Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

How to Tell a True Tale: Neil Gaiman on What Makes a Great Personal Story by Maria Popova

I was recently listening to an episode on Waking Up with Sam Harris featuring Noah Yuval Harari a professor at Oxford University and the author of the book Sapiens (which I highly recommend for anyone remotely interested in human history). He explained that throughout human history we have always been moved and galvanized by stories. In fact, its one of the only differences between humans and chimpanzees; we can organize and take action around stories we tell each other. We tell stories about nations, religions, political systems, etc. to help us organize and make sense of the world.

Storytelling is core to who we are as human beings. So knowing how to tell a story is a critical human skill. Neil Gaiman, an author and master storyteller, shares in the post above on what makes a great story with honesty and vulnerability being a couple of key ingredients in any great story.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti

“ah-ha!” thought of the week —

Nurture your everyday silences.

I recently spent 2.5 weeks in Japan on vacation and one of the biggest benefits that came out of the time was the opportunity to get away from the “noise” of my day-to-day here at home. There’s obviously “noise” that comes with daily responsibilities at work and at home but what I also mean is the “noise” created through the podcasts, videos, audiobooks, radio, etc. that fill the silent moments of our day-to-day. I really enjoy listening to podcasts but it started becoming a habit where if I found any silent moment, I’d reach for my phone and start a podcast episode. Moments of quietness and silence were very limited.

But after going away for a couple of weeks and getting out of the regular routine, I was able to realize how important those periods of silence were. Instead of trying to “optimize” every moment of my day by plugging into a podcast or audiobook, I realized the value that silence has in bringing calm and various ideas together. So I’m going to be committing to creating more moments of silence during the day. Instead of playing a podcast episode while I’m showering or cooking, I’m going to shower or cook in silence. Focus on what activity at a time and give my brain the space to do its thing.

Featured image by Startup Stock Photos.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.