by Chris Baréz-Brown
Before getting drawn into your to-do list, think of one big thing you need to achieve today. Take your time to get perspective on what’s most important to you. Take a deep breath, smile, and just see what comes to you. You’ll know when you’ve got it right, because you’ll feel excited about delivering it and you’ll know it will create real impact for you and/or those around you. Once you’ve identified it, spend as long as you need to make it happen before getting distracted by the world calling for your attention. What’s your one big thing today?
Instant inspiration, courtesy of designer Anna Rabinowicz
1. Read Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis
A rabbit sits in a cardboard box and uses his imagination to transform it into a racecar, a mountain, a robot. The lesson? “Anything can be anything,” Anna says.
2. Go outside
Nature informs most of Anna’s designs: “A pinecone, a caterpillar, some gnarled gourds from a pumpkin patch—the natural world is full of bizarre, beautiful stuff.”
3. Start a collection Continue reading
by Maya Mathias
We’re well and truly into the new year.
Many of us will have designed resolutions, visions and goals.
And some of us will already have “slipped up” on them by now.
What makes some new intentions stick, while others seem to fall by the wayside?
Is it a question of will, of habit formation, or something else?
And how can we make the best use of the time we have each day to fulfill our most important commitments and our most heartfelt desires?
Here are some guiding principles that I have grown into over the years — they help me see time in healthier and more holistic ways, and turn the idea of time management into something far more effective for myself and the people I lead. Continue reading
Proper body language can quiet self-doubt and help ace life’s challenges, says Amy Cuddy
By Christina Pazzanese
It’s that make-or-break moment. You head into a room for a job interview, to give a presentation, or to take an exam. In theory, you should ace what’s coming: You’ve got the credentials, rehearsed what to say, and mastered the material.
But when it’s time to put your best foot forward, your body and mind go into meltdown as you sink into a dark spiral of panic, anxiety, and self-doubt that leaves others unimpressed. You walk out full of regret, knowing that you didn’t rise to the challenge and wondering what you can do to prevent the next pivotal opportunity from slipping away.
Four Steps to Stop Being So Hard On Ourselves.
When I was in college, I went off to the mountains for a weekend of hiking with an older, wiser friend of twenty-two. After setting up our tent, we sat by a stream, watching the water swirl around rocks, talking about our lives. At one point she described how she was learning to be “her own best friend.” A wave of sadness came over me, and I broke down sobbing. I was the furthest thing from my own best friend. I was continually harassed by an inner judge who was merciless, nit-picking, demanding, always on the job. My guiding assumption was, “Something is fundamentally wrong with me,” as I struggled to control and fix what felt like a basically flawed self.
It’s like we’re in a trance that causes us to see ourselves as unworthy. Yet, I have seen in my own life, and with countless others, that we can awaken from this trance through practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. We can come to trust the goodness and purity of our hearts. Continue reading
It was after midnight. I had just spent the day intensely focused on completing all of my book edits to return to my editor, the culmination of weeks of labor. Typically, I would be sound asleep when the clock strikes 12. But instead, due to the huge rush of excitement created by finishing such a major task, I found myself completely reorganizing a storage closet.
The next day I was exhausted. But did I stop? Oh no. I instead inched myself forward by reading a book that I had wanted to get to—but hadn’t for a while, and then checked off another item on my list by responding to a lengthy e-mail before finally giving myself permission to go to sleep.
When you come out of a major busy season or complete a massive project, it’s more important than ever to relearn the art of rest. This requires choosing to not feel guilty about wanting time to truly relax and be creative. If you don’t make a conscious choice for rest, you will find yourself always filling your time by ticking off items instead of giving yourself space to be in the moment—thinking, doodling, reading, musing, or doing whatever fills you creatively.
If you don’t make a conscious choice for rest, you will find yourself always filling your time by ticking off items.
Not only can scheduled rest renew your joy in life, but also, make you more creative. According to the Scientific American article “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime:”
“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.” Continue reading
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