I can’t believe this, but I did double-check the math: Raptitude first appeared on the internet ten years ago today.
That day it had one reader: my mom. But soon there was a little gang of eight or nine regulars. Then there were enough to fill a schoolbus. Then a plane, a concert hall, an arena, and a stadium.
There’s so much I want to say about this last decade—reflections, lessons learned, plans for the future—but I’ll do all that later. Today I just want to take a little tour of where we’ve been together.
Here are the biggest articles from each of Raptitude’s first ten years, in terms of reach and popularity. One of them is probably the first one you ever read.
The other thing I want to say is that I love you all very much. Whether you’re new to this site, or you’ve been here since the schoolbus days—connecting with you about the ups and downs of being human has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
Believe it or not, in 2009, the mega-list-post wasn’t really a thing yet—I like to think I helped pioneer the cliché. I cringe at some of these “important truths” now, but there’s still a lot here.
My 2009 fave: This Will Never Happen Again
A heartfelt rant about how our work makes us so tired and unfulfilled that we give the money right back. By far the most-read Raptitude post ever.
Just what it says. Straightforward instructions on how to become a trillionaire. Please use responsibly.
My 2011 fave: How to Walk Across a Parking Lot
A post about all the ways we tend to fall into our lifestyles rather than choose them, even when we have options. I don’t know quite what it was about this one that resonated so much – it’s probably something different for everyone.
My 2012 fave: How to Sit in a Chair and Drink Tea
A medium-sized collection of some pretty good aphorisms, at least for my world. I think I have learned some of these in the five years since. Still working on #11.
My 2013 fave: An Interview With The Man
I still love this one and its lighthearted, empowering profanity. Many people confuse me with Mark Manson because of his similarly-titled (and very good) article and subsequent bestseller. The only Raptitude post that includes a flowchart.
My 2014 fave: The Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit
The direct results of my encounter with Marie Kondo’s first book, which was huge at the time but not as big as her recent Netflix show. I think it does a good job at showing the good, bad and ugly aspects of the “spark joy” method.
My 2015 fave: Don’t Worry, Everybody Else is Crazy Too
A topic still dear to my heart. The news is an enormous force in this world and in our minds, and we are constantly fooled by our relationship with it. This post gets at a few of the issues.
My 2016 fave: Five Things You Notice When You Quit The News
Go Deeper, Not Wider (2017)
The post that sparked a thousand depth years. There is something about this idea that people were extremely ready for. So much of Raptitude is about the haphazard way our lifestyles come to be what they are, and this one hit on something close to many hearts.
My 2017 fave: Go Deeper, Not Wider
People are also extremely ready to push back against another great mind-stealer of our time: the smartphone. This is my account of the surreal, time-travel-like experience created by a simple ban on phone use at a concert.
My 2018 fave: How to Let Go
It was really emotional going through these. I remember where I was, and how life felt, when I wrote every single one.
Is your favorite on the list? What is it?
I want to make one final shout-out for my younger child, Camp Calm. A group of your fellow readers is embarking on the path very soon.
Come learn a few techniques to slow down, de-stress, and feel more centered this spring. There are a few days left to register.
If you have any questions, just ask 🙂
Balloon photo by Aaron Burden (cropped from original)
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