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I Wrote 500,000 Words In 2016, But No Book. Here’s Why.

500,000. That’s how many words I wrote in 2016. 1,370 per day. 450,000 of those went into summaries and content on Four Minute Books.

Add to that 12,000 words on this blog, another 15,000 words for Time 2 Read, Medium articles, a few long guest posts, work for clients, copy for landing pages, etc. and the half a million mark falls faster than you can say writer’s block.

Up to a million books are published each year in the US alone, half or more self-published by independent authors. When I first saw how much I’d written last year, I wanted to punch myself.

“Why didn’t you write a book, you idiot? Or 2? Or 5?”

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The Most Important Person You Work For In Life Is You

On Monday, I picked up the official lecture notes for my “Fundamentals of German Law” class. It’s 180 pages long. The exam is in exactly four weeks, and I don’t know the first thing about law.

Comes in 7 parts. As if that made it better.

In a slight rush of feelings — mostly panic mixed with determination — I sat down and went through the first half the same day. Before this day is over, I’ll have done the rest. But not before writing this.

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Comfortably Creative: How Folding Laundry Will Make You More Original

“Geez, these all look the same! How am I supposed to sort these?”

Every time I fold my laundry, I spend more time trying to tell apart my socks from one another than actually folding. They’re barely distinguishable.

Comfortably Creative Socks
(see what I’m dealing with here?)

Not too long ago, during a particularly tedious case of color-matching, a thought struck me:

“I wonder if my creative projects should be the same?”

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Optimism: Definition, Explanation & The Ultimate Guide to Go From Being a Pessimist to Becoming an Optimist

Right this second, someone is recording a Youtube video, grinning from ear to ear, trying to sell you on the idea that if you’re not happy, there’s something wrong with you. Even worse, there’s probably also someone writing an article claiming they can show you how to fix it in seven easy steps.

First off, there is nothing wrong with you. If you don’t want to run around the streets naked right now or aren’t at the verge of a positivity-induced ecstatic breakdown, that’s just fine. What’s not fine is that there is a massive storm of fake happiness going on out there, and it leads to the kind of bad advice and “just be happy” bullying I just mentioned.

Today, you and I will identify, criticize, and debunk fake happiness. You will learn why people confuse happiness and something else, namely optimism. You will understand the true meaning and definition of optimism.

We will also learn how science defines optimism, which traits make a person optimistic, and how you can develop those traits in yourself, no matter whether you are an optimist or a pessimist right now. Let’s start by looking at 200 million pieces of terrible advice.

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Why You Don’t Have the Life You Want


In a world of Amazon, McDonalds, Netflix, Spotify, AirBnB, Uber and Tinder, nobody wants to do things the hard way.

Nobody’s willing to give up comfort now for greatness later. Everything in life has to be cheap, fast and easy.

Cheap, fast, easy.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Nothing worth having comes fast.

Nothing worth having comes cheap.

  • If you’re not willing to walk, you’ll never run a marathon.
  • If you’re not willing to write, you’ll never publish a book.
  • If you’re not willing to sit on the floor, you’ll never have an office.
  • If you’re not willing to cook, you’ll never eat healthily.
  • If you’re not willing to get up, you’ll never make your dreams a reality.
  • If you’re not willing to go to the gym, you’ll never be fit.
  • If you’re not willing to turn off the TV, you’ll never read.
  • If you’re not willing to go on an actual date, you’ll never find love.
  • If you’re not willing to press publish, you’ll never know if you’re any good.
  • If you’re not willing to show yourself on camera, you’ll never become a Youtuber.
  • If you’re not willing to wear old shoes, you’ll never have new ones.
  • If you’re not willing to practice the piano, you’ll never give a concert.
  • If you’re not willing to save money, you’ll never have peace of mind.
  • If you’re not willing to travel, you’ll never go places.
  • If you’re not willing to invest, you’ll never be rich.
  • If you’re not willing to work, you’ll never make money the way you want to.

If you’re not willing to be uncomfortable, you’ll never have the life you want.

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Why “For Example” Is A Bad Way Of Explaining Things

When our math teacher in high school introduced a new topic, what happened next would always follow the same pattern:

  1. She explains the Pythagorean theorem.
  2. Nobody gets it.
  3. She makes an example.
  4. Some people get it.
  5. The rest of the class goes “Can you make another example? Pleeeeeeeaaaaase?”

Steps 3-5 of the pattern would then repeat until the majority of the class understood the new concept and the “More examples!” screams slowly died down. Then we moved on.

Since I was often part of the group who got the gist the first go around, I’d be bored for the remainder of the lesson, waiting for everyone else to get the joke so we could continue. In the meantime, instead of listening, I tried to come up with more of my own examples.

I didn’t know it back then, but as it turns out, I was doing something right.

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