If You Don’t Get at Least a Hundred Likes on Your Selfies, Are You Even an Influencer?

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Some days I spend too much time on social media. It’s addictive, I get it. It’s also probably one of the primary causes of depression and anxiety among Millenials.

It is what it is.

But today I don’t want to talk about us comparing our day to day lives with the highlight reel of the rich and famous.

Today I want to talk about those who pretend to be rich and famous for likes and shares and a bit of money.

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The 5 People Who Will Break Your Heart in Your 20s

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Ah, your twenties. A decade of marvelous growth, decadent spending, and quite a few heartbreaks. Just like the 1920s.

That’s when you figure out a lot about life. What your teachers didn’t want to tell you, didn’t like to tell you, or didn’t know enough about to tell you.

That’s when you’ll probably fall in and out of love with life, with your soulmate, with your passion. That’s when you will get your heart broken, and when you should fail at something you were passionate about.

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Your Journey Towards Home Is Your Home

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We often think the point of being a human is to establish a self that is free from suffering, that is free from the outcome of pursuing happiness, love, success, fame, money…

The point of being human is not to travel to a place where everything is perfect. Instead, it is to understand that your struggle to establish a human self is inseparable from the self it creates.

In other words, your journey towards home is, in fact, your home.

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Every Struggle Is Like Mud

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“Every struggle is like mud — there are always some lotus seeds waiting to sprout.”
Amit Ray

I am writing these words to you, who are struggling. I am writing these words to let you know that this is the moment when you want your dream to come true, but it doesn’t.

You gave it your best shot, but it didn’t happen.

And this dream of yours, it could be anything. Writing a book, starting a business, landing a new job, losing a few extra pounds, or finding your soulmate.

It’s what you want to be doing, what you know you should be doing, but you’re struggling. You want to throw in the towel.

Because it’s not working out. It’s all setbacks and restlessness and this pitch darkness when you think about the future. It’s no visible progress. It’s fear and anger and bitterness and envy, all mixed up together, all demons afraid of each other.

Maybe that’s not your thing, after all? Or are you paying your dues?

Are you wasting your time or are you on the way to success?

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Some Days You Can’t Grow Through What You Go Through

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There’s a Japanese word that has become synonymous with continuous improvement. 

Kaizen.

It’s a term used to define small, daily improvements. The 1% daily improvement. The compounding effect of such improvements.

It’s a wonderful dream to aspire towards daily improvements. Most of your days should and can be about small, constant, improvement.

But…

There are days when that’s just not possible.

Maybe it’s because of failure or setback, but I find it’s rarely the case. Mostly, it’s because of lack of success.

The daily failure.

Maybe your online store isn’t selling enough products, maybe your content isn’t consumed or appreciated.

It’s not the spectacular failure or rejection that breaks most people, but rather a constant lack of success, of something worthy of celebration.

During those days, the best thing you can do is to simply go through the motions. Yeah, I know you don’t feel like it. And I know you’re sure that nothing good will come of it, but the trick is to do whatever it takes to keep going.

That’s all it takes. If you don’t give up, that’s the kind of success you can be proud of, because that’s exactly when most people quit.

When you feel like throwing in the towel, imagine that almost everyone else but those you admire most quit.

Now, do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be like those you admire?

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This Chinese Curse Can Teach You a Lot About Times of Chaos and Despair

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Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, British Ambassador to China in 1936 and 1937, mentioned in his memoir that, before he left England for China in 1936, a friend told him of an old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

There’s not much evidence this expression was ever used as a curse in China, but it’s become rather popular in recent years.

While at first glance a blessing, not a curse, there’s more to this saying than meets the eye.

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If You’re Not Drowning…You’re a Lifeguard

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When we think of wealth, we begin with one number: a million.

Let’s say a million dollars. To most people, that’s a lot of money.

In Monaco, it buys you a closet. In Chelsea, London, a garage. In Los Angeles, you might buy a one-bedroom apartment.

A million dollars allows you to purchase 27 Tesla Model 3. Or you can use the same million to buy almost one-third of a Bugatti Chiron.

There’s this old joke about a guy winning the lottery. Obviously, reporters come to his house.

“What are you going to do with the money?” the reporters ask him.

“I’m going to pay my debts.”

“And with the rest?” they inquire.

“Well, the rest will have to wait.”

Poor and rich are mindsets. Abundance and scarcity are mindsets. Two sides of the same coin. We often find ourselves traveling along the edge of the coin, trying to decide.

“Is it enough? Do I need more?”

Do we ever come up with a “yes” followed by a “no” to those two questions?

Seth Godin once wrote a remarkable short piece that ended with the following words, If you’re not drowning, you’re a lifeguard.

It made me think.

If we’re not drowning, it’s our responsibility to help others.

Most of us aren’t drowning. We’re not. We have a roof over our head, we have stable and fast access to the internet, and we earn enough to pay the bills, to go on a vacation or two every year.

We’re not rich, but we’re not poor either.

Yet, regardless of how much money people have, or how much they earn, most of them are not enjoying the benefits of a mindset that revolves around abundance.

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Don’t You Dare Give Up on Your Dreams

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“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” — Ambrose Redmon

I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote.

But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in — I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.

There’s this poem by a Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. It’s called To My Critics, and the last verses go like this:

It is easy to write verses
Out of nothing but the word.

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Stop Waiting for Inspiration

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Haruki Murakami is one of the most celebrated authors of our time. He is also a man of tremendous focus and discipline. He wakes up at 4 a.m. and writes for 5 or so hours. Every single day.

Kurt Vonnegut would wake up at 5:30 a.m. work until 8 a.m., eat breakfast, and then work a couple more hours.

J.M. Coetzee, the 2003 Nobel Prize Laureate, supposedly spends at least one hour at his desk, every morning, without fail.

Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the past century, would work each night from 11 p.m. until early in the morning.

Maya Angelou used to write every morning from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One of the most prevalent myths is that to do creative work, one must feel inspired. It’s not true.

We can always work, whether we feel inspired or not.

It’s all about developing a routine.

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The One Question You Should Always Ask Yourself Before Pursuing a Goal

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Goals are essential to our happiness. Working towards a worthy goal ensures that we live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.

If so, why do we fail at most of our goals? Why do we struggle with motivation?

If our vision of the future is so compelling, if we know why we want it, if we know how to get it, then why do we struggle to do it?

I believe it all comes down to the fact that we never ask ourselves this simple question, a question that perhaps you don’t even want to think about, let alone answer.

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