Threshold Crossing (vol. 1, no. 3)

Here are five things I’m sharing this month:

1. Kevin Kelly on making mistakes:

  • “Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes.”

2. Forbes Magazine on soft skills and the future of work:

  • “Soft skills — such as empathy, emotional intelligence, kindness, mindfulness, adaptability, integrity, optimism, self-motivation, grit and resilience — have become crucial success factors.”

3. Adam Grant on getting feedback:

  • “When people hesitate to give honest feedback on an idea, draft, or performance, I ask for a 0-10 score. No one ever says 10. Then I ask how I can get closer to a 10. It motivates them to start coaching me – and motivates me to be coachable. I want to learn how to close the gap.” (ht James Clear)

4. Ada Palmer on forging an “inner-citadel”:

  • “So I use a variety of different techniques to battle the gloom, “morbid thinking” and other mental effects of chronic pain. I self-monitor carefully, keeping an inner lookout for when I find myself dwelling on something that’s upsetting me, and I have a sort of triage of responses.  I ask myself (A) can I find an actionable solution to the problem?  If not (B) can I get myself to stop worrying about the problem and let go?  Can I laugh at the problem?  Can I ask myself whether this will really matter in a year or five years?  Sometimes that alone can break the spell, but if it doesn’t this is where I find the maxims, especially the vivid images, often help. One of my favorites is the stoic image of life as being like being a guest at a banquet.  Many great platters are being passed around for you to take from, but occasionally one arrives already empty, everyone else has already taken it all.  It’s easy to be angry, and it is unfair, but the food wasn’t yours to begin with, it was a gift from your host, and you didn’t really need it, there is plenty of other food.  Sometimes just thinking about that can make me less upset by something.  It’s amazing how that kind of reframing, zooming out, or changing perspective can sometimes dispel the stormy thoughts that are really what are causing one’s unhappiness.” (ht Daily Stoic)

5. Encore blog post from me on how harder is sometimes smarter:

  • “…sometimes we need a reminder of what is possible even when the “smarter” way is not available. We don’t have access to specialized tools. We cannot afford time-saving techniques. And, we have exhausted our wits, our creativity and our genius. It is just us, our goals, and the pure unadulterated work that keeps us apart.”

It’s a great day to be alive! – dr H

PS If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues hereview lists of questions, quotes and resources I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.