Humility is the Ultimate Lifehack

In 1935, employees of the White Motor Company called a strike. Under intense pressure, new company president Robert Black faced a critical decision.  On one hand, he could do what most of us would do. He could dig his feet in. He could argue. He could escalate the situation and try to crush the striking […]

Invisible Practice: How to Improve Without Consequences

If anyone were to ask me (and almost no one ever does, but this is my blog so shut up), this is the most valuable and unique piece of advice I possess: You can practice literally anything in the privacy of your own home, for free and without consequence. Just as important, you will improve […]

Resisting Something Is a Sure Way to Get More Of It 

(And What To Do Instead)

Resisting Something is a Sure Way to Get More Of It The scene: June 1791. The height of the French Revolution.  By then, Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette were already exiles from Versailles. Two years earlier, the mob had marched on the palace and forced the royal family to relocate to Paris. Their situation […]

"Lick 'Em Tomorrow"—Ulysses S. Grant and the Art of Ridiculous Optimism

Ulysses S. Grant spent the night of April 6, 1862 in misery. His ankle was throbbing from a riding injury he suffered a few days previous. A torrent of rain swelled the western bank of the Tennessee. Artillery shells from gunboats thundered all night. Grant could hear his soldiers screaming as they received amputations at […]

One Thing at a Time

I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. Bilbo Baggins, “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien Most productivity tips aren’t about productivity at all. If anything, they teach you productivity avoidance. The ultimate irony of most “productivity” tips is that they’ll have you spending too much time doing too […]

Do A Little More Work Than You Think You Should

In 1849, Andrew Carnegie—then a poor teenage immigrant from a one-room home in Dumfermline, Scotland—worked as a messenger at the Pittsburgh branch of the Ohio Telegraph Company. His salary: two dollars and fifty cents per week. As David Nasaw’s biography Andrew Carnegie explains, that wasn’t enough even for a fourteen-year-old Carnegie. Besides the low pay […]

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