Image credit: netrun78.

What sleep habits do you have down, and which are problematic for you? You might be surprised! Take our free Sleep Habits Assessment here—it only takes a couple of minutes. You can go take it now and come back before reading on if you like.

The highest possible score on the assessment is an 18—and that high score is totally achievable based on very reasonable expectations. …

I thought I was being a good conversationalist—but it turns out, I was dominating the conversation

Man appearing to be irritated by something someone is saying.
Man appearing to be irritated by something someone is saying.
Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash.

Virtually all of us have unknowingly irritated other people with some type of irksome behavior at various points in our lives.

On the extreme end, there are narcissists and egomaniacs who irritate the hell out of everyone around them with absolutely no regard for other peoples’ feelings or needs. But most irritating behaviors are committed by good human beings with good intentions. The unwelcome behaviors are oftentimes blind spots, which are things we do that are obvious to almost everyone — except us.

Many of the things we do unconsciously that irritate others result from not using enough emotional intelligence…

Noble Leisure

What you find when you open your senses to the new experiences just around the corner might surprise you—no reservations required

A map of the world placed on a desk with a camera and money.
A map of the world placed on a desk with a camera and money.
Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Yes, there is tremendous enjoyment and value to be found in visiting a faraway destination and checking out the main tourist attractions, relaxing on a beautiful beach with an exotic cocktail in hand, or doing a long road trip trying to cover as much ground as possible.

But often the best kind of travel happens at a more relaxed pace — and it doesn’t even have to be far.

It’s not an escape from the daily grind and work, but something that weaves directly into our everyday life and lets us truly explore a place — as well as our…

The discourse on dopamine fasting was taken to ridiculous extremes, but the underlying science was sound—and useful

A woman smiles with joy while eating a treat.
A woman smiles with joy while eating a treat.
Image credit: Drazen Zigic.

Dr. Cameron Sepah, assistant clinical professor at UCSF medical school, had no idea of the media attention his idea would attract when he chose the catchy name “dopamine fasting”.

He published an article aimed at helping people kick bad habits using principles from cognitive behavioral therapy. He proposed that “fasting” from rewarding but problematic behaviors, such as overeating, smartphone use, or playing video games, may help us get a handle on them. The “fasting” schedule could be a day a month, an evening a week, or whatever works for you.

By “dopamine fasting” regularly, he argued, we might learn to…

Toastmasters helped me become a better leader, a better speaker, and a more confident person overall.

Photo of the author making a presentation.
Photo of the author making a presentation.
Giving my speech at the District Contest

On April 17, 2021, I won a public speaking contest at Toastmasters. 10 years before that, my goal in life had been simply to find a job where I could work from home so I didn’t have to talk to anybody. At that time, public speaking was the last thing on my list of priorities.

I joined Toastmasters in September 2016 because my social anxiety was starting to affect my professional life. I felt that the best way to deal with my anxiety was to confront it, and that’s what Toastmasters is all about.

I used to be very shy…

Self-awareness is the first skill you need—self-regulation, empathy, and other elements of emotional intelligence depend upon it

A woman sits with her hand on her chin and a pencil in her hand. She has a notebook in front of her.
A woman sits with her hand on her chin and a pencil in her hand. She has a notebook in front of her.
Image credit: Prostock-Studio.

You’ve heard of the term before, and you’ve probably even inferred that someone doesn’t have it. Oh, but you definitely have plenty of it. That’s right — it’s a little thing we like to call Emotional Intelligence.

Believe it or not, Emotional Intelligence is a term that seems to have been in our vocabulary forever, but the concept was actually forged 30-odd years ago. The correlation between high Emotional Intelligence and effective leadership has been brought into the spotlight for more than 15 years.

Want to lead more effectively? Your level of Emotional Intelligence has a big part to play…

Set your role model free. Discharge them from their duties. It’s better for them. And for you, too.

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

I come from a community where less than 10% of a generation makes it to university. Within the female population, this number drops under 5%.

Yet, I was able to pursue higher education in very selective programs in Africa and Europe before starting a career that would have been unimaginable to me when I was a teen.

With the exposure my job, social media presence, and non-profit activities grant me, I am lucky enough to be in contact with young people daily. I receive many questions about my academic and professional background and how I manage to work around the…

Shopping is a joy now. I don’t impulse buy. But most importantly, I value every piece I own. Finally.

A rack of shirts.
A rack of shirts.
Image credit: cicerocastro.

A few years ago, I had a closet full of “nothing to wear.” Back then I shopped more than I do now. That wasn’t the only reason though. I also kept everything, even items that were too small or too big, worn-out, completely hideous, or absolutely uncomfortable. Now I know what I own. Precisely. Let me explain!

How it all started. No, I’m not a minimalist.

It started with a nifty little video about minimalism by Matt D’Avella a few years back. Until then, I had already applied minimalism to a few areas in my life, without knowing the term. I had kept my digital space clutter-free, simple, and…

The benefits of meditation don’t come instantaneously—here’s how to make it a long-term habit and see real results

A woman smiles while sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, meditating.
A woman smiles while sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, meditating.
Image credit: Deagreez.

“When we do not expect anything, we can be ourselves.”
— Shunryu Suzuki

Making meditation a daily habit was one of my goals for 2014. But a few months in, I still hadn’t managed to do it for more than two days in a row.

I was sitting in the middle of my room, eyes closed, trying to meditate. But my mind was racing, and my head hurt. I hated the silence. I tried this over and over again, but it never worked. I felt like a failure. In June 2014, I stopped forcing myself and ditched the goal altogether.

Better Humans Podcast

You might not be able to avoid them, but you can learn how to deal with them

Person quitting job
Person quitting job
Image credit: LanaStock.

The times that I’ve been in this situation, I felt very much like, “I can make it better. It’s somehow my fault. I just need to do these things differently.”

And you know what? None of that works.

If you spend enough — or even very little — time in the working world, then you’re bound to end up in the clutches of a toxic boss. You know, the kind of manager who only ever adds to your stress and dissatisfaction, and seems to enjoy doing so.

Chris Sowers found himself in this scenario a few times over. Despite years…

Better Humans

The world’s most trustworthy advice on self-improvement by those who have done it themselves.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store