12 Sites I Use to Get More Awesomeness From Life

(also: My Quest for Maximum Awesome)

Note: This is a post from my old blog! I’ve resurrected it through the magic of Archive.org. Be aware that some links and things may be broken, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

“League of Awesomeness” graphic stolen from ZeFrank.com

So, I’ve embarked on what I like to call my “Quest for Awesomeness”. I think it started a few years ago when I was nicknamed “Awesomer Alex” by my friend Boxy… but that’s another story.

Since then there have been many developments in this Quest. One notable point was when I found out about GTD. My friends and family thought it weird that I was reading books on personal productivity… them thinking this would become a running theme which still exists.

Okay, before I get ahead of myself, here’s the list:

  1. The Blog of Tim Ferriss — Tim wrote “The 4-Hour Work Week” which is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. In fact, I was so impressed after reading a friend’s copy that I actually went out and bought it. He posts here strategies for designing your lifestyle in order to achieve maximum enjoyment.
  2. Steve Pavlina.com “Personal Development for Smart People” — I’m pretty sure I found this site through Lifehacker. Steve has a lot of awesome articles here which center around personal development. I highly recommend checking out some of the value-assessment exercises he has, they’re great for finding out what is really important to you.
  3. Lifehacker — No way could I ignore this behemoth of life-hackery. A multi-author blog, Lifehacker focuses on tips and tweaks that help you get through the day. They also review and create software, and thoroughly categorize everything. If you want to subscribe to their RSS feed, I highly recommend using their RSS feed filters
  4. 43 Folders — One of the original GTD-centric sites, 43 Folders has gotten an overhaul and is now a multi-user project. Anyone can join and contribute, but only the best make it to the front page. Great tips and great community started by Merlin Mann.

Each one of these sites is a treasure trove of valuable materials—exercises, strategies, challenges, and inspiration. I’m subscribed to all of their RSS feeds and read them all.

Another important moment in my development was when I read The Game by Neil Strauss. People seem to have mixed opinions about the material he presents in this book, and with good reason. Understanding social dynamics and using them to your advantage is controversial in itself, and Strauss presents a cross-section of this subject.

I can understand why people don’t like it: lots of guys in this Community are sketchy and have less-than savory motives. However, if you read Strauss’ excellent narrative, it ends on a very good note—that the purpose of “The Game” in the first place is to better yourself and get what you want from life. That said, here are my favorite 4 pickup-related sites:

  1. Tynan Is… Better Than Your Boyfriend — An audacious title for sure, but I would believe it! Tynan is mentioned in “The Game” under his alias “Herbal” (ironic as he doesn’t smoke or do drugs). He’s been in this game for a while now and has a great attitude in his musings. Also, he’s currently travelling the world: The Life Nomadic
  2. Juggler’s Blog — Juggler has a chapter in The Game. I believe he’s helped to change the way pickup is taught through his unique style. On his blog he posts humorous and often fictional narratives with real meaning. I’m especially a fan of his post How To Pick Up A Ninja Girl
  3. PickupPodcast — I just met these guys (well, Jordan, not AJ) last weekend and … man, they’re the real deal. I admire how Jordan is pushing to “main-stream-ize” the pickup community and his commitment to more natural game (no routines and memorized stories). The podcast is GOLD MONEY $$$—interviews with famous PUAs and much of the tools anyone needs to improve their game. If you’re female and put off by this whole idea, check out Episode 28 with Kim & Kate (you can also listen to it from the home page, without having to download anything)
  4. ApproachAnxiety — A blog written by “Eric AKA Disco”. I love his writing style, and it’s clear through his posts that he has a lot of experience and knowledge to share. There’s also a podcast, although it’s infrequent.

Something I’ve come to realize from doing an exercise on Steve Pavlina’s site is that I love the idea of subtlety in many forms. Particularly, I’ve got typomania as described by Erik Spiekermann:

This disease is incurable and luckily not life-threatening! Here are a few places I can get my type/design fix:

  1. Erik Spiekermann’s Blog — There are some great examples of found type here and Erik’s dry humor is amusing.
  2. Ace Jet 170 — Found Type Friday! Seriously though, Ace Jet does a great job of making me lust for type specimens and old paperback books.
  3. How Magazine — Recently found this magazine and their blog. I don’t have a lot to say except they cover interesting subjects in design and you should get a physical magazine if you’re into this stuff.
  4. BoingBoing — Okay, not entirely a design site, but they do cover a LOT of illustrators and cool designers. This site is a great way to waste time while learning things!

Whew. Well, now you know what I’m about. Each of these sites is valuable to me in some way, and all have made me a better person.

LMK in the comments which sites you think I should have included, or which you like/hate.