Whatever your goal, start by fixing your surroundings

Beautiful brown woman smiling behind computer screen
Beautiful brown woman smiling behind computer screen
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The said environment isn’t just your workspace. It’s the people you hang out with, the information you consume, and the food you eat.

  • If your desk looks like a warzone, so will your mind. Chaos will invade your thoughts and sabotage your work.
  • If all your friends talk about are beer, TikTok, and Netflix, you’ll never grow.
  • If all you eat is processed and junk food, you’ll feel sluggish all day. You won’t move your legs for a walk, let alone work out.
  • If you spend your breaks watching people flex…

Read everything from Nabil Alouani — and more.

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Big Self writers explore big questions and how to roll in tandem with the universe

Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

Dear Big Selfer,

Viktor Frankl’s famous Man’s Search for Meaning was first published in Austria 75 years ago. The Holocaust survivor hit a nerve in the modern human experience, especially with the growing awareness of the mind-numbing atrocities already witnessed by the first half of the 20th century. Today, we’re as tuned in and informed as ever, and yet sometimes the deluge of another genocide, another shooting, another accident overwhelms.

Our stable of writers has come out with some insightful approaches regarding yourself and listening and learning well from your own and others’ experiences. …


Conscious manifestations

Your mind is always going to tell you it’s 10x harder than it actually is

Being in the present moment aligns you with the divine. It aligns you with spirit and higher consciousness. (Photo: Sasin Tipchai)

Manifesting From the Ego vs Manifesting From a Conscious Place

Manifesting from an egoic mindset can be very difficult and almost impossible. The ego gets fixated on specific ideas and outcomes and this is not to say you can’t manifest specific things — you can — but when you feel a strong desire to manifest a specific job or a specific person, usually this is coming from the ego.

The ego is very limited.

When we allow for conscious manifestation, we open up to all possibilities, not just one. We open up to what is for our highest and greatest good.

Conscious manifestation is simply co-creating with the universe.

It…


Just don’t be determined to do it all.

Photo by Harry Grout on Unsplash

I’m fed up with must-dos. And I have a huge problem with washing the dishes. Since we are washing them by hand, our life at the start of lockdown became unbearable. I’d spend ages in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning for four. Then our sink would look as if we had served our 15-story building:

“How come we have so many dishes?!”

One day we didn’t have a single clean plate. I’d already had too much fun with disinfectants, preschool homework, lunch, and dessert. At 6 p.m., I couldn’t combat the dirty sink as well. So, I said to myself:


When meaning is not as important as the way we look for it.

Photo by Keytion on Unsplash

Often, when night comes, I am afraid. A strange, almost agreeable kind of angst. In the vast darkness of the room, right before I slide into sleep, I think about mornings and the faint possibility that I may not get to see the next one.

I am what you would call a young woman, standing at the threshold of my thirties, still pretty at exactly three angles, in good health and similarly good spirits. Or so it seems most of the time. You’d look at my life and think white privilege: bourgeois upbringings, an academic education if I had wanted…


You already have everything you need to reach your goals. You’re just letting certain things get in your way.

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

Let me take a guess: You have some level of ambition. This above-average level of seriousness about your future puts you miles ahead. You want more, and you feel like your supposed to be doing more with your life.

Here’s the truth: You already have everything you need to reach your goals. You’re just letting certain things get in your way.

You don’t need to watch another inspirational video, read another book, have another brainstorming session, or write another to-do list. But in reality, we often rely on these things to build ourselves up after a setback. …


Why don’t you try to be you instead?

A girl with freckles on her face looking away
A girl with freckles on her face looking away
Image by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

My best morning routine is to have eight hours of sleep and healthy breakfast at ease. Although I often can’t manage even that complex hack, I’m more satisfied than ever.

After a few decades of unpleasant people and productivity hacks, I believe no habit can change your wellbeing as much as being yourself can.

Young people are obsessed with happiness. They are miserable because they have ideas about how life “should” be. And you think you can be happier if you have a blueprint of tried tips. But it doesn’t work that way.

There Is No Recipe for Happiness

How many people read like Warren Buffett…


Let go of your expectations

A girl feeling uncomfortable
A girl feeling uncomfortable
Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash

Self-awareness seems nice until you plunge deep into it. My dear friend Marta Brzosko was recently talking about its bad side. At one point, your shortcomings seem to pop up from everywhere. And there you are, still needy and screaming for attention. What’s more, you condemn others because they have more flaws than you but don’t care about improving them.

As an antidote, Marta suggested self-compassion. With it, you start to see all your defects as neutral information, not a sign there’s something wrong with you.

Her post made me remember how unhappy I used to be with myself. The…


Reality checks on the road to growth and self-awareness

Photo by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

Dear Big Selfer,

Spring has sprung. The blossoms are blooming and the weeds are thawing. And while that generally means we are recovering from the winter doldrums (wrapped in a pandemic), struggles persist. The weather may give us at least a glimmer of optimism, but this week we’ve explored some of the rough edges.

Adriana Sim offers us a vulnerable and deeply authentic look at the struggle of burnout in The Comfort Zone Is There for a Reason.

In it, she discusses her proclivity to fighting through the tough times (just as the self-improvement doctrine generally advocates), and how this…


You can find meaning in ordinary and extraordinary moments.

Image taken by author

Once upon a time, I was walking in a national park and saw a bear rise above the grasses about 20 feet away. I’d seen the bear about 10–15 minutes prior but was nonetheless startled to see it rummaging so close by as I enjoyed a peaceful morning hike in a beautiful setting.

It was one of the highlights of my life. I’ve had biophilia (a love of life and especially nature) since I was a kid. For me, standing face-to-face with a wild bear is akin to Kelly Slater catching that perfect wave or Beyoncé hitting that perfect note.

Big Self

Good mental health unlocks your purpose.

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