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I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. For my best articles & book updates, go here: https://niklasgoeke.com/

You need to not lose the friends you have

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A few weeks ago, I messaged an old friend. After some chit chat, she said: “We should catch up some time!” Instead of agreeing with the usual “For sure!” that never leads to anything, this time, I did something different: Right then and there, I hit the call button — and we talked for 20 minutes.

We talked about our careers, about the compromises in our relationships, and about how the pandemic has affected us. …


It might make all the difference

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The Drink of Despair is an ingenuity of evil. Parching whoever drinks it until they’re desperate for water, this nasty potion will nearly kill its consumer. Naturally, it must be drunk to be overcome — and dark wizards use it to protect their important belongings.

When it comes to dark wizards, Lord Voldemort is the poster child rather than the exception, and so, in one of the series most tragic moments, Harry Potter must feed his headmaster and mentor, Albus Dumbledore, the nefarious concoction. …


They’re the only ones we’ll carry with us until the end

Photo by alexandra lammerink on Unsplash

When I turned 26, my dad quoted Hermann Hesse on my card:

“Stay as you are by changing every day.”

I don’t remember what present I got, but I do remember those words. Even though they technically weren’t his, my dad passing them on meant the world to me. In just eight words, he told me so much.

He told me he’d always love me for who I am, even if I was no longer the little guy building Duplo trains in his office. He acknowledged I was on a different path than he was — professionally, personally, any way…


You need to stop delaying your dreams

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If you had infinite motivation, what would you do?

Imagine the desire to procrastinate was expunged from your existence. You don’t dawdle — ever. There is zero friction between you and your next task. Every morning, you wake up, and, like a perfectly functioning robot, you do and do and do.

How would you use this superpower? From your current, a little less motivated perspective, you might think:

“Well first, I’d do the obvious: Get everything in order. Take out the trash, clean the apartment, and so on.”

Okay. Good start!

“Then, I’ll have a nice shower, dress impeccably, and…


Let doubt be your guide instead of your game over

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Glennon Doyle knows what fear is. The fear of eating, fear of drinking, and fear of speaking. The fear of saying what she wants, changing her mind, and admitting her marriage isn’t working.

Doyle struggled with bulimia, alcoholism, and other addictions. Her ex-husband was unfaithful. How should she raise their three daughters? How could she explain she now loved a woman?

More so than most people, Doyle needed her own advice: “If you can’t beat the fear, just do it scared.”

I hope your fear won’t come with as much trauma as Doyle had to go through, but I do…


A lesson from a dying scientist

Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

One day, while her husband was at work, Jai did the thing many a wife dreads most in her marriage: She crashed both their cars at the same time.

As she pulled the minivan out of the garage, Jai heard the dooming yet familiar crunch we all know from the movies — except this was her life, and yes, the convertible definitely took a hit, as did the van.

Imagine the cartoon episode of a day that follows: Jai paces around the living room. She bites her nails. “What do I tell him?” Jai hides the cars in the garage…


And if you don’t start now, it’ll flop and deservedly so

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I’m writing a book. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Writing articles is easy. It didn’t use to be, but when you’ve done it 2,000 times, anything becomes frictionless. Articles are low-stakes. If one flops, I’ll just write another. It only takes a day. With a book, well…

If your book tanks, you’ll have wasted a year. You won’t get paid for work you’ve already done. If people hate your book, they won’t hate 1,000 words — they’ll hate 200 pages. That’s a lot of bad karma, and, quite frankly, it scares the hell out of me.

Other people…


What makes the people we admire so strong?

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What makes a person emotionally strong? We all want to be composed, steadfast adults, but we don’t have a good answer to this question.

We know emotional strength when we see it. We can feel it. Mature people are attractive. They give us hope. We admire them. Merely observing empowered people makes us feel more in control as well. But what led to it? Which traits did they cultivate within to become so visibly powerful without?

Countless attitudes are ascribed to being strong: There’s willpower, patience, and persistence. There’s discipline, persuasiveness, and flexibility. What about honesty? What about detachment? Will…


Learn to separate what’s working from what you wish it would

Photo by Julie Kwak on Unsplash

If you don’t separate what’s working from what you wish was working, you’ll never commit to the right projects. This is a story about learning to tell the difference.

On January 11th, I started a freemium newsletter. I called it “You — A daily email full of inspiration, smart ideas, and emotional support for the most important person in your life.

Three times a week, it was free. For two extra editions, plus audio recordings, plus community interaction, you had to pay. I launched with a discounted rate of $5/month or $50/year, which later went up to $7/$70. …

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