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How Do You Know If Your Idea Is Worth Pursuing?

Creative people usually have no shortage of ideas of things they'd like to do. The greater challenge is: how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing, and which should be abandoned or just put on hold for now?

Here’s one way: consider the amount of time you spend thinking about the idea, even as you go on to other things.

I don’t just mean when you have an idea and you think about it a lot the same day. I mean when you have an idea, and you think about it for a while before putting it aside... and then it comes back to you the next day. Then a week goes by, and you realize you’ve thought about it almost every day.

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When to Compromise and When to Hold Your Ground

8581789342_d849c00856_z At some point, most of us end up settling in a major part of our life. We compromise and make tradeoffs.

We can’t always get everything we want, of course. We can’t always be in total control. But we can certainly get a lot of what we want, and if we prioritize what's most important to us, we can probably get the top things on the list. Just because we can’t always be in control doesn’t mean that we're never in control.

This truth presents a natural question: when should we compromise, and when should we hold our ground and keep fighting for what we really want?

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There’s No School for What You Need to Do

At one of the stops on my current tour, the bookstore host introduced me by saying in part “... and Chris earned a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Washington.” It surprised me a little because no one else has ever mentioned that in any introduction that I can recall.

Sure, it’s public information, but who cares? No one reads my blog because I went to college. No one buys my books or comes to an event because I earned an advanced degree, or any degree for that matter.

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The Confirm Button Never Disappoints

File under: awesome travel advice. On any given week I spend at least several hours in making travel plans. I constantly go back and forth over the various options, sometimes becoming plagued by indecision. I talked about this recently with my friend and fellow wanderer Stephanie Zito, when we were riding around in a taxi…

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Unnecessary Traffic Lights

Have you ever pulled up to a stoplight and waited ... and waited ... while there was no other traffic in sight?

Three minutes later, the light finally changes, and you pull away ... with no other traffic in sight?

A couple of years ago, this happened to me late at night while I was traveling in the midwest. I sat there and kept thinking: what a useless stoplight. What am I waiting for?

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Intentions, Decisions, and Outcomes

I recently posted a question to readers about what to do in an uncertain airport situation. This was the scenario:

You arrive very late at an airport you haven’t been to before. Security takes forever, but the flight is on time—which means you’re even more rushed. You walk into the terminal and look for your gate: A70. Damn … you’re currently at A18. Above you is an “Express Train” that runs between A1 and A75 with an unknown number of intermediate stops.

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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 my initial contribution of $75, they had plenty of other applicants, even more qualified and more awesome than me, all willing to pony up the tens of thousands of dollars for the next few years.

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Everyday Decisions: Should You Take the Train?

Here's the scenario: you arrive very late at an airport you haven't been to before. Security takes forever, but the flight is on time—which means you're even more rushed.

You walk into the terminal and look for your gate: A70. Damn ... you're currently at A18. Above you is an "Express Train" that runs between A1 and A75 with an unknown number of intermediate stops.

You know if you take the escalator up to the train and catch a ride it could be faster—but remember, you're unfamiliar with this airport.

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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 instead of making things happen.

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