Why You’re Not Taking Enough Risks

The third season of Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant podcast has an episode titled Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life. Except, we find out a few minutes in, Gladwell doesn’t have 12 bites of wisdom to share, and he even feared he didn’t have any rules for living. Luckily (for both him and us), he changed his mind after talking to his mathematician friends Clifford Asness and Aaron […]

Say “I Don’t Know” More Often

Most topics are ones where either we hardly know anything or where we think know so much that we are very confident. Funny thing: regardless of the topic of discussion— whether we are uninformed or knowledgeable on it — when someone asks for our view, most of us can’t resist the urge. Many of us, my past […]

100 Books a Year? Bad Idea

Conveying and containing knowledge are hard. Picture some serious non-fiction tomes. The Selfish Gene; Thinking, Fast and Slow; Guns, Germs, and Steel; etc. Have you ever had a book like this — one you’d read — come up in conversation, only to discover you’d absorbed what amounts to a few sentences? In a brilliant article, software engineer Andy Matuschak confesses: I’ll be honest: it happens […]

The Complete Guide to Effective Reading

Learning is a heavily misunderstood concept. As a paradigm example of deep work, we understand that, when reading, directing your full attention to the material at hand is essential. Graspingcomplex information is hard. But this is only half the battle. After some string of words hits your retina and has made its way to your brain, you’re not done. In a cruel irony, these hours […]

The Best Way to Spend Bad Days

“It’s all so pointless,” the voice was telling me over and over. Depression has a life of its own. It was making its bad-day morning routes, delivering its message to every cell in my brain. Soon I would feel it everywhere. Lying in my bed, on my back, I realized: today was a shitty day. I briskly turned on my right side. It was a desperate attempt to go […]

Self-Improvement Doesn’t Have An End, It Is The End

I like Mark Manson. Apart from Wait But Why, at which Tim Urban never posts anything anymore anyway, he’s the only blogger whose new articles I check out immediately. And his paperback Models — which sounds like a dating manual but is so much more than that — is probably the best self-help book I’ve read. I used to agree with him that self-improvement is […]

How To Really Win The Afternoon

2PM is too early to go home, isn’t it? A lot — and I mean, a lot — has been said about morning routines. I’ve been told by every self-improvement writer and their mothers to get up earlier and eat a protein-rich breakfast and to not break the fast and also kale smoothies. My view is that it’s largely smoke and mirrors because […]

You Are Not A Product

When some teacher, a long time ago, during an undergrad seminar in goal setting, let me in on the secret that I had a “personal brand”, I was sold. Spending my time building, crafting, improving my self in a goal-directed project-like way was something I’d never considered before. Referring to self-presentation as “branding” is apt. It underlies what the Millennial […]

Why You Should Schedule Productivity Cheat Days

Self-improvement is not a temporary thing, but a way of living. It’s not some medicine you take only until the sickness goes away and you can return to your, unchanged, usual ways. Self-improvement is all about your usual ways. Therefore, once you’ve started, it’s always there. In the background of everything you do. The way I wash, how I dress, […]

How To Lose Your Mind: A New Perspective On Flow

I’ve crafted my ideal routine. Every morning, six days a week, I go to the library to execute the studying routine and 4 hours later that felt like 30 minutes come out with dissertation progress. Honestly, I look forward to doing that work. Reading, making connections, considering arguments, structuring information — I love it. It feels good. There’s nothing on my mind. […]