What’s your life philosophy?

What’s your life philosophy?

Gretchen Rubin discusses her 12 Personal Commandments at length between her podcast and her book, Happier. I’ve always believed in the importance of having core beliefs that direct how you view the world. For example, I believe people are inherently good and that Iowans are bad drivers. Personal Commandments are directives based on your core beliefs. Having simple approaches to a life philosophy helps you […]

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Stop letting your fantasy self hold you back

Stop letting your fantasy self hold you back

We all have a fantasy self. The person who paints and rides their bike to work while we watch television and endure long commutes in our cars. Through dating, I’ve met a number of people whose fantasy selves travel internationally while their real selves spend their finances and time on other activities. I know someone who has been “learning Spanish” for years, but still taps […]

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Is your fantasy self cluttering your life?

Is your fantasy self cluttering your life?

I’ve written before about the “fantasy self.” On the surface, having a fantasy self seems like a great thing. Aren’t you supposed to visualize the person you want to be, then go and achieve it? So when is it really a problem to have a fantasy self? From a minimalism perspective, the fantasy self is an aspirational being that prevents us from living our best […]

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Are you living your fantasy life?

Are you living your fantasy life?

A “fantasy self” is a term used in minimalism communities to describe the person you imagine yourself being. When you picture you at your best–at your most productive, accomplished, skilled, wonderful, happy self–what do you see? Are you a successful businesswoman who gets takeout sushi for lunch and always looks sleek in brand name suits? Are you a multi-talented artist juggling painting, photography, guitar, writing, […]

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The unexpected way my meditation boot camp may be working

The unexpected way my meditation boot camp may be working

I pick an activity to do each month for every day. I’ve had a dry month, studied language for fifteen minutes a day, tried to post a blog a day, and now, I’m meditating every day. I found a simple app to track my meditation boot camp, conveniently called Simple Habit. This free app has seven-day sequences of five-minute mediation sequences. There are also premium […]

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Don’t let your gratitude end with Thanksgiving

Don’t let your gratitude end with Thanksgiving

Whole libraries have been written about the importance of gratitude. It improves your mood, boosts your outlook on life, and–I would argue–brings like-minded, gratitude-filled people into your life. The psychological and social benefits of gratitude are well documented. I have never been a fan of Thanksgiving. I don’t enjoy the dry turkey or dry rolls or dry stuffing (and every year, at least one of […]

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Finding gratitude in the least likely of places

Finding gratitude in the least likely of places

I had the worst evening last night. Looking forward to a quiet night, reading in bed before falling into an early slumber, I let the dogs outside to go potty one last time. A great friend I hadn’t talked to in a couple weeks called to catch me up on her life. I let the dogs in, and wandered into my room while chatting with […]

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The female heroes of my childhood: Marie Curie

The female heroes of my childhood: Marie Curie

At work yesterday, I proudly proclaimed that Polonium is my favorite element. I was only partially kidding. I have dramatically yelled at Jeopardy contestants for not knowing Marie Curie discovered Radium and Polonium. “It’s named after her home country, you dum dums!” I probably* screamed. *I’m sure I used worse language. The idea that I have a favorite element is somewhat amusing. Despite excelling in […]

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Stop feeling guilty about your guilty pleasures

Stop feeling guilty about your guilty pleasures

Hi, my name’s Amanda, and I consider myself an intellectual with an appreciation for many types of music and literature and a wide knowledge of current and historical events. I also primarily read romance novels. I watch YouTube makeup tutorials. I never miss The Bachelor. I enjoy building houses in the Sims and own almost every expansion pack available for Sims 3 and Sims 4. […]

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Treat Yo’ Self, a primer on self care

Treat Yo’ Self, a primer on self care

Maximizing every opportunity for happiness in your day-to-day is the best way to achieve greater happiness overall. Thus, you should “Treat Yo’ Self.” One podcasts I listen to regularly is Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier.” I haven’t read her books, but I love the podcast’s brief conversations about health, happiness, and habit improvement. In a very old episode (I’m listening from the beginning and am a year behind […]

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The perfect photo may already be in front of you, a life lesson

The perfect photo may already be in front of you, a life lesson

At a wedding last year, I was playing giant Jenga with some friends. A photographer, capturing images of the happy reception, came upon our game. Snapping away from different angles, he encouraged me to stop smiling. This is the first time in my life a man has asked me to stop smiling. I was caught by complete surprise by his request. Yes, I’d been aware there […]

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An Introduction

An Introduction

Cleaning out my computer, I came across the final superlatives for my high school class. The senior newspaper staff was responsible for writing superlatives that were funny, personal, and (sometimes) sincere. Most likely to dress her babies in glitter is working her way up the fashion/design ladder, and based on her Facebook photos, she looks good doing it. Most likely to lobby for the rights of […]

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