The fifteen-minute recipe to max out your summer

backflips on the beach? awesome.

It’s time.

Here’s my fifteen-minute recipe to get more out of your summer!

The rules are simple.
Read them. Think about them.

But once you start, you only get fifteen minutes. Go!


Step one – Write (10 min.)
Go! Open Notepad, Word, a notebook, whatever – and just WRITE everything you hope and dream for this summer. Go as fast as you can. Dream. Don’t stop.


I repeat – do not, do not, do not edit. Just write.

If you could have, do and accomplish everything you wanted to do this summer, what would you do? Be? Create?

Write it down. You only have ten minutes. Go.


Step two – Save it.
Push Ctrl-S. Done. Don’t think too hard. “Untitled” is a fine name for this.

Step three – Edit until you have one paragraph.

Bring it all together into one paragraph. Edit, delete, and rewrite. Go fast. Go hard. Cut the fat, aim for the heart.

IMPORTANT: The paragraph can not be more than half a page long.

Cut. Edit. Hard. Now.

Step four – Save it again.

Ctrl-A. Give it a new name. Like “Most Awesome Summer Paragraph.”

Step five – Print it and post it.

Ctrl-P. Put it somewhere where you’ll see it everyday.
Then, read it everyday. And think about it.


But wait! There’s more!
For extra power, do the simple but powerful EXTRA CREDIT step now!

Step six – EXTRA CREDIT.

Look at everything you wrote so far. Choose THREE WORDS – yes, only three – that summarize everything.

Write these down somewhere where you’ll see them everyday. Memorize them.

At least once a day, think of them.
Then think of your dreams.

Let those words help guide your days and weeks – and make those three words real in your life.

That’s it. There’s the power.

How does this work? Read on.

the soup

It’s like making soup.
When I was a child, my dad would make the most amazing soups. He would add tons of fresh ingredients: succulent stew beef, potatoes, garlic, herbs, spices and vegetables that I’d never heard of.

Dad would bring the soup to a rolling boil, and then turn DOWN the heat and let it simmer for hours!

The soup filled the house with this enticing, delicious, mouth-watering aroma. You’d smell it as soon as you opened the front door. The fragrance would wash over you like a wave – and you’d be lost until dinner.

Here’s the key question: WHY simmer the soup?
It’s a cooking technique called reduction. Boiling off the liquid intensifies the taste of the soup and makes it more potent. The remaining soup soaks into everything else, infusing it with rich flavor. It’s magic.

That’s how to make a better plan for your summer.

Boil your plans – and intensify them.
Steps one and two are to put the soup of your summer dreams together.

Steps three through six boil those dreams down to the core and intensify them. It’s about focus.

As you cut your hopes for the summer down to their most minimal form, the dream becomes potent. Then, as you re-read it everyday, that powerful remainder infuses the flavor of your dreams into each day.


Do it now.
Even if you already have plans, this will focus your plans dramatically.

Better yet, if you do step six, it will give you a powerful mental anchor to hang all your plans on, so that you can keep them in the forefront of your thoughts all summer long.

Flavor your summer. Do it now.

“What else can I do?”
Good question. I’m writing you a guide – an e-book.
It’s FREE. It’s releasing on June 1st.

If you sign up here, I’ll give it to you for free when it’s finished!

The working title is “The Pursuit of Awesome: The One-Summer Guide”

It’s a book of lists. Actionable, cheap or free to execute, simple things to do to make your life more awesome. Things like how to:

– Waste less time.
– Be more creative.
– Learn a language.
– Break old habits and start new habits.
– Learn leadership.
– Set a course for your life.

It can all be done in two months or less.

Interested? Join the club.

join up. get the book.

addendum 1:
This post is inspired by Chris Brogan’s annual Three Word practice. I’ve adapted it for students to make the most of their summer. But you can expand this exercise to encompass an entire year.

addendum 2:
The book is the most ambitious thing I’ve done here so far. And it’s the first of a few I’m planning to put out this year! Leave me your email and I’ll be sure you know all about it. And other secret stuff. Shh. (and no spam!)


photo credit: Tyson Cecka and Cayusa via Compfight



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