learning

The Significance of Storytelling

Storytelling remains the backbone of our education. We grow up begging for bedtime stories; as adolescents, we yearn for television and movies; and, in adulthood, many of us turn to books. Joseph Campbell, world-renowned mythologist and author, discussed at length the importance of myth. He had a wide understanding of myths across geography and time, […]

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The 10 Books Which Most Shaped My Philosophy

Since publishing “On the Importance of Reading”, I have received many inquiries for book recommendations. Below I have listed the most impactful books I have read (in no particular order), but this advice comes with one great caveat. These books worked for me. That does not mean they will work for you. Remember the teachings […]

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Five Ways Stephen King Can Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

This week I read On Writing by Stephen King. The premier instruction manual for the aspiring writer, King shares his thoughts on what constitutes good writing. Pithy and illuminating, King teaches the fundamentals of mastery which hold true for Jiu Jitsu. The following is derived from the first section of the book titled, “C.V.” (Curriculum […]

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On The Importance of Reading

We read not to understand the author. We read to understand ourselves. We read because it gives us a language to articulate what we feel but previously could not find the words to say. We are never alone in our experiences. The path is well-trodden. The highest purpose of reading is to find highly-skilled travellers […]

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The Instructor-Student Relationship

I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach Jiu Jitsu. She is an art of great complexity, both physically and cognitively, whose mastery eludes the practitioner in perpetuity. I understand Jiu Jitsu more than any other area of human study, and thus it has become the metaphor through which I seek to understand much […]

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What Sylvia Plath taught me about Happiness

I recently finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It was a beautifully-written, tragic tale of a young woman battling her own demons along with those inherent to all whom embrace this human condition. With witty prose and subtly didactic dialog, Ms. Plath truly created something magnificent before she took her life at the […]

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The Lifelong Learner

In his powerful display of storytelling, the lifelong learner Ben Dunlap weaves us through intersecting stories full of emotion and insight. He discusses the tales of a brilliant and compassionate Hungarian Holocaust survivor, a prodigious art collector who happens to be a heart surgeon, and a ruler of a textile empire with an unending knowledge […]

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The Fallacy of Words

We humans are a beacon of intelligence and reason. Among all the sentient beings of this world, we stand among the top of the intellectual food chain (and we constantly remind ourselves of this fact). The major distinction between ourselves and the other animals on this planet is language. Through a colloquial system derived from […]

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The Learning Series pt 2: Recognizing Your ‘Distant-Wise’

The following statement may be a shock to you, but here goes: There are NO new problems. Sometimes it feels as if every problem or challenge that you encounter seems brand new and specifically tailor made for you. These problems, no matter how big or small, emerge into an expanding source of anxiety where you […]

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The Pareto Principle: Accomplishing goals with purpose

While living our incredible busy, alarmingly finite lives we must be sure to use our time efficiently and effectively. This has been the focus of my study over the past few months as I have read anything I can get my hands on regarding the most important of topics, learning how to learn. I have […]

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Bar stool advice from an old friend

I recently ran into the father of one of my former students at a local bar. After exchanging the usual words and sharing a few beers, we delved into the nitty-gritty of what it means to truly live. I hold this man’s opinions in high regard. A recently retired financial trader and father of four, […]

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