Don’t pin the butterfly: not all hobbies need to become hustles

A couple of years ago, I got really interested in pu’er tea—a kind of fermented tea produced in China—which can sell for thousands of dollars. I tried some, liked it, read about its history, and then… My mind started racing: why is it so hard to buy pu’er tea in Europe? Maybe I could import …

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Build your own PaaP: playfulness as a practice

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Before becoming a scary trope in a Kubrick’s movie, this was an ancient proverb. Playfulness is often interpreted as frivolous—something associated with children activities, or as something purely physical. Yet playfulness is an inherent part of human nature, and is crucial for personal growth. Playfulness …

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30 life lessons I learned before turning 30

I just turned 30. As someone who suffers from time anxiety, I thought it would bring the usual mix of stress and depression I usually experience around birthdays. But, somehow, this year is different. I feel calmer, more confident, and more excited about the future. To some who are younger than me, thirty years may …

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2019 year in review: growth versus goals

The end of the year is usually a time for reflection, gratitude, and planning. With our inboxes quiet and our schedules free of meetings, we can afford to take a moment and think about what we achieved and what’s next. It’s my second year writing an annual review, and I want to make it more …

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Noterday: letting go of yesterday

“If your yesterday was much better than your today, then today you will most probably walk around in your yesterday.” Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish playwright and novelist. I love playing with words. They’re living vessels of what it means to be human. Some words feel so natural we never stop to question their meaning. Take …

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The Pygmalion Effect: an invisible nudge towards success

When I was in school, a friend of mine was offered the opportunity to coach the newly formed volleyball team. He didn’t think he had what it took to do a good job, but there was no one else better qualified, so he accepted. While they trained several times a week, my friend kept on …

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Write your own eulogy to shape your future

In Western culture, death is scary. Death is sad. Death is an uncontrollable event which puts an end to all events. This is why we mostly avoid thinking about it. And this is why many cultures and religions have the concept of an afterlife. But thinking about death can be empowering. And one of the …

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Ten keys to happier living

A few weeks ago, I took a training to become a certified Mental Health First Aider. It’s an amazing evidence-based training which has been designed in partnership with the NHS and is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health. Here is the link if you’d like to take it in England, but they offer …

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Joy triggers: happiness on demand

Love, money, family, work. So many big goals, which can at times feel overwhelming. And yet we keep saying: “It’s the small things that matter.” A nice cup of tea, getting hugged by a friend, petting a dog. When it comes to happiness, it may just be the case that enjoying the little things and …

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IQ and death: why smarter people live longer

In my article about neuromyths, I debunked the commonly-held belief that IQ tests results only represent your ability to take IQ tests. In reality—and despite their flaws—IQ tests are predictive of many things. And, in particular, IQ tests can help predict your chances of dying. In a cohort study conducted in 2009 with almost a …

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