Pay attention to the habits that self-reward.
You can use them to your advantage, or you can fall prey to them.
Chewing a shoe is a self-rewarding activity for a dog. It releases endorphins, it soothes teething gums, it feels good — he will continue. It is not an activity he does for a reward; the activity is the reward. Though you may tell him to stop, he has little incentive to. It feels too good.
Some parts of your own life are self-rewarding. …
Sometimes the achievements you can feel proud of weren’t ones you set out to achieve.
They are the way you stepped in when someone needed you, the way you handled heartbreak, the way you knuckled down and survived when tragedy came your way.
High achievers tend to overlook these accomplishments because they weren’t planned for. They weren’t declared in a journal or pinned to the cork board or stuck to the bathroom mirror.
But when you overlook the accomplishments you didn’t set out to achieve, you are mistaking the appearance of triggers (the things that happen to you) for accepting…
The opposite of happiness is not sadness. It is emptiness. It is feeling nothing, doing nothing, existing for no reason.
A happy life will not be one devoid of sadness (you think you can get through life without sadness?) but one filled with meaning, with doing things, with reasons for existing.
Happiness, then, comes down to purpose. More specifically, it comes down to making forward movement in the direction of your purpose.
Some people call this progress.
The opposite of happiness is making no progress. This is what emptiness feels like. When there is no point in doing anything, there…
Be wary of vanity metrics.
In a world of data, it is tempting to quantify and calculate and turn our every move into points on a graph.
But most measurements mean very little.
Most measurements are vanity metrics, and vanity metrics are a distraction. They are designed to hypnotise buyers, appease board members and dazzle investors. In other words, they are designed to distract you from what’s really going on.
Vanity metrics are easy numbers to stick on a PowerPoint, to brag about at a barbecue, to post on LinkedIn. But they are not what counts.
When you spend all…
Pain is necessary in order to live.
This is obvious if you think about it: a broken leg would not heal if we felt no pain and continued to walk on it. A hand on a hot plate would melt in minutes if we felt nothing wrong.
Pain is probably the only reason you’re alive. Therefore, pain is necessary for life.
Emotional pain is necessary in order to grow.
But just like physical pain, emotional pain is only helpful if you listen to it. If you stop making it worse, if you seek treatment, if you change course.
Women make up only 13% of practising engineers, and Natalie Ownby is ready to change that.
Here’s the problem: out of the 30,000 women who graduate from undergraduate engineering degrees every year in the United States, only 60% of them will become working engineers. It’s still not completely understood why the beginning of their careers in engineering turns out, for many women, to be the end.
Enter Natalie Ownby, the creator of SHEengineered, a platform that helps female engineering students turn their undergraduate degrees into stepping stones for entry pathways into internships, graduate schools and job placements.
Natalie was twelve…
How a curious Athens girl became an astronomer, a prolific volunteer, and a passionate advocate for women in STEM.
In a small canal-lined city by the west coast of The Netherlands, Stella Tsilia is looking at the stars.
They’re the same stars she’s been looking at since she was six or seven years old, when her dad would point out planets and stars and tell her stories about the night sky. Only now they come to her a little differently, because Stella has an undergraduate degree in physics and — soon — a master’s degree in astronomy.
Her master’s degree…
Ryan Holiday talks about the difference between routines and practices.
Routines depend on their environment; practices do not. You cannot always control or predict your environment, so build your life on practices, not routines. The practice is the essence of the routine — they are what it’s all about. Routines are the physical manifestation of your practices, and they can be helpful, but they can not always be relied upon.
Keeping fit is a practice; spending weekday mornings at the gym down the road is a routine. …
Life is change. Life is movement. Life is never-ending, constant motion. Up and down, on and off, over and under.
Life cannot be paused and can never be still.
This means two things.
First, it means that you, too, are never static. You exist alongside life which means that you are either going up or doing down. You are either getting ahead or falling behind.
Second, it means that you need to learn to adjust while in motion. Life will never stop for you. You cannot send the world to sleep for a month while you sort things out. You…
One fatal mistake we all make is to compare our cores with other people’s shells.
You are intimately familiar with your struggles, your fears, your failings: this is your core. This is the real you.
You are not intimately familiar with the struggles, the fears,, and the private failings of most others. Occasionally you may catch a glimpse, but most of the time, what you see of other people is simply a shell.
Shells are fragile. They break when the egg falls from the spoon, when the juggling act gets out of control, when the carton is overturned. …