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Writing to inspire a world of empathy, possibility, and growth. Former faith leader; current MBA candidate. 👋 Say hi https://linkedin.com/in/michaeltouchton

Without self-acceptance, self-improvement is only noise.

Photo by Andrew (Drew) Kelly

Tim Ferriss has made a wildly successful career out of improving himself, quantifying his progress, and pushing the boundaries of human productivity.

But in a recent interview with Clay Skipper from GQ, Ferriss acknowledges that he’s been responsible for much of what he calls “the noise in the self-improvement or self-optimization space.”

The “noise” of self-improvement are the aspects that are a distraction from what truly matters. …


How we overcomplicate what could be exceedingly simple.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

I’ve always been “future-oriented.” I naturally find myself thinking about what’s next and, generally, welcoming most change. But sometimes I get paralyzed thinking about the future — especially when I feel I need to figure out what I should do next in life. What career should I pursue? Where should I move? You know, questions like these.

I’m in this place again — trying to figure out what’s next.

But it recently occurred to me that maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way. …


A Harvard psychologist’s advice to bust stress

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Susan David’s Father died when she was 15 years old. On the outside, she coped by remaining strong like nothing was wrong. She denied the pain of her loss, even to herself.

But that couldn’t last forever, of course. The emotion, stuffed down and denied, revealed itself in illness and struggle. Emotions are not good or bad, but what we do with these emotions affects everything about us.

So what happened? Susan’s 8th grade English teacher gave her a blank notebook and asked her to write what she was feeling without holding back. …


Created by the author. Originals: Left (Flickr) and right (adamgrant.net)

If you like personality tests or psychometric assessments, you’ll want to check this out.

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, who wrote the #1 bestseller, Principles, has just launched a free personality assessment with well-known writer and psychologist Adam Grant, as well as psychologists John Golden and Brian Little.

Want to read this story later? Save it in Journal.

Right off the bat, what’s interesting about the test is how Dalio uses his own experience at Bridgewater within the test. In addition to using the Big 5 Model and “the latest in personality science”, the assessment measures specific traits which…


Open your hands and let everything fall.

© Евгений Степаненко / Adobe Stock

If you’re anything like me, you often feel as if you’re at war — trying desperately to find a sense of peace.

You breathe. You meditate. You do all the things just to keep some semblance of calm. Sometimes you feel better, sometimes you don’t.

Why? Maybe you’re looking for peace in the wrong place.

You see, peace is not something that you can find externally. It’s not something you can buy or be gifted. Peace is your inner reality unburdened and freed from concern. It’s something you already have — something you’ve always had.

The minimalist’s approach to finding…


How knowing yourself is the key to moving forward.

Photo by Andrew (Drew) Kelly

Before he was sentenced to death, the philosopher Socrates uttered the now-famous line, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That’s ancient-speak for… “If you live on autopilot like a zombie, you’ll waste your life.”

Here’s the deal: lots of us are chasing success like zombies — totally unaware that what we’re hustling to find might not actually be success.

But there’s something we can do about it.

Success is about the accomplishment of a purpose.

You can’t find your success if you’re pursuing someone else’s purpose. …


#2 — They expect resistance from those they lead.

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“Learning to lead is a process of learning by doing. It can’t be taught in a classroom. It is a craft primarily acquired through on-the-job experiences — especially adverse experiences in which the new manager, working beyond his current capabilities, proceeds by trial and error.”

Dr. Linda Hill, Harvard University

A quick search on Amazon for books about leadership returns roughly 10,000 results. That’s a lot of information…

But the good news is, you don’t need to read all those books to become a good leader. In fact, you don’t need to read any of them.

But the bad…


How your brain sabotages public health measures

Photo by United Nations on Unsplash

There are plenty of people that don’t mean well. They don’t want to wear masks or do anything that they’re told to — unless, of course, they’re encouraged to do it by a far-right media outlet or, unfortunately, the current president of the United States.

But there are other people — maybe they’re you and me — who mean well, but who are still in danger of, albeit unknowingly, helping to spread COVID-19.

Specifically, it’s your brain’s fault.

You Are Not a Freethinker

In order to survive, your brain has evolved to help you make decisions faster, and simplify the way you process incoming information…


Six simple habits to build into your life

Photo by Serey Kim on Unsplash

Many of our issues arise only because we don’t know what we really need.

When you don’t realize what you really need is to talk to someone about what happened to you, you can end up burning yourself out, working to distract yourself from the pain. Likewise, when you don’t realize what you really need is to deal with your commitment issues, you just end up breaking up (again).

Not knowing what you need is dangerous. Instead of getting a diagnosis and taking the correct medication, you end up reaching for whatever is fast, easy, and cheap. …

Michael Touchton

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