Category Archives: Tips

First Principles: Internalization

As a 10 year old, I was barely taller than a washing machine and I weighed less than half as much.  But I was fast, so I played on a competitive soccer team.  Or, more accurately, I played when the bigger, stronger, … Continue reading

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Magic Bullets

From an ESPN piece on Ryan Lochte, who is looking to spoil Michael Phelps’ final Olympics next month: “I’m not the most talented swimmer,” Lochte adds. “So I try to outwork everyone else.” It’s Sunday. A day of rest. The … Continue reading

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How To Write, Part 3

This one comes comes from David Mamet, perhaps the most well-known living playwright.  He wrote a memo for the writing staff on the CBS show The Unit, where he was an executive producer, reminding everyone what makes for good drama. … Continue reading

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Creativity Is Not A Talent; It’s A Way Of Operating

John Cleese manages to explain about 90 different topics I’ve written about in a 13 minute span.  Below is a really, really excellent speech on fostering creativity, becoming more effective, managing time, and much more.  The short version is excellent, … Continue reading

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How To Write, Part 2

John Steinbeck, in a lengthy interview with the Paris Review (all of which is worth reading) shares some thoughts on writing: 1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just … Continue reading

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How To Write

More excellent advice from David Ogilvy, founder of one of the preeminent advertising firms in the world: The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well. Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and … Continue reading

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Gift Giving

The measure of a good gift is in its appropriateness, not its cost. The corollary to this is if you receive an expensive gift from a wealthier friend, you’re not obligated to give him something of equal value in return.  You’re only … Continue reading

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It Will Be There Later

A quick tip on preventing procrastination: Whatever it is you want to do, whether it’s check email or facebook, or read the news, or play a game, or whatever, recognize that it will be there later.  The news will always … Continue reading

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Avert Disaster: Use Checklists

Van Halen epitomized 80’s bands.  They were loud, fast, and big.  Their hair was big, their sound was big, their fans were big, and their shows were big.  Really big.  So big, that their contract rider spanned a dozen pages, … Continue reading

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The Problem With “No Problem”

“No problem” is almost universal in service industries today. “Can I get a refill?” “No problem.” “Could you transfer this money from my checking account to my savings account?” “No problem.” “Thanks.”  “No problem.” It may seem innocuous, but it … Continue reading

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On Decision Making

A decision without tradeoffs isn’t a decision. Zappos offers me free overnight shipping and a $10 discount after I’ve already ordered?  I don’t even have to think about it. Decision making requires you to confront tradeoffs.  When you learn to relish … Continue reading

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Three Tips To Help Convince People You’re Not A Serial Killer

We deal with a lot of higher level stuff here, like strategy and philosophy, but I want to bring it down for a post to offer some very practical, easy to implement, and essential life tips. Today, I want to … Continue reading

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How To Have Smarter Kids

An interesting new study finds that children whose younger siblings are born more than two years later have higher reading and math skills than children whose siblings are born sooner.  The researchers think this stems, at least in part, from … Continue reading

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6 Easy Steps To Get Rich Without Worry

Yesterday’s post prompted some email questions about how I handle my finances, so I figured I might as well answer them here: What’s the easiest way to get rich? Inherit Lottery See Below … … … ??? Build and sell … Continue reading

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Did I Take That Pill?

I take vitamins every night, after I get home from work.  By that point I’m tired, I’m thinking about a million different things that need to get done in the short time between getting home and going to bed. “Shit.  … Continue reading

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