Follow Alex’s Instagram for his drawings and more ideas.

11 counterintuitive ways to improve your life (no one talks about these)

Alex Mathers
5 min readAug 18, 2023


None of the ideas I’m about to share with you came from any self-help book.

(Ok, maybe a couple).

But it’s only through being immersed in the beautiful strangeness of life that these lessons can be felt, seen, and used to see the truth of them.

Funnily, none of these are ‘counterintuitive’ when you take a closer look…

1. The fewer risks you take, the more dangerous life becomes.

You already know in your gut why this is. Creating security for yourself is indeed essential.

But the real rewards come to those who are willing to stick their head above the seething masses.

If you seek to fit in, you will get what everyone else has: the illusion of security veiling a life of quiet desperation.

More than anything else, risk strengthens you — and strength will protect you.

2. The less you try to be confident, the more confident you become.

True natural confidence is that which arises in you without pressure.

When we try to be confident, we become self-conscious, which is the last thing you need to be and feel confident.

Confidence is an act of letting go.

3. You move faster when you slow down.

I’m a proponent of acting with a sense of urgency and relentless ferocity.

Results come to those willing to take massive amounts of action on a specific target.

However, to be fast doesn’t mean you rush. This puts you at a disadvantage. The real winners know the value of going slowly and calmly and allowing space for insight as they go.

They just don’t stop, and they aren’t burdened by the confusion that accompanies moving too fast.

That’s why they go faster than everyone else.

4. The less you try to fix yourself, the faster you ‘heal.’