Inner child and inner critic: a battle for creativity

“It takes a very long time to become young,” Pablo Picasso once said. Adults miss the innocent curiosity of their youth; artists strive to reclaim their lost childlike creativity. The creative process often feels like a constant battle between an inner child and an inner critic. Can this creative battle turn into creative balance? Becoming …

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Brain-training games are BS

“Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!” claims the fifteen-year old Nintendo brain-training app, also known as Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training. The app consists of mini-games supposedly designed to stimulate various parts of the brain and help combat normal aging effects on the brain. The latest version was released early 2020 in Europe …

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Fostering psychological safety with a personal user manual

When you buy a new product, it usually comes with a user manual. It’s a document designed to help you make the best use of that particular product, with detailed instructions. It’s a guide to using a specific system. But when we meet a new person, we need to figure things out through trial and …

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The Pygmalion Effect: an invisible nudge towards success

When I was in school, a friend of mine was offered the opportunity to coach the newly formed volleyball team. He didn’t think he had what it took to do a good job, but there was no one else better qualified, so he accepted. While they trained several times a week, my friend kept on …

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Impostor syndrome: the fear of being exposed as a fraud

“I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.” John Steinbeck, very talented and successful author who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature. Yesterday, I launched my newsletter on Product Hunt. The launch went incredibly well, with 1,300 new subscribers joining the list, lots of kind comments, and a second spot …

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Mindful context switching: multitasking for humans

Multitasking has its cost. Learn how to improve your productivity and work better with your team by using mindful context switching. So many things to do, so little time. When you juggle work, personal projects, and are hoping to have any sort of social life, managing your time can feel like an impossible endeavour. There …

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Full-stack personal development

A few months ago, I decided to learn how to code. I started tinkering with code when I was a kid, mostly to design and code my blog with HTML, CSS, and PHP, but wanted to actually be able to build more complex applications. I remember reading articles and wondering what path to take. It …

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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 …

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Build your own mental gym

At this point, most people are aware of the benefits of physical exercise. It doesn’t mean we actually act on it—$1.8 billion spent on unused gym memberships in the U.S. only—but we do know physical activity is good for us. What about mental exercise? Shouldn’t we train our brains, too? Building mental strength is not …

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Mindframing: a personal growth framework

Update: following the success of this article, I published a literature review that explores the science of personal growth outside the school and work environments, and how makers can use mindframing to manage their personal growth. According to Marty McFly in the classic 1985 movie Back to the Future, “If you put your mind to …

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