Quick Hits: Rethinking Remarkable, Deconstructing Star Grad Students, and the Science of InterestingnessMarch 3rd, 2010 · 22 comments
Quick hits is an occasional feature where I take a breather between my epic big idea posts to share ideas, ask questions, and in general provide a catch-all place for me to catch up with you.
A collection of recent articles dissecting the idea of remarkableness…
- Ben Casnocha has a pair of fascinating posts on building a remarkable life. His first points out the contradictions in Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford commencement speech, while the second takes issue with “attitudinal” self-help.
- Scott Young weighs in with an interesting take on whether the good life is chosen or earned.
- Chris Guillebeau has an insightful profile of a Tsilli Pines, who quit a corporate job to run her own hand-crafted ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) business. What strikes me about about Tsilli is that she avoided the conventional entrepreneurial wisdom to “start as soon as possible,” instead spending three years tuning and testing her idea until she could make the leap with confidence.
- I just finished reading an advance copy of David Shenk’s The Genius In All of Us. I’m excited for this book’s release. It covers much of the same ground as Outliers, but Shenk is more optimistic than Gladwell, aligning more with my own philosophy that once you understand what generates remarkable achievement you can harness it better in your own life. In the meantime, if you’re not reading Shenk’s blog, you should start. (See, for example, his recent post on the myth of the meritocracy.)
My Next Post
I’m in the process of writing a real humdinger of a post. It’s the next entry in my series on applying deliberate practice in everyday life. The focus is how star graduate students become stars (it’s built around an interview I conducted with James McLurkin, the famous MIT roboticist who just got hired at Rice.) The strategy I highlight, however, is wildly applicable to a lot of different fields.
Stay tuned. I hope to have it up soon…
My New Book is Available!
As you know, I have a new book coming out this summer. It’s called How to Be a High School Superstar, and it introduces the zen valedictorian concept to the students who arguably need it most: those suffering through the college admissions process. (See this article for more details.)
Though its primary audience is high school students, it also provides a general look inside the fascinating science of what makes interesting people interesting; so it will hopefully find a home with an even wider readership.
If you like my writing and are interested in this book, you should consider pre-ordering a copy on Amazon. (Fans of my red and yellow books know that I’m perennially understocked at bookstores — a large number of pre-orders will inspire the big chains to take my titles more seriously.)