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“Think Positively!”

If you’ve ever received this advice from a friend you know how it feels. You mustered the courage to open up and share your deepest struggles. All they could do was butchering the complexity of your emotional life to a lack of positivity. You feel unheard, and even more lonely than before you talked to them.

Unfortunately, a lot of self-improvement advice does not go much beyond your friend’s.

The idea of “positive thinking” has been around for decades, but it seems that the concept was handed down as a mantra, with no clear explanation of why or…


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Freedom. We all want it. Most of us don’t have it and crave it. Many would not know what to do with it even if they had it.

I surely have deeply desired freedom for as long as I can remember. It’s been one of my driving values for a long time.

But what does it mean to be free?

Many popular options involve the following ideas:

  • Being able to do what you want when you want
  • Being duty and responsibility free
  • Not caring what other people think
  • Being careless about what happens in your life
  • Being Stoic
  • Being Spiritually…


A complete system for using principles of cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome your own problematic emotions and behaviors

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Photo by StockSnap via Pixabay.

Working on myself and with my patients, I see firsthand that it’s not easy to practice self-reflection while staying objective. You often end up staying at the same level of thought of the problems you are analyzing. You enter a debate with your mind, and you keep buying into your own stories.

To get around this problem, I developed a new journaling style based on core ideas from cognitive psychology. The result is a repeatable process that you can use to increase your self-awareness, challenge your assumptions, and experiment with new types of thinking.

Where do my ideas come from?

I am a licensed medical doctor…


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Think about what moved you to self-improvement in the first place.

I guess that it probably was some frustration or some obstacle on the pursuit of an objective, which made you stop, step back, and think that maybe it was your own behavior or attitude which needed to change, rather than external circumstances.

Hopefully you solved your problem.

Nonetheless, the assumption you made — that you could change your own point of view and beliefs — would have not been possible for normal people before some centuries ago.

Before the birth of Kantian philosophy and then psychology, people could not…


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A creative block is a scary moment in the path of a maker.

It not only undermines progress, but it raises doubts on the creator’s identity. As a creator you create: if you are stuck, maybe you are a phony and not so much creative after all.

Creative blocks are interesting in that they are paradoxical in at least four ways:

  1. They appear to be a creativity problem, while they exist in fact when creation has ceased to be the main intention.
  2. They happen more frequently to people who identify themselves as creatives, than to others.
  3. They seem to come…


Mastery in craft and relationships are common themes in my life, as I strive to improve both constantly.

I believe Truth is to be found everywhere. Recently I was able to gain new insights on them after a trip to get my hair and beard trimmed.

Here’s how it happened.

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Italian barbers and craft mastery

I have a ritual where I stop at my local barber shop on the way home from work. I usually do this a couple of times per month or less, and use it as a way to kill stress, and of course to get groomed.

I first got into Nicola’s…


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I recently fell in love with poetry.

As a long time avid philosophy reader, I had always discarded poetry as a weaker, wimpier, softer form of Truth finding. Until recently, and I need to thank philosophy for that.

Contemporary philosophy tells us that Truth is always one step out of our reach. Shall we live in darkness?

What is left is Poetic Truth.

I don’t care how little logic poetry can contain, but when I read Pessoa’s “35 Sonnets”, I know they were written about me. So it is with Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and the others. …

Richard Ragnarson, MD, Psychiatrist

Truth is under every stone: turn ’em all. Get more self-improvement tips that actually work : https://mailchi.mp/280008177cbc/richard-ragnarson

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