How $1.2 million for writers became just $100k

Image sources: olia danilevich from Pexels and Siebbi on Wikimedia

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 figures to judge the Medium Writers’ Challenge — and that’s money which could be going to Medium writers (update received on this — a source close to Medium has clarified Portman wouldn’t be paid a six-figure sum for judging the contest).

Portman has a net worth of $90 million, and a monthly income of $800k.

I have nothing against Natalie Portman, she’s an amazing actress. …


He knew my name

Woman in a fur coat, looking out a window at a snowy scene.
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…


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…


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.
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.


Some people got upset about my eating

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I’ve run thousands of miles and I’ve never worked out on a treadmill. I have a good reason for that: I love running outdoors.

Running for me isn’t about hitting the grind and burning calories. It’s an experience, it’s a joy, it’s a lifestyle choice.

Part of what I love about running is being outside and getting up close with nature. I run to improve my mental and physical health. More than that, I run to feel alive. I run for the buzz.

I started getting fit when I stopped running as a chore, and started to find the joy…


I see so many people doing this

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You can lose a lot more weight when you get informed about calorie burn.

Now that I understand an appropriate diet for my height and level of exercise, it’s been much easier to lose weight and keep it off.

I’ve been overweight for much of my adult life, and it’s something I’ve long wanted to change. I tried and failed many times to address it, because I misunderstood the value of exercise.

I Kept Failing at Losing Weight Because I Thought Exercise is Magical

I first dieted in my early 20’s, before the advent of fitness watches, smartphones or calorie-tracking apps. Back then, I used to be surprised when I’d build an…

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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