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This week, we're talking about positive mindset shifts, seeing the good in otherwise bad situations, and how this shift makes us a better teammate.
As a brief disclaimer: any links for items, books, etc. that are available for purchase are done through an affiliate program. This means that I get paid a small pittance of money for everything you buy using my links. I don't recommend things I haven't read/used, so using these links helps me out and gets you great products!
Mindset & Ego
A few articles came across my feed this week centered around important mindset shifts. This is obviously something I ponder often: how can I reframe the way I think about certain situations in my life to better handle these experiences? Shifting the way we process information can also improve both our personal and professional relationships.
In the first article, Victoria Song from Fast Company describes 3 major shifts that help reframe negative thought patterns into positive ones. The two biggest takeaways from this article for me were to a) shift away from binary thinking and b) to regularly embrace discomfort. Binary thinking occurs when we look at situations in terms of A or B; if you didn't get the promotion then your career is over, etc. This often leads to negative thoughts because we start assuming that, if things don't go as planned, then we don't measure up.
Song implores us to focus instead on the possibilities of the unknown. Things may not have gone as expected, but that may open the doors for an even better opportunity down the road. There are always lessons to be learned from all of life's events, and these are often not immediately apparent. A way that we can bolster our resolve for these moments is to lean into discomfort.
Regularly getting uncomfortable is a great way to practice for the situations that will inevitably go poorly. If there are people or conversations you are avoiding, those are exactly the type of situations you should be leaning into. Being better prepared to handle those moments allows you to think more clearly when they strike. This may allow you to more easily see the forest for the trees and find the silver lining when you would otherwise be paralyzed by fear or disappointment.
This inward focus on shifting our mindset can also make us more aware of how our egos may be affecting those around us. Success in any team relies on working productively with others. If we are so focused on our own binary thinking, fears, and anxieties, then it is easy for us to be overly defensive. This type of defensive personality can cripple the productivity of teams.
Avery Blank, a contributor for Forbes, highlighted strategies to combat ego in another great article. The cornerstone is a genuine need for active participation from all parties in these types of interactions. We are often comfortable getting our own ideas across, but it is easy to dismiss the thoughts and opinions of others when we are operating out of fear. If we're worried about how our contributions will be perceived, we may try to strong-arm our peers and shut out their viewpoints.
Focus on creating a collaborative environment and supporting the best overall ideas, even if those ideas aren't your own. Teams that focus on getting things done above all else will attract like-minded individuals. This can save you from the typical red-tape and politics that are prevalent in work cultures flush with ego and arguments. Furthermore, genuine collaboration in your external environment makes it far easier to embrace positive mindset shifts internally.
By embracing a more positive mindset, we are able to dial back our ego and be more collaborative with our peers. These shifts are subtle at first, but they open us up to being better contributors, better friends, and better teammates.
The most interesting things I've read, heard, or encountered this week:
A great book I recently recommended: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
I recently recommended this book to a friend, and almost forgot how amazing it is. Mr. McConaughey has no business being this deeply philosophical and well-written, but he knocks it out of the park. I highly recommend the audiobook, which he narrates himself.
A Twitter thread for fellow movie fanatics: The Rise of Sequels in the 90's by Derek Thompson
This was an interesting thread explaining a few key factors that influenced the rise of sequels in the box office. It seems like every major Hollywood film these days is part of an already-established world. Far more original content was created in the film industry before, so what changed?
A very deep dive into NFT's: Chris Dixon and Naval Ravikant on The Tim Ferris Show (podcast)
I've been obsessed with crypto and learning more about the world of NFT's as of late. It has led to some very interesting discussions surrounding the creator economy and where I think this technology is heading, but the two guests on this podcast do a far better job of explaining the intricacies than I can. If you have the time, and share my interest, it is well worth a listen.
An amazing product I've been using: Paperlike iPad Screen Protector
I have switched to using my iPad almost exclusively for photo editing; I find it easier and more enjoyable to make small adjustments and really refine my photos. I also tend to sketch ideas often, and there are a few "endless" note-taking apps that have helped me brainstorm more effectively. The Paperlike screen protector works seamlessly with the Apple pencil to make it feel like pen on paper. I'm a sucker for a good pen and notebook, so this recreates that experience for me while allowing me to take advantage of the tech. (Note that I am NOT an affiliate of Paperlike, I'm just a happy customer sharing a good product)
A New Health & Wellness Product: Vivoo lets you test your pee at home on TechCrunch
I find this startup interesting, and it's a further development in the series of companies designed to let us take control of our health. The theme these days is definitely creating products and services that allow us to play a more active role in managing our wellness. I may not start peeing on a stick at home regularly, but it's interesting technology nonetheless!
That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered more? Less? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!
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