How to Make Yourself Smarter — Obvious and Inobvious Methods

One of my most prevalent goals is to become smarter -- always. When weighing opportunities, a job's potential to make me smarter is more important than raw career growth (although the two often go hand-in-hand), monetary gains, or geographic location. It's an important driver in my personal relationships, and in my choice of activities and pursuits outside of work. Does it increase my knowledge of the world, and/or the functions of the world, particularly in…

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Precision, Not Pretention

Mastering the art of writing requires becoming precise. The best writers are deeply precise with their language usage. They don't need many words to tell the truth; but the ones they choose are the right ones. If truth is the fine edge of a knife blade -- sharp when it cuts you, and so narrow you might miss it -- then the words to describe the truth must be precise enough to balance on that…

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Rules for Writing: Sentence Echoes

An important rule for good writing: always end a sentence with the most important word. The last word in a sentence lingers in the reader's mind. Think of it as having a resonance, or an echo. The sound holds long after the rest of the sentence has died, and it plays a significant role in the shaping of the sentence's tone. For example: "... and they're unprepared for the world of finance, specifically." The word…

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Remember That You’re in Control

I was talking to a Praxis participant today about the upheaval of moving, and the stress of getting settled in a new city. Finding a place to live, coordinating logistics, and working on a tight timeline for all of the above can be incredibly overwhelming. As someone who's getting ready to move for the fifth time in the past 15 months, I understand the stress a lack of certainty can bring. Multiple moves have been…

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Life is Better the More It’s Your Fault

"God said, take what you want and pay for it." -- Ayn Rand (or, a Spanish proverb) The above is one of my favorite quotes. It embodies two of my favorite principles in life: freedom and responsibility. Freedom, to take the things you want -- blatantly, liberally, unabashedly. Responsibility, to bear the consequences of those actions -- competently, evenly, calculatedly. Everything in life has a cost. We don't always know what it is, and sometimes…

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Imprecise Metaphors and Their Benefit for Your Thinking

David Perell wrote a fantastic blog post on the importance (or lack thereof) in the accuracy of maps. Side note -- if you don't follow David Perell, you should. In a similar vein, I want to talk about the importance (or lack thereof) in the precision of one's metaphors. This is not an argument against being precise. It is not permission for ceasing to care about choosing the right metaphor. This IS an argument that…

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