Multiply Strengths vs. Improve Weaknesses

The school of thought goes like this: “Focus on your strengths to see exponential growth. At best, improving your weaknesses leads to marginal growth.” The idea’s touted all over the internet. Here’s one or two places. Check your Google for others. In theory this sounds fine. By sticking to your strengths, you’ll “produce” (in the broadest definition of the word) more for the world, at a higher quality, with greater satisfaction. Versus struggling through tasks which require a disposition you don’t have, or skill sets you haven’t acquired. For example, in all likelihood I will never become a terrific programmer
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What I’m Reading: 3/23/2014

Highlights of my reading, listening, watching this past week: For Pleasure Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane The last Lehane book on my list to read. 12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time — The Only Post You’ll Ever Need by Benny Lewis Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem by Yiren Lu In a follow-up interview: “Can you tell me more about the angst you describe in Silicon Valley? Those of us on the outside might think that angst does not belong in the same sentence as, say, $100,000 starting salaries. The angst I’m describing has nothing to do with money in
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What I’m Reading: 3/16/2014

These are the highlights of what I read, watched, and listened to this past week: Books Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard I’m only about 50 pages in.I’ve been stymied by recent script reading/work, so haven’t contributed enough time between work tasks and at night as I’d like. It was tough digging into Leonard’s writing at first, but since so many crime novelists attribute him for their style, I’ve stuck it out and think I’m over the hump. Will probably need another two weeks to finish.  Articles The Math of Hit TV Shows by Amy Chozick Why a Failed Pilot Actually
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My Thoughts on Urgency and The Medicine Ball Session

I imagine most cyclists pump Skrillex or Sevendust through their headphones during their rides. Currently, for me it’s a choice between Katy Perry’s new album PRISM or Seth Godin’s Medicine Ball Sessions. I chose the latter today because I can turn on the former when I get to work. The Medicine Ball Sessions clarified this sense of urgency I’ve been having in the pit of my stomach. At one point, I attributed the urgency to my age and societal pressure and the effects of social media. I thought: At this age I should have more affect on the world I
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What I’m Reading: Understanding Michael Ovitz

I think understanding context is crucial for education and self-development. An example: my current employer, Intellectual Property Group is a successor to the H.N. Swanson Literary Agency, one of the greatest Hollywood Lit Agencies of all time. Swanie represented some of the greatest literary heavyweights: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, etc. The foreword to his memoir, SPRINKLED WITH RUBY DUST, was written by client, the late great Elmore Leonard. The Importance Of Context In reading Swanie’s memoir and understanding the circumstances in which he built his agency, I understand the nature of my work and my environment
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What I’m Reading: 10/1/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Better Chemistry Through Research: How Writers Make “Breaking Bad” So Uncomfortably Real Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy Filmmaker Lynn Shelton: ‘There’s This Real Deliciousness To Being Able To Do Exactly What You Want To Do’ Lynn Shelton is proof that you don’t have to appear on some variation of a “30 Under 30” list to be successful. “It was a long, circuitous route for me,” says the Seattle-based filmmaker. 10 revenue streams funding investigative journalism | Media news | Journalism.co.uk The Art of Speed:
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What I’m Reading: 9/5/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: I’ve made an effort to read deeper, instead of just hopping around my Feedly account like a one-footed jackrabbit. It takes a lot longer, and you can’t just skim the headlines, but deep reading provides clarity to complex situations, beyond the ability to regurgitate the facts. For example, on the general topic of “Is Silicon Really Changing the World?” I read, in this order: Why Draper University Won’t Work (But Could) | Study Hacks Startup Culture’s Lack Of Diversity Stifles Innovation | Fast Company |
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The Benefits of “No”

I read this beautiful piece by Kevin Ashton called Creative People Say No. The gist of which can be summed below: Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy. Creators
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What I’m Reading: 8/28/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Day Trading Is a Sucker’s Game Crossing Wall Street | Crossing Wall Street“The good news is that this means that our formula for investing is now at an even greater premium. The ingredients of that formula are the same as ever: (1) Find good-quality companies; (2) Buy said companies’ stock at good prices; (3) Be patient. You don’t need to be the fastest trader, or have the most gizmos working for you. You don’t have to make the perfect trade every time. What you do have
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What I Learned From My Failed Passion Project

There were dozens of fingerprints on it, but it was my world. I was the Alpha and the Omega, bitch. Unfortunately, the execution was flawed. I populated my world with creatures to roam the land… but forgot to give ‘em lungs to breathe the air. Oops. So when my friend Richard brought up a project called SUBTEXT by the Pander Brothers over lunch, it felt like a gut shot at first. He read the logline: “A young woman is led into a tryst by her boyfriend via phone texts, only to discover a painful truth about their relationship.” That sounds
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