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Your Thinking Rate Is Fixed

You can’t force yourself to think faster. If you try, you’re likely to end up making much worse decisions. Here’s how to improve the actual quality of your decisions instead of chasing hacks to speed them up. If you’re a knowledge worker, as an ever-growing proportion of people are, the product of your job is decisions. Much of what you do day to...

The Feynman Learning Technique

If you’re after a way to supercharge your learning and become smarter, the Feynman Technique might just be the best way to learn absolutely anything. Devised by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, it leverages the power of teaching for better learning. The Feynman Learning Technique is a simple way of approaching anything new you want to learn. Why...

Solve Problems Before They Happen by Developing an “Inner Sense of Captaincy”

Too often we reward people who solve problems while ignoring those who prevent them in the first place. This incentivizes creating problems. According to poet David Whyte, the key to taking initiative and being proactive is viewing yourself as the captain of your own “voyage of work.” If we want to get away from glorifying those who run around putting...

12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota

The mathematician and philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota spent much of his career at MIT, where students adored him for his engaging, passionate lectures. In 1996, Rota gave a talk entitled “Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught,” which contains valuable advice for making people pay attention to your ideas. Many mathematicians regard Rota as single-handedly...

The Best-Case Outcomes Are Statistical Outliers

There’s nothing wrong with hoping for the best. But the best-case scenario is rarely the one that comes to pass. Being realistic about what is likely to happen lets you better prepare for a spectrum of possible outcomes and gives you peace of mind. We dream about achieving the best-case outcomes, but they are rare. We can’t forget to acknowledge all...

The High Price of Mistrust

When we can’t trust each other, nothing works. As we participate in our communities less and less, we find it harder to feel other people are trustworthy. But if we can bring back a sense of trust in the people around us, the rewards are incredible. There are costs to falling community participation. Rather than simply lamenting the loss of a past...

Why You Should Practice Failure

We learn valuable lessons when we experience failure and setbacks. Most of us wait for those failures to happen to us, however, instead of seeking them out. But deliberately making mistakes can give us the knowledge we need to more easily overcome obstacles in the future. We learn from our mistakes. When we screw up and fail, we learn how not to handle...

We Are What We Remember

Memory is an intrinsic part of our life experience. It is critical for learning, and without memories we would have no sense of self. Understanding why some memories stick better than others, as well as accepting their fluidity, helps us reduce conflict and better appreciate just how much our memories impact our lives. *** “Which of our memories are...

“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity

Creativity can seem like a mysterious process. But many of the most creative people understand that you can actually break it down into a simple formula, involving what researcher Douglas Hofstadter calls “jootsing.” Here’s how understanding systems can help us think more creatively. “Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If...

The Best of The The Knowledge Project 2020

One of the best ways to learn is a good conversation. While there are many advantages to a good conversation, perhaps the best is that you can benefit from the lessons that other people have already paid the price for. Of course, that’s not all. Good conversations can also offer a new way to interpret your past experiences, discover something new,...

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