How To Tell If Someone Is Truly Smart Or Just Average

Dec 2, 2017

Photo credit: Heisenberg Media

Have you ever noticed how some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and leaders see reality in a fundamentally different way? When they talk, it’s almost as if they’re speaking a different language.

Just look at this interview where Elon Musk describes how he understands cause and effect:

“I look at the future from the standpoint of probabilities. It’s like a branching stream of probabilities, and there are actions that we can take that affect those probabilities or that accelerate one thing or slow down another thing. I may introduce something new to the probability stream.”

Unusual, right? One writer who interviewed Musk describes his mental process like this:

“Musk sees people as computers, and he sees his brain software as the most important product he owns — and since there aren’t companies out there designing brain software, he designed his own, beta tests it every day, and makes constant updates.”

Musk’s top priority is designing the software in his brain. Have you ever heard anyone else describe their life that way?

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If You Don’t Want To Regret Your Life 30 Years Later, Make This One Choice Right Now

Dec 2, 2017

Time well spent. (Reuters/Susana Vera)
Definition Of Hell: “On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Unknown

By the time you move out of your parents’ home, you’ve already spent 93% of the time that you will ever spend with them (if they live far away).

Conversely, as a parent, you will only see your kids a handful of times per year once they move out.

Our career is just 80,000 hours. There are only one or two things we can become truly world-class at if we go all out.

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Why Being Great Is So Much Harder Than People Realize

Dec 2, 2017

Credit: New York Times

This fascinating New York Times video changed the way I think about career success.

It shows the world records in the men’s 100-meter sprint between 1896 and 2012. Notice anything interesting?

There’s almost a straight line of improvement of over time.

Now, if you have any curiosity about how the world works, you have to ask yourself, “What’s going on here? What does this say about how greatness is achieved?”

In this article, I make the case that what we’re seeing here is a pattern that happens across almost all fields and industries: The amount to learn in order to be great is increasing exponentially.

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To Become Who You Want To Be, Try These 15 Life Experiments

Dec 2, 2017

Photo credit: Ben Larcombe
We’re in the middle of a fundamental revolution in how people improve their lives through experimentation.

In short: we now live in a world where anyone from anywhere can quickly learn from the world’s top experts for close to nothing. With affordable tools and trackers, it’s possible to rapidly test that advice to see what actually works. Finally, it’s now easy and free for people to document their stories and share it with millions of others around the world via social media.

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How One Life Hack From A Self-Made Billionaire Leads To Exceptional Success

Dec 2, 2017

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Countless books and articles have been written about Warren Buffett. Surprisingly few have been written about his business partner of over 40 years, Charlie Munger.

Munger has stayed out of the public eye, giving only a small number of public talks, and he’s rarely been covered in the media. At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder’s meetings, he lets Buffett answer the questions, often times commenting, “I have nothing to add.”

A few years ago, I decided to learn more about Munger’s 70-year career, and I’ve been blown away ever since. When I look back on my life, I see it has one of the top turning points in my life. His model for success, backed by research, is simple and game-changing. It also flies in the face of conventional wisdom on career success.

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5-Hour Rule: If you’re not spending 5 hours per week learning, you’re being irresponsible

Dec 2, 2017

Photo credit from left to right: Pete Souza,, Wikipedia Commons

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero.”
— Charlie Munger, Self-made billionaire & Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner

Why did the busiest person in the world, former president Barack Obama, read an hour a day while in office?

Why has the best investor in history, Warren Buffett, invested 80% of his time in reading and thinking throughout his career?

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Forget About The 10,000-Hour Rule. Thomas Edison, Jeff Bezos, And Mark Zuckerberg Follow The 10,000-Experiment Rule

Dec 2, 2017


Most people think that Edison invented the first light bulb.

They’re wrong.

In fact, Edison was spectacularly late to the game.

In 1878, when the 36-year-old inventor decided to focus on building a light bulb, 23 others had already invented early versions called arc lamps, some of which were being used commercially to light streets and large buildings.

So how did Edison win in such a crowded field when he was so far behind?

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How Elon Musk Learns Faster And Better Than Everyone Else

Dec 2, 2017

How is it even possible that Elon Musk could build four multibillion companies by his mid-40s — in four separate fields (software, energy, transportation, and aerospace)?

To explain Musk’s success, others have pointed to his heroic work ethic (he regularly works 85-hour weeks), his ability to set reality-distorting visions for the future, and his incredible resilience.

But all of these felt unsatisfactory to me. Plenty of people have these traits. I wanted to know what he did differently.

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Successful People Are Not Necessarily Smarter. They Just Do More Of This.

Dec 2, 2017

This is how you build world-class expertise in any field.

Photo Credit: Frans Peeters

Imagine this…

You’re playing speed chess… with a blindfold… with multiple games going at once.

At the 2015 Sohn conference, the highest-ranked chess player in history, Magnus Carlsen, did exactly this, and it’s a feat to behold.

Carlsen quickly makes his moves (navigating 60,000+ possible chess moves in his mind) while his opponents flounder.

Carlsen’s first win is a checkmate. His second is a resignation. The final opponent loses on time!

If you’re like me, when you see feats like this, you wonder:

How can I perform like this in my own field?

This article answers that question.

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Source: Magnus Carlsen Blind & Timed Chess Simul at the Sohn Conference in NYC

Why Successful People Spend 10 Hours A Week On “Compound Time”

Dec 2, 2017

Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey all do this one thing outside their to-do-lists everyday.


One question has fascinated me my entire adult life: what causes some people to become world-class leaders, performers, and changemakers, while most others plateau?

I’ve explored the answer to this question by reading thousands of biographies, academic studies, and books across dozens of disciplines. Over time, I’ve noticed a deeper practice of top performers, one so counterintuitive that it’s often overlooked.

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