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Words in Forge, Debugger, Better Humans, & more. | A 23-year-old writing about self-improvement that interests me. | Get in touch -> maxphillipswrites@gmail.com

High-level negotiators use it to get what they want.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

During my four years in retail, I learned the power of silence.

I spent many hours in the store by myself. Devoid of staff or customers to talk with, silence became second nature. …


Train your brain to master the art of controlled anticipation

Photo: Pixels Effect/Getty Images

Tell me if this rings a bell: After a long, long, long stretch of pandemic sameness, you finally have something on the calendar that has you looking forward — maybe a date with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, or a weekend day trip, or just a coveted afternoon…


Close the gap with some minor tweaks.

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Jealousy is a bitch.

When things aren’t going well, I often compare my inadequacies against my friend’s successes. Way to rub some sandpaper on your already tough time, Max.

For example, when I graduated from university, I couldn’t find a job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with…


Quitting professional football at 26 is almost unheard of, but Ethan White made it work.

Photo by Piero Huerto Gago on Unsplash

Ethan White seemingly had it all. Playing in the MLS (Major League Soccer) with some of the modern game’s most decorated players, he was living his dream.

In 2019, aged 28, he finally made it to the Champions League final — the pinnacle of club football. …


It’s time to think about what might have been.

Photo by J. Balla Photography on Unsplash

I was 11 years old when someone first asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Puzzled, I thought about my talents. I was a keen sportsman, so I settled on athletics.

Twelve years later, I’m sat firmly on my arse writing this article. And I hate running.


Simplicity can often be the most challenging skill to acquire.

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

During one rugby training session at school, our coach said something that has never left me:

“Top quality rugby is all about getting the simple things right, but that is where most teams and players fail.”

We often gloss over the simple things in life because, well, they’re simple. …


Manifestation is a misused, misunderstood concept.

Photo by Ahtziri Lagarde on Unsplash

Even before the pandemic, manifestation is never far from the public eye. Scroll through Twitter or Facebook, and you’ll see people “manifesting $10,000” into their bank accounts via a retweet or like.

The concept’s roots lie in the Law of Attraction: the idea that positive thoughts bring positive results. …


Indecisiveness is the unlikely key to creativity

Photo by Randall Ruiz on Unsplash

“The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. …


Hindsight is both your enemy and your friend.

Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

“Max, you’re working tomorrow.”

“Okay,” I said meekly. “That’s fine.”

Internally, I was screaming. Every week was the same. Despite saying I couldn’t work on Sundays, my first manager would give me my Sunday shift the day before, denying me the opportunity to play football.

I hated my first job…


I had the best year of my life in the worst house I’ve lived in.

Photo by faiq daffa on Unsplash

“Well, this IS nice,” my family and I exclaimed as I walked into my flat on my first day of university. Electric stove, new cupboards, a water-dispensing fridge. You know, the fun things in life.

This is it, I thought. My university experience has started. …

Max Phillips

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