Ozan Varol, Ladders

Ozan Varol


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Past articles by Ozan:

Why I like to contradict myself

Once we form an opinion and commit ourselves to remaining consistent with it, that opinion becomes dangerously sticky. Our beliefs rigidify. → Read More

The paradox of control

You can’t make your followers like your latest Instagram post, force your boss to promote you, or get people to love you. → Read More

The dangerous cult of productivity

My life was running faster, but where exactly was I going? I waited too long to ask myself that question because I considered productivity a virtue. → Read More

Feeling lost? Here's what to do

It hit me: What I was seeking had been there all along. I was just too distracted by everything else around me to see clearly. → Read More

Success won't make you happy. Here's why.

On and on we go on that hedonic treadmill, feverishly rushing past one milestone after the next collecting a series of gold medals. → Read More

Stop chasing success. Do this instead

It’s when we stop doing the verb that we stop growing. When we think we have become the noun—when we believe we have “arrived”—we don’t learn. → Read More

How to create an instant connection with one simple tactic

Before you begin a contentious meeting at work, find common ground. Ask everyone to take 30 seconds to explain what they like about working there. → Read More

How the spotlight effect holds you back (and what to do about it)

Other people don’t notice our flaws as much as we think they do. They’re too busy worrying about their own imperfections to notice yours. → Read More

The myth of 'perfect'

We can’t predict the future. Yes, you don’t have all the answers—but no one does. Life has a way of fooling even the most celebrated experts. → Read More

2 reasons why businesses destroy creativity (and what to do about it)

Sitting in open offices, and connected through technologies like email and Slack, most modern workers are constantly collaborating with each other. → Read More

How avoiding danger can make us less safe

We fear rejection, failure, peanuts—you name it—so we avoid them. When we avoid them, we don’t develop the antibodies to cope with them. → Read More

Make a mistake? Here's what to do

We assume most of our decisions are the one-way door kind. If we take a new job or if we move to a city we believe life as we know it will come to an end. → Read More

You're doing better than you think. Here's why

The plight of the modern worker stems in part from a false expectation—that the output of a knowledge worker should resemble that of a manual worker. → Read More

3 counterintuitive ways to excel in conversation

If you can make your conversation partner feel heard, you’ll foster a deep connection that will persist long after the conversation is over. → Read More

3 ways to be insufferable in conversation

I’ve noticed a significant downward trend in people’s ability to hold a conversation and to engage with the person sitting across the table from them. → Read More

What innovators do differently

Innovation lost much of its meaning once it became a buzzword. People claim to be innovative when they’re simply following a well-beaten path. → Read More

Here's the most dangerous proverb in the English language

Curiosity also requires an admission of ignorance. For fear of sounding “dumb,” we assume most questions are too basic to ask, so we don’t ask them. → Read More

Why you should invest in things that don’t change

There’s tremendous value in investing in things that age well. I call this the George Clooney effect. In life, aging is more of an asset than a liability. → Read More

This is the mark of a great mind

Some see this as a reason to distrust science. I see it as a reason to embrace it. “One mark of a great mind,” as Walter Isaacson puts it. → Read More

Why you should shoot for the moon

It was a moonshot for slaves to reach for freedom, for women to take the ballot, and for refugees to push toward distant shores in search of a better life. → Read More