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You Still Have Time To Make 2017 The Best Year Of Your Life

13 Ways to Get Your Grip On Life Back

With each passing year, I find more and more truth in this:

“The days are long, but the years are short.” — Gretchen Rubin

It’s that time of the year again. Tax day’s got you throwing your hands up in frustration, your New Year’s resolutions have long vaporized into thin air and you feel like your hold on 2017 is getting weaker and weaker.

I’m here to tell you: You still have time. Read More

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Nobody Likes You, But Nobody Is Just 30% Of The People

“Nobody likes you around here” is one of the nastiest weapons of negative workplace communication.

It hits right in the heart, gets you worked up and ready to lash out yourself, but worst of all, you start to wonder if they’re right.

So how do you respond to that phrase when it’s thrown right in your face?

Here’s the response I’ve come up with:

“Yeah, but nobody is just 30% of the people.”

This’ll startle them and they’ll scratch their head. In the meantime, you can go on to explain what I’m about to tell you.

There is a great story in James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself, which I will never forget.

He alludes to it on his blog as the 30/30/30 rule. James kept using images from the same woman doing yoga poses for his blog posts without giving her credit. Eventually, she messaged him and they started talking.

She told him that she found over the years, whatever she did, 30% of people loved her for it, 30% hated her for it and 30% just didn’t give a damn.

In my experience, that’s pretty accurate. So why not spend your time on those that love you?

“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”

— James Altucher

And if they don’t buy this wonderful story, or point to the logical flaw of the remaining 10% missing, because we’ve used 30%, not 33%, nothing takes the wind out of their sails faster than a good old…

“Now what?”

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Return On Time: Why No Income Is Passive

You know how sometimes, within a few seconds, an idea you had taken as true for decades is shattered to pieces? For example, when I was little, my dad told me the glass windows in churches were thicker at the bottom, because glass was actually a liquid. Just last week I told this to a friend. Well, two minutes ago, this false belief burst.

Some of these urban myths are more pervasive than others. Occasionally, even more people will fall for the lie than stumble into the truth. I think passive income might be one of those extreme cases.

Today, we’ll debunk this concept, and replace it with a better one.

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How To Reach Your Goals With 27 Self Awareness Activities

I’m doing it again. I can feel it. Like a toothpick, my thumbnail rests in the gap between two teeth. It’s the position it takes right before I bite it. When I catch myself, like right now, I can prevent it. But it’s always a battle.

Often, I’m okay with losing it, as long as it means I’m winning the war with the article I’m writing. After all, what ends up on your screen isn’t a picture of my fingernails, but a (hopefully) helpful blog post.

It wasn’t always a conscious decision though. For over ten years, I bit my fingernails, unaware of the habit. When I started learning about self-improvement in 2012, it was the first habit I made a conscious effort to break. This both required and helped me with one of the most important human capacities: self-awareness.

Today, I’d like to help you cultivate yours, with 27 self-awareness activities, which you can practice on three distinct levels to improve your thinking, mental health and decisions – and thus, your results in the game of life.

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Counterintuitive Confirmation: How To Eliminate Your Doubts

This Wednesday, I realized all my current blog post ideas would take more than a day to complete. Between The 4 Minute Folio launch, AniQuote suddenly materializing from the massive mist of ideas in my head and a new side gig I’ve taken up two weeks ago, it’s a week as busy as ever.

Hence, I decided to give myself the following constraints for this post:

  • Less than 1,000 words.
  • No more than 4 Pomodoros total.

Artificially limiting yourself is liberating. Busy weeks come with a lot of learnings, so these rules forced me to go narrow and think really hard:

What’s the biggest lesson from the past 7 days?

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Which Skills Have the Highest Hourly Pay?

Meet Charles Proteus Steinmetz.

Charles was a German-born, American mathematician, electrical engineer, who spent most of his life in Schenectady, New York, as a professor at Union College.

You can thank him for the thing we all most depend on in life: Electricity.

Charles helped shape the development of alternating current (AC), and is the reason you can plug your toaster, blender, TV or lamps into the sockets on your wall.

As soon as General Electric got word of this little (he was indeed just 4 feet tall) genius’s work in New York, they bought out the company he worked for in 1892, and with it, the man’s expertise.

In 1965, a Life magazine reader, Jack B. Scott, wrote in to tell the story of an encounter his father had made with the so-called “Wizard of Schenectady” at Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford’s engineers had a problem they couldn’t fix, and so Steinmetz went down there on behalf of GE. Here’s the excerpt from Smithsonian Magazine:

Ford, whose electrical engineers couldn’t solve some problems they were having with a gigantic generator, called Steinmetz in to the plant. Upon arriving, Steinmetz rejected all assistance and asked only for a notebook, pencil and cot.

According to Scott, Steinmetz listened to the generator and scribbled computations on the notepad for two straight days and nights. On the second night, he asked for a ladder, climbed up the generator and made a chalk mark on its side. Then he told Ford’s skeptical engineers to remove a plate at the mark and replace sixteen windings from the field coil.

They did, and the generator performed to perfection.

Henry Ford was thrilled, until he got an invoice from General Electric in the amount of $10,000. Ford acknowledged Steinmetz’s success but balked at the figure. He asked for an itemized bill.

Steinmetz, Scott wrote, responded personally to Ford’s request with the following:

Making chalk mark on generator: $1.

Knowing where to make mark: $9,999.

Ford paid the bill.

For the record, $10,000 in this era, say 1905, would be worth $1,960,000, considered in today’s value of the income of a skilled worker.

The skills with the highest hourly pay are never those which are paid by the hour.

Have you ever paid someone by the hour yourself? Did you think of them as an invaluable advisor? Or rather as a commodity you needed quick access to?

It’s ironic: In order to push into the highest spheres of hourly pay rate, you first have to leave it altogether.

You’ll have to spend thousands of hours, unpaid hours, researching, learning, studying, practicing and adapting your skills in the real world.

Only that will give you the deep domain expertise you need to reach the top 1% of your field — and that comes with great financial reward.

However, by the time you get there, you’ll probably long have forgotten your struggle for more dollars per hour, because your greatest feeling of accomplishment will come from standing next to your peers.

Just like Charles Steinmetz, a little giant among giants, on April 23, 1921, giving Albert Einstein, Albert Hull and several other brilliant minds of his time a tour of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).