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10 Most Popular Posts in Ten Years of Raptitude

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I can’t believe this, but I did double-check the math: Raptitude first appeared on the internet ten years ago today.

That day it had one reader: my mom. But soon there was a little gang of eight or nine regulars. Then there were enough to fill a schoolbus. Then a plane, a concert hall, an arena, and a stadium.

There’s so much I want to say about this last decade—reflections, lessons learned, plans for the future—but I’ll do all that later. Today I just want to take a little tour of where we’ve been together.

Here are the biggest articles from each of Raptitude’s first ten years, in terms of reach and popularity. One of them is probably the first one you ever read.

The other thing I want to say is that I love you all very much. Whether you’re new to this site, or you’ve been here since the schoolbus days—connecting with you about the ups and downs of being human has been one of the greatest joys of my life.


88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life (2009)

Believe it or not, in 2009, the mega-list-post wasn’t really a thing yet—I like to think I helped pioneer the cliché. I cringe at some of these “important truths” now, but there’s still a lot here.

My 2009 fave: This Will Never Happen Again

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (2010)

A heartfelt rant about how our work makes us so tired and unfulfilled that we give the money right back. By far the most-read Raptitude post ever.

My 2010 fave: 9 Mind-Bending Epiphanies That Turned My World Upside-Down

How to Make Trillions of Dollars (2011)

Just what it says. Straightforward instructions on how to become a trillionaire. Please use responsibly.

My 2011 fave: How to Walk Across a Parking Lot

Most Lives Are Lived By Default (2012)

A post about all the ways we tend to fall into our lifestyles rather than choose them, even when we have options. I don’t know quite what it was about this one that resonated so much – it’s probably something different for everyone.

My 2012 fave: How to Sit in a Chair and Drink Tea

16 Things I Know Are True But Haven’t Quite Learned Yet (2013)

A medium-sized collection of some pretty good aphorisms, at least for my world. I think I have learned some of these in the five years since. Still working on #11.

My 2013 fave: An Interview With The Man

The Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit (2014)

I still love this one and its lighthearted, empowering profanity. Many people confuse me with Mark Manson because of his similarly-titled (and very good) article and subsequent bestseller. The only Raptitude post that includes a flowchart.

My 2014 fave: The Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit

Everything You Own is a Relationship You’re In (2015)

The direct results of my encounter with Marie Kondo’s first book, which was huge at the time but not as big as her recent Netflix show. I think it does a good job at showing the good, bad and ugly aspects of the “spark joy” method.

My 2015 fave: Don’t Worry, Everybody Else is Crazy Too

Five Things You Notice When You Quit The News (2016)

A topic still dear to my heart. The news is an enormous force in this world and in our minds, and we are constantly fooled by our relationship with it. This post gets at a few of the issues.

My 2016 fave: Five Things You Notice When You Quit The News

Go Deeper, Not Wider (2017)

The post that sparked a thousand depth years. There is something about this idea that people were extremely ready for. So much of Raptitude is about the haphazard way our lifestyles come to be what they are, and this one hit on something close to many hearts.

My 2017 fave: Go Deeper, Not Wider

The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed” (2018)

People are also extremely ready to push back against another great mind-stealer of our time: the smartphone. This is my account of the surreal, time-travel-like experience created by a simple ban on phone use at a concert.

My 2018 fave: How to Let Go

It was really emotional going through these. I remember where I was, and how life felt, when I wrote every single one.

Is your favorite on the list? What is it?


Balloon photo by Aaron Burden (cropped from original)

Naomi March 15, 2019 at 1:34 am

Hi David, Congrats on the decade! Just read your 2009 article for the first time. I agree with everything except number 53: I’m a terrible driver – which is why I stopped! I’m a great dancer, though ;o)

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

Thank you Naomi! I’m sure you are a fine driver :)

Grateful reader March 15, 2019 at 1:40 am

Thanks for writing, David. Been reading your posts for years. Wish you all the best. ;-)

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

Thanks so much GR. <3

Beth March 15, 2019 at 2:58 am

Hey David, been reading for years and really enjoy your posts, always thought-provoking and that’s the point – makes one “think” and view things in a new way. What’s been really great is seeing how you’ve grown. Keep doing what you’ve become so good at and enjoy!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:09 am

Thank you for reading all these years Beth. Looking at some of these old articles I can see that I have indeed grown :)

Olimpia March 15, 2019 at 3:27 am

I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve been reading your articles for a while now and I always enjoy your insightfulness and ideas. I’m currently applying the idea of going deep not wide which I read about in your article from 2017. Fingers crossed :) Congratulations on achieving a decade! It’s just a proof that if you stick with something for that long (hello short attention span) then the success is guaranteed!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:10 am

Hi Olimpia. Thank you for the kind words and best of luck with your depth year.

Pebbles March 15, 2019 at 3:28 am

Where has the time gone? I remember reading regualarly before you went off back packing in New Zealand. Raptitude has been a cornerstone of my daily life as has been Camp Calm. Thank you David, for the inspiration. X

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:11 am

I know! Time seems to go by so fast, but when you think back it’s incredible how much has happened. The ten years before Raptitude was much less memorable, I can say that much. Thanks Pebbles, it is great to see you both here and in camp.

Lisis March 15, 2019 at 5:20 am

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we met… in “a little café in Paris”. The internet would not be the same without Raptitude. Oh, and also, your mom is amazing. :)

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am

Hey!!!! The leader of the original school bus rider gang. Always so good to hear from you Lisis. Looking at all the old posts I kept remembering the early days of our little blogger gang. I’m getting emotional now :_>

Deanna March 15, 2019 at 8:26 am

Congrats David. I’ve been reading since 2011 when I was 18 I think! It’s hard to remember exactly. I don’t remember what my first article was, but I know I discovered minimalism, stoicism, and maybe even mustachianism on here.

Dang, who would I even be without this blog right now?

Here’s to another 10 years!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:17 am

Cheers Deanna! It is amazing how life changes like that. We never know who we’re gonna be. We think we do, but really we have no clue.

Fishbird March 15, 2019 at 9:05 am

Thank you for all that you give. Your insights on the ups and downs of being human have been a blessing for this reader as well as your assistance in making mindfulness a habit for me. Please know that you make a difference in what you do.

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:18 am

Thanks so much FB, I appreciate hearing that. I am really cynical about the internet sometimes but we are making connections here that matter. Thank you for reading :>

Barb March 15, 2019 at 9:24 am

Congratulations and a big thank you to you! Your writings and ideas have given me so much to ponder. There is a little jolt of dopamine when I see a new post from Raptitude and I grab my coffee and start reading it. Thank you for sharing your insights with me and others.

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:36 am

Haha I will continue to supply dopamine jolts for many years!

Carolyn March 15, 2019 at 9:32 am

Thank you for the insight into the human condition for 10 years! I appreciate your writing style and the thoughtful approach to life you possess. I think my favorite post was The Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit because I read it at a time when it’s message was exactly what I needed, and it has “stuck.”
I appreciate you for sharing your thoughts. Here’s to another 10 years! Cheers!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 9:39 am

Thanks Carolyn. That’s one of my favorites too. Flowcharts just do it for me. Cheers to ten more years.

Ashley Kung March 15, 2019 at 10:17 am

You do a good job of providing specific, relatable examples on what you’re trying to describe. I also liked your article “If It’s Important, Learn it Repeatedly” because I used to be the kind of person who would read lots of self-improvement writings, but never get around to implementing the advice. That article was a good reminder to come back to something enough times that it actually changes your behavior in a meaningful way. THANKS!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

Hehe… I am the same. As I reviewed these old articles I realized how much of my “implementation” has slipped on different topics. Anyway, thanks so much Ashley, it’s good to hear from you — you have become such a familiar face in the comments.

Ashley Kung March 21, 2019 at 10:05 am

At the beginning of 2019 I decided to try a “Depth Year” but so far I haven’t gotten it to stick and have had trouble getting the Depth Year idea off the ground in a concrete way. I just decided that my Depth Year focus will be on actually implementing the best self-improvement advice that I’ve read and admired, but never actually implemented. HOORAY! Now I’m feeling excited about my Depth Year.

Réjean Lévesque March 15, 2019 at 10:21 am

Thank you for “Raptitude”. Know that 27 of your wise words have found a spot in my collection of quotations called The Frictionary (some 12,500 quotes), and 17 of those have appeared in my blog on quotes (http://frictionary.blogspot.com). To at least another decade!

David Cain March 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

I am honored, thank you Réjean

Margaret March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am

Just yesterday I was rereading your 2014 post, “The elegant secret to self-discipline”. In replying to the first comment, you speculate about a conversation between 2014 David and 2019 David, disinviting the earlier version(s). How might that conversation go now that 2019 David has arrived?
Thanks so much for these posts, and especially for Camp Calm, which I’ll repeat this year, and for which I am sure my future selves will be very grateful.

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:46 am

Hahah! Apparently I said:

It sounds silly but I sometimes close my eyes and imagine I’m having coffee with my future self. My 2019 self. He is way cooler than me. Both of us hope my past self doesn’t show up at all. He can be obnoxious.

Well as 2019 David I can tell you I’m totally cooler than both 2014 David and 2009, no question.

But on a serious note, it’s clear to me that I’ve grown much more in this most recent five years than the previous five, and that seems like a really good trend :)

Larry Jones March 15, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Congrats on 10 years of excellent blogging!

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:46 am

Thank you sir!

Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 March 15, 2019 at 1:32 pm

“Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed” is what led me to your site and is the one I’ve shared most frequently. After that, the more recent one I return to and share most is “The Only Thing You Need to Get Good At” (2017) exploring and applying stoicism to life today.

I enjoy your writing tremendously and am always happy to see a post pop up in my feed aggregator!

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:46 am

I wanted to include The Only Thing You Need to Get Good At — I love doing the stick figures

Amanda March 15, 2019 at 1:40 pm

I found your blog in 2013 when I was Google searching stuff about going vegan. Your experiment came up and once I got to your website the rest is history. I can say with honesty you are hands down one of my favorite writers of all time. And I read A LOT. Your insights resonate on a very deep level. The level where you feel a spark inside. The kind that only happens when you hear or feel a truth that excites the soul. I look forward to the next 10!

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:47 am

It makes me happy to hear that Amanda, thanks. That spark is what I’m going for

Mert March 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Awesome post, but where is this one?


Definitely in my top three.

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

Yeah I like this one too, but I could only pick one per year. In fact many of my favorites are about time and how weird it is

Jane March 15, 2019 at 8:05 pm

Congratulations on 10 years! Absolute favourite ‘this will never happen again’.
Even now, literally years later, I read it once in a while to remind me to be grateful for the moment. And it’s even more poignant now I have kids. A total thought changer of a post.

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:50 am

Thanks Jane. That was an early early early one, one of the few from 2009 I would still share.

Gary March 16, 2019 at 1:36 am

You missed the post that got me reading you – walking through parking lot’s – still my favourite

David Cain March 16, 2019 at 9:51 am

It’s there! My favorite of of 2011

Susan Srigley March 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Hey David. Congrats on 10! Love all your posts. What got me reading you regularly was “What I discovered when I went vegan for 30 days”. Your post made me try the same experiment! I loved the practice of trying something in order to really experience what it means and how it feels. It was like a disciplined practice and yielded insight into the food lives of my friends who are vegans. cheers, Susan

David Cain March 18, 2019 at 8:38 am

Thanks Susan. It’s almost time for a new experiment…

Rodrigo Borba March 16, 2019 at 8:10 pm

Man, keep in mind that your essays can change someone, myself included.
Your perspective about things gave me several insights and, by learning about them, I change the way of doing things.

I just wanna say thank you. I am very happy to know that your blog exists.

David Cain March 18, 2019 at 8:39 am

That’s the best feedback I ever get Rodrigo — that it changed the way someone does things for the better. That makes me happy.

Nate St. Pierre March 17, 2019 at 11:27 am

I miss the school-bus days of not only this site, but the whole internet. Thanks for sticking around for so long and making it a better place for all of us, my friend.

David Cain March 18, 2019 at 8:40 am

I know! Something has been lost… or it seems like it. Maybe we can still get that neighborhoody feel back somehow.

Becky March 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm

“Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed” was my first Raptitude read and the catalyst for half year a year spent traveling and trying to get to know myself better. This blog is also the reason I got into reading the Stoics. Love your insights and your written voice, thanks for the decade of contemplation.

David Cain March 18, 2019 at 8:41 am

Hooray for both long-term travel and stocisim!

Financially Fit Mom March 19, 2019 at 9:11 pm

I’ve read some of these but not all….thank you for the reading list and congrats on 10 years!

Bill March 26, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Like I’m not busy enough already! LOL However, I intend to thoroughly read these, including your personal favorites. And I do mean read… not skim. I like to pay attention to your articles, hoping perhaps, that some of your insights and skills will rub off on me. That may be quite a feat should it happen. At 70 years of age and a failing memory, I’d still love to write as you do…

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Jerome April 7, 2019 at 1:09 am

88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life
This is priceless, but, as time goes by, would you changé anything from this list ?

foundation April 8, 2019 at 6:06 am

thank you david i love that posts.

Veronika April 10, 2019 at 12:25 am

Hi David,

thank you for writing such a fun blog. I discovered it by accident while listening to a podcast by Cait Flanders. I have been reading the ‘Experiments’ section and laughing a lot—the ‘Soylent’ experiment is my favourite. Please, continue experimenting on yourself!

Regards from Brisbane, Australia

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