Humans have been telling stories face to face since forever, and doing it well gives you a leg up personally and professionally. Compelling business presentations are critical for success, and natural storytelling techniques can take them to the next level. Even outside of business, stories help you build relationships and entertain your friends. You can improve your oral storytelling today by paying attention to structure, shortening your stories, using your voice well, and supporting what you say with your face and hands.Read More
Recently, I found myself in a funk for a month or two. I don’t want to go all James Altucher and turn this blog into a parade of failures and fears, but I think it’s important to take a look behind the curtain of the generally positive tone I keep here. So, as you read the tips below, keep in mind that they’re coming from someone who needs them.Read More
Many of us have a hard time limiting our effort to one field at a time - there’s so much interesting stuff out there and it’s more available than ever. All of this stuff can lure us into paying hidden costs when we try to learn everything all at once - costs that prevent us from getting the benefits breadth is supposed to bring. On the other hand, if you pursue depth, while you will only focus on one field at a time before moving onto the next, you will get much more out of each field, with a more robust breadth down the road.Read More
In the previous posts on creativity, I’ve mentioned “inputs” pretty frequently, but I haven’t gone into much detail about them. Today, I’ll talk about what I mean by inputs, why they’re important, and share some rules for maximizing their usefulness. I’m very excited to be sharing this with you, because I think it’s an often overlooked aspect of creativity that can have huge effects on your work with very little effort.Read More
In our last installment in this series, we talked about divergent and convergent thinking. Keep that in mind, as it will be central to everything we discuss below. Today, we’re going to talk about frameworks you can use to structure your creative efforts - one for teams and one for individuals. You can use either framework in the other situation, but I find them better suited to different applications.Read More
Note: This post might get your hackles up a bit. You might find it especially surprising in a space dedicated to agency and self improvement - but stick with me and you might learn something extremely useful.
We overestimate our control over what we think, how we feel, and even what we do. We assume that every moment of every day we are rationally picking and choosing what to do. It turns out this is an extremely inadequate view of how we operate. We actually take most of our actions on autopilot with little or no conscious thought. Even when we are exercising conscious thought, it is shaped and influenced by mysterious factors under the surface and in our environment. This all sounds somewhat depressing until we realize that we have the power to shape these factors and build the systems that drive our behavior. Our brain has a user interface and we can access it if we know where to look.Read More
We all labor under a whole pile of cognitive biases day to day, but let’s talk about an especially pernicious one: the Dunning-Kruger effect. This extremely subtle bias afflicts us all, affecting our very ability to assess whether we are suffering from a bias or not. So it’s super important to be aware of it and take appropriate counter measures.Read More