Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ellie Goulding Aches For Downtime: 'I Need To Sort My Life Out'

Do I ever know the feeling. Life on the road. Read more at Billboard.

That said, glad she is still touring because she rocked her set at Coachella last weekend!

Using molly to treat PTSD?

It's happening in some clinical trials.

If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Kurt Vonnegut’s Advice to the Young on Kindness, Computers, Community, and the Power of Great Teachers

"Kurt became one of the country’s most celebrated and sought-after commencement speakers, and like other masters of the genre — including Neil Gaiman, David Foster Wallace, Debbie Millman, Anna Quindlen, Bill Watterson, Joseph Brodsky, and Ann Patchett — he bestowed his gift of wit and wisdom upon throngs of eager young people entering the so-called “real world.” This was one of my favorite quotes:
You should know that when a husband and wife fight, it may seem to be about money or sex or power. But what they’re really yelling at each other about is loneliness.
Read more in BrainPickings. (Thanks, +Lucy McKinstry)

HBR Daily Stat: Easing the Load of the Battery-Powered Soldier

Batteries account for about 30 of the 90 pounds of gear carried by U.S. soldiers and Marines, Navy official Roger M. Natsuhara tells the Wall Street Journal. That’s because a lot of their equipment, from infrared viewers to communicators, is powered. The military has now developed unrollable photovoltaic panels for recharging batteries, so that fewer batteries are required and, thus, fewer have to be thrown away—an important security issue, because a trail of dead batteries shows the enemy where soldiers have been.

Read more in the HBR Daily Stat.

Monday, April 14, 2014

This is Your Brain on Engineering (GoldieBlox Easter PSA)

And the UpWorthy take:
This is not to say that being a princess is somehow a bad thing. As GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling explained in an interview with Wired, "It’s totally cool to be into dress-up. It’s great to be a princess, but you can build your castle too. We want to encourage all types of girls to be whatever they want.”  
Encouraging girls to think beyond just being a princess is kind of important. Princess culture lends itself to focusing on beauty over brains much of the time. (Though the "Frozens" and "Tangleds" of the world have shown that you can have both.) And while it's fun to be a princess too (as I sometimes do with my daughter), giving them more options that encourage bigger thinking is always a win in my book.
Read more in UpWorthy. (Thanks, +Cassie Coravos)

The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World

Alison Wolf takes on multiple big, meaty topics in her book. A couple excerpts from a review of her book that stuck with me:

  • Upper-middle-class couples somehow manage to spend more interactive time (not just being in the same room) with their children than any group in history—with or without careers (!), rich or poor
  • Think there is some reason to believe that the emotional bond between parents is to some extent redirected toward the children; the term “housewife,” which calls attention to the woman’s relationship to her husband, has been replaced by “stay-at-home mom,” which focuses on her relationship with her children
  • Since upper-middle-class parents spend almost all their time on work and children, what do they have to give up? Sleep, for one thing. According to Wolf, upper-middle-class women sleep much less than lower-class women. (The difference between the top 20 percent and the bottom 20 percent is an hour and a half nightly.)

Read the review at the New York Review of Books. (Thanks, +Daniel Houghton)

ZenHabits: On Making It Through Tough Journeys

This is such a good post. Number 2: "Embrace your entire range of experiences" is definitely one of the hardest ones. Read more on ZenHabits.

TED Talk: Bill and Melinda Gates

"Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we've done"

Thanks, +Marissa Mumford 

99 Sites That Every Professional Should Know About and Use

Read more in the Muse. So many good ones in there.

Thanks, +Samantha Pearlman 

How Much Does Money Motivate Us?

Writer Daniel Pink explains why traditional rewards like money aren't always successful motivators.

Thanks, +John Griffin

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Suffering Does

In a culture obsessed with happiness, we should remember that coming to terms with suffering is instructive to the soul. Read David Brook's Op-Ed in the NYT.

Thanks, +Julia Chou 

SXSW 2014: Davis Guggenheim unveils new documentary 'Spent: Looking for Change'

Read more in the Examiner. Also check out Moneythink, which is one way to start breaking this cycle. (Thanks, +Joe Duran)

Self-Secure Leaders and the Role of Attachment

Interesting take:
Do I have what it takes to be a leader? Why do I struggle to express emotions? Why can't I inspire my team? Am I too dependent on others?  Do these type of questions seem familiar, either related to you or someone you know?
Researchers believe that in many of such cases, these negative perceptions relate to attachment disorders. In this edition of the CL weekly, we would like to bring forth some thoughts on the relationship between attachment patterns and effectiveness of leaders. Few highlights from a blog written by Professor Manfred Kets de Vries from Insead:
  • Psychoanalyst John Bowlby noted that the ability to form attachments is a part of our evolutionary heritage. A child's thoughts, emotions, behavior all contribute to how s/he engages and handles relationships in future
  • How these attachment patterns resolve themselves influences our self-efficiency, self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Recent work in this area talks about attachment style based on two dimensions:
    • anxiety that drives the behavior of abandonment and rejection
    • avoidance which reflects the discomfort associated with closeness and dependency.
  • People with low anxiety and low avoidance have secure attachment patterns that leads to good social skills and high sense of self esteem
  • People with high avoidance patterns either tend to be dismissive (those with low anxiety) or are fearful (those with high anxiety) and find relating to others difficult
  • Safe and secure environment that makes people face and deal with their vulnerabilities or support from a coach, psychotherapist may enable an individual enhance capacity to build trust based relationship and express emotions better
Read more at INSEAD's blog. (Thanks, CL)

HBR Tip of the Day: Stop Believing that Everything Is Urgent

So true:
In an ever-accelerating business culture, where smaller teams are taking on increasing workloads, it’s impossible to get everything done as fast as we’d like. Of course, some tasks and projects require more urgency than others – but if we consider everything to be urgent, we jam up the queue and confuse trifles with true priorities. The challenge in this do-it-now culture is to tell the difference between the two. Challenge the assumption that everything needs to be done right away, and work with your team to eliminate unnecessary or low-value work. Are people tied up with repetitive activities that don’t make a difference? Could those be done less often or with less effort? Can your weekly status reports become monthly? Could a wordy memo become a short list of key points? Tweaks like these can create the bandwidth you need to tackle truly urgent projects.
Read more at HBR.

Cute Video: French Bulldog Doesn't Want to Go to Bed Yet, Mom!

See more at People. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Monday, April 7, 2014

30 Brilliant Test Answers From Smartass Kids

So many cute ones that made me laugh aloud. "When a child’s answer to a question on a quiz or test is incorrect but clever, should they get credit for it? Here are 30 clever test answers that will make you wonder what’s better – the correct answer or the clever one."

Check them out at at Bored Panda. (Thanks, John)

30 Percent Feedback

Thought this was a great take on when someone wants real feedback vs. validation and to hear "job well done." Definitely has a couple of great tips to incorporate into my life.

Read more at 42 Floors. (Thanks, +Jordan Dods)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Big data: are we making a big mistake?

"Big data is a vague term for a massive phenomenon that has rapidly become an obsession with entrepreneurs, scientists, governments and the media."

Read more in FT. (Thanks, +Kendall Dabaghi)

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains

"Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind."

Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava)

Also reminds me of a section in the "America the Beautiful" documentary.

America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted

A couple good excerpts:
Our standards for what it takes to be a good parent, particularly a good mother, are insanely high and out of proportion to all reality. Working mothers today now spend as much or more time with their kids as stay-at-home mothers in the 1960s and '70s. I found that fascinating. 
...we sometimes create busyness in order to conform to this social ideal, that to be worthy is to be busy.
Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, +Alessia Bhargava)

Dan Harris, Co-Anchor of ‘Nightline,’ Discusses Multitasking and Meditation

Dan Harris courageously opens up on the panic attack he had in front of a 5MM people live audience, and how he has been using mindfulness techniques to relieve stress and single-task focus. Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Marissa)

A 4-Year-Old Girl Asked A Lesbian If She's A Boy. She Responded The Awesomest Way Possible.

Read more in UpWorthy. (Thanks, +Claire Packer)

Lorde Found A Photoshopped Photo Of Herself And Decided To Tweet An Untouched Real One Next To It

Check out her Tweet. Read more on UpWorthy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Change leader, change thyself

Anyone who pulls the organization in new directions must look inward as well as outward.

Read more in the McKinsey Quarterly.

Love any business piece that starts off quoting one of my favorite Russian authors

How to Overcome the Fear of "Putting Yourself Out There"

The Centered Leadership interest group published some notes from Susan Cain. Susan Cain, a researcher known for her work on introversion, recently wrote a blog post to help us become better at tapping into our creativity and putting our ideas "out there."
1. Know that you're in good company - putting your ideas is out there is scary - no matter who you are.
2. Think self-expression, not self-promotion - see things like blogging or writing as a creative project than an exercise in self-disclosure
3. Coffee will deliver you from self-doubt - caffeine stimulates our system and can help us get excited about new ideas and ignore the chorus of judgers inside our heads
4. Train yourself to associate idea generation with pleasure - generate ideas over a good meal or in your favorite place
5. Work alone (or "alone together" - e.g., at coffee shop or library) - Yes we stand on the shoulders of others before us, but our best ideas often come when we're quietly reflecting and thinking.
6. Work at night when your cortisol levels are lower - cortisol is a stress hormone, and it peaks in the morning and steadily dissipates throughout the day.  A relaxed brain is a more creative brain.
7. Get in the habit of asking yourself where you stand on various questions - Knowing what it feels like to operate from your center helps to build confidence and enables you to see the meaning and purpose behind your actions
8. Look for role models who are fearless idea generators and sharers
Read more of Susan Cain's work.

20 Essential MOOC Courses

Shifting educational landscape:
... If you’re seeking quality and flexibility, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are hard to beat. Every month, new schools are jumping on the MOOC bandwagon. And many students are capitalizing on these courses. Take Laurie Pickard, for example. She figured out how to complete the equivalent of an MBA for under $1000, using free MOOCs from schools like Wharton and Yale.
Read more in Poets and Quants and check out some of the available courses. (Thanks, +Samantha Pearlman)

Mindfulness for People Who Are Too Busy to Meditate

I liked the concepts of "micro-meditation" and "meditation in action." Can put them to use today. Read more in the HBR blog. (Thanks, +Samantha Pearlman)

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .