Sometimes “the ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage”, says Arie de Geus, a business theorist.
Neverthless Learning to do something we are not familiar with requires a willingness to experiment that is common in children but quite discomforting for most of us.
In this article Erika Andersen identifies four attributes which characterise the process of Learning:
The author discusses some mental tools which can boost these attributes and help us in learning to learn.
Read more here.
Image source: Pxhere – Public Domain
Understanding one of the most important skills of a Japanese warrior, or “samurai”, can improve our daily life, including our attitude towards apparently unsolvable issues.
This skill is called “gaman”, a word that can be translated as “patience”, “endurance”, “perseverance” and which deals with the capacity of living “without complaint whatever problem may throw in your path”.
“Gaman” is a fundamental aspect of the samurai’s code of life, or “bushido”, but it is not necessary to fully practice this tough philosophy in order to experiment a truly fulfilling “gaman attitude”.
Broadly speaking, something similar can be found even in Western societies: ancient Romans, for instance, used to practice self-conditioning by following the stoical conduct of enduring hardship without a word of complaint.
Nevertheless, it is even unnecessary to face pain or disasters in order to experiment “gaman”.
In fact, a simple and achievable “gaman-ese” code of conduct can be summed up by 5 tips, useful to face our daily issues:
1- Stay consistent
2 – Set small goals for yourself, and achieve them
3- Take your time
4- Be human, with dignity
5 – Breathe!
More about GAMAN here
English is fast becoming the world’s universal language, and instant translation technology is improving every year. So why bother learning a foreign language?
- If you want to imbibe a culture, if you want to drink it in, if you want to become part of it, then you have to control to some degree the language that the culture happens to be conducted in. There’s no other way.
- It’s been shown that if you speak two languages, dementia is less likely to set in, and that you are probably a better multitasker. Bilingualism is healthy.
- Languages are just lot of fun.
- We live in an era when it’s never been easier to teach yourself another language.
How to make your life ‘flourish’, living up to your potential? Here are three good tips in Aristotelian thought, developed 2.300 years ago:
1. Having to do with our conduct, this is a matter of ethics and you have to cultivate Eudaimonia, which may be translated as ‘having good demons’. This indicates the capacity to raise all the functional, concrete aspects of life of humans as rational creatures who live in societies.
2. What enables you to flourish is also virtue: this essentially means knowing to what extent traits of human personality should be used and exploited on each occasion to achieve an optimal result.
3. You can become more virtuous through education, looking at accomplished, flourished people and through good habits you may develop, which help you flourish.
For more details have a look at this article: The 3 Key Ideas from Aristotle That Will Help You Flourish by Charlie Gilkey
Which are the nine most important things that it is possible to learn in our life? In an interesting article mixing numerology, wittiness and common sense, Maria Popova, the founder of “Brain pickings”, tried to create her own personal list.
Here’s the result:
- Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. In a world where everyone has an opinion, sometimes being incoherent and changing our minds could connect us with our hidden self.
- Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. The best incentive is to do what makes you happy.
- Be generous with your time and your resources and especially, with your words.
- Build pockets of stillness into your life. Finding the time for a walk or for yoga allows you to stay centered, to generate ideas and to entice your creative thinking.
- When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. The assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
- Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity for. Look for what makes life worth living.
- Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time. At odds with the culture of immediacy, let’s enjoy the period of blossoming “where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny”.
- Seek out what magnifies your spirit. Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them and visit them often.
- Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.
Image source: Flickr – duncan c (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Does the work environment matter? Such a question tends to be underestimated: we usually evaluate our job on how difficult and complicated the subjects we deal with are. But our relations with colleagues and the human perspective of our job are not less important.
Christine Porath’s quiz looks like a useful instrument to understand how human relations can influence productivity and wellness. You can try it here and find out the quality of your work environment.
This quiz sheds light on what Porath is not afraid to define incivility: “Mean bosses could have killed my father”, she says in another article, referring to her father’s employers.
It is also important for what it doesn’t explain. Once you find out what doesn’t work, it is essential to search for a way to improve your professional life quality. And here is the problem: human dynamics are very difficult to generalize, you can’t look for a general method when it comes to a mix of psychology and ethics. Nonetheless two tips should be kept in mind to survive in a bad environment.
First of all, learn by experience: other people’s bad behavior could strengthen our ability in managing stress and pressure and eventually help us find the right equilibrium between professional and personal life. We cannot choose our bosses, but we can somehow learn from the bad ones too: they show directly what should not be done.
Secondly, if you are strong enough not to give up, it is essential to improve the environment as much as possible. Other people’s lack of civility is not an excuse to behave similarly. Kindness and respect may not pay in the short run, but they can produce change in time. Without forgetting, of course, that there are limits, also legal, that we cannot allow to be crossed.
Image: Pixabay (CC0)