Make A Habit Of Passion, Learn From Kids, Be Inspired

Rupert is reading 'A Hologram For The King'.

The weekend is here again! Rituals were the theme of the week, which happens to coincide with the first weekend link about making a habit of pursuing your passion projects. Kids pervade the other two links by showing us how to channel our inner nine-year-old and allowing for a little inspiration after a disappointing loss in the Little League World Series.

Tackle Your Passion Project With The 90-90-1 Rule

Concluding a week of discussing rituals and their roles in our everyday production and creativity, here is the kind of challenge to help you get a start on making everyday your ideal day. Dedicate the first ninety minutes of your next ninety work days to working on your highest-priority passion project. Seeing as habits stick after 66 days, you’ll be well on your way to the life of your dreams if you see this challenge through to the end.

Five Things I Learned From Hanging Out With A Nine-Year-Old

There is much we can learn from kids and Eric Ravenscraft shares a few valuable lessons here. Kids aren’t afraid to make mistakes or try new things, which is refreshing to see if you spend a lot of time around jaded adults that have thrown in the towel.

R.I. coach inspires after LLWS loss

Speaking of kids, the Little League World Series is ongoing at the moment. Unfortunately, the Rhode Island team representing New England was recently eliminated but their coach took the opportunity to deliver a speech that I doubt any of the players will ever forget. I can’t embed the video here without it starting automatically, so I’ll spare you that annoyance and point you to the link.

ToVa Rewind:

Convert Routines Into Rituals For Meaningful Progress
Use Rituals To Engineer your Perfect Day

Rupert is reading: A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers

Have a great weekend!

Self-Awareness, Being Provocative, Shaking Up The NFL

Rupert is reading 'No Country For Old Men'.

An unintentional theme developed as I compiled the links for this weekend: moving confidently forward and shaking things up. The first link shows us how to establish a foundation for development before the second challenges us to not just question the status quo but to take action toward changing it. A piece on Chip Kelly, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, rounds out the links with a practical example of these ideas in action and the results that have been achieved.

Why Self-Awareness Is the Secret Weapon for Habit Change

The dedication required to change our mind and behavior is the fight of our lives.

This fantastic piece by Paul Jun about self-awareness underscores the importance of understanding yourself and then using that understanding to further your development. He begins by challenging us to stop fooling ourselves with excuses before encouraging reflection on our mistakes (and successes) that should eliminate the need for those excuses. He also prescribes a “philosophical foundation” for your actions that will help keep you centered and focused.

Unlock Your Creative Genius: 4 Steps To Being Provocative With A Purpose (via)

Following from the first article about knowing ourselves and moving confidently forward, here are a few thoughts on being disruptive in a productive (and creative) way. The premise is familiar – the 9 to 5 doesn’t inspire us, children are more imaginative than adults, etc. – but the recipe for innovation on offer here is a practical one that you can put into practice immediately (and without quitting your day job). Resting on your laurels certainly isn’t moving you forward, so click through for a few easy tips on how to stave off stagnation.

The Influencer

Rounding out a week of innovation is an interesting examination of the ways in which Chip Kelly, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, has tackled (pun shamelessly intended) the status quo in the NFL. His innovations extend beyond playcalls (there is some football nerdery in the middle of the piece but handy GIFs illustrate the plays being described) and into the way the organization is structured and operates in regard to practices and meetings. His implementation of sport science advances (such as monitors that track player health vitals) resulted in the Eagles having the second-fewest injuries among NFL teams last season. For (even casual) sports fans and productivity nerds, it doesn’t get much cooler than this.

ToVa Rewind:

Build A Custom ‘Inflow’ To Stay On Top Of Things
‘Create’ Free Time By Being Early

Rupert is reading: No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Have a great weekend!

Coping With Ignorance, Better Brainstorming, A Ticking Clock

Rupert is reading 'Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles'

This weekend: cope with not being the smartest person in the room, execute better (and less painful) group brainstorming sessions and get served constant reminders of your mortality (in the name of wasting less time, naturally).

7 Tips for Working With People Who Are Smarter Than You (via)

We’re not always going to be the expert, so how do we deal with our relative ignorance? As this great piece points out, the kicker doesn’t show up to training camp to compete for the starting quarterback position – instead, he focuses on his specialization. Another gem: consider the alternative of being surrounded with genius. Yeah, not as good. Working with those who are smarter than us is a proven avenue for personal development, so don’t be intimidated if you’re not the smartest guy or gal in the room.

The Myth of the Brainstorming Session (via)

It’s no secret that brainstorming as it was initially conceived is next-to-impossible to actually pull off – new ideas are scary and even those of us who embrace failure may not prefer to put possible failure on public display. Here, then, is an alternative proposal for a group approach to creative thinking – one that begins with the individual, allows for incubation and doesn’t get in a hurry.

Motivation Shows Your Life Ticking Away to Fight Procrastination

This isn’t really a read but I thought it interesting all the same (seeing as we’re all trying to make the most of our time). Motivation is a Chrome browser extension that shows your exact age (to a frighteningly precise decimal point) when you open a new tab. Morbid? Maybe. But if you were opening that new tab in search of a distraction, maybe you’ll think again.

ToVa Rewind:

You Need  A System To Convert Inputs Into Outputs
You Can’t Create A New World Until You Handle This One

Rupert is reading: Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr.

Have a great weekend!

Rockin’ Productivity, Self-Compassion, Noble Pursuits

Rupert and I are reading 'Careless People'

This weekend: rock and roll productivity, the importance (and one method) of practicing self-compassion, and perspective toward our problem-solving efforts.

The Best Productivity Tricks You Can Learn From Rock Stars

love personal development ideas that come from non-traditional sources. This is a great piece from Lifehacker featuring tips from Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and other musicians, complete with fun anecdotes that put their tips into creative context.

The Truth About Self-Esteem (via)

“Be mindful. Be gentle. Be honest.” At a glance, this is great advice. This piece takes things to the next level, however, by suggesting that you should apply these principles not only to others but also to yourself. It’ll help strengthen your self-compassion, which is different than your self-esteem and – since it only exists in your own mind – is somewhat harder to zero in on.

What Problems to Solve – By Richard Feynman (via)

Not everything we do is going to alter the very course of humanity, so a little perspective is healthy. Solving the simpler problems in front of us may not make us feel like world-beaters, but it is a positive contribution all the same and should be considered as such.

ToVa Rewind:

Enter ‘Output Mode’ To Realize Your Vision
Step Away From Your Desk To Be More Productive

Rupert and I are reading: Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Sarah Churchwell.

Have a great weekend!

ToVa Weekend: Single-Tasking, Grad School, Anxiety

Rupert is reading The Signal Caller

This weekend: ditch multitasking in favor of single-tasking and you might just live longer, a few things to ponder before going to graduate school and tricks to help handle anxiety.

Why Single-Tasking Makes You Smarter (via)

There has long been an emphasis on being an effective multitasker – go have a look at help wanted ads and you’re bound to see it listed as a desired quality in applicants. However, research reveals that multitasking is not only impossible (your brain can only focus on one thing at time) but that your attempts to pull it off might actually be bad for your health. Taking a step back by giving your brain periodic breaks, focusing on the task at hand and prioritising your to do list will make you more productive in the present and help you maintain a sharp mind into older age.

Seven Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to Graduate School

Seeing as I just finished my MBA, this was pretty relevant to my interests. My own experience in Australia was a bit different to what could be expected in the USA but some of the advice on offer here about how to get the most out of your time in grad school is universal. Simply put: you’re not just there to attend lectures and pass exams.

3 Ways to Deal with In-the-Moment Anxiety (via)

There is no “off” switch for anxiety but there are ways to be more aware of how your anxiety level is working you over at any given moment. Such awareness is one way to keep anxiety in check, as are tricks to keep you grounded in the present and the knowledge that others are fighting the same battles as you.

ToVa Rewind:

A Mountaineer At 30
How I Spent My 30th…
Which Shoe Will You Put On First?

Rupert and I are reading: @TheSignalCaller’s 2014 West Virginia University Football Preview

Have a great weekend!