More on Personal Growth
20 days ago Draft
12 practices of the zenith individuals I know
Calmness is a vital life skill.
It aids communication. It boosts creativity and performance.
I've studied calm people's habits for years. Commonalities:
Have learned to laugh at themselves.
Those who have something to protect can’t help but make it a very serious business, which drains the energy out of the room.
They are fixated on positive pursuits like making cool things, building a strong physique, and having fun with others rather than on depressing influences like the news and gossip.
Every day, spend at least 20 minutes moving, whether it's walking, yoga, or lifting weights.
Discover ways to take pleasure in life's challenges.
Since perspective is malleable, they change their view.
Set your own needs first.
Stressed people neglect themselves and wonder why they struggle.
Don't ruin your life to please others.
Calm people create more than react.
They love creating beautiful things—paintings, children, relationships, and projects.
Hold your breath, please.
If you're stressed or angry, you may be surprised how much time you spend holding your breath and tightening your belly.
Release, breathe, and relax to find calm.
Rushing is disadvantageous.
Calm people handle life better.
Are attuned to their personal dietary needs.
They avoid junk food and eat foods that keep them healthy, happy, and calm.
Don’t take anything personally.
Stressed people control everything.
Calm people put others and their work first.
Keep their surroundings neat.
Maintaining an uplifting and clutter-free environment daily calms the mind.
Minimise negative people.
Calm people are ruthless with their boundaries and avoid negative and drama-prone people.
18 days ago
The best life advice I've ever heard could very well come from 50 Cent.
He built a $40M hip-hop empire from street drug dealing.
50 Cent was nearly killed by 9mm bullets.
Before 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson sold drugs.
He sold coke to worried addicts after being orphaned at 8.
Pursuing police. Murderous hustlers and gangs. Unwitting informers.
Despite his hard life, his hip-hop career was a success.
An assassination attempt ended his career at the start.
What sane producer would want to deal with a man entrenched in crime?
Most would have drowned in self-pity and drank themselves to death.
But 50 Cent isn't most people. Life on the streets had given him fearlessness.
“Having a brush with death, or being reminded in a dramatic way of the shortness of our lives, can have a positive, therapeutic effect. So it is best to make every moment count, to have a sense of urgency about life.” ― 50 Cent, The 50th Law
50 released a series of mixtapes that caught Eminem's attention and earned him a $50 million deal!
50 Cents turned death into life.
Things happen; that is life.
We want problems solved.
Every human has problems, whether it's Jeff Bezos swimming in his billions, Obama in his comfortable retirement home, or Dan Bilzerian with his hired bikini models.
Problems churn through life. solve one, another appears.
It's harsh. Life's unfair. We can face reality or run from it.
The latter will worsen your issues.
“The firmer your grasp on reality, the more power you will have to alter it for your purposes.” — 50 Cent, The 50th Law
In a fantasy-obsessed world, 50 Cent loves reality.
Wish for better problem-solving skills rather than problem-free living.
Don't wish, work.
We All Have the True Power of Alchemy
Humans are arrogant enough to think the universe cares about them.
That things happen as if the universe notices our nanosecond existences.
Things simply happen. Period.
By changing our perspective, we can turn good things bad.
The alchemists' search for the philosopher's stone may have symbolized the ability to turn our lead-like perceptions into gold.
Negativity bias tints our perceptions.
Normal sparring broke your elbow? Rest and rethink your training. Fired? You can improve your skills and get a better job.
Consider Curtis if he had fallen into despair.
The legend we call 50 Cent wouldn’t have existed.
The Best Lesson in Life Ever?
Neither avoid nor fear your reality.
That simple sentence contains every self-help tip and life lesson on Earth.
When reality is all there is, why fear it? avoidance?
Or worse, fleeing?
To accept reality, we must eliminate the words should be, could be, wish it were, and hope it will be.
It is. Period.
Only by accepting reality's chaos can you shape your life.
“Behind me is infinite power. Before me is endless possibility, around me is boundless opportunity. My strength is mental, physical and spiritual.” — 50 Cent
5 months ago
After 240 articles and 2.5M views on Medium, 9 Raw Writing Tips
Late in 2018, I published my first Medium article, but I didn't start writing seriously until 2019. Since then, I've written more than 240 articles, earned over $50,000 through Medium's Partner Program, and had over 2.5 million page views.
Write A Lot
Most people don't have the patience and persistence for this simple writing secret:
Write + Write + Write = possible success
Writing more improves your skills.
The more articles you publish, the more likely one will go viral.
If you only publish once a month, you have no views. If you publish 10 or 20 articles a month, your success odds increase 10- or 20-fold.
Tim Denning, Ayodeji Awosika, Megan Holstein, and Zulie Rane. Medium is their jam. How are these authors alike? They're productive and consistent. They're prolific.
80% is publishable
Many writers battle perfectionism.
To succeed as a writer, you must publish often. You'll never publish if you aim for perfection.
Adopt the 80 percent-is-good-enough mindset to publish more. It sounds terrible, but it'll boost your writing success.
Your work won't be perfect. Always improve. Waiting for perfection before publishing will take a long time.
Second, readers are your true critics, not you. What you consider "not perfect" may be life-changing for the reader. Don't let perfectionism hinder the reader.
Don't let perfectionism hinder the reader. ou don't want to publish mediocre articles. When the article is 80% done, publish it. Don't spend hours editing. Realize it. Get feedback. Only this will work.
Make Your Headline Irresistible
We all judge books by their covers, despite the saying. And headlines. Readers, including yourself, judge articles by their titles. We use it to decide if an article is worth reading.
Make your headlines irresistible. Want more article views? Then, whether you like it or not, write an attractive article title.
Many high-quality articles are collecting dust because of dull, vague headlines. It didn't make the reader click.
As a writer, you must do more than produce quality content. You must also make people click on your article. This is a writer's job. How to create irresistible headlines:
Curiosity makes readers click. Here's a tempting example...
Example: What Women Actually Look For in a Guy, According to a Huge Study by Luba Sigaud
Use Numbers: Click-bait lists. I mean, which article would you click first? ‘Some ways to improve your productivity’ or ’17 ways to improve your productivity.’ Which would I click?
Example: 9 Uncomfortable Truths You Should Accept Early in Life by Sinem Günel
Most headlines are dull. If you want clicks, get 'sexy'. Buzzword-ify. Invoke emotion. Trendy words.
Example: 20 Realistic Micro-Habits To Live Better Every Day by Amardeep Parmar
Our culture lacks focus. If your headline gets a click, keep paragraphs short to keep readers' attention.
Some writers use 6–8 lines per paragraph, but I prefer 3–4. Longer paragraphs lose readers' interest.
A writer should help the reader finish an article, in my opinion. I consider it a job requirement. You can't force readers to finish an article, but you can make it 'snackable'
Help readers finish an article with concise paragraphs, interesting subheadings, exciting images, clever formatting, or bold attention grabbers.
Work And Move On
I've learned over the years not to get too attached to my articles. Many writers report a strange phenomenon:
The articles you're most excited about usually bomb, while the ones you're not tend to do well.
This isn't always true, but I've noticed it in my own writing. My hopes for an article usually make it worse. The more objective I am, the better an article does.
Let go of a finished article. 40 or 40,000 views, whatever. Now let the article do its job. Onward. Next story. Start another project.
Online content creators will encounter haters, whether on YouTube, Instagram, or Medium. More views equal more haters. Fun, right?
As a web content creator, I learned:
Don't debate haters. Never.
It's a mistake I've made several times. It's tempting to prove haters wrong, but they'll always find a way to be 'right'. Your response is their fuel.
I smile and ignore hateful comments. I'm indifferent. I won't enter a negative environment. I have goals, money, and a life to build. "I'm not paid to argue," Drake once said.
Grammarly saves me as a non-native English speaker. You know Grammarly. It shows writing errors and makes article suggestions.
As a writer, you need Grammarly. I have a paid plan, but their free version works. It improved my writing greatly.
Put The Reader First, Not Yourself
Many writers write for themselves. They focus on themselves rather than the reader.
This article teaches what? How can they be entertained or educated?
Personal examples and experiences improve writing quality. Don't focus on yourself.
It's not about you, the content creator. Reader-focused. Putting the reader first will change things.
Extreme ownership: Stop blaming others
I remember writing a lot on Medium but not getting many views. I blamed Medium first. Poor algorithm. Poor publishing. All sucked.
Instead of looking at what I could do better, I blamed others.
When you blame others, you lose power. Owning your results gives you power.
As a content creator, you must take full responsibility. Extreme ownership means 100% responsibility for work and results.
You don’t blame others. You don't blame the economy, president, platform, founders, or audience. Instead, you look for ways to improve. Few people can do this.
Blaming is useless. Zero. Taking ownership of your work and results will help you progress. It makes you smarter, better, and stronger.
Instead of blaming others, you'll learn writing, marketing, copywriting, content creation, productivity, and other skills. Game-changer.
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1 month ago
7 Mac Tips You Never Knew You Needed
Unleash the power of the Option key ⌥
#1 Open a link in the Private tab first.
Previously, if I needed to open a Safari link in a private window, I would:
copied the URL with the right click command,
choose File > New Private Window to open a private window, and
clicked return after pasting the URL.
I've found a more straightforward way.
Right-clicking a link shows this, right?
Hold option (⌥) for:
Click Open Link in New Private Window while holding.
#2. Instead of searching for specific characters, try this
You may use unicode for business or school. Most people Google them when they need them.
That is lengthy!
You can type some special characters just by pressing ⌥ and a key.
• ⌥+2 -> ™ (Trademark) • ⌥+0 -> ° (Degree) • ⌥+G -> © (Copyright) • ⌥+= -> ≠ (Not equal to) • ⌥+< -> ≤ (Less than or equal to) • ⌥+> -> ≥ (Greater then or equal to) • ⌥+/ -> ÷ (Different symbol for division)
#3 Activate Do Not Disturb silently.
Do Not Disturb when sharing my screen is awkward for me (because people may think Im trying to hide some secret notifications).
Here's another method.
Hold ⌥ and click on Time (at the extreme right on the menu-bar).
Now, DND is activated (secretly!). To turn it off, do it again.
Note: This works only for DND focus.
#4. Resize a window starting from its center
Although this is rarely useful, it is still a hidden trick.
When you resize a window, the opposite edge or corner is used as the pivot, right?
However, if you want to resize it with its center as the pivot, hold while doing so.
#5. Yes, Cut-Paste is available on Macs as well (though it is slightly different).
I call it copy-move rather than cut-paste. This is how it works.
Carry it out.
Choose a file (by clicking on it), then copy it (⌘+C).
Go to a new location on your Mac. Do you use ⌘+V to paste it? However, to move it, press ⌘+⌥+V.
This removes the file from its original location and copies it here. And it works exactly like cut-and-paste on Windows.
#6. Instantly expand all folders
Set your Mac's folders to List view.
Assume you have one folder with multiple subfolders, each of which contains multiple files. And you wanted to look at every single file that was over there.
How would you do?
You're used to clicking the ⌄ glyph near the folder and each subfolder to expand them all, right? Instead, hold down ⌥ while clicking ⌄ on the parent folder.
This is what happens next.
View/Copy a file's path as an added bonus
If you want to see the path of a file in Finder, select it and hold ⌥, and you'll see it at the bottom for a moment.
To copy its path, right-click on the folder and hold down ⌥ to see this
Copy <"folder name"> as Pathname to do it.
#7 "Save As"
I was irritated by the lack of "Save As" in Pages when I first got a Mac (after 15 years of being a Windows guy).
It was necessary for me to save the file as a new file, in a different location, with a different name, or both.
Unfortunately, I couldn't do it on a Mac.
However, I recently discovered that it appears when you hold ⌥ when in the File menu.
5 months ago
How I made $160,000 from non-fiction books
I've sold over 40,000 non-fiction books on Amazon and made over $160,000 in six years while writing on the side.
I have a full-time job and three young sons; I can't spend 40 hours a week writing. This article describes my journey.
I write mainly tech books:
Thanks to my readers, many wrote positive evaluations. Several are bestsellers.
A few have been adopted by universities as textbooks:
My books' passive income allows me more time with my family.
Knowing I could quit my job and write full time gave me more confidence. And I find purpose in my work (i am in christian ministry).
I'm always eager to write. When work is a dread or something bad happens, writing gives me energy. Writing isn't scary. In fact, I can’t stop myself from writing!
Writing has also established my tech authority. Universities use my books, as I've said. Traditional publishers have asked me to write books.
These mindsets helped me become a successful nonfiction author:
1. You don’t have to be an Authority
Yes, I have computer science experience. But I'm no expert on my topics. Before authoring "Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB," my most profitable book, I had no experience with those topics. Node was a new server-side technology for me. Would that stop me from writing a book? It can. I liked learning a new technology. So I read the top three Node books, took the top online courses, and put them into my own book (which makes me know more than 90 percent of people already).
I didn't have to worry about using too much jargon because I was learning as I wrote. An expert forgets a beginner's hardship.
"The fellow learner can aid more than the master since he knows less," says C.S. Lewis. The problem he must explain is recent. The expert has forgotten.”
2. Solve a micro-problem (Niching down)
I didn't set out to write a definitive handbook. I found a market with several challenges and wrote one book. Ex:
- Instead of web development, what about web development using Angular?
- Instead of Blockchain, what about Blockchain using Solidity and React?
- Instead of cooking recipes, how about a recipe for a specific kind of diet?
- Instead of Learning math, what about Learning Singapore Math?
3. Piggy Backing Trends
The above topics may still be a competitive market. E.g. Angular, React. To stand out, include the latest technologies or trends in your book. Learn iOS 15 instead of iOS programming. Instead of personal finance, what about personal finance with NFTs.
Even though you're a newbie author, your topic is well-known.
4. Publish short books
My books are known for being direct. Many people like this:
Your reader will appreciate you cutting out the fluff and getting to the good stuff. A reader can finish and review your book.
Second, short books are easier to write. Instead of creating a 500-page book for $50 (which few will buy), write a 100-page book that answers a subset of the problem and sell it for less. (You make less, but that's another subject). At least it got published instead of languishing. Less time spent creating a book means less time wasted if it fails. Write a small-bets book portfolio like Daniel Vassallo!
Third, it's $2.99-$9.99 on Amazon (gets 70 percent royalties for ebooks). Anything less receives 35% royalties. $9.99 books have 20,000–30,000 words. If you write more and charge more over $9.99, you get 35% royalties. Why not make it a $9.99 book?
(This is the ebook version.) Paperbacks cost more. Higher royalties allow for higher prices.
5. Validate book idea
Amazon will tell you if your book concept, title, and related phrases are popular. See? Check its best-sellers list.
150,000 is preferable. It sells 2–3 copies daily. Consider your rivals. Profitable niches have high demand and low competition.
Don't be afraid of competitive niches. First, it shows high demand. Secondly, what are the ways you can undercut the completion? Better book? Or cheaper option? There was lots of competition in my NodeJS book's area. None received 4.5 stars or more. I wrote a NodeJS book. Today, it's a best-selling Node book.
So long. Part II follows. Meanwhile, I will continue to write more books!
Follow my journey on Twitter.
This post is a summary. Read full article here
4 months ago
Ads Coming to Medium?
Could this happen?
Medium isn't like other social media giants. It wasn't a dot-com startup that became a multi-trillion-dollar social media firm. It launched in 2012 but didn't gain popularity until later. Now, it's one of the largest sites by web traffic, but it's still little compared to most. Most of Medium's traffic is external, but they don't run advertisements, so it's all about memberships.
Medium isn't profitable, but they don't disclose how terrible the problem is. Most of the $163 million they raised has been spent or used for acquisitions. If the money turns off, Medium can't stop paying its writers since the site dies. Writers must be paid, but they can't substantially slash payment without hurting the platform. The existing model needs scale to be viable and has a low ceiling. Facebook and other free social media platforms are struggling to retain users. Here, you must pay to appreciate it, and it's bad for writers AND readers. If I had the same Medium stats on YouTube, I'd make thousands of dollars a month.
Then what? Medium has tried to monetize by offering writers a cut of new members, but that's unsustainable. People-based growth is limited. Imagine recruiting non-Facebook users and getting them to pay to join. Some may, but I'd rather write.
Tiered subscriptions ($5, $10, $25, etc.)
and these may be short-term fixes, but they're not as profitable as allowing ads. Advertisements can pay several dollars per click and cents every view. If you get 40,000 views a month like me, that's several thousand instead of a few hundred. Also, Medium would have enough money to split ad revenue with writers, who would make more. I'm among the top 6% of Medium writers. Only 6% of Medium writers make more than $100, and I made $500 with 35,000 views last month. Compared to YouTube, the top 1% of Medium authors make a lot. Mr. Beast and PewDiePie make MILLIONS a month, yet top Medium writers make tens of thousands. Sure, paying 3 or 4 people a few grand, or perhaps tens of thousands, will keep them around. What if great authors leveraged their following to go huge on YouTube and abandoned Medium? If people use Medium to get successful on other platforms, Medium will be continuously cycling through authors and paying them to stay.
Ads might make writing on Medium more profitable than making videos on YouTube because they could preserve the present freemium model and pay users based on internal views. The $5 might be ad-free.
Consider: Would you accept Medium ads? A $5 ad-free version + pay-as-you-go, etc. What are your thoughts on this?
Original post available here