Flow is not enough to reach mastery.

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When a young Albert Einstein worked at the Bern patent office — an occupation for which he was overqualified — he would often finish his daily work in a few hours. He would then spend his afternoons watching trains coming and leaving the station, letting his mind wander. Back at home from work, he would tell Mileva (his wife): “I thought about something unusual today …”

  • “What happens if a train goes faster than light?”
  • “What happens to earth if the sun suddenly vanishes?”
  • “Is falling the same as floating in space?”

Walter Isaacson, who penned Einstein’s biography, noted that “Mental visualisations are responsible for the most beautiful, groundbreaking theories that Einstein contributed to modern science.” …

No matter your job or major.

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Thinking in better ways is a skill anyone can learn. And by learning to think better, you’ll have a serious edge over your peers.

Mental models, which are patterns of thinking, can help you do just that. They improve your problem-solving and show you better ways of engaging with the world.

Strive to master a few mental models, and you’ll:

  • Innovate in unprecedented ways.
  • Manage your time better.
  • Make smarter decisions in studying, business, art, career, relationships.

Here are five mental models that are extremely useful in real-life situations. …

Easy to do with pen and paper.

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The way you think determines any success you want to achieve.

I’ll show you a simple exercise to solve problems no matter your education level or industry.

This technique was and is still crucial to many innovators and thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Aristotle, and Elon Musk.

Whether starting a business, switching jobs, acing exams, or even buying a house, this exercise can help you make smarter decisions.

The technique I’m talking about is known as first-principles or principles first. Make a habit of using it, and you’ll dramatically boost your odds of success in any project.

What is First Principles Thinking

Principles are basic facts (fundamentals) that we know for sure to be true. Think of a few facts you learned at school. …

Never let the myth of originals block you.

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“Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed. Everything transforms.”

The law of transformation is one of the most important rules in science. Its author, Antoine Lavoisier, tells a fascinating fact: the universe is fully booked and fully locked. Nothing enters, nothing leaves; anything new is merely an act of transformation.

As a result, if you want to be original, the only way is to mix things up.

Even if you think you are not creative, Lavoisier law tells a clear message: with the right transformations, you can make new things that marvel the world. …

That might ease your worries as well.

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This year has been tough on everyone. With a pandemic running amok and lockdowns stripping us from social interaction, our mental health is suffering.

Despite all the challenges, I’m grateful for finding the right resources to ease my worries, shift some of my perceptions, and lift my spirits.

In this listicle, I want to share with you some actions and adjustments I introduced in my own daily life. These changes helped me immensely during this challenging year, and I’m confident they will keep me good company in the future. I hope you’ll find these tips helpful as well.

#1 — I disowned my thoughts

One of the core ideas of Buddhism is non-self. The whole concept boils down to recognising that you don’t have control over your thoughts. …

Tactics to enjoy the journey while chasing the destination.

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Delaying gratification to reach a future success is unnatural. It goes against your very nature as a human. To be happy in the now and make it big, you should approach your goals a bit differently.

Consider playgrounds for a moment. They are a great model of fun work that leads to long term results. Children enjoy their time while building strength, mental knowledge and social interactions that are crucial to their adult lives.

As we grow, we seem to lose this harmony of loving the process while working to reach our goals. As if we must sacrifice one to have the other. As a result, many self-help resources preach the “you must delay gratification” mantra. But do you really need to defer joy and having fun to produce extraordinary results? …

This person is best qualified to give you real guidance.

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Have you wondered why people bother listening to billionaires advice? Most of it is either non-sense or crap. Look at this:

  • Elon Musk: “Starting a business is like eating glass and looking into the abyss.” Or this one: “If you need motivation, don’t do it.”
  • Warren Buffett: “Be selfless and don’t expect anything in return.”
  • Oprah Winfrey: “You must follow your passion.”
  • Bill Gates: “Be your own boss as soon as possible.

What factual information did you learn from this? Nothing. Worse, you’re misguided in thinking that:

  • If you lack motivation, even for an hour, then you don’t have what it takes. …

And how to stop productivity guilt from hurting your mindset.

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If you try to follow all the self-help you’ve been reading, then you must:

  • Wake up at 5 am.
  • Take a cold shower.
  • Drink two gallons of water.
  • Journal for twenty minutes then meditate.
  • Do intermittent fasting.
  • Exercise four times per week.
  • Read one book a week. Etc.

But here’s the thing:

Whenever you miss or don’t keep up, your mind says: “You should work harder instead of taking a day off. You’re not serious about getting fit if you skipped today at the gym.”

Consuming self-help without moderation can hurt your mental well-being. …

Make your meetings as productive as your solo work.

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Meetings take a big chunk of our time. Yet, unlike with personal productivity, little is done to optimise them fully. Why? For two reasons:

  • We often are not in control of setting the meetings.
  • Even if we are in control, no one taught us how to run valuable and energising meetings.

According to Forbes, about 55 million meetings happen each day in the United States alone. And due to poor planning and poor execution, most of our get together feel like a waste of time: pointless distractions from the real work.

With so much of our time sucked into daily meetings, not taking care of optimising them lead to the biggest productivity loss in our organisation. …

#1 — You obsess with “to be” and neglect “to do”.

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The urge to stand out and achieve big things make you susceptible to grow overly self-centred.

Here are three dangerous signs to watch for when working to achieve your dreams, lets they steer you away from success rather than towards it.

1 — You obsess with “to be” and neglect “to do”

“I want to be a leader, a successful entrepreneur, a famous writer. I want to be happier, smarter, sexier.”

The problem with these aspirations is that they are self-centred.

A mentality centred around your desires and dreams is an alarming sign you are heading the wrong path to success. …


Younes Henni, PhD

Articles that make you smarter. My weekly tips will help you learn faster, master mental models, and become more creative: https://powerh.substack.com/

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