"People can do a lot more than they actually think. It just takes stepping out there." —Josh Greenwood, is a professional slackliner. He says that the secret to success is confidence and trust in his abilities, both the result of extensive training. Anything less will result in failure.
1) Your mind-set makes you smarter: Carol Dweck, the Stanford psychologist, has identified two mind-sets that shape, well, our minds. There’s the fixed mind-set, in which you think your thinking abilities can’t change. Then there’s the growth mind-set, in which your thinking abilities can be developed.
"These beliefs matter," Paul observes, "because they influence how we think about our own abilities, how we perceive the world around us, and how we act when faced with a challenge or with adversity."
The question, then, is how to own our development—which is a matter of deliberate practice.
2) Your concentration makes you smarter: If we consider intelligence to be our ability to solve complex tasks, then we need to appreciate how to deal with complexity—namely, with sustained focus, since that’s the only way we can load difficult problems into our heads.
"We’d meet with Steve [Jobs] on Tuesday afternoons. He would come up with the craziest ideas. At one point, Steve wanted to do all of our error messages as haikus. He would leave, and we would all think, What is he smoking?”
“If the profession hasn’t agreed upon it to the point where it’s not in the book yet, how can you go about treating it in an in-patient setting? It’s ridiculous. If you find the right marketing methods, you’re going to appeal to people’s fears and find patients for your program.”
Now you can go to a hospital in Pennsylvania and get treated, sometimes with medication, for Internet addiction. The problem? Internet addiction hasn’t yet been identified by the medical community as a real disorder.
“If you already have advice to give, you’re not listening. If you already know how this story turns out, you’re not listening…And if you already have your counterattack planned, you’re not listening…make sure that really listening is your only agenda item at that moment if you want to build trust, develop relationships, solve problems, create collaboration, and demonstrate your leadership.”
“At some point, this increasing bunker mentality of walling off users and their data will inevitably begin to impede real progress—the kind of exciting advancements that have made the web such a fascinating, growing and, yes, profitable space over the last decade. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we sabotaging the real potential of the web in the name of short-term profits and a better user experience?”
“Always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.”
Edmond Lau, who was an early engineer at Quora, offers advice that he received by way of a friend’s mento.
“…we’re born into thinking we constantly have to rearrange things. Trying to constantly create order is a source of suffering…A lot of the chaos of the band on the stage is my crusade to bust out of too much order. Perfectionism is a disease.”
“Whenever you’re making a consequential decision … just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen and then actually, and this is optional, but probably a great idea, is write down how you feel about the situation, both physically and even emotionally.”
When asked how to improve decision-making skills, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman recommended a ‘decision notebook’ where you can map out your choices.
“We are ceasing to see. Using our eyes to appreciate beauty is no longer enough. It always has to be documented for some other time—often resulting in an abyss of recordings. My first thought at a pretty sunset—where’s my phone?”