Warning: your life will improve after reading this

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Photo by Benjamin Klaver on Unsplash

Never before has information about fitness and health been so widely disseminated and easily accessible.

A quick internet search yields innumerable diet plans and workout routines with catchy titles like “Get Ripped Quick!” or “Overnight Six Pack Abs!” These are all well and good, but they seem to gloss over the basics: the fundamental, non-negotiable parts of a healthy, fit lifestyle.

There are a handful of essentials when it comes to fitness that, once implemented, can immediately improve every facet of life.

The ability to move without aches, build muscle and shed body fat, walk long distances, and avoid bloating are all basic fitness needs that everyone should aspire to — they shouldn’t be outlandish goals reserved for professional athletes. …

And why must we rely on snail-mail in the 21st century?

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Within the last week, news media outlets have strictly stuck to covering the 2020 Presidential Election. And rightfully so — it is undoubtedly historic and big news. What is also historic is the delayed voting count that took several days longer than usual.

Whispers in the previous few weeks and months have hinted that there would be a delay in election results due to the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots this year. …

Because perfection means you cannot change

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Photo by Allison Heine on Unsplash

In a world as imperfect as this one, perfection should never be the goal.

How could it be?

It can’t be because perfection never lasts. Aiming for a goal that has no staying power, that isn’t evergreen, is a waste of energy.

Lasting change doesn’t come from perfection. It comes from the small and daily deposits. The 1% that remains imperceptible to all others except for the individual measuring it.

Stumbling forward with an inch of progress here, a half-inch there — that’s where lasting change is made.

The reason slow progress lasts is because it isn’t perfect. Imperfections give us something to fight, a necessary uphill. …

The pandemic may have ruined our digital reality forever

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

The Wall Street Journal published what I found to be an unnerving article this week about how the pandemic necessitated the rise in not only technology use but in technology reliance.

In the article, 20 points were listed. The writer framed them as adaptations people have made in response to pervasive and lengthy stay-at-home orders; I’m not so sure each of them deserve the same level of praise.

Take, for example, the point about virtual doctor’s appointments. Fair enough. Innovative, safe, and necessary, especially for those with pressing health concerns. …

On simplicity, Thoreau, and nature

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Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

Few works have had such monumental personal impact on my personal philosophies than Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854). I first read this masterful, albeit verbose, work when I was 19 years old, and have revisited it often for closer examinations.

On each occasion, I take away a new insight. How lucky the world is to have the infinite wisdom of Walden Pond condensed into a portable paperback form!

Part environmental musing and part literary philosophy, Thoreau conveys the importance of leading a simple existence, the beauty inherent to nature, and the interconnectedness that, in an ideal world, should be reflected and acted out by all living things. …

The stakes have never been higher

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Science is becoming more and more contested in today’s age because, unfortunately, it is becoming tossed into the same playing field as politics.

This is certainly not what scientists want, nor what they deserve. More to this point, politicians may not deserve this either; the repercussions of cross-pollinating disciplines are likely beyond their political expertise.

Politics, if it could be described as a game with certain parameters, involves a great deal of personal philosophies rooted in upbringing, socioeconomic background, race, gender, geography, family history, and more. …

For better or worse, partisan journalism is here to stay.

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The arbiters of information, perpetual seekers of a scoop, the sometimes-affirming, sometimes-spurious mouthpieces of the body politic — call them media, call them press, these are the hats of a journalist.

These roles of the press remain today, and have remained as such since the inception of the profession. The speed, pressures and influence of reporting, however, have evolved with dramatic effect.

Pamphlets and periodicals marked humanity’s initial foray into the world of news; penny papers followed shortly thereafter.

The Boston News-Letter of 1704 was America’s first regular newspaper. At the time, the news of the day could more aptly be described as the news of last week, sometimes last month. …

The evolution of the most important branch of government

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Photo by Kalea Morgan on Unsplash

As far as predicting the future goes, rare is the individual who can do it with even an ounce of prescience. For the contemporary citizen, forecasting what lunch will be in an hour or two is often trying enough.

To map out the next decade for the field of journalism — as well as the role of a journalist — demands first an understanding of history and trajectory.

A firm grasp of where we have been can better arm us against the tides of an uncertain future — especially a future that promises change across multiple fronts. …

What a stranger overseas taught me about the pandemic

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Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Travels are painted and layered by the individuals you encounter. The people make the place. This much I have learned for certain.

And I have met some truly wonderful people.

But I have also met some people that I did not find so truly wonderful. Some people that would be more aptly described as characters.

Not mean or malicious people but strange, idiosyncratic, and maybe a bit too candid at times.

And yet, I’m sure others in different countries and cultures thought the same about me, too at one time or another. A wide-eyed American exploring a faraway land that, to them, may have been the only place they’ve ever been. …

Warning: your life will improve after reading

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Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

It is easy to do what is easy.

Plain and simple. The path of least resistance is oftentimes the most attractive path. The fewest obstacles always appeals to the laziness inside of us. Challenges inspire certain degrees of self-doubt.

It is easy to do what is easy. This much is certain.

But speaking in terms of fulfillment, it is never easy to do what is easy.

Certainly, it would be easy to take a job that you are overqualified for, that you will not learn anything in, that you can operate on auto-drive.

But there’s rarely fulfillment in this path. A mundane ritual like this, day in, day out, begets a poor and restless soul. …


Phil Rosen

Bestselling travel writer. Columnist. Author. USC Annenberg School of Journalism. https://philsnextstop.blog

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