Without buying the products

Photo by Simon Launay on Unsplash

5 weeks ago, I installed a free ad blocker called ublockorigin on my work computer (it blocks Youtube ads, I highly recommend it). Since installation, it’s blocked more than 420,000 ads. Four hundred and twenty thousand. That’s an average of 12,000 ads a day, just on my work computer.

It’s easy to be mindful on a retreat, or in a temple, but as people who want to be mindful, we have to fight for mindfulness in our every day, capitalistic world. It’s much more challenging to maintain mindfulness when more than 10,000 ads a day are blitzed into our subconscious.

You can’t change people’s minds through anger

Photo by Gita Krishnamurti on Unsplash
Listen to Aaron Nichols read this story here!

At the age of five, on an overnight visit to my Grandparents' house, I was fed up. Missing my own bed, I decided at 7 PM to walk the 63 miles back home in the dark rather than spending the night with them. I announced this to my Grandpa, put on my little red jacket, and headed for the door.

My Grandpa loves telling this story. I’ve heard it enough times at family gatherings that the scene is burned into my mind from an observer’s point of view. My small hand stretches…


It shook me to my core

Listen to the author read this piece here!
Photo by Prijun Koirala on Unsplash

In January of 2020, I set off for the Peace Corps in Nepal. During my Peace Corps training (that was rudely interrupted by COVID-19) I lived on the edge of Kathmandu in the house of a man named Salikram Banjara.

Over and over again, I experienced the “these people don’t need your help” check-your-privilege moment. This commonly happens when people in this opulent dystopia of surplus that we call home occasionally leave to “help” those “less fortunate.”

Sorry about the air quotes, on to the point!

So often, when we travel from…

Glove up and get in the ring

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
Listen to Five Ways To Fight Imposter Syndrome Here!

Imposter. That’s a harsh word, isn’t it? It makes me imagine an old warty-faced witch, pointing her crooked finger at me and screaming it at the top of her lungs, exposing to everyone present that I do not actually belong at The Online Writer’s Masquerade Ball.

This summer, I started writing articles to potentially publish. Then the relationship I was in started to go south. I spent four months not writing or publishing anything.

Who am I to give anyone advice? I reasoned. I can’t even fix my own relationship!


Need motivation? Seek out terrible writing.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash
Listen to the Author’s sweet, sultry voice read this piece

It seems like I run across five posts a day online with titles like this:

Should You Write Every Day?

The Five Life-Changing Benefits of Writing Every Day!

Write Every Day or You’re a Pile of Human Waste.

They’re always backed up by quotes from Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Gandhi, or the Lord Themselves.

This doesn’t seem like the first thing we should be telling new writers, does it? People who are just starting out need perspective and encouragement, not a potentially impossible standard.

In Tim Ferris’s interview with Cheryl…

Negative reviews are a waste of your creative energy

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

“You can have literature without literary criticism, but you can’t have literary criticism without literature.”

-My Literature Professor

I have a confession to make: I love reading one-star reviews of famous places and literary classics. This could include national parks like Rocky Mountain or Arches (4.9 and 4.7 average stars), landmarks like the Sydney Opera House or The Hoover Dam (both of which are rated 4.7 stars), and The Great Gatsby (which more than 11,000 people have given one star to on Goodreads).

Here are some of my favorites:

1) Arches National Park:

And a promise about responsible affiliate marketing.

Baron Fig Confidant, Image Credit Baronfig.com

**This story contains affiliate links.**

I have some awesome news! I’ve become an affiliate for Baron Fig, my favorite journal-maker in the world. Still a bit giddy about it.

Now, I haven’t told y’all this yet, but I want to let you in on my writing process:

Every piece on here was handwritten in a journal before I put it into my computer. I write them all in a quiet room, with a journal open in front of me, my phone and computer banished to the kitchen. Is it the most efficient? No! Am I an efficient person? Also no…

We’re just waiting for a chance to do good

Author photo, taken in Lyons, CO after the 2013 flood

In 2013, my hometown of Lyons, Colorado experienced a “thousand-year rain.” Dams burst at the seams, overflowing. Water poured through the streets, carrying away cars, destroying parks, and even digging under the public works department, taking an entire dump truck to be buried more than 100 yards from its original spot.

Further photos of the disaster can be found at The Denver Post.

When the water receded, almost no one who had the misfortune of living on the side of town nearest the river had a livable house left. …

The man’s got integrity

My father (middle) at one of his random acts of kindness. Image credit Times-Call, the story can be found here

When covid was becoming a global problem, my Dad and a family friend, Anand, set up a free aid station on my parents’ porch. It was filled with toilet paper, sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. They made the local paper:

Aaron Nichols

Just here for the free snacks. If you like what you’ve read, sign up for The Well-Lived Life! https://thewelllivedlife.substack.com/

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