Personal growth

A Skeptic Goes to the Landmark Forum

Note: The views expressed on this blog are my personal views and are not the views of Landmark. In September of 2016 I completed a weekend seminar called the Landmark Forum in San Francisco. It took three close friends, recommending it to me in three separate conversations, to get me there. I was very skeptical…

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A Productivity Expert Goes to Burning Man

This is the story of my experience at Burning Man 2017. The first day I ran around like a kid at Disneyland, poking my head into every corner, trying to see and try everything. Black Rock City (what the encampment is called for a few weeks each year) is indeed a theme park — except for adults,…

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The Topology of Attention

It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that my work is really about attentional design. Becoming aware of attention. Shaping and directing it. Shifting its quality and inner experience. Leveraging it to produce work of real value. Tell someone what to do, they might be more productive for a day. Tell them what to pay attention…

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The World Beyond Your Head: How Distraction Shapes Who We Are

Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head (Affiliate Link) is the most important book I’ve read in quite some time. It makes a sweeping argument about what it means to be an ethical, autonomous human in the digital age. Crawford draws a strong connection from the distractions buzzing on our phones, to the evolving…

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The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Desire, and Working Free

I’ve become obsessed with coaching. It started in February, when I started the 4-month Self-Expression & Leadership Program at Landmark. I was assigned an accountability group and a coach, who guided me through the process of planning and executing a community service project. That process included learning how to communicate a vision, how to recruit…

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A Theory of Unlearning: Ecstasis, Anamnesis, Kenosis

A year ago in Productivity for Precious Snowflakes, I introduced the idea of Mood-First Productivity — that our moods, or unique states of mind, are fundamental drivers of creative knowledge work. But something was missing: how does one advance in the practice of Mood-First Productivity, besides noticing what mood you’re in at any given time, and trying…

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The Throughput of Learning

Learning in the 21st century is not about acquiring more information, knowledge, or even insights. The goal is to maximize the throughput of invalidated assumptions. But you have to get there one step at a time. When you first start learning, early in life, there is a bottleneck in the amount of information you have…

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The Holy Grail of Self-Improvement

By Tiago Forte The holy grail of self-improvement is a framework for self-directed experimentation and learning that can be used by the average person. The key question such a framework would have to answer is “How do people change?” In this post, I will suggest possible answers to this question by looking at the recent…

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What I Learned in 7 Years of Tracking Gratitude

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs For the past 7 years, I’ve kept a list of everything I’m thankful for. I started the list in 2008, on New Year’s Eve, on a beach in Brazil. Thinking back over a year of studying abroad, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the experiences it brought me, I just…

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10 Days of Vipassana

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs 10 days, 11 hours of meditation per day. No talking or communication of any kind, not even hand gestures or eye contact. No reading or writing materials of any kind. No exercise, no entertainment, no physical contact, no leaving the grounds, no food or drink besides what was provided….

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