December 1

Look for the  * for today’s advice.



Woody Allen 1935

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The thing is to find a “Yes to life”.

The fact that death could be lurking around any corner makes every day vitally important for the existentialists. Instead of being depressed about death, they recommend embracing life and squeezing as much as we can out of it. Søren Kierkegaard talks about finding “the idea for which I am willing to live and die”. Nietzsche suggests finding a “triumphant Yes to life”.

*Watch Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and then determine what your “Yes to Life” is.


Janelle Monae 1985

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Time to update your playlist: Janelle Monáe’s newest song, “Yoga,” is three and a half minutes of empowering perfection—less Zen and more pump-you-up—that it’ll likely be your spring anthem for the gym and life.

*Download Janelle Monae’s “Yoga” and listen to it to get your favorite workout started. (It’s the last month of the year. You should have a favorite workout by now.)


Bette Midler 1945

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Midler worked in a pineapple factory before escaping to New York City where she got a role as one of the sisters in Fiddler on the Roof. She played the eldest daughter. “She was supposed to be tall and lean,” said Midler in an interview a long, long time ago, “and I was short and fat.” But what did it matter how beautiful she was with humour and talent like that?

*Hopefully you have shaped your body and soul over these last 11 months and your humor and talent will shine.


Anne Cox Chambers 1919

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  1. Anne Cox Chambers, ambassador to Belgium under Jimmy Carter, and her sister took over the now privately held media conglomerate Cox Enterprises after the passing of her father. An heiress who continues to increase her wealth, Chambers has experienced a couple of setbacks in relation to running her company. For example, there was once a proposed $4.9 billion deal between Cox Enterprises and Southwestern Bell that fell apart. However, even more embarrassing is the fact that her newspapers “make waves, but not too many.” That’s not a good reputation to have in a troubled field.

*Think about your reputation in your current field. How can you improve it today?


Richard Pryor 1940 – watch Harlem Nights

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From Peoria, Illinois poverty to Hollywood affluence. From abandonment by his mother to adoration from millions of fans. From a childhood in a brothel to eight marriages (twice to the same woman) and seven children. From tragedy to triumph and back again, Richard Pryor has earned the status of Legend as a masterful storyteller, a multi-talented entertainer, a comic of acerbic wit, and a survivor with no self-pity.

What is it like to direct a hero?

It’s no surprise that Richard Pryor was a hero of Eddie Murphy’s– just like every other modern day black comic. So when Eddie came up with the script for what would eventually be Harlem Nights, he already knew that he wanted to cast Pryor in the film. For most of us it might be a bit weird to direct someone we’ve idolized for most of our lives, this is what Eddie had to say about it in his episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio:”

“It was daunting, being on a set directing a guy– the reason why you’re here is because of him. It was a little surreal but it was a great experience…”

*Turn Harlem Knights into a drinking game. Every time you hear the word “Quick”, take a quick drink.


Sarah Silverman 1970 – vegetarian pot pies

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The normally outspoken Sarah Silverman has never really been shy about discussing her love of pot and distaste for alcohol. So, for her appearance on the YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, she and host Hannah Hart ditch the “being drunk” part and instead get high so that Silverman can whip up vegetarian pot pies (of course) out of broccoli, carrots, potatoes, kale, and a dull knife. They even dream up plans to launch a pot-pie franchise.

*Get high. Watch the above episode of My Drunk Kitchen and make your own vegetarian pot pies. Think seriously about launching your own “pot”-pie franchise.

SNUB – Pablo Escobar

Review –

  • Find a “Yes to life”
  • Download “Yoga” for your favorite workout
  • Let your humor and talent shine
  • Improve your reputation at work
  • Watch Harlem Knights
  • Make a vegetarian pot pie

Published by

Travis Jones

I was born in Northwestern Pennsylvania and lived in a trailer park. I was raised by very conservative and religious (Wesleyan Methodist) parents. By some miracle I graduated college and moved to Florida. I have been a public school teacher since 1995. I have 7 years until I can retire. I was married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. I remarried in 2017 to Kate - 21 years my junior. Some of my life experiences as a 46-year-old, white American male, will come through in my writing, but the majority of this daily journey will be dedicated to improving myself, and hopefully you as well.

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