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15 Enlightening Magazines You Should Read to be Inspired

15 Enlightening Magazines You Should Read to be Inspired

When it comes to inspiring, exciting creative resources, sometimes magazines aren’t the first thing that pops into your head. That being said, the digital age has allowed online and digital versions of magazines to flourish. From art and design, to travel and technology, digital, print and online magazines offer many new, inspiring and eye-opening perspectives on the world. The following 15 publications are some of the very best options to keep your interests fresh.

1. Wired Magazine

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    This magazine covers a wide range of technology-related subjects. It’s a more in-depth magazine, focusing mainly on home technology, robotics, consumer electronics, space exploration techniques, and general, timely science topics. Wired Magazine is available in print and digital publications, with some content available on the website as well.

    2. Discover Magazine

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      Discover covers a wider range of scientific topics, though is written in a way that the average reader can understand. This magazine covers several different topics including technology, space discoveries, environment, natural wonders, health and psychology. Several stories are featured on the Discover Magazine website; however, users can subscribe to both print and digital editions. Discover is an inspiring look at the many wonders of the world around us.

      3. Extreme Tech

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        Extreme Tech is an online magazine for those looking for a deeper appreciation of technology. The site covers computing, mobile devices, the Internet, gaming, electronics and “extreme tech.” Though this publication covers more complicated bits of technology, the extreme tech section includes some of the most inspiring new developments in our world.

        4. Art News

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          Art News may very well be the foremost art magazine in the Western world. Covering a wide range of topics including photography, dance, painting, sculpture and exhibitions, it is available in both print and digital editions. Including artists from all over Europe and North and South America, this informative, inspiring magazine has been published since 1902.

          5. Juxtapoz

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            Another inspiring art magazine, Juxtapoz follows art and artists from around the world, but focuses on more modern visual arts. Juxtapoz covers illustration, photography, design, graffiti, music and performance. In addition to beautiful print editions for both the United States and international markets, the website includes free video interviews.

            6. International Artist

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              Whereas other art magazines focus mainly on art pieces, International Artist focuses on those who create the art. Profiling new and established artists from around the world, this print publication will introduce you to many new outlooks.

              7. Aesthetica

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                Aesthetica is another magazine focusing on art; however, it chiefly focuses on film, music and performance, while still following topical visual arts movements. Based in the UK, Aesthetica offers print and digital subscriptions, as well as some stories on their website. The wide range of arts covered makes it a uplifting and inspiring read.

                8. Fuse Magazine

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                  This art magazine based in Canada mainly covers independent artists in visual arts, performance art, music and film. Focusing on a wealth of under-discovered talent, Fuse brings truly original works to light.

                  9. All About Space

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                    This incredibly informative magazine covers just what you think it would: All About Space examines both timely, pop-culture space stories and deep, complicated discoveries. It presents discoveries from around the world, and is based in the UK. An utterly amazing look at the universe surrounding us, this magazine will shake up any perspective.

                    10. adAstra

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                      An inspiring magazine from the National Space Society in the US, this magazine covers many interesting topics, but is somewhat more complicated than All About Space. AdAstra is only available in print, though some bonus videos are available on the website.

                      11. Smithsonian Magazine

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                        Smithsonian is another truly inspiring publication. Available online, this magazine focuses on groundbreaking discoveries in many different areas of science. Not only doesit cover in-depth, amazing discoveries, it does so in a way that the average reader can understand. This publication focuses on technology, and also includes many great perspectives on the environment and nature sciences.

                        12. Servo Magazine

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                          Servo Magazine is a truly incredible look at the exploding world of robotics. Available in print, it explores robotics in all different fields. This magazine does require some basic knowledge of computing and robotics, but examines some of the most groundbreaking movements today.

                          13. Budget Travel

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                            Budget Travel is an exciting magazine, even if you’re not on an above average income. Budget Travel promises to show you new and exciting places, but also ones you can actually contemplate visiting. This magazine includes a lot of media on its website, and also offers a print edition.

                            14. Afar

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                              Afar is a unique publication, focusing on travel. While other travel magazines focus on resorts and how to get to places, Afar delves into the culture and experience of being somewhere. Available in both print and digital editions this magazine promises unique perspectives on a host of different locations.

                              15. Future

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                                Future offers eye-opening coverage of new architecture and building designs. A breathtaking record of the most cutting-edge advances, it focuses on design, modular architecture, efficient architecture, and eco-friendly projects. This magazine is available in print and digital editions, but also features some stories on the website.

                                Featured photo credit: Melissa O’Donohue via flickr.com

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                                Alicia Prince

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                                Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                                11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                                11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                                Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                                You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                                But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                                To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                                It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                                “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                                The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                                In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                                Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                                1. Start Small

                                The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                                Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                                Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                                Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                                Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                                Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                                It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                                Do less today to do more in a year.

                                2. Stay Small

                                There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                                But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                                If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                                When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                                I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                                Why?

                                Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                                The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                                Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                                3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                                No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                                There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                                What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                                Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                                This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                                This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                                4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                                When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                                There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                                Peter Drucker said,

                                “What you track is what you do.”

                                So track it to do it — it really helps.

                                But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                                5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                                Peter Drucker also said,

                                “What you measure is what you improve.”

                                So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                                For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                                For writing, it’s 500 words.
                                For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                                For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                                Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                                6. All Days Make a Difference

                                Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                                Will two? They won’t.

                                Will three? They won’t.

                                Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                                What happened? Which one made you fit?

                                The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                                No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                                7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                                Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                                But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                                What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                                It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                                The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                                It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                                It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                                8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                                Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                                Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                                When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                                The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                                Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                                9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                                The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                                Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                                You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                                But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                                So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                                If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                                This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                                The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                                Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                                10. Punish Yourself

                                Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                                I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                                It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                                You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                                No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                                The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                                But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                                11. Reward Yourself

                                When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                                Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                                The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                                After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                                If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                                Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                                If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                                In the End, It Matters

                                What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                                When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                                And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                                “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                                Keep going.

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                                More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                                Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                                [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                                [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                                [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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