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Photo by Mahendra Kumar on Unsplash

Getting a top-tier MBA has always been an expensive proposition, setting you back something like $200,000 between tuition and living expenses (not to mention lost income). This year there may be even more reason to think long and hard before going to business school.

First, you’ll face unusually stiff competition. Applications at top schools are way up as people look for shelter from the economic storm caused by Covid. Plus, the virus may continue to disrupt in-person instruction, so you could end up battling your way in just to study online.

But there’s another fundamental reason you might want to…


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Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

There’s lots of evidence that a huge percentage of most work days are wasted. One recent study found that almost half of employees could do their jobs in five hours or less. It’s the latest of many similar studies.

Then there are the handful of companies (and whole towns in Sweden) that have cut their workweeks significantly with no fall in productivity. Or you could look at the psychology research that shows our brains simply don’t have more than four good hours of work a day in them.

But if you accept the reality that most of us could probably…


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Photo by Christopher Beloch on Unsplash

If you want to know how to keep your car running, ask a mechanic. If you want the lowdown on caring for your pipes, call your plumber. Why? Because people who deal with things when they’re broken often know the most about how to keep them in good repair. James J. Sexton thinks the same principle applies to divorce lawyers.

In his book, If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late, the 20-year veteran of every kind of divorce imaginable dishes out advice on how to avoid needing his services based on his up-close experience of marital breakdown. …


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Photo by Dan Parlante on Unsplash

Every day, millions of people around the world ask Google some variation of the question, “Am I normal?” Burdened by shame, we turn to the internet to figure out if our behavior, our bodies, and our deepest emotions mark us as outside the mainstream.

The very fact that so many of us are typing “Is it normal to talk to yourself?” or “How often do couples have sex?” into our browsers late at night suggests that, yes, whatever your quirk, lots of other folks probably have it too. But if search engine data alone seems like a flimsy basis to…


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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Have you ever read those articles where some extremely well-off family details their budget and then bemoans that they’re barely getting by?

It’s ridiculous that anyone could complain about raking in $350,000 a year, and it’s clear many of these folks are wildly out of touch with how privileged they are. But while these families may be extreme (and annoying), they aren’t alone. It’s not just the wealthy who fall into the trap of earning more only to spend more and feel just as dissatisfied.

How do you get off this treadmill?

The answer is not to compare yourself with…


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Greg Rubenstein via Flickr.

Five years ago Bill Gates got up on the TED stage and basically predicted the current pandemic and America’s shambolic response. Thanks to that talk, he’s now regarded as one of the most prophetic voices out there on the threat of new diseases. That means when he offers his opinion on what life after Covid-19 will look like, we should all sit up and take notice.

Which is what the Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist did on the first episode of his new podcast. Together with actor Rashida Jones, Gates talked to fellow infectious disease heavyweight Anthony Fauci about progress toward a vaccine…


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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Getting lost in a book does incredible things to your brain. Not only does reading make you smarter, less lonely, and just plain happier, but following along with the characters in a great story actually lights up brain circuits associated with whatever the characters are experiencing, giving you one of the world’s greatest empathy workouts.

But how many times these days do you actually sink into an old-fashioned book for hours (or even 15 consecutive minutes)? Most of us read all day long as we respond to our pinging phones and try to keep up with the never-ending hurricane that…


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Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

With the virus surging and political chaos filling the news, there are a lot of sad, stressed, exhausted people out there right now, pacing their homes wondering how to be happier. But is happiness the right goal to chase?

The first clue that the answer might be no comes from Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who has argued that most people don’t really aim for happiness. That sounds shocking at first, but once you understand the distinction between happiness and satisfaction it makes perfect sense.

Happiness is the positive feeling you get from a walk in nature or tasty dessert…


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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Lifelong learning will help you be happier, earn more, and even stay healthier, experts say. Plus, plenty of the smartest names in business, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk, insist that the best way to get smarter is to read. So what do you do? You go out and buy books, lots of them.

But life is busy, and intentions are one thing, actions another. Soon you find your shelves (or e-reader) overflowing with titles you intend to read one day, or books you flipped through once but then abandoned. …


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Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

Let me guess the first thing you did when you opened your eyes this morning: You didn’t, by any chance, pick up your phone and start tapping away, did you? If I got that right, it’s not because I’m clairvoyant. It’s because I’ve read the research.

One recent Pew survey found 80 percent of Millennials sleep with their phones. No wonder then that another poll showed 40 percent of Americans of all ages check their phones within five minutes of waking. By the time they’ve brushed their teeth, more than 80 percent of people have grabbed their gadgets. …

Jessica Stillman

Top Inc.com columnist/ Editor/ Ghostwriter. Book lover. Travel fiend. Nap enthusiast. https://jessicastillman.com/

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