Modeling being human

As a leader, one of the most important things you do for those who follow you is modeling. I have seen all too often leaders who work excessive hours while preaching the value of work/life balance.

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🔗 Empowering women

I loved this article studying how the voices of women can be better fostered and heard: When Women Don’t Speak.

The bottom line, if you want to empower women, apply majority rule when women have the numbers and unanimous rule—or at the very least, an underlying principle of unanimous rule, hearing from everyone—when they don’t.

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🔗 Cursors on iPads

  • 2 min read
  • General

I loved this delightfully written article by Craig Mod: Who Would Have Thought an iPad Cursor Could Be So Much Fun?

This is where the iPad’s support for the trackpad comes in—a middle ground between laser and potato, and a reinvention of Engelbart’s pointiness. Apple has taken the desktop cursor’s familiar thin arrow and replaced it with a translucent circle. This circle has the ability to change form not only with context but with the “physicality” of the object beneath it.

Move the pointer above a button and the circle morphs into the button itself, “snapping” into it, enveloping it like an amoeba, causing it to glow in a pleasing way. What this means is that the usual precision of a trackpad isn’t required to get exact hits on navigational elements. If you own an Apple TV, you’re already familiar with this vibe—it’s how the cursor on the TV “jumps” from icon to icon with a kind of sticky momentum. Similarly, on the iPad home screen, you can “lazily” slam the cursor around and have it lock onto applications with an eerie telepathy not experienced on a desktop OS.

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🔗 Great retrospective format

  • 1 min read
  • General

I was intrigued by this article by Fiona Voss: My favorite way to run a retro:

The leader sets up the Trello board with four columns:

  • Celebrations
  • Gripes
  • Topics to discuss
  • Actions

Then everybody has 5-10 minutes to write Trello cards in the first three columns, working from their own laptops. You’re allowed to move a card somebody else wrote from Celebrations or Gripes to Topics to Discuss if you want to talk about it.

When all the cards are written, use Trello voting to vote on cards. When voting is finished, the leader sorts the cards by number of votes (descending).

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🔗 Working with resistance

As I finished reading this article this morning, I said out loud, “That was beautiful!” And then I thought maybe I could share it so others might have that same experience. The article is from Zen Habits: Working with the Ebbs & Flows of Your Resistance. He points out that feeling resistance to new or good things is normal, but we can learn to work with it.

It can also get stronger. But it can’t maintain its strength for long. You can breathe, stay with it, wait it out. Bring curiosity to it. Give the feeling a little compassion and kindness.

The key is develop more mindfulness. Instead of shying away from hard thoughts or feelings, sink into them for a moment and get to know them better. Over time, as we become more comfortable with them, we can notice them and acknowledge the message they are sending us and them make our own choice about what to do.

🔗 How to be kind

  • 1 min read
  • General

This was a fantastic article on Zen Habits: How to Be Kind to Yourself & Still Get Stuff Done:

The truth is, most of us are judging ourselves, beating ourselves up, looking harshly at our shortcomings and flaws, a lot of the time. It’s why we’re stressed, anxious, frustrated and disappointed so often.

A different path might be kindness to ourselves. When we see a flaw, we might see the beauty in it. Instead of always striving to be better, we can find gratitude for how great we already are. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can be kind to ourselves and see that we have tried our best, that we had good intentions, that we have a good heart.

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🔗 Embracing both sides

I loved this article from the Art of Manliness: Sunday Firesides: I Have Kids.

Then one day, for reasons unknown, I suddenly saw the open printer drawer not as an impertinent annoyance, but as the inescapable evidence of a simple fact: I have kids.   

I have kids, and kids inevitably come with some vexations. Yet they’re exactly what I want in my life, and a source of inexpressible joy. Because I have this privilege . . . I also have to accept its aggravations.

This is such an easy thing to forget and so important to remember. Our lives are not meant to be blissful, they are meant to be meaningful.

🔗 Marriage is like a car


I loved this article from the Art of Manliness: Sunday Firesides: Marriage Isn’t a Game of Russian Roulette

But rather than being the kind of unmanageable risk found in Russian roulette, the risk of marriage is more like that of driving a car. While you can’t 100% eliminate the chance of a crash, nobody lets that stop them from getting behind the wheel every day. Because despite the risk, that mechanical vehicle, like the vehicle of marriage, will take you places you couldn’t otherwise go.

We can allow risk to inhibit us, or we can allow it to help us. When we notice that something feels risky, instead of shutting down, we should recognize that this is something that is more important to us. We need to step up and engage fully and make sure that we meet the risk head on.

🔗 Balancing growth and stability

Your life explained through dopamine

I loved this article from the Art of Manliness: Your Life Explained Through Dopamine.

The key is to toggle between these two sets of chemicals, as appropriate — allowing yourself to be satisfied, but never wholly so; content, and yet eager for continuous growth. You have to be able to enjoy the excitement of the conquest, and be able to hold onto what you secure.

Understanding the function of brain chemistry has been a huge part of the last few months for me. This precarious balance is crucial to master in order to find true happiness in life. One thing that I especially appreciate is the normalization of the ebb and flow. When we understand that force, we can work with it instead of fighting against it.

🔗 Not responsible

You are not responsible for other people’s feelings

I loved this article from the Art of Manliness: Sunday Firesides: You Are Not Responsible for Other People’s Feelings

But when your decision doesn’t carry moral import, and you make it with all the politeness and respect possible, then you’re not responsible for how the other person deals with your choice. Whether they deal with it resiliently or not, rationally or not, generously or not, is up to them. You cannot control their reaction. And you cannot make your own decisions based on their expected response.

Coming to terms with unnecessary and unhealthy guilt has been a huge part of my mental health recovery process. It is vital to learn how to correctly identify your areas of responsibility and neither shirk nor stretch them.

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