Who are the best teachers?

Best teacher

The internet enables you to learn from anyone, anywhere. You can learn anything you want, even archaic subjects. After learning multiple subjects via the internet, I’ve found that two types of teachers are the most effective; and one type to avoid.

Those who practice their craft and teach it well, like Dr Alan Weiss for consulting, Naval Ravikant for entrepreneurship, and Richard Feynman for physics. They’re skilled communicators who know what to do and what not to do in their fields.

Next are collaborations between practitioners and writers, researchers, or academics. Take Roger Martin and A. G. Lafley, P&G CEO, or Ram Charan and various CEOs. In order to create insight-based body of work, the academic uses deep research methods and interviews to extract the best insights from the practitioners.

But beware of smooth-talking marketers lacking deep knowledge. They churn out fluffy content without personal experience or genuine insight. Don’t fall for their tricks.

Writing tool stack

Digital Tool Stack

On day 50 of my writing journey, I thought I’d share the tools that help me maintain this creative flow.

An idea can hit at any time, sometimes in the form of a few sentences or a big idea. Even while reading something else, they might pop up. I use two frictionless tools to capture these thoughts.

One tool is the voice recorder on my Apple Watch. Always on my wrist, it’s ready to capture any sudden idea. The recordings are stored in iCloud, so I can transcribe and process them later on my Mac. Second is Drafts, which opens lightning fast for quick notes. Drafts lets me type immediately, unlike other apps.

On designated days, like Saturdays or Mondays, I sit down and process these thoughts from the week. The ideas may have grown and developed by then. It’s not always easy for me to star at a blank screen and type. That’s when the AudioPen comes in handy.

Despite the friction – it’s not as quick to open a website and start recording – AudioPen captures my rambling, letting my ideas flow freely, and creating an initial draft.

WordTune is my go-to editor. I use it to polish and refine my work. Once it’s ready, I go to WordPress, where my common log entries live. With just a few clicks, I can schedule posts quickly and effortlessly.

Buffer is my go-to hub for distribution. The app sends my words to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon. I tailor the text to each platform.

Finally, I use Substack to send those words as a newsletter.

I love these tools, they make writing easy.

Learning to be a dad

No one teaches us how to be a dad. There’s no guidebook or class for it. We stumble through, learning as we go, making mistakes like our parents and others did. Time slips away so quickly that even when we learn a lesson, the chance to use it is gone; our kids have grown up.

We’re left with a heavy heart full of regrets and longings, but our children have moved on, building their own lives and repeating what we taught them. They focus on their careers and futures, not looking back at us even though we yearn to spend time with them.

We talk about money, careers, promotions – but never about how to be a dad. How are you learning to be a dad?

You got only 15 summers with your kids

You’ve only got 15 summers with your kids. After those 15 fleeting summers, they’ll spread their wings and leave the nest, forging their own lives. To build a close bond, you must seize these precious moments under your roof.

Spend time together during those formative years, and later when life pulls you apart, the bond remains strong. You’ll still talk, laugh, and understand one another. However, if you’re too busy working and missing out on their childhood, they won’t form a bond with you. Later you might find time to bond, but kids are gone and busy creating their own lives.

So bonding with your kids during their first 15 years is essential. Share your time with them. You can read them a story. Make up stories for bedtime. Play with them. Trek a valley with them. Take them for a walk. Ask them about their day. Listen to them and help them solve their problems. Watching TV or going to the movies doesn’t count since you’re both passive. In short, do things with them and make memories.

You might tell yourself that you’re working for your family and earning a decent salary. What’s the point of money if it doesn’t build relationships with the people you’re earning it for?

So cherish those 15 summers and make the most of them – forge an unbreakable bond with your kids.

Writing is seeking answers

Writing, for me, is a quest for answers.

In the corporate world, I write to share what I know or have decided. This type of writing conveys information and decisions. But outside the corporate sphere, I write to seek answers and use it as part of my learning process. I write to explore different perspectives on concepts I’m learning or pondering, and this approach helps me find answers.

Sometimes I ask my friends for input on what I’m learning. This method, however, can be messy since it requires them to define their thoughts and explain their perspectives-which is time-consuming and friction-filled. Instead, I state my position on a concept and share it, so they can ask questions or poke holes in it.

The responses from my friends typically fall into three categories:

  • identifying flaws or gaps in my thinking,
  • puncturing holes in my argument, or
  • offering alternative perspectives.

Firstly, they might point out flaws or gaps in my thought process. Flaws indicate that I am thinking about a concept incorrectly, while gaps suggest that my understanding is incomplete or missing key points.

Secondly, they could challenge my argument by highlighting its weaknesses and explaining why they believe it’s incorrect. This helps me refine my position and consider new ideas.

Finally, they may offer alternative perspectives that enrich my understanding of the topic at hand. By incorporating their insights into my writing, I continue to learn and grow as a thinker and writer.

Imagine I’m exploring value investment and have developed a framework based on four parameters. By putting my ideas out there, others can chime in and question why I chose those parameters or suggest alternatives. This exchange of ideas brings clarity and deepens my knowledge.

If you’re struggling with a concept, I encourage you to write about it and share your perspective. This way, you invite others to engage in meaningful conversations that can provide the answers you seek. Whether it’s project management, investing, or any other topic, writing opens doors to learning and growth.