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Photo by Eneko Uruñuela on Unsplash

If you could create a new habit by snapping your fingers, what would you choose? Would it be to wake up earlier each day? Start a writing practice? Focus more on work and less on social media?

Most of us have something we want to change about our lives. The problem is, most of us find it nearly impossible to change a damn thing. Changing how we live, how we work, or how we think could be one of the hardest things we ever do. …

Instead, ask a different question.

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

What is the meaning of life?

Humans have probably been pondering this question since the moment we could ask it.

Why are we here?

What is our purpose?

What does it all mean?

Aren’t we all, in one way or another, seeking the answers to these very questions? And aren’t we seeking them because we feel like something is missing? Like there is a void inside of us that needs to be filled?

We often use words like meaning and fulfillment to describe the state of mind in which that void has been filled. It’s here, in this semi-mythical space, that we imagine we’d feel a deep sense of wholeness, completeness, and peace — like life is continually unfolding in the right direction. …

But, you’re not going to like it.

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Source: Sky News

Joe Biden may have won the election, but what many of us can’t seem to wrap our heads around is how Donald Trump received over 73 million votes. That means one out of every five Americans voted for him.

Isn’t that incredible? I mean, I trust nothing that comes out of his mouth. Well, that’s not quite true. I believe he’s being honest when he calls himself “great” or “the best”. Sadly, as far as I can tell, everything and everyone play second fiddle to his self-interest.

He is perhaps the greatest narcissist the world has ever seen. …

How to stop it from holding you back.

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Starting anything new is hard. But being consistent once you’ve started is no picnic, either. You know the internal battles you must wage to get yourself to do the thing you want to do. It’s ridiculous. And it’s human.

As a writer, I’ve found a lot of strength in Stephen Pressfield’s approach to simply writing every day, no matter what. This has helped me understand that I can’t wait for inspiration to strike, I need to act first. I credit my daily writing practice to this little piece of wisdom.

But, there’s always something lingering in the shadows waiting to tear my practice apart. If I let my guard down, I know it will. …

It’s making you unhappy.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Our access to information today is mind-boggling. Whatever we want is at our fingertips. And we couldn’t consume it all if we tried.

Early in 2020, users were adding over 80 years’ worth of content to YouTube every day. That’s more content than anyone could consume in their entire lifetime!

We love information. But, have you ever stopped to ask, why?

Why do you keep up with the latest COVID-19 statistics? Why do you read every article on the U.S. election you can get your hands on? …

There’s a bigger problem looming on the horizon

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Photo by Fezbot2000 on Unsplash

Today, it’s inexcusable that artificial barriers to success exist. They block people from achieving their potential due to characteristics like race, sex, and sexual orientation.

Equality of opportunity is the moral and political ideal that is meant to address this problem. In theory, this idea proposes that people should gain benefits, such as employment or education, based on merit. For example, if I applied to a university, I should gain entry based on my past accomplishments and not because my parents give large sums of money to the university each year.

Ultimately, the goal of equality of opportunity is to make the selection process fair so that people get what they deserve. This includes removing dumb luck from the equation. After all, just as no one chooses their race, sex, or sexual orientation, no one chooses to have wealthy parents who donated to the university. Why should anyone gain or be denied benefits for things over which they had no control? …

His actions alone saved millions of lives.

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In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Smallpox had been eradicated and the world breathed a sigh of relief. Smallpox was a deadly and highly contagious disease, killing three out of every ten people that contracted it. In the 20th century alone, it is estimated that Smallpox killed between 300–500 million people and disfigured countless others.

By comparison, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed about 1.23 million people worldwide, as of November 2020, and World War II resulted in 70–85 million deaths.

The first Smallpox vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796. Such was the significance of this achievement that Thomas Jefferson, then President of the United States, wrote the following in a letter to…

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Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

You don’t need me to tell you that creating habits is hard. We’ve all been there. Whether we’ve tried to start a writing practice, get into shape, or wake up earlier, we all know what it feels like to fail to achieve something we want.

We hate failure almost as much as we hate being stuck where we are. But, what can we do about it?

Change, like most things, is a skill. Nobody is born good at changing. It’s learned.

If it seems like someone you know changed easily, I’d be suspicious of their motives. Most people use the power of self-hatred to propel themselves forward. This might work for a time, but it’s not sustainable. Be warned: self-hate doesn’t suddenly turn into self-love once you’ve achieved your goals. …

You know, that voice that’s telling you you’re worthless.

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Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

That voice. We’ve all heard it.

That insidious little bastard that gets into our heads and pollutes our thoughts and our actions.

It tells us we can’t do it. It tells us no one cares. It tells us to give up. It tells us to keep silent.

It destroys us. Moment after moment. Day after day.

Does it drive you crazy? Does it bring you to tears? Do you hate it?

We all have an inner critic. And whenever it decides to intervene in our lives, we wish it would just fuck off. …

But, it doesn’t have to be.

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Source: Cal Alumni Association

Have you ever had a shouting match with someone who doesn’t share your political opinion? Have you ever witnessed one?

If you think about it, these are pretty strange events. Why are people getting so angry? What’s really “on the line” for either of them?

After all, political views are just beliefs. We don’t get furious when people tell us they hate our favorite movie. We don’t start a yelling match when someone tells us they like broccoli when we despise it. …


Jeff Valdivia

Following my curiosity and hoping it will lead me to wisdom. I write about science, meditation, and spirituality.

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