, you’re functioning with the equivalent of a 0.05% blood alcohol concentration. Your reaction times are down and you can’t think clearly. You would never show up to work drunk, so why do we regularly show up just as impaired and ineffective from chronic lack of sleep?

With only 168 hours in the week, ambitious goals, and an ever-increasing barrage of distractions, it’s tempting to skimp on sleep and get a little more done. This is a trade-off with modest short-term benefits and disastrous long-term effects on our productivity, our health, and our relationships.

No matter how busy we get, we have to protect our sleep. Here are six tips to get to bed on time and get the best sleep possible.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / olly

How To Make Your Weekend Work For You

Re-create yourself for the coming week

You probably spend a fair amount of time planning your big vacations. How do you get there? Where will you stay? What will you do while you’re there? What will you take with you?

It would be crazy to show up at the airport without all these details thought through in advance. Nobody shows up at the airport with just the clothes on their back to ask where the next available flight is headed.

That would be a memorable—if not enjoyable—vacation.

Do you give your evenings and weekends the same amount of thought?

You should, if you want to live the best life you can.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / Dasha Petrenko

Embrace the Freedom of Missing Out

Think of missing out as creating margin in your life.

Over 2,600 hours of new podcast content is published every day. That’s 110 seconds of content produced every second.

Now, I love listening to podcasts while I walk or drive. They’re a phenomenal way to stay up-to-date. I subscribe to about thirty podcasts, but I don’t listen to every episode. I can’t devote 35–40 hours (over a fifth of my week) to staying current on every one.

By consciously choosing to miss out on some of the episodes—no matter how good they are—I’m giving myself the freedom to fill that time with something better.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / goodluz

The 15-Yard Penalty That Will Strengthen Your Character

When you knock them down, help them to their feet.

I’ve been a Broncos fan as long as I can remember. It started out as cheering for the underdog. Then they won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII and they weren’t the underdogs any more. They’ve had good years and bad years. Win or lose, they’re my team. (Though, of course, I prefer it when they win.)

Like any good fan, I’ll yell at the refs when they get a call wrong and accuse them of favoritism. I’ll cheer when luck turns against the other team—and when luck goes our way? Why, that wasn’t luck—we were prepared and we were ready!

When there’s incontrovertible proof of an infraction against us, I’ll begrudgingly accept the penalty. But this week, I cried foul before the ref ever reached for the flag. I was glad they saw it and called it against us.

Photo courtesy of and © the NFL/CBS Sports

Why the Bison Faces Left (and You Should, Too)

Don’t run from a challenge; face the storm!

Have you ever wondered why the U.S. flag on the right shoulder of a military uniform has the union (the stars) on the right side? It looks backward if you’re not used to it.

The proper display of the U.S. flag puts the star field at the position of highest honor. On a stationary display (like mounted on a wall), it’s the top-left corner as you’re looking at it. (Usually—there are exceptions.)

When displayed on a moving object, the position of highest honor is on the leading side, so star field is positioned at the front. This gives the appearance that the flag is waving in the breeze as the object moves forward. (Picture the flags mounted on the front of a diplomatic limousine.)

This is why the flag on a soldier’s shoulder might seem backwards—it’s how the flag would fly if the soldier were running forward, into battle. It’s also why the bison on the Wyoming state flag faces left. It faces into the storm.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / railwayfx

5 Times You Need to Push Pause

Getting the right things done requires taking regular time-outs.

When my children are watching a movie and we need them to take care of something outside of the room, they have one request: pause it.

It’s a fair request—they don’t want to miss Elsa building her snow castle. They know the words better than Idina Menzel, but they’re still as engaged as the first time they watched it.

I’m not sure this is something we ever really outgrow. We like results. We like progress. We like setting up goals and projects and ticking off little boxes and relish that sense of satisfaction at the end. Ah, dopamine!

Being productive is good. It’s how we create value. But there are times where we need to step back and push pause so we can take care of something else.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / Sergey Nivens