I’ve spent most of my life with a dire aversion to marketing and sales.

(Not ideal for one who wants to create for a living, eh?)

Thanks to Ryan, Kass, Jenn, and the community of their marketing group Unusually Focused, I’ve grown up a lot when it comes to my understanding of and relationship with marketing.

Instead of getting annoyed when I am being marketed to, I can pause, appreciate, and learn (what works or what doesn’t work, as the case may be).

But there is still this one marketing technique that annoys me to diuretic proportions (annoys the piss…

Pro-tip: Exercise and food intake aren’t the most important part of losing weight.

Not if you want to keep it off.

Lasting weight loss requires a renovation of the mind.

Changing the body without changing the mind is pointless, because the outside of you will always come back to matching what’s inside of you eventually. That is inescapable.

Take it from someone who lost over 150 pounds. Twice.

If you’ve been on weight rollercoaster yo-yo from hell, or if you want to get this right the first time, there are 15 key principles you should know about.

One such…

My dad, introducing me to the ultimate power tool

Writing: Gift and Duty

I’ve identified as a writer for just about as long as I can remember.

But I’ve often had a conflicting relationship with writing. Almost like it was an obligation that I was stuck with.

In my childhood and teenage years, my sense of identity and self-esteem were unstable and broken. Life seemed non-intuitive to me; I felt insecure, undefined, and incompetent.

Writing was my singular skill that garnered frequent compliments and praise from authority figures and peers alike.

For a kid who felt like a nobody, that external validation was like a drug.

A drug and a compass, as it…

Do you ever feel voiceless?

It’s all too easy for some of us to eventually lose our voices in this world. This is a noisy planet, often bursting at the seams with animosity, judgment, and despair.

Sometimes we’re punished and abandoned for speaking our minds.

Sometimes we’re silenced by institutions or disregarded by apathetic ears.

Maybe we’ve been used up and exploited by profiteers, parasites, and opportunists.

Or perhaps we’re tired of hearing ourselves speak, broken by our seemingly fruitless efforts.

Silence comes from mental illness, and the isolation and stigma of addiction.

Some of us found ourselves on paths…

If you feel overwhelmed and inept in the face of a change you need to make, I get it 100%.

I was obese with my muscles imprisoned by atrophy; Meanwhile I had all these bittersweet memories of when I used to be able to move and run and, you know… live.

I couldn’t instantly teleport myself back to my physically able self. The only way to health was to meet myself where I was at and just get started!

One step at a time. One wall push-up at a time. Then I started jogging, but could only go for…

Some have kindly mistaken me for possessing great strength.

Or courage.

Even wisdom.

Because I’m drug-free after years of excess.

Because I lost weight.

Because just about everything about me changed dramatically for the better, after what seemed like forever of being stuck and hopeless.

Let’s be clear.

Strength, courage, and wisdom were not what turned my life around.

It was surrender.

It was the total collapse of my mental and physical muscles…

And the fear, which finally led me to doubt and gradually dismantle my conviction in certain limiting and destructive beliefs I’d held onto with all my might…

Once upon a time, I had a dear friend named John.

A pair of dumb kids back then, we did lots of crazy stuff together.

Gradually, I realized that hanging out with John was getting me into too much trouble, so I withdrew. Stopped returning his calls for a while.

Then I thought that perhaps I’d overreacted, that maybe I was being ridiculous and unfair.

When I called him up to apologize, he was irked with me for shunning him, but he quickly moved on and all returned to normal.

Problematically, though, our version of “normal” was as precarious as…

Your device and account passwords are a reflection of who you are when (hopefully) no one is looking.

The words and phrases you choose for your online passwords, in one way or another, can tell you a lot about yourself.

My passwords used to mostly consist of phrases from my favorite songs, all pepp3red up with cringeworthy l33t spe@k.

In my early twenties, my password was T0ss3dSalad… Because my classiness was unparalleled.

Eventually I thought, you know what?

I input my passwords multiple times nearly every day.

What if I incorporated empowering affirmations into my passwords?

What if every single…

A well-intentioned promise

The first time I got engaged to be married, I was 19.

(I’ve been engaged 2 1/2 times, but never been married. Is there a trophy for that?)

We were situated across from one another at a crowded Italian restaurant. On Valentine’s Day.

She looked stunning. Her infinite blue eyes had a way of absorbing the light of the room and redistributing it in soul-stirring ways.

She surely knew a proposal was coming. I was terrible at keeping secrets.

From upon one knee, I presented the ring, which symbolized a promise.

A commitment to support, protect, nourish, cooperate with, and…

“It is better to sacrifice during the age of youthfulness, than it is to be compelled to do so during the age of maturity, as all who have not developed the habit of saving generally have to do.”

Napoleon Hill

Welp. Missed that bus.

As of writing this I am 39.

Out of the age of youthfulness, I’d say.

Then again, my elders still call me a young man. It’s all relative.

I truly screwed the pooch with money earlier in life, establishing an asinine financial paradigm for myself.

Basically I bought what I wanted, when I wanted it, until my money was gone…

Andrew L. Hicks

I’m here to empower my fellow late-bloomers to transcend arrested development and make strides toward proper adulting. https://andrewlhicks.com

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