keysersI was once a very shy, conservative guy. Then I lived with some Marine buddies for a year; they helped me break out of my shell.

I barely spoke a word to anyone growing up—even to some people in my family. I didn’t like to talk, and I was scared to step out of my comfort zone.

My family is still shocked that I became a reporter.

In a way, I am, too.

I’ve been doing this for more than eight years, and approaching a person and asking for an interview still makes me nervous.

But writing is what I love.

If I wasn’t a reporter, I don’t know what I would be doing—maybe be cleaning porta potties. And you’d better believe those would be the cleanest porta potty seats anyone had ever pissed on.

I realized that there’s so much life I want to see, so much I want to experience, and my shyness was holding me back. So, I just got out there and started doing it.

I’m 27 now, and am I where I want to be in life? Not exactly. But I’m busting my ass to get there every day.

I almost died a year ago. Honestly, I shouldn’t be here today. But for reasons I don’t understand, God gave me another chance. I fully intend on getting the most out of it, because you never know when your life will be taken from you.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received—well, it wasn’t directed at me personally—but Steve Jobs said, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

… There was a time in my life I was absolutely miserable, and it was a direct result of my job at the time. I was spending 70-plus hours a week, six days a week, working for two bosses I couldn’t stand. Finally, the day came I had enough, and I quit on the spot. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Was it scary? Sure. But it allowed me to get out of the rut I was in and focus on what made me happy: writing good stories.

That’s the key to a good life: Do what makes you happy.