#20: Make Conscious Choices in 2024

newsletter Jan 02, 2024

The year 2023 is coming to an end.

Honestly, I’m glad.

It’s been a tough, reflective kind of year.

Goals related to building more family, living between two countries, new business ventures, and philanthropy work - I consistently work on them, but to say I’ve had setbacks this year is an understatement.

Life (design) is hard. I never want to give impression it's easy or automatic. It’s never-ending evolvement of self, towards what you want, and caring for others even as you falter. Even as you grow as a person, sometimes, you run into brick walls called “uncontrollables”. You have to fight to keep them from derailing you.

One of my “uncontrollables” this year – the conflict in the Middle East.

I paused efforts to move semi-permanently to the Eastern Mediterranean as a result, a relative kick in the gut for me and life plans. Although I lived in the region generally from June – Sept, it became complex starting in October after the conflict started.

After 4 years investing time and building relationships, it’s been painful to watch people I consider family suffer physically and emotionally and not be able to help in person.

I’ve been in war zones as a military member, volunteered in refugee camps for months as a private person, and been called to terrible scenes as a police officer and Federal Agent. I've seen a lot.

The conflict… I’m still in shock. The humanitarian and mental health toll on people I care about, and those directly affected, is something I can’t wrap my head around. Stopped watching news reports and left Instagram for sanity. I'm focused instead on helping people directly.

I’m not political. I believe in human dignity and humanity. That’s not humanity. It’s lack of it.

Leaving it there. I’m praying 2024 gets better, somehow.

I’m ready to finish what I started 4 years ago.

Relative to life design, my point is…

Uncontrollables are a part of life.

Could be a parent with an illness, a failed relationship, a business affected by the pandemic, etc. I faced all three this year, painfully.

We can’t control those aspects. We can control our reactions to them. We can continue the journey despite them. Reflect, grow, adapt. Keep moving and course correct along the way.

Never give up on dreams and people you love. I certainly won't, ever.

Life, and all its possibilities, are too beautiful.


Let’s do a 2023 Recap.

I’ve written 52 weeks of newsletters and produced 38 podcast episodes. My goal is deliver concepts and case studies to Try Life On and build lifestyle you don’t need vacation from.


Topics range from building frameworks to achieve your perfect day (#18), to how to protect and create time (#19), to highlighting the fact that, as adults, we’ve forgotten how to explore life (#8) and why it’s important to start doing so again.

Podcast Episodes:

Ways to leverage career for freedom & worldwide experiences (#27), to the mindset behind breaking free from societal norms (#15) to a beginner’s guide to wealth and generating more passive income than expenses (#37). The common thread in each of these is that the Status Quo is a default language you don’t have to follow.

Case studies: (international ones tend to be the favorite):

Belen left corporate life, leveraged skills gained, and started a virtual personal branding firm while moving to Lisbon, Portugal (ep. 25). She’s living her way.

Molly shifted the business model of her company Heartcast Media in favor of better lifestyle. She traded a $10k/month studio lease and rush hour commutes in Washington DC in favor of a virtual business model and daily nature. She now lives in Lake Arenal, Costa Rica (ep. 16). She's a dear friend, have a listen. Funny, I helped her and now she's helping me with my shift.

Robert let us peak in on live coaching as he planned to sell his business, double down on real estate, and move his family (wife, 2 kids) from Texas to Jamaica – he’s since executed that plan (ep. 23) and lives between the locations while his wife still runs her business in California leveraging travel hacking to get there.

Each person walked through moves made to get financial, time, and geographic freedom, while building meaningful relationships and capturing a sense of life purpose. Each dramatically shifted lifestyle.

These newsletters and podcast interviews can be accessed through the website. Lean into them and others available. They were created for you to leverage for your own journey. Get after it!

Try Life On Slack Group:

For those who worked with me directly, you now have a tribe. Folks you can count on who do not subscribe to the status quo. Keep working with and checking on each other. The Real Estate call on Dec 19th was great. The general call is January 9, 2024.

Glad I found you. You guys are my tribe too.


It’s 2024, what now?

Well… It’s on you. Information is nothing without action.

I can write about additional principles and publish more podcast episodes, but if you want a different way of being, YOU must make a conscious choice and take action.

Molly, Belen, and Robert made theirs. What about you?

In a January 2023 interview, my business partner Chad asked me about lifestyle goals for the year. He inquired about my ‘conscious choices’ made over the years. This 4-minute conversation will give perspective. My choices were:

  1. Achieve Financial Freedom (2002 – happened 2014)
  2. Create Mediterranean personal & business life (2015 – happened 2020)
  3. Leave US East Coast semi-permanently (2022 – pending for 2024)


Walked through why and how I made those choices and what’s happened since. We must make choices, act, and course correct along the way.

I don’t always get it right. But the point is, I made a choice and started.

It’s 2024. Time to make yours.

Reach out to me if you need help.

See you next year. And bless you and your family this holiday season.


I appreciate you.