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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Inspiration

In Forge. More on Medium.

Three lessons on how to handle adversity while feeling your feelings

A tree shaped by the wind
A tree shaped by the wind
Photo: Melanie Hobson/EyeEm/Getty Images

I used to think resilience was a tool I just didn’t have. I can be an easy crier. How can one cry frequently and also be resilient? When we think of resilience, we imagine stoic faces, superhero power poses, and triumphant fists in the air. If we do a Google image search for “resilience,” a person shedding tears certainly does not come up.


Today’s tip: Use “sizeboxing” to get out of a mental rut.


Photo: Heather Gilderoy

In 2013, the author Jen Sincero scored a #1 New York Times bestseller with her irreverent advice manual, You Are a Badass. Since then, the phrase has quite literally become Sincero’s trademark. So, when Forge recently chatted with Sincero about her latest book, Badass Habits, there was one question we absolutely had to ask: What’s with the ‘badass’?

It’s funny. I never, ever used the word ‘badass.’ I’d never be like, ‘Oh, you’re such a badass.’ That was so not in my vernacular at all…


Creativity needs a balance of order and chaos

Photo: Caspar Benson / Getty

One of my favorite creative tools is a kitchen timer. I set the timer for a few minutes — for a sprint through really boring paperwork or to get started on a big creative project — and then I press start. I give myself a window to work through. After that, I can choose to stop, and sometimes I do. But many other times, I keep going.


Turn doomscrolling into joyscrolling

Blue filtered image of a woman with curly hair looking at her phone with a smile.
Blue filtered image of a woman with curly hair looking at her phone with a smile.
Photo illustration; Image source: Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

At this point, we’re all pros at doomscrolling. The end of the presidential election brought a brief respite, but we could really use a longer break. Or a sabbatical, if we’re being honest.


How to work with your limitations, not against them

Woman stepping through an opening in the wall, head not visible, her leg in the air.
Woman stepping through an opening in the wall, head not visible, her leg in the air.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Our society does a great job at inspiring, encouraging, and some­times even demanding that we dream big and aim for uniqueness. I’ve fallen for it, too. I spent years of my life pushing myself to think as originally as I possibly could whenever I was brainstorming new art projects. But what I seem to learn over and over again is that the grand, super-original ideas I have, the ones that are truly outside the box, are also so far outside my realm of possibil­ity that they’re almost useless.


💡 Today’s tip: Pull yourself out of a mental rut by teaching yourself a new skill, even a small one.


Gave yourself a home haircut? Started drinking more water? Fixed the creaky garage door? No life update is too mundane.

Woman on the computer lying on a rug with dog next to her.
Woman on the computer lying on a rug with dog next to her.
Photo: Vesnaandjic/Getty Images

Two of my childhood friends and I maintain an email thread that’s both active and aggressively boring. In one recent message, my buddy Josh told us about the progress he’s made on his deck; in response, I informed the group that my son Luc threw a Lego at my eye. Over the past several months, we’ve briefed each other on the family board games we played, the meals we’ve consumed, and the loads of laundry we’ve ignored.


If you can’t find your way forward, try looking back — way back to 161 AD

Man walking into 2D maze.
Man walking into 2D maze.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

The reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was defined by a pandemic, civil unrest, interminable wars, cultural decadence, and income inequality.


7 ways to practice it, even if nobody else does

Photo: Flashpop/Getty Images

There’s a superpower that I try to exercise every single day. I’m only successful about 10% of the time, and yet this remarkable practice still creates more positive results than anything else in my life.

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