No prior cooking experience required

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Years are not easily cooked — most times they are eaten raw and discarded without so much as a parting glance. Sometimes they are deep-fried with generous quantities of the self-doubt oil rendering them painfully tasteless in the process. Occasionally, they are baked for long durations at ungodly high temperatures and overloaded with greed-icing that leaves a bitter aftertaste following each bite.

The following recipe is designed to help you cook your years in a way that is right for you.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a culinary prodigy to attempt this recipe.

All you need is an apron made out of childlike enthusiasm. …

Anyone who has ever been on a fitness journey realizes 2 things very early on:

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Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash
  1. The number on the weighing scale doesn’t drop very quickly even if you’re doing killer workouts everyday
  2. Your motivation for the initial days comes primarily from wanting to keep your workout streak going (looking at all you folks doing the 30-day summer shred challenge from Chloe Ting — full disclosure, I’m one of them too :-) )

You might notice the following intangible benefits which no one else can see as proof of your progress:

  • You feel physically stronger
  • Your energy levels are generally high on days you exercise versus days you…

And a few ideas to fix it

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Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

“If you’re failing to plan, then you’re planning to fail”

I heard this sentence for the first time when I was a CA student.

My classmates and I were listening to a guest speaker who was talking to us about the importance of having a well planned study schedule before taking the exams.

He ended his speech with, "if you’re failing to plan, then you’re planning to fail" , to resounding applause from the already stressed audience.

Many years of study plans and harrowing exams later, I've come to realise that while the advice around planning was quite sound, it's also something that can be twisted to procrastinate endlessly. …

You’ll get through this

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Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

I am not a naturally happy person. I don’t get out of bed feeling like I’ve got the energy to take on the world. In fact, most days I have a debate on whether it’s worth getting out of bed at all before reluctantly ambling out.

It’s hard to be a delightful bundle of energy when there are tangible worries and fears that seem to do little else but deplete my life force every waking moment of my life.


*awkwardly clears throat*

Anyway, I have many days when the optimism juice just runs out and I can’t even pretend to be functional, let alone happy and normal. …

Do you recognize any of the warning signs?

I’m a big fan of the “Adventures of God” (AOG) Webtoon. In a recent episode, we see an elderly gentleman; let’s call him Steve, tapping away at his computer when his boss walks over to him. The boss tells asks Steve to work extra hours over the weekend though Steve has recently been denied a promotion.

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Source : Adventures of God Webtoon created by Teo /Corey

Steve glares at the boss while the cartoon angel on his shoulder whispers angrily to Steve “Tell him to eat your shorts!” But the cartoon demon calmly says, “Don’t do it, creating conflict in the workplace is a bad idea.”

Steve agrees with the demon and doesn’t fight his boss. …

The Ultimate Social Dilemma Cheat Sheet

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There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software — The Social Dilemma, 2020

I’m a user too.

And if you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re a user too. A user of software, social media and the whole nine yards of the infinite scrolling feature.

And yet, until a few months ago, it didn’t really matter all that much.

It was perfectly normal to start the day scrolling your Instagram feed and scroll through some news while sipping the morning coffee.

Then you had to go and watch “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix which ironically was something that was ‘trending’ on the very same social media channels it’s trying to antagonize. …

A short story

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The man I loved broke my heart days before we were supposed to get married.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I count to thirteen, standing at the crossroads, and the air becomes noticeably chillier.

My eyes start to tear up and I feel compelled to turn around.

And there it is. The pawnshop.

I swallow hard and walk towards it.

The lady inside is dusting her wares casually and doesn't notice me come in for a few seconds.

"Hello…" I say tentatively.

She looks up at me and smiles warmly.

"Welcome luv, I didn't see ya there"!

"What would ye like?" She says gesturing to the items in her shop. …

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Superheroes are great to admire from afar but living like them is a bad idea.

I don't fancy jumping over buildings in some American city trying to 'save' people while letting my personal life suffer because of it.

And truth be told, I can't fight against supervillains and think of quick comebacks to their evil proclamations at the same time. I usually think of solid comebacks 3 days after someone throws a sarcastic quip at me.

I wasn't expecting much from The Black Panther - just standard fare of superhero action and a few emotional turning points to move the plot along. …

Week 1 of 8

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Source — Jen Theodore, Unsplash

“I don’t like my mind right now,

Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary.

Wish that I could slow things down

I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic”

Sound familiar?

Not only are these the lyrics to a Linkin Park song, but they’re also something I feel every now and then.

And I don’t always know what to do with myself when I feel like this.

Over the years, I’ve tried a number of things to calm the pace of my rapid thoughts.

It’s not easy.

I discovered Mindfulness in a workshop hosted by my former employer. …

A few ideas to help you move on

“It’s over”

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She wailed, recounting the story of her breakup. This woman, who had run a triathlon, was tough as nails and had so much going for her in life — hung up because of some guy.

I didn’t understand it at the time.

How could someone so emotionally well-regulated lose their composure when confronted with heartbreak?

Where did all their coping mechanisms go when they were needed the most?

The answer is less than flattering

It’s true what they say — heartbreak is a lot like being denied your fix of favorite drug.

And I’ve seen rational people fall prey to drug addiction and lose their way. …


Archana Lakshman Rao

Author of 'How to be a Lighthouse'. I write for those pursuing excellence and meaning.

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