Sign in

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

Train your brain to master the art of controlled anticipation

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 alone, away from the people you’ve been cooped up with. You’re excited. You’re eager. You’re ready. And then, suddenly, it’s here and then over — and by the time the next week is out, you can barely remember how great you felt.

It’s natural. We have a tendency to tear…


Organize your present and lend a helping hand to your future

If I let you peek into my iPhone’s Notes app, you’d see a rough exercise plan I follow and ingredients for a recipe I made last week. There are random dates, article ideas, passwords for mystery accounts, books, a failed weekly schedule, and potential holiday destinations for a time when we can travel again. If my phone had a soul, it would be the Notes app. Like my brain, it is a scattering of thoughts, loose organization, and aspirations.

It isn’t complete chaos, however. Despite being loosely structured, it brings balance to my life. …


Don’t worry; we are all in the same boat.

One year into my content creation journey, and I’m still facing fears.

It’s scary knowing your work is out there for the world to see. It’s yours, and you’re responsible for its quality.

But that’s the life you and I signed up for — to live, breathe, and face our fears on a near-daily basis. Here are some that spring to mind:

  • Never feeling good enough
  • Negative comments (‘haters’)
  • Confidence crisis
  • Fear of unoriginality
  • Fear of what people close to you will think

Left unchecked, these fears can derail your entire creative process. That costs valuable time and potential money.


Her online marketing skills are entrepreneurial diamonds.

In a recent email, online marketing expert Amy Porterfield revealed she made an initial $30,000 during an online course launch in 2013. Just 18 months later, that same course generated $950,000.

She has taught over 250,000 email subscribers, has taught over 40,000 students, created eight online courses, and built a multi-million dollar online empire where she teaches entrepreneurs to grow their businesses into money-making machines. It’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about.

I’m currently enrolled in her List Builder’s Society course, and perhaps the most notable takeaway so far is how valuable the information is. …


Making a case for exploring your wildest tendencies

“I’m Pickle Riiiiiiiiick!”

Rick, the universes’ smartest man, turns himself into a pickle in one of Rick and Morty's most beloved and entertaining episodes. When a bemused Morty tries to understand why his grandpa did this, Rick responds:

“The reason anyone would do this, if they could, which they can’t, would be because they could, but they can’t.”

That, in essence, is what the ‘Rick and Morty’ effect is. Rick does outlandish and ridiculous things just because he can, which is when the show tends to shine.

When you explore the limits of your abilities, all sorts of things can…


One of Hollywood’s most exciting directors tells all.

“Piss off, ghost!”

Among the many memorable characters in Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s Korg often steals the show. It’s the best Thor film in the franchise, as he managed to take a largely one-dimensional character and turn him into a fan favorite. It’s no surprise Waititi directed it.

Following his superhero success, he wrote, starred, and directed Jojo Rabbit, a satirical take on Nazi Germany, which won him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. His creativity appears to be gloriously untethered, as audiences never quite know what to expect.

Wanting to learn from him, I watched his TED talk where…


Entering The Void

Working for yourself is not plain sailing

Working for yourself is no picnic.

You may think that because you control your hours and don’t need to apply for time off, it’s more relaxed than typical office work. However, self-employment requires more self-control than you may realize.

If you don’t confront the problems you will inevitably encounter, they will swallow you up and get the better of you. Perhaps more worryingly, other areas of your life may become collateral damage.

I know this because I’ve recently encountered these problems. I have worked for myself since September 2019, and while I love it, it can be challenging.

However, if…


Entering The Void

We are all on the same, unfortunate boat.

Graduating from university felt like the world slapping me in the face.

The education had been kind to me. Despite a few blips, I made plenty of friends, got good grades, and had a rewarding childhood. It was all fairly straightforward.

None of that prepared me for adulthood.

I distinctly remember saying, “Now what?” when reality kicked in. I realized I had no predetermined course of action, and it was terrifying. I spent the following year stumbling through life.

It felt motionless.

I remember continually berating my university for offering little help for soon-to-be graduates. If the start of my…


There’s beauty in our complicated nature

Three months after starting my degree, I considered quitting.

I left a big friendship group at school, hoping to find even more mates at university. I was hoping to join some societies, go to loads of parties, and expand my social life.

None of that went to plan.

I ended up spending all day and night in my small but well-furnished room. I smashed through five seasons of Hell’s Kitchen and nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother in about a week and played countless hours of Grand Theft Auto V. So it wasn’t all bad.

My loneliness forced…


Build productivity muscles the size of Arnie’s biceps.

When you think of muscles, you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The bodybuilding legend cast a spotlight on the sport, becoming the youngest winner of Mr. Universe at 20 years old. He sculpted a body unlike anyone had ever seen.

He became a Greek god.

For most of us, achieving Arnie-grade biceps is unrealistic. His madman-like work ethic, perfect genetics, and admitted use of steroids made him an icon. His images, like the one above, are plastered on gym walls around the world.

I mean, look at the bloke. I exclaimed, “Just look at the size of him!” several times when…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store