Category: Personal Development

How do you measure progress?

Starting something new is easy. Finishing it is a lot harder. Too many projects get started and never completed. Too many goals get set and then abandoned. Creating a meaningful sense of progress is an important part of keeping momentum in the face of setbacks and distractions. How you do it depends on the type

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The Overconfidence Game

Early in my career, I’d often mistake visible confidence for knowledge.I’d think to myself, “Wow, that guy is really certain. He MUST know what he’s talking about.” In reality, confidence and thoughtfulness are often inversely proportional. For most issues, the better your grasp of the details and underlying nuances, the harder it is to be

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We’re too busy to notice…

That you’re too old… Or too young. That you’re too short… Or too tall. That you’re too scrawny… Or too fat. That your teeth aren’t perfect and white. That your voice is too nasal. That your nose is too big and beak-ish. That you didn’t go to an ivy league school. Or, whatever other story

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Peak Performance vs. Consistency

Dieting is all about consistency; weight loss goals are made or broken in the 5% of the time you’re at your worst. Compare that to weightlifting, where prowess is measured by a single maximum. What’s the most you were ever able to lift in an attempt? Professions can be similarly characterized. Celebrity chefs win based

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The Song Remains the Same

Led Zeppelin enjoyed their share of commercial and critical success during their heyday in the early 1970s. And, 40 years after their last album, Zeppelin’s place in rock history is secure. In fact, few bands – outside of The Beatles – have enjoyed as much posthumous attention and success as Zeppelin. The chronicler of the

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I don’t know

“I don’t know” might be the three most honest words in the English language. The phrase instantly conveys so many positive attributes about the speaker, including: Humility – I’m aware that I don’t know everything Sincerity – I’m not the kind of person who makes things up when I don’t know an answer Respect –

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Serendipity

Steve Job famously audited a calligraphy class at Reed College. What he saw there inspired his focus on font design and quality in the early Macintosh computers. This examples get a lot of airtime because of how unexpected it is. But, most innovations come from combining familiar things in unexpected and novel ways. And, the

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Self-Awareness

In A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor reports from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, where the closing words of his monologue were, “That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” This is clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but

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Where does all the time go?

eMarketer predicts adults in the United States will spend an average of 82 minutes on social media every day in 2020. With that kind of extra time today, you could: take an exercise class read a quarter of a 300-page business book catch up with two old friends prepare a home cooked meal play a

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Learning a New Skill

Educational resources have never been more accessible than they are right now. Twenty years ago, learning happened in specific physical locations that required travel, had admissions requirements, and charged tuition. Today, I can take a high-quality, college-level course on almost any topic imaginable without leaving my couch. And, it’s free (or practically free). The artificial

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