I write to teach myself and hit “Publish” when I think it might help you.

You Don’t Need Extreme Self-Discipline

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Photo by Singkham from Pexels

The demand for online courses industry has shot through the roof.

In 2015, the global market for such courses reached $107 billion. Just two years later, the market grew to $255 billion — a whopping 138 percent growth within 2 years!

But there’s something more. And it’s not good.

A study revealed that the average completion for Massive Open Online Courses — MOOCs — is a dismal fifteen percent.

I’ll admit. I’m part of the 85 percent. Barring a couple, almost every online course I’ve signed up for has stalled at the halfway stage. …

3 points you cannot afford to ignore.

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Ideas are the most valuable currency today. They bring in dollars, euros, and even crypto.

But like any currency, they can get stolen. In fact, idea-stealing is a common phenomenon in the workplace.

Bosses and coworkers steal each others’ ideas. Companies steal pitch decks and features from their competition. And idea kleptomaniacs cannot resist stealing ideas, even the ones they don’t need.

Good ideas lay the foundation for all major and minor accomplishments. And you can accomplish a lot if you don’t care who gets the credit.

But if you don’t get enough due credit, you risk getting marginalized and being taken for granted. If you work in silence, you get rewarded with more work while lazy people descend like wolves, steal your ideas, and make a killing. …

But to others, it sounds like blasphemy.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher told my mother I was smart. Those words sounded sweeter than a Sebastian Bach melody. But neither my mother nor I knew that those words would be the death knell for my academics.

Now that I was “smart,” I couldn’t let my teachers or classmates think otherwise. So I stopped raising my hand in class. I stopped asking questions and clarifications.

I was afraid to admit to my mother or teachers that I didn’t understand something. If I did, everyone would see me for what I was: an imposter. They would laugh at me. …

A simpler alternative to “Go Big or Go Home.”

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How long does it take to bring about change in your life?

The jury is out on whether it takes 21 or 66 days to build a habit. A handful of people believe they can change in a week. That’s good for them.

But if you and I don’t fool ourselves — and fooling oneself is the easiest thing to do — we’ll find that the answer to the question is: really long.

A few weeks ago, I felt agitated after a conversation on politics with a friend. The thing about agitation is that it doesn’t disappear if you drown it out in distractions. It merely festers like a suppressed ailment. …

And then put it back together… but better.

tools to hack a design and make it better.
tools to hack a design and make it better.
Hunter Haley

Most of humankind’s progress has stemmed from improvements in the function rather than the form aspect of products. Design hacking is vital for this improvement.

Many of us might correlate hacking with unpleasant events like malware, privacy breach, and loss of valuable personal information. (Just run a Google Image search for the term “hack”.)

But hacking is much more. “[It’s] really just today’s name for the personal creative spirit that has always underpinned human ingenuity,” according to Scott Burnham. Burnham is an author, keynote speaker, and advocate of building resilient, sustainable cities. He has authored several books on the subject of tapping into our abundance of creativity to manage limited resources. …

Sometimes you can let yourself ride the wave.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Running downhill has been a bone of contention in the running circle. Many runners consider it as cheating.

The vast majority claims you’re not supposed to rest between intervals, that your Personal Record (PR) doesn’t count if it was on a downhill track because it was “easy.” Even if running downhill makes you faster, stronger, and better, you don’t earn the result.

Many of us apply this philosophy to our daily lives too.

If what we’re doing doesn’t feel like an uphill battle, we feel we’re not working hard enough. If things are smooth in our relationship or business, or at work, we feel we don’t deserve the results. …

Lessons from history’s most successful office chair that almost didn’t launch.

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Photo by Laura Davidson on Unsplash

Working from home has forced millions of people to pay attention to an oft-ignored element in their daily lives: chairs.

Today, we have a myriad of options to choose from: mesh chairs, drafting chairs, executive chairs, kneeling chairs, and so on. Ergonomics plays a key role in most people’s buying decisions.

But until 1993, most office chairs were uncomfortable. Stuffed with foam and covered in fabric, they felt hot and sticky. They also did little to help people maintain healthy postures. But most people didn’t notice this problem since they moved around a lot at work. …

Why you should let yourself get cracked open from time to time.

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Photo by Joseph Frank on Unsplash

Let’s say you’re invited to participate in a simple perceptual study. When you show up, you find other participants too.

The experimenter explains that he’ll hold up a card that has a target line and three comparison lines on it. You simply need to figure out which comparison line matches the target line.

Sounds simple, right? But you must’ve guessed by now that there’s a twist.

When the first trial starts, everyone gives the right answer. The second trial goes on like the first. The third trial is where things get tricky.

The correct answer is as obvious as the ones in the previous trials. But the first participant gives an incorrect answer. Maybe he’s just messing with the experimenter because he’s bored, you think. But the second participant gives the same answer. So does the third and everyone else until it’s your turn. …

Stop taking orders and start making decisions.

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Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

2020 has been hard.

Millions lost their jobs for no fault of their own. And they’re struggling to find another one.

Even the people who’ve kept their jobs don’t know when they’ll get thrown under the bus.

LinkedIn is flooded with status updates like:

“It’s sad that employers don’t appreciate my stable career with 13 years of experience…”

“Don’t ignore this post. Like, comment, and share it so someone in your network will see it and give me a job…”

“I’ve completed the AI/ML training program and received my certification…”

It pains me to read them. Here’s why.

By posting such status updates, employees convey to employers, “These are my credentials. Decide where I fit in your company. I’ll do whatever you want me to.”

Life is nothing but a balancing scale.

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Photo by Alexander Kaunas on Unsplash

In Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris, archdeacon, or senior Christian cleric, Claude Frollo touches a print book and glances at the cathedral towers. “Ceci tuera cela,” he says. It translates to, “This will kill that.”

In his mind, the archdeacon was imagining how disruptive innovation would prove. The invention of the printing press meant that the flock would no longer rely on clerical proclamations to discover information that it would otherwise remain ignorant of.

But ceci tuera cela means much more.

The slogan doesn’t just apply to a new force that destroys an old one; it also applies to two hostile forces that can exist, but not coexist, in the same period. Nor does such destruction move in a single direction; it moves both ways. The pen is not the only force that kills the sword. …

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