Pay attention to the subtle red flags.

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During my first few weeks at college, I made friends with a guy who seemed really smart and proactive. We barely knew each other but we got along well — we exchanged notes, drank coffee between lectures, I lent him some of my CDs (yeah, those were still a thing at the time). But there was one thing about him that kept pecking at the back of my mind and I couldn’t quite make sense of it.

Whenever I asked him about the time, he would give a vague approximation. For example, if it was 3:20, he’d just say it…


3 harsh truths that will make your life better.

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In a world dominated by entitled brats and selfish old men, happiness is the ultimate goal. Everything else falls to the wayside. Consideration, kindness, responsibility to each other and to the planet — none of it matters, because people just keep chasing after happiness like a junky running after his next fix.

But like every other high, happiness is short-lived. Once it’s gone, it leaves your soul empty.

This is why so many people keep trying out pseudoscientific bullshit like dopamine fasting. They know something’s wrong, but they don’t know what they’re missing. …


Pay attention to those subtle red flags.

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All too many couples live in a state of unhappiness and resentment. They try to rationalize and accept it, and all they achieve is to keep making themselves and each other miserable.

You can’t always tell whether the toxic behavior comes from you or your partner. This is a complicated question because some toxic partners like to make you feel guilty for just existing in their vicinity, so you may end up thinking everything is your fault.

A part of you wants out. But you are too tired, guilty, or confused to try.

Some clear-eyed reflection is always useful —…


Make sure to catch it in time.

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Every year my wife and I spend together is a gift. We’ve gotten to know each other very well, better than we know anyone else.

But every now and then, we’ll argue like moody teenagers over something stupid. We’ll forget to consider each other’s point of view. We’ll get frustrated by our differences and take it out on each other.

When these things happen, we try to give each other space, calm down… and most importantly, we try to remember that we have different conversation styles.

The Dichotomy

My wife likes to approach every conversation with care and impressive deductive skills. She’s…


How to cope with distress.

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Two days ago, I was riding a big wave of inspiration for one of the articles I was writing, and I was close to my self-imposed deadline, too. Just then, my keyboard decided it was time to say goodbye. It interrupted my train of thought, but I immediately grabbed a pen and resumed my writing.

Later that same day, my car broke down in the middle of rush hour. This time, I didn’t find a workaround. I just went ballistic.

I know that this pandemic puts us all on edge, but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t normally have…


When a reasonable question becomes a trap.

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A close friend lost her job in 2020. Knowing she’s one of 114 million didn’t make it easier, and she needed some time to recuperate.

She recently started job-hunting, and she says the process has never been this surreal. It’s not the video interviews (or the prospect of working remotely) that are weirding her out. Questions like “Where do you see yourself five/ten years from now?” feel awkward, even absurd now. She has no idea how to talk about office dynamics when it’s unclear whether she’ll ever meet any of these people in person.

But the worst one is “Are…


And actually fix the problem you caused.

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I distinctly remember my dad’s birthday from three years ago. I forgot to call him. Didn’t call him that day at all.

The first pangs of guilt crept over me the next day as I woke up. It was too late! I wasn’t sure I would ever forgive myself. And I didn’t stop there. My imagination went into overdrive and I envisioned my dad sitting at home alone, wondering if anyone cares about him anymore.

Then, I started thinking about some ways to make my amends. Should I spring a surprise visit on him and take him out for lunch…


Cut the crap.

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There’s a long and hilarious history (dating back to Aristotle) of adults complaining about new trends and worrying about kids.

I don’t want to be that guy. I’m enthusiastic about the whole world moving online and the benefits of remote work. I believe we can push forward as a society, gradually getting better and kinder.

But I also witness how our current society rewards certain toxic behaviors. And this is especially true for those who spend a lot of time online.

Let’s talk about those traits we’d be better off without.

1. Repression

Sometimes we pretend that self-repression is a thing of…


When you’re stuck at home or need a break from the office.

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What’s the worst way to escape boredom? That’s easy: checking your social media feeds. It doesn’t actually make you any less bored, and it increases boredom and loneliness over time. You may even be more prone to depression and anxiety.

The best way to resist is to do something genuinely useful. Do it right away, even if you’re supposed to be working instead. A little bit of productivity will give you a sense of victory, and that’ll make it easier to go back to your daily routine.

Here is a list of 17 things you can do:

#1. Do some cleaning.

If you’re at…


Positive visualization is not the answer

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Did you know that a 10-day or longer weather forecast is only right about half the time? The clinical failure rate for drugs entering phase II testing was reported to be 81%? And Michael Jordan was kicked out of his high school basketball team because (wait for it)… his coach thought he didn’t have enough talent.

Yet, pharmaceutical companies still exist, and my weather app was still there the last time I checked. Michael Jordan is, well, he’s Michael Jordan.

How is it possible that some people keep on pushing in the face of failure and become indispensable?

As much…

Eric Sangerma

Dad, Husband, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Wholistique. Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericsangerma/

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