Why this article?
This is one of the personal development articles for Medium Members. I’m the person who’s been recruiting authors to write these — and what I want to reinforce with each post is that there’s a bigger picture to these articles as a collection.
A flaw in productivity writing is that for the sake of brevity, the author often leaves out purpose. Productivity is not a purpose — it’s a tactic.
So a question that I often ask people who give advice is “to what end?”
In my experience, the answer often illuminates blind spots in the advice. Those blind spots lead to local maxima. That means succeeding at the advice leads you to a better place but with no idea that there’s a much better place that you could have gotten to with better advice.
The classic, for me, is in dating advice, where advice might leave someone an expert at getting someone’s phone number, but an infant at experiencing love. I’ll leave a deeper explanation of that tangent for another day. I just wanted to illustrate that the collection of personal development articles for Members should touch on a deeper sense of purpose.
Andrew’s article today, along with his previous one, both advocate for variants of happiness. I chose both articles for the reasons above — I want a collection of articles that includes practical advice on grit, learning and productivity to have a greater sense of purpose.