The Link List – October 12th 2013

A new feature on this blog, here are some of the articles I enjoyed reading these past weeks. The first one is necessarily long, but I will try to post on a weekly basis.

Context Drives Choice (and Vice Versa)

Entrepreneurs are often seen as great examples of free will in action. In a world of people who too often see their situation as unchangeable, entrepreneurs choose to act. We feel the power of free will when we hear stories about the bold actions of entrepreneurs.

How cool would it be if we would all realize that our worst fear is the fear of failure, which these amazing people have not shaken off, but have learned how to deal with. I’m not there yet, but I feel I’m getting close.

Disciplining the mind with software

One of the challenges with writing is switching between different mindsets. Theoretically it is possible to switch between these mindsets within a single writing environment like Microsoft Word or even on a sheet of paper

This is an accessible article about one of the most challenging aspects of the trade.

Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption

After years of debate and study, in 2007 McKinsey & Company initiated a series of business model innovations that could reshape the way the global consulting firm engages with clients.

McKinsey have always been top of the game. This proactive approach shows they still are working at the edge of the consulting enveloppe.

Don’t Walk Behind Me; I May Not Lead

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. – Albert Camus “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.

Pretty much essential reading. In a world where most people are being lived by others, or comply with what they believe to be the wishes of others, standing out and taking responsibility for your own life may be all of our missions.

Revisiting My OS X Email App of Choice — Productivityist

Remember when I switched to Postbox? I really enjoyed using it at first, but eventually found it was taking up more resources than I’d like — and decided I wanted an email app that was more “minimal” in its appearance.

I can symphathize with this search. A long time user, I have recently switched to Airmail, but I miss Spamsieve, which I don’t seem to be able to configure with Airmail. An alternative would be to get InDev’s mail perspectives but I’m holding out because I’m afraid it will further slow down

Designate a Meeting-Free Day to Keep Productivity Up

Unchecked, meetings can be a superfluous time suck. While it’s possible to have better than average ones, try setting at least one day per week aside with a complete meeting ban.

Such a great idea. The organization I work for has adopted a preferred meeting day, Tuesday, which is a day where no one is allowed to work from home. This is pretty much the same idea, but reversed.

How to Use a Mind Map to Organize Your Life

A good introduction to a technique I use pretty much every working day.

You Won’t Find Meaningful Work Looking Outside Yourself

You’ve scoured the job boards, spoke with friends and family, yet still you aren’t any closer to finding the meaningful work you desire. You dream of rolling out of bed and feeling pulled towards the work you’re doing.

The Skool of Life has some great insights. This is one I’m slowly working up to.

How to Run like Chris Solinsky: Improve Your Form to Prevent Injuries

Earlier this year, Chris Solinsky stunned the nation as he shattered the American Record in the 10,000 meters. Running 26:59 in his debut 10k, Solinsky became the first ever American under 27 minutes and the fastest ever non-African.

Having recently converted to being a runner, this has some excellent advice, although applying it on a daily basis may not be that easy.

Vivek Haldar — “The Mundanity of Excellence”

“The Mundanity of Excellence” I just finished reading this paper1 where the author embeds himself with a group of swimmers and tries to understand how they move up (or not) through the levels.

Fascinating study on competency and competency development. As usual, Vivek Haldar has found some very interesting information.

The Plus Side of Pissing People Off

Right alongside the cash and credit cards, I keep a number of strange things in my wallet. The largest is a folded-up page from the July 6, 2009, issue of Fortune magazine.

This actually explains some of my life.

I’m John Hodgman, and This Is How I Work

Writer, actor, podcaster, Daily Show and This American Life contributor, husband and parent, stand up comic, personified PC. Is there anything John Hodgman can’t do? We’ve been dying to know how the mustachioed nerd hero manages it all, so we stole a few minutes from his insane schedule to find out.

What a great comedian. May I suggest first look at the TED talk, then read the article? It shows that something that appears natural actually demands a lot of work.

10 Inspiring Videos That Will Change Your Life

This is a great collection of some truly inspiring videos, which are well worth the time watching them.