LETTER

53 Deep Dives on Improving Productivity, Health, Happiness

Help make the ultimate personal development publication based on trust.

Coach Tony
Aug 1, 2017 · 6 min read

Dear Better Humans reader,

For the last few months, I’ve been the experimental “personal development editor” for Medium Members. Medium gave me a budget to go “find articles that actually change people’s lives.” Membership is $5/month for everything below plus every other topic Medium’s been producing for Members.

I do think you should join. Maybe in the future, I’ll be able to give you a discount or the articles will be metered so that you can try them for free. But for now Membership is $5.

We’re using that Membership money to try to build the ultimate personal development publication. A big theme is “advice you can trust.”

As we work on that goal, I’m going to reach out to you a few times for input. Last week I asked what topics you were interested in, offering that you could Ask Better Humans Anything.

Today I want to get your opinion on the issue of trust. The answers I’m looking for are Yes, No or Other.


Below are the 53 deep dives into personal development that I’ve edited so far — lengthy tutorials on rewiring your brain, remaking your body, and achieving your full potential.

A goal for each article is to address issues of trust in three ways:

  • The author must have personally tested all advice. We don’t want cargo-cult advice or book reports about how a stranger did something. We want authors who have tried the advice themselves and/or directly helped other people try the advice. Otherwise, how can they know it’s good advice? A lot of the authors are coaches or academics. But we also explicitly like aggressive self-experimenters as long they are clear: “This might work if you are like me.”
  • The reader should trust that the article contains all steps to follow the advice. We don’t allow calls to action or sales pitches. The article should stand on its own. Editorially, we push authors to cover not just what to do, but also what to do when things go wrong. There is nothing more frustrating than an article that inspires you to follow advice that you were guaranteed to fail at because the steps were dishonest or incomplete.
  • Reject one-size-fits-all. Everyone should be honest about the chances of advice working. Most advice helps 10% of the time but most people hope the advice will help 90% of the time. In other words, success comes from trial and error. Most gurus take advantage of this hope by advertising their advice as one-size-fits-all. That’s never true. We cover lots of approaches because people are complicated and most people will have to try multiple approaches before they succeed.

So, my question to you is: Do the above goals match our definition of trust? Can you highlight the words Yes or No? If your answer is Other can you leave a comment with your nuanced thoughts?

And if we pull those off, would you read any or all of the articles below?


Intermittent Fasting

This is a topic we’re just breaking the ice on. The following are two quantified-self style reports from people who’ve tried this diet approach.


Cure Procrastination

The roots of procrastination start in the emotional centers of our brain. Normally, we won’t even notice subconscious emotions that trigger it. Thankfully, there are a number of tested tactics to reduce and maybe even cure procrastination.

This series starts with the world’s leading researcher in procrastination, followed by applied tactics from top coaches, and then ends with a science fiction piece about what would happen if we could design a device that would apply these tactics for us.


Office Design for Productivity & Creativity

A four part series from an architect who specialized in applying scientific research on productivity, creativity and flow. All by Donald M. Rattner, AIA.






Meditation and Mindfulness

Honestly, I thought this section would be a lot longer given how much personal interest I have. Oops! These three are great though.


Better Humans

    Coach Tony

    Written by

    Evangelist for great coaches and excellent personal development advice. CEO/Founder of Coach.me. Publisher of Better Humans & Better Programming.

    Better Humans

    Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

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