Watch out for the quotes you put in your articles

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What do these 3 quotes have in common?

Quote 1:

“Never respond to rudeness. When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are.”

Quote 2:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Quote 3:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

They all sound very nice and inspirational. Great quotes to include in any type of self-help article you are writing, right? The alleged author of the first one is Buddha, of the second one Aristotle, and…


Your mind is a superpower, but you need a little push to turn it on.

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The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center is located in a wilderness area far away from civilization. Only accessible by a small dirt road, it was founded in 1967 by Shunryu Suzuki, a Japanese monk recently arrived in California. It was the first Zen Buddhist monastery set up outside of Asia.

There is an interesting story associated with Shunryu Suzuki and the monastery. One day many years ago, a group of his disciples went up a long mountain road in order to work on a construction project. When they got to their destination, they suddenly realized that they couldn’t actually do anything…


How to fly among the stars from the chair in your house

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Humans often long to escape. The present can be painful, but there are ways to get away to a different reality. Even if just for a moment. Books serve as a way to let your imagination go to town. Reading allows you to experience alternative lives, different characters, and even create new worlds in your mind.

The ultimate way to break free from this universe and discover a new one is through science fiction. In this genre, everything is possible. New technologies have broken barriers we now imagine as unbreakable. Mysteries of the universe have been solved, and new ones…


By knowing what it is, you might be able to recognize when you are falling for it.

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Isaac Newton was a genius. Yet, even revolutionary thinkers make stupid mistakes. They are human after all. Just like you.

Newton came up with the laws of gravity, calculus, and enhanced our understanding of light, but he also invested in something called the South Sea Company. At the time, England was facing a huge public debt, and didn’t have much money to even pay its army. So in order to take care of this problem, some individuals came up with incredibly “creative” solutions.

One of these was the setting up of the South Sea Company, which among other things would…


These quirks of history show how strange the past can be

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You might have caught the recent news that thousands of migrants walked over to Spain from Morocco. You probably scratched your head at the story. Walked over?

Isn’t Spain in Europe, and Morocco in Africa? Doesn’t a body of water separate the two? You are correct, but you are overlooking an interesting point. Due to a series of quirks of history, Spain owns a string of small territories located on the northern coast of North Africa. In fact, it shares a land border with Morocco.

Of course, if you look at the map of the world, this area is not…


Reasons why your sense of existence is getting weaker, making you unhappy.

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“I see the artist as a participant, a co-producer of reality.” — Olafur Eliasson

It’s an incredibly bizarre experience. Entering the room, you are bathed with an intense yellow light. You are seeing familiar shapes and objects, but they just look weird. Color as you usually know it doesn’t exist. Everything is either black or yellow!

In 1997, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson put on an exhibit that was meant to challenge the visitor’s sense of reality. Most people perceive color as an intrinsic attribute of the world, however Eliasson’s art threw all that out the window.

By using a series…


Having perfect memory is often a curse, not a blessing.

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“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” — Friedrich Nietszche

There is an advantage to having a bad memory as Friedrich Nietszche noted in his work “Human, All Too Human”. You can enjoy again and again the same good things for the first time!

And he has a point. While superhuman memory is often a wished for superpower, remembering everything is not always all that it’s cracked up to be. Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges explored this ability in his fantasy short-story “Funes the Memorious”.

Ireneo Funes…


How to master the art of life by putting art in life.

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“Life is short, and art is long.” — Hippocrates

Certain sentences evoke eternal truths about the world. Often arising from much longer pieces, they succinctly capture essential lessons to keep in mind. If applied, these nuggets of wisdom have the power to transform a person’s direction in life.

Two years ago, during a much more innocent time, I visited the island of Kos. A dry rock lying in the Aegean Sea, many millennia ago this Greek island was home to history’s most famous physician, Hippocrates. …


“No one’s coming to save you.”

David Goggins on your left

“No one’s coming to save you.” — David Goggins

The ancient Greeks recognized that the world is a tough place. Given that it is constantly testing everyone, they also realized that character is destiny. The initial circumstances you find yourself in are often outside your control. However, whether you sink or swim is determined by your reaction to these conditions.

While Lady Fortuna’s strange ways can take away just as much as they give, fate is a conscious choice. …


Why keeping a surprise journal can make you more open-minded.

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Almost a decade ago, watching TV was still a thing for me. Just like a dog is taken in by the sight of a juicy biscuit, I was mesmerized by the magic box. One day, I remember flipping through the channels when an image caught my eye. A Japanese samurai riding on a horse.

My eyes lit up. Ever since I was a kid running around the house practicing my “wax on, wax off”, I was fascinated by Asian culture. Of course I wanted to watch this documentary.

Relishing the opportunity to confirm my knowledge on how cool medieval Japan…

Peter Burns

Peter is extremely curious and wants to know how everything works. He blogs at Renaissance Man Journal (http://gainweightjournal.com/).

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