50 books in 52 weeks – not this year

I enjoy reading, so like many people I have set a goal for myself to read at least 50 books a year for the last couple of years. I read 45 last year, you can see my list on GoodReads.  As I was getting ready to publicly commit to another year of 50-in-52, though, I […]

Ignore everybody (but don’t ignore this book)

Like Rework (which I reviewed last week), Ignore Everybody is my kind of book. Written by Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com, it is made up of 40 short essays that each dive into a very specific idea or question. And pictures, lots of pictures from the cube-grenade gallery at gapingvoid.com. Based on many years of experience, […]

Kids, sacrifice, and the master’s journey

I don’t remember exactly where I read this, and I’m paraphrasing a bit, but this little anecdote captures the essence of mastery, and the sacrifice that often goes with it: A world class, and world famous, dancer was approached by an excited fan following a performance. “You were fantastic!” the fan said. “I’d give half […]

There’s always something to learn

On the TV show NCIS the main character, Special Agent Gibbs, has two primary passions: catching bad guys and building boats. Not just any kind of boat, but hand made wooden sailboats. Which he builds in his basement. (A running gag on the show is the question of how he gets the boats out of […]

A tale of two trainers (in which one is a factory worker and the other an artist)

The following descriptions are of two personal trainers who provide training to their clients using equipment and methods based on the work of Joseph Pilates. Trainer 1: Received training from one school. Her approach to training: This is the way I learned it, this is the way I’m teaching it to you. Don’t question me, […]

Some initial thoughts on Dan Pink’s “Drive”

I read 39 books in 2009, just “a few” shy of my goal of 50. Thanks to a little nudge from Art Johnson (@artjohnson) and some tips from Julien Smith, I’ve set my 2010 sights just a little bit higher: a book a week, for a total of 52. I got the list off to […]

You don’t get better at writing essays by writing more essays

Though perhaps a bit more rigorous in his approach, what Geoff Colvin has to say about deliberate practice in Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else is not unlike what George Leonard says about “practice” in Mastery or how Josh Waitzkin describes his process of mastering chess and T’ai Ch’i in his […]