The Experience Curator

The Experience Curator is a periodic series giving you the most fascinating, exceptional, or fun moments from 5,000 BCE through today. From online content to offline stories to tantalizing tidbits, there’s plenty here to resonate with anyone (including you).

This edition features Experience Curating: The Book in print and audio, “The Republic of Fear,” a radical(ly awesome) way to budget, and a whole lot more.

Grab a beverage, remove your distractions, and let’s explore a combination of topics and mediums that I’ve found valuable … and I believe you’ll dig, too.

Your Wonderful World of Experience Curating

Before You Dig in

Yep. It's true. Experience Curating is available in print and audiobook formats now.

There will be a context-rich, fun, and dedicated post about it soon. But there's no need to wait to get your copy today with these links:

  1. Print version (CreateSpace for $1.00 off): CreateSpace fills the print book order regardless of who you buy it from. And when you buy directly from them instead of Amazon, I keep more so I can reinvest in future projects you'll enjoy. Use coupon code “S724LA8P” for $1.00 off at checkout to help me and yourself.
  2. Print version (Amazon): We'll still be friends if you want the one-click simplicity of Amazon. The most important thing is that you get it … and get it the way that works best for you.
  3. Audiobook version (multiple): Get the audiobook version – narrated by yours truly – at Gumroad (save $2.50) or Amazon/Audible.

Word Up (Text)

David Brooks has a knack for putting seemingly impossible to understand world events or human psychology into context. And it's hard to refute that you and I are living in The Republic of Fear.

This opinion piece persuades with both emotion and facts of just how blind most Americans (and others in more developed countries) are to the daily realities of billions of people living without law and order.

People in many parts of the world simply live beyond the apparatus of law and order. The District of Columbia spends about $850 per person per year on police. In Bangladesh, the government spends less than $1.50 per person per year on police. The cops are just not there. In the United States, there is one prosecutor for every 12,000 citizens. In Malawi, there is one prosecutor for every 1.5 million citizens. The prosecutors are just not there … The primary problem of politics is not creating growth. It’s creating order. Until that is largely achieved, life can be nasty, brutish and short.

Did You Hear That? (Podcasts)

Here's a suggestion: find 22 uninterrupted minutes in the next week (or 11 minutes at 2x speed) and listen to time stamps 02:00 – 24:00 of this Financial Mentor podcast episode with YNAB's Jesse Mecham.

Todd Tressider (the host) and Jesse (the amazing guest) are just completely dialed in to the reality that:

“There are two different camps – there are those that don't want a budget because they already ‘know what they spend.' If that person is actively tracking their spending then I believe them, but most people that say that aren't actively tracking what they spend and are simply tracking it in their mind, and it doesn't work. Budgeting isn't a prison or a diet. If you think about how you spend money as reflecting your priorities, then people open up to it … People tell me that budgeting’s so restrictive and there's so much deprivation but a lot of the time those people live in a world where they’re the ones that are restrictive and they’re depriving themselves of a little bit of peace if they would just take a proactive role in things.” – Jesse Mecham

And not to be outdone …

Putting it another way – ‘Which prison do you want?' Do you want the prison of your circumstances because you're not honoring the math of wealth building or do you want the prison that's created inherent by the math that's there? The thing I like to do when talking about budgeting is turn it around and say it’s not about doing without at all. It’s about you getting what you want that’s most important with the resources that you’ve got available. – Todd Tressider

What’s New (and Old) in Curating

Marcus Aurelius kept one. Thomas Jefferson had one. And everyone from Napoleon to Montaigne used one.

What it is? Well, it's a commonplace book. And Ryan Holiday follows the lead of some of history's most influential people in explaining how and why you should have a commonplace book, too.

A commonplace book is a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life. The purpose of the book is to record and organize these gems for later use in your life, in your business, in your writing, speaking or whatever it is that you do … [I've talked] about how to read more, which books to read, how to read books above your level, and how to write. Well, the commonplace book is a thread that runs through all those ideas. It's what ties those efforts together and makes you better at each one of them.

(I prefer Excel spreadsheets to a physical book for curating my experiences. But to each their own).

The Meaning of Life

Are you a positive psychology fan? I'm sorta on board with this booming discipline. However, Amit Amin of HappierHuman has a hilarious and “dig deep into your heart” kind of perspective.

The relentless pursuit of happiness often toys with our minds and destroys decades of life before we realize it. So you'll want to understand which of these six fraudulent schemes you have mistaken or might mistake as dreams.

Spoiler alert: Materialism is inefficient and unattractive people are happy. Oh, and uncertainty feels bad, but simplicity feels good.

New Stuff I Created

I could listen to Joan Sotkin talk all day. So I was fortunate enough to interview her recently for a Smart and Simple Matters episode.

Listen in to discover a simple, instant mindset shift to control your money worries, how to become someone who doesn't fear losing anything, why were not designed to have abundance (and why nothingness is so important), plus what happens when you eliminate sugar from your diet for 42 years.

Quote Notes

I look at water in a fundamentally different way after listening to an episode of The Model Health Show. Shawn, the podcaster, said it best:

A lot of people understand the benefits of eating raw foods, but we're drinking cooked, processed water. – Shawn Stevenson

Weird, huh? Cooked and processed water? If you live in a city, it's probably what you get every time you turn on the tap.

The Simple Time Capsule

Here’s a snapshot of the good, bad, and groovy from me over the months and years:


I'm hosting a SimpleREV webinar with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist on June 11, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. CDT. And I invite you to join us for Connecting Community and Simplicity: 3 Powerful Keys to Grow Life-Affirming Relationships.

Registration is free, takes fifteen seconds, gets you early access to the HD replay, and gives you the chance to connect with me and Joshua live.

And because this Experience Curator edition has been so Experience Curating charged, here's a link again to get my book in print or audio.

So what about you? What intriguing experiences – ancient to brand spankin’ new – have you curated that I or others should see? Please share in the comments!

Photo credit: Alan English