Tara Westover urges graduates to embrace their ‘un-instagramable’ selves

Tis the season for commencement speeches, full of wisdom, advice and positivity for the future. So I couldn’t let May go by without including at least one. I thought this speech by author Tara Westover to Northwestern graduates was appropriate for this audience. An acknowledgment that we no longer just have two selves: the person we are when we’re alone, and the one we become around others. But now we have a third: the person we share with strangers online. She reminds us that it’s our true self, the one we usually keep behind closed doors, that is most important. That is the version we need to nurture and listen to and learn from.

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3 Reasons you aren’t doing what you say you will do

In this TEDx video by cognitive psychologist Dr. Amanda Crowell you’ll learn how to move beyond mindset-driven defensive failure and into productive failure to succeed at the problems you struggle with the most. She argues that we get trapped in the same cycles, over and over (sound familiar), and offers advice on how to break those cycles and finally succeed at whatever it is you’re trying to do.

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Companies don’t always need a purpose beyond profit

Despite the title, I agree with this new article from Harvard Business Review. If you’re company isn’t GENUINELY driven by a purpose beyond profit, then PLEASE don’t pretend it is. The reason the author claims lofty mission statements often attract more cynicism than motivation is because no one believes that bull shit. The helpful bit of this article comes from the mention of ‘local meaning’ or the ability of employees to find personal meaning in the work they do. This is what I advocate for most people who work for someone else. You don’t have to pretend that filing taxes for a living is as important as ending poverty, but you should figure out why that work is so meaningful towards your own personal sense of purpose.

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The case for doing nothing

The Dutch seem to have a word for everything busy Americans need, and this New York Times articles uncovers yet another: niksen. Niksen is taking conscious, considered time to do nothing. Scientists and researchers know that your brain needs a break, to absorb all that information you’re taking in, make new neural connections and pathways in the brain, and allow yourself the time you need to recharge. BONUS: this is also when you might get your best, most creative ideas. So read this, then do nothing, and see what happens.

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Lightening the mental load that holds women back

BCG, the consulting firm, recently surveyed it’s employees across the globe to get a better perspective of how raising children, and taking care of the home in general, disproportionately affects women. There results were similar to what others have found in that, even when men help, they’re doing the easily outsourced tasks, leaving the ‘management’ of home and kids to women…thus inflicting a larger ‘mental load’ for women to carry. They offer some recommendations for companies and families to help alleviate some of the burden on working women. The good news…younger men seem eager to play by these new rules and are making significant progress for the next generation.

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Is “mindful entrepreneurship” a thing? Actually, yes.

I sure hope so, because that’s what I’m building my entire business around 🙂 This article from Fast Company validates my belief that growth is good, when intentional, not just for the sake of growth. That it can be good to stay small, to have ‘good enough’ goals, that the need for unsustainable growth is one of the biggest problems with our current economic system.

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How thinking about the future can make life more meaningful

As a strategy consultant, I think about the future A LOT (probably too much). But this article helped me to justify my behaviors. Written by a Ph.D researcher for Greater Good Magazine, it chronicles the research on ‘prospectus’ or how thinking about the future can help us make better decisions, achieve our goals, fight off negative mental health states and just generally become more kind and generous people. Find out how and why.

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Are things getting better or worse?

This is a great piece from New Yorker Magazine about how science is mostly in agreement that overall Quality of Life (QOL) is better than ever for Americans (and much of the world), despite what our current President might say (and definitely as opposed to what you hear in the media). Average household income, risk of death by accident and serious disease, crime, teenage drug and alcohol use, etc. are all much, much lower than at any other point in history. Life is good. Right? However, the jury is still out on whether that is translating to a higher Subjective Wellbeing (SWB), or overall sense of happiness and meaning in our lives. A lot of this is about perspective: both the media’s and our own, and certainly worth a read

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Women did everything right. Then work got ‘greedy.’

I’m not sure if I’m just more aware, or if this topic is actually trending, but I feel like I’m now seeing so many articles (in so many high profile publications, like this one from the New York Times) talking about the need for the ‘end of the hustle culture.’ This one focuses on how this phenomenon is really hurting women most, particularly within the ‘greedy’ professions like law, finance and consulting…where women have more potential to outperform men, but aren’t. Keep reading if you want to learn why and what we can do about it

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Do a social media detox

I’m so happy to be not alone in wanting less social media in my life. This continues to be your favorite topic so I found another article to enjoy. This one was written by Wandering Aimfully, a serial digital entrepreneur with many successful online businesses. He used to rely on social media, but his current business barely uses it. This article walks through how he got there, over a month of no social media, and what he learned. There’s also some good app/tool recommendations to help you remove the notifications and temptations of social media

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