All posts by Steven Zawila

What I’m reading now: The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

Well, the bad news is that Netflix has officially run out of Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero flicks for me to watch. The good news is that while I’m waiting for Avengers Endgame to finally hit theaters next month, I’ve had some time to catch up on my reading.

When “Netflix & chill” meets “Kindle & cuddle”

You ever have that moment when you’re playing a video game and suddenly you’re like “I bet the next room has like 50 enemies/a boss so I better stock up on items and/or save”? Maybe it wasn’t immediately obvious at the time why you were feeling that way…but in hindsight it was probably the random save point or the lack of music or that random stash of ammo that tipped you off?

That’s the power of listening to your intuition.

Recently, I finished reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, a security specialist who did a lot of cool stuff including designing a system to screen threats to US Supreme Court Justices! He writes that your intuition is a tool that is often overlooked in today’s world but is also invaluable when you learn to listen to it.

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Struggling with a problem? Why “trying harder” isn’t the answer.

A little while ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and he told me about a problem he was struggling with. I asked him,

“Okay, so what do you think you could try doing?”

And his response was simply…

“…well, I guess I could try harder?”

At this point, alarm bells started going off in my head. I’ve often heard people say that they just need to “try harder” when they have a problem they’re struggling to solve. Heck, I’ve even said it myself!

  • I’m having trouble writing? I’ll try harder!
  • I can’t seem to get in shape? I’ll try harder!
  • I’m not getting enough work done? Looks like I have to try harder!

I mean, it sounds logical, right? If I’m trying to solve a problem and I have an issue that I can’t seem to get past, then shouldn’t trying…harder…make a difference? Over time, I’ve come to realize that…

Continue reading Struggling with a problem? Why “trying harder” isn’t the answer.

Dating hacks: How I easily improved my appearance in 30 min or less

Once upon a time, I used to look like this:

Oh my God, did I really think this was cool??

That was in high school, back when I was too dumb to realize how dumb I looked. I mean, jeez! Did I seriously go outside looking like this??

Give me a second to bury my face in my hands until I get that picture out of my head…

…okay, I’m back.

Here’s what I look like now:

Hey, that’s a lot better!

So, how do you go from having hair that looks like a helmet, to looking presentable in public? I have absolutely zero fashion sense and, honestly, I just have someone do it for me. It’s easy! Just find a good hair salon or barbershop near you and let them know you’d like their professional judgment in getting a haircut.

This is the important part: if you’re like me and don’t know what makes a good haircut, just let them cut it for you! Don’t tell them how you would like your hair done if you have no idea what looks good on you. Leave it to the professionals.

Of course, it helps if you check the reviews beforehand and make sure it’s a good place. It also helps if you research the barbers and pick a good one. Personally, I have the owner of my local hair salon do my hair because I know he’s skilled. It’s easy to tell who the owner is because his own name is in the name of the salon.

After getting a haircut, how do you know if it looks good? By the way your friends react. Do they say things such as, “Nice haircut! It suits you.” Or are they like “Hey…you got a haircut.” If your haircut turned out less-than-stellar, try getting a different barber or going to a different salon altogether.

Getting a professional haircut is a quick and simple way that I improved my appearance (and boosted my confidence) with little to no effort!

The best places to take her on a first date

Let’s talk about where to go on a first date. You want to leave a good first impression, and the venue you choose sets the stage for the rest of the evening. I’m going to share a few guidelines I always used whenever I was trying to decide where to take her on a first date, then I’m going to give you my personal favorite places to go on a date.

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An open eulogy to my little sister

I’m in shock right now. My little sister passed away after battling cancer for a year. I’m still trying to make some sense out of this. Because, to be honest, it doesn’t make sense. To say that someone can get cancer and die at 24 years old in a world supposedly governed by a just and loving God doesn’t make sense at all. She was engaged, and she and her fiancé should have had their whole lives ahead of them. It’s not fair for all their plans to be cut short just like that. Between me, my mom, my dad, and her fiancé, I know any one of us would trade places with her in a second. Because it doesn’t make sense for someone her age to die of cancer. Not at 24.

I’m going to be upfront today and let you know that I don’t have any dating advice in this week’s newsletter. I’m writing this article for selfish reasons, and if you want to stop reading here then I won’t be offended. It’s okay.

At my sister’s funeral, I volunteered to give a eulogy. My parents were surprised, since I’m usually a quiet person and super terrified of public speaking, but it was something that I felt I needed to say. I’ve decided to make it an open eulogy and publish it on my blog. This way, everything I said during the funeral can live on long after that fateful day:

Continue reading An open eulogy to my little sister

Budget-Friendly Ways Singles Can Treat Themselves on Valentine’s Day

This week’s post is a guest article from Michelle Peterson of Take it away, Michelle!

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Although most people think the day is dedicated to romantic couples, it’s also about friendship and admiration. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show yourself some much-needed affection. Check out these simple budget-friendly tips to have a great Valentine’s Day on your own.

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The world’s most foolproof way to tell if she’s interested in you

Recently, I’ve received several emails asking me something along the lines of, “She did this when talking to me. Does that mean she’s interested?” My answer to these is always the same.

There’s one foolproof way to find out if she’s interested. That is to ask her out.

Seriously. I wasn’t there. I have no idea whether she’s interested in you. I know even less about her than you do!

Now, if you would like some help or advice around asking her out then that’s something I can help out with. But if you’re interested in someone and you’re wondering if she might possibly want to go on a date with you, my answer is always the same.

Just ask her out already!

How to write amazing content that drives traffic to your site

The first time I told one of my friends about Quietly Romantic newsletter, he told me that it was “an ingenious way to make money”. Several of them asked me how I came up with this idea, and some of my readers have even emailed me asking if I could help them do something similar. Today I want to show you how you can do the same. Yes, even if you don’t have an English degree and even if you’re “not a good writer”. I’ll show you how to write the type of content that…

  • Got me featured in sites such as Huffington Post and Yahoo!
  • Establishes you as an expert in your industry
  • Drives passive sales, and
  • Changes the world

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The best places to meet women and the exact words to talk to her

A good coach changes the world. That’s what I learned from Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler’s book The Prosperous Coach.

Jacob was a longtime subscriber of mine. He reached out to me because he had never had a girlfriend before, and he wanted help finding a good woman who loved him and understood him. The two of us scheduled a free coaching session together. Even though we originally only planned to spend 1.5 hours together, our session ended up being two hours long. I didn’t mind going slightly over time. One of my principles is to always go the extra distance for a client—even the ones I work with for free.

During our coaching session, I helped him learn three keys to finding the woman of his dreams.

Continue reading The best places to meet women and the exact words to talk to her

What really happened when I followed the “Three Days” rule

You ever have a time where you’re lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and then your brain suddenly decides to be a jerk and replay all the embarrassing things you’ve ever done in uncomfortably vivid detail? Turns out there’s a name for that. It’s called “Fridge Horror”. This happens when you experience something horrifying but it doesn’t register in your brain until much later, such as when you’re rummaging through your fridge the next day trying to grab a midnight snack. For example…

…this was my face when I watched Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi for the first time, and…

…this was my face when it dawned on me that the cute and cuddly Ewoks probably ate all the fallen Stormtroopers after the film ended.

I still kick myself over this one mistake I made a long time ago. Not as hard as I used to since I’m married now, mind you, but still on occasion when I’m trying to sleep and my brain decides to remind me of all the dumb things I’ve done in the past so I wake up at like 2 in the morning and my wife just looks at me weird.

My pain is your gain. I made these mistakes so you don’t have to. Enjoy!

Continue reading What really happened when I followed the “Three Days” rule