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A publication from Medium on personal development.


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😋 Today’s tip: Treat yourself to a favorite spread at the store.

Have you ever been transported to a happy memory just by taking a bite of something delicious? Medium iOS engineer Alaina Kafkes has: She writes on Medium about remembering the transcendent deliciousness of a bagel with peanut butter she once had before a bike ride. Something about that snack at that moment caused her to “experience the utter joy of finding quintessence in the quotidian.” She goes on to write about all the different nut butters she’s enjoyed over the years, noting, “what I like most about these…

Train your brain to master the art of controlled anticipation

Photo: Pixels Effect/Getty Images

Tell me if this rings a bell: After a long, long, long stretch of pandemic sameness, you finally have something on the calendar that has you looking forward — maybe a date with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, or a weekend day trip, or just a coveted afternoon alone, away from the people you’ve been cooped up with. You’re excited. You’re eager. You’re ready. And then, suddenly, it’s here and then over — and by the time the next week is out, you can barely remember how great you felt.

It’s natural. We have a tendency to tear…

The more vividly you can capture happy moments, the easier it will be to revisit them in harder times

Black man smiling over a cup of tea.
Black man smiling over a cup of tea.
Photo: Granger Wootz/Getty Images

After a long string of bad days, Tuesday night was an unexpected bright spot. My husband and I followed our sons on their scooters for a post-dinner romp at the neighborhood playground, which we had all to ourselves. The sky was cotton-candy pink, the temperature was just right, and best of all, the boys had traded their usual bickering for belly laughs.

Chasing my three-year-old around the park, I felt free, childlike, and connected — almost like the world wasn’t crumbling all around me. It was something I hadn’t felt in months.

It was also fleeting. By the next morning…

A notebook and pen can be valuable brain-training tools

Photo: burst/Pexels

If you had both the resources and the inclination, you might be able to get away with never hand-writing anything but your signature ever again. Most of us have smartphones, a computer, and other assorted digital programs and pieces of technology — plus virtual “assistants” like Alexa and Siri — to help us keep our lives in order. These gadgets can capture our to-do lists, schedules, important dates, and other snippets of thought we want to preserve.

But just because it’s technically possible to permanently ditch the notebook for the Notes app doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Research shows…

Illustrations: George(s)

It’ll be difficult, but it’s possible

So earlier this year I was riding a janky bike alone through Burning Man’s makeshift city grid. Identical military-style tents extended into the darkness on both sides of the “street” in the middle of the Nevada desert. There was a lot of neon. I was lost.

My brain, which is a good brain full of good ideas, invited me to check Google Maps.

“No, brain,” I said, in my head. “There is no signal in the middle of the desert.”

“Sure, but have you checked Google Maps?” …

Being good with names is an underrated social power

Photo: Jopwell /Pexels

I’m a bit particular about my name — which is unfortunate for me, considering how often it’s mishandled. People mispronounce it, misspell it, ignore it in favor of a nickname they’ve decided to give me, or forget it altogether. Sometimes I get “Julie,” other times, a blank stare. Most shrug off their clumsiness, saying they’re simply “bad with names.”

But remembering names is a critical skill when it comes to building relationships. Dale Carnegie, the late author of How to Win Friends & Influence People, wrote, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound…


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