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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Thinking

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🦆 Tip: If you’re feeling stuck, talk to a rubber duck (really!).

If you’re stuck on a problem—say, you can’t figure out how to write a difficult email or you’re confused about how to best make your next presentation—try “rubber duck debugging,” a trick from Reddit user Safkan04. You simply get a rubber duck and explain your problem to it in detail. Yep, it’s weird, but strangely effective. As the redditor explains, when you verbalize a problem, your mind often finds new solutions. Note: If you don’t have a rubber duck, no problem. …


Making good decisions requires having time and space to think

Illustration: Darius Foroux

Jesse Livermore is considered the best stock trader in history. He was the inspiration for one of the most famous books on trading, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, published in 1923. He was a true pioneer of stock trading and brought his profession to a new level in the early 21st century by dedicating his whole life to trading.

His habits were unique for his time. He had laser focus from 9:30 a.m., when the market opened, until 4 p.m., when the final bell rang. …


To make a real impact, you need a monastery of the mind

Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

We’re overly devoted to execution. We rush frantically to fulfill hastily chosen ends; we exhaust ourselves blindly in the name of sketchy goals; we chain ourselves to schedules, timelines, and performance targets. We focus on execution at the expense of the final product, which was the point of all the effort to begin with.

Our bias toward execution makes evolutionary sense; our ancestors needed to act quickly to survive. But in our day and age — where we are surrounded by acute choices as to what to do with our lives, aiming for happiness rather than basic survival — we…


‘Structured thinking’ is about building a big answer by asking many small questions

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

How much toilet paper is sold in France each year? How many miles of train tracks are there in Germany? What percentage of people are standing up versus sitting or lying down at 9:45 a.m. in the United States?

In job interviews, you may face a brain teaser like one of these. “What’s the point of guessing the answer to a question when you can just take five seconds and Google it?” you might wonder. …


What to do when you’re too panicked to think clearly

Photo: PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

I was standing in front of a rack of coats, trying to decide between two of them, when a store employee announced the boutique would be closing in five minutes. My friends were already waiting for me outside.

A rational response in that moment would have been to quickly consider my outerwear needs — was my closet lacking a sensible parka for the winter, or did the upcoming events on my calendar call for a more fashionable, extravagant option? Or I could have simply walked out the door and given myself more time to think. What I did, however, was…


Sitting at a bar while texting a friend doesn’t count

Photo: Carles Rodrigo/Getty Images

When was the last time you were on your own? Not alone while listening to your kids in the other room, or working at your desk as your co-workers swarm through the office, or sitting at the bar while texting a friend, but truly alone?

I have a hard time being by myself, and lately, I’ve been trying to figure out why. All I know is that this aversion to solitude has left me feeling stuck. I’ve struggled to learn about myself, to understand what drives and scares me, to know where I want to go next.

It’s become one…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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