Some people prevail in spite of the odds stacked strongly against them — and you can be one of them.

Commander James Stockdale had every reason to believe he would never leave the Hanoi Hilton — the infamous POW prison camp in North Vietnam. He was tortured 15 times in the 7 years he was held captive there. He spent four of those long years kept in solitary confinement and two years shackled in leg irons.

Despite his dire situation, he managed to share secret intelligence with his wife through personal letters, knowing well that getting caught meant more torture…


The one thing that a rich person and a poor person have equally is the number of seconds in one day. We all have 86,400 seconds; the difference is in how we use those minutes and hours.

We can choose to spend our minutes and hours watching movies. Or we can engage in a thoughtful conversation about the same movie. We can choose to read a book or dedicate our time to writing one. Neither of these activities are a good or bad use of our time. It’s simply making a choice of where to spend time and attention.

In…


If we want success, there’s one principle we must embrace. And it’s this: success requires time and hard work. That, not unlike growing crops, there are enormous, often unseen forces that cause a seed to break open. Because only when a seed breaks open will it start to grow. So if this is the way of nature, why must we be exempted? Why would we think we can dodge failure and uncertainty in the path to success?

The belief that there’s such a thing as rapid success is often an unconscious one. Products are slung with the promise of instant…


From time to time, we get asked to work on tasks we haven’t done before. There are more than two ways to approach this. The default response is either to accept the task and figure it out as you go, or pass it on to someone else who might know better than you. Either way, there is an inherent cost to the choice you make.

If you accept the task, you may learn something new. The cost is your time and sweat. And you could gain favor, recognition, or a new skill.

If you pass it on to someone else…


History is full of examples that show the surest path towards overcoming any limitations. By pushing past a psychological barrier first, any physical limitation can be overcome.

This was certainly true when the late Roger Bannister attempted and succeeded in doing what seemed humanly impossible at the time — running 1 mile in less than 4 minutes.

The four-minute barrier took a sort of mythical status in everyone’s mind. Anyone who dared to attempt running one mile in four minutes risked death or severe injury. Bannister disagreed and he went on to achieve what no other man has done before.


Write about any topic quickly and credibly

When I was new to writing professionally, I struggled to produce the volume and quality of work needed to make the job sustainable. Where I looked, writers were a dime a dozen and many of us accepted work that paid peanuts. It was difficult to compete when prices had nowhere to go but down.

Soon, I started to resent my working condition. I wanted to do work that I love with people who appreciated my work and get paid what I was worth. If I was serious about my craft, overcoming the challenge…


Soap opera, politics and the advertised mind

For over 6 months, I watched local Philippine TV for up to 8 hours a day, sometimes starting as early as 6 am. My daily programming consisted of the early morning talk show, a soap opera at 11:30 am, a 3-hour noontime show that ends at 3 pm, followed by two soaps in the afternoon, the 6 o’clock news and three telenovelas to cap off my evening.

I’m vaguely aware I’ve surrendered far too many hours of my day to the cultural engineers. I’ve lapped up their programming, watched the lives of celebrities…


The inner critic is a popular concept in modern psychology and it’s been referred to using other terms, including the superego (Freudian psychology), the negative Animus (Jungian model) and Resistance (Steven Pressfield). The term “inner critic” was perhaps popularized by Robert Firestone and his associates. But this concept goes as far back in human history as we can find.

Psychologists say that we learned to be overly harsh with ourselves because of early experiences that made us doubt our abilities. But the inner critic doesn’t always manifest as antagonistic self-talk. …

Jen Feliciano

Writer-in-Progress. Language-curious, pro-creative, positive-culturist. Freelance-writer. Art-aspirant.

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