11 Harsh Truths about Success

There are two main reasons why this photograph of Jeff Bezos is interesting.

First of all, today’s richest man is working from headquarters located on the same street as a pawn shop, a heroin-needle exchange, and a “porno parlor.” His office, the badly stained carpet, the desk, made out of a door propped up on two-by-fours, all give the impression of the kind of hopelessness that people often encounter whenever they start something new.

The second thing about this photograph is even more intriguing: When this picture was taken, back in 1999, Jeff Bezos was already worth around 9 billion dollars. Yet he worked from that office, drove around in a Honda, and had a terrible sense of fashion.

Success is not easy. Overnight success is so statistically improbable that we might as well think it doesn’t even exist.

The struggle is real. Just imagine in what kind of conditions Bezos was working when he first started his company, if this was what his office looked like when running what had grown into a 30 billion dollar company.

The same way Elon Musk had to borrow money to pay rent in the early days of SpaceX, all successful people had to deny themselves pleasure and comfort in order to bring their dreams to life.

There’s no way around it, I’m afraid.

And there are certain aspects of success that rarely get talked about. We romanticize success to the point that it feels like a walk in the park. You do what you love, always a smile on your face…

Here are eleven harsh truths about success that no one ever talks about. Continue reading

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How to Win Friends and Influence People (As a Blogger)

First published more than 70 years ago, Dale Carnegie’s guide on people skills entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People” contains wisdom that is mostly true to this very day, because human nature, for better or worse, does not change much over time.

And even in this brave new world of the Internet and social media, we can still look to age-old truths in deciphering a code to grow an audience (win friends) and successfully engage readers via our blogs (influence people).

Here are eight of these truths … Continue reading

The Bitter Truth about Self-Help

What if I were to tell you that, as a man, if you’re happily married then you failed? You betrayed your biological purpose.

The right strategy is to have as many partners as possible, to ensure the passing down of your genes. To have as many children with as many different women as possible.

Would you agree with this statement?

It depends, I guess.

That’s a simplistic truth. Most people think in simplistic truths, which is sad.

Because, yes, you can adopt that strategy and have as many partners as you can. But it’s not the only way. You can also take a different approach, and choose to be in a life-long monogamous relationship, and do your best to raise your kids in order to ensure they have the best chance at survival.

That’s the nuanced point. The almost-paradox.

What I mean to say is that there’s always more than one way to do something, and that the truth is never simple.

But what about self-help? What about all the gurus and their teachings? What are the simplistic truths they preach?

Well… Continue reading

Don’t Have Enough Time for Your Blog?

Legend says that lack of time is the number one cause for headaches. So if you’re feeling this pressure too, rest assured that you’re not alone.

But lack of time does not have to be an excuse for a lack of progress on your blog.

Continue reading

Six Years of Blogging, Branching Out, and Patrons of The Art of Blogging

Six years ago I decided to start this blog. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know much about the platform, about topics and all that.

I just knew I had to do something. I had to write, write, write. I was sick of my own excuses.

Last year I wrote this cute post here, which became one of the most popular posts on this blog. It wasn’t meant to be the sort of post that receives that much attention. Anyway. Continue reading

Fight for Your Dreams

Alexander the Great. Even though he only lived on this Earth for a total of 33 years, some 2,300 years ago, we have yet to forget his name and legendary battles.

During his short life, nothing stopped him.  Nothing. Huge armies with elephants, impregnable fortresses, vast distances over mountains and rivers and deserts, hunger, thirst, the sea itself, the uttermost extremes of physical hardship and war.  His body was littered with scars; everywhere that is, except his back.  That’s because the world’s greatest commander never retreated, and he never lost a battle.

Most of his portraits, sculptures, and coins reflect a kind of upward gaze as if he were staring into the very heavens, yearning for something unreachable.

He dedicated his life to the struggle against insurmountable odds. And he became great because he surmounted them all.

Continue reading

Warning: The “Work-Life Balance” Myth Is Ruining Your Life

Work-life balance. Financial freedom. Self-help. Motivation. Lifestyle advice.

The “ten minutes” this or that. The “five steps to” this or that. The easy way. The shortcut you never knew needed.

Building a life you’re proud of.

Somehow managing to come up with more than twenty four hours in a day, so you get to do all the things you want to do. Yay!

There are an awful lot of gurus out there telling you that life can be easy, if only… Continue reading