Self-development is often portrayed as a rosy, flowery progression from dumbass to enlightenment that involves a lot of joy, prancing in fields of daisies, and high-fiving two thousand people at a seminar you paid way too much to be at.
But the truth is that transitions between the life stages are usually triggered by trauma or an extreme negative event in one’s life. A near-death experience. A divorce. A failed friendship or a death of a loved one.
Trauma causes us to step back and re-evaluate our deepest motivations and decisions. It allows us to reflect on whether our strategies to pursue happiness are actually working well or not.
How to move through the four stages of life, by Mark Manson.
25. Verschlimmbessern (German): To accidentally make something worse in the process of attempting to mend or improve it. Multiple applications around computers, cake baking and relationships.
From this fascinating list of Untranslatable Words.
31. Live in “day-tight compartments.”
32. How to face trouble:
a. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
b. Prepare to accept the worst.
c. Try to improve on the worst.
33. Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health.
This post is full of gems: How to Overcome Worry and Be a Friendlier Person
“Very few people have the humility to start as amateurs. They procrastinate doing the work they want in the name of perfectionism. You know these people. The one’s who have been saying for years that they’re going to do something but never do. Yet inwardly, they’re terrified of what other people will think of them. They’re caught in a state of paralysis by analysis — too busy calculating and never reaching a state of flow. Rather than doing work their own way, they do what they think will be well-received — being merely imitators of what is already popular.”
How to Become the Best in the World at What You Do, By Benjamin Hardy
“Time is the raw material of creation.”
Creative People Say No, by Kevin Ashton
“Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.”
You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question, by Mark Manson
A few weeks ago I asked the following question:
My wonderful friend Jocelyn K. Glei responded with a thoughtful post. Here’s an excerpt:
“When the going gets rough in any creative or entrepreneurial project, what we require isn’t reason or rationality, it’s sheer tenacity—commitment to our abilities, commitment to our process, commitment to finishing even in the face of the inevitable setbacks. This is what separates children from the adults, and the Peter Pans from the Pros.
If being grown up means being committed—to a business, a project, a person—then it’s impossible to peak. And the deeper the commitment, the deeper the meaning that can emerge.”
Read the full post: What Separates the Peter Pans from the Pros
HHIPP: “Radical candor is humble, it’s helpful, it’s immediate, it’s in person — in private if it’s criticism and in public if it’s praise — and it doesn’t personalize.”
Fantastic read: Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss
I am thrilled (and a bit stunned) that my ‘world’ is featured on Freunde von Freunden. A big thank you to Shoko Wanger and Nicole Franzen.
“Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe. No, they have to f***ing own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it. It’s not enough to serve customers, they have to capture them.”
Fantastic (long) ready: Reconsider, by David Heinemeier Hansson.
“It seems that the presence of an object is required to make its absence felt (or to make the absence of something felt). A kind of longing may have preceded their arrival, but you have to meet in order to feel the full force of your frustration in their absence.”
– Adrienne Rich
Why We Fall in Love, over on brainpickings
Based on a decade of research developing detailed case studies on a range of successful networks, the authors of this article have identified a common pattern of factors that are essential to effective collaboration.
– focus on mission before organization;
– manage through trust, not control;
– promote others, not yourself;
– and build constellations, not stars.
Four Network Principles for Collaboration Success, by Jane Wei-Skillern
(via William Ury)
“How we treat one another at work matters. Insensitive interactions have a way of whittling away at people’s health, performance and souls.”
No Time to Be Nice at Work, by Christine Porath
In other words, we may despise our inboxes (and 99% of what’s in them), but we’re neurochemically compelled to make sure that there isn’t something potentially important or pleasurable lurking in there this time. And then five minutes from now. And then again. And again. “The internal stimulus is the one that gets you,” Rosen says. “On balance, [email is] maybe 10% pleasure and 90% fear of missing out.”
Great read on How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever
“Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service or a date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget. The email signoff — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. …”
Great read: Second chance for a last impression, by Liz Danzico
“For every tired, overworked, bitter parent who tells you how much you won’t get done when you have kids, there’s a parent like John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, who talks about cradling his son in one arm, and picking out melodies on the piano with the other. Or George Saunders, who stole time from his office job for seven years to write the stories that would become CivilWarLand In Bad Decline. Or any number of moms and dads who make it work and make the work. They are out there. Find them. Hang out with them. Ask them how they do it. Let them be your role models.”
On writing post-fatherhood, by Austin Kleon
(via Chris Glass)
I applaud companies that have grown to a sizable employee count but don’t lose their human touch. After all, a company is nothing other than a living breathing organism made out of humans. So why is it, that employees in BIG companies seem to lose all common sense and make decisions that hurt the business in the end?
I recently called Time Warner Cable and told them I would like to terminate our internet service as we are being evicted from our office building (it’s going residential) and the new building we’re moving into doesn’t offer their service. What happened was baffling: Their response was that I have to pay a $900 early termination fee for Tattly and CreativeMornings each.
Completely stunned at the absurdity of this, I tried to talk to a customer support, kindly explaining that this makes absolute no sense. We are moving to a location that DOESN’T offer their service. Why would we be punished for that?
All I got was: “There’s nothing I can do!”
If I would have been on the other side of that call, my soul would have shriveled up and died. I in fact feel for the Time Warner employee that wasn’t able to do the right thing.
Do you run a company? Do you make sure your employees have the power to do the right thing? I will make sure mine do.
Over dinner last week Jessica Hische convinced me to try her concept of Admin Mondays. Read her entire post on email efficiency.
Can you go 24 hours without complaining? Let’s do this.
“Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave.”
You’re a parent or simply interested in how teenagers and young adults use Social Media? Read this post. It’s written by Andrew Watts, a 19 year old. Such insights. Fascinating!
“Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.”
Kissing Your Socks Goodbye, by Penelope Green