Monthly Learnings Roundup (October, 2017)

Monthly Learnings Roundup (October, 2017)

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

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

What I’m reading —

What I learned about productivity while reinventing Google Calendar by David Kadavy

David has some great actionable insights on how we can become a bit more sustainably productive. The keys? Awareness, tiny habits, and weekly routines.

Cultivating the Skill of Figuring Things Out by Scott H. Young

I was taught in school from a young age that there is a correct answer to each question. In school it might make sense, but in reality? “Figuring things out” is an important skill and Scott walks through why some people are better at it than others — and it’s not innate talent.

How to Make Friends When You Don’t Have Play Dates by Miriam Kirmayer

Friendships become even more important during adulthood as we don’t have the built in opportunities to spend time with friends we had earlier in our lives. Here are some great suggestions on how you can still make new friends into adulthood.

Books, documentaries, or podcast episodes that I enjoyed last month —

Philosphize This!

One of my favourite new podcasts. The host’s love of philosophy and practical applications from the diverse school’s of philosophy makes this podcast entertaining and actionable.

The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey

Don’t let the title fool you. This is a fantastic book on how to manage your inner self in all situations. If you feel you might be holding yourself back in some way, this is a great read for you.

Quotes that are inspiring me —

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

— Michelangelo

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Looking at things from other people’s point of view is practically the secret of success.

— Paul Graham

Behaviour change of the month —

Shifting my internal mindset (Part 2)

Last month, I shared my behaviour change goal which was to read myself a personal commerical every morning. I’m happy to say that I was able to accomplish that daily habit 88% of the time in October.

In terms of impact, I felt like there was a subtle shift in my behaviour. Specifically around the topic of fear, my thinking process shifted to lean more into situations that make me feel fear, or at least recognize moments that I felt scared about something. Once I recognized it, I was able to decide how to take action on it. That thought process is a small win for me there.

I also felt really good every time I read “Peter, you’ve got enthusiasm and positivity. So let that shine through to others.” I felt like I was bringing out a better version of myself and could make a small difference for others. This is worth me thinking about on a daily basis and perhaps expanding upon in future versions of the daily commerical.

I’m continuing to read my daily commercial in November so I’ll report back in a few weeks time with more progress.

“ah-ha!” thought of the month —

Aim for bigger goals.

I’m generally a pretty conservative person when I’m setting new goals. If we look at SMART goals, aside from “measurable” I’m the biggest fan of “realistic”. It’s not that I consciously set goals that are unambitious. It’s that I like to have some sort of control over the outcomes.

When you look at some of the greatest achievements in history, however, we can quickly see that impactful achievements didn’t come with any semblance of control for those pursuing them. Consider JFK’s push to get a man on the moon – there was absolutely no certainty that could happen. There had to be a lot of “figuring things out” to even know if it was possible or not.

The beauty of the goal JFK laid out is that even if we didn’t end up landing someone on the moon, we still would’ve learned so much from that process. Those lessons learned can contribute to future missions or maybe even have valuable insights into fields totally unrelated to space exploration. Even getting to 70% of the goal would’ve been a success for all the learning.

When we set goals, are we setting up goals that excite us, scare us, and sound like a lot of fun? I sometimes get stuck in this step-by-step, measurable process in goal setting that I don’t set these big, shiny, exciting goals that make me want to keep going even when I’m tired, exhausted, and discouraged. If we can all set bigger goals and stop holding ourselves back, we might make the world a better place.

Featured image by Fancycrave.

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

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Monthly Learnings Roundup (September, 2017)

Monthly Learnings Roundup (September, 2017)

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

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

What I’m reading —

Bestselling Author and Investor James Altucher on Choosing Yourself and Stoic Minimalism by The Daily Stoic

One of the biggest challenges we have as human beings is managing the gray area between what we can control and what we can’t. I love James’s perspective on handling criticism or rejection for work that we produce and deeply care about.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Decisions by Farnam Street

Making decisions is difficult. Multiple variables, lack of information, and the influence of emotions can all affect the decision making process. We can, however, decide to make decisions based on principles and models that, if consistently applied, can lead us to the best decision available.

Antifragile Planning: Optimizing for Optionality (Without Chasing Shiny Objects) by Taylor Pearson

This is a meaty read but well worth it. Taylor goes into details about how he uses well planned, 90-day sprints to achieve his goals.

Books that I enjoyed last month —

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Every young graduate and professional should read this book. It turns the “follow your passion” career advice upside down in a convincing fashion.

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Written by one of the most well-respected thinkers on relationships today this book goes into how to create and maintain intimacy. I also recommend checking out Perel’s new Audible podcast series Where Should We Begin? 

Quotes that are inspiring me —

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

— Lao-Tzu

We are caught in the trance of fear when the emotion of fear becomes the core of our identity and constricts our capacity to live fully.

— Tara Brach

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

— Jack Canfield

Behaviour change of the month —

Shifting my internal mindset.

In September, I started to read to myself a personal commercial to shift my internal mindset. Drawing inspiration from the book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, I wrote myself a motivational commercial to read everyday.

I was a little skeptical about doing this at first but as I began to make this part of my daily routine, I started to believe the words that I was saying to myself. I walked around smiling more often at people and managing fears in my life a little better. It’s almost as if neural networks in my brain were getting re-wired in new ways.

All this to be said, it takes time to change one’s mindset and reading my personal commercial has only planted the seeds that have yet to grow. I’ll be continuing on with this behaviour change goal into October and will report back with progress.

“ah-ha!” thoughts of the month —

Expertise > Passion

Is “follow your passion” good advice for your career? Author, Cal Newport, argues that the popular advice may be lead us to choosing the wrong career. Newport suggests that we should think about how to develop rare skills that people value as the key to having a fulfilling career of impact and passion.

Quarterly Focus

We’ve all got a ton on our plate. Whether it be with our relationships, career, finances, or health. It’s a lot of balls to juggle in the air. And it’s no surprise that we sometimes fall short of our goals. Instead of trying everything at once, why not try to focus on ONE area over the course of a quarter and see how much progress you can make?

It’s something I’m interested in trying out – having ONE main focus per quarter. Of course, I’ll make sure that the other areas of my life get enough attention but how much more can I get done if I focus on one area? How much more can I get done if I concentrate my resources (i.e. money, time, and energy) into one area?

Product I’m loving —

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate

Adding this hydrolyzed collagen to my supplements has been a game changer for me. I’ve dealt for years with inflammation and pain from my osteoarthritis in my left knee but adding collagen has almost completely removed all pain from day-to-day activities. There is robust research available around the effectiveness of collagen with improving knee joint comfort including this double-blind study from 2009 from the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. With this being said, there doesn’t seem to be a long-term restorative effects of collagen on joints. So if you’re planning on adding collagen to your supplements, just be aware that this isn’t going to “fix” your knee to what it was like before.

Please make sure to check with your doctor if this is the right step for you first.

Featured image by imagesthai.com

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