The Way Out is Through (Or: How I Transformed My Relationship with Writing and Love)

The Way Out is Through

Writing has always been excruciatingly painful for me.

It takes me FOR-FUCKING-EVER. My inner critics (yes, plural) doubt me every step of the way. And even after spending hours on one paragraph, I never feel like it’s up to par.

So I gave it up. For 2 entire years.

Yet the DESIRE to write – to express myself, to not just consume content but to also PRODUCE it – that never went away.

So, what’s a guy to do?

Well, I had this vague idea that my relationship with writing would magically transform if I just gave it some time.

That if I became wiser, had some mind-blowing experiences, “figured out” more about life, and did a shit-ton of meditation – in a few years I’d get back to my writing desk and HOLY SHIT, it would all be so different!

I’d be bursting with SO many things to say from all the amazing experiences I’ve had! No more scattered thoughts…my newfound wisdom would automatically produce fully formed, laser-focused paragraphs that would EFFORTLESSLY fly onto the page! My zen state of mind would silence my inner critics and writing would be FUN and FLOWING and OH SO JOYFUL UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS! YAY!!!

Well…two years have gone by.

I’m older. I’m wiser. I’ve had more amazing (and amazingly difficult) experiences. I’ve learned so much more about myself, the world around me. And I’ve done a shit-ton of meditation. So writing should be at least a little, teensy, tiny bit easier, right?

Nope. Hell fucking nope.

It was just as hellaciously difficult, frustrating, and painful as it was 2 years ago. Goddammit.

But those 2 years weren’t wasted. Oh, not at all.

I had spent those 2 years exploring every other avenue. All the possible shortcuts. Every single side street and back alley. And every single one of them, in respect to writing, turned up a dead end.

See, life had given me a beautiful gift.

With a still-burning-desire to write and having exhausted all other options, I was given the timeless, wonderful gift of NO OTHER EFFING CHOICE.

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Mac Apps I Can’t Live Without

Mac Apps

Apps, apps, apps. I love apps. The thought of a new app that’ll make my life more awesome practically gets me salivating.

And why shouldn’t it? These days, so much of our lives exists in the digital realm, we’re practically living in a virtual reality! So discovering a new life-changing app is like gaining a new superpower. You can literally extend your ho-hum abilities in UNLIMITED ways…without having to get bit by a radioactive spider.

So these are the top Mac apps that I can’t live without. The crème de la crème. The apps I’d take with me to a deserted island (which conveniently has a power outlet and wifi, of course).

The apps that without, I’d feel like a mere human weakling…

Focus Booster (Ver. 1.2)

When I sit down to get shit done, this is the FIRST thing I load up. Always. Once I hit that timer and the clock starts ticking, it’s time to begin!

This app is basically a Pomodoro timer that sits on your desktop and counts down in 30 min. chunks. It doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a whole world of productivity junkies who swear by this technique, called the Pomodoro Method. I even wrote a post all about it.

I don’t really use the Pomodoro Method anymore, but this timer is still an integral part of my workflow. It helps me see each task as a doable 30 min. chunk instead of a never-ending hellscape. I’m not strict with it at all – I frequently go over the timer or just hit it again if I want to keep working, but it’s a frequent reminder to take a break and reassess what I’m doing. Subtly, it lets me know how long I’ve been at a particular task. And psychologically, I find myself more motivated when a clock is counting down closer and closer to 0.

Focus Booster has since been updated and made a lot fancier, but I still prefer their older version, which was smaller, simpler, and less obtrusive. You can download Ver. 1.2 over here.

Flycut (Clipboard Manager)

Holy shit, guys! GUYS! If you’re a huge copy & paster like me, this one’s a gamechanger!

It basically stores your last 20 copy & pastes (or however as many as you want) so you can bring any of them back with a quick click or keystroke. It doesn’t sound like much but not a day goes by where I don’t use this! Just try it and I swear you won’t be able to go back copy & pasting like some peon.

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Why Kauai is the Perfect Antidote to Big City Living


I thought I’d stop in for 2 months. Maybe 3 months, TOPS. Then I’d pack my bags and jetset to another exciting location.


Nine months later, I was BARELY able to tear myself away. I had friends and family who I needed to see on the mainland, but now it felt like I was abandoning family on the island!

Kauai had become more than just a quick stop along my travels. This tiny, gorgeous island had become home.

And more than that, it had become an antidote. A cure. To years of big city living.

See, I didn’t even realize it, but living in big, abbreviated cities (LA, SF, NYC) had worn me down. Life felt static. Disconnected. Routine. I was constantly plagued by something’s-missing-but-I’m-not-quite-sure-what. And it was slowly suffocating me.

Kauai was that desperate breath of fresh OXYGEN that I didn’t even know I needed.

That sense of magic, adventure, and deep connection came rushing back into my life. It felt like being in college again. Or summer camp. And I thought those days were long gone.

So, if you’ll indulge me, let me break down why Kauai was exactly what this city-dweller needed…

Small Town Life = COMMUNITY

Most of my twenties were spent in sprawling cities where you couldn’t help but feel like another nameless face amongst millions of others.

Kauai’s the first small town I’ve ever lived in. And holy shit, what a difference!

Anytime you leave the house, whether you’re going to a cafe, the grocery store, or the beach, you’re practically guaranteed to run into a friend. It sounds like a small thing but it really made you feel like you’re part of a cohesive, tight-knit community. I haven’t had these spontaneous, UN-PLANNED run-ins since the university days. And man, I’ve missed them!

And there’s really this sense of one SHARED community. Anytime you meet someone new, you can bet you’ll have at least a few mutual Facebook friends. Everyone’s only one degree of separation away from each other. And that makes every stranger feel more like a friend you haven’t met yet.

Plus, I finally got to achieve a lifelong dream. I’ve lived in a LOT of places and I’ve always wanted to become a “regular” at restaurants, bars, and cafe’s. It never really happened. Until Kauai.

Here, it seriously felt like Cheers. Not only did the baristas and bartenders know my name, they knew my drink, and they got to know me as a friend. Some of my favorite days were spent just hanging out and “talking story” while these guys were on the clock. I felt like family wherever I went. It was everything I dreamed of!

The last time I experienced that shared sense of TRUE community was back at UCLA. And I thought once I “grew up”, I’d never get to experience that again. Thank Jeebus I was wrong!

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7 Lessons on Creativity from Our 7 Day Vine Challenge


My back was giving out from hours of helicopter thrusting. Catherine was getting whiplash from twerking so hard. Eric was covered in pancake flour.

And this was only Day 1 of 7. We had 6 more days of this madness ahead of us.

What in the hell did we sign up for??

Well, 24 hours prior, the three of us were binging on Vines (those addictive, 6 second looping videos) when we had a great idea: why don’t we challenge ourselves to post our own Vines every day for 7 days?

Seemed easy enough. Vines were only 6 seconds long. It was only for a week. How hard could it be?

Well, for this recovering perfectionist, I was pretty scared. My last creative challenge almost killed me. And I was afraid of doing this with close friends. What if that controlling perfectionist within me reared it’s ugly head and turned this fun project into a stressful nightmare?

But my excitement outweighed my fears, so we did it. And it was an AMAZING experience. Seriously, one of the most memorable weeks of my 9 months in Kauai – and that’s saying a LOT!

We laughed ’til it hurt. We lost a lot of sleep. We pushed our boundaries. We created countless memories. We made a ton of Vines – a few we were even proud of!

And we learned a lot. About ourselves. About each other. And about creativity.

So without further ado, let me share some Vines and some lessons with you…

1) Creative challenges are extremely EFFECTIVE!

You wanna get good at Vine (or writing or finger painting or fill-in-the-blank-here)?

Challenge yourself to create and PUBLISH something every day for a week. Or a few weeks.

By completely immersing yourself in this world, you’ll grow at an alarming rate. You’ll be living, sleeping, breathing ideas, 24/7. You’ll ingrain the habit of creating every day.

You’ll push past your fear of getting your work (and yourself) out there. You’ll build a momentum that’ll have a life of its own long after the creative challenge is over.

It’s pretty damn incredible.

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Interviewed by 7 Days Theory: A More Zen-Like Approach to Entrepreneurship, Life


I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Enrico Moses over at – a dope site that covers fashion, music, art and even carries their own handmade jewelry and accessories (I’m a proud owner of a few of their pieces).

Enrico’s become a good friend of mine over the past few years and no joke, he’s one of the deepest, most inspiring dude’s I know, as well as being one of the most accomplished entrepreneurial spirits I’ve ever come across.

Passion for exploring life to it’s fullest – whether that’s with your business or your own happiness – is definitely something we have in common, and exactly what we talk about in this interview.  Check it out!

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Zen-Master Jaemin Yi Shares Some of His Best Techniques for Living an Awesome Life!


Jaemin rolls deep! This man always is rolling with a crew. Probably because he carries with him, a spirit that is completely dope to be around. I met Jaemin through a series of close friends and instantly, our zen-like approaches to living brought us into deep discussions about life and overall awesome times. For a while I didn’t know what he did for a living. I remember thinking- maybe he has reached a level of enlightenment to where people come from far and wide to hand him checks and learn from his teachings. Later to find out I was close. Well sort-of. Jaemin makes videos that wows and inspires viewers. He helps tell the valuable stories that need to be told. Mastering the art of communication and joy, Jaemin describes to us how to just fucking BE. We hope some of his positive-vibrations rub off on you during this interview. He is a great living testament to the 7 Days Theory.

Please describe your position at your company/organization.

For how many years?

I’m the CEO + Founder of Imaginary Lava Studios. We make awesome animated videos for businesses and non-profits (like Planned Parenthood). I’ve been making videos for about 6 years but made the switch to animation-only about 3 years ago.

How long have you known you wanted to do what you are currently working on?

What made you start your current pursuits?

I’ve always been into filmmaking, even as a kid. I remember making my first short back in the 3rd grade, a parody of Star Wars called Paper Wars (cause paper airplanes were our shit!)

But I never actually thought I could make a living doing this stuff until my last year at college. I remember I was about to start the whole job search thing when I got offered to make a video for this awesome non-profit called Green Dot. I’ve never made a video for hire before but I gave it a shot…and they ended up loving it!

Pretty soon, word got out and I had 2 more projects lined up. I told myself, “Alright once you finish these, then it’s time to look for a job.” But once those were done, I had another project lined up. And then another. And another. Pretty soon a year had passed and I realized that I never had time to search for a job…it had found me!

Why are you passionate about what you do?

What drives you to do what you do?

To be honest, while I love being creative, my true passion is less “making videos” and more “constantly growing and learning”. My passion to always be evolving drives every single thing I do, from creating a location-independent business to traveling the world to finding inner peace and happiness.

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My band’s cover of A$AP Rocky’s “Fuckin’ Problems” (NSFW)

I finally got to check off a lifelong bucket list item of mine: form an accidental band with my friends (1.2.3.MUSIC) and perform live in front of an audience! And we pretty much picked the most tasteful, non-offensive song for our first ever performance (no, seriously, this is really NSFW)…enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: We’ve kept the original artists’ lyrics and they are VULGAR! Like most of our generation, we grew up loving hip-hop music while still feeling very uncomfortable with the choices of words often used in the songs. We would never ever use language like this in any other context – we were merely trying to preserve the original song as it was written.

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