You

Rest, Leisure, and Mental Crop Rotation

This article talks about taking time off from a difficult problem to get some distance and perspective so you can make a breakthrough.

I also really like the idea in here of “mental crop rotation” where you intentionally work on a different hard problem for a while to clean your head before you come back to the first hard problem. Actually, that’s from Kierkegaard. (I used to make fun of people who quoted Kierkegaard in college. πŸ˜‚)

πŸ‘‰ Using Incubation to Unlock Your True Creative Potential

Creativity is about connecting dots. But if we try to force it, if we’re too focused on it, all we ever do is connect neighboring dots, resulting in a rigid grid of stale thoughts. To really see the interesting connections we need to get a new perspective and gain some distance. Then the truly interesting connections will reveal themselves.

You

The Three Pillars of Charisma

I used to think being charismatic was all about telling amazing stories and making people laugh. Not being a great storyteller or much of a comedian, I thought I could never be charismatic. Fortunately, this article says I had it all wrong. πŸ˜‚

It’s about being present, removing self-doubt, and being kind and accepting to other people. Presence, power, and warmth. That sounds pretty manageable, right?

Now go out there, be in it, relax, and be nice to people. Congrats, you’re charismatic. ☺️

Music · You

The Best Music for Working

According to research on the effect of music listening on work performance, music can indeed help your brain work better. But it depends what you are listening to.

πŸ‘‰ 5 Types of Music That Increase Your Productivity, According to Science

Official Recommendations

Classical music, especially baroque, can increased mood and concentration – see Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel πŸ‘‰example

Not really music, but nature sounds can increase cognitive function and concentration – rain, water, etc. πŸ‘‰ example

Epic music can inspire you if you’re feeling unmotivated πŸ‘‰ example

Video Game Music – this music is designed to help your brain feel better! πŸ‘‰ Sim City, Bastion, or pick a game! (Zelda?)

Ambient music can reduce stress (I’m not a huge fan, so no example πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜‚)

My Own Favs

I personally love classical adaptations of rock and pop, such as Kashmir: Symphonic Led Zeppelin or the Vitamin String Quartet.

I also like some of the Apple Music concentration playlists such as Swift Concentration.

And even though it breaks some of the rules above, I just find KUTX relaxing.

Also, Miles Davis.

What Doesn’t Work

Not surprisingly, complex musical structure and lyrics don’t help. In fact, they make it harder for you brain to focus. (*Still, I can work to Johny Cash music, probably because it’s so familiar.)

Also, any music may hinder the especially difficult tasks.

And you have to be in the habit of listening to music to make it helpful. If you only do it sometimes, it doesn’t help.

You

LetGrow – “Always helping our kids isn’t always helping them”

As a parent, I love Let Grow. They are saying that we need to do less for our kids. Step back, trust your kids, and let them figure some stuff out on their own. They will gain skills, true confidence, and inner strength. πŸ’ͺ🏻

Doing a little less for our kids is not negligent or lazy. It is a vote of confidence in them

πŸ‘‰ Let Grow

The winners in business, love, and life are comfortable with a bit of risk, and able to deal with disappointment (even the lack of a trophy). They listen, argue, work things out. They are open to change. They pivot.

You

How Getting Older Makes You Tougher and Wiser

Getting older is good! Well, not in every way — I’m getting near-sighted and having trouble bending my legs. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But in more significant ways, aging makes you better.

I don’t love the name of this article, but I do like the observations it contains.

πŸ‘‰ The Incredibly Harsh Lessons You Learn with Age

These are some great lessons learned from aging, and I agree with them all.

  • Nothing is ever β€œdone”
  • Success increases with your ability to be vulnerable
  • There is always another struggle coming next
  • You always have more to learn
  • Being uncomfortable feels the best

I especially like the last one.

As you age and you understand the struggle never ends, you learn to move closer to uncomfortable situations because that’s where progress is unlocked and fulfillment can be found.