Friday Links 08-05-09

From the Web

Getting to “I Can Do This” – How do you build confidence? Ben shares a few tips such as, “Accumulate small wins. Successfully take baby steps.” and “…demystify the accomplishment. If you want to start a company, read tons of first-hand accounts.” He points out, however, that being skilled is only half the question, if you’re not passionate, your strengths don’t matter.

The Art of the Elevator Pitch – Tim shares his secret on how to make a memorable impression in 60 seconds. Establish credibility, make it clear you aren’t looking for a handout and mention something incredibly hard to forget. I’m sure if you bumped into Tim and he mentioned that he was the world-record holder for tango, you wouldn’t forget him.

From the Archives

20 Procrastination Hacks – An old guest post written by Zen Habits’ Leo Babauta. Here Leo shares some tips for how to combat the big enemy of productivity.

From the Shelf

The Count of Monte Cristo – For those of you who haven’t heard of Alexander Dumas’ classic, The Count of Monte Cristo is a great story. It follows the wrongful imprisonment of Edmond Dantes, his escape and his plot for revenge against his persecutors. Usually I find it harder to be entertained by books written over a hundred years ago, the cultural/language shift making it difficult. However, I’m pleased that the translation I’m reading is both easy to understand and fun to read.

  • Kali

    I think as a species people can be traced to having one of the following two fears. One of them rationalizes ‘I can’t be structured because I fear underindulgence, e.g., workaholism, loss of self.’ The irony of this is that if in those very structured environments one can still retain ones (not relying on others to fulfill it) spontaneity, the fear of underindulgence diminishes and self-confidence results. In the other fear one rationalizes ‘I can’t be spontaneous because I fear overindulgence, e.g., laziness, loss of self.’ However, if in those very spontaneous environments one can retain ones structure, the fear of overindulgence diminishes and self-confidence results.

    I believe what you wrote about strengths not mattering if your not passionate. Simultaneously, however; we can’t know what were passionate about if we don’t act up to our fears.

  • Scott Young


    A good point. I wrote about something similar in my Maximizers Versus Simplifiers post.


  • Sara

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a fantastic book. Make sure you read the UNabridged version.

  • Scott Young


    Of course!


  • Kali

    Thank ya

  • Summy

    Interesting post. My input would be that people shouldn’t be getting more productive for it’s own sake rather they should be putting their increased productivity and self-improvement to help achieve their “real” goals. These goals should be identified early on (the can be modified with time) and it should be the driving force behind productivity. That’s what the Success Making Machine is all about.