Category Archives: advice

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Six links for minimalists


There’s a little bit of everything here for those who aspire to a minimalist lifestyle, from fitness to decor to cooking. Enjoy.

  1. The Minimalist’s Strength Workout – Outside – Pocket
  2. Y Home Minimalist Apartment by Office ZHU – Design Milk
  3. Colorful Minimalistic Photography By Collin Pollard – Fubiz Media
  4. Budget-Friendly Amazon Minimalist Home Decor | Apartment Therapy
  5. minimalist barbecue sauce – smitten kitchen
  6. Cacio e Pepe Recipe | Bon Appetit
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Extreme Decluttering

I recommend this piece on a family that had to do extreme decluttering because of a move. There’s lots of good advice in the piece, and worth reading if you are feeling the need to declutter. You may not feel you need to do it in an extreme way, but does this sound familiar?

Decluttering was an item on my to-do list for years. One I kept putting off.

Yep. Never a fun thing to do. But in their case, they had added pressure:

… we decided to sell our house and downsize to an apartment less than half the size. Then, getting rid of stuff became priority number one. It was an essential step in selling our home fast and for top dollar and critical for surviving a long distance move on a shoestring budget.

When I brought in professional movers to estimate our long distance move, I was shocked by estimates that we’d have 90+ boxes of stuff to move, which did not include existing storage totes. My first thought was How could four people possibly need that much stuff? The short answer is we didn’t, and I made it my mission to get that box number down.

In fact, not only did we want less stuff but we also wanted to move it ourselves on just one rental moving truck.

Needless to say, once you have such goals, extreme decluttering becomes mandatory.

We started extreme decluttering. We ended up moving across the country with one 26 ft. moving truck that was only about three-quarters of the way full. And no, we didn’t get rid of everything. We kept enough to furnish our new apartment fully.

With half of our stuff gone, we were able to downsize from a 4500 sq ft home to a 1768 sq ft townhouse-style apartment. Now we are living comfortably in 61% less space.

A good piece. Recommended, regardless of whether or not you are downsizing.

(Bold emphasis added by me. Image from here.)

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In praise of composition notebooks

They may not be fancy, but they are cheap and plentiful. And some people have used them to work out ideas. People like Basquiat and Haring.

I never thought much of them, but I changed my mind after a number of posts over at the blog of Austin Kleon. Click on the link for more inspiration. Then head out to the dollar store and get your own.

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How Parental Love Impacts Flourishing Later in Life

A very good piece for parents to read. How Parental Love Impacts Flourishing Later in Life | Psychology Today

Parenting is a long term play, though it might not seem some days. And some days the effort you put in doesn’t seem to make a difference. But it does. Read that for those days when you wonder if you are doing anything right as a parent.

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Talk it up! One of the best things you can for yourself is simple (and you can do it while brushing your teeth)

And what is it: Say nice things – to yourself

It sounds ridiculous, and you may feel ridiculous if you try it. If so, consider this:

  • you likely say terrible things to yourself all the time. “I can’t believe I did that…that was stupid…I am an idiot…etc”. You get the picture. If saying nice things about yourself is dumb, that is dumber. So get over yourself.
  • athletes, from amateurs to the elite, talk positively to themselves ALL THE TIME. Indeed, when I played sports in school, we were admonished to “Talk it up!” all of the time. It made the team better: it made us better.  Great athletes are great partially because they are always talking positively to themselves
  • I mean, you are already standing there in the mirror brushing your teeth. Put that big brain of yours to work. Do better with it. Talk it up! 🙂
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How can you develop daily habits to develop resiliency?

One way is by getting a copy of Molly Cantrell-Kraig’s new ebook: Amazon.com: Circuit Train Your Brain: Daily Habits That Develop Resilience eBook: Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig: Kindle Store. 

It just came out, and it can just be the thing you need if you are struggling through a difficult time.

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On being mediocre


People who have high standards fear being mediocre. I thought of that when I read this: Opinion | I’ll Never Be Rachmaninoff – The New York Times.

People without high standards never worry about that. They do stuff, and the result is what it is. It comes with no judgment, for the most part.

Being fearful of being mediocre is twice cursed. First, if you fear that, you likely will not attempt things that could bring you joy and happiness due to your fearfulness. Second, you are already mediocre at some many things already, and yet you turn a blind eye to them, convinced that the few things you excel at removes the label of Mediocre from you. I have rarely met people who are great at one thing not be mediocre at many other things. There’s only so much time, and greatness comes with tradeoffs.

Don’t fear being mediocre. You already are! Go out and enjoy what you can. You may find the things you start off being mediocre in at first are things you end up being good at later. Not that you need to get good!

Here’s some things you can get better at: being stronger, writing a book, become an artist. Or get a partner and learn tai-chi.