Emotions

Real Magick Deconstructed (Interview with Chloe Good)

A few months ago I was wasting time on Twitter as usual, and came across a tweet by an online acquaintance referring to “magick.” I figured it was a typo, and messaged him to find out more. That was the beginning of my introduction to the mysterious, strange, paradoxical world of “real magick.” This isn’t…

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My interview on the Mindhack Podcast: Finding the Achiever’s Mindset

I recently sat down with Cody McLain to talk about productivity, achievement, and personal growth. We went deep on the relationship between internal experiences like personal growth and self-awareness, and external measures of success that people usually associate with “achievement.” Click here to visit the Mindhack website for the audio recording and full transcript.

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How Emotions Are Made: The Theory of Constructed Emotion

This post now available in German. The Theory of Constructed Emotion offers a radical new take on what emotions are, where they come from, and how they shape our lives. Presented by psychology professor and neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett in her best-selling book How Emotions Are Made (affiliate link), it also contradicts many of…

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A Vision for Escola Pura

At the end of every year I perform an “annual review.” It includes a series of exercises and questions designed to close out the previous year and help me plan for the new one. I decided to do it differently this year. Under the guidance of my friend Ting, I took on a process of…

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Emergent Strategy: Organizing for Social Justice

When I moved from San Francisco to Oakland in 2014, I was just trying to pay cheaper rent. I never expected to be influenced by the movements that flow through Oakland’s veins: the movements for social justice, for environmental justice, and for black liberation. I’ve since had the privilege of working with some of the…

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You Need a Budget: 13 Parallels Between Money and Productivity

I recently read and took notes on You Need a Budget (YNAB-Affiliate Link), a popular book on personal finance and budgeting (with accompanying software for managing budgets) by Jesse Mecham. My interest in this book is three-fold: I’m terrible at budgeting and need help I want to borrow principles and methods for managing money to help people…

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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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Strategically Constrained: How to Turn Limitations Into Opportunities

I first came across the idea that great strengths can emerge from great constraints in Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle is the Way. He takes a philosophical and historical approach, citing numerous Very Important People in history who used their unique challenges as springboards. I was annoyed by the idea, thinking something along the lines…

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Mood as Extrapolation Engine: Using Emotions to Generate Momentum

I believe that moods (or less colloquially, states of mind) can be used not just defensively, making the best of whatever mood you’re in (as I described in Productivity for Precious Snowflakes). They can also be used offensively, to proactively create the conditions for rapid acceleration and value creation. Let’s begin with a simple question:…

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