Upgrading your reading skills

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Time constraints are constantly limiting our ability and efficiency in reading books and, above all, retaining what we have read in the long run.

Upgrading our reading skills would certainly help us in optimizing the time and effort we put into it, bringing positive benefits in our daily life and work.

In this article from blinkist.com, Caitlin Schiller lists 6 science based tips aimed at improving our reading method:

  1. Find a personal angle
  2. Get a bird’s eye view
  3. Drum up curiosity
  4. Create your own structure
  5. Record key insights
  6. Review your notes

Click here to read the full article.

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Image source: Pixabay – CC0 Public Domain

10 timeless leadership principles

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In their engaging book “The truth about leadership“, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner take a fresh look at what it means to lead.
The book is based on thirty years of research and illustrates 10 timeless leadership principles:

1) Believe in yourself
2) You have credibility
3) Your values drive commitment
4) You have vision
5) You know you can’t do it alone
6) You give trust before you get trust
7) You welcome challenges
8) You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all
9) You are a great learner
10 You are motivated by love

Read the full article here

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Image source: Pixabay – Jerzy Gorcky – CC0 Public Domain

The musicianʼs relationship to time

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In his book “Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life“, the great music educator Wynton Marsalis explains how swinging can alter how we experience change.
The musicianʼs relationship to time can be of ultimate assistance to us in:

1) adjusting to changes without losing your equilibrium;
2) mastering moments of crisis with clear thinking;
3) living in the moment and accepting reality instead of trying to force everyone to do things your way;
4) concentrating on a collective goal even when your conception of the collective doesnʼt dominate;
5) knowing how and when to expend your individual energy.

Wynton Marsalis, “Moving to higher ground: How jazz can change your life

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Image source: Flickr – music2020 – (CC BY 2.0

Life and juggling balls in the air

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On September 6, 1996, Bryan G. Dyson, then Vice Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, delivered a commencement speech at Georgia Tech’s 172nd where he made an extraordinary and wise set of remarks.

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them Work – Family – Health – Friends – Spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that WORK is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls FAMILY, HEALTH, FRIENDS and SPIRIT are of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?

1. Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
2. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
3. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, or without them, life is meaningless.
4. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
5. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
6. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. IT is this fragile thread that binds us together.
7. Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
8. Don’t shut love out of your life by saying its impossible find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
9. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.
10. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
11. Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
12. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.

You are what you believe. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!”

Brian G. Dyson

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Image source: Flickr – Mads Johansen – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 

Can you please everybody?

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A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”
Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours—you and your hulking son?”
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.
“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them:
“PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE.”

Æsop. (Sixth century B.C.) Fables.
The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey1
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

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Image source: Flickr –Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library  – (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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