Hello my, dear.✨

If you look through my articles on Medium I wrote over the past 1.5 years they can tempt you to think I have it all together.

This email is to reassure you I don't know shit and am far, far away from having it all together. So are most writers and "successful" people. This is good news, because it means you don't have a lot of inner work to do and good habits to acquire to deserve success, a viral article, a decent income, or whatever you aim for.

Medium, self-help literature, and other writing platforms are the writer's Instagram. They're distilled, carefully curated versions of their truth and story. Their goal is to appeal to readers.

The number one rule for writing a viral article is to ask yourself What's in it for the reader? 

Even if someone shares their vulnerability this is a vulnerability they decided to share because there's already a lesson learned, it's a challenge they already overcame, and it all ended well.

Nobody writes articles about their current problems they have no clue how to solve, have learned nothing from, and which, thus, have no takeaway for you, the reader.

When I browse articles of highly successful creators I, too, fall into the trap of thinking how they're so much better than me and how I'll never get there with my crappy lifestyle.

Speaking of which...

I have several issues I didn't write about before because I don't see the value in them. Not for me and not to mention for my readers. They just suck.

Therefore, today's email is one with no takeaway. Or rather... the takeaway is life often has no takeaways. No punchline, no lesson learned, no opportunity for growth.

Some examples of the crappy habits I didn't overcome (so far? - who knows):

  • Instead of embracing them all, I often have a strong urge to dampen my feelings. If my body is a temple, it's more like Angkor Wat than the Taj Mahal at times.
  • I have shitty sleeping habits. I go to bed late (often early morning late) and can't wake up the next day.

    I write here about how I'm a high-functioning night owl and, therefore, work at peak productivity in the late hours. It's the blueprint I follow when I'm in a good mindset. Often, however, it's just insomnia and a lack of self-control. Last night, I watched Desperate Housewives until 3 am when self-hatred kicked in.
  • I sometimes find myself on the lower average to the unhealthy spectrum of enneagram type 7. When dissatisfied, I compulsively seek excitement and am prone to excess. I fear boredom and "average".  It led to a bunch of ugly drama.

Maybe you think this isn't so bad (or maybe you do🤷‍♀️). Anyway, it's by far not the whole picture as I value some privacy. That's the thing: You'll never get someone's whole picture except your own.

Why does all of this matter?

Overall, on most days, I feel I have a great life. Also, I achieved many things society files under success. I'm location-independent, make enough money, and wrote viral articles.

Thinking about it, there are several takeaways:

  • If judged by our worst 15 minutes we'd all be monsters. There's a reason you think your worst is worse than the worst of others - people don't tend to share valuable articles about this stuff.
  • You don't have to work on every single issue you have. If something destroys your or others' life, by all means, get help and work it out. However, don't beat yourself up over all your controversial shortcomings. Don't expect your life and personality will smooth out at some point.
  • You don't need to have it together. You're as good as anyone else you look up to. You're not perfect but you're not your mistakes. You deserve what I deserve and what anyone else deserves, even if you're often lazy,  have unhealthy habits, and caused pain to others.
  • Take every success story you read with a grain of salt. There's a whole lot more to it than hard work and the right mindset. People don't tend to write about their unimitable privileges and obnoxious behavior. They share what most people can relate to. This, by definition, doesn't include either extreme.

All of this isn't to say the self-help industry isn't helpful. It is! I built my whole business and a large part of my self-esteem following other people's advice.

It doesn't mean creators don't want to genuinely help, either. Every creator I know (including me) is driven by a deep desire to be helpful and motivate others.

I applaud everyone who shares their good habits and lessons learned. We're not obliged to always follow our own advice.

Nevertheless, as transparent or open-hearted as something seems it's never the whole truth.

This is good news. It means you're free to work with what you have without working on it first. You're free to be the hot mess you are and still deserve good stuff and success - whatever this means to you.

Things I enjoyed in the past weeks

Note: You can find all articles and books I read, podcast episodes I listen to, and movies I watch on my virtual Bookshlf (the place where I list all digital content I consume).

🌎 Internet gem: Map of the Internet by Martin Vargic

Holy crap, this guy created a visual of the internet. I'm a sucker for cool visuals like this so I could spend hours with it.

🍿 Movie: Wild by Jean-Marc Vallée
This is the deeply moving true story of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who walked the Pacific Coast Trail alone. It's a tale of annihilation, healing, and growth. It shows us how there's tenderness even in the darkest times, and how it's possible to climb (walk) out of even the darkest places.

I highly recommend it if you ever felt lost and broken (anyone?🙋‍♀️). The whole movie feels raw and real. It's a beautiful example of how we can empower ourselves even if we don't know who we are and lost everything.

🗞️Article: Why I Am Not A Stoic by Mark Manson
This post of Mark Manson summarizes and compares the Buddhist, Stoic, and Existential philosophies well. The three have a lot in common but are not to be confused. So far, I didn't consciously deal with existentialism but this article aroused my interest - I might share my learnings on it in a future letter

🎬 Movie: Cloud Atlas by Tom Tykwer, based on David Mitchell's book with the same name
"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present... and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."

A fascinating epos connecting eastern philosophy with postmodernism and reality with imagination. If you think Dostoevsky's theory "beauty will save the world" sounds cheesy, you'll understand what he meant after this.

If you loved Cloud Atlas, read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. It's a brick I binged twice within a few days.

👩‍👧 Photo Series: 100 Visions of Motherhood by The Luupe
I'm not a mommy but these images touched me. They show motherhood from a variety of angles. The explicit visualization of beauty, pain, blood, love, and several other complicated feelings passed on through generations. is deeply moving.


Thank you for being here.🙏

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