He knew my name

Woman in a fur coat, looking out a window at a snowy scene.
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“Are you David?” he said. He looked about 50 years old. On his nose perched rimless glasses, behind which he had kind but tired eyes. He wore the navy blue uniform of the bus company he worked for. Beneath his blue sweater was a carefully pressed white shirt. He had thinning, mousy blonde hair.

He spoke with a thick Swedish accent, and in the context we met, he shouldn’t have been speaking English.

I have come to believe he was an angel.

I’m not sure if I really believe in angels. My rational mind doesn’t like the idea of them…

I hate to imagine how many years I’ve lost

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It’s one of my biggest regrets, and goodness knows how many years of life it has cost me. I literally mean I’m likely to die earlier than I would have otherwise because of this.

Between my late teens and my early 30s, I told myself a stupid lie that damaged my health, likely forever. For almost 15 years, I rarely raised my heart rate.

Here’s the lie I told myself: only fitness freaks exercise.

I also told myself: I’m not someone who exercises. I’m not a fitness freak.

I sneered at healthy people. It was my coping strategy to avoid…

The life-changing magic of publishing drafts

Photo by Diarmuid Greene on Wikimedia / CC-2.0

Last month, I set myself a mission to clean up my backlog of unfinished articles. I had over 40 articles I wanted to release from my drafts folder and share with the world.

And gosh, it worked!

I received the most I’ve ever earned for a single article.

The oldest article in my drafts folder (it had been sitting there for 8 months) earned me $657.41.

“From the moment you start tidying… your life will start to change.”

This is what Marie Kondo promises in her multi-million copy bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. …

Push less to achieve more

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Yoda’s message of “Do or do not, there is no try” is deeply profound, and has roots in ancient philosophy and a range of respected spiritual texts. Learning to apply this message is a spiritual skill — you could say a Jedi skill. It will bear much fruit in your life when you can learn to do without trying, take action without forcing yourself.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda

You’ll learn to live in the flow of life, going with the current of life’s river and wondering at what unfolds.

So many people spend their…

How $1.2 million for writers became just $100k

Image sources: olia danilevich from Pexels and Siebbi on Wikimedia

Two Updates

There have been two significant updates since I published the first version of this article:

  • Medium have clarified the licensing terms for the contest and state “the license is nearly the same as the one you grant to Medium outside of the contest.” Full details here.
  • A source close to Medium has confirmed “there is zero chance Portman is being paid six figures [for judging the contest].”

Now, onto the original article.

Hello Natalie Portman, Goodbye $500 Bonus

Natalie Portman — who has won an Oscar and two Golden Globes — charges a six-figure sum for speaking engagements.

I can’t imagine her accepting less than six…

Skip the line and you miss the journey

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We must have been about 7 years old. My friend James figured out the secret, during class reading time. We sat at our school desks, each with our own book to read.

James leaned over, “Pssst…” he said. I was enjoying my book, but I looked up, giving him a moment’s attention.

“I figured out a way you don’t have to read it all,” James said.

“But I want to know what happens,” I whispered back. I glanced up over my book to check that our teacher wasn’t looking in our direction. I hated getting into trouble, and I didn’t…

There’s more to life than inner peace

Woman in yoga pose at the beach.
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Judith saved her friend’s life, stole a car, fell head-over-heels into yoga class, and made everyone laugh. All in a couple of hours.

I want to be more like Judith.

I want to live life on the edge. I want to be more happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care.

I want to stroll into my first-ever yoga class and make everyone laugh.

It was a cool, windswept evening on the beach. Only a handful of us had shown up for yoga. “It’s so beautiful here,” the yoga teacher said. The sea was at high tide, we could see and hear the waves lapping at…

“How come you think you’re better than everyone?”

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“How come you think you’re better than everyone?” Brad said.

The question was like a punch to the gut. Brad was over a decade older than me, and we were volunteering together on the same summer project. I respected Brad, and I thought he liked me. I thought we were friends. Now I wasn’t so sure.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You never say ‘hi’ or “good morning’ when you walk into the kitchen,” he said. “What’s that about?”

I shrugged and mumbled “sorry.”

I lacked the confidence to give an answer about why I behaved like that. I…

3 techniques to get fit inside and out

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“My life’s so busy, I don’t have time to meditate,” I told my spiritual director.

In response, he shared about a hermit who lived in wooden hut in the wilderness. Each morning he’d wake up, then go running the countryside lanes. The hermit recited a mantra as he ran.

“You can do the same,” my spiritual director said. “Recite a mantra while you run — you can run to the rhythm of the mantra.”

This sounded good to me — I had a habit of running, and I could “habit stack” to build a meditation habit at the same time.

David Majister

10x top writer. World traveler (26 countries). Runner (1k+ miles). Meditator (9.5k minutes). Introvert. Wild swimmer. Story maker.

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