• Life,  self-improvement,  Success

    Know Thyself

    “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” Laozi When you start upon a journey, you must not only know where you are but where you want to go. Otherwise, you wont know which turns to make—or even realize if you have arrived at your destination. Life is the same way, yet many of us tend to wander aimlessly through…

  • Happiness,  Life

    Why Bad Things Happen

    The other evening I had a moment to chat with a young friend. This person needed to share the burden of some personal problems and wanted to seek my advice. In the course of the conversation it became apparent that my young friend was placing far too much importance on what, in the end, was a rather trivial situation. To…

  • Toxic friend
    self-improvement,  Success

    Beware the Company You Keep

    Do not be misled. Bad company ruins character. (1 Corinthians 15:33, The Bible: An American Translation, 1931). If you are reading this blog, chances are that you have a goal you are working to achieve. If so, congratulations. It takes a special kind of determination to begin actively pursuing a goal. Over time you may have noticed that your progress…

  • Health,  Productivity

    How to Improve Your Health and Boost Productivity

    At first glance the subjects of health and productivity don’t seem to have much in common. One concerns how you treat your body and the other how you handle your time. Yet the two are inextricably entwined. It is only by maintaining and improving your health that you can find the energy to do the things you want (and need)…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism

    Can A Person Leave Minimalism Behind?

    Not too long ago in the grand scheme of things I decided to leave the minimalist lifestyle behind. I felt that it was fine for someone who traveled a lot (or perhaps didn’t have a family) but that it no longer suited my needs. Here lately though I’ve found myself looking around my home and wondering how in the world…

  • Education,  Life,  Success

    How to Defeat Panic and Accomplish Your Goals

    My daughter and I started college this past Thursday. We woke up bright and early to eat breakfast before we got started. Katie began to cook while I turned on some relaxing classical music. After a brief phone call from Auntie wishing us a happy first day of college, we talked quietly as we ate before settling down in our…

  • Happiness,  Life

    The Art of Stepping Back From Your Problems

    In 2011 I achieved the dream of being a stay-at-home single mother for my daughter. I had managed to build a successful writing business that supported us for several years. Then Life happened and the Internet changed. I saw my book royalties dropping and couldn’t think of a way to fix it due to the panic I felt since it…

  • Happiness,  Health

    Do Nothing

    In a few short days my life is about to get extremely busy. While I would like to say that I am approaching the busiest I’ve ever been, thanks to the minimalist practice of eliminating the unimportant this would be a lie, so I refuse to mislead you. Regardless of the exact details, the truth is that I have undertaken…

  • Minimalism,  Productivity

    The Facebook Fast

    As time ticked closer to the start of my first semester I began to worry: where would I get the time to attend college? I work more hours than ever at my public job; between that and my writing business (not including my regular household duties) I was already approaching my limit. Perplexed, I revisited my old friend Minimalism in…

  • self-improvement

    There is no White Knight Coming to Rescue You

    So life sucks. You’re perpetually broke and unattractive enough that all of the “good ones” pass you over for the younger, cuter models. Your only hope of having the good life is when the weight disappears, your flaws are magically fixed, your distant relative leaves you an inheritance, and a complete stranger begs you to accept a job offer that…

  • self-improvement,  Success

    The Art of Standing Firm

    There comes a time in all of our lives when we have to stand firm in our decisions, when we have to straighten our shoulders and move forward despite opposition from others–and even ourselves. These decisions can encompass anything. The details don’t matter; what matters is that you maintain your resolution. The people around you may not understand what you…

  • self-improvement,  Success

    You Can’t Change Your Past

    Every so often I encounter someone who shares with me their belief that they cannot be successful. “I’d love to [insert dream here] but I can’t. My parents were abusive/poor/absent so I’ve got too much of a disadvantage.” If it’s not some variation of that excuse, they claim that they got married or had kids too soon. Sometimes they’ve even…

  • Education,  self-improvement,  Success

    How to Deal With the Demon of Doubt

    After a long night at work I returned home to discover a surprise in my inbox: “Congratulations! We are excited to inform you that your application has been reviewed and you can start studying at UoPeople in the upcoming term!” I sat and stared at that email for an hour. I was accepted? Just like that? They’re joking, right? I…