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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Mindfulness

In Forge. More on Medium.

‘What you can plan is too small for you to live’

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I’ve always been a planner. It feels good to make a goal, work toward it, then check it off your list, even if your goal…


🤔 Today’s Tip: Ask yourself, “Is this necessary?”

As Ryan Holiday writes in Forge, “Covid was the largest forced lifestyle experiment in history…We’ve had to make do with less.” Surely you’ve eliminate some things you don’t need or use anymore — a stressful commute; social events you never really enjoyed; hard pants.

What could you still give up? What is stressing you out, or needlessly taking mental or emotional space, or causing you some level of pain? Holiday reminds us of the great Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, who wrote: “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If…


⏲️ Today’s tip: Set a timer to practice being alone with your thoughts.

The trusty timer: For many of us, it’s a tool that helps us complete mundane tasks like boiling eggs. The writer Maya Kosoff uses a timer for a different purpose: to simply be. “In the same way you’d try to get incrementally better at running a 5K, I’ve been trying to get better at doing nothing,” she writes. “I set a timer, turn off my background noise, focus on my breathing, and see how long I can just… do that. The first time I did it I…


Ask it whenever a task in front of you feels insurmountable

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Whenever a task in front of me seems insurmountable and I feel myself becoming more and more stressed, I’ll ask myself a question that immediately calms me: What if it’s easy?

For some reason, considering this possibility knocks me off the struggle bus and drops me back into the realm of control. Suddenly, I’m thinking, “Huh. Right. It might be easy.” And I’ll proceed to act as though it is.

Just the other day…


You’re not working, but you’re not truly relaxing either

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It’s far too easy to get caught in what I call the “low-quality leisure” trap: We tell ourselves we’d like to spend less time on our phones, be more present with our families, exercise regularly, and finally learn French. But when the end of the workday finally arrives, we’re…


Here’s how to silence the constant critic in your head

Photo: Tara Moore/Getty Images

What was interesting to me, though, was the way my inner monologue played out afterward. When I got back in my car, I sat for a moment and enjoyed the warm, glowy feelings of doing something nice for a stranger. I thought, “Hey, that was a kind thing you did. Good job.”


A young woman sits on a sunny hill side while meditating
A young woman sits on a sunny hill side while meditating
Photo: Kialu/Getty Images

As Mary Chang writes on Medium, we have a tendency to adopt scarcity as our default assumption — to assume that what they have takes away from what you have, or could potentially have. But really, there’s not some cosmic success pie with only so many slices. When Chang, a meditation skeptic, embarked on…


To lesson your anxiety, ground your emotions in reality

A person wearing a face mask, using their phone. They seem to have an optimistic expression.
A person wearing a face mask, using their phone. They seem to have an optimistic expression.
Photo: hsyncoban/E+/Getty Images

The relationship between conspiracy-fueled narratives and emotions is a two-way street. As I tell my clients, when you feel anxious or angry, you’re more likely to believe statements that confirm those feelings. And the greater your exposure to emotion-filled propaganda, the more likely you are to absorb those emotions.

So what do you do when it feels like a significant…


This meditation technique is easy to remember and easy to do

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Yesterday, as I was revving up…


Let’s stop waiting for federally recognized days off to celebrate the people we love — or to take care of ourselves

A young girl and her grandmother take a selfie on their couch in front of a Christmas tree.
A young girl and her grandmother take a selfie on their couch in front of a Christmas tree.
Photo: MesquitaFMS/E+/Getty Images

But here’s what I’ve been reminding my therapy clients: We aren’t. Or at least, we don’t have to. There’s no reason to let the calendar dictate how and when we take care of each other. …

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