The top 3 life skills needed for success in America

The Pew Research Group gave a survey on the most important life skills to several thousand Americans. Here's what they said.

Photo by Marvin Meyer
  • People are obsessed with learning about what skills they need the most to get ahead in life.
  • To try to answer this question, the Pew Research Group surveyed several thousand Americans to identify what most believed were critical life skills.
  • Here, we discuss the top three life skills, what their characteristics are, and how to improve them.
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Personal Growth

Reading to infants benefits both baby and adult, new research finds

A study at Rutgers University details the importance of this parent-child bond.

Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
  • Infants aged 1-3 are less likely to be disruptive or hyperactive when they're read to regularly.
  • Parents that read to their toddlers are less likely to exhibit harsh behavior toward their children.
  • Regular reading provides not only "academic but emotional benefits that can help bolster the child's success in school and beyond."
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Mind & Brain

Cú Chulainn: Irish mythology's Incredible Hulk

Humanity has long been obsessed with individuals who, in a fit of rage, transform into something not-quite human. Irish mythology serves up another example.

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  • There are plenty of cultural figures who are known for their inhuman transformations: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Incredible Hulk, werewolves... the list goes on.
  • One infrequently mentioned example is the Irish version of Achilles: Cú Chulainn.
  • What does the mythological Irish hero represent?
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Culture & Religion

Take a pause to let your mind work

Why the culture that destroyed attention spans is now turning to podcasts.

  • Taking a pause after consuming a piece of art or media is essential to our memory, emotions, and intellectual digestion, says writer, director and podcaster John Cameron Mitchell.
  • We live in an age full of influencers and YouTube personalities, but fewer narrative powerhouses. Storytelling takes time, skill, and requires us to make space to gather our thoughts.
  • Podcasts are a storytelling rebellion against so-called ADHD culture. If the internet ruined our attention spans, can the single-sense format of podcasts bring it back?
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Videos

How to remember everything you read

Tips on how to intensify engagement with what you're reading.

  • One of the ways you can deconstruct an argument is being actively attuned to what you're reading.
  • To better remember content, take a blank sheet of paper and write down what you know about that subject. You can write it in bullet points.
  • When you later come back to what you're reading, go to that sheet and skim it – it will prime your brain for what you're going to read.
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Videos