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Architecting Life

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Resting in peace. No longer with us. Passed away. Gone to a better place. Kicked the bucket. Up there sucking oranges. Pushing up daisies. Carked it. Gone to meet her maker. Six feet under. In a better place. Sleeping with the fishes. Gone to the big house in the sky. Checked out. Lost. Finished. Popped off. Departed. Croaked. Gone. Or my personal favourite, living-challenged.

I think you get the point. I mean dead.

Unless this guy has his way we will all end up ‘living challenged’ at some point in our lives (presumably the end). And yet most of us rarely discuss it. Why is everyone so down on death?

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How often have you wished you just had a little more self-control? This book might be able to help:

Willpower (the book) is a fascinating look at the once scorned idea of willpower (the very-mild-superpower). The book shows we possess willpower and how to strengthen it.

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Meaning in Life

All you self-help book authors. The ten billion lifestyle design bloggers. And Oprah. Give up:

You’re wasting your time. It’s not possible to create meaning in life, after all.

A recent study in Psychological Science may have proved what Roy F. Baumeister once hypothesised, “Creating the meaning of your own life sounds very nice as an ideal, but in reality it may be impossible.”

And the news doesn’t look good for those of us in filthy rich, (relatively) godless countries like the US and Australia. If you want a meaning in life, you’d be better off living in abject poverty in Laos, so long as you’re generous in your daily offering to Buddha.

Because, while wealthier countries generally fare better in ‘life satisfaction’, ‘meaning’ is more subjective. The surprise kicker in this particular study is that people in poorer, more religious countries, report more meaningful lives:

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I do some work as a freelance writer on Freelancer.com. Here is an article I wrote for Brazen Careerist recently about some of my less than savory experiences on the freelancing network – some common scams for newbies to look out for!

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Failure is subjective. The most disastrous, embarrassing, shameful failure of your life isn’t a big deal to those closest to you. Or anyone else for that matter. Here’s how I failed. And how I let failure anxiety corrupt my entire life:

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AKA I want to look like this guy:

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He’s well proportioned in every aspect (except one)

That’s right, Michelangelo’s David. I want to look just like him, right down to the stony gaze. There’s a reason he’s been gawked over for centuries. Michelangelo dedicated his life to capturing the perfect male form and this statue is the pinacle of that pursuit. You see, David has the perfect proportions – the proportions of the gods. His shoulder circumference, divided by his waist circumference is equal to Phi – the golden ratio that’s found time and time again throughout nature and in shapes that we find pleasing to the eye:

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not-morning-cat--large-msg-132434474907

I’ve always said there’s no better way to start your day than face-down, arse up and ‘relaxing’ into the excruciating pain of contorting yourself into what is – rather euphemistically – referred to as a ‘downward-facing dog’.

Well, if I haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now: Yoga in the morning is the shiz, you guys. Here’s why:

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Guys, pretty much the only reason I write is because it’s like free therapy. And for the cash and prostitutes (obvs).

I just lie back in my IKEA sofa and bang out pained sentences about how I feel like I’m an intruder in someone else’s dream (any minute now you’ll all realise and attack – inception-style). Or how (as an actual adult human being) I wet myself while using an ATM (try and explain what THAT means, Doc).

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dream_of_productivity_by_laraapatel-d4yaaxr

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of productivity. Some would call me a slacker. I would just say I have a laissez-faire approach to deadlines. Because that sounds way more intellectual. “Laissez-faire” – that’s French, you guys.

That said, sometimes you literally have a shit-tonne of work to do (because you’re a farm-fresh manure distributer). And you’ve just spent your fourth consecutive day watching fail videos on YouTube. You’ve clocked the internet. And yet you still can’t rustle up the motivation to shovel that shit.

But as a wise woman once said (in an oddly British accent), “You better work, bitch”. Sure, do what you need to do, but you’re not a robot, R2D2 – you’ve gotta have your fun too.

So here’s a simple trick I learnt recently (today). I like to call it (10+2)*5 – because that’s what it’s called.

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Decision-making is tough, you guys. I get all clammed up deciding which sandwich to get at Subway, let alone the big, life-changing decisions like whether to quit your job, go back to Uni, move overseas, and/or grow a mustache (Oh, to be that manly…).

You’re probably thinking, “Uh, what does decision-making have to do with defining your core values? I’ve been misled and I’m never going to get that 30 seconds of reading time back”.

But you’d be as wrong as Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball film clip (and you’re a really slow reader).

Because having well-defined values (preferably hand-written in a pleather-bound Moleskine)* will imbue your life with purpose and meaning. Oh and it’ll make decision-making (even the tough ones) a cinch. Let me explain:

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