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Philip S. Naudus

It’s not you, it’s me — I can’t stand your terrible gifts

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Background by roserodionova via freepik.

This Father’s Day, all I really want is for my kids to keep their fingers to themselves. I know for a fact that those fingers have been inside noses and handling little critters, so there’s definitely no need to make me breakfast in bed. And after last year’s tea party that involved straining the leaves with a fly swatter, I’ve decided to stop asking my kids to surprise me.

My dearest children, I love you to pieces. But please stop being so creative with your gifts. This year, I’m only accepting gifts from this list. No exceptions. I’ll even pay…

Putting off work might be a greater asset than you realize

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In 1934, a wealthy businessman commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a house in rural Pennsylvania. Wright wrote to the project owner, promising to begin work immediately. Nine months later, Wright’s patron called, excited to see the proposed design. But there was a problem — Wright still hadn’t drawn anything.

Wright scrambled to his drawing board and sketched the design he had been thinking about, finishing just in time to show the businessman upon his arrival. He crafted the entire design for what would eventually become Fallingwater in just under two hours.

Fallingwater would later become a national historical landmark…

80% of parents feel trapped — but there’s hope

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on images by kjpargeter and pikisuperstar via freepik.

After the birth of our first child, my wife and I went from being madly in love to becoming nothing more than co-parents. We thought the sleepless nights couldn’t get any worse, but our second child proved us wrong. Even though explosive diapers and emergency midnight trips to the laundromat took their toll on our mental health, the most difficult part about our transition to parenthood was grieving the loss of what had once been an intimate relationship with my wife.

Our blissful marriage was interrupted by kids who knew how to spoil every moment. They became the third wheel…

The cognitive bias that prevents your best ideas from coming to life, and what to do about it

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You’re driving through a rural area near your home when a police officer flags you down and informs you that he clocked you going 38mph in a 25mph zone. After the officer leaves, you notice that everything about the citation is inaccurate — the model of your vehicle, the location of the violation, and even the date are all wrong.

You’re faced with a choice. You can either pay the $20 fine by mail, or take an entire day off to contest the ticket in court. What do you do?


Lové’s adventure toward Internet fame and fortune

Image by Philip and Linda Naudus. Image by freepik vectors via freepik.

This is Lové. His life mission is to become the next Internet influencer. The only problem?

He’s a dog.

Lové is undeterred. He starts writing. But six months and zero followers later, he begins to wonder if he’s doing something wrong.

Then, something changes. One of his articles goes viral, and he ends up becoming the first dog with over a million followers.

What was his secret to success? You all are in for a real treat, because today I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ve managed to secure a guest blog post from Lové himself!

Without further ado, here are…

Becoming a better writer requires practicing — a lot

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When it comes to technical content, nobody has produced more than Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős.

After graduating from the University of Budapest in 1930, Erdős would publish an unprecedented 1,500 papers over the course of his life — and each one contained a previously undiscovered theorem. At the age of 65, when most people contemplate retirement, Dr. Erdős wrote 49 papers. He set a new world record for the most technical publications in a year. His papers were so influential that he was awarded over fifteen honorary doctorates and became a member of scientific academies from eight countries.

“A mathematician,”…

All work and no play is killing your productivity

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Based on images by macrovector and starline via freepik

Toward the end of his life, Sigmund Freud conceived the idea that human energy is finite. He argued that if workplaces declared war on the family, energy would flow away from lovers and toward the advancement of civilization.

Today, we live in a world where it seems as if Freud’s dream has come true. Our employers demand that we spend an increasing number of hours away from our families. Even when working from home, it feels as if all our energy is channeled away from the people who matter most.

But what if there was a better way? What if…

A sociologist explains the unavoidable link between your work and family life

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Think quitting your job will improve your family life? Think again.

In 2005, sociologist Dr. Barbara Pocock interviewed families where one parent had quit working to stay home. Surprisingly, a significant number of children were unhappy with the new arrangement.

Many parents were disappointed to find that they missed having a rewarding job, but consoled themselves with knowing they had made the right choice. Children, on the other hand, didn’t like having a grumpy stay-at-home parent.

“It is not whether and how much parents work,” Dr. Pocock explains, “But how they work and how they parent, that matters.” Another study

The problem isn’t your boring topic — it’s how you present it

Images by Philip and Linda Naudus. Background by katemangostar via freepik.

Communication psychologist Dr. Wilbert Spooren received an intriguing request from a publishing company. His mission? To rewrite a textbook into something students wouldn’t be able to put down.

Dr. Spooren accepted the challenge. If he could find a way to create an engaging textbook, he could make anything interesting.

The publisher sent him a copy of their history book and promised to follow any of his recommendations. Dr. Spooren started reading. It was so painfully boring that he concluded the content was unsalvageable. When he reached a passage about an eighteenth-century Parisian hotel, he couldn’t take it anymore.

Philip S. Naudus

High school teacher by day, koala by night. My wife and co-author is a cartoonist with a Ph.D. We live in Taiwan together with our two kids.

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