Category: Productivity & Work

Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

A plastic brain shaped by the path

gif by Dan Harnden

The external ruggedness poses a challenge that compels an individual to grow. 

We evolve because we must struggle. And it's the endurance that makes the human. 

The only thing we really have any control over is our own experience.

Traleg Rinpoche

As we piece together the scraps of experience, we put the bones back in the goose and we discard the thoughts that don't serve us. 

Like an umbrella, the brain protects us from inertia. It's the giant sucking sound of mediocrity that we have to look out for.

Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Active by default

gif via Tumblr

We sleep on it, take cold showers, and jog it out. We give the various ingredients time to simmer.

We are always working, whether it's by gathering string or by waiting for the neurons and the synapses to wire and fire together.

The conscious mind applies the deliberate practice while the subconscious does the rest. Says writer and illustrator Maira Kalman, “wonderful things happen when your brain is empty.” That is the magic of thinking without thinking.

The kernel of an idea blooms within all the cerebral apps within. But that's just the start.

Once one idea stops working, we go through the learning process all over again.

“It is amateurs who have one big bright beautiful idea that they can never abandon. Professionals know that they have to produce theory after theory before they are likely to hit the jackpot.”

Francis Crick
Productivity & Work

Doing more begets more productivity

Busy people get more done. Having multiple priorities creates a state of flow.

We worry more when we give too much form to the unknown.

The most productive days are those in which we go immediately into action, en medias res, with a to-do list baked in our head.

Of course, busyness is not a badge to wear either.

If we're going to chase something, it better be something we enjoy. Passion helps absolves the grind.

Doing meaningful work centers us. But for that, we must also take responsibility and choose ourselves.

Own the confidence to discover and resolve anything by staying busy.

Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

Material to hone

It starts with something to play with. Then it builds into an enormous flower of connections and surprises.

The problem isn’t speeding up — it’s calming down the circuits of the brain that are overworked and over-wired.

A prompt here, a rough sentence there, stock phrases, we inject certainty onto the page. But the dominance comes later through the editing itself.

Once we loosen up the control and do the work, we realize that perfection never meets the maker with great exactness. Everything is at first messy, as it should be.

The hardest part is calming down enough to see it out.

Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The value of pushy mothers

The extra push. It can come from within, but it also helps to hear it from outside influences.

Pushy moms are more likely to build a successful kid. Being annoyed is good for you.

It is later on that you’ll steer your own life and develop the habit of pushing yourself.

The lessons hatch in your head, inculcating an operating system that values independence and hope.

From parts to wholes and back again, the most important thing is to follow through in an effort to inspect the self and all the world's knowledge.

Productivity & Work

How to prevent grit from becoming the grind

We need passion to prevent the grit from becoming a grind.

It might take years to discover what occupation or hobby ignites our interest.

Our intuition tells us if something is there — there's no need to manufacture a vocation that's missing a calling.

That hustle muscle

Enthusiasm is an extra muscle. It provides added energy for the road ahead and pushes us forward despite failed results.

Conversely, we don’t like work that feels like work and erodes our lives with it.

We should expect ourselves to do great things without added pressure. Take this advice from author Peter Bregman on finding our most important work.

So instead of worrying about what life is going to be like tomorrow, focus on these three things today. Answer these three questions: Are you working on something meaningful and challenging—something for which you have about a 50 percent chance of succeeding? Are you relating to other people at work or socially—people you like and to whom you feel close? Do you feel recognized for the work you are doing—paid or unpaid? Can you influence decisions and outcomes? If the answer is yes in each case, great. You’ll be motivated. Wherever it’s not, create those opportunities immediately.

Peter Bregman, 18 Minutes