Are you a taker, a giver, or a matcher?

Some people only help when it benefits themselves, others foster transactional relationships, while yet others are generous with their time and energy, without asking for anything in return. Whether in their personal or professional relationships, takers, givers, and matchers achieve different outcomes. Surprisingly, givers display the most radically distinctive results. Are you a taker, a …

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Taste: why we like what we like

You may think your likes and dislikes are formed through rational decision-making. After all— whether it is books, movies, music, food, romantic partners, or fashion—your tastes are a defining part of your identity. But the reality is more complicated than that. Our genes, our culture, and our experiences define why we like what we like. …

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90 journaling prompts to spark new personal insights

Journaling offers many benefits, including improved mood, fewer stress-related visits to the doctor, feeling of greater psychological well-being, reduced depressive symptoms and absenteeism from work, improved working memory, and more. However, many people struggle to build a journaling habit. The blank page of a journal can feel daunting, and many journaling methods assume a well-ingrained …

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The Diderot Effect: why we buy things we don’t need

Did you really need everything you bought? Except if you are one of the most extreme minimalists out there, the answer is likely to be: probably not. Even so, we keep on buying new products, upgrading to the latest version, and filling our lives with possessions we don’t need. That’s the Diderot Effect at play: …

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2020 year in review: chaos and community

This year was both the slowest and the fastest of my life. Some parts feel like a blur, others feel like they lasted forever. First, I lost my grandmother. I want to mention it straightaway in the introduction of this annual review, as it has been the most defining event of my year. Losing someone …

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Interview: Building an anti-regret machine with Tyler Bryden

Many people take lots of notes but then don’t know what to do with them. Our notes, whether written, audio, or video, are a treasure trove of insights about ourselves, but it can be hard to extract those insights. That’s why I was incredibly excited when I discovered Speak Ai, a company on a mission …

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Personal values: how knowing yourself can guide your actions

Ask anyone their opinion on one of the many political and ethical divides of the moment, and you will receive a strong opinion as to what “ought” to be. While people tend to appeal to logic to justify their stance, many of these positions are actually guided by their personal values. Our values are our …

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The power of flexible consistency

When I launched the newsletter last summer, I didn’t expect to hit 20,000 subscribers about a year later. Beside the financial freedom, what started as a little project has brought me countless opportunities to connect with smart people and create new friendships. Many readers are also writers, creators, designers, and entrepreneurs—whether full-time or on the …

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The only numbers that matter

Nowadays, virtually anything can be tracked and measured. Smartwatches include a heart rate monitor, can count your steps, and record your sleep patterns. Apps let you log your meals, your fasting zones, your weight, and your calorie expenditure. A timer on your computer can track your productivity. As Gary Wolf, the co-founder of Quantified Self …

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