You Must Change Your Life

You Must Change Your Life

Years turn, and our lives continue the motion they know. We try things, which yield some of the consequences we anticipate. Surprises happen. Most of these unfold at the periphery of our attention, and most of them seem small. And then there are moments in which life feels arresting. Often it isn’t clear why. Or:… Read more » Read more

Guest Post: What Do You See? Graham Duncan

Guest Post: What Do You See?

Graham Duncan, founder of East Rock Capital, is one of the people I’ve most enjoyed thinking with and learning from over many years.  Graham’s a student of the human mind and human development, particularly as applied to the field of investment.  Over breakfast not long ago, we were discussing the luminous moments in the work… Read more » Read more

Part 6

Beyond “The Dream of Safety”

Leap Before You Look The sense of danger must not disappear: The way is certainly both short and steep, However gradual it looks from here; Look if you like, but you will have to leap. Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep And break the by-laws any fool can keep; It is not the convention… Read more » Read more

Part 5

Deliberate Practice in the Making of Large Things

Where a practice session in sports or music might last a couple of hours, a writer trying a new novelistic form, in order to stretch his way of writing, or an entrepreneur learning to build a company in a new way, plays on a practice field that might have a span of several years. The… Read more » Read more

Part 4

What Makes Practice Deliberate

Influence helps to transmit the ways of seeing and working that accelerate progress toward mastery. That path to mastery is fundamentally shaped by the application of what researcher Anders Ericsson termed deliberate practice. Geoff Colvin distills the essence of this well: Deliberate practice is characterized by several elements, each worth examining. It is activity designed… Read more » Read more

Part 3

Shaping Our Influences, as They Shape Us

Any influence both shapes and limits. The sculptor Giacometti described how hard it is to stop seeing reality in the way our strongest predecessors have seen it: It’s true that people see things very much in terms of what others have seen. It’s simply a question of the originality of a person’s vision, which is… Read more » Read more

Part 2

A Life that Emanates from a System of Ideas

None of us are truly self-made, but when it comes to shaping capacity to achieve, there’s at least some degree to choose one’s parents. Shaping influences matter a great deal, and the best such influences can prove enormously powerful. Architect and architectural theorist Bill Hubbard describes what this kind of influence can be: It was… Read more » Read more

Great Achievement

Aravind and the Choice of Great Achievement

Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, known as Dr. V, was an entrepreneur and humanitarian of the highest order.  He founded Aravind, an organization based in Madurai, in the south of India, that has delivered nearly 4 million eye surgeries, more than half as many eye surgeries as the entire UK National Health System, at levels of quality… Read more » Read more