How to stop buying stuff and start living

“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” — Bertrand Russell

When you think back on your best memories, what comes to mind? Is it the things you’ve acquired or the things you’ve done?

What makes you smile? Is it thinking about your home or car or is it recalling the experiences you’ve shared with people who matter to you?

We all like nice things. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things. It doesn’t make you superficial or materialistic. But it also won’t make you happy.

Don’t trade lasting fulfillment for temporary satisfaction

“Never give up what…

Why you’re so tired all the time and what you can do about it

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” –Fannie Lou Hamer

My mom used to say nothing makes a kid sleep better than fresh air and sunshine. That’s because, given good weather, most kids will run and play until they’re exhausted.

Being tired after a lot of activity is normal. But sometimes, you find your energy is flagging before you even get started.

Chronic fatigue can disrupt your life and completely derail your dreams. Besides feeling run down, you can feel foggy, unfocused, and unmotivated.

Why are you so tired?

Don’t you wish there was something you could…

Six simple strategies to get you back on track.

“Lost time is never found again.” — Benjamin Franklin

Dilly-dallying. Piddlefarting. Slacking. Wasting time. Whatever you call it, procrastination can suck the achievement right out of your day.

We all put things off from time to time. And that’s okay as long as you don’t let it become a habit. When procrastination impedes doing the work you want to do and living the life you want to have, it has to go. Adopting a mindful approach to your habit of procrastination can get you back on track.

I’m a casual gamer. That means I play puzzles and word games on…

Because everyone deserves the chance to fly

“Everyone deserves the chance to fly.” -Elphaba, Wicked

You have dreams, right?

Something you’ve always wanted to be or to do?

Maybe you’ve even been working on it for a while now but can’t seem to pick up enough steam to get your dream, idea, or project off the ground?

Don’t beat yourself up. Launching something new requires you to embrace change, challenge yourself, and defy the status quo. That’s hard.

I quoted Elphaba from the musical Wicked because the witch understood just how hard it is to stand up against all odds to be her most authentic self and…

“An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man’s entire existence.” — Balzac

“Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.” — Celine Dion

Did the coronavirus pandemic turn the last year of your life on its ear like it did mine?

For most of us, it’s been a year of emotional and financial struggle, a year of separation, and a year of self-reflection.

For me, the past year has been a wake-up call. There’s nothing like a global crisis to shine a bright light on your priorities. And suddenly, you realize that you’ve been coasting through life…

Because no matter what you’re offering, loyal followers are your best customers.

“My people are my people. They love me and I love them. I would not be here without them.” — Steven Seagal

Do you want to start a business? Work for yourself? Write stuff people will actually read?

Yep, me too.

Do you know how to succeed online? Are you’re waiting for a post or video you created to go viral? Then your business will soar. Right?

Sure. It can work that way. But you don’t need to go viral to succeed. You don’t need a million fans. You need loyal, repeat customers.

There’s probably an audience for your stuff…

Because life is too short to waste time looking backward

Regret is a short, evocative and achingly beautiful word: an elegy to lost possibilities even in its brief annunciation. — David Whyte

You’ve heard the adage that the things you’ll regret most in life are the things you didn’t do.

Have you ever missed an opportunity because you failed to act? Or been passed over for something you wanted because you didn’t raise your hand fast enough?

Me too.

When I was a kid, I dreamt of being in the movies or on a stage. I auditioned for every school play. I staged shows for my parents. …

A 3-ingredient formula for finishing your story that won’t pen you in

“We take the creative journey others fear to take, and we return with something no one’s ever seen before.” — Elizabeth Sims

I have been writing and telling stories my whole life. As a little girl, I made up stories to act out with dolls or sock puppets. And every year, I dressed up my siblings and pets in doll blankets and scarves to enact my telling of the Christmas Pageant for my parents. Note: Cats don’t like to wear wings.

I’ll bet you’ve been creating stories for a long time too? Maybe you wrote plays as I did…

How to tactfully refuse a request for free labor and ask for payment instead

“I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” — Clara Baron

Imagine if everyone who asks for your expertise wanted to pay you for that work. Wouldn’t that be great? You could build your business and your reputation while earning a good living.

It could happen. Really! All you need to do is fall down a rabbit hole, drink the shrink-me potion, defeat the Queen of Hearts, and climb back out again. …

Because just having a goal and making a plan aren’t enough

“I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.” — Alberto Salazar

Are you stuck at the starting line?

Most of us have dreams. Some of our dreams are simply flights of fancy that provide a moment of entertainment. Fantasies.

Others are more serious. These dreams are the sparks of change. They fuel our ideas about what could be. Some are personal in nature, like dreaming of becoming more fit or buying a home. Others can change the world.

Do you dream about a better world? A better life? A better you?


Susan Smith-Harmon

Journalist, writer, editor, and presenter with an itch to make the world a better place.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store