How many of us grew up hearing the following?

“You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.”

Through schooling and adolescence, we were in a system set up for us to expect success after reaching adulthood. Do well in class. Excel at extra-curricular activities. Progress to the next level. After reaching adulthood however, the levels stopped. We ended up finding ourselves in front of several doors, each leading down a path with no predictable outcome.

How do we choose?

For many of us, this is the rude awakening.
The proverbial fork(s) in the road.
The quarter-life-crisis.

We want to “find ourselves” so we take gap years, backpacking sabbaticals, and social service projects. We feel as if we’re always missing out somewhere in life — in our careers, relationships, or personal growth.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

If we’re Harry Potter, Daenerys Targaryen, or Luke Skywalker… then where’s our Dumbledore, Tyrion, or Yoda?

The truth is there are no guardrails, no system to follow, and no linear progression in adulthood. What there are are decisions to make. Life is a game of tradeoffs betting against the fear of missing out (FOMO).

“Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous

We curated this guide to help us fight the FOMO and navigate our 20’s and 30’s with more confidence.

How to Use This Guide

There are a lot of click-baitey articles and self-proclaimed gurus out there who promise shortcuts to success. This is not one of those guides.

This guide serves as a starting point and reference for people who are on a journey of personal development.

We want to help you build a stronger sense of self-awareness and share perspectives from our peers so that we may better navigate our 20’s and 30’s.

Full disclosure, I co-run a daily newsletter called theFOMO with my twin brother Tim Chen. This guide has been curated over the past year in our own journeys for personal development. We are now sharing it with you.

This guide includes the following:

(1) Online Sources: These are email newsletters, content sites, and Medium blogs that we’ve found valuable to our friends.

(2) People to Know: Definitely not comprehensive by any means, but we collected a list of names of individuals who publish regularly.

(3) Evergreen Content: This list might as well be a mile along, which is why we’re redirecting it to a separate Google Sheet to track.

Quick Navigation:

Personal Development Online Sources

? Email Newsletters (5):

These publishers’ content are best received in email format and are published either daily or weekly.

A mix of original and narrated perspectives on career, relationships, and personal

A street-level look at being

Farnam Street and the Pursuit of Worldly Wisdom
We’re quite glad that you read Farnam Street, and we hope we’re always offering you a massive amount of value. (If not…

Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Hi. I’m Eric, the guy behind the blog. This site brings you science-based answers and expert insight on how to be…

Brain Pickings
Half the beauty of life lies in its complexity – in those experiences whose depth and dimension cannot be sliced…

? Media, Blogs and Websites (15):

These sites serve as aggregators or have collections of content from different contributors.

Science of Us – What Studies Say About Human Behavior & Productivity
Using research and studies in psychology, sociology, and genetics to examine our relationships, parenting styles…

Thrive Global
More than living.

Tonic – Real wellness advice for imperfect humans, plus news coverage of medical science and health…
Real wellness advice for imperfect humans, plus news coverage of medical science and health around the

PRSUIT – Perspective that inspires
Perspective that

The Daily Muse | Career Advice and Articles From The Muse
Use our career guidance to learn how to negotiate a pay raise, see how to decide your career path, and get advice on…

The Art of Manliness
The Art of Manliness is here to revive the lost art of manliness. We encourage men to be better husbands, fathers…

Greatist | Health and Fitness News, Tips, Recipes, and Exercises
Greatist covers all things healthy, providing the most trusted and fun fitness, health, and happiness content on the…

The School of Life | Developing Emotional Intelligence
The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. Immerse yourself in our products, events, videos…

Live Your Legend
Welcome to Live Your Legend and OUR Revolution. Mount Kilimanjaro cut short the life of our legendary founder, Scott…

Introvert, Dear
Introvert, Dear is a community for introverts and HSPs. Get insight and inspiration about introversion, high…

The Book of Life
The Book of Life – Developing Emotional Intelligence – The Book of Life is the ‘brain’ of The School of Life, a…

mindful – taking time for what matters
Traditional New Year’s resolutions-losing weight, finding a relationship, or quitting a bad habit-are often ungrounded…

The Mighty – We Face Disabilities and Diseases Together
The past few birthdays of mine have been remembered as: recovering from a month-long battle with mono and wisdom teeth…

Aeon | a world of ideas
Aeon is a magazine of ideas and culture. We publish in-depth essays, incisive articles, and a mix of original and…

Inspiration for career changers & entrepreneurs | Escape the City
Stories from the Escape community and beyond, our blog is all the fuel you need to find work that makes you feel

? Medium Publications (14):

We poured through almost 50 different publications and came up with the best ones that tackle personal development.

The Mission
Accelerated Learning, Tech, Antifragility, and Definite

The Coffeelicious
Home to some of the best stories on medium. Look around, relax and enjoy one with a sip of

Personal Growth
Keep Learning. Keep

Human Parts
Human Parts explores the patchwork of the human condition through experimental and traditional personal writing. Email…

Be Yourself
Don’t instruct,

P.S. I Love You
real relationships, real advice.

100 Naked Words
Est. May 2016. 100 vulnerable words, one day at a time. Every

The Limitless Mind
Curated Writings where Information becomes Knowledge. Look around and become Limitless!

We publish stories to change ? and

MEL Magazine
How to be a

The Leading
The Leading writes about anything to improve peoples’ lives. This could be through different experiences, ideas…

Navigating the Sea of Singledom
A woman is single for the first time in her adult life. This is what happens next. Often humorous, always honest. Real…

Self-Knowledge Daily
“Rational thoughts for self-connected people.” We write about the small, sometimes almost imperceptible steps we take…

The Billfold
Everything you wanted to know about money but were too polite to

People to Know for Personal Development

Here’s list of individuals who are active in the personal development space. I’ve included their brief background and also linked their Medium, Twitter, and personal websites. Jump into the conversation!

Names are denoted with the following: those who write about career and work (CW), love and relationships (LR), and/or personal growth (PG).

Andy Raskin (CW): “Helping leaders tell strategic stories.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Benjamin P. Hardy (CW)(PG): 
“Husband & foster father. Pursuing PhD in Organizational Psychology.” 
Medium | Twitter | Website

Chad Grills (PG): Editor of The Mission publication in Medium.
Medium | Twitter | Website

Charles Chu (PG): Writer and full-time traveler. Contributor at Quartz, the Observer, Business Insider, and others.
Medium | Twitter | Website

Christopher Connors (CW)(LR)(PG): “I write about personal development, values, faith & success.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Darius Foroux (CW)(PG): “Practical personal development that doesn’t suck.” Editor at The Art of Practicality.
Medium | Twitter | Website

David Cain (CW)(LR)(PG): “Writer, self-improvement experimenter, lvl 17 fighter/mage, wannabe bard” Editor at Raptitude.
Twitter | Website

Dean Bokhari (PG): “Host of The Meaningful Show: self-improvement advice that’s backed by science and 100% bull-shit free.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Derek Sivers (PG): “Writer, programmer, avid student of life.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Elle Kaplan (CW): “Founder of @LexionCapital. Self Made Entrepreneur, Financial Expert, Animal Lover, Midwestern Transplant & Dreamer.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Ellen Petry Leanse (CW): “Apple pioneer & Google alum; entrepreneur, writer, coach. TEDx speaker: Happiness by Design.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Eric Barker (PG): Editor at Bakadesuyo, a site that “brings you science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Frank Van Buren (CW)(PG): “Perspectives and life experiences that help young people to identify, plan and achieve the goals best suited for their unique strengths and interests.”
Twitter | Website

Gary Vaynerchuk (CW)(LR)(PG): “Family first! But after that, businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of The #AskGaryVee Show.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

James Altucher (CW)(LR)(PG): “For some reason, I’ve turned myself inside out and all my guts have spilled onto my blog. One day I’ll run out of stuff but not yet”
Medium | Twitter | Website

James Clear (PG): “Entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 20+ countries. Good things happen to me for no apparent reason.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Jessica Semaan (CW)(LR)(PG): “Lebanese poet. Founder of The Passion Co., I write about love, life and what we are scared to talk about. Always from the ❤”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Johnson Kee (CW)(LR)(PG): “Human, father, writer. Founder and Editor at 100 Naked Words.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Jon Westenberg (CW)(PG): “I’m an entrepreneur, a law school drop out, and a passionate creative. life is about getting up when you fall down”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Julie Zhuo (CW): “Product design VP @ Facebook. Lover of food, games, words.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Larry Kim (CW): “Founder of WordStream. Top columnist @Inc ❤️ AdWords, FB Ads, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, VC & Unicorns”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Leo Babuta (PG): Creator of Zen Habits, “finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives.”
Twitter | Website

Lewis Howes (CW)(PG): “NY Times, WSJ & USA Today Bestselling author. Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Former pro athlete & USA Team Handball player.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Marc Cenedella(CW): “Founder: Ladders, iOSoho. Author, Rooting for You, America’s largest career advice newsletter w/9 mm subs.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Mark Manson (CW)(LR)(PG): “Entrepreneur, blogger, psychology nerd, world traveler, former dating coach — writing about rational self development since 2007. NYTimes bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Michael Simmons (PG): “Award-Winning Entrepreneur / Bestselling Author / Forbes Columnist / Co-Founder of iEmpact”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Nat Eliason (CW)(LR)(PG): “Writer on learning, travel, money, psych, philosophy, and whatever else I’m interested in.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Naval Ravikant (CW): “Founder & CEO, AngelList • Founder Epinions, Vast • Author Startupboy, Venture Hacks • Investor”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Nick Frost (CW): “Editor & Curator of the @MattermarkDaily newsletter. Founder of @StartupList. Navy Veteran”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Niklas Goeke (CW)(PG): “Writer, book summarizer & habit coach on”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Ravi Raman (CW): “Former Director @ Microsoft. Now an Exec/Career Coach, Yogi + Ultrarunner”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Ryan Holiday (CW)(LR)(PG): “Writer and media strategist. Bestselling author of ‘Ego is the Enemy’ & ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Scott Dinsmore (CW): “Here to help people find and do work that actually excites them. If we all can do that, it will change the world. Let’s have some fun!”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Sebastian Marshall (CW)(PG): “Strategy Philosophy Self-Discipline Science Victory. Actionable insights from history.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Seth Godin (CW)(LR)(PG): “Founder of altMBA, Squidoo & Yoyodyne. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 18 bestsellers including Linchpin, Tribes, and Purple Cow.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Shane Parrish (CW)(PG): “Reader. Writer. Thinker. Entrepreneur. Trying to understand how the world works.” Founder of FarnamStreetBlog
Medium | Twitter | Website

Srinivas Rao (CW)(PG): Author and the host and founder of the popular podcast the Unmistakable Creative
Medium | Twitter | Website

Stella J. (LR): “Mystery woman by day. Writer by night. Hopeless yet unrelenting 24–7”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Thomas Oppong (CW)(PG): “Founder @Alltopstartups. Curator at Columnist @Inc. Magazine, Contributor at Entrepreneur, HuffPost and QZ.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Tiffany Sun (LR)(PG): “I’m an aspiring writer, gym addict, and creator of this cool tool called Rabbut ?. Your life is the message to the world.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Tim Denning (CW)(PG): “Author on Addicted2Success and is a thought leader in the personal development, entrepreneur and startup space.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Tim Ferriss (CW)(LR)(PG): “Author of 4 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers (The 4-Hour Workweek, Tools of Titans, etc.), investor, and host of The Tim Ferriss Show”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Tim Urban (CW)(LR)(PG): Writer at Wait But Why, mostly about his own psychological shortcomings
Twitter | Website

Todd Brison (PG): “Author of The Creative’s Curse. Featured on CNBC, Inc. Magazine, Apple News, and in my kitchen doing dishes.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Yann Girard (PG): “Entrepreneur, Author, Blogger, Agent of Change, Accelerator & Idea Generator.”
Medium | Twitter | Website

Evergreen Content

We’ve curated a list of writings that are just so damn good they’ve stood the test of time. Because we want this to be a living document, you can find the Google Doc below. Now go check it out you anonymous armadillo!

?Evergreen Content?

Also check out an earlier post we did on impactful articles:

?100 Days of FOMO?

Did I miss any awesome people/sources/writings? Let me know on Twitter or email me at [email protected]

And if you’d rather have us package all of this nicely for you, just Subscribe to theFOMO newsletter!

Special thanks: to Sam DeBrule for his awesome Non-Technical Guide to Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence as a template for this guide. Tim Chen for editing. And Nick Frost for featuring on Mattermark Daily.

Originally published at