4 fundamental rules from the pre-Columbian Toltec culture that teach us the power of small habits in reaching true happiness

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While we often look for radical ways to start our personal growth path, most of the answers are right in front of our eyes and within ourselves.

The Toltec agreements are 4 pieces of wisdom that illustrate how the Toltec civilization, which flourished in central Mexico between the 10th and 12th centuries, understood the power of small, regular habits.

The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz — New York Times bestseller for over a decade — takes inspiration from the spiritual beliefs of this ancient civilization to lay down these 4 simple and actionable principles to increase the amount of…

The mental shift that helped me free myself from a 15-year nicotine addiction painlessly

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I used to love smoking, like really love it.

When I was happy, I would smoke. When I was under stress, I would smoke. Just bored? Smoke. I was treating nicotine as a clutch that could help me through anything.

Of course, I knew that smoking was bad for my health. Every smoker knows that. But still, it was my little pleasure and I would not let anybody take it away from me. Like most smokers, I completely numbed the pain I was inflicting on my body and my mind. I always woke up tired. I couldn’t run 300 feet…

#3: Make sure your hangovers last at least four business days.

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If you’re about to be an adult or have been struggling to become one, this article is for you. I’ve been adulting myself for many years now. Not to brag, but I believe I’ve been quite successful at it, so I thought I’d share my secret recipe for doing it right. I guarantee you’ll see results within a few days.

1. Hide your emotions

In fact, ignore them altogether. You’re not a baby anymore. You’re an adult who knows how to hold it together. You must act like everything is fine at all costs. …

Thank you so much for your kind words Akarsh! This piece is meant to be both personal and factual, so I really appreciate your feedback.

On embracing our fear of getting old

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Here we are, the big 30. The age that I always thought was too far away to even care. I mean, I knew I was getting closer, but now I’m really getting closer.

I know what you’re gonna say: every age is a great age, it’s not the age that counts, you just need to stay young in your mind, or whatever you tell yourself to feel better. I’ve heard it already, but please try telling it to my growing anxiety, shrinking patience, and lower back pain.

You can’t reverse this shit. Half of humanity has tried, and I still…

A simple 6-step method to create a meaningful life despite doubt and fear

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2015 was my last year in school, the year that held my last carefree moments, as I would think back then. On top of starting adult life, I went through painful events in several areas of my life, and my childhood trauma was starting to catch up with me. 2015 was a brutal shot of reality.

That year was also a real breakthrough for me as I discovered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). As my “avoid-feelings-at-all-costs” routine was falling through, I had the presence of mind to start seeing a therapist. That therapist introduced me to ACT, and it changed…

Life as a woman in an African Muslim Arab third-world male-dominated country

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Last night, I overheard some girl say she missed the lockdown. Weird, I thought. As I got closer, I realized she was saying that during the lockdown, she could walk to work without having dozens of men looking at her or making comments about how she looked. And it struck me. I was finally able to put words to the injustice I had been witnessing for so long: I lived in a male-dominated public space.

And I don’t mean first world male-dominated, with the occasional cheesy pick-up line and manspreading in public transportation (although these are also reprehensible). …

I am here for you

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This may sound crazy, but I think there is something special between us.

I know we haven’t known each other long, but I can tell we have chemistry. I can tell this is for the long haul. And I know you can feel it too.

Remember what life was like before we met? You could go weeks without overthinking anything, months without ever feeling sad, years without having a single panic attack. Pretty boring, right?

You can rest assured, it’s all over now. I am here for you. I am here to give your life meaning. You don’t ever have…

Cognitive biases lead us to make irrational decisions such as …hoarding toilet paper

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Remember when we thought a two-week lockdown would end the pandemic? We were under the influence of our optimism bias, one of the most common cognitive biases of the human brain.

What are cognitive biases?

Cognitive biases can shape our understanding of events such as the covid-19 pandemic. This unprecedented health crisis (for our generations at least) has us inclined to interpret current events using mental shortcuts.

These mental shortcuts affect our judgment and may lead to irrational decisions, such as hoarding toilet paper. And there are lots of other examples.

When we first heard about the virus outbreak in China, we all thought…

Your guts are not very chatty? There are ways to reconnect with your intuition

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Raise your hand if you were told a million times to trust your guts yet can’t seem to find them.

“Just trust your gut and everything will turn out just fine”

This is great advice. But here’s the thing: my guts are nowhere to be found. I genuinely don’t know what I want. And apparently this is common among millennials.

Right now I’m stuck in a job I hate because I don’t know what I want to do next. I like writing but does that make me a writer? Do I really want to risk losing my comfortable monthly income…

Rita Atlas

Economist, writer and psychology enthusiast

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