‘Every Tool’s A Hammer’ presents a wonderful intersection of practicality and philosophy

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Photo by T R A V E L E R G E E K on Unsplash

Adam Savage is my new hero. Ok, actually I’ve been a fan since the early 2000s when Mythbusters began testing tall tales, urban legends, and incredible movie scenes with the help of high-speed cameras, ballistics gel, and crash-test dummies named Buster.

I’ve always considered him a bit of a dork — but a productive dork who was essentially living the dream.

His book — Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life is What You Make It — was released in May of 2019, and is an anthem, how-to manual, and philosophical treatise for makers of all shapes and sizes.

As someone who’s very interested in both physically creating things, and in developing a deep conceptual understanding of how ideas become reality, I found this book to be packed with wisdom. …


Sometimes old-school is better-school.

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I think this is actually a building. Maybe a law office? Would that make it a legal 𝘱𝘢𝘥? — Photo by Ronak Jain on Unsplash

I have always been a fan of old-school tactics. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of detective novels from the '30s with old-school gumshoes that seem so smart. Maybe it’s because we glorify thinkers of the past who changed the world. Maybe it’s just rose-colored glasses.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s because there was something intrinsic to old-school tactics that led to better thinking, better focus, and better results.

I believe all of our incredible software has led to a certain softening of the mind. …


Your problems will persist until you let go of your old identity.

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Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Ever notice that some people struggle with the same basic problems their entire lives? Money. Food. Productivity. Relationships. These people are constantly having revelations and setbacks in their challenge area, but ultimately, little changes and their frustration persists.

Ever notice that this person is you?

I certainly have noticed it in myself. I’ve often wondered, why can’t I just solve this problem and move on? Why can’t I just find a solution to my diet for instance, and carry on with a system that works great for me from there on out? …


A challenge to keep your cool

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Hey wait, that’s not Brad Pitt! … He does look pretty chill though. Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

Ever watch an interview with Brad Pitt? That guy is just cool as a cucumber. In fact, I’d say it’s cucumbers that aspire to be as cool as Brad Pitt.

And why shouldn’t they? You really can’t get more “A-List” than Brad Pitt.

But it’s not status alone that gives you that kind of cool. Check out a minute or two of the video below. Leo is just as big of a star, but notice how much more tense he seems in the interview. His arms are crossed. He’s looking down. He seems uncomfortable.

But check out Brad Pitt.

The guy seems utterly unthreatened. Utterly comfortable with himself. His posture is open. He’s got a big smile. He seems totally relaxed and pleasantly happy to be there. …


A flexible morning routine to catapult you forward

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Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

Morning routines. Everybody loves ’em.

Every productivity guru and their capable canine has advice on how to start the day so you can kick ass over and over again.

  • Meditate like Buddha.
  • Do push-ups like Batman.
  • Take an ice bath like… a crazy guy.

There are lots of opinions on how to get the ball rolling.

Well, I’m only slightly different.

I’m not going to tell you what to do. Instead, I’m going to give you a principle for deciding what to do and when to do it. It’s simply this:

The First Two Principle: Spend the very first two hours of the day working on your linchpin task. …


You’re focusing on the wrong thing.

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Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

I have a confession to make.

I’m secretly procrastinating something.

I set up and designed an email list nearly a month ago… but I’m too scared to pull the trigger. I haven’t included the signup form in any of my articles, even though it’s completely ready to go.

Why not?

Well, mainly, because I missed my “5-second action” window, and now the fear has set in.

If you haven’t heard of it, the 5-second action window is a concept by Mel Robbins which states that if you have an idea or impulse, you must act on it within 5 seconds, or your brain will kill the idea. …


How to bring your dreams to life.

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Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash

So. You have an idea. A good idea. Maybe even a GREAT idea. And you want to take that idea from your head, and see it manifested out here, in the real world.

That’s awesome. I love that. I want to help.

I want to give you 3 secret strategies for manifesting your dreams. Sound grandiose? Not at all. These strategies are very practical, and people use them all the time.

Unfortunately, many people simply don’t realize the power of these strategies, even if they’ve used them successfully in the past. …


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Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash

More tech isn’t always the answer — but these can give you a boost.

I’ve gone through some hard times. Times when it felt like I was not on top of my life at all. Times when I felt I had no energy, no drive, no enjoyment, no hope.

I have here a list of apps that truly helped me pull through.

They taught me things, they inspired me, they gave me a sense of control.

Now, a disclaimer: if you’re struggling with depression, I also highly recommend a therapist. Talking through things with another person is massively helpful, and no set of apps can compare with a medical professional.

But, if you want to take some ownership, if you want to learn and grow, if you want to be captain of your life — or if you just want some cool apps with real value — check these out. …


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Photo by Sebastian Pociecha on Unsplash

HAPPY STAR WARS DAY

How to wield it, stay away from the dark side, and avoid chopping off your leg.

Your mind — an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.

Have you ever paused to consider what an incredible piece of machinery you’re operating up there? Without your capacity for intelligent thought, well, you might as well be a Kowakian monkey-lizard.

Forethought, planning, empathy, design: these are powerful capabilities that — in this galaxy anyway — are the sole birthright of humans due to their powerful brains. And you have one. Amazing.

But, just as your mind is the one tool that can help you get where you want to go, so too can it be your greatest danger. You see, obstacles “out there” are not really the things that hold you back. Lack of mental resourcefulness is the problem. Or lack of emotional fortitude. Or spiraling into negative questions, uncertainty, overthinking, self-consciousness, not being present, fear, etc. …

About

Michael B. James

Theories in development.

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