First of all, let’s get something straight —
You are smart.
You are interesting.
But we can all probably benefit from becoming more smart and more interesting.
We all have room to grow.
And as the new year inches closer, it’s time to think about how we can do that.
I think it makes all the difference in the world – if you have things to talk about, it’s easier to talk. It’s easier to make friends. It’s easier to avoid small talk in elevators. It’s easier to go to dinner parties without getting stressed out. It’s easier to survive long car rides.
For the past few months, I’ve made it a goal to learn voraciously, to fill my mind with new knowledge at every moment. I’ve collected a few of my favorite ways to learn about new things quickly. The best part is that you can get these delivered straight to your inbox. Read them on the train on your way to work. Read them during breakfast. Read them during class.
This site is amazing, everyone. I have been spreading the word about this like crazy. Highbrow has carefully crafted courses (holla back at that alliteration) about just about everything from American literature to street artists to trials that shaped the modern world. You can learn anything on Highbrow. When you sign up for a course, you get one (very brief) email in your inbox every day for 10 days. When the course is done, you can choose to enroll in another course, on and on for infinity.
Even though I’m not sure how you can be alive on this planet without having heard of the Skimm, I’m listing it anyway. The Skimm was started by two former news correspondents and it delivers the lowdown on today’s current events every morning at
Joy the Baker’s ‘Let It Be Sunday’ series
Joy the Baker is an absolute gem. I met her a couple of weeks ago and did NOT play it cool – I cackled because I was nervous and I told her where she could get a good cheese roll. On Sunday she gently sweeps up some stuff that happened that week on the Internet and shares it. It’s usually curated from blogs and podcasts and articles in The Atlantic and it’s just killer.
This one is cheating – it’s not 5 minutes. It’s 15-20 minutes. I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not. I’m not sorry. Planet Money is one of my favorite podcasts because it generally revolves around one thing – one obscure person, event, or phenomenon – and how it has affected the modern world. I can crush through one on my way to work and one on the way home and I have two new stories to tell. Planet Money presents digestible narratives that teach you about how the world works.
How do you stay up-to-date? How do you learn new things?
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