I still skip around like a giddy first grader on the first day of school when it snows. It never gets old! Okay, well it does get old after a few days when the snow turns to slippery brown muddy ice on the street. Here are two snapshots from the recent snowstorms (and ensuing big chill) in NYC — the left side is Union Square, the right is just outside my yoga studio in Chelsea:
- A great reminder from Charlie Gilkey: You’re Better Than You Were Last Year
- The secret to creativity, intelligence and scientific thinking: Being able to make connections
- Verrrry interesting: A new book debunks the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence
- I also loved this article (Kobe Bryant's story in particular) on Buffer: 10 Years of Silence: How long it took Mozart, Picasso and Kobe Bryant to be Successful
- Fascinating post on how to solve problems using the process of "inversion" (working backwards or chipping away from what is known): A Wonderfully Simple Heuristic to Recognize Charlatans
- Afflicted by "dry air" and "watery eyes" like me? For those of you who are known to cry from time to time, here are 13 Things You Probably Don't Know About Tears
- Loved this short post from A Big Creative Yes (excerpted below in full):
"Our motivation to create does not always appear with fanfares and fireworks, blazing like the last party on earth…
In fact, the most powerful and consistent motivation is close to being both invincible and invisible. You just quietly and determinedly show up and create what you need to create.
Like breathing and sleeping – two other essentials we commit to without question, as life without them is unthinkable and impossible – we must create with similar motivation.
If it feels like that’s missing for you, maybe you’ve not been focusing on creating what really matters most."
—A Big Creative Yes: The Invincible Invisible
- Want to seem even smarter in your next meeting? Wired shares 7 Hand Gestures That Make You Look Like a Real Intellectual
- Can't say I'm surprised . . . The Standard American Diet in 3 Simple Charts
- Butter has gotten a bad rap over the years. Check-out this breakdown from Food Babe to make sure you're buttering better: Is Butter Secretly Ruining Your Health?
- Some basic pointers this week: Eat Enough Iron to Feel Strong and Happy and make sure your Fish Oil Supplements are legit (I hate fish — smell, taste, as pets — so I take Wiley's Omega 3s, thanks to Chuck G. for the rec!)
- Motivation to move: even the Denver Broncos Do Yoga to Stay Flexible and Injury-Free
- The New York Times shares more data on meditation going mainstream in Breathing In vs. Spacing Out. A few of the key excerpts:
"We found that getting as little as 12 minutes of meditation practice a day helped the Marines to keep their attention and working memory — that is, the added ability to pay attention over time — stable,” said Jha, director of the University of Miami’s Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative.
. . . undergraduates instructed to spend a mere 10 minutes a day for two weeks practicing mindfulness made significant improvement on the verbal portion of the GRE — a gain of 16 percentile points. They also significantly increased their working memory capacity, the ability to maintain and manipulate multiple items of attention.
That a practice once synonymous with Eastern mysticism could be put to the service of Western rationalism may sound surprising, but consider: By emphasizing a focus on the here and now, it trains the mind to stay on task and avoid distraction.“Your ability to recognize what your mind is engaging with, and control that, is really a core strength,” said Peter Malinowski.
“For some people who begin mindfulness training, it’s the first time in their life where they realize that a thought or emotion is not their only reality, that they have the ability to stay focused on something else, for instance their breathing, and let that emotion or thought just pass by.”
—New York Times, Breathing In vs. Spacing Out
- Need to jog some ideas? Here are 50 Ways to Get Customers in 2014
- Fantastic podcast interview on the realities of entrepreneurship with Elisa Doucette (who didn't own a passport until she took a location-independent gig in Bali two years ago — and she's been living in SE Asia ever since)
- I'm on two podcasts this week: sharing thoughts on how I manage my fear and why money is just a means to an end
- Another honest look at the start-up rollercoaster: The Start-Up Vortex of Doom
- Great takeaways from Michael Hyatt on What [he] Learned at Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery Event
- 6 tips from top bloggers for writing a great About Page (thanks Jade for the mention!)
- The New Yorker's Maria Konnikova on The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral
- Nailed it! The Freelancers Pyramid of Self-Actualization (I use Freelancers Union for my health insurance and am really enjoying the founder's book: The Freelancer's Bible)
- From Rebecca Fraser-Thill: Work-Life Balance Is A Lie and on that same subject, a fascinating piece from the New Yorker on the cult of overwork:
"The perplexing thing about the cult of overwork is that, as we’ve known for a while, long hours diminish both productivity and quality. Among industrial workers, overtime raises the rate of mistakes and safety mishaps; likewise, for knowledge workers fatigue and sleep-deprivation make it hard to perform at a high cognitive level. As Solomon put it, past a certain point overworked people become “less efficient and less effective.” And the effects are cumulative."
—The cult of overwork (New Yorker)