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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. As a result, I’m more than happy to let my brain float around and go down whatever avenues it desires.

However, I realized that often wasn’t the case with customers.

It was strange; if I didn’t speak for a few seconds, some people would happily stand and wait. Others would reach for their phone, but a surprising number of people overshared information about themselves. I didn’t understand.


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 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

Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

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. …


There’s a reason you might think he’s real.

Image source: https://rocky.fandom.com/wiki/Rocky_Balboa

“I thought Rocky was a real person for a while,” my mum told me recently. I can hardly blame her.

Sylvester Stallone’s character is iconic, and with good reason.

Rocky started as a brave challenger in the first film, valiantly losing to Apollo Creed. Rocky works hard and becomes a champion in the sequels, and by the time Creed rolls around, he’s a wise old soul.

Although he’s not quite Plato or Socrates, you could mistake many of Rocky’s quotes for men of such wisdom.

Let’s take a look.

On moving forward in life

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” We’ve all heard…


How to harness your brainpower and feel consistently creative.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“A-ha!”

The light bulb magically appears over your head. Ding, your brain finally works! But, unfortunately, those moments feel few and far between.

When I sit down and think about headline ideas after a long day of writing, there’s barely any creative electricity left in my head. It’s a waste of time.

Frustration builds, making the issue more challenging than before. It seems that when you think about something too hard in search of a breakthrough, your brain rejects any fresh thoughts.

However, there’s a secret amongst the creative community: light bulb moments aren’t mere gasps of brilliance. No. They’re…


How to manage your energy and actively engage with your life.

Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash

There are two ways you watch a film.

  1. Firstly, there’s passive engagement. This is when you stick the first thing that looks interesting on the TV but don’t pay attention.
  2. Then there’s active engagement, where you put your phone away and pay attention. This is always the better choice.

But, sometimes, you might not want to get attached to new characters and get dragged through the emotional ringer. Sometimes, it’s easier to log off and effectively zombify yourself for the rest of the evening.

However, regular passively engaging with your films is a stepping stone to a sedentary life. …


Why LinkedIn is becoming the worst of social media

Photo by Alekzan Powell on Unsplash

The other day, I saw a Linkedin post that went something like this:

‘If I could have $1,000,000 now or $50 every month, I’d choose the $50 every time.

Passive income.’

Of course, it quickly became a meme, as Twitter users acknowledged its utter ludicrousy. But, as is the case with Linkedin and hustle culture in general, it’s hard to know if the original post is a joke or not.

Capitalism, fuelled by Linkedin and social media, has this ridiculous culture that encourages you to take radical steps to consider yourself a success. If you don’t, you’re a failure.

The…


For those who are looking to get back into a reading habit

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

I’ve never been an avid reader, which may come as a surprise given I’m a full-time writer. I always see posts where people brag about reading 50 books a year, but that’s never been me. I read in phases.

So when I can’t put a book down, it surprises me.

Books, even though they might feel like something you forget about, can be marvelous. They tempt your imagination into outdoing itself as your brain conjures up all sorts of images to match the words your eyes are consuming.

If anything, they help release you from the mundanity of everyday life…


Ask yourself, “Will it matter in 300 years?”

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

“Will it matter in 300 years?” one of my closest friends asked me the other day.

The answer, as always, was no. She made me realize that most things, while some may feel incredibly significant at the moment, aren’t worth the fuss. It’s advice she offers and uses herself.

We’re a world of worriers and complainers. Social media makes it incredibly easy for the fuss to arise when it shouldn’t, as people are “slammed” for breathing incorrectly by a few Twitter accounts and the occasional Karen.

There’s always an improper way to do something in someone’s eyes. …

Max Phillips

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