How to Break Free from the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Catherine Burns, artistic director at The Moth, shares what she has learned about the art of storytelling. Source: How to Break Free from the Stories We Tell Ourselves

12 (Stoic) Questions That Will Change Your Life

What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started

For those of us who live our lives in the real world, there is one branch of philosophy created just for us: Stoicism. It’s a philosophy designed to make us more resilient, happier, more virtuous and more wise–and as a result, better people, better parents and better professionals. Source: What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started

Want to go deeper? Check out this summary of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations…

Brian Johnson offer’s a great overview here but you have to create a free account…

The Swedish philosophy of lagom: how “just enough” is all you need

Just because a thing is good doesn’t mean that you need more of it. “Lagom” teaches us to appreciate that “just enough” is all we need. Source: The Swedish philosophy of lagom: how “just enough” is all you need

Never Freak Out

If you can prevent your emotions from taking over in the face of stress, you can avoid a lot of regret and set a good example for others. Source: Never Freak Out

The Compliment I Most Want Said at My Funeral

To be the same person at home as you publicly portray to others is a consistency not everyone achieves. Source: The Compliment I Most Want Said at My Funeral

Inspiring Simplicity

Enjoy some encouraging words to inspire more simplicity in your life today. Go to the source: Inspiring Simplicity. Weekend Reads.

The Surprising Benefits of Journaling One Sentence Every Day

“From 1986 to 2011, Oprah Winfrey hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the highest rated talk show of all-time and familiar to nearly anyone who owned a television set in North America at that time.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the “Queen of All Media” built a brand that stretched far beyond the television screen. She went on to become a billionaire, a well-regarded philanthropist, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And as she was busy working toward these otherworldly accomplishments, Oprah relied on a simple habit: journaling.

Journaling is simply the act of thinking about your life and writing it down. That’s it. Nothing more is needed. But despite its simplicity, the daily journal has played a key role in the careers of many prolific people.

As you might expect, journaling is a favorite habit of many writers. From Mark Twain to Virginia Woolf, Francis Bacon to Joan Didion, John Cheever to Vladimir Nabokov. A journal was rarely far from any of these artists. Susan Sontag once claimed that her journal was where she “created herself.” 

Journaling has been utilized by scores of brilliant thinkers and inventors. Charles Darwin. Marie Curie. Leonardo da Vinci. Thomas Edison. Albert Einstein. Similarly, leaders and politicians throughout history have kept journals in one form or another. People like Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Marcus Aurelius. In the sporting world, athletes like Katie Ledecky, winner of multiple gold medals, and Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder in the marathon, rely on journals to reflect on their daily workouts and improve their training.

Why have so many of history’s greatest thinkers spent time journaling? What are the benefits?”

Read on: The Surprising Benefits of Journaling One Sentence Every Day | James Clear

“While life brings you thrills and excitement, it also dispenses you with a fair share of puzzles and perplexity. You are perplexed when a good friend suddenly gives you a cold shoulder, worried when your boss speaks to you in a tone unusually stern, and anxious when your tour agent fails to pick you up in a foreign land. We tend to react when uncertainty arises; and often overreact. You can, as a matter of fact, try something quite different. When you are puzzled at what your see, do not stare hard.  Instead, relax your mind and get your inner self to feel the thing. When you cannot figure out what you hear, do not struggle to listen. Rather, take a step back, and feel the vibration with a quiet mind. Let go of trying and open your mind to receive. When you allow your mind to receive, intricacy is given a chance to become simplicity; and the shapeless to palpable. It gets you see what you do not see and hear what you do not hear – moving you a step closer to reality. It brings the present back to you, enabling you to know what is actually happening. Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? “Do you have the patience to wait Till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving Till the right action arises by itself?” Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 15: Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles – Tao Te Ching”

Source: The Ultimate Productivity, Simplicity, Finance, Happiness & Weight Loss Hack : zen habits

7 Powerful Phrases to Boost Your Productivity


Excellent thoughts on productivity from Lolly Daskal!

As with any growth and expansion, becoming more productive doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistent investment of time and commitment.

If you want to take yourself to the next level, you must be more productive.

To be more productive isn’t always easy — sometimes we need repeated reminders.

Here are seven powerful phrases that will make you more productive.

Repeat after me:

1. If not now, when?

When procrastination sets in and things start to pile up, it’s time to commit to a change. If anything is going to happen, it is up to you. The timing is up to you too, so choose to make it happen now.

2. I will rethink to regroup.

If you’re digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to remember — but sometimes the hardest — is to stop digging. Look around. Take a breath. Regroup, recalibrate your priorities, and regain control.

3. I will start with what is necessary.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and before you know it, you may find yourself doing the impossible. Try to start each day with a series of small but necessary tasks to fuel the rest of your morning.

4. I will simplify what is complicated.

It’s simplicity of intention that gives us consistent productivity. Many of us overthink and make things more complicated than they need to be. Ask yourself how much you really need to be doing.

5. I will focus on what matters.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Stay focused on the actions that will lead toward your successful productive future, and don’t let yourself get distracted with busywork.

6. I will make this happen no matter what.

It’s always possible to dodge responsibilities, but it’s much more difficult to dodge the consequences. It was Winston Churchill who defined success as stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. A river cuts through rocks not because of its power, but because it never gives up, the persistence over time is its power.

7. I will control my mind before my mind controls me.

If your thoughts are filled with negativity, not much can get done. But positivity fuels productivity. Success comes to those who have positive energy. Positivity will not only boost your productivity, it will help you make the best of what you do and how you do it.

The bottom line: When it comes to boosting productivity, if it’s really important for you to be willing do whatever it takes and to keep reminding yourself with phrases to make it happen. The time to make that commitment, though, is today.

Go to the source for more: 7 Powerful Phrases to Boost Your Productivity |

The 7 Things You Will Need (more than ever) in 2017


A great list from one of the most interesting bloggers I know: Nicholas Bate.

  • Focused Attention. This is your greatest asset. It has limited battery power and limited bandwidth. Remove distractions and use it with deliberate intent to meet your goals.
  • Ever-increasing Smartness. You have got to be smarter than the robot that wants your job, smarter than a disappearing market and smarter than the guy who hired you.  Start here.
  • A Portfolio of Project Bs. From your novel to your photography, from your Portuguese to your pottery class, project Bs keep you alert, keep you thinking creatively and may one day become significant revenue earners.
  • A Return to Basics.  Awesome meetings, engaging presentations and leadership which leads. Get brilliant at the basics
  • Unstoppable energy.  M-E-D-S. meditation-exercise-diet-sleep. The details here
  • A New Environment of Minimalism and Simplicity so that not only can you see the wood for the trees, you know where the wood is, you know how many trees there are and why it is daft to keep just cutting down trees when perhaps you should just get out of the wood.
  • The ability to take decisions, turn those decisions into actions and see those actions through.

    Go to the source for more: The 7 Things You Will Need (more than ever) in 2017 – Nicholas Bate

  • How to stay in the present moment

    The benefits are clear. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

    “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha

    There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control over.

    The present moment.

    But most of us still spend a lot of our regular days lost in memories, reliving a sunny vacation or maybe more commonly repeating an old conflict or negative situation over and over in our thoughts.

    Or we get lost in scenarios about what could happen in the future. Maybe through wishful daydreams. Or maybe by building monsters in our minds as thoughts go round and and round and create scary and dangerous mountains out of molehills or just air.

    Or your thoughts may become split and unfocused between several different things and tasks.

    If you spend a lot of your everyday moments and time in the future or the past or you have difficulty focusing and you feel this may have a negative effect on your life then maybe you want to learn to live more in the present moment.

    Here’s what works for me to do that. Just a few simple things that I use in my normal day.

    Get the rest of the article here: How to Stay in the Present Moment in Everyday Life: 5 Simple Habits.

    Your legacy

    via The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity.

    Thought leadership strategy and tactics

    Thought leadership strategy is essential for getting found in Google but how to execute with the fewest moving parts is elegance! DaVinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” but what does that look like in a thought leadership workflow? Let’s start with some thoughts from Google Plus ‘meister’ Mark Traphagen:

    Of Mark’s 5 points, items 1,3 & 5 are what Covey would call ‘private victories’ and items 2 & 4 are related to ‘public victories’. You can possess items 1, 3 & 5 in abundance but unless you using the wonderful tools we have at our fingertips to make your thoughts searchable, findable, knowable, shareable and memorable, you are missing the opportunity to become credible on a bigger scale. You will never be found in the ‘zero moment of truth‘ unless you treat Google as an ally, not an adversary to be tricked or gamed.

    So then, if you’re with me so far, let me propose a workflow for thought leadership strategy with only 3 moving parts for you to consider:

    A thought leadership workflow

    I’ll talk you through it here:

    Bonus Feedly video!

    How to become a thought leader on $137.88 per year…

    A couple of days ago, Craig Badings of the Thought Leadership blog asked me to complete the following sentence: “Thought Leadership is _______”. My response? Fundamental. As in “thought leadership is fundamental”. Craig asked me if he could post my definition on his site with attribution and frankly I don’t know if it’s because he thought my response was stupid or brilliant or somewhere in between. Let me explain however, what I meant…

    At a time in history when almost 90% of people search Google before making a buying decision you need to show up in search in a good way. To me a thought leader is someone who uses the incredible good, fast and cheap tools we have at our disposal to get found when people are looking for what they do, or, in what Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth. They use blogging and social media to attract and retain fans who either buy into their ideas or by their products.

    It was Leonardo da Vinci who said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. I maintain that if you aspire to thought leadership there are only two activities you must master: finding and sharing good information. When I teach my college classes, I call this deepening your expertise and documenting your expertise. Any person who aspires to thought leadership has probably done Malcolm Gladwell‘s 10,000 hours of work to gain their expertise but if you want to be a thought leader you must continue to nourish that expertise and stay current on the things that are important in your field of study. That’s what I called deepening your expertise. The second part, documenting your expertise, simply means to use the publishing tools available on the Internet to provide social proof of your work. If you’re a great thinker who aspire to thought leadership that’s all you need to know — hence my statement that thought leadership is fundamental.

    I have developed a simple workflow that I call a ‘Me’cosystem which anyone can use to establish a thought leadership position over time. All of the tools are best of breed, free or freemium, and completely cross platform down to the smart phone level. There are nine different activities in which the thought leader must engage and I outline them here:

    I’ll be going into more detail in each of these stages later on in the series. Organized efficiently from the beginning to the end of the process, it looks more like this:

    And again, I’ll be going into more detail in subsequent posts. All I think you really need to know at this point is that the process really does work and that it’s simple enough and cost-effective enough that even someone who does TED talks can use my system. :-)

    Next week I’ll start with the analysis phase in the flowchart. Questions? Feedback?


    Start a Blog at

    Up ↑

    %d bloggers like this: