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A life of your deepest dreams — 100% financial independence, being your own boss, traveling the world with your family, whatever — is available, if you know where to start. But most people will never turn away from the safety and security of the crowd to realize this.
What are you really aiming for in life? Do you still have goals? Perhaps you’ve abandoned your earlier dreams. Maybe you’re an embittered loser or perhaps you’re perfectly happy with where you’ve got to.
I have spent my entire career studying the psychological characteristics that predict achievement and creativity. While I have found that a certain number of traits– including passion, perseverance, imagination, intellectual curiosity, and openness to experience– do significantly explain differences in success, I am often intrigued by just how much of the variance is often left unexplained.
Skills, behaviors & mindsets to adopt today for uncertain tomorrow.
So let’s reflect on the tyranny of convenience, try more often to resist its stupefying power, and see what happens. We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and a life of total, efficient conformity.
On Tuesday, I woke up feeling a bit tired, uninspired, and just generally not in the mood to tackle my to-do list for the day…So I asked on Twitter: “What do you do to get yourself moving when this happens to you?” I got tons of interesting responses, which I’ve organized into some broader categories in the hope that they’ll help someone out in the future.
We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way.
Still, it’s worth reiterating that setting high expectations is integral to personal, athletic, and professional improvement. If you don’t aim for progressively higher targets, you’re liable to stay where you are, or maybe even stagnate. But it’s equally important to realize that if you are setting unreasonably high expectations, you won’t be too happy (at least not for long), and it’s hard to be on top of your game when you’re feeling down.
What is the worst thing that can happen? Well, it could cost me some money. Ok, well money is replaceable so that’s a stupid reason not to do something with so much potential upside. Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity? Yes. Really, never again? I don’t know… Then you haven’t thought about this enough. And so and so on.
In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life.
But just what makes loneliness so toxic? Scientists are looking for answers by delving into how the human body responds to feeling alienated. By concentrating on understanding the genetics and biological mechanisms involved, researchers are on the path to solutions, if not to eradicate loneliness, then at least to blunt its harmful effects.
In our current era of non-stop technological innovation, fuzzy wishful thinking has yielded to the hard doctrine of personal optimization. Self-help gurus need not be charlatans peddling snake oil. Many are psychologists with impressive academic pedigrees and a commitment to scientific methodologies, or tech entrepreneurs with enviable records of success in life and business. What they’re selling is metrics. It’s no longer enough to imagine our way to a better state of body or mind.
I’ve read more than 1,000 profiles since I started writing The Profile, a weekly newsletter featuring the best long-form articles of interesting people and companies. Here are the 11 lessons I’ve learned thanks to the most successful people in the world.
Most people understand that loneliness is neither necessarily felt by people who are alone, nor alien to people who are always with others. The great prophylactic against loneliness is feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself – a family, a friendship group, a community, a benign universe, whatever.
Big splashes don’t happen. Overnight success doesn’t exist. We have to remind ourselves of that whenever we’re impatient. It happens to every ambitious person.
This is a story about how the airport became the setting for the Great American Freakout. Once an icon of progress, then another stale waiting room of modern life, the airport has now entered a third phase.
This is a sad story. People almost universally report that friendships are important to their happiness and well-being. They don’t want to lose touch with friends and stop making new ones. They lament it constantly…But as the habits of family and work settle in, friendships become an effort, and as every tired working parent knows, optional effort tends to get triaged. Does it have to be this way?
A couple days without a smartphone is the most first-world of problems. That made the degree to which it affected me all the more troubling. It took me a whole day to stop reaching for my pocket whenever I had a slice of mental free time. I could feel my brain wanting to look at something, but nothing in particular. Zoning out seemed scary and unproductive. Most of all, I was lonely.
People identify regret as the second most common emotional state, after love. Don’t worry too much about missteps: Regrets of action (quitting a job, say) are generally stronger at first but fade more quickly than regrets of inaction (staying in a career you dislike), which persist and can become a sort of passive wistfulness.
There are many stores of value in life. Time is a form of value. Knowledge is a form of value. Happiness and other positive emotions are a form of value. Money is often just the vehicle of interchanging these various forms of value with one another.