As part of my Weekly Learnings Roundup, I share an article that I’ve enjoyed reading. Over the course of a year that’s a lot of articles! And so, I’ve organized the articles I shared on my blog under Personal Growth, Professional Development, Health, and “Other”. Maria Popova’s work from Brain Pickings makes a very consistent appearance on the list below and I highly recommend checking out her remarkable writing.

Personal Growth

Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem via The Atlantic

According to Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, the pursuit of higher self-esteem has been misguided. It’s a timely reminder for me (and perhaps all of us) to be more self compassionate.

Walt Whitman’s Advice on Living a Vibrant and Rewarding Life by Maria Popova

I admitedly don’t read a lot of poetry but Walt Whitman’s work intrigues me. I’m particularly interested in reading Whitman’s seminal book, Leaves of Grass, as I’ve heard it’s a classic from multiple people I admire. Enjoy this quick read by Maria Popova on Whitman’s advice on living a fulfilling life.

Bruce Lee’s Never-Before-Seen Writings on Willpower, Emotion, Reason, Memory, Imagination, and Confidence by Maria Popova

It’s hard to describe how inspiring Bruce Lee’s career in martial arts and film was. In this article by Maria Popova, we get to see some of Lee’s internal dialogue and methods that helped him overcome the many critics he faced.

Why being bilingual helps keep your brain fit by Gaia Vince

Bilingualism is more common than you think – between 65 to 70 percent of people around the world speak more than two languages. In addition to the ability to communicate with a greater variety of people, a steady stream of studies have show that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in a range of cognitive and social tasks. I speak English, Japanese, and Spanish, and I’m hoping to further develop my Portuguese competency. This article was a great “kick in the butt” to put more time into my Portuguese!

What Makes a Good Life: Revelatory Learnings from Harvard’s 75-Year Study of Human Happiness by Maria Popova

In an unprecedented 75-year study, we discover the key element for a happy and healthy life. According to Harvard psychologist and Grant Study director Robert Waldinger, “the clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”

You Can Write Your Way Out of an Emotional Funk. Here’s How. by Susan David

This is a fantastic article on the power of writing and journaling. According to the article, numerous studies have shown that “applying words to emotions is a tremendously helpful way to deal with stress, anxiety, and loss.” Just taking 20-minutes everyday to journal can help overcome feelings of guilt, shame, confusion, and allow you to ‘step out’ of yourself and gain greater perspective.

My Dad Was Bruce Lee—Here’s How He Still Inspires Me And Others To Innovate by Shannon Lee

Great post by the late Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon. There’s a lot to learn from the man who transformed the Hollywood landscape for Asian actors. Not only that, his philosophies on life (e.g. “be like water” and “walk on”) inspire many of us to realize our inner strengths and become the best we can be. The article mentions a new podcast that Shannon has created – the Bruce Lee podcast – which I’m excited to check out!

Alain de Botton on What Makes a Good Communicator and the Difficult Art of Listening in Intimate Relationships by Maria Popova

It’s amazing how much our childhood impacts the way we communicate today. Communication is a product of how open and willing we are to be fallible and vulnerable. In intimate relationships, this is especially important.

Professional Development

The Three Frameworks You Need to Kick-start Sales by First Round Review

Great piece on sales strategy for those working in the startup and small business world.

This is the “growth hack” that got my whole company started by Julien Smith

A really cool story about how Breather was able to get their business off the ground. You’ll be surprised at how simple and how well their “growth hack” strategy worked.

OKRs are Old News — Introducing Goal Science Thinking by First Round Review

Setting better goals both personally and professionally is an area I’m weak in. This article explains clearly the benefits of using the science behind goal-thinking that can be applicable both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

Mike Birbiglia’s 6 Tips for Making It Small in Hollywood. Or Anywhere. by Mike Birbiglia

Some sound advice from one of my favourite comedians. My most important takeaway? Just start. If you want to do something, get started – stop talking about it.

On Receiving (and Truly Hearing) Radical Candor by First Round Review

I really enjoyed this read. It was particularly helpful in understanding the importance of giving honest feedback. I often find myself tiptoeing around a piece of critical feedback but that does more harm than good for both me and the person I’m working with.

Health

How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym by Bradley Stulberg

Exercise should be as fundamental to your weekly priorities as eating quality food and getting enough sleep. Beyond the health benefits, exercise can also build greater resilience in your mindset and seep positive benefits to all aspects of your life.

 

Don’t Fear the Fat: 7 Ways Fat Can Help You Lose Weight by Bulletproof

For decades the food industry has made us want to believe that high-fat diets are linked with heart disease and generally bad for you. But having been on the Bulletproof diet for the last (almost) 2 years, I’ve never felt better having more high-quality fats in my diet. This article breaks down how fats can help you rather than hurt you.

Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime by Ferris Jabr

Extensive article on why your brain needs downtime and the solution doesn’t have to be a 6-month sabattical. Here were my top takeaways:

1) Consciously build out downtime/down days during the work week. (E.g. Half-day Friday and no screentime after 8pm.)

2) Take a 10-20 minute nap in the early afternoon.

3) Continue my mindfulness meditation practice.

4) Spend more time walking outdoors – ideally in nature.

Other

New science on the benefits of stress and building resilience in children’s lives. One key ingredient for helping to build reslient children? One person, just one person, that the child can rely on for unconditional love and affection.

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