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There’s one skill you need to master to improve your life.

It’s a skill you’ll never fully master, but the rewards you’ll get from mastering it even a tiny bit will set you far ahead of the pack.

Without this skill, you’ll always feel conflicted, feel hesitant, and never be able to make solid decisions because you won’t feel certain enough to do so.

So what’s this magical skill I’m talking about?

It’s the ability to hold conflicting ideas in your head, deal with the paradoxes of self-improvement, and understand the counterintuitive aspects of what it takes to change your life.

Black and white thinking causes mediocre results. …

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I’ve been working on my Youtube channel a year for now. I’m amazed by how much progress I’ve been able to make in terms of making the videos look, sound, and come across better to my audience.

Briefly look at the first video on my channel.

Now, look at the latest.

Even though I’ve experienced this with writing — the power of practice — it still amazes me to see the results jump each time I try something new and keep at it.

What does this have to do with you?

Most of you are here because you want to start something — a project, a business, a new career, heck maybe a whole new life. I don’t know where you’re at in the process, but I want you to know this one thing I know for…

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Let’s have an honest conversation about self-improvement.

We’re both in a weird position.

In your case, you want to improve your life, but you’re also skeptical of self-improvement because of the hyperbole in the space.

In my case, I write articles giving people advice when I’m a flawed human being.

Even admitting your own flaws has become another self-help trope.

So what’s the solution?

Simple. Take what you want, discard what you don’t, and keep it moving. Read the articles you want to read and ignore the ones you don’t want to read.

You’re smart. You’re an adult and you can make your own decisions.

As far as the content goes, I’ve spent years trying to refine the things I say and try to make them as honest as possible. …

Leveling up is greater than leveling the playing field.

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“For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” — Matthew 12:29

The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. When you achieve success, it’s easier to repeat your success. When you already have money, you can borrow more and invest it. If you’re already confident, you expect good things to happen to you, so they do.

You pay a penalty for losing. The bank charges you overdraft fees for being broke and you take out predatory loans that keep you broke. When you lack confidence, people treat you the way you treat yourself, reinforcing, and compounding your insecurity. Your perception creates your reality which reinforces your perception. …

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The messaging of society is designed to keep you complacent.

Here's what the infamous “they” do to you. They take perfectly good, healthy, and reasonable concepts and bastardize them to the point they no longer become reasonable.

What am I talking about?

Here are some examples.

Some people are, without question, clinically depressed. But that doesn’t mean that having a down period in your life means you need pills and therapy.

You might be feeling down and out because your life actually sucks. This is a thing. Dare say this, though, and you’re labeled cruel. This reminds me of one of my favorite Nassim Taleb quotes:

“I feel anger and frustration when I think that one in ten Americans beyond the age of high school is on some kind of antidepressant, such as Prozac. Indeed, when you go through mood swings, you now have to justify why you are not on some medication. There may be a few good reasons to be on medication, in severely pathological cases, but my mood, my sadness, my bouts of anxiety, are a second source of intelligence — perhaps even the first source.”

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I suck at golf, but I’m trying to get good at it.

My friend tried coaching me a bit over the summer. He’s been golfing since he was 7 years old.

He knows all the mechanics and he spent multiple sessions on the driving range and full rounds trying to pass them onto me — an uphill battle to say the least.

In the beginning, I’d do alright. Some of my shots would be terrible, some below average, and every once in awhile I’d hit a mediocre or even good shot.

But, as time went on during the sessions, especially when we played 18’s, my shots would get progressively worse and worse. …

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“Most [people] make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, “If I can work enough, then one day I could rest.” Or, “I’m only doing this now so that one day I can do what I really want with my life.

“The error we make is to think that eventually, things will be different in some fundamental way. They won’t. It never ends. As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift.” — David Deida

Rushing Through Life

Why are we all in such a rush for completion and finality? I remember having a conversation with some engaged friends. We were out drinking, so maybe the truth spilled out a little bit too much. …

Frustrations can fuel positive outcomes.

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Where does motivation come from? What’s different about the day you finally decide to put your foot down and work on your goals versus all the other days you choose not to?

It happens all the time. A handful of people continue to go to the gym after January, someone starts a business after failing to get started a bunch of times, and in general, some people manage to find a way to trade short term gratification for long term rewards.

How do you become one of those people?

I know you want to make that trade, short term vs long term. I know it sounds good. It’s logical. But you’re an emotional creature. Your emotions get in the way of your motivation all the time. You have to build processes to combat your emotions. …

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Photo by Anthony Da Cruz on Unsplash

Is there some magical reason why some people pull off their dreams and others don’t?

What’s the real key? The magic pill? The one thought, insight, or solution that can make it happen for you?

To be honest, life is weird. You can’t quantify exactly what makes someone successful or what causes them to follow through with a dream. We’re all a mixture of work ethic and luck, innate talents, and earned skills, circumstances, and actions.

That’s why I never promise anyone much of anything. I can’t promise you that you’ll follow through with your dreams because I don’t know you. …

If you learn how to think this way, your life will improve dramatically, too.

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Photo: Franciele da Silva/Unsplash

First, let me talk about what this way of thinking helps you fix.

Regardless of whether or not I know you, I can probably guess a few things about you.

You get frustrated sometimes when people don’t behave or think the way you want them to.

Sometimes life seems unfair. This doesn’t mean you’re a pessimist. Sometimes certain situations make you ask yourself, “Why is this happening to me?”

You feel a little overstimulated sometimes. Especially now in times where you see much more negativity than positivity.

You sometimes feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel in your life.

You’re not totally down and out by any means, but you seem to be living in this repeating loop — your days are the same, your weeks and months, even years all blend together. …


Ayodeji Awosika

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