#3: You’re not a machine — but even if you were, you need to learn how to take care of yourself.

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Photo by Isaac Wendland on Unsplash

There are life lessons I’ve learned over the last couple of years, but none of them has stood out to me as much as the life lessons I’ve learned from running.

I didn’t expect to gain any of these lessons, they came to me naturally through experience. We can all agree that those are the best kinds of lessons.

I’m thankful to have come across them because it gives me a good framework on how to approach life’s challenges and difficulties. I really wouldn't know what to do without them.

I’ve been able to implement them across all areas of…


Be present, and watch everything fall in place.

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Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

I used to struggle to complete my most important tasks.

Actually, I still do from time to time. Not so much as I used to, but I still do.

If you’re like me, I don’t blame you — I’m with you.

Because let’s face it. We only call them our most important tasks because they’re difficult and often time-consuming.

As a result, checking email and doing other easy, low-value tasks become really tempting.

But if you really want to move the needle towards success, you can’t escape doing your Most Important Task — your “MIT.” …


If you can’t find a solution inwards, then start looking outwards

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Despite experiencing a horrendous year in 2020, there’s been one thing that has helped me push through all the challenges that life has thrown at me: meditation.

I’ve been doing it consistently for over a year now, and one of the ways that it has helped me was to reduce all the chatter and noise that goes in my head.

This has been especially helpful for me because I used to suffer from overthinking about every little thing or worrying about what might happen in the future. …


Four important things I wish I knew sooner.

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Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

If you’re looking for a perfect, one-size-fits-all apology, then you’re out of luck. There isn’t one.

There are simply too many factors that need to be considered. They include the history between people, the context and weight of the problem, the environment and circumstances they’re in, differing backgrounds and life experiences, and many more.

Despite the intricacies of it all, the good news is that we can still generally tell apart a bad apology from a good one.

In other words, while there is no all-encompassing apology letter that you can copy and paste to say to your partner, there…


The direct impact of decluttering on my well-being, productivity, and lifestyle

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Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels

After coming back from traveling across Asia for a year with one big backpack, I’ve realized that I didn’t need to have a lot of things to be happy.

And one of those things is the number of physical objects that I have in my possession.

I learned that I could get by perfectly fine with just two pairs of pants, a couple of shirts, a bag of toiletries, and a few handy tools like a camera, a headlamp, and a water bottle.

So when I came back home and unpacked all my belongings including those that I placed in…


Progress isn’t linear anyway, especially during these dire times

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Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Don’t worry, the title isn’t targeted towards you.

If anything, it’s targeted towards me.

That’s right. I’ve always viewed New Year’s resolutions as a sham.

Up until last year, whenever the ball dropped to signal the upcoming new year, I never made new year resolutions. I had a few goals in mind, sure, but I refused to consider them resolutions.

I always found them unnecessary and oftentimes performative, only then to be reinforced and fueled by researchers and studies that show that a vast majority of people don’t adhere to their resolutions by Valentine's Day.

As a result, not only…


The best part is that it only takes less than 10 minutes

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Photo by Sam Owoyemi on Unsplash

When I first started incorporating a morning routine to jump-start my day, doing push-ups was never in the picture.

It wasn’t until my friend challenged me to do 100 push-ups for ten days straight. Why? Just for fun.

But little did I know that joining in on the challenge would be one of the best decisions I would ever make, so much so that I kept going for three more months. The wildest part? I haven’t skipped a single day!

It has truly become an indispensable part of my morning routine. …


The world could benefit from having more of them

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Photo by Javier Molina on Unsplash

At this point in my life, I am very selective about who I disclose my struggles with. In fact, I can count them with one hand.

It’s not a lot of people, but I know better than to talk to dozens of people about what I’m going through. That sounds exhausting just thinking about it.

In life, we only need a few people — even just one — who we can truly trust and confide in. And when we find that person, it can make a world of difference in your life.

Imagine being able to talk to someone comfortably…


They are well-intentioned but super hurtful, so here’s what you can say instead

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Photo by Korney Violin on Unsplash

Sometimes, I wish that I didn’t disclose my struggles to some of my friends and family.

Don’t get me wrong. I love them. But now you’ll never see me reach out to most of them when I’m struggling with something. I only have a few people I can confide in, but even with them, I’m still hesitant to bring up what’s consuming my entire being.

It’s pretty sad just saying that. But I have to be honest with myself. More importantly, I have to protect myself.

Now, they're not evil. Simply put, they don’t know what to say, and they…


The line between when to give up vs. when to keep going

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Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

For the past six months, all my photography equipment has been stored in my closet, simply collecting dust like a forgotten antique.

Six months is a long time for me.

Ever since I was 18 years old, I felt like a camera was an extension of my arm. And every day, I would always be working on something photography-related — planning my next project, learning how to make my images better, or finding out what kind of gear I would need to buy next. The list goes on.

But for the past six months, my list was non-existent.

It’s true…

John Robyn Buenavista

I care about creating a world that’s navigated with the help of each other. I write about photography, self-improvement, and life moments that tie us together.

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