A Most Important Daily Habit

A Most Important Daily Habit

As the group prepared the camp, the dwarf Tyrion wrapped himself in his furs and leaned against an ancient oak that sheltered him from the biting wind.  A swift-running stream ran beside him, its waters as clear and cold as ice.*

He took a sip of wine, pulled out a book, and began to read.

As he became absorbed by the pages, a question from Jon Snow snapped him out of his reverie. "Why do you read so much?"

Tyrion began his answer in a seemingly-roundabout manner, pointing out the fact that he was a dwarf, and was born into a highly-esteemed, royal family. But as he continued, his reasoning began to crystallize, and he put forward an answer that we'd all be wise to pay heed to.

4 Reasons Why I Read Fiction (And You Should, Too)

4 Reasons Why I Read Fiction (And You Should, Too)

When people poke fun at me for my love of fiction, I know they mean it as a good-natured jest, but I do think it's indicative of an underlying mindset amid various adult circles.

I often come across people who say things like, "Oh, I stopped reading fiction in middle schoolNowadays I only read non-fiction.Or, "I do read fiction, such as [insert some work of classic literature], but I won't read mindless beach-reading material."

Now, there's no small merit in consuming non-fiction, and anyone seeking to grow in their craft, expand their mind, and partake in the journey of lifelong learning, would be a fool to ignore the genre. I also tip my hat to the iconic "classic" fiction writers such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and John Steinbeck, as the stories and ideas they wove together do nothing short of make my head spin in wonder. 

But we shouldn't be too quick to throw genres such as fantasy and science fiction out the window, either. 

Everyone Lives By Faith

When it comes to understanding the nature of reality - how we got here, what the purpose of human beings is, etc. - I always used to think the world was divided between two camps: those who live by faith (religious people), and those who don't (secular people). 

While the former group makes the proverbial "leap of faith" to make their conclusions and act accordingly, the latter group is careful to remain within the realm of reason and empiricism to form the basis of their worldview.  

However, as I rigorously questioned my own beliefs over the past year, and investigated the various schools of thought and the history of ideas, I came to the surprising (to me, anyway) realization:

How To Graduate To A Barbell

When it comes to utilizing barbells for strength training, many folks tend to fall into one of three camps:

Camp A: "Barbells are King. I've even heard they can cure cancer. If I'm not going to use them, then why even show up to train?"

Camp B: "Barbells are either dangerous, unnecessary, or they'll make you too bulky."

Camp C: "I can see the merit in utilizing barbells, but I've never used them before and I'm worried I may injure myself if I try."

Camps A and B are of course extreme ends of the thought spectrum, and neither mindset is helpful. Camp C is understandable, especially for someone who is new to training.

Are barbells helpful? Absolutely. Good luck finding a more practical, versatile, and economical piece of training equipment (outside of your own body, perhaps).

Can barbells cause injury? You bet. Many useful things should be handled with care - knives and electrical outlets, for instance.

16 Tips On Giving A Public Speech

Growing up, few things terrified me more than public speaking. Given a choice between a fight to the death with Mike Tyson, and standing up in front of my 5th grade class, I would have chosen the former every time. 

Over the years, due to various roles I've been placed in, and also in my efforts to stop avoiding fear, I've given an increasing number of public speeches, and it doesn't look like it will stop any time soon. 

While I've by no means mastered public speaking, and still have a long ways to go, I have learned a few things as a result of scraping my knees, and from picking the brains of people who are wiser than me. Here are some of those lessons below: