Lesson 1: When confronted with failure, you should either quit or settle.

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Our current education system is one that molds students into a desirable output — productive workers in society — and disregards whatever does not conform to its model.

In fact, the American education model was created to mimic and prepare its recipients for factory life.

“The American education model…was actually copied from the 18th-century Prussian model designed to create docile subjects and factory workers.” — David Brooks, writer for the New York Times

Unlike many other parts of society, which have adapted to the rapidly changing times, our education system lags far behind.

Though the system has undergone measures of…


Everything happens FOR you.

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Most people suck at taking rejection. Rejection hurts our ego, and the ego is defensive and fragile. The reason that many people fear rejection is because they think it is somehow an indicator of lack in themselves.

Plus, society has ingrained the fear of rejection into every individual that has passed through its systems. The ability to embrace rejection is a skill that is learned long after schooling has ended.

We are hurt by rejection because we have been taught that being rejected means we are not enough.

This pandemic of “not-enoughness” comes from decades of cultural conditioning. In a…


Stress results from resistance to life.

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It’s a stressful world.

At every corner, some instance of injustice, pain, or unfairness can be found. Living through a pandemic and witnessing multiple occasions of civil unrest, political turbulence, and overt discrimination has naturally caused many people to feel overwhelmed.

Whenever I feel stressed, unhappy, or overwhelmed, I remember and repeat this mantra:

Stress occurs when one resists life.

I love making plans, setting goals, and envisioning the future. But at the end of the day, as much as I want life to go a certain way, life is what it is, and it is nothing else.

When one…


Reparent yourself with compassionate discipline.

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I’ve been in the self-improvement sphere for a while, gaining knowledge through articles on Medium, books, and conversations with others on the same journey. Putting these tips into practice has been very beneficial for my life, and I am grateful for all of the wonderful changes it has brought.

However, when I started to reach a plateau, I realized an important thing: While I had been adding positive habits and thought patterns consistently, I had never addressed the negative ones. Instead, I ignored my negative traits, smothering them in positive affirmations.

Recently, I’ve been on a journey to reparent myself…


One grounded me, one helped me increase productivity, and one made me re-evaluate my entire existence.

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Reading can be a difficult habit to start.

It can be overwhelming to choose which books to read in the personal development sphere because there are so many options. And as much as I love “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosophy is not exactly the easiest type of literature to read.

Before I became an avid reader, it was difficult for me to even pick up a book. I found it helpful to start with just reading one page a day. For some, it might be one sentence a day. …


Self-care is self-discipline, not constant indulgence.

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Born in 2001, I am a member of Gen Z. I grew up with Instagram and Snapchat — and more recently, Tiktok.

Among these Gen Z platforms, there is a dangerous idea of self-care that has been spreading.

The modern conception of self-care:

You deserve to relax, smoke weed, party, and do whatever makes you feel good. We’ll only be on this planet for a limited time, so fuck it, right?

Right, but only sometimes. …


Start with one.

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Most of us suck at keeping the promises that we make to ourselves.

We make complicated plans, write down goals, and excitedly tell our friends about the new lifestyle we want to try. But the next day, engulfed by the comfort of a warm, cozy bed, we completely abandon the previous day’s plans.

It’s not that we don’t want to do better. Deep down, everybody wants to be a little better. The drive to improve is always inside us, but it is hidden by the opponent to progress: comfort.

Comfort breeds discomfort and discomfort breeds comfort.

Activities that are comfortable…


Reminders and wake-up calls for anyone who needs it.

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Life consists of days.

What we do during our typical days is what becomes of our life.

Our incredible moments, our unforgettable days, and our favorite memories are all crafted from days of mundane normalcy.

Spectacular days do not just happen. They are the result of days of practice, diligence, and training.

Life is one big positive feedback cycle.

If you are living a life of poor habits, your future will continue to look like your present.

If you blame others for your situation without taking responsibility for your situation, then your life will remain the same.

Everything that happens to us is our responsibility to deal with, even if it’s…


Prioritizing yourself means treating the steps to your goal as non-negotiable.

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What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to experience before you die, and what do you need to do in order to get there?

All of us want something more. Most of us have goals. But few of us ever reach these goals. Why do so many people fail to see their aspirations come to life?

The secret to reaching a goal is to stop relying on motivation.

Motivation is fleeting, and relying on something that is temporary will make it difficult, if not impossible, to stick to your goals. Using motivation and willpower to make progress on goals i exhausting, inefficient, and an unreliable source of mental fuel.


Use emotion to counteract emotion.

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Every day, I push myself to get a little better than I was yesterday. It’s been over six months and I have encountered stagnant points as well as little dips in my progression.

But at the end of the day, when I look back to where I was in August 2020, I have grown significantly. Many of the goals I wanted to achieve six months ago have come into my possession.

There’s no trick to self-improvement except to keep going, improving yourself bit by bit along the way.

To grow, I learned that I must completely uproot my unhealthy habits.

Amy Tang

Avid learner and self-improvement junkie. I write about self, habits, education, and growth.

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