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Beginner — Writing to try to figure out the stuff in my head

A Year Unlike Any Other (Or Was It?)

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One year ago, we received the agonizing phone call from our daughter, Maddie, that we wouldn’t be traveling to the University of Michigan that weekend. Gymnastics season was officially over. The last three meets of her senior season at Ball State had just been canceled.

Although we figured it was coming, the official word was difficult to hear. She was devastated, and so were we.

Many of you have similar stories. For almost everyone in the US, and previously or eventually the world, that weekend started the quarantine. Little did we know how long the effects would last.

We’ve now…


You’re Right — Just Ask the Internet

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You’ve done it, and I’ve done it.

You’ve had it done to you, and I’ve had it done to me.

It’s the dreaded “See! I told you so! I was right!!” link bludgeon.

Don’t you love when a friend, to support his side of an argument, sends a link to a “helpful” article, video, or post that unequivocally proves his point with a bunch of data and scientific facts?

How does it make you feel?

How many times have you done it?

Has anyone ever changed their mind in this scenario?

Never.

But why not?

These are facts, aren’t they…


Photo by Isaac Viglione on Unsplash

Become a better and happier human by becoming more comfortable!!

That’s The World’s greatest sales pitch. The World sells comfort to us because we buy it. It certainly works on me because let’s face it — I love being comfortable.

But I know better, and so do you.

I know that to grow, get better, and ultimately be more satisfied with my life, I have to push the boundary of my comfort zone. I know this because I’ve experienced it. I can see how my comfort zone has shaped my journey, both for the good and bad. …


How learning from failure provides a platform for success

Photo by Chris Moore on Unsplash

The toxic positivity movement, growing over recent years from parents to tee-ball coaches to life coaches, will tell you otherwise.

The movement will tell you that your best is always good enough.

Unfortunately, that’s a lie, and until you realize it, you’re likely to remain stuck and mediocre. Believing your best is always good enough can lead to entitlement, ego-centricity, self-sabotage, depression, mediocrity, and lack of awareness.

Your best may be good enough, but not always, so let’s stop saying it is.

Athletes know this. Doctors (and patients) know this. American Idol contestants know this. …


A Simple Fix To Take Control of Your Time and Boost Your Productivity

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“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free.”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

One of my favorite scenes from the movie Up is when Carl and Russel first meet Dug, the talking dog. As Dug regales Carl and Russel with his magical greetings, he stops mid-sentence, spins his head sharply to the left, and shouts, “Squirrel!” Everything pauses for a few seconds, and then Dug spins his head back to Carl and resumes talking like nothing happened. Literally, like the pause never occurred.

Pay close attention the next time you’re at lunch…


My Step-by-Step Procedure That Anyone (Even You) Can Follow

Photo by Didier Weemaels on Unsplash

No lie. I’ve made $5 over 10 months.

I’ve now earned an entire monthly subscription cost to Medium. I became a paid member ten months ago, and I’ve been publishing for 18 months.

Here is my lifetime earnings statement:


Being The Change You Wish to See

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

You want to be on the hook. We need you on the hook.

Only those on the hook make the difference, make a change, make an impact.

And when a group of people on the hook come together, the sky is the limit. A group of people on the hook can create a life-saving C02 filter, a world-healing vaccine, and the Bill of Rights.

The Peril of Being on the Hook

Many people shun the hook.

The World is full of people looking to avoid it or give it to someone else. They’re worried about the downside. The World sells downside.

When you’re on the hook, it…


Here’s How To Have a Trainwreck of a Life Without Substance Abuse

Photo by Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

111 rules! That seems like a bunch. When I first started this very intense project, I thought that I’d have to settle somewhere around 25. Could I find 25 actionable rules for a miserable life? I wasn’t sure. So I dug in, and before I knew it, I was at 111.

My fear was for naught because, as it turns out, it’s pretty easy to live a miserable life.

There is nothing scientific about this list — no peer-reviewed research, no expert opinions, no citations. It is 100% anecdotal and based on my observations alone.

  1. Watch the news.
  2. Read the…

100% truth here. You can't control external outcomes, you can only control what you do. What you do for a vocation, business, or hobby may not marry up to what the world thinks is valuable enough to make you externally "successful" (whatever your defintion of success is). Essentially that's just luck -- luck that what you are great at or care about matches what the world cares about.

Therefore, you have a choice: 1) bring your passion and love to your work and let go of the external outcomes, or 2) try to chase something that the world cares about.

You can find success with #2. People do it all the time, but there is no way to guarantee you'll have success. Whereas #1 provides you with a lock-down, stone-cold guarantee of success.


The usefulness of a gimmick. If your nose is in the air, a gimmick is never for you. If you’re a hustler, a gimmick is always for you.

If you’re…

John Macdonald

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