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The psychology of the perfect daily routine, how to criticize with kindness, the creative purpose of boredom, Kafka on what books do for the soul, and more

Hey jim grant! As this labor of love enters its ninth year, thank you for continuing to read and support my little corner of the internet. As we bid 2014 adieu, here is the annual summation of the best Brain Pickings articles of the year – "best" meaning those you read and shared the most, as well as those I took the most pleasure in writing. Please (re)enjoy, and I hope you have a powerful and peaceful 2015!

The Best Brain Pickings Articles of the Year

After the annual reading list of the year's best books overall, it's time for the annual summation of the best Brain Pickings articles of the year -- "best" meaning those most read and shared by you, as well as those I took the most pleasure in writing. Please (re)enjoy and have an inspired, stimulating, infinitely rewarding new year.

1. An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence

Read the article here.

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2. Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives

Read the article here.

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3. How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently

Read the article here.

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4. Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man

Read the article here.

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5. How to Be Alone: An Antidote to One of the Central Anxieties and Greatest Paradoxes of Our Time

Read the article here.

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6. The Hidden Brain: How Ocean Currents Explain Our Unconscious Social Biases

Read the article here.

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7. 7 Life-Learnings from 7 Years of Brain Pickings, Illustrated

Read the article here.

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8. Kafka on Books and What Reading Does for the Human Soul

Read the article here.

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9. The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Surprising Psychology of How to Handle Haters

Read the article here.

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10. The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long

Read the article here.

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11. E.B. White’s Beautiful Letter to a Man Who Had Lost Faith in Humanity

Read the article here.

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12. Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence

Read the article here.

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13. Why We Hurt Each Other: Tolstoy’s Letters to Gandhi on Love, Violence, and the Truth of the Human Spirit

Read the article here.

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14. What It Takes to Design a Good Life

Read the article here.

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15. Fictitious Dishes: Elegant and Imaginative Photographs of Meals from Famous Literature

Read the article here.

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16. March 28, 1941: Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Letter and Its Cruel Misinterpretation in the Media

Read the article here.

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17. Legendary Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on Why the Capacity for Boredom Is Essential for a Full Life

Read the article here.

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18. The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine

Read the article here.

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19. Why Haters Hate: Kierkegaard Explains the Psychology of Bullying and Online Trolling in 1847

Read the article here.

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20. Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Read the article here.

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In 2014, I poured thousands of hours and heaps of love into Brain Pickings, but also incurred some hefty practical expenses along the way that can't be loved away. If you found any joy and stimulation here this year, please consider helping me keep it going with a small donation.

In 2014, I poured thousands of hours and heaps of love into Brain Pickings, which will always remain ad-free, but also incurred some hefty practical expenses along the way that can't be loved away. If you found any joy and stimulation here this year, please consider helping offset those by becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:

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