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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Change

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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty

It is, as many cultural commentators have remarked, the end of an era. On Tuesday evening, Kim Kardashian West announced to her 188.6 million Instagram followers that after 14 years, the forthcoming 20th season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians will be its last. The time has come for goodbye.

The clan can teach us all a lot about timing. They’ve spent much of the past two decades cannily cashing in on the evolving face of celebrity in a fickle digital age, in real time, despite a self-professed lack of talent — that is, in the traditional sense of “entertainment.”…


The only epiphany you need to have in a crisis is that you deserve to be happy

A young man, with his hand on his forehand, looks distressed.
A young man, with his hand on his forehand, looks distressed.
Photo: urbazon/E+/Getty Images

Your life is in flux, whether you like it or not. Over the last several months, successive lockdowns have pulled the rug from beneath our feet, plunging our work, professional, and even romantic lives into chaos. In response, some of us have fought back, trying to exercise some modicum of control ourselves via a seismic life change.

In the spring and early summer, couples moved in together long before they’d planned to; extraordinary numbers of people relocated suddenly; and professionals had come-to-Jesus moments of wanting to pursue different, maybe more meaningful or personally significant, careers. Now, in this “Great Pause”…


In the non-linear trajectory of life, change is vital

Colorful spring is all tangled up against a bright red background.
Colorful spring is all tangled up against a bright red background.
Photo: Sven Krobot/EyeEm/Getty Images

In recent years, resilience — or “grit” — has emerged as the ultimate self-help virtue. As John Patrick Leary recently wrote in Teen Vogue, the “resilience industry acknowledges that we all go through rough patches, but it insists that our setbacks will only make us stronger,” which clearly appeals in these unpredictable (and deeply unequal) times. But in reality, how we respond to big changes—rough patches and achieving dreams, alike—does not follow a straight path or timeline. …


Getting your emotions involved doesn’t work. Here’s what does.

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

There’s nothing more satisfying than telling someone whose views you can’t stand just how stupid, sexist, or racist they are. Especially when they deserve it.

Believe me, I get it. And especially right now, as many of us are desperately trying to change people’s minds on issues we’re passionate about — like the police system, our president, or wearing masks — it’s easy to let emotion carry you. But trust me, this tactic will never influence their beliefs.

Here’s what I’ve learned from more than a decade of studying persuasion: While there’s no surefire way to convince a person to…


WHO WE’LL BE AFTER THIS

Before the pandemic, stepping off the treadmill always felt impossible

Photo illustration, sources: Ronnie Kaufman/The Image Bank/Getty Images, Abstract Aerial Art/DigitalVision/Getty Images

In the first sentence of Joan Didion’s iconic essay, “Goodbye to All That,” on leaving New York City, she wrote, “it’s easy to see the beginning of things, and harder to see the ends.”

No offense to Joan, but I actually can remember when it ended for me — the moment when I decided to leave London, the place I’d lived for nearly a decade.

It was late April, several weeks into the UK’s lockdown. I was lying on the grass outside, taking a break from reading a book. I watched an ant crawl up my leg, and marveled at…


Change is hard, but think of all the changes you’ve survived so far

A photo of a girl putting on a face mask while preparing to go outside.
A photo of a girl putting on a face mask while preparing to go outside.
Photo: Justin Paget/Getty Images

In some cities and states, people can once again see their co-workers in person, get a dental checkup, or make plans to safely visit family again. In others, it will happen soon.

For many, the return to some semblance of normalcy offers a sense of relief. But that’s not true for everyone. If you’re feeling worried about the gradual end to sheltering-in-place, or — even more confusingly — already know that you’ll miss it, rest assured that you’re far from alone. …


At 22, I was a confused but earnest kid. At 27, I was a reckless searcher who smoked too much. Who am I now?

Photo: Hutchinson Murage/EyeEm/Getty Images

Not too long ago, I performed at a live-band karaoke night for my friend’s birthday party. We all did U2 songs. I sang “The Fly.” I wore pleather pants. It was a whole thing.

There was a time in which karaoke was a much larger part of my life. Over a certain stretch, it became a sort of slam-dunk, no-doubt, end-of-night activity after I’d been out with everybody drinking all evening but wasn’t quite ready to wrap it up yet. I once went to see a band play at 7 p.m. and ended up, about 10 hours later, squawking out…

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