A meditation on the power of self-control.

It is easy to mistake being capable of doing something as compelling reason to actually do it.

We allow ourselves to mistake our skillset as something that we have a responsibility to use, when in fact the opposite couldn’t be more true.

You must exercise restraint. Yes, it’s a gift to be talented, but we erode the specialty of these talents when we overuse them.

Learning when to utilize certain skills is a skill of itself. Immense power and capability is worthless and even dangerous if you can’t control it. …


Why you should do your best especially when no one is watching.

You are the sum of the 5 people closest to you.

It’s hard, however, for that effect to materialize when you have to stay isolated from them. Those 5 people can act as your cheering squad, or at the very least hold you accountable to show up. It’s seldom the case when that accountability comes from ourselves, though, and sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it to show up, even in figuratively.

Being in isolation makes it feel that everything we do isn’t worth the effort. Who’s going to…


Life is hard.

The good news? It’s supposed to be.

In our world of instant gratification and convenience, it’s hard to accept difficulty and inconvenience. If we’re fortunate enough to not experience adversity growing up, we end up having to learn it as adults.

Though, it’s one thing to experience it. It’s even harder to thrive in it.

There’s no rulebook. There is literally no parameters to ways in which life can fuck you up, or the level at which it happens. Adversity, like death, is inescapable, and, like Liam Neeson, it has a very special set of skills.

However…


What does it mean to be alive?

Or maybe, instead, what does it take to be alive? A heartbeat, maybe. The air in your lungs? Getting closer, I suppose.

This doesn’t hold a match to what it means to live.

We all have the choice to determine the best way to live our lives, though many of us don’t. Some of us are not able to, but too many of us chose not to.

We all have this amazing gift, and yet we don’t do shit with it. We wish, wait, and remain. We exhibit more about what it means…


I think that in 2020 I’ve redefined the meaning of “success”. Let of a state of being, but more of a modus operandi. I think I used to see success as a point you reach, like following a map or nav, and once you are there, you are there. But I’ve realized that this doesn’t paint the complete picture. It leaves out all of the hard work, the little victories, the vast setbacks. It’s like buying a whole book only to read the final page.

I’ve heard the expression that success is more about the journey, but I don’t think…


For some reason, people have an adverse reaction to people telling them “no.”

Whether it is when someone wants to put themselves out there and go for a big promotion, or just to ask for help with a move. People have this idea in their head that they must always say yes, or worse, that others will always say yes.

Life would be great if the world always worked in the way we wanted it. We would never, ever be inconvenienced. However, if we still expect others to say yes because we always do, we will quickly find ourselves spread…


The pandemic we are in has lasted longer than any of us could have imagined, and certainly longer than anyone wanted to. People’s patience, creativity, and hustle have been stress-tested during this time, and I would like to think that the world will be better as a result of the challenge.

However, there is one particular subset of people who aren’t helping: fitness influencers.

What is an influencer? Short story long, they are people who market products or services in the health and wellness realm with no real training or certification. …


My least favorite quote of all time comes from Talladega Nights.

“If you’re not first, you’re last.”

The movie is about a narcissist with Daddy issues, infused with nuclear masculinity that makes me, a man, uncomfortable. However, it’s a mindset that penetrated our culture.

It’s almost morphed into an excuse for us to put ourselves down. It sounds pretty, and quite honestly, it’s brilliant marketing, but it’s not a sustainable goal. Yet, people still align with something in that message.

I think it grabs ahold of a piece of the American psyche that hides its frailty and fear behind overt…


If there is one thing life in quarantine has taught me, it’s the power of time.

I think that it is fair to say that for most of us, myself included, we had so much time on our hands that we wasted a lot of it. No matter how the times been spent, I wouldn’t blame anyone who allowed it to becom4e a habit.

However, it’s a slippery slope from living with extra time on your hands to wishing it away. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself wishing for the pandemic to be over — or…


Everyone needs a shit job.

Everyone deserves to work for someone, or rather, something they don’t believe in. It will teach you how to be your best when your environment doesn’t warrant it. You will learn what you don’t want out of a job, which is often more practical than finding your calling.

For me, this was working as a prep cook at Chipotle. I would work my tail off, Monday-Thursday nights, from 4 pm until whenever the dishes got done. Sometimes, this was later than 1 am. Often, I would be the only person (plus the manager, Shane) who…

Dan Hicks

Writing for a better world #onward. Newsletter: https://hcks.substack.com

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