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This is a space where I capture my highlights and reflections from whatever blogs, books, podcasts, and other resources I happen to be consuming at the time.

My goal for this section is three-fold:

1) Practice what I preach by making an effort to learn out loud.

2) Create a digital footprint of interesting thoughts, quotes, stories, and links that I can reference when I give talks, write blog posts, do coaching sessions, or simply wish to revisit past experiences in my intellectual journey.

3) Use the power of note-taking as a tool for improving my memory, stimulating creative thinking, and enhancing my overall level of content engagement.

My reading notes are updated daily. Click on the title to see the full notes for that day.

The Silent Thoughts of the Calm, The Appeasement Strategy, Human Weakness as a Choice, The Inevitably Embarrassing Nature of Older Work, The Loyalty Required of Artists, & What it Really Means to Know You Can’t Please Everyone (Reading/Study Notes 5.26.18)

Resource: If the Angry Could Hear What the Calm Do Not Say Link: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/11/if_you_could_he.html Quotes: "In all the years we've known each other, how many times have I expressed anger…

You Get What You’re Looking For, What to do When You’re Feeling Like an Impostor, How Cleaning Helps Your Writing, How Great Reform Requires Great Personality, Hope for Dreams in Old Age, & Why People Don’t See the Crypto Light (Reading/Study Notes 5.25.18)

Resource: Looking for a friend (or a fight) Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/09/looking-for-a-friend-or-a-fight.html Quotes: "If you gear up, put yourself on high alert and draw a line in the sand, it's likely you'll…

Misconceptions about Cryptcurrency, Taking a Break from Novelty, Knowing the Right Order of Things, When to Worry, The Most Important Kind Of Practice, & Celebrating on Saturn (Reading/Study Notes 5.24.18)

Resource: The Single Biggest Misconception About Cryptocurrency Link: https://medium.com/crypto-oracle/the-single-biggest-misconception-of-crypto-is-3d2625a08405 Quotes: On the inherently bubble-like nature of markets: "Goldman Sachs head of Research Steve Strongin compares the current market to the…

Liminal Experiences, Serendipitous Reading, & Ideas Worth Stealing (Reading/Study Notes 5.23.18)

Resource: Writing and the Threshold Life: Jane Hirshfield on How the Liminal Liberates Us from the Prison of the Self Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/01/22/jane-hirshfield-nine-gates-writing-threshold-life/ Quotes: On the necessity of narrative: "A human…

Avoiding Fake Deadlines, The Benefits of Daily Reading, Directing Empathy Towards Yourself, Creating as Critiquing, Day Trading with Dreams, Investing in Being Smart, Wisdom versus Intelligence, & How to Start Writing (Reading/Study Notes 5.22.18)

Resource: A must do for entrepreneurs: use real deadlines. Link: https://medium.com/@simon_7381/a-must-do-for-entrepreneurs-use-real-deadlines-4a5216cc7348 Quotes: "You´ve heard the phrase: ¨It will be ready this summer¨, ¨I´ll have it by december¨or ¨it will only…

Why You Need to Start Writing ASAP, Inciteful versus Insightful, Passing the Cold Turkey Test, Reading the Room Before Giving Advice, Not Putting Surveys First, Revolutionary Technologies, & Making Sense of Life (Reading/Study Notes 5.21.18)

Resource: The Ridiculous Writing Myth You Need to Stop Believing to Be a Better Writer Link: https://writingcooperative.com/the-ridiculous-writing-myth-you-need-to-stop-believing-to-be-a-better-writer-a2e6f902d552 Quotes: Perfectionism is the enemy: "I’ve said it before, I wrote for 6…

The Shortcomings of Note-taking, Seth Godin on the Two Extremes, Knowing Beyond Remembering, & 100 Years of Crypto-Anarchy (Reading/Study Notes 5.20.18)

Resource: Stop Trying To Memorize — A Good Book Will Change You Link: https://medium.com/swlh/stop-trying-to-memorize-a-good-book-will-change-you-2bebafb22203 Quotes: "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no…

Empathy, Incremental Progress, Keeping Your Work Human, & Thinking Big by Staying Small (Reading/Study Notes 5.19.18)

Resource: March 28, 1941: Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Letter and Its Cruel Misinterpretation in the Media Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/28/virginia-woolf-suicide-letter/ Quotes/Excerpts: "On March 28, 1941, shortly after the devastating dawn of WWII, Virginia…

Reading/Study Notes 5.18.18

Resource: Understanding Bitcoin's Real Value Link: https://fee.org/articles/understanding-bitcoins-real-value/ Quotes: "Fortunes are bound to be made as cryptocurrencies become more widespread media of exchange. However, it’s unlikely that ordinary investors like you…

Reading Notes 5.12.18

I like to listen to Jazz while I read. Today's choice was Charlie Rouse — "Unsung Hero" [Full Album] 1961 Resource: Anarchy without Hyphens by Karl Hess Link: https://www.panarchy.org/hess/anarchism.html Quotes/Excerpts: Hess…

Reading Notes 5.6.18 (The Powers That Be)

Resource: The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium by Walter Wink Section covered: Chapter 1 (Pages 22-30) Theme(s): Projections of Power, How the Powers show up in the…

Reading Notes 5.5.18 (The Powers That Be/The Traveler, The Tower, & The Worm)

Resource: The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium by Walter Wink Section covered: Chapter 1 (Pages 15-22) Theme(s): A typology of worldviews Quotes/Excerpts: On the nature of the…

Reading Notes 5.4.18 (The Powers That Be/The Traveler, The Tower, & The Worm)

Resource: The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium by Walter Wink Section covered: Chapter 1 (Pages 13-15) Theme(s): Worldviews and the spiritual essence of all things Quotes/Excerpts: On…

Reading Notes 5.3.18 (The Traveler, The Tower, & The Worm)

Resource: The Traveler, the Tower, and the Worm by Alberto Manguel Section covered: Chapter 1 (Pages 6-11) Theme(s): The power, magic, versatility, and revolutionary nature of the book. Quotes/Excerpts: On…

Reading Notes 5.2.18 (The Powers That Be/The Traveler, The Tower, & The Worm)

Reading Notes 5.2.18 (The Powers That Be/The Traveler, The Tower, & The Worm) Resource: The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium by Walter Wink Section covered: The Introduction…

The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature & 8 Ways to Test and Transform Your Ideas

Resource: What Books Do for the Human Spirit: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/09/school-of-life-literature-reading/ Description: Reflections from Alain de Botton on what literature is for Notes/Reflections: Literature…

The Redemptive Power of Reading & The Wrong Side of Right

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen Description: Allen expounds on the steps/details involved when answering the "next actions" question Notes: There are three types of action steps you can…

Information Architecture & The Power of Curation

Resource: Guide on the Side – Richard Saul Wurman: Information Architect Pioneer Link: https://www.llrx.com/2001/06/guide-on-the-side-richard-saul-wurman-information-architect-pioneer/ Description: Wurman's insights on framing information and delivering good instruction Reflections/Notes: Instruction is a form of…

Creating a Friction-free Knowledge Base & Making Information Useful

  Resource: The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge: A 1939 Manifesto for the Incalculable Rewards of Curiosity Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/07/27/the-usefulness-of-useless-knowledge/ Description: Abraham Flexner on the value of curiosity for curiosity's sake Reflections/Notes:…

Doing Something About It & Thinking Like Holmes

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen Reflections/Notes: Use next actions list to organize things that you need to get done ASAP. Use your calendar for appointments and day/time specific…

Offering Payment Plans, Reading for the Human Spirit, & Insights on Clarification

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen Pages: 127-132 Description: In this section, Allen continues to share insights and tips on the process of clarification. Notes: The key question for…

Why Reading is a Superpower, Leisure as the Basis of Culture, & Remembering the Second Step

Resource: Leisure, the Basis of Culture: An Obscure German Philosopher’s Timely 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Human Dignity in a Culture of Workaholism Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/08/10/leisure-the-basis-of-culture-josef-pieper/ Quotes: "Today, in our culture…

Intuition as a Coherence Creating Mechanism, The Value of Changing Your Name, & A Ruefle Review

Resource: How Our Minds Mislead Us: The Marvels and Flaws of Our Intuition Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/10/30/daniel-kahneman-intuition/ "our chronic discomfort with ambiguity — which, ironically, is critical to both our creativity and…

Why Meanness Fails, What Tools are For, & The Value of Contemplating Death

Resource: Mean People Fail Link: http://www.paulgraham.com/mean.html "there are at least big chunks of the world that mean people don't rule, and that territory seems to be growing." Reflections/Notes: Being mean…

Smart People Vs Interesting People, The Pause State, & Why You Can Afford to be Nice

Resource: Don’t Surround Yourself With Smarter People (Venkatesh Rao) Link: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2014/11/05/dont-surround-yourself-with-smarter-people/ "We can finally define what it means for someone to be differently free from you. They are people who…

Learning from the poor, Thinking Critically, & Mastering GTD

Resource: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Poor Link: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2010/11/16/what-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-the-poor/ Reflections/Notes: There are people who live on $2/day and, in many ways, their financial management strategies are far more complex…

Ideas That Must Die, Default Dead & The Fatal Pinch, Mastering GTD Basics

Resource: This Idea Must Die: Some of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Each Select a Major Misconception Holding Us Back (Brainpickings Binge) Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/02/23/this-idea-must-die-john-brockman-edge-question/ “To kill an error is as good…

The Grit of Writing, Writing Like You Talk, and The Reality of Mastery

Resource: David Foster Wallace on Writing, Self-Improvement, and How We Become Who We Are Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/11/david-foster-wallace-quack-this-way/ Reflections/Notes: Word-readers are not mind readers. The people you're writing for belong to the…

Managing Agreements, Learning on the Go, The Beauty of Solitude, Quitting Something You Love, Charisma Versus Power, & The Power of Grit

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen Reflections/Notes: When you use your brain as your in-tray, it mistakenly assumes that you always need to be working on everything you need…

Mindfulness, The Shortness of Life, & What a Brain is For

Resource: A Life of One’s Own: A Penetrating 1930s Field Guide to Self-Possession, Mindful Perception, and the Art of Knowing What You Really Want Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/10/11/a-life-of-ones-own-joanna-field-marion-milner/ "That tuning into one’s…

Embracing Uncertainty, Detecting Bias, & Balancing Vision/Work

Resource: Live the Questions: Rilke on Embracing Uncertainty and Doubt as a Stabilizing Force Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/06/01/rilke-on-questions/ Reflections/Notes: Learn to live with questions. Uncertainty isn't a bad thing and some of…

The Artistic Temperament, Turning off the TV, The Wisdom of Next Actions

Resource: Oscar Wilde on Art and Cultivating the Crucial Temperament of Receptivity Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/08/27/oscar-wilde-on-art/ Reflections/Notes: Art cannot be effectively approached mechanically as if it's our job to dominate it or…

Eating Common Talk, Liberating Yourself, & Continual Creating

Resource: Common Sense Eats Common Talk (RibbonFarm guest post by Stefano Zorzi) Link: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2017/09/26/common-sense-eats-common-talk/ "...avoid looking for general frameworks too early" Reflections/Notes: Common talk is when we repeat phrases, theories,…

Bad Excuses for Not Homeschooling, Tight-Faced Poets, and Building Self-Esteem Through Next Actions

Resource: The real reason parents don’t homeschool Link: http://education.penelopetrunk.com/2013/01/24/the-real-reason-parents-dont-homeschool/ Reflections/Notes: Provocative but fun. Very intriguing. I want to look at the links in the post to go deeper on some…

The Philosophy Behind Farnam Street, Finding Life in Art, Reducing Stress Through Next Actions

Resource: Shane Parrish on Mental Models, Decision Making, Charlie Munger, Farnam Street, And More Link: https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2016/02/shane-parrish-mental-models/ Reflections/Notes: Having great insights is no substitute for knowing how to apply them. Sometimes…

Training For Adversity, Dealing With Your Inner Critic, & Using Tools To Improve Thinking

Resource: Seneca on Overcoming Fear and the Surest Strategy for Protecting Yourself from Misfortune Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/02/15/seneca-letter-18/ Reflections/Notes: Be like the boxer who trained by running backwards (Zig Ziglar). Knowing that…

How Hedging Hurts Our Writing, Being Unafraid to Feel, Managing Lower Level Priorities

Source: The internet has made defensive writers of us all Link: https://pchiusano.github.io/2014-10-11/defensive-writing.html Description: How hedging hurts our writing Reflections/Notes: Many writers hedge their words by adding a bunch of qualifying…

Not Putting Books on a Pedestal, Talking About Books You Haven’t Read, Cultivating a Personal Micro-culture, & Engaging Your Work

Resource: Henry Miller on Reading, the Life of the Mind, and How to Fix Education Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/07/30/henry-miller-the-books-in-my-life/ Notes/Reflections: The greatest source of knowledge is not books, but life itself. We…

How we create ourselves through friendship, why competition is good, and why we need to focus on the little picture

Resource: Trailblazing Astronomer Maria Mitchell on How We Co-Create Each Other and Recreate Ourselves Through Friendship Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/09/10/maria-mitchell-friendship/ Description: Reflections from pioneering female astronomer, Maria Mitchell, on friendship Notes/Reflections: No…

Secular Stewardship, Staying Organized, & Content Curation

Resource: Jane Goodall on Science, Spirituality, and Our Highest Responsibility as Human Beings Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/04/03/jane-goodall-science-religion-responsibility/ Reflections/Notes: Teleology isn't a necessary condition for awe. Even if our world isn't the product…

The Form/Function Nature of Thinking, The Art of Living, & The Power of Comparing Down

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen Description: The function follow form nature of thinking Reflections/Notes: When it comes to your mental life, form follows function. That is, the kind…

Avoiding Autopilot, What Change Requires, & The Importance of Capturing Everything

Resource: The Psychology of Getting Unstuck: How to Overcome the “OK Plateau” of Performance & Personal Growth Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/10/17/ok-plateau/ Reflections/Notes: 3 stages of skill acquisition: 1) Cognitive -- lots of…

Being Accessible, Dreaming While Awake, & Creating Easy Wins

Resource: You Are Here by Frank Chimero Link: https://www.frankchimero.com/archive/2010/you-are-here/ Notes/Reflections: Attention is an increasingly scarce resource and it behooves us to manage it by creating boundaries, but the end goal…

The Trap of Approval, Advice On Writing, Ground up Organization

Resource: Jennifer Egan on Writing, the Trap of Approval, and the Most Important Discipline for Aspiring Writers Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/07/jennifer-egan-on-writing/ Reflections/Notes: Read the kind of stuff you want to write. Write…

Making Discoveries, Avoiding Traps, & Organizing Actions

Resource: Pioneering Psychologist Jerome Bruner on the Act of Discovery and the Key to True Learning Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/10/01/jerome-bruner-act-of-discovery/ Description: Insights from Jerome Bruner on the value of discoveries and how…

Using Literature to Expand Your World & Language to Transform Your Thoughts

Resource: What Books Do for the Human Spirit: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/09/school-of-life-literature-reading/ Description: Reflections from Alain de Botton on what literature is for Notes/Reflections: Literature…

Why We Read, Changing the Narrative, Smelling with Your Body, & Managing your Inbox

Resource: C.S. Lewis on Why We Read Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/26/c-s-lewis-literature-reading-books/ Description: C.S. Lewis on the preciousness of knowledge and the power of books Notes/Reflections: Seeing the world through your eyes alone…

What Makes a Good Reader, Staying Current, & Three Things to Say

Resource: Vladimir Nabokov on What Makes a Good Reader Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/01/21/nabokov-on-what-makes-a-good-reader/ Description: Nabokov on what makes a good reader Reflections/Notes: A good reader is a rereader. When you read a…

Reading Like a Writer, Retaining What you Read, & Reviewing your Workflow

Resource: How to Read Like a Writer Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/08/31/how-to-read-like-a-writer/ Description: Reflections from Francine Prose on how writing makes us better readers and vice versa Notes/Reflections: Read slowly. When you're a…

How to Read a Book, Reviewing What You Learn, & Reflection as the Engine of Organization

Resource: Virginia Woolf on How to Read a Book Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/03/06/virginia-woolf-how-should-one-read-a-book/ Description: Guidelines for getting the most out of your reading experience Notes/Reflections: The first rule of reading is that…

Tickler Files, Building an Antilibrary, and Showing Your Work

Resource: Getting Things Done Description: Tickler files and checklists Notes/Reflections: A tickler files is a system that allows you to make sure something physically shows up in front of you…

The Communal Character of Creativity, The Advantages of Reading Over Conversing, Narrating Your Work, & Using the Calendar as a Trigger

Resource: Frank Chimero on the Shape of Design and the Harmonics of Influence  Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/04/23/the-shape-of-design-frank-chimero/ Description: Thoughts from a designer on what makes good design and how creativity is communal…

The Magic of Reading, The Epistemology of Learning, & The Value of Incubating Ideas

Resource: The Big Green Book: Robert Graves and Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Vintage Children’s Book About the Magic of Reading Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/04/the-big-green-book-robert-graves-maurice-sendak/ Description: The tale of a little orphan…

How Reading Wakes Us Up, Why Day Jobs are Good for Artists, & Notes on Organizing Your Reference Materials

Resource: Anaïs Nin on How Reading Awakens Us from the Slumber of Almost-Living Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/01/19/anais-nin-on-reading/ Description: Books arouse us from spiritual slumber Reflections/Notes: What most of call "living" is really…

The Significance of Reading Books, Keys to Retaining what you Read, & Project Support Materials

Resource: Brainpicking's article -- Someone Reading a Book is a Sign of Order in the World Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/06/mary-ruefle-reading/ Description: Reflections on the value of reading Notes/Reflections: Reading appears to be…

Being Useful, The Uselessness of Art, Creativity as Spiritual Practice, Capturing Ideas, & Small Deltas of Novelty

Resource: How to be useful to others by Derek Sivers Link: https://sivers.org/d1u (article) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UbixCFJ2DA Reflections/Notes: Work out loud. Letting people see you do what you do is an act of…

The Illusion of Originality, 3 Keys to Effective Note-Taking, & Organizing Your Project Lists

Resource: All Ideas Are Second-Hand: Mark Twain’s Magnificent Letter to Helen Keller About the Myth of Originality Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/05/10/mark-twain-helen-keller-plagiarism-originality/ Thoughts/Reflections: All creativity is combinatorial in nature. Whenever we appear to…

Cultivating a Love for Books, Becoming a Better Reader, & Setting up a Capturing System

Resource: Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/08/03/neil-gaiman-view-from-the-cheap-seats-reading/ Description: Neil Gaiman on the importance of cultivating a love for reading and…

Keeping a Notebook, Teaching Through Storytelling, & Setting up Your GTD System

Resource: Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/19/joan-didion-on-keeping-a-notebook/ Description: Didion's reflections on the value and aim of keeping a notebook Thoughts/Reflections: A notebook (diary, journal, collection of one's private…

Brainstorming, The Surprising of Sound, & The Frustrating Fulfillment of Love

Brainstorming & Organizing Resource: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen  Description: Brainstorming and organizing Thoughts/Reflections: Brainstorming First key to brainstorming -- capture your ideas. Write…

Van Gogh’s Mental Battle, The Brain’s Natural Planning Process, & The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Our Work

Van Gogh's Mental Battle Resources: Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/08/23/gauguin-van-gogh-ear/ Description: A recounting of the details…

Putting Your Brain to Work, The Human Note, & The Limits of Self-Criticism

Putting Your Brain to Work Resource: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen Description: David Allen's infamous GTD system for managing the things that demand our…

A Decade of Discoveries, Dates with Ideas, & Models of Engagement

Resource: 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/23/10-years-of-brain-pickings/ Thoughts/Reflections: Brainpickings began, not as an ambitious project with the anticipation of a large legacy or following, but as…

Honoring the Imagination,Widening the World, & Getting Organized

Resource: Thoreau on Writing and the Splendors of Mystery in an Age of Knowledge Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/07/12/thoreau-writing-knowledge-mystery/ Description: Selected musings from the diary of Henry David Thoreau Thoughts/Reflections: Scientific descriptions and…

The Emotional Logic of Health, The Limits of Direct Experience, and The Basis of Organization

Resource: The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/07/20/esther-sternberg-balance-within-stress-emotion/ Description: Maria Popova summarizes how recent research from neurobiology sheds light on…

Taking Ownership, Getting to the Core, & Being Original

Resource: Extreme Ownership | Jocko Willink | TEDxUniversityofNevada (13:49) Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljqra3BcqWM&t=25s Thoughts/Reflections: If you don't control your ego, your ego will control you. When you take responsibility for your actions and the…

Becoming A Day Smasher, Making Sense of Life, & Closing Your Open Loops

Resource: How To SMASH DAYS When You Don't Feel Like It - Jocko WillinkLink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Vp7fTgQ3g&t=16s Description: Jocko Willink addresses the challenge of getting things done on days when our feelings…

The Magic of Books, The Danger of Inner Rings, & The Power of Filing Systems

Resource: The Magic of the Book: Hermann Hesse on Why We Read and Always Will Link: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/07/the-magic-of-the-book-hermann-hesse-my-belief/ Description: Reflections from a Herman Hesse Essay on the magic of books Thoughts/Reflections:…

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