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jerryking : reflections   37

How to step back and rethink your career goals
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019 | Financial Times | by Elizabeth Uviebinene.

Mobile apps: Wunderlist and Trello.
Podcasts on the “back to life” mindset: How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Better Life Lab and Without Fail
Newsletters: The Roundup by Otegha Uwagba

Autumn now brings a sense of trepidation — it can be an unsettling time for those who are starting new opportunities and a source of anxiety for those who feel stuck in a rut while others move on......I look at autumn a little differently, seeing it as a time to reset and an opportunity to make small changes to my routine without the cynicism that is attached to new year’s resolutions...... a little refresh now can go a long way...... it’s more about making time to check in with them, to realign and reprioritize.......The first step is to check in on your long-term goals, the ones you want to achieve in a few years. Is your current trajectory aligning with those goals? If not, why not? What can you implement today to get you back on track?....write down what you’ve achieved this year and positioning it within the overall business objectives that show your individual impact......journal when it comes to both long-term and weekly career planning. Spending time writing down objectives and reflecting on how best to get there in the coming weeks and months can provide a sense of control......prioritizing is essential to maintaining a healthy work and life balance. Journal five goals for the next four months and then place them in priority order, cross off the bottom three, to leave the two most important ones. That's where to focus one's time and energy......."Find your tribe”. A sense of community is key to battling the loneliness that this time of year can bring. This could be done online by signing up to a newsletter, or via community groups and live events....Attend conferences.....use this time of year to consider making a career change, aiming for the next promotion or starting a side project, ....reflect, plot and plan on how best to get there. Sneaking small changes into our working life can make all the difference.
autumn  conferences  goals  howto  journaling  long-term  Managing_Your_Career  mindsets  mobile_applications  networking  podcasts  priorities  reflections  résumés  self-organization  sense_of_control  tribes  work_life_balance 
september 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
september 2019 by jerryking
Creative summer: visiting an art gallery
AUGUST 19, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Viewing John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, an exhibition of artworks and objects from Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George — a charity founded by the English polymath, which he endowed with a tiny museum intended for what the exhibition guide calls “the iron workers of Sheffield”. ....Ruskin, who wrote about 9m words in his lifetime and was variously an art critic, artist, social commentator, polemicist, philanthropist and thoroughly eminent Victorian (he died in 1900), has left one of the most creative legacies that most of us will ever encounter. What can he teach us about creativity at work?....the guide talks about the artist’s ideas about the ways in which we see the world around us — and how we can learn to see more clearly, and in more detail. ...Ruskin believed that in order to properly observe, one had to draw what one is seeing — not something we could do in the gallery, but it suggests a different way of engaging with the world around us for some of the people on the team. “Ruskin was a great joiner of the dots, and showing that everything is connected,”........the surprising ways in which we can make connections — suddenly seems to be one of the most important ways in which we can be more creative in a workplace focused on being “agile” and “collaborative”. We tend to think in well-defined ways, with longstanding colleagues whose reactions we can often guess in advance.....the importance of just . . . noticing. Of finding beauty and interest in a wide range of things, just for the sake of it, and allowing thoughts to drift about.....The simple act of looking at beautiful things, the sort of activity Ruskin would have considered a good in itself, is a way of taking time out to be reflective.
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Rob |Aug 20, 2019.

I’m on board with the thrust of the article. I’m fortunate (although it doesn’t often feel that way) to work for an artist. This has given me access to yet more artists and regular recommendations for exhibitions.

Two recent examples are ‘Beyond the Streets’, an exploration of graffiti and it’s genesis in Brooklyn, and ‘Visions of the Self’ at Gagosian in London — both were mind-bending-ly good; both were outside my usual interests and I wouldn’t have attended unless pushed.

I really don’t know anything about graffiti or Rembrandt. However, visiting an exhibition with a knowledgeable friend, provided they aren’t particularly overbearing, is a delightful experience that, to my own surprise, leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and creatively invigorated. (Anecdotally. I haven’t done an RCT to assess the impact on my work...)

The upshot: provided they’re well assembled, almost any exhibition can provide relaxation and stimulation in equal measure.
art  art_galleries  attention  connecting_the_dots  creative_renewal  creativity  focus  mindfulness  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  reflections  serendipity  think_differently 
august 2019 by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  brainpower  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  judgment  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  perspectives  Pulitzer_Prize  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett 
november 2018 by jerryking
Why can’t we all be as productive as Picasso?
MARCH 28, 2018 | FT | Jo Ellison.

The year 1932 was a landmark moment for Picasso both personally and professionally. Having recently turned 50, the artist found himself feverishly experimenting with new styles and subjects as he reflected on his own contemporaneity and relevance. It was the year his marriage to Olga broke down, and the year in which a group of Paris dealers would mount his first ever retrospective.

Picasso’s “year of wonders” is obviously a cause for celebration — even if only for his astonishing output.
......As the New Yorker writer and critic Malcolm Gladwell so deftly pointed out in his 2008 book, Outliers, those who are blessed with the talent of a genius only become so after 10,000 hours of practice: the “magic number of greatness”. Debate has raged ever since as to the precise number at which the merely good become gifted, but Gladwell’s theory has always held a beguiling allure. If only I weren’t so appallingly lazy, I too might write a bestselling novel, or win a gold medal for figure skating, or fulfil my life-long dream of becoming a lead soprano in a West End musical. It’s always served as a peculiar comfort to know that the only obstacle to my success has been feckless indolence — and possibly the invention of the iPhone.

Which is why the Picasso exhibition was so grim. It wasn’t so much that he worked extremely hard to become the world’s most famous artist. Anyone could, technically, slave away in a studio for hours crafting their genius. It’s that he still found time to finesse such a gloriously well-rounded and fulsome life in the spaces he found in between.
Pablo_Picasso  Malcolm_Gladwell  artists  reflections  aging  genius  prolificacy  productivity  midlife  well-rounded  interstitial  personal_accomplishments  10000_hours 
april 2018 by jerryking
College Advice I Wish I’d Taken
OCT. 17, 2017 | The New York Times | by Susan Shapiro.

* A’S ARE COOL AND COME WITH PERKS. As a student, I saw myself as anti-establishment, and I hated tests; I barely maintained a B average. I thought only nerds spent weekends in the library studying. .... I was retroactively envious to learn that a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher at many schools qualifies you for free trips, scholarships, grants, awards, private parties and top internships... Students certainly don’t need to strive obsessively for perfection, but I should have prioritized grades, not guys.

* SHOW UP AND SPEAK UP If a class was boring or it snowed, I’d skip. My rationale was that nobody in the 300-person lecture hall would notice and I could get notes later.... as a teacher, I see that the students who come weekly, sit in front, and ask and answer questions get higher grades and frankly, preferential treatment. ..... participating can actually lead to payoffs. I reward those who try harder with recommendations, references, professional contacts and encouragement.

* CLASS CONNECTIONS CAN LAUNCH YOUR CAREER As an undergrad, I rarely visited my professors during office hours....In graduate school, on the other hand, I went to the readings of a professor I admired. Eventually, I’d go to his office just to vent. Once, after I complained about a dead-end job, he recommended me for a position at The New Yorker, jump-starting my career.
But it’s not just your professors who will help your life trajectory. Several classmates of mine from graduate school wound up working as editors at other publications, and they have since hired me for freelance work. Years later, I’ve helped students and colleagues where I teach, at the New School and New York University, land jobs, get published and meet with editors and agents.

* PROFESSORS ARE PEOPLE, TOO As a teacher, I’ve kept all the letters, cards and poems of gratitude I’ve been sent. It’s nice to be appreciated, and it makes a lasting impression. After one of my intro sessions, a freshman from Idaho blurted out: “Awesome class! It’s like you stuck my fingers in a light socket.” I laughed and invited her to speed walk with me around the local park — an activity I take part in nightly as a sort of active office hours — and we workshopped ideas that led to her first book. And when a student confided she was dying to take another class with me but had lost her financial aid, I let her audit. In retrospect, I should have been more open with the instructors I admired.

* FIND YOUR PROFESSORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA I answer all emails, and while I may not accept all friend requests, I respond to students who follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More important, social media is where I post about panels, job openings and freelance work.
advice  Colleges_&_Universities  lessons_learned  playing_in_traffic  reflections  success  regrets  GPA  perks  students  professors  nerds 
october 2017 by jerryking
Why you should create space in your life just to think
October 27, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here's how:

Commit to a topic: There are many things that could flood your mind in any given moment. Pick an important topic and commit to thinking about it.

Block some time: Set aside an hour or two to think about that topic or, Mr. Eblin adds, read about the issue if more research is needed (jk: sustained inquiry). “My sense is that blocking out more than two hours of think time at any one sitting is probably a waste of time for most people. It’s hard to maintain your focus on any given topic for more than an hour or two. If you need more than two hours of think time on the topic, schedule more time on other days,” he writes.

Find another space for thinking: Get out of your normal work space to refresh yourself and provide different visual cues.

Attend a conference: If the issue is a toughie, consider a conference on the topic that allows you to immerse yourself in possibilities.

Take notes: By writing down the thoughts that come to your mind, you don’t have to worry about remembering them. That’s actually a part of creating space: more time to think, less to worry about remembering. And once you have a note-taking process – Mr. Eblin is a fan of Evernote, which is searchable and shared on various electronic devices – you now have a place to record that sudden thought at another time.
Harvey_Schachter  reflections  creative_renewal  Evernote  thinking  note_taking  visual_cues  buffering  slack_time  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock - Western Alumni
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock

by Paul Wells, BA'89

“Young people are educated in many ways,” he wrote, “but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and the common blessings of modern adulthood.”.....every few months when I sit down to write one of these columns, I do a little stock-taking. And a few times after a major screw-up or a minor triumph I’ve tried to do it in a more formal way. It’s true that just about every time I’ve bet everything on a new direction, it’s worked out better than if I’d stayed put. Once I bet everything and it worked out very badly. But even then, failure made a better life possible.

These are not lessons university teaches us well. Partly that’s because the young so rarely have any interest in learning them. I spent a lot more time at Western trying to figure out how to be successful than I did trying to figure out how to be happy. I figured 'happy' was in the gods’ hands, not mine. Almost everything that followed was accident.

To the extent we can learn how to live a good life, I think that so far, we learn it better from the arts and humanities than from science or even social science. Aristotle and Haydn have helped get me out of more fixes than cell biology did, although to be fair I was a lousy scientist. I’m quite sure it’ll never be possible to know, to three decimal places, how to live life well. Too many variables. But the question is still worth asking.

I’m with the Yale class of ’42. Change and risk have stood me in better stead than stasis and worry ever did. There may be a role for universities in teaching that much, at least.
advice  anti-résumé  chance  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  failure  happiness  lessons_learned  life_lessons  next_play  no_regrets  Paul_Wells  reflections  risk-taking  success  UWO 
february 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
Prostate cancer? Relax, and don’t rush your treatment - The Globe and Mail
ANDRÉ PICARD
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2016

a landmark study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has provided some stark data on the benefits, risks and necessity of treatment for men with low- or medium-risk prostate cancer (meaning they have a Gleason score of 6-7).

Related: What's the best method of screening for prostate cancer?

The uplifting news is that, a decade after diagnosis, 99 per cent of men with early prostate cancer are still alive. The sort-of-surprising news is that mortality rates don’t really vary depending on type of treatment, or whether a man is treated at all. .....The other element of this story, which is not part of the new research, is about the effectiveness and appropriateness of testing. Another study published recently showed that digital rectal examination is a poor way of detecting prostate cancer and shouldn’t be done because it provides “maximal pain for minimal gain.”

PSA testing, for its part, is one of the most controversial issues in the cancer field. It doesn’t actually detect cancer, but elevated PSA levels trigger biopsies and often lead to a cascade of overtreatment. In Canada, routine PSA tests are not recommended.

What we really need is a test that shows if prostate cancer, once detected, will prove aggressive and deadly or not, and we don’t have that. Prostate cancer kills 4,100 Canadian men a year, but it’s not by doing more and earlier testing and more aggressive treatment that we will necessarily reduce that number. That’s a hard message to digest, and deliver.
cancers  mens'_health  André_Picard  health  PSA  prostate  overtreatment  thinking_deliberatively  reflections  contextual  timeouts  latency 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Power of Daily Writing in a Journal - WSJ
By CLARE ANSBERRY
Jan. 26, 2016

Making journal entries is a form of reflection... reflection creates personal insight... and insight makes people more productive.
journaling  habits  writing  reflections  insights 
january 2016 by jerryking
A billionaire’s guide to productivity - The Globe and Mail
FRED MOUAWAD
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 11 2015

1. Prioritize. Rank the level of importance of family, me time, and work. Think about the areas of life that need nurturing in order to feel more fulfilled. It is essential to strike a balance to lead both a happy and productive life.

2. Allocate time (JCK: lead time) to maximize an impact (JCK: leverage or return on effort). Forewarned is forearmed. Plan ahead how you will use your time – after all, knowing your schedule is half the battle.

3. Know your natural penchants. If you find that the time spent on these activities does not give you a high level of return, consider allocating your time more thoughtfully.

4. Reduce uncertainty, increase accountability. A lack of clarity is productivity’s greatest enemy.

5. Know when to be a lone wolf. It is important to know your strengths. What tasks are you better off performing on your own? What tasks can you delegate?

6. Establish a nurturing culture. Productivity is easier to achieve in the right environment.

7. Measurement gets results-- measure performance to make continuous improvements. But make sure that you measuring the right things.
time-management  productivity  GTD  JCK  lead_time  priorities  strengths  self-discipline  business_planning  reflections  work_life_balance  uncertainty  clarity  affirmations  self-awareness  ksfs  preparation  penchants  predilections  measurements  proclivities  willpower  high-impact  time-allocation  return_on_effort 
february 2015 by jerryking
Four ways to harvest value from ‘failure’ - The Globe and Mail
JOE NATALE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 04 2015

Here are four ways to bring tuition value to life in your organization:

1. Reward the blunt and the honest.

2. Make sure everybody has some skin in the game...Reflect upon our successes and our failures and, most importantly, to share and study them and create a constructive dialogue within their teams. Creating tuition value only works if it becomes everyone’s responsibility.

3. Know when to fold them. We have heard many times that it’s important to fail fast, and yet too many organizations take far too long to put a bullet in projects that are going nowhere.

4. Pump up the volume of your customer’s voice.
attrtion_rates  failure  lessons_learned  value_creation  customer_feedback  feedback  reflections  kill_rates  skin_in_the_game 
february 2015 by jerryking
Hey, you: Stop multitasking and focus - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 27 2014

New Jersey-based consultant Daniel Forrester believes we all have to find similar moments of contemplation to be more effective in our careers. “It’s about tapping into what makes us unique as human beings: reflection and conscience. The big innovations all are a product of reflection, getting a break from the tumult of immediacy that surrounds us,” he said in an interview.

The author of Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization was moved to study the issue when reading an article about the now-legendary “think weeks” that Bill Gates took as the head of Microsoft. Armed with cans of diet Orange Crush and a stack of documents with ideas and proposals, he would isolate himself in his cottage and spend time pondering future possibilities for his tech empire.

It’s a fascinating idea, but Mr. Forrester wondered why the CEO couldn’t manage to find reflection space in the office. “He’s Bill Gates. Why can’t he shut the door and get time to think?” he asked in an interview.

Mr. Forrester believes we have to change that tendency – and not only for CEOs, but for everyone. Reflection, he explained, is the space between data and meaning.

It starts with think weeks, proper vacations and sabbaticals to refresh and reflect. Our brains continue to work on issues even at rest, and the subconscious can come up with some electrifying findings. So it’s vital that a vacation be a true vacation, rather than pushing an employee, through social pressure or direct orders, to check e-mail a dozen times a day.
books  contemplation  creative_renewal  focus  Harvey_Schachter  immediacy  innovation  meditation  monotasking  multitasking  reading  reflections  sabbaticals  slack_time  strategic_thinking  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
july 2014 by jerryking
If I Were 22: Face It, You're Going to Be Kissing Some Career Frogs
May 19, 2014 | LinkedIn | Sallie Krawcheck.

At this early stage of your career, there’s a real temptation to go into a field of work because your friends are or because it’s “hot.” But there’s also an enormously small likelihood that it will still be hot 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. So, rather than wedding yourself to an industry, instead shift your focus to gaining experiences and learning as much as you can, so that you build transferrable skills.

For you, Sallie-at-22, that will be in the banking and media industries; in the finance, marketing and sales functions; and in writing and financial analysis. Keep a running note of what works and what doesn’t work for you, what you like and what you don’t like, what you’re good and what you aren’t, the work styles that suit you and what doesn’t, where you passions lie and what leaves you cold. The chance of the stars aligning on these fronts in your first job, or even your first couple of jobs, is very low, so you’ll have to keep searching.

By building up this store of knowledge, you’re going to have what feels like a lightning bolt insight that you should be in equity research at the mature old age of 29.
career_paths  new_graduates  advice  trial_&_error  Managing_Your_Career  Sallie_Krawcheck  equity_research  journaling  reflections 
may 2014 by jerryking
More Reflection, Less Action
February 14, 2014 |NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

Observation from President Obama, caught on an open mike during a stroll with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2008:

“The most important thing you need to do [in this job] is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.”

Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand.

Regular reflection also provides the space in which to decide what not to do. At the companies I visit, no topic comes up more frequently than prioritizing....Time to reflect is what makes it possible to prioritize.... a tools that ensures reflection and prioritization is an old-fashioned handwritten to-do list, with a twist. Download everything that’s on your mind – not just calls to make and emails to send, but also ideas you want to explore, conflicts you haven’t resolved, and longer-term projects you intend to pursue...If you can’t decide whether something is worth your time, I try to stop and answer two reflective questions – a task that ends up saving rather than costing time.

1. Could someone else do this just as well or better than I can? If so, I try to turn it over.

2. Is the time and energy I invest going to produce anything I’ll still consider worth having done a month from now?

We need less conventional wisdom and more genuine wisdom; less sheer output and more insights that add enduring value.
time-management  reflections  wisdom  work_life_balance  insights  priorities  lists  GTD  judgment  strategic_thinking  Obama  David_Cameron  thinking  timeouts  meditation  contemplation  discernment  subtlety  personal_energy  slack_time  monotasking  sustained_inquiry  Tony_Schwartz  nuanced 
february 2014 by jerryking
In Praise of Depth - NYTimes.com
January 17, 2014 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.
We don’t need more bits and bytes of information, or more frequent updates about each other’s modest daily accomplishments. What we need instead is more wisdom, insight, understanding and discernment — less quantity, higher quality; less breadth and more depth....The reality is that we each have limited working memories, meaning we can only retain a certain amount of new information in our minds at any given time. If we’re forever flooding the brain with new facts, other information necessarily gets crowded out before it’s been retained in our long-term memory. If you selectively reduce what you’re taking in, then you can hold on to more of what you really want to remember...Going deeper does mean forgoing immediate gratification more often, taking time to reflect and making more conscious choices. It also requires the capacity to focus in a more absorbed and sustained way, which takes practice and commitment in a world of infinite distractions.
deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  immediacy  information_overload  insights  instant_gratification  monotasking  reading  reflections  relevance  thinking_deliberatively  Tony_Schwartz  wisdom  work_life_balance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Finding Strength in Humility - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ

When we identify with a particular strength, the opposite we’re avoiding is almost always negative. For confidence, it’s insecurity or self-doubt. But what happens when we overuse confidence? It turns into arrogance, hubris and even grandiosity. Any strength overused eventually becomes toxic. Excessive honesty becomes cruelty. Tenacity congeals into rigidity. Bias for action can overwhelm thoughtful reflection.

This is where positive opposites serve as a balancing and humanizing role. Humility comes from the Latin word “humilis,” which literally means “low.” It resides just a stone’s throw from “humiliation.” Sure enough, excessive humility eventually softens into obsequiousness and self-subjugation. False humility is even worse: a conscious manipulation covertly aimed at winning praise, often to compensate for unacknowledged feelings of inadequacy.

But genuine humility is a reflection of neither weakness nor insecurity. Instead, it implies a respectful appreciation of the strengths of others, a lack of personal pretension and a more relaxed sense of confidence that doesn’t require external recognition.

In a complex world that so plainly and painfully defies easy answers, humility is also an antidote to overconfidence. It gives leaders permission to accept and acknowledge their limitations, to learn from them and continue to grow and evolve.....I don’t need to say out loud that I value confidence and strength. I do need to demonstrate that I also value humility and vulnerability – to embrace these opposites. In the end, the less time we spend protecting our own value, the more time we can spend creating value in the world.
Managing_Your_Career  humility  opposing_actions  personality_types/traits  character_traits  strengths  contemplation  reflections  pairs  overconfidence  dual-consciousness  self-doubt  arrogance  hubris  grandiosity  confidence  insecurity  honesty  cruelty  tenacity  rigidity  toxic_behaviors 
november 2013 by jerryking
Nine key traits to make the shift from failure to success - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 09 2012

1. Rebounders accept failure: They hate to fail, but they accept it, and try to fail productively, learning from the experience, as the inventive Thomas Edison did with his many failed experiments.

2. Rebounders compartmentalize options: They are often emotional people, with drive and passion. John Bogle, who founded Vanguard Group, was furious when he was pushed out of a previous job and even had revenge fantasies. But he didn’t spend time trying to get even. Rebounders control the emotional fallout of their struggle (i.e. emotional mastery).

3. Rebounders have a bias toward action: After Tammy Duckworth lost both legs when her U.S. military helicopter was shot down in Iraq, her first impulse was to get to work at rehabilitation and her new life. Rebounders keep pushing, keep doing.

4. Rebounders change their minds: They can discard old thinking, give up on long-held dreams, and adjust their ambitions to evolving situations. They don’t cling to ideas that are proving hopeless.

5. Rebounders prepare for things to go wrong: They don’t expect things to go their own way. They are cautious optimists, always aware their plans may go awry.

6. Rebounders are comfortable with discomfort: They are willing to accept hardships and inconveniences as long as they feel they are getting closer to their goal. Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams could have signed a major recording deal years earlier if she had agreed to make the songs the music companies wanted, but she stayed true to her own vision, even if it meant often barely having the money to pay her rent.

7. Rebounders are willing to wait: They are determined to succeed on their own terms, and can accept that it might take a long time. “But rebounders don’t just wait positively for a lucky break, or do the same thing over and over. They constantly learn and get better, continually improving the likelihood of success until the odds tilt in their favour,” Mr. Newman observes.

8. Rebounders have heroes: Many of the rebounders he met are romantics, seeing their role as in some way historic, and they are entranced by some mentor or historical figure who they want to emulate. Vanguard’s Mr. Bogle, for example, often alluded to the naval battles of Admiral Lord Nelson and named his mutual fund company after his hero’s ship.

9. Rebounders have more than passion: We are told we need passion for success, but rebounders realize it requires more than that. They have a special drive and resilience that allows them to capitalize on their passion.
bouncing_back  resilience  Harvey_Schachter  emotional_mastery  personality_types/traits  ksfs  long-term  patience  preparation  contingency_planning  reflections  self-analysis  self-awareness  thinking_tragically  discomforts  strategic_patience  adaptability  inconveniences  passions  heroes  pragmatism  compartmentalization  action-oriented  hardships  next_play 
october 2012 by jerryking
Journaling Techniques For Self-Reflective Leaders
1992 | Ivey | Peter Chiaramonte

+++++++++++++++++++++
PRODUCTIVITY
Five ways to make 2016 the most productive year ever
MIKE VARDY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 04, 2016
From Globe & Mail
5. Keep a journal. Why should you keep a journal? Well, other than giving you a place to look back and reflect and chronicle the events in your life, there’s one essential benefit to your productivity: Journalling is like a brain dump at the end of the day.

The beginning of a new year is a time to recharge, reflect and refocus. Journalling can really help you with that and, in turn, help you plot out a more productive year in the process.
journaling  writing  leadership  Managing_Your_Career  self-analysis  introspection  reflections  self-awareness  self-reflective 
may 2012 by jerryking
Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?
January 2005 | HBR | By Donald N. Sull & Dominic Houlder
The Idea in Brief
How many of us struggle harder every day to uphold obligations to our bosses, families, and communities--even as the quality of our lives erodes? And how many of us feel too overwhelmed to examine the causes of this dilemma? For most people, it takes a crisis--illness, divorce, death of a loved one, business failure--before we'll
refocus our commitments of money, time, and energy on what really matters to us. But why wait for a crisis? Instead, use a systematic process to periodically clarify your convictions and assess
whether you're putting your money (and time and energy) where your mouth is. Identify high-priority values that are receiving insufficient resources--or outdated commitments that are siphoning precious resources away from your deepest convictions.
Once you've spotted gaps between what matters most to you and how you're investing your resources, use a time-out (a sabbatical, course, or retreat) to rethink old commitments and define new
ones more consistent with your values. By routinely applying this process, you--not your past obligations--will determine the direction your life takes.

The Idea in Practice
To manage the gap between your convictions and commitments, apply the following steps.
Inventory Your Values
List the things that matter most to you, in specific language. For example, instead of "Money," write,
"Providing financial security to my family," or "Earning enough to retire early." Aim for five to ten
values, and write what you honestly value--not what you think you should value.
Assess How You're Investing Your Resources
Track how much money, time, and energy you're devoting to your values. For each value you've
listed, record the following:
• Percentage of your household income you devote to that value
- 2 -
• Number of hours per week you spend on the value
• Quality of energy (high, low) you devote to activities related to that value. (An hour spent on an
activity when you're fresh and focused represents a greater commitment than an hour spent when
you're exhausted and distracted.)
Identify Gaps Between Your Values and Commitments
Do some values on your list receive little or none of your money, time, and energy? Is there a single
value that sucks a disproportionate share of your resources away from other priorities?
Understand What Has Caused the Gaps
Disconnects between what you value and how you actually spend your time can have several
causes. Perhaps you've taken on obligations without considering the long-term ramifications. One
successful entrepreneur in New York had promised to spend more time with her London-based
partner. But when she decided to sell her start-up to a West Coast competitor through a five-year
earn-out deal, she had to move to San Francisco to run the business. She now spends even more
time airborne--torn between two conflicting commitments she made simultaneously.
Or maybe you've let others define "success" for you. One young banker earned colleagues' praise
for his extreme work ethic. When he became a father, he wanted to spend more time with his family,
which baffled his colleagues. Because he badly desired continued praise from colleagues, he
continued his workaholic ways--and effectively gave his colleagues the power to set his priorities.
Change Course
It's harder to recalibrate commitments when you're not facing a crisis. A time-out--a sabbatical,
course, or other device--can help you reflect and give you an excuse to break old commitments and
forge new ones. To avoid "commitment creep," abandon or renegotiate one old commitment for every
new one you make.
commitments  convictions  disproportionality  Donald_Sull  financial_security  HBR  indispensable  JCK  Managing_Your_Career  overwhelmed  reflections  resolutions  sabbaticals  slack_time  timeouts  values  what_really_matters 
march 2012 by jerryking
St. Mychal of ground zero: a personal reflection
Sep. 10, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | eric reguly AND karen zagor
Eric_Reguly  9/11  reflections 
september 2011 by jerryking
What Do You Want to Say You've Done?
August 24, 2011 | Harvard Business Review | by Art Markman.

Base your career decisions (at least in part) on what hope to say when
you look back on your life. You may not always succeed, but are unlikely
to look back with regret on those decisions that gave you the
opportunity to reach your aspirations. And statistically you are much
more likely to look back with regret on the roads not taken.

John Lennon famously wrote, "Life is what happens while you're busy
making other plans." It is easy to get caught up in small projects and
the day-to-day minutia of business. At least once a year, though, it is
important to take stock of how you are progressing on your larger goals.
If you find that you have not accomplished anything in the past year
that you will look back on with pride, think about what you can do in
the coming year to get you a step closer to doing what you want to have
done.
HBR  Managing_Your_Career  career_paths  reflections  regrets  personal_accomplishments 
september 2011 by jerryking
What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
Think. Strategic thinking time is incredibly important for seizing control of our lives. Spend 30 minutes in the morning pondering what you want to do with your time. You could also use this time to pray or read religious literature, to meditate or write in a journal. All of these will help you start the day in a much better place than if everyone's running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
early_risers  sense_of_control  time-management  ksfs  strategic_thinking  reflections  breakfasts  overachievers  priorities  affirmations  high-achieving 
may 2011 by jerryking
Instant Communication Can Have Bad Consequences — Letters to the editor - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2011.
During the American Civil War, Charles Wilkes, a Union naval officer,
broke international law by capturing two Confederate diplomats en route
to Europe on a neutral British ship, the Trent. Adams observed: "When we
so pride ourselves on what we consider the self-evident value of modern
inventions, we may be given pause when we realize that, had there been a
submarine cable in 1861, it is almost certain that England and the
North would have been at war that December. As it was, the slowness of
communication gave both sides time to think, and allowed [Secretary of
State William H.] Seward in America and [Lords] Palmerston and Russell
in England . . . to guide the situation."

"The slowness of communication" is a phrase to savor. Today it is
assumed that speed of communication is an absolute virtue. Combining
speed with a lack of context, electronic media radically undermine
reflection and criticism. We live in a sea of thoughtlessness, informing
ourselves to death.
Communicating_&_Connecting  Peggy_Noonan  power_of_the_pause  letters_to_the_editor  Civil_War  reflections  immediacy  contextual  timeouts  real-time  latency  unintended_consequences  revenge_effects  thinking_deliberatively 
april 2011 by jerryking
From Disraeli to 'the Bang-Bang' - WSJ.com
APRIL 1, 2011

From Disraeli to 'the Bang-Bang'
TV needs action and drama. Foreign policy needs less of both.

By PEGGY NOONAN
Peggy_Noonan  Benjamin_Disraeli  foreign_policy  United_Kingdom  leadership  reflections 
april 2011 by jerryking
The Urge To React
Richards, Carl
The New York Times
03-19-2011

It's hard to stick to a plan when everything is screaming at you to
abandon ship. I'm also not saying that the market will stop going down.
But if you have carefully considered your investment decisions in the
context of your life and goals, with a clear understanding of the risks
you take when you invest in the stock market (no excuses here since we
just lived through the best example of risk in decades), then now is the
time to stick to the plan.
financial_planning  crisis_management  reflections  personal_finance  goals  values  crisis  self-discipline 
march 2011 by jerryking
The Tragedy of Michael Jackson - WSJ.com
JULY 15, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by BILL WYMAN. Great music, poor life decisions!
Michael_Jackson  reflections  victimhood  music  popular_culture  obituaries  op_ed 
july 2009 by jerryking
How to Ask Better Questions
May 6, 2009 | Management Essentials - HarvardBusiness.org | by Judith Ross.

The most effective and empowering questions create value in one or more of the following ways:

They create clarity: “Can you explain more about this situation?”
They construct better working relations: Instead of “Did you make your sales goal?” ask, “How have sales been going?”
They help people think analytically and critically: “What are the consequences of going this route?”
They inspire people to reflect and see things in fresh, unpredictable ways: “Why did this work?”
They encourage breakthrough thinking: “Can that be done in any other way?”
They challenge assumptions: “What do you think you will lose if you start sharing responsibility for the implementation process?
They create ownership of solutions: “Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?”
assumptions  breakthroughs  clarity  critical_thinking  fresh_eyes  Harvard  HBR  howto  indispensable  inspiration  JCK  owners  questions  reflections  relationships  value_creation 
june 2009 by jerryking
Letters - Humanities and the Examined Life - NYTimes.com
March 1, 2009 NYT Letters to the editor responding to this Feb.
25, 2009 NYT article, "In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify
Their Worth "
letters_to_the_editor  education  critical_thinking  humanities  liberal_arts  hard_times  self-scrutiny  reflections 
march 2009 by jerryking

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