The Internet is my favorite library, an endless sea of discovery. Below are 7 articles that interested me this this week. You can also subscribe to these stories via email.
1. Finding Happiness
Fame, money, sex: the thirst for all three make you unhappy in the long term. Arthur Brooks reminds us that one key to happiness may be to “Love people, use things” instead of vice versa. This 75 year-long study also confirms that love is the answer, at least for men.
+ HBR Podcast: You can succeed quietly if you just focus on doing good work. As I wrote a while back, creativity thrives on anonymity. Your best work may be because you're invisible.
2. Hidden Mantras
Humans are forgetful. So what better way to keep our life's objectives on track than by using our goals or mantras as passwords. Just remember to turn off automatic log-in so you can get the practice.
3. I Love Lucy
Your brain is more plastic when it's younger. However, the drug Valproate can make your brain as sponge-like as a child's, giving you the ability to store up to 36 languages. According to the new movie Lucy, we only use 10% our brain right now.
4. Silence is Golden
Music can make you more productive not just because it silences office noise but because it improves your mood.. And happy people work better. I personally can't listen to any music while I work, read, or blog, especially if there's lyrics. But I can work well in coffee shops, which provide just enough ambient noise to life creativity.
+ HBR Podcast: Despite the ambient music, apparently we're all too busy working anyway. Author Greg McKeown discusses the busyness bubble.
5. Recycled Software
No one likes email. But people do like the newest email and to-do list apps. Paul Ford argues that while these productivity tools may help us work more efficiently they all pretty much do the same thing. Maybe the only reason we're obsessed with having the latest software is to combat bureaucratic demands of work culture.
+ James Altucher Podcast: Seth Godin explains why the success of a product relies heavily on its marketing. For example, if the scientists just called global warming “atmospheric cancer” instead if would be taken more seriously.
6. Traveling Abroad
Those lucky enough to travel the world are often more tolerant of different cultures and habits. They realize that the world is much bigger than their home and that home is parochial itself too. Simon Kuper outlines his rules for traveling abroad.
7. Social N(o)tworking
Nick Bilton recounts his obsession with social media and the recent changes he's made to prevent it from consuming every hour of his day. Instead of “chasing digital carrots,” he reads more books instead.