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…

Lasting success comes down to a shift in focus

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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

It isn’t everyday you reach a milestone. Nobody publishes a book every single day, or graduates from university every single day.

These are nice, ancillary consequences of a long and tenuous journey. Cherries on top of an otherwise long and monotonous road.

The most successful people don’t aim for accolades or milestones because they know that the best lessons are not learned at the milestones. They think in terms of small, daily deposits; routines and habits that require attention each day and in turn create massive compound interest.

Achievement at any…

Doing great creative work is one step away

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Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash

I remember when I first started writing seriously some years ago, trepidation prevented me often from not only sharing my work but getting words on paper in the first place.

I put the cart before the horse by worrying about what others may say of my work rather than simply doing the work first.

The work is something that takes attention, concentrated action pointed in a specific direction. But even so, the work itself is more about the process of writing, thinking, and rewriting than actually publishing. Sure, writers want their words…

Writing life as an expat in Spain

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Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash

On the way to the café I always walked slow.

Slow enough to look upwards at the curved steel adorning each balcony window above my head, but still quick enough to keep the morning chill out of my bones and the wind on my back. A more relaxed pace ensured I stayed upright on the misaligned cobblestone, too.

When a bike or scooter would drive by, the repeated thwack-thwack-thwack of the wheels atop the cobblestone always made me concerned about persons bound to wheelchairs, walking sticks, or an unlucky night in high-heels.


Making the very most of the new year

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Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

Today is the final day of a year that many of us wish to leave behind.

The final day of a monotonous and unending series of days that gave us more moments of both silence and devastation, loneliness and sorrow, upheaval and stillness.

At the beginning, it felt like a string of Sunday afternoons. Easy and mellow; long walks and mid-day movies. More family time and less time at the office.

But then, soon after what seemed like a dozen consecutive Sundays, reality settled in like the bad news it was. …

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…

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…

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…

Phil Rosen

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

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