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Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

The idea that people we surround ourselves with influence our lives, behaviors, and, to an extent, our chances of success is a pillar of the self-development movement.

This philosophy is instrumental in business, fitness, and mental health. Some areas of life I haven’t seen adopting this concept are dating and romantic realtionships.

Our significant others are people we spend more time with than with anybody else. We’re also, usually, more engaged emotionally with them than with other people. And yet much of dating advice focuses on mutual respect, sexual attraction, similar view on life, and the future. …


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Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Olio was designed as a way of decreasing food waste. A simple free app you could use to share surplus food with your neighbors. Now it also includes a non-food section. It’s location-based, so wherever you are in the world, you and your neighbors can use it.

I started using Olio in March 2019. According to my statistics, I shared 186 items with 68 users. I mainly share non-food items like clothes I outgrew, cosmetics I can’t or won’t use, and other random things I’d find lying around my flat.

Here’s what I learned along the way.

Sharing Is Caring

Not only about your neighbor but also the planet. …


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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

I’m not a sugar junkie, but my relationship with it is complicated. If I eat too much of it too regularly, my body loses its ability to regulate the blood sugar levels. Each time I get hungry, I’d break into a cold sweat and start to shake. Also, I’d become permanently sleepy and irritable. For this reason, I do not keep any sweets at home and avoid it in general. I know that if I have them, I will eat them. So I don’t.

But every now and then, my husband goes shopping and comes back with way too many bags of candies, cookies, and gummies. …


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Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

With a sudden switch from office to work from home, I struggled to find my rhythm. I know I wasn’t alone in this.

Those of us who have families know that our partners, pets, and children can be extremely distracting as much as we love them. The fact that many of us have to work from kitchen tables, bedrooms, and couches doesn’t help at all.

In my case, the problem consisted of three extra cute cats and one equally adorable husband. When working from the office, I didn’t have to deal with cats nesting themselves on my laps (as lovely as it is, at some point, it can become uncomfortable, particularly when you’re more concerned with the cat's comfort than your own). There were no random zoomies through my keyboard, either. I didn’t have a kitchen right next to my desk, where my coworkers would prepare their tasty snacks in the middle of the day. …


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Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

Many of us think about IQ value when it comes to brilliant people. That this magic number is what differentiates smart people from the rest. But in fact, the world is full of people scoring high on IQ tests who never achieved any exceptional success. Most of them, in fact, are leading completely ordinary lives.

To be truly smart, we need experience, real-world knowledge, and diligence.

So how to be a little smarter every day?

Read Every Day

This advice is repeated by everyone from our teachers and parents to coaches and self-help gurus. There is a reason for that.

Reading books really make you smarter. For once, with every book you read, you learn new information. This information creates your own database to which you have access at any moment, therefore making you better equipped to deal with problems in the future. …


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Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

If you’ve ever read an article about how to live longer, better and healthier, one of the advice you most probably saw was “Limit stress in your daily life.”

Depending on my state of mind, when I see this kind of advice, I either want to scream, “Tell me your secrets!” or just smile indulgently.

Most of us know that stress is bad for us. We have problems with sleep. We grind our teeth and clench our jaws. We become irritable and permanently annoyed. We overeat or don’t eat at all. The list of potential problems is long and diverse.

So how to deal with it? …


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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I’d love to say that I’m always productive. That after I finish my regular job for the day, I hop on a bike and pedal for 40 to 60 minutes while listening to informative audiobooks. And after I finish, I take some time to learn German. To top things off, I write and publish an article on Medium — a side hustle that brings me at least five-digit income.

On some days, it’s exactly how my day looks, minus the five-digit bit; it’s still a work in progress.

A more realistic version includes 1 or 2 episodes of a sitcom during dinner to unwind. While I wait for my dinner to heat up, I take 15 to 20 minutes to learn German. There is usually a writing time, which takes 60 to 90 minutes, sometimes more. Training is the next thing on my list, usually paired with listening to an audiobook. And if I’m lucky and will be fast with those tasks, I might even get an hour or two of video gaming before bed. …


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Jedrzej Nowicki / Agencja Gazeta

I hate it when my husband, who only follows international news outlets, asks me if I’ve heard what’s happening in Poland. Because it never means anything good. The last good news about Poland that made international headlines was when Olga Tokarczuk received the literature's Nobel prize. That was the end of 2019.

Before and after that, all headlines that he saw were related to the polish government steadily dismantling the democracy of my homeland.

On the 22nd of October, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortion due to fetal defects is illegal. …


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Photo by Matt ODell on Unsplash

We are living in a hustle culture. Everyone has a side gig, side hustle, or at least a profitable hobby.

We get excited over stories like “I make $1000 a month thanks to my side hustle. Here‘s how”. We glorify those who brag about having a 16-hour workday. We dream and hope that if we work hard enough, our own side project will bring us enough money to quit that loathed 9 to 5. Thanks to that, we’ll be able to live happily ever after as digital nomads somewhere in Thailand.

And that hope and that dream make us grind ourselves to death. Because if other ordinary people can make a living from something that they started on the side, so can we. …


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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Minimalism is a buzzword of the last few years. We try to apply it to everything, from interior design to our internet activity.

But how exactly can it make our lives better? And in what areas of life should we consider it?

Social Minimalism

This is probably the least obvious area to which you’d want to apply this philosophy. After all, everyone says that having friends is good for your mental and even physical health. Having strong relationships makes us happier and has a positive influence on the quality of our lives.

There is, however, one crucial thing to consider if we want to experience those benefits. …

About

Izabella Korgol-Nowicki

Fitness, self-development and efficiency.

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