Phone “addiction” is filled with far too much unrewarding wandering: rather than doing “nothing,” you might as well do “something,” so you scroll and click to pass time.

TV “addiction” is far more dangerous because there is such an abundance of content that’s richly rewarding, that’s truly more pleasurable than so much of “real life.” How does anyone ever sleep with so much good stuff to watch?

Though I guess “abundance” is quite subjective. If you spend enough time in either “addiction,” you reach the same point of unrewarding wandering. Worse still, there may well be a terrible price for extended trips into the passivity that’s endemic into screen consumption: you lose your own creativity.

Don’t Contact Exes

What follows is thinking hand-crafted for an adult1 who was broken up with. This person is, naturally, seeking some form of validation. Thus, this person will manufacture both reasonable and unreasonable explanations that permit a reach out to the ex. Not capitulating can feel impossible, but breaking silence can safely be regarded as a mistake in all circumstances and should be avoided.

Reaching out is never truly about what you’ll say; it is about what you want to hear. This is the universe of possible things that can be heard – none of which are worth hearing:


Gratitude is Easy

All ya gotta do is deprive yourself.

Wanna have the best lunch in what feels like centuries? Don’t eat for a week. Or, more plausibly, eat bare essentials for a week, and then eat “normal” foods again.

This is low-hanging joy available to anyone with a modicum of discipline.

on changes in people’s appearance – the reflex is too natural.

This reflex overrides any sense that the comment is often entirely devoid of substance and has been uttered by dozens of others too.

“Wow. A new beard.” What is the point of this?

is the joy in breaking it.

I’ve got a way to preserve the most precious resource of your fellow humans. Spouses, managers, friends, kids, parents, teammates, co-workers, enemies: it works for all of them. The catch is that it costs you some of your most precious resource. It may even amount to a net drain on the whole. Still, I think it’s worth it. You can give it a try the next time you have a question. All you have to do is suffocate your instinct to ask for help. In fact, do not ask anyone for his time unless you have first invested time to find what you need yourself. And that is the way to save people’s most precious resource.

For there is a learning formula and yet no commensurate method for unlearning the things we want to unlearn. Tragically, it’s trivially easy to unlearn that which we want to maintain (foreign language, musical ability, fitness, etc.). But the stuff that haunts us, the stuff we desperately wish to forget? Good luck.

Upon enduring radical change, particularly the negative variety, it’s natural to long for the way things were. With time, though, “radical” transforms into the new status quo; it’s simply unsustainable to indefinitely maintain a high-stress state – a defining characteristic of transitory periods. For better or worse, acceptance inevitably washes over us, which helps power our near unlimited capacity for adaptation.

The kind-hearted folk proffering this advice must not be comprehending what weakness is, confusing it for honesty, vulnerability, or “asking for help.”

Weakness is the inner voice urging you to be less than. To varying degrees, everyone will give in from time to time. But make no mistake, this act is never one to be encouraged since surrender increases the voice’s potency. If you capitulate too often, weakness’ power climaxes through silence; the once associated shame, guilt, and negotiations are no longer there to remind you that another way exists.

That other way is strength. It rarely offers superior hedonistic rewards, but in matters people claim to value most in life, strength is undefeated. Omnipotent it is not, though, for weakness never completely disappears. The best one can do is repeatedly win the daily battles by charging into challenge (a.k.a. the stuff weakness tells you not to do) and away from guilt (a.k.a. the stuff weakness tells you to do).


honest, ugly feelings. Of course you don’t want to possess those feelings, and so stating your privilege is a wishful attempt to exorcise them. The hope is that by saying aloud I’m so lucky, reason will overwhelm Why do I want so much and remain so selfish when I already have so much?

It won’t.