Productivity Lessons from Artists and Entrepreneurs - Outside - Pocket The overlap between professional, creative, and athletic success is huge. Photo by Eddy Klaus/Unsplash. Though building up your body and mind to tackle athletic challenges may seem like a unique endeavor, that’s not the case. Performance is performance, and there are many parallels between training for a marathon, making great art, and building a business that lasts. All are challenges that demand hard work and self-control in pursuit of a goal that is days, months, or even years away. Put simply, the overlap between professional, creative, and athletic success is huge. Prioritize Consistency Over Heroic Efforts “People who don’t do creative work for a living often assume that it’s like what they see in the movies—that it’s 36 hours of muse-fueled blitz, sitting at a typewriter with a cigarette, pouring out genius,” says Ryan Holiday, creative strategist and author whose latest is Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts. Seek Mentorship Sleep!
How we made Parks and Recreation, by Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Mike Schur | Television & radio Amy Poehler (played Leslie Knope) Mike Schur and I worked together at Saturday Night Live; he wrote Leslie with me in mind. She was this optimistic, determined person with very little power but big aspirations. She evolved over time, but the idea of this person who was motivated by the hopeful spirit of the government employee, and how one can stay inspired when they keep getting knocked around – that was there from minute one. It was like wearing a suit: after a while, you stretch it out or alter it to fit you. The female friendship on the show is one of the things I’m most proud of, and it certainly came naturally because Rashida Jones and I had been friends for a long time. Nick Offerman and I are very similar in real life – we like to laugh and work but we’re strong willed and strong minded. It’s wonderful that Leslie means a lot of things to so many people. Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson) I’ve been very blessed with hair all over my body. From start to finish I was in hog heaven.
When It’s Good to Be Antisocial It turns out that, even in a highly coordinated hive, antisocial individuals persist. Image: “Wanderer above the sea of fog,” Caspar David Friedrich (1817) Bees are emblems of social complexity. Their honeycombs—intricate lattices dripping with food—house bustling hive members carrying out carefully orchestrated duties like defending against predators and coordinating resource collection. Yet out of the 20,000 known species of bees, only a few are social. For one, as introverts know well, socializing requires lots of energy. For another, being social can be stunting—sometimes bees have to grow up fast to survive. How do solitary species evolve to reap these benefits after having been social? Photo by Orangeaurochs / Flickr Variability in social behavior is one possible answer. It also turns out that, even in a highly coordinated hive, antisocial individuals persist. Changes in host plants can also lead social bees to revert to solitary behavior. Sociality is no pinnacle of evolution.
This 2-Minute Breathing Exercise Can Help You Make Better Decisions, According to a New Study Chess Grandmasters and Navy SEALs follow Nancy Pelosi's advice to make better decisions under pressure. So could taking a deep breath also help with business decision making? A recent collaborative study by researchers from Belgium, France, and the Seychelles, tried to answer this question with an experiment based on an "in-basket test," a testing protocol used by organizations to assess how well potential employees make decisions under the kind of pressure encountered in a typical managerial environment. The study tested a 5-2-7 breathing exercise. The researchers recruited 56 management students aged between 19 and 29 years from a business school in France. All the students were told to imagine they were in charge of a fictional retail clothing company and were given information about the company's background, its staff, the major issues it was facing, letters, memos, telephone messages, and notes. It prevented students from feeling stressed after the decision-making test.
Humans aren't designed to be happy – so stop trying A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture. Indeed, “the pursuit of happiness” is one of the US’s “unalienable rights”. Unfortunately, this has helped to create an expectation that real life stubbornly refuses to deliver. Because even when all our material and biological needs are satisfied, a state of sustained happiness will still remain a theoretical and elusive goal, as Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Córdoba in the tenth century, discovered. Happiness, as the Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes put it, is “like a feather flying in the air. Nature and evolution Humans are not designed to be happy, or even content. Morality Advocates of a morally correct path to happiness also disapprove of taking shortcuts to pleasure with the help of psychotropic drugs.
The Obesity Era Photo by Saurabh Naik / EyeEm / Getty Images. Years ago, after a plane trip spent reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground and Weight Watchers magazine, Woody Allen melded the two experiences into a single essay. ‘I am fat,’ it began. ‘I am disgustingly fat. That, as we used to say during my Californian adolescence, was then. And so the authorities tell us, ever more loudly, that we are fat — disgustingly, world-threateningly fat. Moral panic about the depravity of the heavy has seeped into many aspects of life, confusing even the erudite. Several governments now sponsor jauntily named pro-exercise programmes such as Let’s Move! Hand-in-glove with the authorities that promote self-scrutiny are the businesses that sell it, in the form of weight-loss foods, medicines, services, surgeries and new technologies. Higher levels of female obesity correlated with higher levels of gender inequality in each nation We are, of course, surrounded by industrial chemicals.
The Curious Case of the Socialite Who Sterilized Her Daughter In November 2018, a 66-year-old man named Tommy Thompson was wheeled into Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt’s courtroom in Columbus, Ohio, clad in a dark blue suit and looking like he had just served four years in federal prison. Thompson’s hair, once thick black curls, had given way to a bald pate, and with a long white beard and piercing eyes, he looked like a slightly hairier Christopher Lee, the actor who played the wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings. Throughout the trial, Judge Blunt interrupted Thompson’s testimony to reprimand him for veering wildly off course. Thompson had long insisted that he suffers from neurological problems and chronic fatigue syndrome, which impairs his memory, and that his meandering explanations were a symptom of the distress foisted upon him. But Judge Blunt, like other officials who’d presided over civil and criminal cases against Thompson, claimed that his malingering was the maneuvering of a hyper-intelligent con man. “We’ve found it. In July 2012, U.S.
Why Being a Jerk Can Be a Valuable Life Skill - Mark Manson - Pocket Eighty years ago, researchers began one of the longest and most complicated projects to understand human behavior in history. It would take almost 50 years to complete. But their work would define an entire field of psychology. It started with an idea: that people have different fundamental character traits and these character traits are inherited and stable throughout one’s life. It was the idea of personality. The problem was that there were an infinite number of human behaviors, so how could you know what was caused by someone’s personality, and what was caused by all the shit going on around them? To test and find stable personality traits, researchers would have to make an exhaustive list of all of the possible human behaviors and then measure these behaviors in a lot of people over a very long time to determine what was fundamental personality and what was just noise and bullshit. The project started out humbly enough. Talk about a one-way train ticket to Boresville. 1. 2. 3.
What Google knows about you might be a shock. Here's how to manage or delete your activity Google collects a ton of information about you -- maybe even more than you realize. Google remembers every search you perform and every YouTube video you watch. Whether you have an iPhone ($699 at Amazon) or Android phone, Google Maps logs everywhere you go, the route you take to get there, when you arrive and what time you leave -- even if you never open the app. As a spate of data leaks and privacy violations continues to weaken the public's trust in big tech companies, Google has responded by creating a privacy hub that lets you access, delete and limit the data Google collects on you. Despite Google's best efforts to increase transparency, recent revelations that the search giant was secretly sharing users' private data with third-party advertisers have challenged the public's trust in the company, whose Google Home ($99 at Walmart) and Google Nest lines of smart speakers seek to put microphones and cameras in the most private of settings -- your home. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
How Norway turns criminals into good neighbours Image copyright Reuters What is the point of sending someone to prison - retribution or rehabilitation? Twenty years ago, Norway moved away from a punitive "lock-up" approach and sharply cut reoffending rates. The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby went to see the system in action, and to meet prison officers trained to serve as mentors and role models for prisoners. "OK, and now put your big toes together and put your bum behind you!" "Can you feel the stretch?" It could be a yoga class at any holistic health retreat anywhere in the world but the participants here at Norway's maximum security Halden Prison are rather far removed from the usual yummy mummy spa clientele. "It calms them," says prison governor Are Hoidal approvingly, as we watch from the sidelines. Tranquillity does not come cheaply. A uniformed prison officer on a silver micro-scooter greets us cheerily as he wheels past. Hoidal laughs at my nonplussed face. "It's called dynamic security!" "It was completely hard," he remembers.
To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To Photo from CSA Images/Getty Images One of the best insights on what true productivity means in the 21st century dates back to 1890. In his book The Principles of Psychology, Vol.1, William James wrote a simple statement that’s packed with meaning: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.” Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live. Or said another way: you must control your attention to control your life. Attention Management To be consistently productive and manage stress better, we must strengthen our skill in attention management. Attention management is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus, so that you can unleash your genius. Better attention management leads to improved productivity, but it’s about much more than checking things off a to-do list. Aspirations vs. Let’s go back to our mentoring and coaching example. Control your technology.
Not Just a Pretty Boy Photo by Toranin Jindathai / EyeEm/Getty Images. When Louise Irving first met her husband Gordon, in South Africa in the mid-1970s, she came between him and an intense love affair that was passionate, fierce and all-consuming. The situation seemed hopeless. Any free love notion of an open relationship was intolerable. Her man was taken. ‘I knew Winston loved my husband so much,’ Louise recalled. But Louise had no ordinary rival in love. Eventually, despite Winston’s protests, Louise and Gordon had sons. A parrot’s imprinting with a human surrogate follows a predictable script: utter fidelity expressed through its natural mating behaviour. ‘If you are going to be loved by a bird, you are going to have blood spill from your face’ All birds occupy a non-mammalian ‘otherness’ that, except for two scrawny legs, makes them seem alien and, at times, as Alfred Hitchcock knew and exploited, even threatening. Maybe, we could conclude that opposites attract. The parrot, we might say, is uncanny.