The Uncommon Life

Uncommon sense for an unconventional life

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A recent collection of artfully uncommon musings

A recent collection of artfully uncommon musings

Posted by in ALL posts, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle Design, Practical Philosophy, Productivity | 0 comments

I know, my recent absence has been abominable. But I have not been MIA without taking my creativity with me.

In fact, I’ve actually been quite busy creating and sharing thoughts for an uncommon life.  Those who subscribe to my other blog, Maxims4Mavericks, know exactly what I’m talking about.

Roughly three times per week I have been sharing concise advice alongside a colorful, thought-provoking image — or as I call it, “paradigm bending pop-art.”

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Talent is overrated

Posted by in ALL posts, Lifestyle Design, Productivity | 12 comments

Common: Blaming poor results on a lack of innate talent.

Uncommon: Talent is overrated. It’s actually quite a useless metric to measure or predict much of anything.

There, I said it.

It seems that people who are unhappy with what they have accomplished over the course of 5, 10 or more years almost always make statements that suggest a lack of natural ability. They often conclude that they don’t “have what it takes.”  It’s the classic case of focusing on differentiating factors of successful people rather than the similarities.

The reality is, we all ‘have’ an equal amount of what really matters: time. And time is opportunity – hands down the greatest asset we have. Time really is the great equalizer. More than anything else, it’s how we use our minutes that determines the quality of our lives.

Successful individuals realize that time is more valuable than skill, money, and almost any other resource because with enough time, you can hone skills, raise capital, nurture relationships, and summon what is required for an exceptional life.

“Ok,” you ask, ”but is it really important to obsess about the seconds and minutes of our day?” Rather than give my opinion, I’ll let you make the call. Here’s how the details add up…

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The 3 C’s of modern currency – The 3rd ‘C’

Posted by in ALL posts, Entrepreneurship, Lifestyle Design, Productivity | 5 comments

Common: Underestimating the impact of communication, community, and creativity in the digital age.

Uncommon: From part 1: “Many changes today are creating completely new social and interpersonal consequences and some are merely amplifying age-old tenets of success.  What is most often overlooked, however, is where the new and the old collide. Amidst the change, I see three timeless principles increasing in importance and impacting our personal and professional lives in new ways. I call these factors the 3 C’s of modern currency.”

Here is the third factor in the 3-part series…

#3 – Collaboration

We live in a global village—a place whereby people can connect, share, and influence each other in ways never thought possible. And it’s those who most effectively engage with one another who will enjoy the personal and professional benefits.

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How to become smarter by doing less in the information age

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Entrepreneurship, Productivity | 6 comments

Common: Believing that focusing on detail is the only and best path to success.

Uncommon: Let’s be honest: Most things studied in college are quickly forgotten.  I believe this is partly due to the sheer number of concepts addressed per class, per semester. In my experience, the emphasis is often on breadth versus depth. This poses a challenge to students studying for comprehensive tests.  I know; I’ve been there many times.

But I didn’t have the “luxury” of making the library my second home to spend hours on rote memorization. My time was very limited and so I sought ways to perform better by doing less. In the process, I made a simple, yet liberating, observation.  And whether you’re a student or not, I have found this concept critical for success in life.

The eclipsing effect of detail:

Traditional college advice places an extremely high level of importance on detail, but this train of thought can be a hindrance, at times resulting in increased stress and workload. Why?

An extreme focus on detail limits one’s ability to grasp the larger picture, which is critical to knowing what details to focus on. When you’re very close to every concept, everything appears important.

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10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 3)

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Productivity | 2 comments

Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.

Uncommon: As I mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2, “This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education.”

In this final post of the 3 part series, I explore the last 3 uncommon tips I learned while marching through my conventional college education.

8. Do not waste downtime – and there is a lot of it.


Only on a few rare occasions did I do school work on weekends (and this was usually because of business commitments during the week).  If time is used wisely, schoolwork need not dominate all areas of your life.

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10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 1)

Posted by in Education, Lifestyle Design, Productivity, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.

Uncommon: This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education. Elation abounds. It’s back to business full time.

Anyone who knows me or reads my blog will know that I often wrestle with the concept and quality (return on time and money) of conventional education. Looking back, however, I did learn some key things – it just so happened that the majority of my most valuable “education” took place outside of the traditional curriculum.

Despite having a full class load (and sometimes more), I spent the majority of my time managing my businesses and engaging in extracurricular activities. This heavy load was a blessing in disguise. While overwhelming at times, it forced me to reexamine and scrutinize my approach to school – seeking maximum efficiency for time invested.

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