How do you grade yourself?

How do you grade yourself?

By Derek Sivers

In New York City, there are dozens of buildings that say “TRUMP” on them. As I was driving about an hour into the rural countryside, I even saw a “Donald J. Trump park.”

It made me wonder if he grades himself by how many valuable properties bear his name. Plenty of real estate tycoons have made billions without putting their names on everything, but maybe that’s his measure.

We all grade ourselves by different measures:

For some people, it’s as simple as how much money they make. When their net worth is going up, they know they’re doing well.
For others, it’s how much money they give.
For some people, it’s how many people’s lives they can influence for the better.
For others, it’s how deeply they can influence just a few people’s lives.

For me, it’s how many useful things I create, whether songs, companies, articles, websites, or anything else. If I create something that’s not useful to others, it doesn’t count. But I’m also not interested in doing something useful unless it needs my creative input.

How do you grade yourself?

It’s important to know in advance, to make sure you’re staying focused on what’s honestly important to you, instead of doing what others think you should.

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel

Chapter 1

“So now get up.”

Felled(fel), dazed(dāzd), silent, he has fallen; knocked(näk) full length on the cobbles(ˈkäbəl) of the yard(yärd). His head turns sideways; his eyes are turned toward the gate, as if someone might arrive to help him out. One blow(blō), properly placed, could kill him now.

Blood from the gash(ɡaSH) on his head—which was his father’s first effort—is trickling(ˈtrik(ə)l) across his face. Add to this, his left eye is blinded(blīnd); but if he squints(skwint) sideways, with his right eye he can see that the stitching(ˈstiCHiNG) of his father’s boot is unraveling(ˌənˈravəl). The twine(twīn) has sprung(sprəNG) clear of the leather(ˈleT͟Hər), and a hard knot(nät) in it has caught his eyebrow(ˈīˌbrou) and opened another cut.

“So now get up!” Walter is roaring(ˈrôriNG) down at him, working out where to kick him next. He lifts his head an inch or two, and moves forward, on his belly(ˈbelē), trying to do it without exposing his hands, on which Walter enjoys stamping. “What are you, an eel(ēl)?” his parent asks. He trots(trät) backward, gathers(ˈɡaT͟Hər) pace(pās), and aims another kick.

It knocks the last breath out of him; he thinks it may be his last. His forehead returns to the ground; he lies waiting, for Walter to jump on him. The dog, Bella, is barking, shut away in an outhouse. I’ll miss my dog, he thinks. The yard smells of beer and blood. Someone is shouting, down on the riverbank. Nothing hurts, or perhaps it’s that everything hurts, because there is no separate pain that he can pick out. But the cold strikes(strīk) him, just in one place: just through his cheekbone(ˈCHēkˌbōn) as it rests(rest) on the cobbles.

“Look now, look now,” Walter bellows(ˈbelōz). He hops on one foot, as if he’s dancing. “Look what I’ve done. Burst my boot, kicking your head.”

Inch by inch. Inch by inch forward. Never mind if he calls you an eel or a worm(wərm) or a snake(snāk). Head down, don’t provoke him. His nose is clotted(klät) with blood and he has to open his mouth to breathe. His father’s momentary(ˈmōmənˌterē) distraction at the loss of his good boot allows him the leisure(ˈlēZHər) to vomit(ˈvämət). “That’s right,” Walter yells. “Spew(spyo͞o) everywhere.” Spew everywhere, on my good cobbles(ˈkäbəl). “Come on, boy, get up. Let’s see you get up. By the blood of creeping(ˈkrēpiNG) Christ(krīst), stand on your feet.”亚马逊网站&ref=nb_sb_noss

All Hallows

All Hallows(ˈhalō)

By Louise Glück

Even now this landscape(ˈlan(d)ˌskāp) is assembling(əˈsembəl).
The hills darken. The oxen(ˈäksən)
sleep in their blue yoke(yōk),
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves(SHēvz)
bound evenly and piled(pīl) at the roadside
among cinquefoil(ˈsiNGkˌfoil), as the toothed(to͞oTH) moon rises:

This is the barrenness(ˈberənˌnəs)
of harvest(ˈhärvəst) or pestilence(ˈpestələns).
And the wife leaning(ˈlēniNG) out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold(ɡōld), calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps(krēp) out of the tree

You’re in Charge of Your Time

You’re in Charge of Your Time

By Steve Pavlina

It’s easy to pretend(prəˈtend) that you’re not in control of your time with expressions like these:

I don’t have time.
I have to .
I’m all booked up.
My schedule is packed.
I haven’t had a day off since
I’m always doing things for other people.
My boss/spouse(spous)/kids need me to ____.
I never have any time to myself.
I have a lot of work to do.

How you spend your time is your choice. You can choose to obey(əˈbā) other people’s expectations. You can choose to obligate(ˈäbləɡāt) yourself. You can pretend that you don’t have a choice, but of course you still do have a choice.

You choose to go to work or not. You choose to obey other people’s expectations or not. You choose to make promises(ˈpräməs) or not. You choose to get married or have kids or not, and you choose how to manage expectations with your family and friends.

Your calendar items represent your choices. Calendars are full of blank and empty days by default. You consented(kənˈsent) to the contents of your calendar, and you can withdraw that consent whenever you want.

Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that all of the obligations and expectations regarding how you spend your time were due to choices you’ve made. You’re free to make different choices whenever you want to change the course of your life. You can unmake any time-based decision you’ve made previously(ˈprēvēəslē).

People can and do change their minds. When they don’t like how the days are streaming by, they unmake old decisions and make fresh(freSH) ones. Why not you?

Trade school taught me more than a skill

Trade(trād) school taught me more than a skill

By Vera Oleynikova

As children, we do things we are not very good at. But as we get older, we develop our skills. We work horrible jobs in our teens(tēnz) and early 20s, but eventually we are expected to learn what we are good at and build careers around those things. By our 30s we are expected to have a skill-set that makes us money. But what if the skill-set we have is useless to the world? What if, for example, we are really good at walking on stilts(stilt) or writing personal essays(ˈesā)? What happens then? I guess in that case we would go to our backup skill-set. Well I had none, and I wanted to develop one. So, I did what most unemployed(ˌənəmˈploid) people in their 20s are told to do: I went to trade school.

The program I went into was called “cabinetmaking(ˈkab(ə)nətˌmākiNG),” but in addition(əˈdiSH(ə)n) to cabinets(ˈkab(ə)nət) we also made tables and coat(kōt) racks(rak) and footstools(ˈfo͝otˌsto͞ol) and serving trays(trā). It struck me as highly ethical(ˈeTHək(ə)l), even moral(ˈmôrəl), to work with wood. I mean, Jesus(ˈjēzəs) did it, right? Furniture(ˈfərniCHər) seemed like a good thing to be able to contribute to the world; a far superior(səˈpirēər) thing to contribute to the world than, say, an essay about how good looking you were at 19. (An actual essay that I sent to a magazine for publication. I have yet to hear back.) I thought it was going to be empowering, wielding(wēld) power tools and commanding(kəˈmandiNG) scary(ˈskerē) machines with ease(ēz). Instead, mostly what I learned at trade school is that I am not very good at making furniture.

I mean, at no point did I actually think I was going to be good at building furniture. I’m not handy. Nobody in my family is. As a child, I was given books and art supplies, not tools. My high school didn’t even have a woodshop. My high school had a golf team.

Sitting in Silence With 5,000 Fans: The New Sound of Japanese Sports

Sitting in Silence With 5,000 Fans: The New Sound of Japanese Sports

The country has welcomed spectators(ˈspekˌtādər) back to stadiums, but the highly orchestrated(ˈôrkəˌstrāt) singing, chanting(CHant) and drumming(ˈdrəmiNG) for which they are known is now strictly(ˈstrik(t)lē) forbidden.

By Motoko Rich

As the players drove the ball down the field, I suddenly heard the distinct crinkle(ˈkriNGk(ə)l) of a plastic bag a full four rows in front of me, where a man was pulling out a chicken drumstick(ˈdrəmˌstik) to eat.

This was the sound of Japanese professional soccer(ˈsäkər) in the era(ˈirə, ˈerə) of the coronavirus.

While the major sports leagues(lēɡ) in the United States and Europe are playing mostly before empty stands or cardboard cutouts, fans in Japan have been attending games since early July, after a four-month hiatus(hīˈādəs).

But there are trade(trād)-offs.

In normal times, Japanese fans are not only loud, they are also extremely orchestrated(ˈôrkəˌstrāt) and utterly(ˈədərlē) disciplined(ˈdisəˌplind). Nonstop through a match, they sing, cheer(CHir), chant, bang drums and wave enormous(iˈnôrməs) team flags — a boisterous(ˈboist(ə)rəs) spectacle(ˈspektək(ə)l) that often rivals(ˈrīvəl) the actual play on the field for entertainment value.

Now, most of those activities are banned for fear that people might be roused(rouz) into a frenzy(ˈfrenzē) of shouting, with any spray(sprā) becoming a vector(ˈvektər) for spreading(spred) the virus.

So when I attended a home match on a recent Sunday surrounded by nearly 4,600 fans of FC Tokyo, one of 18 teams in the top tier(ˈtir) of the Japan Professional Football League, or J-League, the spectators were scrupulously(ˈskro͞opyələslē) quiet(ˈkwīət) — except for an occasional(əˈkāZHənl) crinkle of a food wrapper or a spontaneous(spänˈtānēəs) burst(bərst) of applause(əˈplôz).

The Habit Dip

The Habit Dip(dip)

By Leo Babauta

This dip is something everyone faces when changing habits: we lose motivation, we get discouraged, we encounter difficulty, we lose focus because other things get in the way, we get sidetracked(ˈsīdtrak) by life.

The dip is completely normal and even predictable when you’re changing an old habit or forming a new one. In fact, anytime you take on a project or goal, you will face this kind of dip.

That’s the bad news — you’ll always hit a dip in motivation, focus, energy.

But there’s good news too:

The dip is temporary, if you keep going through it; and
The dip is an incredible place of learning

The last point is so important I need to repeat it: the dip is an incredible place of learning.

It’s the place where we learn and grow, and get better at facing difficulty.

When things are going well, everything seems easy, and you just have to keep doing the same thing. There isn’t a lot of learning there.

But when things are hard, you have to face the difficulty if you want to keep going, if you want to avoid going to your usual pattern of discouraging yourself or quitting(kwit).

The dip is where the most learning can be found.

How Kids’ Videogame Accounts Get Hacked: Advice for Parents

How Kids’ Videogame Accounts Get Hacked(hak): Advice for Parents

Online gaming has surged(sərj)—and so has fraud(frôd)—as children play more during the coronavirus crisis

By Julie Jargon

After his high school switched to remote learning last spring, Luke Martin had a lot of extra time on his hands. He filled his idle(ˈīdl) hours playing videogames. Then he got hacked.

One day in April(ˈāprəl) when he tried logging into the online gaming platform Steam, he received a message saying his credentials(krəˈden(t)SHəl) were incorrect(ˌinkəˈrekt). After Steam’s customer-service desk helped him get back into his account, he discovered that $200 of games he had purchased(ˈpərCHəs) had vanished(ˈvaniSH). Even the $1.10 he had remaining in his account was gone. He checked the login history and found that someone had been signing into his account from an IP address in Moldova(mälˈdōvə).

The quarantine(ˈkwôrənˌtēn)-induced surge in gaming last spring, especially among children, has brought with it a surge in fraudsters(ˈfrôdstər) looking for opportunity. Online gaming traffic(ˈtrafik) rose 30% in the second quarter compared with the first, and attempts to hack into players’ accounts and steal(stēl) their digital goods rose, too, according to Kevin Gosschalk, chief(CHēf) executive of Arkose(ˈärˌkōs) Labs, a fraud-and-abuse prevention(prəˈven(t)SH(ə)n) company for gaming merchants(ˈmərCHənt) and other retailers(ˈrētālər).

While you might not consider a videogame hack to be as devastating(ˈdevəˌstādiNG) as a bank-account breach(brēCH), let alone a home burglary(ˈbərɡlərē), victims(ˈviktəm) do lose personal property and funds as a result. Digital currency(ˈkərənsē) and items ranging(rānj) from weapons(ˈwepən) to “skins,” the outfits(ˈoutˌfit) worn by players’ avatars(ˈavəˌtär), can be worth a lot to hackers who sell them in online marketplaces.

Warren Buffett On Buying Companies

Warren(ˈwôrən) Buffett(ˈbəfət) On Buying Companies

Excerpted(ˈekˌsərpt) from Buffett’s 2019 Letter to Berkshire(ˈbərkSHər) Hathaway(ˈhaTHəwā) Shareholders

Tom Murphy(ˈmərfē), a valued director of Berkshire and an all-time great among business managers, long ago gave me some important advice about acquisitions(ˌakwəˈziSH(ə)n): “To achieve a reputation as a good manager, just be sure you buy good businesses.”

Over the years Berkshire has acquired many dozens of companies, all of which I initially(iˈniSH(ə)lē) regarded(rəˈɡärd) as “good businesses.” Some, however, proved disappointing; more than a few were outright disasters. A reasonable number, on the other hand, have exceeded my hopes.

In reviewing my uneven(ˌənˈēvən) record, I’ve concluded that acquisitions are similar to marriage: They start, of course, with a joyful wedding – but then reality tends to diverge(dəˈvərj) from pre-nuptial(ˈnəp(t)SHəl) expectations. Sometimes, wonderfully, the new union delivers bliss(blis) beyond either party’s hopes. In other cases, disillusionment(ˌdisəˈlo͞oZHənmənt) is swift. Applying those images to corporate(ˈkôrp(ə)rət) acquisitions, I’d have to say it is usually the buyer who encounters unpleasant(ˌənˈplezənt) surprises. It’s easy to get dreamy(ˈdrēmē)-eyed during corporate courtships(ˈkôrtˌSHip).

Pursuing that analogy(əˈnaləjē), I would say that our marital(ˈmerədl) record remains largely acceptable, with all parties happy with the decisions they made long ago. Some of our tie-ups have been positively idyllic(īˈdilik). A meaningful number, however, have caused me all too quickly to wonder what I was thinking when I proposed(prəˈpōz).

Fortunately, the fallout from many of my errors has been reduced by a characteristic shared by most businesses that disappoint: As the years pass, the “poor” business tends to stagnate(ˈstaɡˌnāt), thereupon(ˌT͟Herəˈpän) entering a state in which its operations require an ever-smaller percentage of Berkshire’s capital(ˈkapədl). Meanwhile, our “good” businesses often tend to grow and find opportunities for investing additional capital at attractive(əˈtraktiv) rates. Because of these contrasting trajectories(trəˈjekt(ə)rē), the assets(ˈaset) employed at Berkshire’s winners gradually(ˈɡrajo͞oəlē) become an expanding portion(ˈpôrSH(ə)n) of our total capital.

Why there is no such thing as a healthy diet that works for everyone

Why there is no such thing as a healthy diet that works for everyone

What is good for us to eat varies(ˈverē) so much from person to person that a universally(ˌyo͞onəˈvərsəlē) wholesome(ˈhōlsəm) diet is a fiction. Instead, the science of nutrition is hot on the heels(hēl) of a new recipe(ˈresəˌpē) for healthy eating

By Graham Lawton

For about a decade, geneticist(jəˈnedəsəst) Tim Spector of King’s College London ate(āt) the same thing every day: a tuna(ˈt(y)o͞onə) and sweetcorn sandwich on brown bread(bred), followed by a banana. He thought it was a healthy choice, until he turned the microscope(ˈmīkrəˌskōp) on himself and discovered that it was about the worst possible thing he could eat. He was having huge post-lunch surges(sərj) of sugar and fat in his bloodstream, both of which are known(nōn) risk factors for diabetes(ˌdīəˈbēdēz), heart disease and obesity(ōˈbēsədē).

But just because tuna sandwiches are bad for Spector doesn’t mean they are bad for everyone. Far from it: for some people, they are super healthy. The same is true of almost any food, even things like ice cream and white bread that have long been considered universally bad news.

Recent research by Spector and others has revealed(rəˈvēl) that our response to food is highly individualised(ˌindəˈvij(o͞o)əˌlīz) and that, consequently, there is no such thing as a healthy diet that works for everybody. In fact, people respond to food in such idiosyncratic(ˌidēəsiNGˈkradik) ways that everybody needs a personalised nutrition plan. Now he and others, including the US National Institutes of Health, are seeking to deliver such plans in a healthy eating revolution that is being called “precision(prəˈsiZHən) nutrition”.

The findings could also explain why decades of one-size-fits-all dietary(ˈdīəˌterē) advice has failed to halt(hôlt) the global epidemic(ˌepəˈdemik) of obesity and diabetes and why nutrition science has consistently failed to produce a straight(strāt) answer to its most pressing question: what constitutes(ˈkänstəˌt(y)o͞ot) a healthy diet?