Category Archives: Media

The Beautiful Game – Tribute to the San Antonio Spurs

Absolutely beautiful montage to Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs – teamwork, humility, sense of humor, ability to enjoy other’s success, work ethic, growth outside of basketball, complete trust, greatest success is found in building strong, lasting, trusting relationships

Learning a Language in 6 Months

Chris Lonsdale gives a good TED talk on how to learn languages quickly and below is my summary


5 principles of Rapid Language Acquisition

  1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you – information that helps survival, personal goals, business, etc.
  2. Use language as a tool to communicate
  3. When you first understand the message, you will unconsciously acquire the language
    1. Comprehension is key
  4. Physiological training (filters in brain to native languages, facial muscles must adapt to new sounds)
  5. Psycho-physiological state
    1. Will learn much better when happy, relaxed, curious
    2. Must learn to tolerate ambiguity
7 Actions to take for Rapid Language Acquisition
  1. Listen a lot – brain soaking
  2. Focus on getting the meaning FIRST (before you get the words)
    1. Body language, nonverbal cues
  3. Start Mixing
    1. Mix verbs, nouns, adverbs…incredible amounts of sentences can be made with few words
  4. Focus on the most common words
    1. Week 1 – use target language (what is this?…)
    2. Week 2 – pronouns, common verbs, adjectives (you, that, give, hot…)
    3. Week 3/4 – Glue words (although, but, therefore…)
  5. Get a Language Parent – creates a safe environment to practice
    1. Works to understand what you are saying
    2. Does not correct mistake
    3. Confirms understanding by using correct language
    4. Uses words the learner knows
  6. Copy the facial movements
  7. Direct Connect” to mental images
    1. Don’t convert from mother tongue to new language, use memories and imagery to connect new path

How to Learn but not Master Languages

Summary of Tim Ferriss’ suggestions for quickly deconstructing and learning any language (more detailed information on Tim’s site found here)

  1. Deconstruct the language –
    • Are there new grammatical structures which will postpone fluency?
    • Are there new sounds that will double or quadruple time to fluency?
    • Is it similar to languages I already know?
    • How difficult will it be and how long would it take to become functionally fluent?
  2. Translate these sentences to gain a simple understanding of how verbs are conjugated, fundamental sentence structure and will expose noun cases
    • The apple is red
    • It is John’s apple
    • I give John the apple
    • We give him the apple
    • He gives it to John
    • She gives it to him
    • I must give it to him
    • I want to give it to her
    • Is the apple red?
    • The apples are red
    • I’m going to know tomorrow
    • I can’t eat the apple
  3. Understand the different sounds of the new language and get examples of each exception. Also, try to get phoentic spellings in your native language if possible
  4. After these steps, you will better be able to determine if the target language is worth your investment and then you can put in more focused training

The Psyche on Automatic by Amy Cuddy

Warmth and competence. That is what social psychologist Amy Cuddy says we use  in our automatic judgments of others and allows us to group people into one of four categories:



Cuddy also discusses nonverbal cues and indicates that we feel very weary of others when their verbal and nonverbal cues aren’t synchronized.

Cuddy delivers a very interesting TED talk in which she says that just a couple minutes of a “power pose” can raise our testosterone and lower our cortisol levels. These open and expansive postures indicate dominance and competence and lower our stress levels. There is a back and forth interaction where our perceived dominance affects our hormones but our hormones also affect our perceived dominance. If an alpha is somehow removed, within days the next highest alpha will undergo these hormonal changes.

She finishes with the following advice, “…it’s rarely a good idea to strive to show everyone that you’re the smartest guy in the room: that person tends to be less creative, and less cognitively open to other ideas and people…the goal should be connecting. When people give a speech or lead a meeting…they tend to exaggerate the importance of words. They care too much about content and delivering it with precision. That makes them sound scripted. It is much better to come into a room, be trusting, connect with the audience wherever they are, and then move them with you.”

This article is well worth the read if you’re at all interested in how to become more confident, how to better utilize verbal and nonverbal cues to indicate competence and warmth, understand how and why others instinctively judge you and how to avoid incorrectly grouping and stereotyping people.

Derek Redmon – Barcelona Olympics 1992

Music might be a little over the top but the lesson is not. Imagine training your whole life for this event, for this minute and you get injured. How would you react?

Jimmy Valvano 1993 ESPY Speech

  • There are 3 things you should do every day – laugh, think and have emotions moved to tears. 
  • You have to remember where you came from, where you are and where you’re going
  • Cancer can take away all my physical abilities, but it cannot touch my heart, it cannot touch my mind and it cannot touch my soul

Like Water by David Foster Wallace

This is Water


  1. David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech to Kenyon College is moving and inspirational but more importantly, real. He posits that we must actively fight our “natural default setting” where we are at the center of everything and that the true value of a good education is “learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.”
Key Takeaways
  1. “…the really significant education in thinking that we’re supposed to get in a place like this isn’t really about the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about.”
  2. “It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.:
  3. “Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience”
  4. “But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”
  5. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”
  6. “The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time…It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now.”
What I got out of it
  1. Such a great speech and having the ability and being aware of your “default setting” and what you think about is crucial for your happiness and sanity.

Read Like Water

Written text found here

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