How to stop buying stuff and start living

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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


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

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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.

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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

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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 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

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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…


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

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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

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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?

There’s…


Five strategies to help you believe in yourself.

Blond woman sitting at a conference table using a cell phone. Large glass windows showing the view from a high-rise beyond.
Blond woman sitting at a conference table using a cell phone. Large glass windows showing the view from a high-rise beyond.
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We’ve all been there. New job, new project, new responsibilities. We might start off excited and ready to go, but at some point, we begin to question whether we are really qualified for the job we’ve earned. Feelings of inadequacy start to creep in despite our past accomplishments. That niggling voice in the back of your head whispers, “what gives you the right to be here?”

I actually fought a little imposter syndrome while writing this piece. After all, what kind of writer or editor spells imposter with an “e?” Everyone knows you spell it with an “o” as in…


The hands of a woman typing on a slim laptop computer sitting at a wooden desk.
The hands of a woman typing on a slim laptop computer sitting at a wooden desk.
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Looking for a job can be a daunting process, especially if you haven’t had to do it recently. As a freelance writer and editor, I’ve spent hours looking over help wanted ads and gig listings for writers. I’ve learned through this process that ads for writers, especially ads for content and marketing writers, are loaded with industry-specific terminology you have to wade through to figure out just what it is they want.

Take the term “deliverables” as an example. The folks a Merriam-Webster Dictionary don’t recognize this as a word in English. That means it’s jargon; a term invented to…

Susan Smith-Harmon

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

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