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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Big Idea for Monday, May 13, 2013

In his new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Adam Grant argues that givers need not be doormats. In fact, Grant points out, these people tend to be the most successful. 

What good news! Ledning a helping hand doesn't slow you down. It actually helps you be more productive. And yet, our corporate culture needs to wake up to this fact. As Grant also points out, many givers in competitive industries would never choose to describe themselves this way, as our culture tends to view givers as weak, and takers as strong.

But it does pay to be a giver, and doesn't have to cost you very much to give of yourself. For instance, in today's lesson, Grant teaches us the art of the five-minute favor. 


  1. 1 The Art of the Five-Minute Favor
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Power of Your Friend’s Friend’s Friend
    Nicholas Christakis
  3. 3 What Your Social Network Says About You
    Parag and Ayesha Khanna Hybrid Reality
  4. 4 Rethinking Social Networking
    Jonathan Harris


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