My Favorite Self-Improvement Videos of 2018

Success celebration

The confessional may be the best place for self-improvement. Priests don’t necessarily give extraordinary advice, but the ritual of confession provides something for which we ache.

I can’t quite put my finger on it right now, but there is something very freeing to the human being about examination of self, exposing one’s flaws to another, and being completely forgiven, but also being given a penance. I’m not quite sure of its exact essence, but I experience its beauty every time I participate in the act of confession.

While confession is one of the best ways to improve oneself, it doesn’t hurt to seek additional help elsewhere. This year, among massive piles of videos offering garbage advice and useless amusement, I found a few gems. These videos truly helped me to become a better person in 2018.

Best Self-Improvement Videos of 2018

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Five Reasons Robert Frost is My Favorite Poet

Robert Frost on a 10 cent US postage stamp (Wikimedia Commons).

Robert Frost is one of the most known and loved American poets. Almost everyone has heard at least one of his poems, maybe even three or four. Did Robert Frost just get lucky, or is there something truly brilliant about his poetry?

Of course there is some level of luck in any success, but Frost also wrote some of the greatest poems in the English language. Here are five reasons why Robert Frost is my favorite poet.

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Compromise: A Key Virtue in Getting Things Done

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Our society can be so hostile. Everybody seems to take sides; us against them, democrats against republicans, organic agriculture against conventional agriculture, Christians against atheists. Standing for an extreme is not a good way to solve problems because the world is not black and white. It creates more problems than it solves.

Great things really happen when people come together and compromise.

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DIY Hygge Kit Gift Basket

My sister’s birthday is in September. What better time of year to start hygging? So I picked up a few small comfort items and built a wooden box to put them in.

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What is Hygge?

According to Wikipedia

Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhuːɡə/ HOO-gə) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. As a cultural category with its sets of associated practices hygge has more or less the same meanings in Danish and Norwegian, but the notion is more central in Denmark than Norway.[1] The emphasis on hygge as a part of Danish culture is a recent phenomenon, dating to the late 20th century.

Hygge is fireplaces, warm blankets, wood grain, family, friends, quiet, peace, flickering candles, comfort, laughter, reading a book, watching a rain storm. Continue reading

Turn Spaghetti Sauce into Chili Sauce

When I was a kid living with my parents, we often had hot dogs in the fridge. More often, we had spaghetti sauce in the lazy susan. However, we usually didn’t have a can of chili sauce.

That was probably for the best. Canned chili sauce is usually loaded with preservatives, sodium, and other unpronounceable things.

The nice thing about chili sauce is that it is basically just spaghetti with a few added ingredients. So, if you have hot dogs, but no chili sauce, here is my suggestion.

There are a couple spices you need to convert spaghetti sauce into chili sauce. The two main spices are chili powder and cumin. Add a couple teaspoons of those spices to a cup of spaghetti sauce, then cover the dish and microwave for a couple minutes. That will get you something that is pretty dang close to chili sauce.

If you want to kick things up a notch, add some chili pepper. If you want to put a little spin on it, add some cinnamon. And if a hot dog isn’t enough meat for you, pan fry some ground beef and mix it into the sauce.

It is that simple.