Living a life less ordinary

How much of your busyness is an effort to not miss out and to look like you have an interesting life? Meet Ali Cornish, who realized she was not at all happy being overly busy, and find out how she found true fulfillment: In my early 20s, I breezed through life in a state of constant movement and engagement. I lived in five separate cities, two different countries, and held a grand total of 11 jobs in the span of 4 years. With a serious case of the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), I felt the grass was greener elsewhere. Just like everyone I knew, I was always out-and-about, rarely spending a night in watching television, reading a book, or cultivating a hobby. Each new “Yes!” and each new connection were meant to boost my self-esteem. I thought if people saw that I was doing so much, they might […]

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What your clutter says about you

Have you ever noticed that your clutter is tied to how you feel inside? I notice that when I’m not feeling settled, or I’m anxious about something or in some way feeling scattered, I tend to let stuff pile up more than when I’m feeling calm. Clutter is such a graphic manifestation of our inner world, isn’t it? To bring this home, I just received an email from a reader who said she was going through a huge life transition with her youngest child off to college, she was in a luke-warm marriage, and she’d been a homemaker and wanted to find her passion, but didn’t know where to start. Her whole email was about how unsettled, lost and dissatisfied she felt. And then she talked about how her home office was disorganized and she wasn’t managing her paper very well. She wrote: “I believe my hidden clutter is symptomatic […]

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Permanently calm your anxiety with this morning routine

Did you know that forty percent of us are wired more anxiously than others? If you’re one of the group, don’t worry! You’re not doomed to always be anxious. You can change your neural pathways to be more calm. Current science is all about the plasticity of neural pathways – which means that our brains can indeed, be re-wired. Think of your brain’s neural pathways as a trail through the woods. Say it’s a trail that’s been used a lot, and that’s the trail you usually take. But what if you want to take a different trail – one that doesn’t yet exist or is very faint? You have to bushwhack through the woods and forge your new trail. It takes some effort, right? But if you keep walking on the trail every day, pretty soon you’ll carve out a new trail. If you stop using the old trail, eventually the weeds […]

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Why you don’t need this kind of credit card stress

Let’s talk about credit cards and stress. I only carry one credit card for a bunch of reasons, and one of them is that I don’t want the stress of having more than one card. (If you need to carry a separate card for business, that’s different. I’m talking about personal cards.) But recently, I was in a store and I’m embarrassed to say that I let the clerk talk me into saving a bunch of money on my purchase by opening a store credit card. I knew I was doing something stupid as soon as I agreed to this, but I thought, well, the card will let me save 10 percent on all of my purchases, and I shop here a lot, so I rationalized why it was OK. But it wasn’t OK. I’m sharing this with you because if you want to simplify your life, you have to […]

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