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Weekly Review Dec 18

Late post this week, due to a last minute Mexico trip – apologies.

Some good free online tutorial sites: excelexposure.com for Excel, thinktutorial.com for assorted business software,  drawspace.com for drawing (so simple, why haven’t I thought of that before!?), and memrise.com for memorizing things. All great Khan Academy style approaches to arts that lend themselves to the format well. I haven’t tried them yet, but it makes sense that they would work, as long as you remain disciplined.

Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of Reddit) hired Next Media (that crazy Korean animation studio that wackily illustrates news stories) to do the promo video for his new book. Genius way to market. That same quote has a solid quote within it, too – “Entrepreneur is just French for “has ideas, does them””

Tip from Eric Barker on how to develop grit (perseverance and passion for long term goals), a trait that is more important than creativity and intelligence for achievement: focus on getting better, not doing well or looking good. That takes deliberate practice (purposely practicing the hardest parts of the skill repeatedly), a concept which Cal Newport covered in his book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” and Geoff Calvin did in “Talent is Overrated”. Science proves what I suspected – if you want it and are willing to suffer in order to get it done, it’s going to end up better than someone else doing is halfheartedly or even just for money.

Top 10 things Chris Bailey (A Year of Productivity) learned from meditating 35 hours – All of these are great, but I particularly like #1: ‘Your actions are your only true belongings’, and this passage:

“Every single action of yours falls into one of three buckets: actions you have already done, actions you’re doing now, and actions you’re going to do. The brain glitch that nearly everyone has is that they spend most of their time in either the past or the future; thinking about the stupid or great things they’ve done in the past, or thinking about the things they’re going to do. But here’s the thing: the past has already happened, and the future is just an idea of what you think things are going to be like (and if you’re anything like me, you’re wrong 75% of the time). The actions that you perform in any given moment shape your future, and create your past. The present is the only time that ever actually exists.”

It really throws into high contrast all those moments you decide to do something frivolous online rather than buckle down on something hard, huh?