Hope your 2018 was happy or meaningful.

I do have some 2019 tech and productivity ideas brewing. But for now, I wanted to share a list of my favorite things from this past year.

Here’s a list of:

I found most thought-provoking, fun, inspiring or just plain useful. Skim through and check a few out. I hope some of the selections will add laughs, enjoyment or meaning to your life too.

TV Series

Norsemen - A Norwegian comedy about a group of Vikings living in the village of Norheim around the year 790. It was filmed simultaneously in English and Norwegian. The English version was picked up by Netflix. I started watching it thinking it was an intense Viking show. 5 minutes in we realized it was a slightly raunchy ‘Office’ style comedy. If you are in a silly mood check it out.

Border Town - Super silly animated sitcom based in the fictitious town of Mexifornia (which is on the border of California and Mexico). This caught my interest after doing a deep dive on the border this summer.

Ari Shaffir - I’ve got a man crush on Ari Shaffir. I love his podcast.I saw him when he came to Austin. In you can check out his two part special Double Negative on Netflix. He will present some unpopular ideas (e.g. kids, generally speaking, suck), but the punchlines and hilarious absurdities more than make up for any challenges to your personal beliefs.

Wild Wild Country - My wife and I have been voted most likely to join a cult by our friends and family. We are both optimistic, open to new ideas, and see the value of community. We might have joined the cult presented in this crazy documentary series. If you haven’t seen it yet, get ready for a binge watch.

Books

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It Price: $25.99 Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Never Split The Difference - Most of what you get out of life is negotiated. This book shows you how to get over your aversion to negotiating and then do it effectively. The author is a former hostage negotiator for the FBI. The stories he adds make the book a super fun and exciting read.

The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Intelligent Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing! Price: $16.99 Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Book On Rental Property Investing - Someone caught the real estate bug this year. This book was a good primer on the basics of rental property investing. I also enjoy the author’s weekly podcast.

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen Price: $16.99 Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Building A Story Brand - If you are self-employed and do not know how to talk about what you do, stop everything and start reading this book. It will help you create simple, emotional language to describe what you do in a way that will help people understand how your product or service will help them.

How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn Price: $14.95 Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How To Invest Like A Second Grader - This book will teach you two lessons, “Own the world at the lowest cost. And pay the tax collector as little as possible.” The best way to do that is to invest and hold onto low fee index funds (e.g. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund VTSMX and Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund VGTSX). Doing anything else will likely cost you more and lower your returns.

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence Price: $19.04 Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How To Change Your Mind - Michael Pollan, scientific journalist and bestselling author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, a book that dives into the ethical, health and environmental impacts of the industrial food system, set out to research how LSD, psilocybin and other psychedelics are being used to provide relief to people suffering from depression, end of life stress and post traumatic stress disorder. He found that these illegal substances tend to be safe and offer psychological benefits to healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life.

Podcasts

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History - I just re-listened to his series on WWI during a road trip. Oh. My. God. I don’t know how people were able to endure trench warfare for a few days let alone a few years. Dan does an incredible job describing how humans are able get themselves into and out of the extreme.

BiggerPockets Money - Good personal finance ideas and stories from a variety of different guests that have achieved (or are working toward) financial freedom.
You Made It Weird - Comedian talking to actors, authors, spiritual teachers and friends about god, meaning and the times that made you laugh the hardest.

Articles

If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly - Article covers an investment strategy that will take you 15 minutes of work per year, outperform 90 percent of finance professionals, and make you a millionaire over time. But… the strategy will only work if you can get past 5 major hurdles society and our genetics put in our way.

The Meaning of Life - Would you rather have a meaningful life or a happy one? This article dives into what activities tend to increase both your feelings of meaning and happiness AND where sacrifices to meaning or happiness levels will have to be made if you’d like more of the other.

Apps

Aaptive - Guided workouts that you can filter based off time, type of workout and available equipment. Hitting play on a 25 minute cardio or strength workout helped me get workouts in while on the road. It’s also great for home and regular gyms.
YNAB Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. - App that helps you give every dollar a job and spend money on what you value.
Google Photos - Finally a way to store photos in a way that you’ll look at.

$40 or less purchases

Ninja Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. - I drink a mix of spinach (or kale), cucumber, celery and any other fruits and veggies I want with this blender. I also often add BCAAs for muscle growth and flavor.

Toothbrush Covers Full Disclosure: I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. - Don’t expose your gross, wet toothbrush to your equally gross toiletry bag while traveling. This simple clip works to keep your mouth and your travel bags clean.