The TWO Reasons Why We Make Important Decisions

Flashback to one year ago. I had just quit my job, took a sick vacation to Belize, was working on Idea Lemon on the side, and LOVING IT. I finally had room to breathe and figure out what I wanted next.


But there was something eating at me during this time.

A few months prior, my girlfriend and I ended our relationship and that feeling off loss/breaking up-ness kept lingering. Anytime I had a moment to my own thoughts, my ex would come up.

Then, from out of nowhere, I find out she’s dating someone new and my world turns completely upside down. Doesn’t it suck when that happens? You experience every negative emotion possible. Anger, betrayal, sadness, hopelessness, the list goes on and on.


What did I do?


My gut reaction said, “I feel like Austin or Portland is calling my name, and now is the perfect time to make a move. My ex and I clearly aren’t getting back together, so this is a great chance for a fresh start. I can get a new job at a new company, live in a new city, and really get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been in Chicago my whole life…now is the time to PUSH my comfort zone. I need to do this!”




Let’s pause the story for a moment. A couple weeks ago, an Idea Lemon tribe member wrote me saying this:


There's so much turmoil going on inside my head and real life career wise.
I work for this corporation but I'm not enjoying it at all. To top it I had a major health issue pop out of nowhere recently.
My head's full of ideas though. I just don't know how to clear up this mess and start living a more meaningful life by starting at a career that I'll actually be comfortable in.


This person is already in turmoil with her career, and then her world gets turned upside down with a major health issue popping up out of nowhere. What should she do?


Back to the story.


I felt destined to get out. Then, suddenly, I changed my mind.

I went from researching companies I could work for in Austin or Portland, to pulling a complete 180, and dedicating myself to Chicago so I could build Idea Lemon.


Why did this happen?


I realized something that changed my decision-making.

I realized WHY we make important decisions.


There are 2 reasons why we make important decisions:

  1. We’re running away from what we fear, or

  2. We’re running towards what we want.


When we’re running away, we make scared decisions. When we’re running towards, we make empowered decisions.

I thought I needed to move cities, but what I really needed was to confront my issues.

It wasn’t about breaking comfort zones, and having new experiences. It was about running away from the city where I was surrounded by memories of my ex.

When it hit me that I was making my decision out of fear, and running away from something, I pumped the brakes and said, ‘No. I can’t do that. I can't live in fear.'


I decided I should run towards what I really wanted: Building my own company in the city I loved.


And I can say with a smile that the last year has been pretty damn awesome.


To our tribe member, RR (the person who wrote me)--You have a million things inside your head, but you have two options for what’s next: Run away, or run toward.


Run toward what you want. Don't run away from what you fear.


Written by Cofounder Rajiv Nathan

4 Must-Have Resources For Your Growth

I was looking through some materials recently and decided to compile some really kickass things created by the dope members of the Idea Lemon Tribe. (Hint hint--if you aren't a member, enter your email in that box at the top or to the right).

These are 2 must-read, and 2 must-watch books and videos.

2 things you must read…

Geoff Novak reached out a couple months ago in response to one of my emails to show me an ebook he wrote about the meaning of life. I read it, and was immediately hooked. It’s actually a 3-part series, and reading the entire thing takes maybe 45 minutes.

The book is called Ku, which means “void”. Ku starts out with a disgruntled man in a busy city bumping into someone who starts a conversation with him about life, and finding what’s truly important. As the story unfolds we see this turn into a conversation between the man and his own conscience. Through the 3 parts we learn what he truly cares about. When I say this book is a conversation, I mean that literally. This is what every page looks like:

Trust me when I say you will see the conversations you have in your own head play out in this book. There are 3 books in this series, Ku, Fu, and Ka.

Start with Ku, and I guarantee you will pick up Fu and Ka.

Get Ku as an ebook download on Amazon for $7.77


Our last podcast of 2015 was with John Schnettgoecke. John recently published an Amazon best-seller entitled, Pura Vida, A Thinker’s Guide To Living: 12 Must Answer Questions on Happiness, Habits, & Hustle for mixed up millennials.

If you feel at all like a mixed up millennial, or if you’re not a millennial but want to know some of the shit that runs through our heads, then scoop this book. Martin and I are actually featured in part of the book, answering two of those Must Answer Questions.

Get Pura Vida as an ebook download on Amazon for $3.99.


2 things you must watch...

A couple months ago I wrote about our friend Liz Flores, who we’ve also had on the podcast, and her recent TED Talk about being made for more (this actually inspired Geoff Novak to share Ku with me). Her talk is now available online.



And ANOTHER individual who we had on our podcast is Stevie Kane. We met Steve in Seattle while on our podcast season 2 epic road trip. Steve is spreading a message of Strictly Good Energy into the world.

He just dropped a video parodying DJ Khaled, if DJ Khaled were to deliver motivational messages.

How To Merge Your Interests and Make a Massive Impact

Earlier this week we talked about the idea of being made for more. Here’s what some of you had to say in response.

“ really spoke to where I’m at right now. Not sure if you’ve caught it, but I started a new poetry project. It’s just the start, hoping to continues to move into something…..more”

-Steve K

“This is really such an incredible story. I've always loved writing, but I had never written anything professionally as it was not in keeping with what was expected of me as an "Information Technology professional". Needless to say I had a similar epiphany, and I have written and self-published three books in a series called "Ku" which is a story about an individual's search for meaning and purpose in life."

While I have yet to sell a single copy of any of the books on Amazon/Kindle I'm so incredibly happy that I have taken this step in my life. Who knows what is next?”

-Geoff N


What’s key in both of these responses is that neither Steve nor Geoff did something that was perfectly in line with their profession. Geoff mentioned he works in IT and wrote a series of books on purpose and meaning.


The concept of MORE is not about staying within predefined lines, it’s about figuring out ways you can go above and beyond.

Let’s talk now about a simple 2-step process you can use to find where you can give/create/do MORE.



I recently came across the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda while watching 60 Minutes on TV.




Lin is a playwright and actor. He loves musicals.

But he also loves hip hop.


Musicals and rap music traditionally haven’t gone together. But he took two interests of his and decided to merge them. He said, 'I want to be the guy who makes rap-sicals.'

This is crucial because it’s so easy to keep your interests, hobbies, and ‘personas’ separate from one another. 'Work me is different from home me, is different from weekend me, is different from intramural softball me.'


Forget all that shit, it’s YOU at the end of the day.

Instead of keeping everything siloed, find two interests of yours and merge them. For another example of merging, check out step 2 of The Burner Method.




Our playwright/actor friend Lin was on vacation when he picked up a biography about Alexander Hamilton (you know, America’s first treasury secretary...the guy on the $10 bill).



He became so enthralled by the life of Hamilton, that he decided he wanted--nay, NEEDED-- to write a musical documenting his life. But remember from Step 1, Lin wasn’t going to just create any old play. He was going to create a hip-hopera.

So he writes a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, called Hamilton.

He knew he wanted to do something different. All he needed was a catalyst. Reading the biography was his catalyst.


"By the end of the second chapter, I was on Google saying 'someone's already made this into a musical.' How can anyone NOT have made this into a musical?"

Lin-Manuel Miranda


When you merge interests, you skyrocket your chances of finding a catalyst because you’ve opened up the playing field to more possibilities. Sure, it was a chance encounter that Lin picked up the Hamilton biography, but your mind naturally gets into a more creative mode when you don’t treat everything in your life as exclusive.


“I drew a direct line between Hamilton writing his way out of his circumstances, and the rappers I’d grown up adoring.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


And because it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become SO MUCH MORE EXCITED to do it. AND ON TOP OF THAT, you don’t get caught in a ‘yeah I’ll get to it later’, or a ‘everything has to be perfect before I can start’ mode. You just go.



“I think the secret sauce of this show is that I can’t believe this story’s true. It’s such an improbable and amazing story and I learned about it while I was writing it. And I think that enthusiasm is baked into the recipe."

Lin-Manuel Miranda


You increase your ability to do/create/give MORE. 




What happened as a result of Lin merging interests? Well, someone’s ears immediately perk up when they hear there is a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Check that, everyone’s ears perk up. See, when you merge interests, because it’s so unique, people aren’t going to get it at first. But they will be interested enough to learn more.


"I say hip-hop, Alexander Hamilton, and everyone laughs…and then by the end, they’re not laughing, because they’re in it. Because they get sucked into the story, just like I got sucked in the story.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


Remember, when it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become so much more excited to do it. And the energy and creativity you feed into that output is INFECTIOUS. People vibe off of your vibes.

What people? The beauty of merging interests is you get the attention of multple audiences. With Hamilton, Miranda attracts people who like hip-hop, people who like musicals/theater, AND people interested in U.S. history.

And for people like me who have an interest in all 3--well people like me are straight poppin' boners over this, becoming ultimate advocates. I love hip-hop, I get down with musicals, and U.S. history fascinates me, in particular the revolutionary war period.

Wood has been sprouted.



Hamilton is shattering the Broadway box office. In its first 3 months, Hamilton has pulled in $57 MILLION DOLLARS IN ADVANCE TICKET SALES! $57 Million!!

And Lin-Manuel Miranda is loving every second performing on a stage he loves, in a style he adores, about a person he admires.


Create your Hamilton. What are 2 interests in your life that you could merge? Leave a comment below.