And could help you reach your goals.

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Walking into the art studio with my finished clay project in hand, I knew it was the best work I’d done in a long time. With other classes and homework to complete that week, I didn’t put much time into this one. Still, I was sure its creativity and energy would impress my professor.

Compared with sculptures from other students in class that day, I could tell theirs looked technically better. Mine had all the vitality, though!

I might have finished it quickly, but it was eye-catching.

The professor was surely going to give me a high grade and plenty…

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Dear God,

I know the world is going through a tough time right now, with the pandemic and everything, but I’m desperate for more time alone. Not alone forever, I enjoy being with my wife, and two out of control kids, some of the time. Maybe an hour a day would be helpful? A few hours or even one week, would be ideal. Magical even. I may be losing my mind, so a little solitude would help get me back on track.

There’s just no time to breathe or even think. To find time to get on my knees and…

It’s liberating to check them all off, then watch them disappear

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Does waking up to an inbox full of hundreds of emails make you sweat? Scrolling down looking for one that’s of fundamental importance can take so much energy. We do it, though, don’t we — just for the chance to catch something meaningful. Maybe, even an email from a friend or family member, one you actually want to open.

I tried not to check my email first thing in the morning, and it worked fine. …

You’ll need more than just changing your mindset

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Are we finally in a place where anyone of any age can succeed in their chosen profession? Even though I’m yearning to tell the story of when he was 65 years old, I’m going to hold myself back.

At this point in history, his story shouldn’t be all that astounding. It certainly was in the ’70s and 80s, but now, we should be more open to the fact that you’re never too old to go after your dreams.

Unless, of course, you want to play professional sports after 40. There are areas where…

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Is a giant squid statue worth all the controversy it’s getting?

If you haven’t heard, in the coastal town of Noto, in Ishikawa, Japan, they spent $230,000 of the $6.2 million received from the government for Covid relief on a 43-foot sculpture of a flying squid. Could they have used their money on something more important — probably?

But I’m not mad.

In fact, I like that they spent some of their relief money on art. Mainly to promote tourism for their small fishing town. Apparently, the area is the center of squid fishing in Japan.

I never visited Noto…

And why you should pursue it

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Are you moving in the right direction in your life? How would you know if you were? Many of us know what we’re here to do but still move in the other direction — on purpose. Why not go for your dreams? Your purpose.

If you know what you should be doing with your life, what you truly love the most, you should pursue that calling.

Many people don’t. In our modern world, so many things seem more possible than ever thanks to the internet and relative ease of travel. …

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People may say grace before eating a meal in the West, but when I’m in Japan visiting my in-laws, we use a different word.


It’s easier to pronounce if you break it up into, Ita-daki-masu and drop the ‘u’ sound at the end.

When I see a Japanese family or young person sitting down to eat, before they start digging in, they take a moment to place their hands in a praying position followed by making a passionate exclamation of, “Itadakimasu!”

After saying the word, they will most likely smile with satisfaction and then get right into eating.


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Do you ever get upset when you finish writing an article or book, share it with people who say they care about you, but none of these friends actually read it? It happens to me all the time.

In fact, I’ve come to expect that friends will not read, share, or comment on my work. Is this a bad thing? In my opinion, it isn’t.

I don’t think we should expect the people we care about the most to read everything we write. If you push them to stay up on everything you’re doing, you might make them go away.

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Are you who you truly want to be right now? I’m asking because world events have been crazy recently, and it’s forcing us to rethink what’s important in life and take an honest look at where we are.

Going forward, I can see an opportunity to build more of the life we want, the way we want. Our only challenge is figuring out how to find a way to make life work for us.

I have four steps I’ve used to improve my life with great success in the past, which I’d like to share with you below.

One of…

Khalid Birdsong

Cartoonist, art teacher, humor and personal growth writer. Get my comics emailed to you weekly here-

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