Have you noticed life is no longer boring? We used to lead regular lives and get bored from time to time. Then, we would fret, fidget, and search in vain for something to do.

Now, there’s always something to do. It’s not that we all learned some secret zen wisdom about being present and enjoying the little things. Neither did this sudden lack of boredom come from growing up, having adult responsibilities, or leading a life full of passion, commitment, and meaning. Turns out, you don’t need any of that crap to eliminate boredom.

Constant pleasure is at our fingertips…

Do you remember what happened the last time you shared something personal about yourself with someone? It could have been about politics (you didn’t vote), education (you never finished school), or job experience (you are a trained assassin). Sometimes we offer a little tidbit as a trial balloon and sometimes we overshare about our love for Justin Timberlake. Either way, one of three things happen: you got closer (hey, I’ve killed my fair share of war criminals too), you get blanked (so what about Justin Timberlake), or you get rebuffed (What do you mean you didn’t vote?!).

Being vulnerable is…

Kyle Crocco chilling with his father

From Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them — we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”

We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

In March of 2019, I was sobbing uncontrollably as I walked across Venice Beach. To any person passing at a distance, I looked like a guy taking a sunrise stroll near the surf, sipping coffee, sunglasses on, earbuds firmly plugged in. But if you had come closer…

It’s a sad life truism—sometimes you only learn the value of the quality relationships around you after you lose them.

In the Funk Zone, Santa Barbra

The Summer of Death

After my first year of grad school, I went through a summer of death. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a cool video game featuring zombies and chainsaws. My life was about to unravel and I didn’t know it.

Until the summer of 2013, I had been fairly lucky in terms of death. All the people I loved were healthy and alive. But I was 45. Time was no longer on my side. …

Kyle Crocco pondering a move to Portland, Oregon

I check my look in the mirror

I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face

Man, I ain’t getting nowhere

I’m just living in a dump like this

— Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark

Ever have one of those days when Bruce Springsteen’s song “Dancing in the Dark” sounds like the story of your life? A day where you take a look in the mirror and want to change your clothes, your hair, your face?

Maybe you want to quit your job, move to Portland, and become a beat poet? Maybe you want to go back to school…

Enjoying the simple moments, while waiting for my burger at The Habit.

My whole life I’ve been waiting for the day when I would be happy all the time. I figured when I reached a few milestones, achieved a few goals, then boom, I would be sitting with a buddha smile on my face for the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t spending all this time unhappy, writing poems and sad song lyrics. Okay, maybe I did that for a few of my teenage years but for the most part, I wasn’t unhappy. I had fairly normal ups and downs. …

Kyle Crocco at UC Santa Barbara beach during his first 100 days of conscious acts of kindness.

A few months ago, I started practicing “conscious acts of kindness,” almost on a whim. I had no idea what I was signing myself up for. I didn’t think being kind to people would be a life-changing activity. Focusing on kindness just seemed like another way to continue practicing gratitude and generosity.

It all started rather innocently during the first week of April 2019. One of my colleagues thanked me for sending her a Starbucks gift card. She said my personal note I wrote her had inspired her to get back into running. …

How an experiment in giving more improved my life and relationships.

Kyle Crocco enjoying the sunrise at Campus Point at UC — Santa Barbara.

I never considered myself the giving type. I didn’t bake fresh cookies for my friends. I didn’t spend my weekends volunteering at the soup kitchen. I never raised my hand to take ownership of a project at work. And to be honest, I was happy not doing any of these things. But other people found real joy in these acts.

While others were praised for their fresh cookies, volunteer devotion, and ownership of projects, I stood on the outside, a little resentful. Was something missing in me? Were they…

Kyle Crocco reading a book after practicing gratitude.

We don’t start our lives unhappy. As children, most of us laugh at the simplest things. Sure, we cry sometimes, but we tend to get over troublesome moments quickly; then get back to having fun again. We look forward to things. Life is one big, fun experience. We’re excited for what comes next.

Then somehow, as we get older, we lose that joy and excitement. One day, you’ll find yourself in a negative place. Everyone and everything will be annoying. You’ll think everything would be better if only everyone changed their behavior.

When I hit that place, I started practicing…

Being an expert in your field limits your unconventional thinking.

Remember when you didn’t know anything and had all these great ideas? Then you started learning something new and got really inventive, right? Ideas flowed like a river as you learned more and more. People called you an “out of the box” thinker. Then you became an expert in your field, great at executing tasks, and the ideas stopped. What happened?

Creativity keynote speaker and former Disney executive Duncan Wardle may have the answer — and a solution — to the desertion of your ideas. …

Kyle Crocco

The Writing Guy

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