If you are in Your 20’s, Here is What You Should Do Next

Slow down. Stop being so nervous. YOU GOT THIS. You are capable of anything you put your mind to – Madeline Johnson

Here is what I recommend you do . . . 

Slow down. Stop being so nervous. YOU GOT THIS. You are capable of anything you put your mind to – just stop with the worry and fear. It only holds you back. 

Take care of your health. Workout every day. Get that body you want. Meditate. Do yoga. Take EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA care of yourself everyday. Get weekly massages if you can. Do your nails, your hair. Pamper yourself every single day. 

Stop spending the money on jewelry, clothes, food and furniture. You have it all now. Get yourself on a budget.  You must put the money back into your career or your business in order for the business to grow and build savings for your future. Cook at home. Stop eating out all of the time.

Start paying down the student loan to $0.00 and start saving for your retirement.  Compounded interest and smart investments are your friend.

Save up money for a down payment on a house or a condominium. You need to have a separate savings of at least $100,000 in order to buy something decent. Start now. Save as much as you can and keep your credit clean.  Live below your means.

Stop with the “I need a vacation”. You can have one next year. You need to take care of yourself every day and you won’t get so burnt out and stressed out that you feel you have to run away. You don’t have the money yet to do the travel every three months  thing that you want to do. Focus on buying something to invest in.  

Don’t take things so personally. Don’t be so open with everyone that works for you. Seriously.  Business is business. Your team members are not your best friends. You have look for great best friends outside of work. One or two of them. That is all you have time for.  It might be your sister or your brother and one other person.

Slow down. You can’t do everything at once. So stop trying dammit. Slow, thoughtful, enjoyable. The day-to-day is what must be enjoyed. Have fun just “being”, have fun at work. Have fun with your friends. Enjoy the process of living.

1 live life

Appreciate everyone in your life. All of your team members. Your family. Everyone. Be ever grateful and stop complaining. Complaining is draining and does nothing for you. Never complain again. It is a WASTE OF TIME. Pray instead. Give up your problems to God. Say – Dear God, help me with this problem – and watch the miracle happen. You are never alone. God is working with you all the time. You are not designing your life alone. God is doing it with you.

Understand that it is better to be selective and find the right person than jumping into the next thing. Stop believing everyone. They all lie during the getting to know you process. They exaggerate. Forgive them and get the best out of them.

Keep your life simple and never cynical. Simplify everything  you do so a five year old could understand it. If someone is cynical or complicating things, let them go.


Featured Art

Buzea Flavius Tiberiu


Choosing The Path With Heart

How to choose the path with heart. By Madeline Johnson

So many problems. So little time.

How do you begin to tackle difficult problems?  Your own and others?

Remove yourself emotionally. Do not take the problem personally. It isn’t about you. Even if it is your own. It doesn’t define you. Whether you solve the problem or not doesn’t make you more or less of a good person, but it is best that you learn the lesson.

Is it a new problem that has you perplexed? Do a bit of brain mining and reframing.  Search your mind for old solutions that you can apply to your new problem. You need to see your new problem in a different light, so it feels less mind-numbing.

Be hyper realistic – make sure you understand what part of the problem is true, not what you wish to be true. Beware of false evidence appearing as real (your fear about the problem).

Tease out what is not necessary. Are you worrying about parts of the problem that don’t have to be solved? This will only make it that much more complex. Get to the core of the problem.

Now that you are at the core issue, state each element of the problem simply. Explain your problem as if you were going to tell it to a five year old.

Write out the questions that you don’t understand about the problem.

Research and understand what other’s have tried to fix the problem. Is there anything you can learn from your mistakes?

Use divergent thinkingexpanding what could be possible. Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

After you have come up with an acceptable amount of new ideas, use convergent thinking to refining ideas and looking for patterns.

Here a 3 minute explanation from Harvard’s Anne Manning.



Featured Artist

Mirella Nania


How Language Shapes Your Emotion

The power of the language.  Sometimes a simple switch of a few words to describe what we want in our lives can make all the difference. By Madeline Johnson

We all know that a better system of thinking creates better outcomes in our lives.  Honestly,  if we want more than what we currently have in life, we must change the way we think about everything.


And we must guard our precious minds from even the subtlest of negative thoughts.

Read 13 Subtle Thoughts That Could Be Signs of High Functioning Anxiety

But how about the power of the language you use?  Sometimes a simple switch of a few words to describe what we want in our lives can make all the difference.


For example . . .

What you have to do vs what you really want to accomplish?

You want to meet nice friends or do you want to meet interesting, kind and fun friends?

Do you want to travel to new places or plan a wildly adventurous life?

A higher level of thinking + a new vocabulary can lead to a whole, new perspective.


New words to use that pack a powerful punch

Elysian (Greek) [el-ee-zee-an] (adj.)

Beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect.

Querencia (Spanish) [keh-ren-see-ah] (n.)

A place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

Meraki (Greek) [mehr-ah-kee] (v.)

To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

Her paintings were full of meraki, and because of it they were some of the most realistically brilliant pieces he had ever seen.

Eloquence is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style

Coruscate (Latin) [core-us-skate] (v.)

To reflect brilliantly; to sparkle.

Like… “Her eyes coruscated with such inner beauty that even the stars couldn’t shine brighter than the heart within her.”

Halcyon – Happy, sunny, calm, care-free.

Imbue – To infuse, instill.

Redolent – Fragrant.

Sumptuous –Lush, luxurious.

I am building a list. What are some of your favorite new words and phrases?




Featured Artist

Marcos Guinoza




The Balancing Act of Daily Living

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. By Madeline Johnson

There is beauty in the act of staying open to life. Staying open to the organic experiences that aren’t on the calendar – that aren’t on the schedule.


Saying yes to new opportunities is a wonderful idea. Saying yes to invitations, offers and experiences. Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes is a solution to staying relevant and valuable in today’s uncertain times.

Saying yes can also lead to dead ends, to new problems, to over commitment and letting others down.

But there is a problem to saying yes to too much. There is struggle between how much time one has, how much you can commit to and how much sanity you need in your life to stay balanced.




The struggle between slowing and rushing, the pushing and plotting, the busyness of life and the feeling of being over committed and stuck on the wheel of progress and production. Too much work leaves one feeling depleted yet too little and you feel left out, unnecessary and irrelevant.

This is the fine balance of carving enough time out of each day to breathe and dive into the work – to produce a better quality of work.

It can’t be a go, go, go kind of day, everyday, all day.  One must leave some room for rest and relishing in the goodness. Some time self care and reflection.  It is in these small windows of time that one transforms. When you sit back at the end of the day and decide what worked and didn’t for you and then decide what you will say no to – tomorrow.



Featured Artwork

Aykut Aydogdu was born in 1986, Ankara – Turkey. He started studying Fine Arts at high school and graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts – Graphic Design. He has various works on commercial illustrations, magazine covers, movie posters. His surreal figurative works are mainly concentrated on the dilemmas of the daily life.

Our Extraordinary Potential

How do we awaken our extraordinary potential in everyday life? We must believe before we begin. By Madeline Johnson

How do we awaken our extraordinary potential in everyday life? We must believe before we begin. We strengthen our core and explore the limitless possibilities of who we can become. In the words of Jim Morrison, “We break on through to the other side.” 

You and only you are the composer of your inner harmony.

made for this

Ordinary riches can be stolen but real riches cannot.

In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be take from you.

– Oscar Wilde


It’s all about your approach and attitude.

I don’t play accurately – any one can play accurately – but I play with wonderful expression.   

Read  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde


The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. 

– Joseph Campbell


Featured Artist on Instagram @slimesunday

Dr. Joe Dispenza is a synthesizer of information with a vision that extends beyond the confines of a single, scientific discipline. Drawing from diverse fields of epigenetics , molecular biology, neurocardiology, and quantum physics.


Unapologetically You

There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. By Madeline Johnson

To be unapologetically you – at your best –

gloriously flawed.


It’s crazy how many people inspire others just by the way they live their lives. They don’t preach, they don’t coach, they just live their lives the way they see fit  – and through that act – they become an inspiration for others.


There is only one decision for you to make today. Do what is true and meaningful for you. Time is running out. So get to it before you let someone else decide for you.


Welcome this brand new day.

Use it as you will.

Waste it or fill it with goodness.

You have a choice.

Tomorrow it will be a memory.

Let it be a sweet one for all.



Featured Artist

Stefano Bonazzi


The Art of Thinking Critically, Logically & Magically

There is what exists (reality).
There is what we perceive it to be. And then there is the many undeniable variations of the truth. By Madeline Johnson

I am passionately interested in learning how we can improve our thinking so we can better understand what is true.

Improving the way we think about life so that we can communicate our ideas more clearly and confidently and identify information that is a result of sloppy, biased, misinformed thinking.

There is what exists (reality)

There is what we perceive it to be

(what we wish, want and believe to be true)

and then there is the many undeniable

variations of the truth.

For the truth isn’t a one-size fits all option.


Subjective truth is what is true about your experience of the world. How you feel when you see the color blue, what chocolate tastes like to you, what it’s like being with your family, all these are your experiences and yours alone. They are your personal truths.

I am interested in how we might bridge the gap between these personal truths, our perceptions about life and bring them closer together with deductive and inductive truths, to navigate our lives with a better map.


How might we begin? With acceptance. Acceptance of uncertainty. A fundamental skill for everyone is the ability to accept large amounts of uncertainty. In an ever-changing world, nothing is ever certain.

Here, four good arguments about doing just that. On Quora “How You Can Bridge The Gap Between Perception & Reality?”

Screen Shot 2019-02-17 at 8.52.02 AM.png


Where Logic & Critical Thinking Fits in to the Truth

Logic is the science of how to evaluate arguments and reasoning. How to decimate what is false from true.  Critical thinking is a process of evaluation that uses logic to separate truth from falsehood, and reasonable from unreasonable beliefs.

If you want to better evaluate the various claims, ideas, and arguments you encounter, you need a better understanding of basic logic and the process of critical thinking.

Introduction to Critical Thinking

By developing your critical thinking skills you learn to evaluate information that you hear and process information that you collect while recognizing your implicit biases.

Characteristics of Critical Thinking

To become a critical thinker, you must develop a few skills.

  • Recognize assumptions you carry with you. Have you ever wondered why you believe the things that you believe? Do you believe things because you’ve been told to believe them? Step outside your own beliefs to observe from a neutral viewpoint. Be aware of assumptions and learn to self-reflect.


  • Process information honestly. People sometimes pass along information that is not really true (i.e. the “fake news” crisis).


  • Recognize a generalization. Girls don’t like bugs. Old people are wise. Cats make better pets. These are generalizations. They’re not always true, are they?


  • Evaluate old information and new ideas. There was a time when doctors thought leeches could cure us. Recognize that just because something is commonly accepted, doesn’t mean it is true.


  • Produce new ideas based on sound evidence. Detectives solve crimes by collecting bits of truths and putting them all together like a puzzle. One small deceit can jeopardize an investigation. The entire truth-seeking process is destabilized by one piece of bad evidence, leading to a wrong conclusion.


  • Analyze a problem and recognize the complex parts. A mechanic must understand how an entire engine works before s/he can diagnose a problem. Sometimes it is necessary to deconstruct an engine to figure out which part isn’t working. You should approach big problems like this: break them down into smaller parts and observe carefully and deliberately.


  • Use precise vocabulary and communicate with clarity. The truth can be blurred by fuzzy language. It is important to develop your vocabulary so you can communicate truths accurately.


  • Manage emotions in response to a situation or problem. Don’t be fooled by stirred up, emotional plea or angry speech. Stay rational and keep your emotions in check as you encounter new information.
  • Judge your sources. Learn to recognize hidden agendas and bias when you collect information.

Daily Practices to improve your logical thinking

  1. Don’t accept just anything as true, which you do not clearly know to be such; that is, avoid hasty judgments and prejudice will prevent jumping the gun.  It requires a disciplined mind.
  2. Divide each difficulty under examination into as many parts as possible, or into as many as necessary for the solution of the problem. Most problems are combinations of problems and this failure to understand such will lead to jumping to conclusion.
  3. Begin with the things that are simplest and easiest to understand, and then ascend to knowledge of the more complex.
  4. Make enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, that you may be assured that nothing is omitted.
  5. Draw out in tables or lists of what you know, and that which is wrong.  If Boolean algebra is needed make, your truth tables of items. Make flow charts of the problem(s).
  6. The answer is in the details. Study each part as itself and then as a whole.
  7. Ask yourself this: “Is it logical, illogical, or nonlogical? Nonlogical does not mean illogical. Nonlogical is a statement like “I like to travel,” or “I love you” (showing emotion or opinions) are ordinarily regarded as non-argumentative and do not require supporting evidence since it solely is in the head of the person making the statement.  Illogical is one, which violates the rules of sound reasoning (like added 2 plus 2 and getting 5).
  8. Do not use All, Always, Never, forever, Not ever, as they lead to false conclusions by over simplifying and generalizing.
  9. The most simplest answer may or may not be the one.  If it truly is only one problem, then the simplest answer is most likely the correct one. If it is a series of problems, or more than one interconnecting problem, then it is no longer just simple.

Avoiding Logical Fallacies

Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that lead to illogical statements. Though logical fallacies tend to occur when ideas are being argued, they can be found in all types of writing. Most logical fallacies masquerade as reasonable statements, but they’re in fact attempts to manipulate readers by appealing to their emotions instead of their intellects, their hearts rather than their heads. The names by which logical fallacies are known indicate the way that thinking has gone wrong.

Hasty generalization

A hasty generalization draws conclusions from inadequate evidence. Suppose someone says, “My hometown is the best place in the state to live.” And the person gives only two examples to support the opinion. That’s not enough. And others might not feel the same way, perhaps for many reasons. Therefore, the person who makes such a statement is indulging in a hasty generalization. Stereotyping is another kind of hasty generalization. It happens, for example, when someone says, “Everyone from country X is dishonest.” Such a sweeping claim about all members of a particular ethnic, religious, racial, or political group is stereotyping. Yet another kind of stereotyping is sexism, which occurs when someone discriminates against another person based on gender. For example, when an observer of a minor traffic accident involving women makes negative comments about all “women drivers,” the person is guilty of a combination of stereotyping and sexism—both components of hasty generalization.

False analogy

A false analogy draws a comparison in which the differences outweigh the similarities or the similarities are irrelevant. For example, “Old Joe Smith would never make a good president because an old dog can’t learn new tricks” is a false analogy. Joe Smith isn’t a dog. Also, learning the role of a president cannot be compared to a dog’s learning tricks. Homespun analogies like this have an air of wisdom about them but tend to fall apart when examined closely.

Begging the question

Begging the question tries to offer proof by simply using another version of the argument itself. This is also called circular reasoning. For example, “Wrestling is a dangerous sport because it is unsafe” begs the question. Unsafe is a synonym for dangerous, so the statement goes around in a circle, getting nowhere. Evidence of the claimed danger is missing. Here’s another example with a different twist. “Wrestling is a dangerous sport because wrestlers get injured.” Here, the support fro the second part of the statement is the argument in the first part of the statement. Obviously, since wrestling is a popular sport, it can be safe when undertaken with proper training and practice. And here’s yet another example:  “Wrestlers love danger.” This time, the problem is the unstated assumption that wrestling’s supposed danger, not the sport, is what attracts wrestlers. Yet the audience can’t be assumed to share the opinion that wrestling is dangerous.

Irrelevant argument

An irrelevant argument reaches a conclusion that doesn’t follow from the premises. It’s also called a non sequitur (Latin for “it does not follow”). This happens when a conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. Here’s an example: “Jane Jones is a forceful speaker, so she’ll make a good mayor.” What does speaking ability have to do with being a good mayor?

False cause

A false cause assumes that because two events are related in time, the first caused the second. It’s also known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”) or the Butterfly effect. For example, if someone claims that a new weather satellite launched last week has caused the rain that’s been falling ever since, that person is connecting two events that have no causal relationship to each other.  One must be careful that the two are connected. Cause and Effect can lead to the ripple effect though.  When many events are related and can be traced back to each other much like the “to build a mousetrap game.” This is a major cause of jumping to a conclusion for many that do not carefully look at the outcome and logically reason out the problem.


Self-contradiction uses two premises that can’t both be true at the same time. Here’s an example: “Only when nuclear weapons have finally destroyed us will we be  convinced of the need to control them.” This is self-contradictory because no one would be around to be convinced if everyone had been destroyed.

Red herring

A red herring tries to distract attention from one issue by introducing a second that is unrelated to the first.  It’s sometimes call ignoring the question. Here’s an example: “Why worry about pandas becoming extinct when we haven’t solved the plight of the homeless?” What do homeless people have to do with pandas? If the point is that money spent to prevent the extinction of pandas should do to the homeless, then that’s what should be said. By using an irrelevant issue, a person hopes to distract that audience, just as putting a herring in the path of a bloodhound would distract if from the scent it has been told to follow. This is very big in the political arena.

Argument to the person

An argument to the person means attacking the person making the argument rather than the argument itself. It’s also know as the ad hominem or ad homunem (Latin for “to the man”) attack.  When a person’s appearance, habits, or character is criticized instead of the merits of that person’s argument, the attack is a fallacy. Here’s an example:  “We’d take her position on child abuse seriously if she were not so nasty to her husband.” What does nastiness to an adult, though it isn’t nice, have to do with child abuse? Most people when losing a debate do this “You always think you are right, but you are not!”

Guilt by association

Guilt by association means that a person’s arguments, ideas, or opinions lack merit because of that person’s activities, interests, or companions. For example, here’s the fallacy in operation:  “Jack belongs to the International Hill Climbers Association, which declared bankruptcy last month. This makes him unfit to be mayor of our city.” The fact that the group that declared bankruptcy and has Jack as a member has nothing to do with his ability to be the mayor.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Jumping on the bandwagon means something is right or permissible because “everyone does it.” It’s also called ad popilim (Latin for “to the people”). This fallacy operates in statements such as “How could smoking be unhealthy if million so people smoke?” Just because one can do something doesn’t make it right to do. Also done as justification of actions.

False or irrelevant authority

Using false or irrelevant authority means citing the opinion of someone who has no expertise in the subject at hand. This fallacy attempts to transfer prestige from one area to another. Many television commercials rely on this tactic—a famous tennis player praising a brand of motor oil or a popular movie start lauding a brand of cheese.


Card-stacking ignores evidence of the other side of the questions. It’s also know as special pleading. From all the available facts, only those that will build the best (or worst) possible case are used. Many television commercials use this strategy. When three slim, happy consumers praise a diet plan, only at the very end of the ad does the announcer—in a very low and speedy voice—say that results vary and even that language seems to have been chosen to be vague and non-informative.

The either-or fallacy

The either-or fallacy offers only two alternatives when more exist. This fallacy is also called false dilemma. Such fallacies tend to touch on emotional issues and can therefore seem accurate until analyzed. For example, “Either go to college or forget about getting a job” is an example of an either-or fallacy. Obviously, many jobs don’t require a college education.

Taking something out of context

            Taking something out of context deliberately distorts an idea or a fact by removing it from its previously surrounding material. For example, suppose that a newspaper movie critic writes, “The plot was predictable and boring, but the music was sparkling.” And the next day an ad for the movie claims “critics cal it ‘sparkling.’” This is an example of the critic’s words having been taken out of context thereby a distortion of the original.

Appeal to ignorance

            Appeal to ignorance ties to make an incorrect argument based on its never having been shown to be false—or, the reverse, an incorrect argument based on its not yet having been proven true. Such appeals can be very persuasive because they prey on people’s superstitions or lack of knowledge. Such appeals are often stated in the fuzzy language of double negatives. Here’s an example:  “Because it hasn’t been proven that eating food X does not cause cancer, we can assume that is does.” In truth, the absence of opposing evidence proves nothing. Telling half the story or giving half the information, then drawing a conclusion from that.

Ambiguity and equivocation

            Ambiguity and equivocation are statements that can be interpreted in more than one way, thus concealing the truth. For example, suppose a person is asked, “Is she doing a good job?” and the person answers with “She’s performing as expected.” Such an answer is open to positive or negative interpretation. A similar example of this fallacy is when the question “Have you made any progress?” is answered by “We’ve held some meetings.” Most who do this answer with nonspecific answers, never directly answering the question at hand. Avoidance is the key to identifying this.

This is a reposting from Recognizing and Avoiding Logical Fantasies

You can find over 300 logical fallacies here at Logically Fallacious



Featured Artwork

Vivian Pantoja

Reinventing Your Life

The two things you need to know about reaching your goals. Where you are going and that you are going to get there. By Madeline Johnson

Some days you may feel like a ship lost at sea without a rudder. Directionless and powerless. Like a fish out of water, floundering.


And some days it is perfectly fine to be lost, to wander, to float . . . . until you stumble upon that thing. . . . you have a breakthrough, and an idea,  and you discover that dream you really want to do.

quotes about mothers lds Luxury This I remember feeling totally lost and sad when a certain someone

Then you just know.

You know where you are going and that you are going to get there.


Read that again: You know the WHERE you want to be and without a doubt that you WILL GET THERE. Just like when you drive to the store at night to get ice cream. You know the flavor you want and you know how delicious it will taste. You even have a plan for your second favorite . . .just in case.

You don’t need to worry about the how. There is no need to know how you are going to get there. That is nonsense. That doesn’t matter as much, because you know there are many roads you can take to where you are going. Some more bumpy and uncomfortable than others. There may even be mountains you need to climb along the way. Some days there will be detours, other days short cuts.

risk best

The secret to success . . .

You know where you are going and that you are going to get there.


Featured Artist

David Zinn is a street artist specializing in small-scale, improvised and (mostly) light-hearted chalk art.

Under the Gun Thinking

If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to fall prey to other biases.  Avoid the rush to solve bias by slowing down decisions whenever possible. By Madeline Johnson

The player who is “under the gun” in poker is at at a disadvantage due to their position. The under the gun player is the first to act in the first round of betting, which means that every single one of the other players at the table will act after them. To be under the gun is to be under pressure. Too often we over estimate the sense of urgency – the pressure involved to make decisions in our lives. So often we put ourselves under the gun when we don’t need to do so.


Sometimes we make decisions because we just don’t want to deal with the problem any longer.  So we make sloppy decisions.

Don’t apply unnecessary pressure. Fortunately, we have the time to think things through. Most decisions don’t need to be decided right now.  Remove the pressure.


If we desire to make better decisions we must ward off the rush to solve bias.

If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to fall prey to other biases.  Avoid the rush to solve bias by slowing down decisions whenever possible. Awareness is the first step to improving quality of judgment.


It’s difficult to make smart, creative decisions when we are under the gun, when we apply unnecessary pressure. Most of the decisions we make are controlled by our mental shortcuts known as cognitive biases.  A brain under real pressure needs cognitive biases to help drum up a good idea as quickly as it can.  These biases are built into our brains to protect us from failure yet unfortunately they also hold us back from thinking of new and better ways of our solving problems. They block us from seeing solutions creatively.


Our minds are so tricky. Our brains wired to scan for potential threats. Sometimes, even when we aren’t under pressure we spend time worrying about what might happen in the future. When we contemplate about what might happen to us, when we spend time in our own minds, guessing about what might occur, we tend to bring along unrealistic thinking and perhaps even fear to help protect us.


Trying What is New and Unknown

Our ambiguity bias keeps us from embracing change in our lives because we fear unknown outcomes and we tend to favor that which we already know. We mistakenly choose to think about the tried and tested instead of the new and novel. This leads to doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.


What You Want vs. What You Worry About

As you take action and make decisions today, try to overcome your biases and tie your “to do’s” to what you desire for tomorrow. For everything you do today will have an impact on the rewards you reap in the future.  Apply just a little more thought and intention, a little more time and a little less pressure to thinking about what you want to happen instead of what you worry might happen.



Read  Mini Habits

A printable version of the Cognitive Bias Codex here.

Featured Artwork

The award-winning Illustrator and Art Director, Mario Sánchez Nevado, runs the Madrid-based studio Aégis Illustration, creating artwork and designs for bands and publishing houses all over the world.Part magical storyteller, and part sobering messenger of society’s ills, Mario’s work compels a deeper consideration of the world around us.

Why We Don’t Get What We Want

Mental clarity can come in all shapes and forms and it will definitely happen to you when you work to know yourself better. By Madeline Johnson

Oh for the saving grace of chaos and confusion in our lives.  While I believe it can drive us mad, we should embrace feeling overwhelmed and confused. Yes we want this, but we need that. We are pulled in so many directions. Yes it can be daunting and emotionally draining, but if we strive to understand the cause for our confusion we can better understand what motivates us in the first place. Yes, I mean connecting our two minds, our hearts and our thoughts. I believe that even our most anxious emotions can drive us to clarity, if we take a moment to reflect.


Please understand, the type of mental clarity I am describing here is the overall sensation that you are on the right path, you are not questioning every little thing you do and in some way, shape or form, you are getting what you both need and want.

You are focused on what is important to you throughout your day and you don’t have that existential angst pulling you in a downward spiral of depressing confusion.

You know why you are doing what you are doing and even though you may not have a detailed map on how to get to your desired goal, you have the emotional drive and you persevere.

Mental clarity can come in all shapes and forms and it will definitely happen to you when you work to know yourself better. Mental clarity kicks in when you are aware of what you like, what you don’t like, what you will tolerate from yourself and others and what you won’t. This understanding of what it takes for us to operate at full capacity, helps us find the tools we need for the tasks at hand and eliminate what doesn’t serve us well.


It helps to spend some time with yourself to better understand what lights you up and what brings you down. What turns you on and what dims your soul.

Needs vs Wants

Necessity is the ultimate motivator for mental clarity.  It’s amazing how focused we can get about what we are required to do, as opposed to what we would like to do. Clarity becomes crystalized when we better understand if something is a need vs a want.

Read: Ray Dalio’s  Principles


Knowing what we should do with our lives, getting really clear on the next step can also be driven by guilt and obligation.  Mental clarity can come from simply doing the right thing, because we must. Clarity comes from turning to our inner moral compass.

I’ll explain.

I decided I will take time out of my day to care of my aging parents because they brought me into this world and they provided for me for many years. I love them and I am obliged to give back to them and help them.  The intention is clear. No questions asked.

I need to work in order to pay the bills makes it very clear. I must get a job. Find some work. Make money. I don’t want to be a burden on my family. My purpose is put in place because it is essential. There is nothing murky about this.

I am posting one article a day to Undisputed Origin because I have committed myself to learning something new about myself every single day. No questions asked. This writing that I do, this creative activity in turn will help me become stronger, smarter and more of a benefit to the world.

vs. . .

I want to _________ (fill in the blank ie. start a business, create a blog, travel around the world, learn to sing, etc).  Wants, wishes and desires may be more soul-fulfilling, but not a must.  They are not necessary, so sometimes you just don’t start.  These “goals” lay by the wayside.


Question: Can you turn a want into a must?

I challenge you to think about why you do the things you must do. Like going to work, raising your children, volunteering to help others, etc. You do them because they matter to you in a big way. They are essential to your existence. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. If you don’t bother to connect with others you will be lonely. If you don’t take care of your health, you will eventually get sick.

Your wants (losing weight, finding a mate, starting a business, living a more adventurous life) must be essential to your life. They must be extremely important and vital to your existence.


What wants are you looking to turn into musts in your life?

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

Featured Art

Kamalky Laureano paints portraits and landscapes that look like photography.

Kamalky Laureano is a hyperrealist painter from the Dominican Republic, born in 1983. Living in Mexico City since 2006, he has made his life and work in that country. His work has been shown in Italy, Argentina, France, Mexico, the United States and the Dominican Republic.