Chapter 9Lifehacking

Lifehacking (verb) 1. Refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. 2. A modern appropriation of a Gordian knot—anything that solves an everyday problem in an inspired, ingenious manner.

When I was growing up in my cozy suburban Lafayette Hill household just outside of Philadelphia, there was only one way, at least as far as my parents and most of my friend's parents were concerned, to be successful. Be a doctor or a lawyer, they told us. In our world, that was the only way to earn the big bucks and ensure lifelong security.

So, despite the fact I had no talent or passion for medicine or the law on any level, I just naturally assumed, when contemplating my professional future, that I would ultimately become a doctor or a lawyer. Although I had built a wildly successful nightclub promotions business during my days at Boston University, which clearly showed that my interests and skills lay elsewhere, I dutifully took the LSATs after my senior year of college because, of course, I was going to be a lawyer. In the suburbs of Philly in the nineties, there were just some things that you didn't question.

Thankfully for me and for the legal profession at large, I chose a different path. I chose passion over prudence and hacked my life, and I have never looked back. But my unusual choices have led me to think about how and why we choose our path in life, and how many more choices the young ...

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