“Sorry to interrupt, but could you please repeat that again slowly?

Kathy always hates it when she has to do this, particularly in this moment, because Alejandra looked like she was really getting into Flow with her story.

She wanted her friend to keep Flowing, but no matter how hard Kathy concentrated, she just couldn’t follow along with what Alejandra was saying.

Just like all the other native speakers, Alejandra spoke Spanish way too fast, and she blended all the words!

Alejandra seemed slightly annoyed by the sudden interruption. …

I’ve cried a lot since I heard the news last Sunday.

But this isn’t the first time I’ve cried for Kobe.

There’s a story I tell a story about Kobe that ALWAYS chokes me up by the end of my telling it:

It’s March 15, 2004, and the Lakers are playing the Orlando Magic in LA.

In the first half, Tracy McGrady, Kobe’s biggest rival at the time, drops 21 points in Kobe’s face.

For his part, Kobe was 0 for 3 in field goals, scoring a mere 1 point by halftime.

That spring, Kobe was in and out of…

Do you have a hard time saying “no” to people?

Some people naturally have a really difficult time turning down other people’s requests.

Usually, they are highly empathetic and thus feel negative emotion in others more acutely. They don’t want to experience this negative emotion, so they’re incentivized to just say “yes” to things they don’t want to do.

Or, they’re very open and novelty-seeking, and they don’t want to miss out on a potential opportunity.

Problem is, when you say “yes” to things you don’t want to do, you pay a huge emotional price later.

If you do it…

I used to always hate stretching.

Every once in a while I’d bend over to touch my toes. But after a few seconds of holding the position, I’d give up and release the stretch — the feeling was just too unpleasant for me.

Of course, a half-second stretch does nothing to improve my flexibility. And if I don’t do anything to improve my flexibility, I will only get less flexible.

But the less flexible I become, the more painful it is for me to stretch. …

What do you reckon is the most effective means for improving yourself?

Reading a book? Taking an online course? Attending a workshop? Getting a Life Coach?

There is certainly much to be gained from these experiences. But there is something way more effective.

The best way to improve as a person is to commit to an honest romantic relationship.

I add the word “honest” in, because dishonest relationships don’t do the trick. In fact, relationships based on lies can actually make you a worser person.

But if you and your partner commit to never lie to each other, and to…

This is my third essay of my series on how to grow and maintain healthy relationships. To recap what we’ve covered so far:

  • Each individual in a relationship comes with his or her own behaviors and desires.
  • When one person behaves in a way that frustrates the desires of the other, there is a possibility for resentment to grow as a result.
  • Resentment accumulates like debt, weights on the heart of the resentful person, motivates vengeful behavior and more retaliation, and fuels a death spiral in a relationship.
  • Truth is the only thing that can clear resentment and redeem a…

In my last essay, I detail the process by which a relationship between two people fails.

To recap:

  • You partner behaves in a way that makes you resentful.
  • You express that resentment by behaving vengefully toward your partner.
  • Your vengeful behavior makes your partner resentful of you.
  • A feedback loop is established, and the relationship spirals downward.

People try to repress, justify and rationalize their resentment all the time, but it only makes things worse. The relationship freezes into a Cold War, slowly degenerates, and eventually collapses.

The only thing that can clear resentments and redeem a relationship is the…

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. Unfortunately, most people mismanage their relationships, and suffer immensely as a result.

As complex as the dynamic between any two individuals can be, there are a few universal principles that govern all relationships.

Adapt to these principles, and your relationships will grow stronger and more enriching over time.

Fail to adapt to these principles, and your relationships will eventually stagnate, degenerate and dissolve.

In this series, I articulate a few of the principles I’ve come to identify through my own experiences. …

Last Tuesday I cried on my mother’s bed, after she told me a story about my grandmother.

I’ve only met my grandmother once before. My mother took me to Nigeria to meet her when I was a baby.

I don’t remember the trip at all, but I do remember my grandmother’s death. I was nine years old at the time.

I’m sitting in the living room of our house late one evening, when I hear a strange sound swelling up from the basement.

I get up and slowly approach the doorway to investigate the sound. …

Imagine this scene.

You have a date to meet two friends at a cafe. As you approach the cafe from the outside parking lot, you see your friends through the window.

One of your friends is showing the other something on his phone, and they both have wide grins plastered across their faces.

You enter the cafe and pull up a chair next to them, expecting them to greet you. But they are so captivated by whatever’s on your friend’s phone, that they don’t even notice you’re there.

After several moments, you begin to grow impatient. You move your mouth…

Idahosa Ness

Entrepreneur, Hyperglot, and Educator. Founder at Mindkeepers.io and Mimicmethod.com

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