9. Break from the Norm

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

As my mom often says to my brother and me when we are too hesitant to try something new, “You’ll never know your true potential unless you get out of your comfort zone.” My mom and the brainy folks at Google think alike. Engineers at the search engine giant dedicate 20% of their time, or one day per week, pursuing projects that take them down a whole new path, extracurricular assignments that pique their interests, separate from their normal responsibilities at work. Google calls its philosophy “Innovative Time Off” or “20% Time” and boasts the initiative has led to major corporate product launches from Gmail to AdSense. In all, the company estimates about half ...

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