I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. For my best writing and book updates 1–2 times/month, you can be my email friend: https://niklasgoeke.com/

You need to realize it’s the same things making all the difference

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Every night, I write down three things I’m grateful for. I’ve been doing it for nine years. That’s almost 10,000 times I said “thanks” when I didn’t have to.

At first, I tried hard to be creative. “What did I not write down yet? What’s something unique to be grateful for?” James Altucher is big on this:

When stuck in traffic, be grateful to be living in such a magnificent place that everyone wants to be there.

When a child yells back, see the birth of independence of yet another unique personality beginning its private journey on this planet.


The adapted Wheaton Scale can help us understand why even productivity nerds sometimes have trouble relating to each other

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When you no longer have to work, how do you decide what to work on — and how much you work at all? Most people will never face this question, and so they zone out when others ask it.

Let’s consider a man named Jack. Jack thinks the above question is stupid. He assumes that if he didn’t have to, he’d never choose to work. In fact, why would anyone? Ironically, with that kind of mindset, if Jack came by some money, he’d just spend it all and, ultimately, be forced to go back to work.

Meanwhile, Blair has ventured…

What a magnificent game we get to play

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Yesterday, I turned 30. When I was 18, I thought by 30, I’d have it made.

My 20s were a long, slow grind of realizing “made” does not exist. “Made” is past tense — but you’re never done! The only finish line is death, and, thankfully, most of us don’t see it until we’re almost there.

Instead of the binary made/not made distinction, I now see life as round-based. You win some, you lose some, and different rounds have different themes. There’s a carefree-childhood season, a teenager-trying-to-understand-society season, an exuberant-20-something season, and so on.

At 30 years old, I’ve only…

Manage your adrenaline

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Adrenaline used to be for escaping tigers. Today, it’s mostly for fun. Rollercoasters, fast cars, the thrill of our sports team winning at the last second. Those are dosed experiences.

A question I ask myself is: Are we still dosing? Sometimes, I feel like I’m running on adrenaline 24/7. I’m injecting myself, of course. It’s an addiction.

When I wake up and check my portfolio, I start buzzing. I reply to five people on WhatsApp. I think about 17 things I wanna do, and by the time I leave the shower, I’m already behind in my mind. Write a post…

I used to be one of the top football freestylers in the world

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In 2006, Nike ran a series of ads called “Joga Bonito” leading up to the soccer world cup in Germany. It means “play beautifully.”

The clips showed world-class players like Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic performing soccer tricks, goofing off, and just enjoying the game. The ads were a smash hit, and my best friend and I spent hours watching them. We started downloading and collecting freestyle videos of all kinds, and, soon enough, we went outside and began to practice.

“How does Henry do this trick?” “What’s an ‘Around-the-World?’” Before long, we had a sizable repertoire of cool…

A lesson from sci-fi author Gene Wolfe

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In the 1960s, Gene Wolfe worked as an industrial engineer at Procter & Gamble. One day, he was called into a team tasked with mass producing a new product: chips.

The process was divided into several stages, from dough-making, rolling, and pressing to cooking, salting, and packaging. Gene was in charge of the cooking stage. He had to build a machine that would fry an exact amount of chips for an exact amount of time.

Since this was a new kind of potato chip, a real innovation if you will, developing proper equipment was no easy feat.

The chips were…

Do important work or none at all

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Ip Man is a Kung Fu movie about the legendary martial arts teacher of the same name. It is rated a staggering 8 out of 10 on IMDb and considered a cult classic among fans.

The movie is almost two hours long, but if you skim through it, you’ll notice: There’s not a lot of fighting. Isn’t that what Kung Fu movies are about? Apparently not.

You’ll see the master having tea, helping his friends, and struggling with everyday life. You’ll see him muse about politics, about war, and about philosophy. …

How to spot (and avoid) the patterns of childish adults

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When someone you emotionally depend on lets you down, how do you respond? According to The School of Life, this question is at the heart of what it means to be emotionally mature.

Beyond physical growth, managing their mental states is what separates adults from children — and the most difficult mental states to manage are the ones we’re in when others have hurt our feelings. Failing to handle our emotions in such situations won’t just cost us our peace of mind; in a worst-case scenario, it could mean the loss of a relationship with someone we love.

The School…

And so is everyone you tell about it

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In Germany, we have a saying: “A good plan is half the rent.” Similarly, awareness of the problem is half the solution.

If I casually drop “2 + 2 = ?” here, your mind will instantly jump to the number 4. It’s a problem you’ve solved a million times, and yet, your brain can’t resist the satisfaction of filling in the blank once more.

If I made the problem more complicated, your mind might not hand you the solution on a silver platter, but it would latch on to it just the same. …

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