self-improvement

Who Should Learn to Code?

May 21, 2012

Codecademy has been gathering a lot of attention in recent times with many people, including Mike Bloomberg, pledging to learn code. The high-profile pledges shouldn’t be taken too seriously: they are just friendly endorsements for the well-funded startup that Codecademy is. And some of the others are perhaps well-intended, but the equivalent of New Year Resolutions, […]

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Beliefs and Discussions

July 5, 2011

I don’t have a Grand Unified Theory on why people believe what they believe and how they change their minds. But here are some observations recorded in no particular order: Almost all of our beliefs fall into two categories: I believe X. It is an opinion and I am open to changing my views. I believe […]

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Ignoring the Trivial

January 5, 2011

Paul Graham is spot-on with his post on focus and ignoring silly battles: Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I’ve found I […]

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Highly Skilled People Versus The Markets

January 3, 2011

Dan Ariely writes about a meeting with a locksmith: this locksmith was penalized for getting better at his profession. He was tipped better when he was an apprentice and it took him longer to pick a lock, even though he would oftentimes break the lock! Now that it takes him only a moment, his customers […]

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Hearing Audiobooks

July 5, 2009

One of the easy ways to “read” a lot of books is to get their audiobook versions and hear them while commuting to work. Since you cannot typically do anything else while driving, the time is well spent. But there are a few things to watch out for in audiobooks. The quality of an audiobook […]

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Incremental Progress

June 30, 2009

If you have a dream about achieving something, one of the biggest illusions you can have is to wait for the right circumstances to open up so that you can start working on your dream. This includes stuff like: I will do it when I find the time. I will do it when I don’t have any […]

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Natural Things To Do

June 22, 2009

I am an advocate of programmers starting their own blogs so that they can share their thoughts on programming and software development. But this is not necessarily a natural thing to do because writing is different from programming. The natural thing for a programmer to do is to write programs (duh!). So when you interview […]

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Entrepreneurs Today

June 4, 2009

Matt at 37 Signals writes: The term entrepreneur feels outdated. It’s associated with people who work brutal hours, invest their life savings, and risk it all on a dream. But these days, you can do a ton with just a little. You can build a business by working just a few hours a week. You can […]

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Screen Sucking

February 28, 2009

I first came across the phrase “screen sucking” in Edward Hallowell’s “Crazy Busy”, an otherwise forgettable book. It is an apt term for how we spend hours online surfing without any end instead of getting on with our work. Not simply idling away in the office, but also at home, when we could be doing […]

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The “Do It When You Can” Technique

February 16, 2009

Self-help techniques often ask you to come up with a schedule that works for you. Go to the gym “x” times a week. Set apart 1 hour daily for some self-improvement activity. Only spend so many hours on this and only so many hours on that. In my experience, such strict scheduling only works for tasks […]

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