Human Nature

“My view of human nature is that all of us are just holding it together in various ways — and that’s okay, and we just need to go easy with one another, knowing that we’re all these incredibly fragile beings.”
– Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton on What Makes a Good Communicator and the Difficult Art of Listening in Intimate Relationships

The Most Productive Countries

Expert Market analysed GDP data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and found that of the 10 countries with the highest GDP also make the top 10 list for the shortest working hours. Go Luxembourg for taking first place!

The most productive countries in the world also have the shortest work days

Uniquely Unique

“… Because, while we’re each unique, we have far more in common than we’re comfortable admitting. Amplifying our differences may make us feel special, but it’s not particularly useful when it comes to getting better.

Being unique is a great way to hide from the change we need when someone offers us a better future. Learning from the patterns and the people who have come before, though, is the only way any of us advance.”

Uniquely unique, by Seth Godin

Look for honor

“Look for integrity, selflessness, sacrifice, and compassion. Find those who champion justice and fidelity. But above all, seek men who emulate humility and meekness. Do not, as so many others do, be deceived into thinking it is a weakness. Meekness is strength wrapped in humility, my dear daughter. It is strength under control in a world where so many are out of control.”

A Letter to My Daughter About Young Men, by Benjamin Sledge

On Friendship

“It’s not about what someone can do for you, it’s who and what the two of you become in each other’s presence.”

Do Your Friends Actually Like You? Interesting article by Kate Murphy.

Out of Office Replies

“When you write, everything is literature. Your grocery list. The note to your wife. The email to your mom. Your out-of-office reply. If it’s going to be read by someone, you owe it to them to make it worth their time.”

How my out-of-office reply became national news, and what we can learn from that, by Michael Herschel

Thoughts on Divorce

“But what can happen over time is this: You wake up one day and realize that you have put yourself back together completely differently. That you are whole, finally, and strong – but you are now a different shape, a different size. This sort of change — the change that occurs when you sit inside your own pain — it’s revolutionary. When you let yourself die, there is suddenly one day: new life. You are Different. New. And no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore. You are like a snake trying to fit into old, dead skin, or a butterfly trying to crawl back into the cocoon, or new wine trying to pour itself back into an old wineskin. This new you is equal parts undeniable and terrifying.”

Beautifully honest post on divorce, by Glennon Doyle Melton. The PS at the end resonated especially. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth Gilbert.

Work Avoidance Cycle

work avoidance cycle

Oh, I am feeling this illustration. Definitely been there. Jocelyn pointed to it and the corresponding article on How to Be Productive.

A Precious Hour

“Poorly written emails are an early warning of intense busy. Yes, I lack the time to proofread an email, but the mail is sent. At least I accomplished something. The step beyond this is when shit is truly falling on the floor, and while shit on the floor is professionally unacceptable, there used to be a point of irrational pride in my head during this situation: Look at me, how important I must be, with all the… busy.”

A Precious Hour by Tanner Christensen

(via Coudal)

Staying Human in the Machine Age

“Instead of looking at technologies programmed to enable human beings to better navigate the world I see technologies optimized to help corporations better navigate and manipulate human behavior. That’s not technology’s fault but a question of who and what we’re allowing to build our applications and whether or not we’re willing to look at them from the perspective of human need.”

Staying Human in the Machine Age: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff, by Andrew O’Keefe

(via Jocelyn)

Feeling Safe

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
– Van der Kolk

The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

On Being Too Hard on Yourself

“…, people high in self-compassion are honest about their own short-comings and contribution to failure, but they don’t beat themselves up for it. Rather, they comfort themselves, they recognize failure and mistakes as part of life, and they see the situation as a chance to grow.”

The Dangers of Being Too Hard On Yourself, by Christian Jarrett

Opportunity = People

“Every opportunity is attached to a person. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you’re really looking for a person.”
– Ben Casnocha

From this article: The Key to Luck Is Being a People Connector, by Jocelyn K. Glei

A Quiet Ego

“The volume of the ego is turned down so that it might listen to others as well as the self in an effort to approach life more humanely and compassionately.” The quiet ego brings others into the self without losing the self.

The Surprising Benefits of a Quiet Ego, by Scott Barry Kaufman

(via Jocelyn)

Read More Blogs

“Good blogs aren’t focused on the vapid race for clicks that other forms of social media encourage. Instead, they patiently inform and challenge, using your time with respect.”

Read more blogs, by Seth Godin

People Judge You Based on 2 Criteria

“If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative,” Cuddy says. “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”

A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you

Data

“… Data paves the road to the bottom. It is the lazy way to figure out what to do next. It’s obsessed with the short-term.

Data gets us the Kardashians.”

Actually, more data might not be what you’re hoping for, Seth Godin

Dear mom,

“…Because I know that somewhere, out there, there is a mom who feels guilty every time she goes to “work” (whether it’s a job, a business, a personal creative project, or any vocation that feels meaningful to her). Somewhere, I know there’s a mom who feels guilty about writing her novel, running her blog, or pursuing her dream job, because she feels like throwing herself into that type of endeavor might “steal” time away from her kids and her family. Because it might make her a “bad mom.”…”

A letter to my mom, by Alexandra Franzen.

Tell Me What You Did Today

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Tell Me What You Did Today, And I’ll Tell You Who You Are, by Benjamin P. Hardy

(via Jocelyn)

Solitude

“Our capacity for what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has termed “fertile solitude” is absolutely essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness — without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior life, which is the raw material of all art.”

Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work

Big Questions

“… By all means, get it right. Get it right the first time. Successful makers of change embrace the hierarchy of importance, though, and refuse to engage with a fight about right when it’s vitally important to focus on important instead.”

Big questions before little ones, Seth Godin

Middle-Age

“By middle age you might begin to see, retrospectively, the dominant motifs that have been running through your various decisions. You might begin to see how all your different commitments can be integrated into one meaning and purpose. You might see the social problem your past has made you uniquely equipped to tackle. You might have enough clarity by now to orient your life around a true north on some ultimate horizon.”

The Middle-Age Surge, by David Brooks

Pros and Cons of Group Chats

“Think about it like sleep. If someone was interrupted every 15 minutes while they were trying to sleep, you wouldn’t think they’d be getting a good night’s sleep. So how can getting interrupted all day long lead to a good day’s work?”

Thoughtful post on pros and cons on the usage of group chat apps like Slack by Jason Fried: Is group chat making you sweat?

(via Jocelyn)

Honor

“To seek honor before profit is the surest means of finding profit with honor.”
– Félix Nadar

Photographer Félix Nadar on the Single Most Important Factor in Becoming a Commercially Successful Artist