Intellectual Curiosity and Control of Your Future

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With the spring semester set to kick off at most colleges, a timely post from the past:

Here are a few courses everyone should sign up for regardless of major or specialization.

In no particular order…..

Introductory Macroeconomics: A basic understanding of macroeconomics is essential for evaluating many of the political and financial proposals brought to your attention everyday. Armed with even a rudimentary knowledge of macroeconomics, you will be able to point out the benefits and drawbacks of a new healthcare plan or explain why you are against a newly-instituted government program. Macroeconomics adds to your foundation for sound decision making all areas of your life.

Public Speaking: The sooner you conquer your fear of presenting to a group of people, the better. The ability to articulate your views and ideas to a crowded room is of great importance if you ever aspire to a leadership position. Even if you don’t’ have visions of public grandeur, it always helps to be able to clearly communicate your ideas when the occasion arises.

Read the rest of that article here:

The first two weeks of school are when course change is most fluid; put that time to good use.

School offers a structured environment for learning and the acquisition of basic skills necessary for living in society. Although it’s a necessary condition for early progress, it’s not sufficient. Most schools are not conducive to specialized learning that develops your weaknesses and hones your strengths;the current political climate makes that unlikely to change.

Merely questioning whether school-supervised learning is enough to mold your future is a harbinger of future success.

Some of life’s most enduring lessons are imparted during periods of self-learning. When intrinsic motivation is high, the odds that you’ll encounter—and master—problems and solutions in your areas of interest is fantastic. Dedicated practice, learning, and pursuance of the areas of life that most interest you sets the stage for stellar performance. Books, blogs, even board games are a great way to engage those interests and develop abilities that are in demand with society at large.

The better you get at giving people what they want, the happier life will be.

When you stoke your intellectual curiosity, you never know where you’ll end up. I know a little something about that.

Here are a few life-changing books I found both enjoyable and informative and still reference to this day.

1) 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. If you’ve got chronic pain in your knee, back, or ankles, you’ve suffered long enough.

I’ve recommended this book before and will continue to do so as long as I live. Our conventional form(s) of walking, sitting, and sleeping create health problems.

This is a must-read for anyone over the age of two.

2) The Dip: Short book. Powerful message.

One of the few business/NYT best sellers worth reading again and again. The book takes a long look at people who quit and people who win. Sometimes, they are one and the same. The central message of the book underscores an idea we’ve discussed before.

3) The Definitive Book of Body Language:

Three of my articles on body language…

If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written on the subject, you’ll love this book. It’s an expansive guide on non-verbal communication in the workplace and social settings. A great addition to any library.

4) Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One: Famed economist Thomas Sowell explores many of the decisions facing the average American citizen. He brings abstract concepts like price discrimination to life, illustrating why our voting and financial choices create unruly rush hour traffic and housing shortages. With a basic understanding of micro and macroeconomics, life become infinitely more fascinating. Next time someone tells you rent control or single-payer health care systems are good ideas for America, you can snicker.

5) Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling: The story of a man who fashioned a career from pulling punches, Bret Hart’s autobiography is as self-critical and authentic as auto-biographies get. As a kid growing up in the 90s, he was my favorite wrestler. His book is a no-holds barred look at his success—and missteps—in the wrestling business. We’re treated to stories about The McMahons, The Hart Clan, his time with other legends of the ring, as well as his account of the infamous Montreal Screwjob. There’s also a tale that’ll change the way you see undefeated Hall of Fame boxer Rocky Marciano.

You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this one. It’s a tale of perseverance, humility, and an uncommon respect for fellow man; anyone can appreciate that.

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