Pause & Refocus

Learning to refocus, developing the habits of super-learners, and defining "a good life."

Victor Saad

Founder

Welcome to issue No. 26 of Work Different — a weekly summary of the top articles focused on workplace culture and career development.

On Refocusing on What Matters

“Every one of us has 168 hours n a week,” says Harry Kraemer, the former CEO of Baxter International. “Do you know where you’re spending your time? And are you spending it where you believe it matters most?” Most of us are running around (virtually these days) to engage with people or put out fires. This week, engage in an active activity of self-reflection. Turn off distraction and think through what you value and how you’re exhibiting those values. Do this while keeping in mind that a value is not simply a preference; it is something that you are not willing to compromise or negotiate. Once you’ve engaged in self-reflection to identify the values you hold dear, find a solid sounding board who will tell you whether you are living those values. This could be a family member, close colleague, or religious leader.” If you come to the conclusion that you are not living true to your values, think about what you can do to change that. Kellogg Insight.

 

 

On the Habits of Super-Learners

Everyday is an opportunity to learn. We no longer have to be enrolled in school to be an active learner. In today’s age of constant flows of ideas, how do we stay on top of all the new skills that we will need to be successful leaders? Here are some concrete steps you can take to enrich your knowledge and skill set: 1. Read a lot. “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to your body. It gives us the freedom to roam the expanse of space, time, history, and offer a deeper view of ideas, concepts, emotions, and bodies of knowledge.” 2. See learning as a process. “Learning is an investment that usually pays for itself in increased earnings.” Learning about the journey, not the destination. If you enjoy the process of learning, you’ll be adding new skills and knowledge to your repertoire everyday. 3. Teach others what you know. That’s one of the most effective ways to learn, remember, and recall new information. “Learners retain approximately 90% of what they learn when they explain/teach the concept to someone else, or use it immediately.” 4. Take care of your brain. We often overlook the importance of letting our brains rest. To maintain robust brain health, make sure you feed yourself leafy greens, whole grains and healthy proteins regularly. Take this week to let your body and brain rest and recharge. Medium.

Credit:  Chiara Ghigliazza

On Defining “A Good Life”

As we pause our busy, chaotic lives during this week of Thanksgiving, in this year that has turned our lives upside down, take a moment to reflect on your goals and intentions for the future. Having a clear purpose in our work will help guide us in the life-long work that we do for ourselves and for our communities. In this blog post, author Maria Popova highlights the work and lives of historical figures who have made lasting contributions to our society, and asks larger questions about the measure of a good life and what it means to leave a lasting mark of betterment on an imperfect world. “What are the building blocks of character, of contentment, of lasting achievement? How does a person come into self-possession and sovereignty of mind against the tide of convention and unreasoning collectivism? Does genius suffice for happiness, does distinction, does love?” Brainpickings.

 

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Victor Saad

Founder

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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