Some hard truths about soft skills

The definition of “soft skills” on Wikipedia feels like it’s been written by a very confused person. According to the page, soft skills are a combination of things such as social intelligence and emotional intelligence, people skills, social skills and communication skills, personality traits, and even career attributes. The article goes onto listing courtesy, flexibility, …

Read more

Circular growth vs linear growth

It’s common to see progress as linear. When thinking about success, many people imagine a ladder or stairs going up. To progress, you need to climb each step one by one and get closer to the top. Linear model: A then B then C then D. Circular model: A feeds B feeds C, which in …

Read more

The science of curiosity: why we keep asking “why”

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. Albert Einstein. Children have an incredibly inquisitive mind. “Why?” they keep asking. They explore new things for no other reason except that they just want to know. Researchers tried to figure out how often kids ask questions. Turns out, a lot: on average, children ask 107 …

Read more

The false promise of the 10,000 hour rule

Our culture loves experts. Whether athletes, chefs, or musicians, some of the biggest celebrities are considered masters of their craft, and we admire the long hours they put into practicing over and over again the same skills so they could become second nature. In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell published his popular book Outliers, exploring why some …

Read more

Learning how to learn

We spend years of our lives attending school, but there are many life skills missing from the typical curriculum. Critical thinking, constructive conversations, handling money, business writing, time management, and self-care are just but a few. Another skill we don’t spend enough time honing is learning how to learn. It’s a shame, because there are …

Read more

Stop looking for The One

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is almost an automatic question adults ask when chatting with a kid. Maybe it’s a way to connect through a topic that speaks to us, or because it’s often endearing to hear their answers. But why do we insist so much on kids having …

Read more