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

Every now and then, take a few minutes to decompress

Photo by Ju Ostroushko on Unsplash

Your mind has many layers. All day, you keep jumping from one to another.

There’s the work layer, which contains your to-do list, your career goals, and a million process workflows.

There’s the organization layer, which reminds you to do grocery shopping and keep your adult life together.

There’s the social layer, which sends a friend’s joke into your ear mid-lunch and prompts you to call your mom.

Each of these layers breaks down into a million smaller sheets, and you’re Tarzan, trampolining from level to level inside the bouncy castle of your mind. That can be exhausting. …


“All that matters is what you choose.”

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If you could vanish from society and start a new life, what would you do?

At 83 million viewers in the first month, 6 Underground is Netflix’ 4th most popular release of all time — and it asks us this very question.

Directed by Michael Bay, the movie sees six self-appointed action heroes toppling a cruel dictator in the fictional country of Turgistan. Led by a nameless billionaire, played by Ryan Reynolds, they do so in Bay-typical fashion: with lots of guns, cars, one-liners, and explosions.

Despite its over-the-top action and straightforward plot, there’s a deeper meaning behind the films…


One is simply a grown-up version of the other

Image via Ervin Gjata at Pixabay

When a fly lands on your nose, your inclination is to swat at it. Shoo! Go away! There are several reasons not to do it.

For one, even though it only takes a second to wave, it might not be much longer before the fly sits in the same spot again. She can play this game for hours! Can you?

This leads to the second reason: You’re not in the business of fly-swatting. Whatever job you actually have in the moment, it’s much more important than squashing a pesky bug — especially one that means you no harm.

The third…


Two approaches to successfully change any habit

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

One time, Will Smith and Kevin Hart were on a talk show. The host did an experiment with the audience: Everyone had to write their worst fear on a card, and then Will and Kevin would help some people overcome it.

The first candidate was a woman named Galia. Galia was afraid of feet. “Any feet. My own, my friends’, any. I don’t want to look at them, see them, be touched by them…”

Will goes first. What advice does he have to offer? Will is a man of action, and so, instead of talking, he proceeds to take off…


A question to weed out bad habits

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French scientist Pierre Fouquet was an early researcher of alcoholism. He broke the illness into three categories, two of which describe the circumstances of people we now describe as “alcoholics,” such as drinking in secret with the goal of blacking out.

The third, “alcoholitis,” is “the most common form of alcoholism in France, particularly among men,” Fouquet noted. The subject has a high tolerance and lacks serious psychological complications — they mainly drink beer and wine in social settings, just in too large quantities for it to be healthy.

“We drink to drink with others,” Fouquet said, but “the toxic…


Wisdom worth revisiting

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

“Matter” is my theme for this year. As in: What matters?

So far, it has been fun to ask this question in my personal life. What are the things I really need? Who are the people I really want to be around? I’m decluttering and prioritizing the people I care about.

When it comes to my work, however, asking this question hasn’t been fun at all. It’s throwing me for a massive loop. All writers eventually hit this wall. In my case, I look back at seven years and some 2,000 pieces, and when I ask, “Which ones did I…


It’s not about the place — it’s about the people

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

If home is where I live, the office can be where I work. I’ve never had a problem with this distinction. In fact, I used to quite like it until it disappeared.

If I ask you “How’s the office?” right now, you’ll probably say some version of: “What office? My office is everywhere, as long as it’s in my house.” But what if I slightly alter the question? What if I ask you: “How do you feel about the office?” What’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Maybe, it’s the spicy hot dogs you inappropriately ate at 9 AM…

Niklas Göke

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