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Clinical Psychologist | Professional Coach. Better mental models for life and business. Subscribe here: https://coreywilkspsyd.com/newsletter/

Don’t put off a meaningful life.

One of my friends died today. He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer two weeks ago. Over the past few years, he’d switched from practicing law to working on his dream: writing a book. His family started a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral costs; part of the write-up before he died said:

“His days are dwindling…we do not know how many he has left, but time is short. It’s heart-breaking, but he has run out of time and this dream remains unfulfilled.”

One of the quotes on his Facebook page, now a digital tombstone, reads:

“We choose…


30 days notice and no job prospects during a pandemic

Work used to mean long commutes, endless meetings, miles of bureaucratic red tape and paperwork, lunch hours filled with mind-numbing small talk, then shambling through the door at the end of the workday utterly drained.

Then I got an email from the COO of my last job: In 30 days, I would be fired.

That gave me three paychecks’ worth of runway, nothing in my savings account, and a suffocating $200,000 in student loan debt.

But let’s back up a few months…

In August, I moved to a new state. I was going to quit my old job, but my…


Untangling a lifetime of anger and fear

It’s 3 am on a weeknight. A loud *crash* wakes me up. A man is yelling angrily as a woman screams in terror and pain. A whiff of alcohol hangs in the air.

My mom’s boyfriend had just thrown her down the single step separating the bedroom from the living room in our one-bedroom house.

I watch as her screams turn to gurgling as he puts a chair on top of her throat and sits in it, strangling her.

Through the haze of disorienting carnage and drowsiness, a voice in the back of my head yells, protect your baby brother!


When losing your accent means losing your identity

I grew up up a holler — or hollow, as non-country folk call it. We call it a holler because the hills have good acoustics, so if you’re on one hill and need to talk to your neighbor on their hill, you yell — or holler — to communicate.

When you grow up up a holler, you talk different. You speak differently.

Wash is worsh. Police is poe-leese. Someone isn’t “a few miles down the road,” they’re up over yonder or down that ways a fair piece. Color is collar. You all is ya’ll.

Growing up up a holler, I…


The other day, after a hard BJJ training session, I was talking with one of my friends who’s an MMA fighter. He’d lost a recent fight and was looking for strategies to achieve peak performance next time.

“When I was younger, I trained MMA to learn to control my anger. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve got the opposite problem-I’m so calm, it’s hard for me to find that anger to fuel me for a fight,” he said.

Mental conditioning is as — or more important than — physical conditioning.

Some guys are physical freaks of nature, but mentally weak…


“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”— Abraham Maslow

Imagine: You’ve got a high-profile job. You make good money. Your coworkers respect you. You’ve won all the accolades for doing your job well. You go home to a loving partner and happy healthy children. You fill your home with the latest gadgets and decorations and just bought a new car.

Sounds perfect, right? Almost…

Deep down you still feel like something is missing. On your commute, in the morning before your family wakes up or at night when they’re asleep, when you catch…


Lessons from Jocko Willink’s Good Philosophy

When things are going bad, there is going to be some good that’s going to come from it.

Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better. Got beat? Good. You learned.

Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.” — Jocko Willink

What if you could turn anything life throws at you into an advantage? Every setback, every unforeseen circumstance, every obstacle — all miraculously turned into stepping stones, paving the way to your inevitable success.

It sounds like something out of a movie. A superpower only comic…


A decade’s worth of wisdom in one easy-to-read article

“You’re closer to 40 than 20 now.”

That’s how my girlfriend jokingly celebrated me turning 31. But she was right. Where had my 20’s gone? Why wasn’t I as far in life as 15-year-old me thought I would be by this point? Had I wrought irrevocable damage to myself because I hadn’t taken my health seriously enough for the last decade? Why didn’t I stick with learning another language or a musical instrument? Why hadn’t I tried harder in school?

As a November baby, it’s weird having your birthday at the end of the year:

  1. You turn a year older…


How to quit sugar using a strategy from modern psychology

I grew up in Appalachia — the land of Mountain Dew Mouth — where our teeth rot and our waists expand, thanks to our overindulgence in processed sugar.

If you couldn’t chew your sweet tea, it didn’t have enough sugar in it. Unsweetened tea? Blasphemy! You don’t have a little creamer in your coffee — you have a little coffee in your creamer.

Sound familiar? Maybe you’re not from my neck of the woods, but according to the National Institute of Health, experts agree that we “eat and drink way…


A better strategy to help you stay on track and get more done in record time

Between the New Year’s Resolutions that ended the third week of January, the short-lived motivation you felt after discarding everything that didn’t bring you joy only to again fill your house with meaningless tchotchkes, the money you sunk into the latest exercise equipment that quickly turned into expensive dust collectors, or the hours you spent watching Youtube lifestyle videos and reading countless self-help books-you ask yourself, “Why can’t I seem to make my life any better?”

You’re not alone.

The self-help industry rakes in…

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

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