When I was in fifth grade in College Gate Elementary, Mrs Hershberger taught me that the best questions were big, obvious questions. So here are three:
In sports, why do underdogs win so often, and odds-on favorites fall on their faces?
In business, why are some meetings insanely fruitful, and others are torture?
In life, why do certain …
Continue reading “The Learnable Art of Group Chemistry”
I am a hopeless sucker for stories about the daily habits of geniuses — you know, the ones that reveal Hemingway used only knife-sharpened, German-made #2 pencils, or that Balzac sucked down 50 cups of coffee a day. I love these stories partly for the voyeuristic buzz, and partly because they sometimes contain useful tips.
Continue reading “5 Surprising Habits of Super-Creatives”
When someone tries a new skill for the first time, we instinctively see the first few minutes as hugely important. We eagle-eye the first tries for promising signs — a natural grace, a knack. We immediately start sorting people into categories: those who have it, and those who don’t.
With that in mind, here is former …
Continue reading “Clumsy is Good”
Question: When’s the most important time to practice?
At first glance, the answer is easy: just before the big game or performance. After all, that’s when we can dial in our skills, tune up, fully prepare.
Second question: Then why do so many top performers do just the opposite? Why do they have their most intense and …
Continue reading “When’s the Most Important Time to Practice? (Not When You Think.)”
I want to share two pieces of writing that capture what so many of us are feeling today.
“The marathon is symbolism for overcoming and facing challenges,” [marathoner Shalane Flanagan] said. “This will not stop anyone. If anything, it will inspire people to persevere and show that we’re better than that.”
Talking to her, I had another …
Continue reading “Boston”
We normally think of mimicry as a party trick. Which is is — but it’s also something more.
For an example, check out this skit from last week’s Saturday Night Live. It’s Bruno Mars doing dead-on impressions of Green Day, Justin Bieber, Steven Tyler, Louis Armstrong, and Michael Jackson (to save time, fast forward to 4:55 …
Continue reading “Why You Should Mimic More”
You should read this story. It’s called “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” and it’s by Jeremy Denk, who happens to be a world-class pianist, but those details don’t really matter.
What matters is that his story shines a bright, useful light into the role of the master teacher. Denk looks back over his lifetime and gives …
Continue reading “How to Spot a Master Teacher: A Field Guide”
This clip got sent around last week among some top Olympic coaches, and quickly went viral in that community. As smart coaches do, they immediately started talking about how they might use this technology as a learning tool. Click it and you’ll see why.
At first impression, it just looks like a super-cool visual effect: guys …
Continue reading “A Quick Glimpse into the Future of Learning”
The other day I was asked to take part in a MOOC. If you haven’t heard the term yet, you will soon. MOOCs — Massive Online Open Courses — are speedily revolutionizing higher education, because they have the capability to deliver top-level teaching via the web to thousands of people, for free.
Anyway, this particular MOOC, …
Continue reading “11 Rules for Better Writing”