Cartagena, Colombia

2015 was the best year of my life – easily. And a lot of really horrible shit happened.

Ever since I started Milk the Pigeon in 2011 (I think? Has it really been 5 years?), I had ONE, somewhat long-term goal:

Build a life that I could actually fucking enjoy day to day, and do that through self employment, which would give me freedom.


When I started Milk the Pigeon, I didn’t have a goddamn clue how to live this amazing life I dreamed of.

I didn’t have a single role model that was self employed in an online business, traveling, doing whatever they were most passionate about, living the dream, and working daily towards the thing they loved.

It actually didn’t need to be self employment or an online business, but I didn’t know ONE person.

So I figured I would just figure it out myself. Later on, I found that there are lots of people doing this, most of whom appear to be entrepreneurs because they have the freedom and flexibility to do whatever they want.

Today, I want to highlight what really happened in the last year and the most important habit that I think allowed this stuff to happen.

Am I a millionaire? Hell no, not yet.

Am I some guru? Nope, don’t want to do.

Am I 100% living my dream? Not yet.

But this is the first time since I started Milk the Pigeon that I am happy almost every day – working on what I want – excited about my future and my vision and the road ahead. And I can share with you the exact habits I took to get there.

First – how it went. Second – how to make it a reality for yourself. Third – a very unique opportunity I’m offering in 3 weeks.

What Went Awesome (And Horrible) in 2015

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Most of my 20s sucked shit.

I’m totally comfortable admitting that to myself now at age 28 – it really sucked. I found myself working these goddamn awful jobs, that didn’t pay me much, that didn’t mean much, and didn’t have opportunities to even grow or learn much.

When you aren’t learning new skills…

… And you aren’t getting paid much.

… And you don’t like what you do.

… I call this “shit city.”

It’s literally, in every sense of the word (or phrase), a waste of your life. But sometimes that’s a price you have to pay temporarily.

Problem is, when you find yourself getting stuck like this, it’s easy to fall into a depression and lose the steam that’ll push you out of it. So here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me all those years ago, when I could’ve progressed so much more in my life.

#1 Learn Hard New Shit



This first principle is so shockingly simple, but rewarding, that I’m surprised I didn’t realize it sooner.

Just pick a new aspect of your life to grow in – so maybe you’re doing the soul crushing (or simply shitty) ten hour workday somewhere else just to barely pay your bills.

That’s fine.

What are you doing after that though?

I heard this awesome quote by Earle Nightingale yesterday that went like this:

“All around me I hear people complaining about their lives. Well, what are you doing in your leisure time? In 25 years you haven’t done anything to advance yourself? In 25 years of leisure time you could become an open heart surgeon, so what are you doing?”

Obviously, this one appeals to my real workaholic-ness, but it makes sense: Even an hour a day after work and on weekends, added up over the course of a year, is 365 hours. Over two years, it’s over 720 hours, and over three years, 1,000+ hours.

Considering the “10,000 hour rule” to become a world-class master at something…. that means every 27 years you could become WORLD-CLASS at something.

Oh, in your part time.

In 1 hour a day.

You could become Steve Jobs level at something.

Michael phelps level at something.

Or some other person you admire in that time.

Pick GROWTH – what new thing do you want to try that requires learning, effort, and has a bit of difficulty?

2. Get Some Mad Skillz

mad skillz

This is my favorite.

In my own business, and my life, each quarter I set a growth goal. And it only has to have TWO prerequisites:

1. It must be fucking awesome (= intrinsic motivation).

2. It must require growth.

Here’s how I define growth: It has to require skills, connections, a mindset, or a work ethic that I currently do not have. First quarter of last year, that was writing a book. I didn’t know anything about writing that many pages, formatting, marketing, selling, etc.

But I still managed to do well and hit #1 in three Amazon health categories and get rave reviews.

In your life, it could be a personal goal like asking out a guy or girl that scares you shitless.

It could be speaking on a stage. It could be launching that website you’re waiting on.

Just focus on difficulty and fun. You’ll grow.


First quarter of the next year, that’s January, February and March – what’s a goal you could pick up for just 100 days?

1. It must be awesome, so you’re naturally motivated to do it.

2. It must require growth.

If the current version of yourself can do it now, it’s not a worthy goal.

3. The Harry Potter Scribbles

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Business man cliff

It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground. The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $10,000,000 than it is $1,000,000. It is easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

- Tim Ferriss

Everyone glorifies success, but no one ever tells you about the downside that can crush you.

We see it everywhere, and I’m one of the worst offenders – feverishly pursue something you care about and “get successful”  no matter what it takes.

It all seems like unicorns and rainbows – once you get “there” life is easy. With influence, you have opportunities. With money, you have choice. With time, you can do whatever the hell you want.

The truth is that most people glorify only the good parts of success because they aren’t successful yet – and thus don’t realize the dark nature.

Here’s what they didn’t tell you.

Why Everyone Hates You When You’re At The Top

There’s a little known fact that the more successful you become – happier, healthier, fitter, more content – the more the average person begins to hate you.

Think about. Let’s take a dramatic example. A guy rolls up in a smokin’ hot red ferrari to the restaurant you’re having dinner at.

99% of people, after looking at the car, will assume hundreds of things.

Like MJ Demarco talks about in his book The Millionaire Fastlane, once he finally got an ultra-sports car, people assumed all kinds of things about him:

“He must have a tiny dick.”

“He must be a real asshole.”

“He must be compensating for the fact that the rest of his life is total shit.”

Think about it.

When was the last time we saw someone in a sports car, and didn’t assume anything about them, and just observed?

When you say “Wow, cool car huh?” to the average person, all the judgments crop up. “He must have rich parents. He must have inherited it. He must be a douche.” Blah blah blah. The mind goes wild.

The same is true of health.

One of my close friends went from weighing 300+ pounds, to now looking like a fitness model and having a six pack. And he described one of the most hurtful moments of his life like this:

“You know, at first, everyone was like ‘that’s amazing dude, keep going you’re looking good.’ That’s when they still see you’re fat. You aren’t competition, you’re no one special yet. When you lose a few pounds they encourage you. But then I started getting really fit, I lost something like 80 pounds, and was half the size practically. Then the comments changed. Friends and even family would be like, “Whoa, you’re starting to look a bit sickly Sol, you need to gain some weight.” But I was still 230 pounds – a big guy – so I couldn’t understand why they were discouraging me. This is what I wanted my entire life, so why were they saying stuff like that?”

He first-hand observed how mediocrity HATES excellence.

The raw truth is that the average person will HATE YOU for being special. For being amazing. For not watching TV and using your time wisely. For taking your limited time and investing it into a project that adds something amazing to the world.

So why does this happen?

Three reasons.

#1 It Reminds Them That They Caved to Fear, Uncertainty, Pressure – And They Gave Up.

Think about running into an old college friend.

You’re at a 5 or 10 year reunion, and the dropout friend of yours is now running his own business that he LOVES, helping take people around the world on adventure trips.

And let’s say for the sake of argument you’re kinda stuck in the grind. You were told to take the classic path of get a good job, pay your bills, and then get married.

Suddenly you’re struck with envy, “WTF did he do right that I did wrong? He gets to travel all the time and wake up to something he enjoys, and I don’t.”

And usually, rather than being inspired, we feel resentful. We make excuses. It strikes us at the core – because we realize the WE have a dream too. We wanted to go take that year abroad to go to Spain, or we wanted to volunteer in Costa Rica. But we didn’t, because we got talked out of it or we were too “realistic” about life.

So rather than being inspired, we hate that person. We make excuses, “Well he could do that because XYZ…” and “he doesn’t have responsibilities like I do…” and all kinds of justifications.

But it still bothers us. Deep down we’re pissed off, and mostly pissed off at ourselves. “What happened to that dream I used to have? Why did I give up on it?”

Sometimes when you become successful, hordes of friends, family, and peers begin to not only rationalize their own failure, but try to take away your success. “You had all these resources I didn’t…” they say. But what they’re really doing is telling THEMSELVES a story to feel better.

#2 It Reminds Them That Yeah, They Still Have a Dream, But They Aren’t Hustling to Make it Happen.

Sometimes, people realize that they DO have a problem, but they’ve been lapsing on their progress.

Think about health.

Other people might at first support you, but once you start looking INCREDIBLE they envy you, hate you, and will try to steal your success.

“He’s a meat head.”

“She lives in the gym and wears lululemon everywhere.”

“He doesn’t have any other hobbies.”

“She only cares about her appearance.”

You’ve finally lost those 20 pounds and now you’re getting toned and fit and look awesome.

You’re starting to get really comfortable taking your shirt off at the beach, and you begin getting attention for the first time in a very long time.

And suddenly a few of your friends who have been drinking a bit too much beer and partying too much start chiming in, “Don’t you have a life? I feel like fitness is all you do now.”

It’s not even true – since you’re only at the gym a few times a week and you eat healthy otherwise – but you can feel their judgment, and their envy.

The point is that it’s not the truth that matters – it’s the story that people tell themselves (that we tell ourselves) to rationalize inadequacy and mediocrity.

#3 It Reminds People That Living the Average Life Usually ISN’T fulfilling (And Reminds Them About How Little They’re Doing To Change Anything)

The highest level here is that it often indicates that the way we’re living – not at all deliberately – flat out produces unhappiness and leaves dreams unfulfilled.

This is the highest level of dissatisfaction and hurt. It kinda makes us think, “Well, shit. Why did I settle? You’re telling me that COULD be my life too?”

It speaks to the dissatisfaction at the core of most people – unwilling, afraid, or unclear about the life they want.

The raw truth is that we’ve all been there – usually health wise or financially- where we go “Shit. This looks awful. How’d it get this bad?” But the DIFFERENCE between the successful person and the average one is that the successful person does what the average person is not willing to do.

They both see the problem and feel the pain.

But only one takes action. Day after day. Month after month. YEAR after year, even when progress stalls or is slow.

So what’s the solution?

Fuck ‘em.

Seriously. That’s the solution.

In all seriousness, inspire people if you can. Show them how it might be possible. Show them hope, show them the roadmap if you can. But if they aren’t willing to take action? Be compassionate if you can, but otherwise move on.

It’s like that Marianne Williamson quote – we don’t fear our darkness, we fear our light. We fear our greatness.

This is me just giving you the heads up – when you see the haters coming, even if they’re your close friends, it’s time to keep moving.

People will hate you no matter what you do, so why not have them hate you for being great?

Why not have them hate you for living the fucking coolest life imaginable?

Why not have them hate you for being really goddamn happy?

And why not have them hate you for living a life that’s so inspiring that people can’t help but talk about it?

Thoughts on this? Tell me below.


Books To Read That Will Help Lost 20 Somethings:

The defining decade by Meg Jay, is one of the best books for lost 20 (or 3o) somethings that are trying to figure out what in the hell path to take, especially if you’re looking to live an awesome, meaningful life.







Man’s Search For Meaning

Man’s search for meaning, by Viktor Frankl is a book I quoted above because it’s by far one of the best books regarding finding purpose in life. Viktor talks about how he was dying in a Nazi concentration camp, and the only thing that not only helped him to stay alive, but also find a sense of purpose while all the other people around him slowly died.






– Alex


How to have your best year ever

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

There’s one life changing daily ritual I wish someone would have told me about a decade ago.

It’s something that only takes as little as ten minutes a day.

It’s something you can do anywhere on the planet – if you’re in New York City, or you’re waking up in the slums of India.

And best of all, it’s something anyone can do anywhere, and it’s free.

It all comes down to this: a morning routine where you think about what you want, and you see yourself getting it.

What’s The Big Secret?

A few years back, my life was pretty much in the shit hole.

If you objectively looked at every aspect of my life, you could tell each one was in shambles.

Relationship – Didn’t exist, even though I wanted one.

Finances – Usually went negative $200-$300 each month, so I had to freelance to cover those costs and not go into debt.

Health – Sleep problems, GI problems, back and neck problems.

Happiness – Just a miserable bastard.

Purpose/Meaning – Nonexistent.

If you looked at me a few years ago, you would’ve felt bad for the sorry bastard you saw.

These days, that former me doesn’t even exist. It’s like a figment of my imagination.

But one of the things I didn’t tell many people is this: one of the things that helped me most get out of this funk was a morning routine. In fact, it was possibly the thing that got me out of the morning funk.

So what did I do?

That’s what I’m going to share with you today.

The Million Dollar Morning Routine

Let me be perfectly up front: I think you should do this in the morning, and not during the afternoon or evening.

The reason is simple: what you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. And since your mind is generally a blank slate (or maybe you’re depressed in the morning like me), it makes sure you start the day in a good, inspired, ready-to-kick-ass mood.

There are only four things you need here:

  1. Know what you want
  2. Know why you want it
  3. Visualize what you want
  4. Affirm what you want

And there’s something else important: you have to write this down on paper. It must be physical. It must be on paper, and you must look at it each day.

One other thing: In my opinion, never just put down one category of goals.

For example, for me, the primary goal for years has been financial independence. However, a lot of successful people only put down the business vision for their life, and as a result, they pursue success at the expense of their health, happiness, relationships, etc. Don’t be that person.

Always put down those five categories – and go through all of them.

Step 1: Know What You Want

The first step is something I talk a lot about here: think about what you want, and your definition of success.

If you have no idea what you want, how do you expect to achieve it?

For example, since it’s the new year, we can say we want to become “healthier” – but what does that even mean? How do you know when you’ve arrived at the place called “healthier” ?

Do you want more weight loss?

More weight gain?

Better energy?

No more pain?

Better sleep?

Think about what you want.

If your primary category you want to improve is finances – What do you want?

Don’t just say you want to be financially “free” ?

Do you want a business or do you want to just make a lot at a job you enjoy?

Do you want to just have the time and money to be able to travel the world?

Do you want to start a side project you really care about, or just have a bunch of money in savings?

Get specific, otherwise it’s impossible to envision. And if you can’t picture it in your head, it’s that much harder to make a reality in daily life.

I’ll give you examples from my own routine.

Health – Here I know the target weight I want, what I want to look like, and what I want to feel like. I write all those down on paper (and in step 3, I use pictures to reinforce it).

Finances – I write down exactly how much I want to be earning, and how much I want to be saving. It doesn’t matter right now if this is a realistic number – it just matters that you write down the exact amount on paper here.

Purpose – I write down the exact feeling I want to have each day: I want to feel like I’m exactly where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing.

Repeat this with whatever categories you are working on.

Step 2: Know Why You Want It

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how to succeed in life

I messed up spectacularly a bunch of times in my 20s. But I’ve also done a lot right, and I’m glad I figured out some of the “right” stuff that produces massive success and happiness. Some of the “secrets” that the happiest, most successful, most fulfilled people in the world know.

But one of the best investments of time I ever made was making it a habit of studying and hanging out with the most successful people I could find.

For example, in the past few months alone I wanted to upgrade my social circle, like I frequently suggest many of you do if you want to take your life to the next level. I wanted to hang out with people who were crushing it, or who would be crushing it. People with a huge fire to improve their lives like I have.

The result just a few short months later? 75% of the time, the only people I’m texting, emailing, and hanging out with are people earning $200k+/year in their own businesses or ventures.

And let me tell you – they think WAY differently from most of us. From the average person.

But there’s one thing in particular that all successful people have, that I’ve noticed.

There’s ONE overarching principle that allows them to have epic levels of fulfillment, happiness, finances, health, relationships and a lot more.

They live life deliberately.

The truly successful people, not just the financially successful, think about everything and their own vision of the future.

It’s the exact opposite of how the average person lives – constantly waking up in a life they didn’t want.

Constantly wondering “how the hell did I get here?”

I get hundreds of the same types of emails – I woke up in this life somehow. I don’t know how I got here, but I don’t want to be here any longer.

It doesn’t matter if the person is talking about their health going to shit, their relationship failing, not having enough money, or just plain waking up in an extremely boring, mediocre life.

The origin is always the same: failing to live an examined life. Failing to take time to figure out what you want. Failing to learn the daily action steps that will help you get to where you want to be.

The solution is always the same: live life deliberately.

“Yea yea yea I’ve heard this before”

You’ve heard Thoreau before:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Living a deliberate life means you’ve thought shit out.

It means you think about WHAT YOU WANT regularly, and how you can get there. This is directly contrary to how most of us live.

Think about it.

Your job. How’d you get it? And why? Because it was your major or related to it? Because it was what you’re good at? Because it’s just what “Men or women in the Johnson family do?” Because daddy or mommy wanted you to be a particular profession? Because you’re scared of poverty? Because you crave feelings of power and admiration?

Romantic partners. I once sat in a cafe thinking about how strange some couples are.

Sometimes there is a huge mismatch in looks, personality or just compatibility.

Sometimes that’s just because billy bob and cindy lou hoo just happen to be the only two people that keep running into each other, and are slightly compatible on one tiny thing.

Sometimes they just happen to “be there” when the biological clock is ticking and we want to settle down.

Where you live. The majority of people choose two options: Option A: Close to home and family. Option B: Far away from home and family. So we choose to live in places not because they match our interests, hobbies, career opportunities, etc. but because it’s “just where our parents are” or because “we’re trying to get as far away as possible.”

Neither of these are “examined” decisions.

How we spend our lives.

Think about your daily routine, and the routine of most of your parents or elders. Work, bowling at night, American Idol on TV, the same family gatherings, not using your vacation time, movies on the weekends, etc.

There’s nothing wrong with it – but is that really what you want to be doing? Or have you never thought about what you’d rather really be doing?

Most of our life is lived by default – where your parents are, what you majored in, what people around you do, or going against what the people around you do.

And as a result, you end up living a life that’s unexamined. That’s fine – nothing wrong with it – but if you’re like me, you want MORE from life. You want *THE* life, and I can assure you, it’s possible.

So What’s The Fix?

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