MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK
“The thing is, we think we have time.”
My dad thought he had time. His dream was to visit all the National Parks when he retired. As Director of Vocational Ag Education for the state of California, he spent five or six days a week driving hundreds of miles to high schools and county fairs to advise FFA (Future Farmers of America) students on their projects. He was an honorable man who felt a deep obligation to make an enduring difference for the people in his programs. He achieved that goal. But at a cost.
Dad finally took off on his long-delayed dream a week after he retired. A week after that, he had a stroke in a hotel bathroom. Dad never got to visit the Grand Tetons, the Great Smoky Mountains, Banff, or Zion. He never got to do what he had dreamed of doing his whole life.
I don’t want that to happen to me.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
I don’t want that to happen to anyone.
The good news is, you don’t need to quit your job, win the lottery, or walk away from your responsibilities to make your life more of what you want it to be.
There are things you can do right here, right now to be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
I’m speaking from experience.
Three years ago, I took my business on the road for a Year by the Water.
It was a marvelous experience, but it wasn’t the places I visited that stood out, it was the people I met. In particular, the people who told me, “Someday I’m going to do something like that.”
The thing is, as my dad and millions like him have discovered the hard way, someday is not a day in the week.
As Paulo Coelho says, “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. One Day or Day One. You decide.”
I hope this book is Day One of the rest of your life.
I hope the adventures and insights you’re about to read inspire you to realize that today is the only day you have for sure and you choose to live accordingly.
I hope you choose to stop waiting and start creating the quality of life you want, need, and deserve now—not later.
Why Every Chapter Starts with a Story
“The world is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of stories.”
If you enjoy reading inspirational books like Wild or Eat, Pray, Love, you’re in the right place. It’s reassuring to read someone’s story and realize, “You mean I’m not the only one who has struggled or who has felt like that?” It is motivating to see how other people have been able to get clear on what they want, overcome challenges, and change their life—for good.
That’s why every chapter in this book starts with a story, a story from me or from people I’ve met along the way. People who live in small towns and big cities. People of all ages and all ethnic and economic backgrounds. People who realized the clock was ticking and decided to do something differently instead of wait for the proverbial someday that will never come.
An engineer named Bob said, “Stories are nice but I’m a left-brainer. I like spreadsheets and blueprints. Do you provide a process we can follow to make this easy to understand and apply?”
Good question, Bob. After reviewing my lessons learned and those of the people I’ve interviewed, I realized there are steps many of us have taken to make our life more fulfilling.
I call these steps Life Hacks, based on a colleague who modeled how hacking can tap into proven best practices, expedite results, and offer a shortcut to success.
Dave Asprey was a three-hundred-pound computer whiz. He was a genius at his job but was a frustrated single guy. No matter what diet he tried or how hard he exercised, he couldn’t lose weight.
One day, he had an epiphany. “If I can hack computers, I bet I can hack my own biology.”
You may know the rest of that story. Based on his research, Dave discovered the health-improving powers of pure coconut oil. He created BulletProof Coffee, which has grown into a global empire with a podcast and an annual summit. Dave is walking, talking proof of what can happen when you hack what isn’t working and create something that does. He is a vibrant entrepreneur, father, and husband who loves his life, family, business, and good health.
I thought, “If Dave can do it, so can I.” And so can you.
The Ten Life Hacks for Turning Someday into Today
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
The Ten Life Hacks, reflected in this book’s ten sections, are actions you can take to create a more fulfilling life, sooner, not later. Please note: These hacks are a framework, not a formula.
I’m not saying that if you do all of them, happiness is guaranteed. That would be hubris.
I am saying, “These are happiness dots I’ve collected, connected, and curated that have helped me and others improve our quality of life. I’m sharing them in the hopes they might be of interest and value to you. Please take what resonates with you and works for you.”
Remember those coloring books we had growing up where you drew between the numbered dots to see what emerged? The picture became clear—“Aha. It’s a cat!”—as you connected the dots.
That’s what I hope happens with these Life Hacks. As you read these chapters and act on the Hacks, the dots will connect as to how to create a more authentic life. A clearer picture will emerge of what you want your life to look and feel like. It will, all of a sudden, make more sense.
LIFE HACK 1: EvaluateYour Happiness History
LIFE HACK 2: Generate a Today, Not Someday Dream
LIFE HACK 3: Abdicate Outdated Beliefs and Behaviors
LIFE HACK 4: Initiate Daily Actions that Move Your Life Forward
LIFE HACK 5: Celebrate What’s Right with Life, Right Here, Right Now
LIFE HACK 6: Affiliate with People Who Have Your Back and Front
LIFE HACK 7: Integrate Your Passion and Profession
LIFE HACK 8: Negotiate for What You Want, Need, and Deserve
LIFE HACK 9: Innovate a Fresh Start
LIFE HACK 10: Relocate to Greener Pastures
How to Get the Most Value from This Book
“Has first baseman Don Mattingly exceeded expectations?”
“I’d say he’s done more than that.”
If you want this book to exceed your expectations, keep a pen in hand so you can make notes in the margins and answer the questions in the Readers’ Guide at the back of the book. The more actively you involve yourself in reading this book, the more likely you are to turn your intentions into life-changing results.
In fact, as suggested in chapter 13, you’ll get even more value from this book if you purchase a Someday Journal (or the equivalent) and take five minutes every morning to write how you’ll use these Life Hacks to make that day more rewarding.
One more suggestion? You might want to read this book in tandem with a friend or host your own Someday Salon or book club. (Instructions on how to do that on the SOMEDAY is Not a Day in the Week website.)
What’s a Someday Salon? It’s an interactive evening where people fill out the Four-Minute–Four-Box Happiness Quiz (see page 13), discuss their answers, and identify a meaningful NEXT. The goal is to create a community where everyone has opportunities to connect and contribute stories about what’s working in their life, what’s not, and what they’re going to do about it.
You don’t have to be a trained facilitator to do this (although that is an option). Hosting a salon is a fun way to practice all the Life Hacks—e.g., generating, affiliating, celebrating—at once.
Just know in advance that people will appreciate this opportunity to discuss what really matters and won’t want to leave. At our first salon in Denver, Colorado, parents were calling their babysitters and begging for an extra hour or two so they could stay and continue their conversations. As John, a self-described techie, told me, “I don’t go to networking events anymore because I dread small talk. This was the opposite of that. I had more interesting, genuine conversations in the last two hours than I have had in ten years of attending mixers.”
Temple Grandin says, “People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet.”
Temple’s right. There are no magic bullets. There are breadcrumbs, though, that have the power to educate us, inspire us, and sustain us.
The adventures and insights in the book are breadcrumbs that can help you leverage people’s hard-won wisdom so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own.
I hope you’ll follow this trail of breadcrumbs and integrate these Life Hacks into your life. I promise, you will never regret clarifying what’s truly important and bringing more of that into your life; you’ll only regret not doing it sooner. Onward.
Copyright © 2019 by Sam Horn