Why You Read 1000 Things About Change and Never Change


TIME

Knowing isn’t doing.

I post a lot of stuff about getting better at things. A common response to my posts is “I know that.”

Knowing is great for watching Jeopardy. It’s not nearly as good for life.

So why is learning about improvement so easy and actually improving so damn hard?

Most any change that requires a lot of consistent mental effort is going to fail because you spend most of the day on autopilot.

Via Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.

Any change has to work when you’re on autopilot. The importance of self-control is one of the biggest myths about improvement.

Almost all the techniques for change…

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What 5 Things Can Make Sure You Never Stop Growing and Learning?


TIME

1) Keep Trying New Things

Having lots of hobbies is one of the secrets of the most creative people.

Via Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation:

Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities— a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity— but they also share one other defining attribute. They have a lot of hobbies…

Matt Cutts gives a great talk about how trying new things for 30 days not only helped him learn new skills but also changed him as a person.

2) Don’t Fear Failure

In Eric Ries’ acclaimed bestseller The Lean Startup he makes it clear that little bets, or “experiments”, are critical to moving a business forward in a safe fashion:

…if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

Getting it wrong helps you get it right. Making mistakes is vital to improvement.

Via Where Good Ideas…

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8 Things I Learned from Travel


Life After Liquidity

Travel Cover

As I write this post I am sitting in the Caltrain, passing through various suburbs of the San Francisco Bay peninsula on my way to the city. It’s comforting to be surrounded by so many familiar sites once again.

My wife and I have had quite a journey: 17 countries, dozens of cities, and countless airports/train stations/bus stations. We’ve witnessed both staggeringly beautiful phenomena (Northern Lights in the Yukon Territories) and horrifying moments (a mob beating up some dude in the streets of Istanbul) along the way. Fortunately, my wife and I came out the other end of our trip completely safe and with a lifetime of memories.

I’ve delayed writing this post as long as I could; it’s been taking me a while to process what I’ve learned from this trip. The short answer is: a lot.

I may not be able to cover all the lessons I’ve learned…

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6 Things the Most Organized People Do Every Day


TIME

Your life is busy. Work/life balance is a challenge. You feel like you’re spreading yourself so thin that you’re starting to disappear.

Most of us feel that way. But not all of us. The most organized people don’t.

As NYT bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explains, the VIP’s he’s met don’t seem scattered and frantic.

They’re calm, cool and “in the moment”, not juggling nine things and worried about being done by 7PM.

It’s not hard to figure out why: they have help — aides and assistants to take care of these things so the VIP can be “in the moment.”

Via The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload:

In the course of my work as a scientific researcher, I’ve had the chance to meet governors, cabinet members, music celebrities, and the heads of Fortune 500 companies. Their skills and accomplishments vary, but…

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7 Things Learned From Watching TEDxCERN


1) Water is weird.
2) Thanks to a particle detector mounted on the International Space Station, scientists are keeping tabs on a lot of cosmic rays.
3) A surprising threat to the rainforest? Noise.
4) The future of antibiotics may lie in silver nanoparticles.
5) Cardiovascular medicine is becoming easier to get (in Cameroon).
6) We owe our lives to aerosol particles.
7) Despite what it may seem at times, we are living in a hugely exciting moment.

Read more about each thing at: 7 things learned from a day spent watching TEDxCERN

TED Blog

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Wednesday marked the second-ever TEDxCERN, the event organized by the folks at CERN, the famed particle physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for bringing us the World Wide Web, the Large Hadron Collider, and confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson. You know, just a few minor things.

TEDxCERN brought together a mix of experts from across the sciences and the world, people all working to answer the question: “What are the big ideas in science that will help us address tomorrow’s major global problems?” Particle physicist (and three-time TED speaker) Brian Cox served as quippy host, while more than a thousand attendees watched live in CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation.

If you weren’t one of the lucky thousand, or were too swamped with work to catch the live webcast, don’t despair. We watched for you. And created a list of things we…

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