I stumbled into Thomas Frank's Youtube channel recently and I was wondering where was this when I was in my teen and twenties, when I was studying in high school and doing my undergraduate studies in university.
Frank has finished his formal education and he is 26 years old but he hasn't stopped learning or knowing better ways of being productive.
His blog and website is collegeinfogeek.com Frank wants to teach students and learners, or even professionals, how to be productive, "destroy procrastination" and overall do well in their academic and professional lives.
He also speaks a lot about the power of habits and how to change bad habits. Frank also does book hauls to show nonfiction and fiction books he is reading.
What I most enjoy about Frank? He is a good description of a well-rounded person. I mean there are many types of well-rounded people and he seems to fit one of them. Thomas has cited many goals in his site's "Impossible List." In that list, he not only cites "Creative Goals", "Travel Goals", "Creative Goals" and "Skill Goals" but also "Video Game Goals."
Most people are complex but we may rarely acknowledge that. Sometimes, people who do blogging or do Youtube focus on some primary or secondary aspects of themselves. I don't think I necessarily see Markiplier and Jacksepticeye do things aside gaming and that is their right and it completely understandable. They are professional gamers so obviously; their game content would dominate most of their videos.
They, occasionally, make videos that are centered around other topics. For example, Darkiplier and Antisepticise are dark alter egos of Markiplier and Jacksepticeye, respectively.
They are popular because fans like them and they are just creative aspects of each respective Youtubers' channels. So, the gamers sometimes include them in their videos.
Going back, Thomas usually talks about things related to studying in his Youtube channel but he reminds us we are all multifarious and have different quirks. I think it was important to be reminded that because usually we love to categorize and generalize people because ultimately it is easy for us.
But easy doesn't mean real - I feel Thomas Frank actually exudes frames of reality that we do not always see in social media. When you click on his Youtube page he categorized first videos priorities, if you are new to his channel.
Some of these videos are: "The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study", "How to Make Yourself Study When you have ZERO Motivation", "5 Ways to Read Faster that ACTUALLY Work" and "8 Habits of Highly Successful Students."
The advice that Thomas gives out can help professionals as well because they seem to be based on models of productivity he has researched on and implemented things by himself as well.
College Info Geek is Thomas' job thus he is his own entrepreneur. He is also honest in the FAQ section of his website on how he makes money and how College Info Geek works out as his business.
One of his recent videos, uploaded on June 20th 2018, was "6 Books That Completely Changed My Life." Thomas goes into details with these books and they are mostly productivity books that he has read.
He also adds the disclaimer that reading productivity books but not implementing those strategies would be useless so one should read them and actively use them in their lives.
Thomas also says these books may not be best reads in the world but they had at least one idea or many ideas that changed the trajectory of his life.
The first book that he mentions, which he says could be least known, is The Motivation Hacker by Nick Winter. He states that Winter iterates the idea that success must be taken gradually.
A lot of people want to start big but that is not possible - Thomas uses the example of New Year resolutions, where people promise big things for themselves but then fail to accomplish them because the task is not gradually grown thus overwhelms the person who thought of them.
The idea that really engrossed him in the book is the idea of pre-commitment, which means to make consequences if you fail to do goals.
He uses an app that actually makes you lose real money so that part I won't encourage you to donor will the paper (Thomas Frank is an entrepreneur and has been working since 2006 thus can make such commitments but these commitments are not financially safe.)
Yet, the idea is that one understands that not reaching your goals, and these are mostly short-term goals that leads to long-term goals, can have consequences. It doesn't mean you are a failure or a useless person it just means you didn't complete a goal that you had in mind.
The second book is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, which is a well-known one. The book has helped him in many ways and one of the first lessons he got from the book is "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
This is something I personally see in social media sites, where arguments start because people don't want to understand another person's perspective. Be you a conservative or a liberal thinker, one must always remember that dominating a conversation should not be the end goal of all communication.
Frank says that our communication skills are evolving in a way that we "listen" to people without actually understanding them - our main occupation has become to try to formulate an answer to people rather than understand them. To me, Thomas highlighted a good reason on why we seem to have a lack of empathy these days.
Thomas suggests that the book taught him love was also a verb and not merely a noun. We must work to make any of our relationships whether familial, platonic and romantic successful with genuine actions.
The 4-Work Work Week by Tim Ferriss is a book that had a large impact on Frank's professional life. Feriss's book changes the idea of how we look at modern day entrepreneurship.
It is not only puttying in hours at work that make one successful but also to build systems that help you make money even while you aren't also putting in hours.
For Youtubers, this is probably revenue based on views and Thomas does mention this is not as easy as it sounds but it is good to read the book to see what works out for you.
The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha is also a recommended book by Thomas. One of the main ideas he wants to give from the book is that he says our modern-day concept of retirement is flawed and I couldn't agree with him more.
He says retirement should not necessarily be our end goal and so he wants to keep on learning and being always up to date. He mentions humans, by design, are beings who were made to challenge themselves and modern day concepts of retirement take that thrill and motivation away from us.
From Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andy Hunt, Thomas framed his philosophy called Quick Capture. The book mentions that ideas can strike at any time and to essentially develop a note taking system for said ideas. Aside that, the book has 48 other concepts on productivity, which may also work out for you.
The final book in this video was the well-known Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. One of the main ideas that Thomas learned from this book was about heuristics and biases, namely the way our brains take shortcuts to think but it could also lead to "faulty thinking" (read easy is not always right).
One of the ways we do this is thinking about what is more "probable" and what is more "plausible." The book imagines us to think of someone, a person named Linda, who is both a bank teller and a feminist.
Kahneman asks what was more probably: that Linda was a bank teller or Linda was a bank teller and heavily involved in the feminist movement. Most people chose the second choice as more probable though she would be a bank teller either way thus the first answer is correct but the second fits how our brains understand a particular narrative.
Thomas Frank has many videos like these that are made to help you reach what you may state as your full potential. He makes these sorts of videos because he understands that despite whatever level of success we are in, personally, academically and professionally, we can still improve.
He understands that talent can only take us so far but that perseverance and knowing HOW to do it takes us the distance. Check out his blog and Youtube channel for advice tips that may help you.
The writer is a copy editor at
The Asian Age
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