Month: April 2019

Get the most out of your learning

Get the most out of your learning

We’ve always described the human brain with metaphors. It’s too hard to describe it, you know, accurately. Back in the day, people saw the brain as like being a vast, complex set of pipes and hydraulics. Then the metaphor changed. As soon as telephone…

What’s the deal with my hard-to-find donation button?

What’s the deal with my hard-to-find donation button?

A little while ago, I made a change to my subscription service. By that, I mean I got rid of it. People can now access most of what used to be behind a paywall. It’s not free so much as pay-what-you-want now. You can…

How to avoid becoming a Stalin-era factory

How to avoid becoming a Stalin-era factory

There’s a story from the dimmest, darkest days of the Soviet Union: There’d be a factory making, say, 5,000 widgets a month. Stalin would swan in and order them to make 12,000 this next month. Out of a combination of patriotism and a desire…

Why I write terrible headlines about how to live your purpose

Why I write terrible headlines about how to live your purpose

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence and A/B testing that shows what words work in headlines. Words like ‘new’, ‘discover(y)’, ‘scientific’, ‘latest’… Because people want the cutting edge. They want to beat everyone else to the next big thing. I know I do. But…

When not quitting smoking is better for your health

When not quitting smoking is better for your health

Many ex-smokers went through a transition like this: they were a smoker but didn’t want to be, so they quit. They struggled and fought and resisted until it became easier to not smoke. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who simply stopped…

The wisdom lying in obsolete physics

The wisdom lying in obsolete physics

You can learn a lot by scrutinising the latest research. Some of the stuff coming out of psychology and neurology these days is wild. But it’s not the perfect approach. For one thing, you’d have to read a lot of scientific papers (which are…

I’m sorry, the world is your what now?

I’m sorry, the world is your what now?

It’s a strange expression, ‘the world is your oyster’. I think I get the sediment. Uh, sentiment. Because the world can seem like a tough, brittle place, but inside is an allegedly delicious sea creature. Or maybe the world takes an irrelevant speck of…

The easiest way to live a good life

The easiest way to live a good life

Just before writing this, someone accused me of having good willpower. I’ll admit it sure looks that way. I have a relatively restricted diet, I take cold showers and my productivity is through the roof. The key isn’t having good willpower, though. It’s having…

If your unconscious mind is on your side, then why isn’t it?

If your unconscious mind is on your side, then why isn’t it?

It’s a strange question, I know, but I can’t help but deal with paradoxes. When you study your unconscious mind, you quickly get used to weirdness. One piece of weirdness is this: Your unconscious holds reservoirs of genius, potential, enthusiasm and insights. Sometimes these…

Who do you feel superior to?

Who do you feel superior to?

It’s a simple question with a complex answer. Who, when you think of them, makes you feel smug, like you have it all figured out? Maybe you’re not perfect, but thank goodness you’re not them. Do you think this about a group on the…

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