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The Key to Luck Is Being a People Connector

I’m a bit obsessed with the topic of luck—how we can lay the groundwork for it, how we stumble blindly into it, how we fail to recognize the role it plays in our “self-made” success. There are so many factors that go into luck, but the most powerful is the role that people play. —…

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Productivity Is Really About What You Don’t Do

The best productivity tip I ever got was the idea of a “stop-doing list” from Jim Collins. In this Age of Distraction, we’re all dodging and weaving between so much incoming information that what you don’t do on a daily basis has become as important—if not more—as what you do execute on. Here’s a list…

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Now or Never: The Dangers of Instant Gratification

  When it comes to books, I’ve never been immune to guilty pleasures. Breezy beach books and mysteries have always been a staple in my reading diet. Yet going through my reading history, I noticed that ever since the arrival of my first Kindle, I’ve indulged a lot more in Amazon’s literary fast-food section. But…

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Where Does Confidence Come From?

As women, we’re often told that we should be more confident. But how do you go about that? And what exactly is confidence anyway? I spoke with Claire Shipman, co-author of the NYT bestseller The Confidence Code: The Science & Art of Self-Assurance and What Women Should Know, about how women’s brains work, how confidence…

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When You Fail, You’ve Done Something Great

While most are forgettable, a very few conversations in your life become touchstones. Whether it’s because of an utterly unique perspective or a certain turn of phrase, you experience a paradigm shift in your thinking. One such a-ha moment for me was an interview I did with Sebastian Thrun for my book Make Your Mark.…

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12 Desktop Wallpapers for Creative Thinkers

I sourced 12 of my favorite quotes from creative minds and whipped them into a series of desktop wallpapers. There’s one for every month of 2016, and hopefully they’ll inspire you to think a little bit differently than you normally would. — Download all 12 wallpapers → Download “disorganization” wallpaper → — Download “creation of…

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The Dignity of Trying

I’ve seen time and time again, the way that the process of trying to say something that matters dignifies and improves a person. I’ve seen it in my own failures, in writing and otherwise… If the student writer wants to get over, become famous, dominate others with his talent—then, no matter what, he’s going to…

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What Separates the Peter Pans from the Pros

Recently my friend Tina (aka SwissMiss) tweeted: “Never felt more grown-up than now in 2015. Have I peaked? What is the most grown-up experience one can have?” It got me thinking: What are the qualities that distinguish us, specifically, as adults? And are those qualities necessarily positive? It took me about a week to figure…

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Why you can’t stop being busy

Once you become busy, it seems almost impossible to stop being busy. Why is this? Researchers Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir provide an elegant answer in Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives. This is how scarcity captures our focus and then holds on for dear life: When scarcity…

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Giving your ideas the time & space to ripen

Most ideas are crap and should be discarded. A handful of ideas are great and should be studiously developed. How do you know which is which? Without a good system for organizing your ideas, it’s impossible to tell the difference. I used to jot down all my ideas in a Moleskine notebook. This was problematic…

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Can trees improve your cognitive capacity?

Apparently nature is the balm that heals all wounds, or at least all bad moods. The New Yorker wrote about a new study from U of Chicago by Marc Berman which showed that increasing the number of trees on the block you live on increases your well-being. The numbers are pretty stunning: After controlling for…

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Make a resolution to stop saying, “Sorry…”

This Amy Schumer skit about women falling over themselves to apologize is excruciating to watch, because it’s so true. When I turned 30, I made a resolution to stop apologizing. Not big, real, meaningful apologies (those are always necessary), but all the dumb, little ones that seem like they don’t mean anything: To an unsolicited…

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