Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Because this is my personal blog, occasionally I get to tell some random story because I feel like it. I try to keep this site fairly ‘professional’, but sometimes I just want to share because I can.

Most of you who have visited the site recently probably have some idea of what I look like (thanks to the stream of photos on the homepage). For those that haven’t known me for some time, though, you probably don’t know that I lost a lot of weight: Around eighty pounds or so. I lost it all four years ago and have successfully kept it off since. I like to think that I’ve permanently changed my health. I try to eat reasonably healthy and go to the gym daily (though it doesn’t always work out that way).

My real point here isn’t really about losing weight, though, it’s about what happened after I lost all the weight. Instead of feeling fantastic, I felt terrible. I mean, sure my body felt and looked much better, but personally I wasn’t happy. After you dramatically change your appearance you expect everything to change. The thing is, it didn’t. Life was still more or less the same. What was worse, I had such high expectations that I was constantly disappointed. I was waking up every morning expecting to have the best day ever because I was skinny. I had completely bought into the idea that happiness is directly correlated to weight.

All in all it was one of the most unhappy points in my life.

Things didn’t change much until I went away to London. It was there that I learned what I think was one of the most important lessons of my life: You’ve got to let things come to you.

You see, I was expecting every night to be the best night ever, and when it wasn’t I was left disappointed. A good friend of mine taught me not to expect anything out of an evening, a lesson that I extended to the rest of life. All of a sudden everything turned around and I was having the best nights of my life. It was easy to exceed expectations when there were none.

None of this is to say you shouldn’t expect greatness, on the contrary, I firmly believe you should. This is specifically about letting a good time come to you. Sometimes we all place unneeded pressure on ourselves and sometimes that pressure can effect our attitude, which in turn effects the final result. Occasionally it’s important to let go and just enjoy.

July 17, 2006