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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

When I was a teenager, I scoffed at the idea of trying to be liked. But unconsciously, I was always doing minor things to be more likable.

It’s an ingrained, ancient part of our psychology to desire being favoured by our tribe members. Considering a tribal perspective, if we lose favour with our tribe then we risk being outcasted. In a tribal setting, if you become exiled, chances of survival diminish greatly. The case is not so different in our modern age.

Favour and likability are not the same things. Someone can be a pain to be around, but if they provide value to the tribe, then they will be favoured for that value — but it is an uphill battle, mired in conflict. …

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Photo by Maahid Photos on Unsplash

I published my first story on Medium in March of 2019. It was a short story, and though I had no expectations for it, there was that little part of my mind that thought, what if people really like this? It didn’t go anywhere. To this day, it has 22 views amounting to 11 seconds of member reading time. It’s not monetized — at the time, I had no idea how to monetize my stories.

I only learned how to monetize my stories when I wrote my first popular article — and only after it had already amassed over 1000 views. Even though I lost out on most of the money it gained, I was so happy to have an article published in The Ascent. It increased my confidence hugely. …

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Everyone is familiar with certain benefits that fitness provides — a robust cardiovascular system, an aesthetic physique, greater strength and endurance, etc. But the mentality that is honed through repetitive fitness training can be overlooked. We don’t tend to pursue an activity for disciplinary purposes — discipline is not attractive. It is an unseen trait that courses through our daily movements.

We cannot attract someone immediately with discipline. We cannot barter with our discipline. Discipline, in itself, cannot be used for any immediate gratification. But it is the backbone of every incredible feat mankind has performed. Without discipline, we cannot pursue fitness or health for long — nor can we pursue any difficult task for long without it. …

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Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

Productivity — and efficiency by extension — are popular terms. I used Google Ads to find out how often these terms are searched per month in North America. Productivity is searched on average 10K — 100K times per month and efficiency is searched a whopping 100K — 1M times per month.

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

It can be difficult to know which activities are priorities, and which are frivolous. You may have a goal in mind, or not. You may want a goal but have none. Or you may have a goal, but lack the level of clarity necessary to accomplish said goal.

In this article, I will guide you through the process I’ve employed to know what activities to prioritize to get results. You can stop hoping and start taking the reigns of your own life by prioritizing objective goals.

I hoped to one day make a Youtube channel; now I’ve done it, and am building up my viewership progressively. I hoped to one day start a blog; now I’ve done it, and post a new article every week. I wanted a healthy relationship; now I’m in one — but the point isn’t that I did this or that, it’s that I had goals and accomplished them. I wouldn’t have accomplished anything though unless I had clear priorities. I wouldn’t have had clear priorities unless I made clear, measurable objectives for myself every week. …

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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

I often forget what it was like to be directionless and self-defeating, but I was. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not standing above any shoulders, I have my fair share of flaws and irrational beliefs, but I’ve learned to manage my inner world and cut through my lack of self-belief. In this article, I will share the tools I’ve used in my own life to become confident and at ease with the ups and downs of life.

The road’s been long, and I forget where I’ve come from, but upon deeper reflection, I can pin the changing of the tide to a certain moment in time — and a decision I made. …

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

There was a time in my life when a large portion of my social interactions revolved around making fun of people behind their backs. I’m not proud of this time, but I can see now how this behaviour was a reflection of my inner weakness. It was easier to tear people down than it was to build myself or others up — and it was satisfying, like how burning things with a magnifying glass was satisfying for some of us when we were kids.

Pointing out the flaws in others makes us feel better about ourselves but at what cost? We gain nothing for our efforts. It’s a lose-lose scenario, and an example of something unproductive people do constantly. …

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Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash

The world is oversaturated with self-help gurus and snake oil salesmen. There are dense manuals about how to manifest your dream life or become a millionaire. But how many people do these books help?

The idea of becoming an entrepreneur and generating wealth is mighty attractive but the percentage of people who actually become millionaires is not high. The percentage of people who become entrepreneurs is not high.

Becoming part of the successful self-employment statistic is not easy — if it was, the percentage would be much higher.

I’ve spent the last few years studying successful people and looking for the common attribute that they share. I won’t say I’ve found all of them, but I’ve found some. …

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

“How do you meditate?” I asked my mom. I was fourteen years old.

She was sitting silently in her preferred recliner, her eyes closed.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Meditating,” she said.

It was the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing. A mysterious exploration of the inner world? An esoteric technique to refine your thoughts? What was it? I had no idea, and my mom couldn’t explain it either. And I’m not sure I could explain it now, after several years of practice.

Days later we were in the car together, on the way to a dentist appointment. I’m imagining myself sitting under a tree, a serene scene of peace. There’s a lake surrounded by grass, and I am sitting cross-legged there.
“I think I’m meditating,” I tell my mom excitedly. She’s not sure what to make of my description, but she’s supportive nonetheless. That was the last time I would think of meditation until I was eighteen. It was video games, TV, and junk food for me in between then. …

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Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Using Laziness

Look, I’m lazy, you’re lazy, we’re all lazy. We don’t want to be lazy, it’s just part of who we are.

On top of being lazy, I want success, you want success, we all want success. We know pretty damn well that laziness and success aren’t the best matches.

I’m not going to tell you to stop being lazy, grit your teeth and work harder. That’s not helpful. Instead, I’m going to say embrace your laziness and take advantage of it.

How could laziness be an advantage you might ask. …


J E McLaren

Canadian born writer with a drive to share his research and experience. Check out my blog:

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