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Warning Signs

People will take over your life if you let them. How do they do it? Step 1: They begin by taking over your time. “This will only take a minute…” “Can we have a quick call to discuss…” “We’d like to get your input on…” When they send a message in one place to say…

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An Academic Confession

A long time ago, I sent a thick packet of information to Yale, explaining in considerable detail how awesome I was and why they should accept the honor of my giving them tens of thousands of dollars a year. They sent me back a short, polite letter, saying that while they were happy to accept…

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Life In the Tower, Somaliland Edition

Many thanks to everyone who has been reading or supporting the launch of The Tower, my new manifesto. If you missed it on Tuesday, you can pick up your free copy in a range of formats. I also want to thank my long-time friend and colleague Reese Spykerman, specialist in branding and magic, for her…

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How To Put Off Making Decisions About Your Life

Everyone hates making decisions, especially ones that are important and determine the course of their future. Thankfully, there’s often no need to make such decisions. Instead, you can simply put them off, often indefinitely. By shifting your life to autopilot, you’ll be in good company, since many people prefer to let things come their way…

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Questions to Ask of the People Who Make the Rules

What, exactly, are the rules? Why do these rules exist? By whose authority are these rules upheld? What’s more important—the spirit or letter of these rules? Has anyone ever found or been granted an exception to these rules? Could these rules be bent, modified, overlooked, or otherwise changed? Will someone be penalized for excelling under…

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Save the Date! Announcing the 2012 World Domination Summit

Friends and readers, Three months ago, we brought together 500 people from a dozen countries for our inaugural World Domination Summit. You can see what it looked like in this brand-new video recap: (You can also see thousands of photos from the weekend over here. A few of them are below, in case you missed…

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Things They Have No Right to Tell You

All of my relationships have failed, but here’s what you should do about yours. I’ve never written a book, but here’s a list of everything that’s wrong with yours. My business failed, but here’s how you should run yours. My blog has five readers, but here’s some free advice on how to attract attention. I…

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Why Travel

Because when you leave behind the familiar, you can’t help but be changed by the foreign. Because comfort zones become constricting zones over time. Because the world was meant to be experienced, not imagined. Because you’ll meet people who are different than you. (Are we all the same? Not really, but that’s OK.) Because it…

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The Moment You Knew

I’ve spent much of the past four months interviewing unconventional entrepreneurs for my next book, and throughout the process I learned what kind of questions solicit the best answers. For example, I often asked people whether their venture was “worth it,” which might sound simplistic. Of course it’s worth it! I’ve learned, though, that this…

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Legacy Projects and the Love of True Friends

When you begin to share your important work with the world, a funny thing happens: some of the people closest to you don’t understand it. They damn you with faint praise, or they point out something trivial that could be improved. Sometimes they never say anything at all, which of course is the worst thing.…

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An Important Thing No One Will Tell You

I talked with someone who was in the process of calling fifteen people to get their opinions on a project. Why was any one of our opinions worth so much effort? I’m not sure, but someone had told her she should seek out as many opinions as possible before deciding what to do. The standard…

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WDS 2011: “The Heart Attack of Awesome”

One year ago, I began planning last weekend with a small group of trusted friends. As the time drew closer, we transitioned from a planning team to an Action Team. Then, as the weekend really drew closer, we expanded to a much larger Action Team. When the big day finally arrived, more than 40 people…

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The Need for Change

I talked with my seatmate Rachel on the flight to Singapore. She was 6G, I was 6H—Cathay Pacific Business Class. I was sitting up front thanks to my Platinum status and a big stash of Frequent Flyer Miles. Rachel was up front thanks to the global bank she worked for, which after a brief display…

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