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Immediately Jump on the Obscure and Fleeting, but Don't Forget the Low Hanging Fruit

When you come across some era of history you've never heard before that might be fascinating, or an obscure but highly recommended book on conflict management, or you come across some primary source papers that are largely unread any more about an important event - jump on it right away.

You'll never really be motivated to read Baldissare Castiglione by Julia Cartwright. It's an obscure-ish book, cited not particularly often, about the 17th most interesting guy in the Renaissance. He hung out with da Vinci, and Borgia, and met all the Popes of his lifetime, but you'd have to either really love the Renaissance, or come across Il Cortegiano in research to read him.

Baldis-who? If you don't look him up now, it likely won't come up later.

A lot of good strategy and being a successful generalist is about picking up obscure skills. Steve Jobs talked in his famous Stanford address about how the class he took on calligraphy in his late teens became one of the drivers behind the Mac being the first computer with beautiful typeface.

There's plenty of calligraphers in the world, but how many calligrapher-entrepreneur-designers? A good mix and synergy of skills gives you the ability to make a contribution. A good mix and synergy that includes something obscure can help you make an original contribution.

What Is a Teenager?

On Chocolate Milk in a Wine Glass

I turned 19 last week. My friends (who are still 18) were saying things like "Isn't it crazy? This is your last year as a teenager! This is it!" But my parents were less inclined to agree with that. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest child and they don't want to think about me growing up. But in any case, the polarized comments on my birthday got me thinking about what it is to be a teenager.

A great great friend of mine (who I've mentioned before here) is 24 years old. But, he's still living at home because he's back at school getting a second degree. He hasn't had the suffix "teen" at the end of his age for 4 years, but is he still a teenager? I'm still a teenager in the suffix ways, and he doesn't seem too much older than me. So are you a teenager until you're entirely independent from your parents? Or does school have something to do with it? Does having a full time job define the difference between a teenager and an adult? But some adults never get full time jobs, though they might be more adult than those who do have full time jobs. Is an adult someone with a lot of responsibility? Or a lot of stress? I know someone who is 26 and living on his own, but his apartment is paid for by his parents, he doesn't work, he doesn't cook, and he doesn't clean. Is he an adult? I don't think so. But he's 26...

What makes an adult an adult?

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