Head, Heart, Play

Relearning to play, navigating workspace disagreements, and embracing negative emotions. 

Victor Saad


Welcome to issue No. 12 of Work Different — a weekly summary of the top articles focused on workplace culture and career development.

On Relearning to Play

As adults, we often feel the need to work and produce all the time. It’s easy to feel guilty if we’re not doing something to push something forward. That mindset can exacerbate our feelings of stress and anxiety. To combat this, Kristin Wong suggests revisiting memories of your younger self. What did you like to do when you were a kid? Dancing in the kitchen? Climbing trees in the park? Doodling? You can still do all these things! “Play is similar to meditation in that it helps you focus on where you’re at in the moment and reset your busy, perpetually exhausted adult mind.” Also, let go of the urge to document all of your activities on social media, like many of us do. When you can play without obligations, you might just have more fun. Enjoy! New York Times.

Above image credit: Chiara Ghigliazza

Credit: Getty Images

On Navigating Professional Disagreement

In professional settings, disagreements are unavoidable. They can be healthy and productive when handled well, and disruptive when mishandled. This piece offers 8 tips on how to best navigate disagreements with your colleagues and teammates. Here are a few of my personal favorites: 1. Validate the other person’s point of view. Let go of the idea that your way is the only way and keep an open mind. 2. Give each other permission to disagree. There is tremendous value in diversity of thought. Embrace this. 3. Focus on the broader mission. When caught up in a disagreement, recenter on your common mission as a company and a team. Inc. 

Credit:  Jan Buchzik

On Embracing Negative Emotions

We all enjoy and seek out positive emotions such as love and joy, but negative emotions such as grief and loss are also essential aspects of life. In fact, feelings such as sadness and even depression can bring cognitive benefits, such as improving our focus and helping us learn from mistakes. “Failure, via the resulting negative emotions, can help lead to later success.” This year has brought unprecedented grief, stress and frustration into all of our lives. As much as we want to be rid of these negative emotions, learning to embrace them may just make us more resilient and prepared for the future. The Atlantic.


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Victor Saad


I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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