Get the most out of your books.

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Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Reading gives you access to the smartest brains on earth. Learning from the greatest people is the fastest way to become healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Charlie Munger, self-made billionaire, and Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner, once said that he hadn’t known any wise person who didn’t read all the time. None, zero.

Yet, reading per se doesn’t make you a better person. You can read 52 books a year without changing at all.

It’s about what and how you read that will improve your life’s quality and enhance your mind.

I read a book a week for more than two years now and continue to look for ways to improve my reading. Recently, I listened to Bill Gates sharing his free, yet priceless lessons on how he reads books. …

“Getting started is more important than becoming an expert.”

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Ramit Sethi is an American personal finance advisor and entrepreneur. He graduated from Stanford and released more than 20 online courses. In 2019, a decade after he published his finance book that was read by millions, he released an updated version of I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

I was skeptical about reading a book with a clickbait headline. The book’s been sitting on my want-to-read shelf for months, and it wasn’t until some November winter blues weekend morning that I flipped through the pages.

Best decision ever.

Okay, maybe not ever — proposing to my boyfriend or starting a podcast was an even better choice — but reading Ramit’s book came close. …

Better navigate through uncertain times.

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Photo by Andrés Dallimonti on Unsplash

Do you ever waste precious energy by worrying about the future?

If you ever feel you lost your locus of control, it’s likely because you’re spending the majority of your days worrying about things you can’t influence.

As Mark Twain once wrote:

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.

If you spend your days worrying about the wrong things, you’ll likely lack the inspiration, energy, and motivation to focus on the things that matter.

Ryder Caroll, the Bullet journal's inventor, once said, “we burn through a lot of resources obsessing over possible outcomes and forming contingency plans, but in reality, we’re just fueling our anxiety. Trying to think our way out of situations beyond our control may feel productive, but it’s nothing more than a powerful distraction. …

Stop procrastination with these baby steps.

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Photo by Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

James Clear is the habit guru of our times. For years he’s been experimenting with building better habits as an entrepreneur and writer. When you read through his annual reviews from 2013–2019, you’ll realize he’s walking his talk.

You know a book was worth your time when the application of what you read improved your life.

Clear’s Atomic Habits was such a book for me. The 2-Minute Rule improved how I approach new desired habits. It helped me smooth into a daily yoga and meditation practice. …

Crack the core of education and become a lifelong learner.

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

No life skill can earn you greater dividends than learning how to learn. Yet, most people don’t know how to master learning.

When asked, “Do you study the way you do because somebody taught you to study that way?” a study by Kornell & Bjork showed about 73% of students answered “no.”

Long after school, we continue to rely on ineffective learning strategies like passive consumption, highlighting, or rereading in the hope new knowledge will magically stick to our brain. Most people ignore that humans don’t absorb information and knowledge by reading sentences.

The mediocre majority will continue struggling through life this way, never experiencing the benefits of effective learning. They don’t care enough about the potential benefits to invest in their growth. …

Make lighting, perspective, gestures, and clothes work for you.

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Photo: Moose Photos/Pexels

We all know the unpleasant surprise that can come with clicking “join this meeting.” Our face on the screen doesn’t meet our hopes. Instead of a suitable applicant, we look like a sleepy band groupie.

Watching your screen face feels like trying tight jeans in a bad lightened fitting room. But in a virtual job interview, the stakes are higher.

As this analysis shows, our appearance can correlate with perceived competence. The more professional we look, the higher our perceived ability.

Our self-perception plays an even larger role in our confidence. …

The 4-step guide to better organization in your life.

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, wrote that you don’t rise to the level of your goals but fall to the level of your systems. So the best systems aren’t the most sophisticated ones, but the methods you consistently stick to. Only implemented systems can catch you if you fall.

The Bullet Journal system is almost too easy to implement to be true.

In 2017, lying in my student apartment in Santiago de Chile and staring at the method’s description, I almost closed the tab. …

Make your creativity work for you.

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Photo by David Becker on Unsplash

Creativity is like Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans, a risk with every mouthful.

“You want to be careful with those. When they say every flavour, they mean every flavour — you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a bogey flavoured one once.”

Ron Weasley

With every new creation, you dare to eat another Bertie Bott. Even with a solid idea-to-paper process, your creativity will surprise you. You feel moody, surprised, vulnerable, depressed, and enthusiastic while writing the same paragraph. …

How you can better protect your time.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In 2018, I said yes to almost everything. I was a full-time teacher, ran a startup, organized various group travels, and gave a helping hand to any project in need of one. By the end of each 70-hour week, I felt depleted. I had not yet understood how focus works.

Your focus is one big round yes-cake. On any day, you can decide on the pieces you give away. Say yes to 13 things, and you have 13 small yes wedges. Every recipient gets a tiny fraction of your attention and energy. …

Using learning design to make knowledge stick with us.

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Ali Pazani/Pexels

By inventing the printing press in 1440, Johannes Gutenberg made books scalable. Since then, our means to record, store, and access text information haven’t changed much. The 1993 invention of PDFs and the 2010s commercialization of e-books didn’t innovate the medium itself. Books still consist of words forming paragraphs and chapters.

I love reading. In the past months, I explored evidence-based reading strategies and avid readers' habits like Bill Gates, Richard Feynman, and Ali Abdaal. It wasn’t until I discovered Andy Matuschak’s blog that I grasped the limited nature of the medium itself.

Andy Matuschak is a software engineer, designer, and researcher who helped build iOS at Apple and led R&D at Khan Academy. He works on technologies that expand what people can think and do. After reading his evergreen note systems and his exploratory ed-tech solutions, you might agree with me on his humble brilliancy. The quotes in this article are from his essay on books. …


Eva Keiffenheim, MSc

Entrepreneur | Professional Writer | Education Specialist | Founder | Let’s connect:

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