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Storytelling is a superpower. A key to unlocking growth in your writing, startups, marketing, business, or career. THREAD: 10+ principles of effective storytelling (that you can start using today):
Clarity of Purpose The best storytellers always define a clear purpose prior to crafting their story. What is the story trying to achieve? What does success look like with this story? Commit to answering these key questions before doing anything else.
Define the Audience Every great story begins with a well-defined audience. Who is the audience? What do they consciously (or subconsciously) want from the story? Be deliberate with this exercise. Be honest with yourself. The audience may look different than you expect.
Establish Structure “People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.” – Steven Spielberg Stories need structure. Clear narrative arcs (like Pixar’s “hero’s journey”) work well.
The Story Spine Playwright Kenn Adams created a neat framework - “the story spine” - for establishing structure: Once upon a time there was [blank]. Every day, [blank]. One day [blank]. Because of that, [blank]. Until finally [bank]. Fill it in and watch your story take shape.
Weave in the Emotion Emotion is what makes great stories stick with you. Think about your favorite stories. How did they make you feel? It’s a safe bet that they elicited a strong emotional response. Learn from this. Weave emotion into the foundational fabric of every story.
Infuse Novelty Every great story is infused with novelty. Novelty comes in many different forms: Fresh, new perspectives. Surprising insights. Shock-and-awe moments. Unexpected twists. The goal is to make your audience say: “Oh, wow!” If you’re falling short, dig deeper.
Create Contrasts Storytelling expert @nancyduarte coined the “what is vs. what could be” framework. First, describe the reality (“what is”). Next, describe the potential future (“what could be”). This framework forces you to create contrasts to craft a captivating narrative.
Suspend Reality Disney is the greatest storytelling empire of all time. Walt Disney was famous for his focus on suspending reality for his audiences - allowing them to experience his new reality while still being in their reality. Take a lesson from the best. Suspend reality.
Keep It Simple “Make it simple, but significant.” - Don Draper A good story may be complex, but a great story is always simple. Try to elevator pitch the story to an uninformed party. Are they able to understand it? If not, you still have work to do. When in doubt, simplify!
Foster Community Shared community is an insanely powerful force. The best stories (and the best storytellers) foster community - they elicit a sense of shared purpose, shared membership in a group, or shared experience. Stories that build communities last forever.
Shareable Stories are meant to be shared. The story “K-factor” - a viral marketing metric for growth - should be high. This requires high shareability. To enhance it: Keep it simple and make it easy to “take down” into shorter, alternative versions.
Draft Fast, Edit Slow Most great writers and storytellers agree on one thing: starting is the hardest part. There is nothing more daunting than a blank page. So start fast - get a draft down (and don’t worry about how bad it is). Then slow down - write & rewrite as necessary.
Those are 10+ principles of effective storytelling that you can start using today. If you start using them, I guarantee you’ll unlock growth across the diverse realms of your life. Enjoy this post? Follow me @SahilBloom for more writing on writing, business, and mental models.
I will be turning this thread into a longer-form piece for my newsletter, where I will explore and cover these topics in greater depth. The piece will be released in the coming days. Subscribe below so you don’t miss it! https://sahilbloom.substack.com
And if you are a job seeker looking to leverage improved storytelling to advance your career, check out my curated job board, where I share unique roles at high-growth companies in finance and tech. New roles added every single week! https://pallet.xyz/list/thebloomboard/jobs

My Notes:

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Sahil Bloom
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Every white male/female leader/manager in the ad industry needs to take 14 minutes NOW, watch @DocBoulton's talk, be mortified at the sea of white faces behind ads with Black talent for show, and ACT as he, @4As + @aliciagarza tell you: https://vimeo.com/526471086 #AdvertisingSoWhite
.@docboulton is right in his video - the @4As Diversity & Inclusion Manifesto (surprisingly 🙂) has some very good recommendations, including the pragmatic and sadly, potentially most highly motivating - 'Protect your shareholders': https://www.aaaa.org/index.php?checkfileaccess=/wp-content/uploads/4As_EI_MANIFESTO_2.0.pdf&access_pid=93986 #AdvertisingSoWhite
'One critical ingredient is missing from DEI interventions: evidence-based approaches that promote a culture of belonging for all employees.' @4As https://www.aaaa.org/index.php?checkfileaccess=/wp-content/uploads/4As_EI_MANIFESTO_2.0.pdf&access_pid=93986 #AdvertisingSoWhite #ChangeTheRatio #DiversityAndInclusion
.@aliciagarza on accountability: 'When driving you stop at a Stop sign. That's the rule. It has a consequence if you break it. You can be a really nice person and run a Stop sign, you'll get a ticket. Who would be displaced and what would be the impact?' https://vimeo.com/526471086
'Stop hiring diversity officers. @ptnewkirk found most CDOs, despite their title and hefty salaries, are ineffective, isolated from power and largely relegated to serving a PR role. 65% #Fortune500 CDOs didn't even have access to their co's diversity data' https://vimeo.com/526471086
'Advertising's race problem persists, decade after decade, because for far too long, symbolic expression of good intentions with no external mechanism for measurement, or material consequences for failure, has been allowed to count as progress' @docboulton https://vimeo.com/526471086
Watch @docboulton's 14-minute video 'Ads Need Soul' in conjunction with my 15-minute talk on 'How To End Racism NOW In The Corporate World': https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #advertisingsowhite #BlackLivesMatter #DiversityAndInclusion #ChangeTheRatio
'Ending racism in the corporate world is very simple. All you have to do is hire, welcome and promote Black talent. I use each of those three words very specifically, and in the course of this chat I'll explain why.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite
'When you hire, welcome and promote Black talent, you pay Black talent. You begin channelling wealth to Black families and households, you equalize the racist pay gap, and you begin building the Black economy.' Me for @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite
'When you hire, welcome & promote Black talent, you role model & showcase Black talent in the full spectrum of professional roles, that inspires Black youth & ends the scenario where people think the Black person in the room is the janitor or coffee lady' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'When the white people in your company are surrounded every working day by brilliant Black talent as professional equals, contributing their expertise, insights, creativity to make the work great and make the company successful, that ends racist attitudes' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'In advertising, when you have Black talent creating the ads, approving the ads, producing the ads, directing the ads, casting the ads, you don't have to worry about "Are these ads diverse enough?" because you'll never have to think about that again.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'The most appalling response anyone can make in our industry when challenged on diversity is, "Diversity's great, but we can't lower the bar." DIVERSITY RAISES THE FUCKING BAR. The bar is set so low, when it's always been set by white men.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'We haven't even begun to see how high the bar in the advertising industry can go, when it's raised by the talents, creativity, skills of Black people.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite #BlackLivesMatter #DiversityAndInclusion #ChangeTheRatio
'Advertising is a potent social force. What we show in advertising drives societal attitudes and behavior. When we end racism by hiring, welcoming and promoting Black talent, not only will our creative output be so much better, it will influence the world' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'When you hire me, you're not hiring an unconscious bias coach or a D&I trainer. I am a hard-headed business strategist, and I help companies re-engineer their systems & processes to integrate D&I to be a driver of growth, profitability & better business' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'I tell companies to stop talking about diversity. When a company bangs on about diversity, holds diversity training and workshops, it has a negative effect - white employees start feeling resentful and excluded.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite
'It's human nature to believe if we do good in one area, we can do bad in another. Everyday example is, I just had a Diet Coke, so now I can eat the chips. It's easy for employees to go, the co's got diversity covered, so I can carry on as I always have.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'I get some version of this call regularly. 'Cindy, I have this great leadership position open, and I want to hire a Black woman. Who do you know?' I explain it doesn't work like that.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite #BlackLivesMatter #ChangeTheRatio
'I said, you have to re-engineer your job description. You've written it to appeal to white men, and the demonstration of that, is that under your @linkedin post of it is a long thread full of white men recommending themselves or other white men for it.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'The job description said, "You will have a creative track record that makes us all envious." I said no, she won't. Because a Black woman will never have been promoted into the position, and given that opportunity, to demonstrate that track record.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'You need to rewrite your job description to say something along the lines of, this is the role where you can finally bring all of that creativity to bear, to do the things you've always wanted to do.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite #BlackLivesMatter
'I know you'll have briefed your recruiters to find people already doing this role somewhere else. Don't do that. Brief your recruiters to find brilliant Black talent currently operating one, two, three levels below that position.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'You need to hire brilliant Black talent by doing what white men do when hiring white men all the time - hire on potential not proof. 'He reminds me of myself at his age...he's great to have a beer with...we reckon he can do this, let's give him the job.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'I guarantee, when you hire brilliant Black talent one, two, three levels down from the role you're hiring for, they will do a far better job in that role than the white men in that position who never had to battle the obstacles they did.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'Re-engineer your interview process. White men interviewing other white men, are actively looking for reasons to hire those white men. White men interviewing the rest of us, are looking for reasons not to hire us. They're looking for 'red flags'.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'Re-engineer your working environment, if you want to bring in brilliant Black female candidates - because if she sees, as she will, a sea of white men, she's going to think, why the fuck would I put myself in there, I know exactly what's going to happen.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'It's very easy to re-engineer your working environment. You simply immediately promote the brilliant Black talent within your own company that's been kept down for years through no fault of their own, overlooked and passed over for promotions.' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'I want our industry to stop focusing on diverse internships, diverse entry-level recruiting. It doesn't matter how much brilliant Black talent you bring in at the bottom, if you show it nowhere to go at the top.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite
'I recommend to white men and women in leadership, hire into equal power with you brilliant Black talent you feel threatened by. I say it like that because that is how you need to think about it. You need to consider your mental blocks to break them down' https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b
'We need you to do everything I've just talked about, and a great deal more, to end racism NOW in the corporate world, in a way that will drive your business to heights of success you didn't even know you could dream of.' @3PercentConf https://vimeo.com/441590591/696052d81b #AdvertisingSoWhite

My Notes:

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Cindy Gallop
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When analyzing a new #Facebook ad account, I like to see where traffic was being sent to, and how that traffic converted. Here's a simple way to do just that 👇🏻 🧵
1️⃣ Select your date range in Ads Manager. Then go to Reports > Create a Custom Report
2️⃣ In Ads Reporting, customize your pivot table with the metrics you want to see. I like Amount Spent, Conversion Value, Purchases, Outbound Clicks, Reach, and Impressions (I can calculate all my important KPIs from these numbers.)
3️⃣ Under Breakdowns select Ad Name and Link (Ad Settings). Note that the analysis will only work if you select both.
4️⃣ Export your data as a CSV, create a new Google Sheet and import the data.
5️⃣ Once the data is imported, create a pivot table. In the pivot table, select Link (Ad Settings) as your rows.
6️⃣ For values, add amount spent, conversion value, and calculated fields for ROAS and CVR.
7️⃣ Add filters and sort your data by amount spent.
8️⃣ And voila! You have an organized chart telling you the overall performance of an ad account's landing pages during a given period of time (which you can categorize for specific PDPs, collection pages, or home pages).

My Notes:

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Sarah Carusona
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If you're curious how Creators make their content, I'm gonna keep updating this thread with great Behind-The-Scenes videos about how they make what they make. 🧵:
Detailed look at @BingingWBabish's 2018 kitchen recording set-up: https://youtu.be/ImoP-Apzrsg
Here's how @nprmusic records Tiny Desk concerts: https://youtu.be/e07bI5rz6FY
Here's @Casey's Guide To Vlogging, 2018 edition. Bunch of important storytelling & mechanical know-how, especially if you're intimidated by the idea of making content. https://youtu.be/Q980C74SdYQ
Here's the unreal studio @UnboxTherapy uses to make videos for their 18 million YouTube subs: https://youtu.be/9ZjlFZ3_b9E
A look at @MKBHD's new 2020 studio - this place is unbelievable. https://youtu.be/NZzQQ1090wc
.@GimletMedia's the company behind Reply All, Start Up, Science Vs, Heavyweight, & a bunch more incredible podcasts. Their biz got them bought by Spotify for $200 million. They released a 5-part pod series that teaches Audio Storytelling: https://open.spotify.com/show/7hhEbl4DOMheWRunCUAla6?si=H3Ty5Ul8QoKcHCLhWY9MhQ

My Notes:

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Jack Appleby
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How to become a better public speaker: I've given 100+ keynotes (mostly about my book, Atomic Habits). I'm still not particularly amazing, but I've definitely improved. And the #1 thing I did to get better was surprising and totally by accident. Here's what happened...
First lesson: People love good storytellers. I was never a great storyteller, but I have friends who are. You probably do too. As soon they start talking, everyone is captivated or cracking up. They have your full attention. Complete engagement. It's what every speaker wants.
Second lesson: The first thing you need if you want to be a good storyteller (and, by extension, a better public speaker) is good stories! Seems obvious, but most people don't have tons of good stories. And they certainly can't generate them off-the-cuff. At least, I couldn't.
The happy accident that changed things for me was writing every week. In my case, I wrote 2 articles per week for about 3 years. And guess what? Most of my articles started with a story.
I wrote about samurai archers - https://jamesclear.com/zanshin And heroic scientists - https://jamesclear.com/luck-vs-hard-work And productivity consultants - https://jamesclear.com/ivy-lee And a bunch more. And a funny thing happened...
Suddenly, I had a bunch of cool stories sitting around in my head. I knew them pretty well because I had spent hours reading the details of each story and writing it out in my own words. Now, these stories were "at the ready" and I could use them in conversation.
Today, before I'm about to do a podcast interview or a live event, I scroll through any articles related to what I'm talking about. The headlines are usually enough to spark my memory of a few stories. When the presentation starts, I can drop a story in whenever relevant.
It makes me look much smarter than I am. It seems like I can pull out an interesting story to make a point or answer a question. And nearly any point you want to make will come alive with the right story. But it's only because I wrote about it in detail previously.
Another thing I noticed is that stories help people remember what matters. Facts and numbers are boring. And, sadly, most people forget your important insights as soon as the talk ends. But stories? People remember stories. And that helps them remember the main point too.
So that's my best public speaking tip. If you want to be a better speaker, become a better storyteller. If you want to be a better storyteller, write about great stories. Finally, review what you wrote, so you're ready to use the stories in conversation when relevant.
Also, I share my writing in a short, free newsletter each week. I try to make each one useful. Over 1 million people subscribe. If interested, you can sign up here: https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1

My Notes:

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James Clear
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Kendrick Lamar one of the world's best writers. His recent album, Damn, won a Grammy and a Pulitzer-Prize award. His writing is propelled by a note-taking system that helps him capturing the ideas behind his lyrics. Here's what you can learn from his note-taking system.
1. Note-taking is the closest thing we have to time-travel. By taking notes, Kendrick conserves precious ideas, develops them over time, and eventually turns them into art. Taking notes doesn't just help him save ideas. It helps him return to a different state of consciousness.
2. Start taking notes early, so you can build upon the ideas over time. Kendrick was a shy middle schooler who sometimes spoke with a stutter. Frustrated, he turned to the written word. He scribbled rap lyrics on notebook paper instead of finishing assignments for other classes.
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3. Build a library of ideas that you can save easily and instantly search for the rest of your life. As Kendrick learned at a young age, note-taking helps you build an extended mind, which turns writer's block into a problem of the past.
David Perell @david_perellIf you want to improve your writing, start by becoming a better note-taker. Here are 10 ways to do that: 1. Save only the best notes: Don't hoard information. Save your top 5-10% of ideas only. That way, you can trust that everything in your note-taking system is high-quality. twitter.com
4. Let ideas grow slowly Kendrick doesn't write from a blank page. Instead, he writes with an abundance of notes that he accumulates by capturing notes during his everyday life. He's described his creative process as a perpetual one.
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5. Collect interesting ideas, even when you don't know how you'll use them. Kendrick spends most of his time in an intuition-driven process of collecting interesting ideas. 80% time is thinking about how he's going to execute, which makes it "easy" for him to write lyrics.
6. Capture ideas when you have them, so you can write about them clearly later. The opening track of "Damn" is called Blood. You can see the influence of Kendrick's note-taking system with his story at the beginning of the album.
How many brilliant ideas have escaped your mind after you failed to write them down? Do you struggle to write when you sit down at the computer? Note-taking is the solution. Here's my guide to Kendrick's note-taking process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLmxn6ZeCK0
7. Your brain is for having ideas, not storing them. Save ideas on trusted computer silicon instead of the fickle matter of your mind. This method of outsourcing the hard work of remembering facts to your computer is especially useful if you don't have a good memory.
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8. Write down your open questions Speaking about his creative process, the physicist Richard Feynman said: "You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state." Kendrick does the same thing.
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Kendrick doesn’t write down every single idea. Instead, he captures just enough information to return to his emotional state when he wrote those notes. Then, he turns those memories into lyrics. Here’s my thread about how to improve your note-taking.
David Perell @david_perellIf you want to improve your writing, start by becoming a better note-taker. Here are 10 ways to do that: 1. Save only the best notes: Don't hoard information. Save your top 5-10% of ideas only. That way, you can trust that everything in your note-taking system is high-quality. twitter.com
Kendrick turned to writing in the 7th grade. At the time, he had a stutter that came up whenever he got excited. It was so frustrating that he turned to the written word. Through poetry, Kenrick found the words to talk about his life.
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My Notes:

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David Perell

This is outstanding writing advice: there’s no such thing as a synonym.

As a writer, it’s your job to find the right word.

My Notes:

Select to add to your #gallery:

This is outstanding writing advice: there’s no such thing as a synonym.

As a writer, it’s your job to find the right word.

Read Thread
One year ago, @mkobach tweeted that he "wanted to take what he knew about community building and apply it to his personal Twitter." Well, it worked. Today hes become a "lighthouse" for 100k people on Twitter. I asked him what that cmty building model was. Here's what he said...
Be Unbelievably Niche Today Matt tweets about all sorts of topics, but when he started he honed in really specifically on just tweeting about social media marketing. He didn't talk about anything else. No sports. No news. Just his topic. Followers always knew what to expect.
Be Consistent Matt would tweet twice per day, every day, for the last year. This helped him consistently learn every day, and gave him two opportunities to show up on his follower's feeds every day. So they got to know him really well. This leads to the next tip...
Compound Tweets Once people start to become familiar with you, your tweets will start to "compound". This is similar to @Julian's concept of affinity. When people already trust you in a topic, your words will carry more weight.
The Goal is to Be a Lighthouse "90% of people don’t post, they just read. Get this 90% to look at your content." Become the lighthouse that the community thinks of every time they think of your topic.
Choose Topics and Platforms you Already Love Matt doesn't like using Instagram, snapchat, or many other social platforms. He enjoys Twitter, and loves to write and think about social media and marketing. If you don't truly love the topic, then don't focus on it.
Tap Into Ancient Wisdom Source content ideas by taking age-old concepts, things that people have been discussing forever, and apply them to something modern (like social media marketing). People care about the same things they've always cared about. Put it into today's context.
So much more wisdom from @mkobach in this conversation. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. 🎧👇 https://pod.cmxhub.com/episodes/matthew-kobach

My Notes:

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David Spinks

i need to hire an artist for a project — someone who draws in this kind of style — if you are that someone (or if you know that someone) just respond here — thanks

My Notes:

Select to add to your #gallery:

i need to hire an artist for a project — someone who draws in this kind of style — if you are that someone (or if you know that someone) just respond here — thanks

How to find your ideal life in 3 steps:

Step 1: Be curious. Try new things. Explore widely.

Step 2: Review what you did in Step 1. Do less of what makes you feel exhausted. Do more of what makes you feel energized.

Step 3: Repeat as desired.

My Notes:

Select to add to your #gallery:
James Clear

How to find your ideal life in 3 steps:

Step 1: Be curious. Try new things. Explore widely.

Step 2: Review what you did in Step 1. Do less of what makes you feel exhausted. Do more of what makes you feel energized.

Step 3: Repeat as desired.

When most people start learning a skill, they ask: “What’s the optimal way to succeed?”

But “How can I learn to enjoy this?” is a better question to ask when you start.

From writing to working out, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t even do it in the first place.

My Notes:

Select to add to your #gallery:
David Perell

When most people start learning a skill, they ask: “What’s the optimal way to succeed?”

But “How can I learn to enjoy this?” is a better question to ask when you start.

From writing to working out, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t even do it in the first place.

Read Thread
This video is a masterclass in psychology. The first person to do something always looks weird. People laugh. Then somebody else joins. Then the crowds come in and the person who started the whole thing goes from looking like a goon to looking like a genius.
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Humans are imitation machines. You can see the roots of our imitative instincts in the history of English. In the time of Shakespeare, the word "ape" had two meanings: "primate" and "to imitate." Here's the original video: https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement?language=en#t-109807 (h/t @sivers)
True innovation is only fun in retrospect. "As more people join in, it's less risky. So those that were sitting on the fence before now have no reason not to. They won't stand out, they won't be ridiculed, but they will be part of the in-crowd if they hurry." — @sivers
As @visakanv says, there's another important lesson from this video: "The first follower is just as important as the leader." The more influential that leader, the faster narratives can change. Look at how fast Kanye West stands up and moves the crowd.
𝗬𝗘 𝗦𝗘𝗘 𝗚𝗛𝗢𝗦𝗧𝗦 @YESEEGHOSTSKanye forcing a dead crowd to stand up during Rihanna’s performance twitter.com
The more we embrace our imitative instincts, the faster we can learn too. "Man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do." — Thomas Jefferson
David Perell @david_perellIronically, the more we imitate others, the more we discover how we’re different. Conan O'Brien said it best: “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.” Here's the full video: twitter.com

My Notes:

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David Perell

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