A curated mix of articles on life.

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Friday, Dec 6, 2019

The 2-Word Trick That Makes Small Talk Interesting

While listening to my favorite podcasts, I’ve noticed a two-word phrase that hosts often use with their guests to cut past the surface-level chitchat and into the heart of a story: “I’m curious.”

Friday, Nov 29, 2019

What's the most valuable thing you can learn in an hour?

A lot of what hackers do takes years of building knowledge upon knowledge. That’s also true for physicists, marketers, salespeople, managers, etc. Are there any quick wins that 30 ~ 60 minutes of intense concentration can generate? For example an average person, if focused, can learn to read (but not understand) Korean decently in under an hour. A person can also learn a few guitar chords and possibly play a carefully-chosen song in that time.

The Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter

In winter 2017-18, I was depressed, anxious, wasn’t getting out of bed in the morning, spent endless time on my phone doing nothing, and had trouble focusing on my work. And I didn’t realize what it was until the first nice spring day came, 70 and sunny, and it hit me: “holy shit, I’ve been depressed because of winter” and felt wonderful for the next 5 months, like a completely different person.

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019

If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers

This analysis leads to an important conclusion. Whether you’re a student or well along in your career, if your goal is to build a remarkable life, then busyness and exhaustion should be your enemy. If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong.

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019

Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

In recent years, America has increasingly been defined by a winner-take-all geography, with coastal superstar cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., garnering a disproportionate share of high-tech startups, corporate headquarters, and innovation and talent. But surging costs and inequality in these places—elements of what I call the New Urban Crisis—may be shaping the beginnings of a shift in talent to other parts of the country.

Friday, Nov 22, 2019

We were supposed to be living in pod houses

Introduced in the late ’60s, the Futuro house was shaped like a UFO, contained built-in shag carpet, and could be delivered by helicopter. Unbelievably, it never caught on.

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Why You Should Find Time to Be Alone With Yourself

Don’t confuse loneliness with time by yourself.

Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

The Risk of Dying Doing What We Love

Many of us participate in activities and sports that are at least somewhat dangerous. However, most of us also do not have a full appreciation of how risky these activities really are, especially compared to other things that we could be doing instead.

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Personal Wednesday: Using "I Am" Statements to Make Your Identity Large

In general, it’s powerful to keep your identity small. But it’s also helpful to have a clear sense of self identity. To achieve this, I’ve started a simple but powerful habit: “I am…” statements. Every morning, I write and say out loud a list of “I am” statements, like “I am proactive” or “I am handsome”. Over time, I add or remove statements, based on what I need.

Monday, Nov 11, 2019

I Thought Wilderness Was A Place To Find Myself, Until I Spent Four Months Living In It

A summer working on trails in the burned-out Oregon backcountry taught me that while humans may find profound beauty in nature, it does not exist for us.

Wednesday, Nov 6, 2019

Why Don’t Rich People Just Stop Working?

Are the wealthy addicted to money, competition, or just feeling important? Yes.

Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019

Niksen Is the Dutch Lifestyle Concept of Doing Nothing—And You're About to See It Everywhere

First there was hygge, the Danish concept that made staying in and getting cozy cool. Then there was lagom, the Swedish mindset of approaching life with an “everything in moderation” mindset. Now there’s another Northern European trend that’s being embraced as a way to combat our increasingly busy and often stressful lives: niksen. The Dutch concept is as simple as, well, doing nothing.

Monday, Oct 28, 2019

10 ways to handle toxic people

To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.

Friday, Oct 25, 2019

Out of Office

Often, we don’t make progress because we’re stuck in the regular rut of commuting, working all day, and coming home exhausted. This is normal! You’re spending all you good creative energy during the day, and have nothing left after. But, what if we decided to go “out of office?”

Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

I Meet Dead People Every Day: How to avoid becoming one yourself

Travel is a necessary evil because the payoff is worth all the trouble. Travel broadens our perspectives and educates us about the world and how other people live. Travel reminds us of how small we are.

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore

Our unpredictable and overburdened schedules are taking a dire toll on American society.

Thursday, Oct 10, 2019

I Used to Fear Being a Nobody. Then I Left Social Media.

My wanting to share every waking thought became eclipsed by a desire for an increasingly rare commodity — a private life.

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019

Impostor Syndrome is more common than you think; Study finds best way to cope with it

The impostor syndrome, a phenomenon that manifests when people feel like frauds even if they are actually capable and well-qualified, affects people both in the workplace and in the classroom. A new study from researchers at BYU reveals that perceptions of impostorism are quite common and uncovers one of the best — and worst — ways to cope with such feelings.

Friday, Sep 27, 2019

Young People Are Going to Save Us All From Office Life

Gen Z-ers and millennials have been called lazy and entitled. Could they, instead, be among the first to understand the proper role of work in life?

Thursday, Sep 26, 2019

Photographer removes our smartphones to show our strange and lonely new world

Are you reading this on a handheld device? There’s a good chance you are. Now imagine how’d you look if that device suddenly disappeared. Lonely? Slightly crazy? Perhaps next to a person being ignored? As we are sucked in ever more by the screens we carry around, even in the company of friends and family, the hunched pose of the phone-absorbed seems increasingly normal.