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Everyone Loves to Hate a Winner

Photo credit: WordFreak I read an online article recently that listed eight annoying people you’ll meet in the typical Starbucks. My favorite, or actually my least favorite, is the guy who hates Starbucks, but ends up going there every day. In Seattle we have no shortage of Starbucks haters, many of whom go there often.…

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The Normalization of Mediocrity

I recently came back to Seattle after traveling for two weeks, and began eating simple, organic food again. I’m a vegetarian wherever I go, but I don’t always eat very well when I’m out around the world. After getting back on track after all the travel and different countries, I started feeling better within 24…

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The Land of Too Much

Two years ago I was working in Liberia, West Africa and came to Chicago for a three-day conference. Coming out of West Africa to Europe and then North America is always a huge culture shock, and when I went all that way for just a weekend conference, I felt more disoriented than ever. I stayed…

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How To Fall Down and Get Back Up Again

This is a lesson on how to look absolutely ridiculous in front of a crowd of strangers, and how to recover as gracefully as possible. Well, let’s clarify that a bit: the first part is easy, since I am constantly making stupid mistakes all over the world and trying to minimize the embarrassment. I have…

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Nothing Beside Remains…

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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The Plan of Attack

After you make a decision to be remarkable and recruit a small army, you need a plan of attack. How will you accomplish your world takeover goals? There are lots of ways to formulate a plan of attack. My own planning is usually constructed through mind-maps and process-oriented thinking. I work backwards from the goal,…

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The Flip Side of Self-Employment and Freedom

Entrepreneurs are a diverse bunch of people, but when you ask them to tell you the greatest benefit of being self-employed, you’ll usually hear the same answer over and over. That answer is FREEDOM, and rightly so. When you work for yourself, no one tells you what to do—at least not in the same way…

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How to Respond to Critics

As part of your independent-minded journey, many people will oppose you along the way. Some will oppose you by saying that you “can’t” do the things you’ve planned. Others will try to impose their own arbitrary rules on you. Others will be jealous of your success and try to bring you down to the level…

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Focus On What You Need To Know

I lived in Seattle for a year before I went to my first professional sports game last summer. I’m not usually a big fan of watching sports, but it was fun to go down to Safeco Field and hang out with friends at the Mariners’ game. Getting to the game could have been difficult for…

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The 14,600 Hours to Virtuosity

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…” -Alexander Pope, 1709 *** Thanks to the use of Frequent Flyer Miles, I flew back to New York City from Bucharest last year in Delta’s nice BusinessElite cabin. Hanging out in the airline lounge before the flight, I met up with another traveler, a professional musician from New…

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Creating and Living by Your Own List of Values

Everyone lives their life by some sort of internalized moral code, but many people don’t take the time to sort out what they really believe in. Because of this disparity, we often feel conflicted when deciding how to make regular choices about time, money, and personal decisions.

One definition of integrity is how closely your life aligns with your values. In other words, do you do what you say you do? Do you live your life according to what you believe in?

This definition is somewhat incomplete, because it allows for you to do pretty much anything you want to do (even harm other people, which most of us would not consider to be a good thing). But there is still some truth to the idea that integrity relates to how you live by the standards you have set. If you don’t do what you say you do, how can you say you practice integrity?

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The Decision to Be Remarkable

re•mark•able [adjective]: worthy of being noticed, especially as being uncommon or extraordinary *** If you want to break out of the mold of average, the first thing you need to do is to make a decision to be radically different. Most remarkable people are people of action, and for a good reason: if you don’t…

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