Advice in 140 Characters of Less

Have you ever told yourself, “I wish I would have known then what I know now?”

Yeah, you have, everybody has. The thought probably didn’t go too much further from there. Well, I’m taking it a little further. Although there will always be a few things you wish you would have known, here are something that a few people would tell the young adult version of themselves.


“Don’t chase your dreams, figure out a need that needs to be filled and fill it.” @toddhenry, author of Accidental Creative


Destination and Direction

Destination for Action Catalyst

Direction is made up of small Destinations. A Destination is an objective that is reachable in the next 5 months or year. Some examples include landing a desired job, taking some precarious steps in a new direction, or beginning a new venture. This is a concrete goal, one that can be definitely reached in a […]

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What I’m Wearing

Most of my Closet

Here’s what’s in my closet. North Face Outward Bound Shorts 2 cotton shirts 5 Socks 2 lulu lemon shirts 1 lulu lemon tank top 1 lulu lemon work out short 1 Pair of Levi’s Jeans 1 Pair of Chinos 2 Short Sleeve Button Downs 1 Pair of Patagonia Baggies (swimming) 1 Pair of Running Shoes […]

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People Are Scared to Have Fun

People are Scared

I haven’t been writing much because, well, I’ve been living. Yes, that’s an excuse, a bad one, and I hate excuses so it’s more appropriate to say that I haven’t made writing for Action Catalyst a priority.Which is a shame because I have been doing some pretty awesome stuff, mainly Big Ass Canvas. Go check […]

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I’m Leaving the US (forever?)

Zach is traveling the world and he might not ever come back.

In roughly 3 months I’m leaving the United States for Pamplona, Spain, the first step in my two years of world travel. Hell yeah you heard me right. Around early July I will be leaving the U.S. and quite possibly not returning for two years. The details? There aren’t many. Starting in Pamplona, then: who […]

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22. Twenty-Two. XXII. 22/?

Twenty Two Years

Today I am 22. Time seems to be speeding up. I can remember exactly a year ago writing about turning 21. Yesterday, almost. The piece titled “First Step, Again” was about getting focused and starting to hustle, again. It was inspired from a journal entry a year prior about my frustration with college and the […]

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I Suck @

How to Stop Sucking at What You Suck At | Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

We All Suck at Stuff Maybe it’s patience, maybe it’s being alone with ourselves, or maybe it’s being self conscious. Wait.. those are mine. You have your own though, too. What are they? Don’t be scared to address these areas. Sure, once you start thinking about them you will realize more and more that you […]

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10 Rules I Wish I’d Learned at 10

Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

Sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way but if possible, learning from others mistakes is the best form of learning. Second hand experience saves immeasurable time, pain, and energy. When given the opportunity to talk with someone with more experience, take it. You won’t regret your decision. It will give you insight that […]

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How to Sip Productively

The Magic of Coffee | Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

I’m continually surprised at the amount of college students that don’t know how to take advantage of coffee. Most cities have awesome coffee spots yet quite a few college students don’t take full advantage of them. If you can learn the tricks early, it will treat you fantastically over the course of your professional career. […]

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Why I Dropped Out of College

Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

ROI wasn’t worth it Too many people “Wish they had not gone.” Felt too “entitled” while in school Knew there were other options Didn’t want to waste $ “figuring it out” I can always go back “I didn’t go to college. Well, I went to college but I dropped out. I have always been entrepreneurial […]

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Questions To Stay On Course

Asking Tough Questions | Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

Some questions I ask to help focus on what’s important, to find areas I need to work on, and to stay on the right path. What does “LIVING” look like? What does “PROGRESS” look like? What wakes me up / what keeps me up? What do I suck at? How do I define “SUCCESS”? How […]

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My Minimalist Journey

Minimalism | Action Catalyst | Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

Last year during my Twitter beginnings I came across Joshua Millburn’s “Why I Quit My Six-Figure Corporate Job To Pursue My Passions”. I thought this move was incredibly bad ass and immediately retweeted the essay. He just quit his six-figure job, hell yeah I’ll follow him. Then, while visiting Austin for SXSW, he offered to […]

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1000 Mistakes Per Day

Austin Life Coach | College Guidance | Personal Development Plan

I’ve been making an insanely huge number of mistakes and bad decisions lately. Daily, hourly, minutely I am messing up. Sometimes the mistakes are big and bad, sometimes they are inconsequential to the world, something that only I notice. I am not trying to make mistakes, which would just be counterproductive to growth. In fact, […]

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Don’t Worry about the Lions

Don't be Afraid of the Lions

Humans approach decisions with “Loss Aversion Thinking” meaning we will sacrifice the opportunity to win more in order to not lose less. Don’t worry, almost everybody does it, it’s how we’re wired. It dates back to when humans were battling to survive and our thinking was something like this: Mistake > broken leg > infection […]

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Me, My Thoughts, My Life

Not Hiding

I wrote this post to take another step towards being more genuine and honest about myself. I want people to either like or dislike me for who I really am, not a facade or a fake image, so I am publishing this as insight into my life. The clips are part of a 30 minute […]

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Wild Card Salon

Wild Card Salon

SALON – a discussion that allows thought leaders to focus on key ideas that further personal thought, challenge beliefs and inspire action. The Salon was an Italian invention of the 16th century which flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Throughout this time period people gathered together in Salons to discuss relevant issues […]

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50 FREE 1-1 Coaching Meetings

As part of my 2012 Theme, I want to focus on doing what I love by getting back to the basics of why I started Action Catalyst. To start this off I am now offering 50 FREE ONE-ONE Action Assemblies. I love helping young adults ask the tough questions and make the decisions to move […]

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I’m a Selfish Asshole

Why You Need to Be Selfish

I recently came to the realization that I am very selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-seeking, and self-serving. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to. I am pretty extremely wrapped up in myself and my life. I handle myself first, look out for myself, prioritize my interests. […]

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My Theme for 2012

2012 Action Catalyst Theme

Theme not Resolution I didn’t make a resolution this year. I’ve made them in the past and they worked, but this year I wanted to set a direction for my growth, my learning, and my life instead of resolving to quit / start something. I have no idea what 2012 has in store for me. […]

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Success is succ-SEX


You know in the movies when the two teenage characters finally have sex for the first time and it’s magical, romantic, and beautiful?  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Think Twilight. Now remember how your first time wasn’t like that at all? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t […]

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Who the Hell Are YOU?

Keyboard Life Question

Cut the bullshit. Seriously, cut through all of the airbrushed, surface-level, perfect image bullshit. Strip away your college degree, your job title, your family history: look deeper. What drives you? What motivates you? What do you love? What do you hate? When you are alone, with nothing to distract you, no one to impress, and […]

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Brian Boitmann

Brian Boitmann for Action Catalyst

I came to the University of Texas with no idea where my story was going.  I knew I wanted to do something I was passionate about and I knew I wanted to live out my faith in Christ but I had no idea where this would take me. My path became a little clearer when, […]

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7 Observations About Friendship

This Thought was almost published as a defense to the backlash from “Relationships, Un-Friending, and Burning Bridges”. Yet, lying in bed last night, I reminded myself that this site was design to help young-adults take a proactive approach to living meaningful lives and that relationships play a crucial role in this journey. Therefore, there was […]

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“Don’t Care” Update


At the beginning of November I decided to push myself to stop caring what others think of me, to be more myself, and to put myself in situations that force me to disregard self-consciousness. Needless to say, it was a crazy month of personal growth! Out of all my personal development history, the choice to […]

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Relationships, Un-Friending, and Burning Bridges

Are They Really Friends

Moving Forward The holidays are a time when people across the country are packing their bags and heading home. For most young adults this means reuniting with hometown friends. However, this holiday season I have decided not to take part in this usually joyful reunion. I’ve changed a lot over the last three years, making […]

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Your Life is a Dream

Real College Experience

Picture this: You’re 28, living in a house or apartment in the center of town: your friends are near, you’re close to downtown, and you’re right in the middle of the action. Every month rent gets paid, no problem. You work, but not too incredibly hard. (You’re not busting it everyday, going all out, hustling […]

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Graham Wasilition

Graham Wasilition

Everything in life is about balance. Most of us are in a spot to manage this balance, using it to our advantage without even realizing it. I have been lucky enough to experiment with both participating in and pushing the status quo at a young age. I graduated from Virginia Tech with an Engineering degree […]

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Climbing Trees and Overcoming Fear

Sam Overcoming Fear

Four times a week I babysit my 8 and 10 year old “dudester” cousins. Needless to say, we do a bunch of awesome stuff: wrestle, sword fight, play football, swim and most recently we’ve started climbing trees. When Sam and Charlie first began, they were climbing small, easy trees. Then, as I started suggesting moving […]

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I Don’t Care What You Think

Confident with Your Reflection?

“Started not to give a f*** and stopped fearing the consequence.” Drake The Background Recently, an older acquaintance (50-something) shared with me that he finally doesn’t care what people think of him. This tiny statement started my mind running about how much I care what others think of me. After much introspection, reminders from song […]

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Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey for Action Catalyst Inspirers

I was on a fast track to a Biochemistry career about 10 years ago. The semester before I was to graduate undergrad summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry, I was sitting in the office of my Biochemistry mentor Eamonn Healy, one of the coolest people I knew. We were talking somewhat casually about […]

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Fueling the Fire

Fueling the Fire of Ambition

 Everybody has a fire inside that pushes them to accomplish something, to move forward, to be someone. This fire doesn’t grow or burn without fuel and finding fuel can be difficult. Sometimes fuel comes from friends or family. Sometimes the opposite happens and friends or family want to put out what you are seeking to […]

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A Little More about Action Catalyst

Action Catalyst Basics

The website is live. The traffic is flowing in. And now it all starts. Soon “Thoughts” will be constantly updated with new ideas, people will be contributing to the conversation, and young adults will ask themselves the tough questions needed to take action. And Action Catalyst will spread. Small flames will be enrolling in “Figuring […]

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Steering a Parked Car

Can't Steer a Parked Car

Have you ever tried steering a parked car? Even if your navigation is set, your car is in perfect mechanical shape, and your wheels are facing the right direction you cannot get to your destination without moving. Starting the car and putting it in drive is the most crucial part of the trip because all […]

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Trying this new fad called, “Silence”

Quiet is Power

Silence. Quiet. No noise to distract you, to allow you to escape, to let you off the hook. For the month of September I made the decision to cut out noise while driving. As a personal experiment, I decided to not listen to music, talk radio, my iPOD, or any other noise. I decided to […]

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Running in (the right) Circles

Who Are You Hanging Out With?

Bad company corrupts (but good company does the opposite). Corrupt is defined as “cause to become morally depraved.” That’s harsh. What’s the antonym of corrupt? Improve, inspire, make better? The thesaurus doesn’t give quite an antonym that really captures the exact opposite of corrupt. Association has a huge impact on the entire group and if […]

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Crack The Surface

Are You Breaking the Rules (to live)?

Crack the Surface: Urban Explorers The guys in the video know that trespassing in underground tunnels and train tracks allows them to LIVE. It fuels their travel around the world, their willingness to endure day jobs, and the possibility of arrest. But they are ALIVE in the adventure and it’s all worth it. What makes […]

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“Long Middle”

Long Middle for Action Catalyst

“I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see […]

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“Do right and study”

Pile of Books

“Therefore, my son, if you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself.” – Niccolo Machiavelli Here’s what this quote means: be yourself and continually progress. A person that has true passion, who follows their heart, and invests […]

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“Chase Your Passions”

“Chase your passions and the money will come. Chase money and you’ll be lucky to ever find your passions.” Colin Wright It’s cliche. You’ve been told a million times. You’re tired of hearing it: follow your dreams, not your wallet. Got it. But do you really understand the importance of the choice between money and […]

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What is a “Meaningful Life”?

As you know, the goal here at Action Catalyst is to help people continue their pursuit of a meaningful life. “But what is a meaningful life?” This question comes up over and over again and honestly, I can’t give you an answer. Because the definition of “meaningful” ranges widely from person to person, I can […]

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“Ambitions are stories”


 “The ambitions we have will become the stories we live. If you want to know what a person’s story is about, just ask them what they want.” Donal Miller What do you want? Like, right now? What do you want in 5 years? What about 10? Don’t give me the “I don’t know what I […]

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