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[Archive]

Mental Tools

When Are You Going to Stop Trying to Score Only Three-Pointers, Start Making Friends with Mediocrity and Start Realizing That Excellence Comes From the Rejection of Perfection?

April 5, 2014
When Are You Going to Stop Trying to Score Only Three-Pointers, Start Making Friends with Mediocrity and Start Realizing That Excellence Comes From the Rejection of Perfection?

“You must always work not just within but below your means. If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.” Pablo Picasso Stop trying to...

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Why Don’t You Learn Like You Eat?

March 15, 2014

The point of eating food is not simply to get full. The point of learning a language is not simply to memorize a really big vocabulary, or even to get good at the language. Well, unfortunately, it is for most people. But there’s a Japanese aphorism (don’t act like you didn’t see that coming) that perfectly encapsulates the optimal...

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Why Do You Keep Spending Your Time Doing Things So You Can Have Fun Instead of Just Doing Fun Things?

March 10, 2014

So, big Ayn Rand fan here. Big. Bulbous. I’ve worn out many a pillow fantasizing over that woman. No, seriously, though, I just got done reading a couple of the new Ayn Rand bios that came out…what…the other year? And it struck me how interesting it was that her philosophy came to be embodied in an organization — a...

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Why Do You Keep Asking For Advice From People Who Have No Business Giving It?

February 28, 2014

Here’s a couple of life tips for ya. Free of charge. Don’t ask non-thin people how to get thin. Don’t ask non-rich people how to get rich. Don’t ask illiterate people how to learn to read. Because they will give you advice and it will suck. It’s always flattering to be asked for advice and few can resist the...

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Why Are You Still Trying To Learn from Your Mistakes?

February 25, 2014

Failure has nothing to teach you. Don’t learn from your mistakes. There is one and only one bit of useful, reliable information you can safely glean from failure: “that didn’t work”. Which is wonderful, because now you know to consider maybe not doing that any more. But that’s all you get in terms of valuable, actionable, safe information. Nothing...

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How Is Learning a Language Like Breathing?

February 5, 2014

Difference matters more than distance. The distance between nothing and something is small. But the difference is infinite. “Cause snobs” often talk about making a difference. They’re especially fond of overly combative, guilt-inducing statements like: “if you’re not part of the solution, part you’re part of the problem”. Arguably, they’re right. And if they are, that means that your...

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