Habit #7 – Falling Up – update

This is not a daily habit.. hopefully.

But it’s a good habit to learn.. we all “fall” now and then.

It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.
–Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor has written brilliantly about this in his  beautiful book “The Happiness Advantage“. Please check out my post about the book.

A “fall” is the perfect opportunity personal growth. Try to remember with each small or big setback to be better at something. Be kinder to people around you, be more grateful, smile more, visit friends and family more often, travel, go to concerts, … etc.

Meet “the fall” with more happiness…..

Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth
–Shawn Achor

Victor Frankl writes about three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life:

  1. By creating a work or doing a deed (..work..)
  2. By experiencing something or encountering someone (..love..)
  3. Most important, however:
    Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation.. may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by doing so change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.

Scott Dinsmore:

Every screwup gets you closer to your masterpiece. Make mistakes as often as you can. Start falling.

A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age – Dan Pink

From danpink.com:

Lawyers. Accountants. Computer programmers. That’s what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.

In this insightful and entertaining book, which has been translated into 20 languages, Daniel H. Pink offers a fresh look at what it takes to excel. A Whole New Mind reveals the six essential aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment now depend, and includes a series of hands-on exercises culled from experts around the world to help readers sharpen the necessary abilities. This book will change not only how we see the world but how we experience it as well.

From Wikipedia:

Reception

  • A Whole New Mind is Pink’s second book.
  • The book is a long-running New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller that has been translated into 20 languages.
  • The book was named Best Business Book of 2005 by Strategy + Business, The Miami Herald, 800-CEO-READ, and Fast Company.
  • The book is part of a general movement in management literature to increasingly accept creativity and innovation as a source of business value.

TOC

Introduction

Part 1 – The Conceptual Age

1. Right Brain Rising
2. Abundance, Asia & Automation
3. High Concept, High Touch

Part 2 – The Six Senses

Introducing the 6 senses

4. Design
5. Story
6. Symphony
7. Empathy
8. Play
9. Meaning 

Afterword

Key Concepts from wikipedia:

A historical narrative starts the book outlining four major ‘ages’:

  1. Agricultural Age (farmers)
  2. Industrial Age (factory workers)
  3. Information Age (knowledge workers)
  4. Conceptual Age (creators and empathizers)

The fourth stage is where Pink focuses on how businesses can be successful.

Pink references three prevailing trends pointing towards the future of business and the economy: Abundance (consumers have too many choices, nothing is scarce), Asia (everything that can be outsourced, is) and Automation (computerization, robots, technology, processes). This brings up three crucial questions for the success of any business:

  1. Can a computer do it faster?
  2. Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?
  3. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?

When these questions are present, creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate commodities. Pink outlines six essential senses:

  1. Design – Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
  2. Story – Narrative added to products and services – not just argument. Best of the six senses.
  3. Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
  4. Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
  5. Play – Bringing humor and light-heartedness to business and products.
  6. Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself.
—————-

 I have included a practical “What To Try/Do” after the extended summary section.

Extended Summary – Quotes from the book

Continue reading “A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age – Dan Pink”

Viktor Frankl

From Wikipedia:

Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna – September 2, 1997, Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential Analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy“. His best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl became one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.

Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describing his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live. According to Frankl, the book intends to answer the question “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” Part One constitutes Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory of logotherapy. It is the second-most widely read Holocaust book in the bookstore of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

According to a survey conducted by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, Man’s Search For Meaning belongs to a list of “the ten most influential books in the United States. At the time of the author’s death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.

——

Quotes:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.”

 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow

TED bio:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.

“You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi — on experiencing ‘flow’

“A man obsessed by happiness.”
Richard Flaste, New York Times

about this talk:

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.

Here goes…

 

Flow is “oxy­gen for the soul”
-Dan Pink

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 3/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content

Habit #6 – The Power of Smile

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. —Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s important to understand that a real smile fuels your well-being & happiness.

When you smile:
People are more willing to help you.
You are more willing to help others.
You create a positive change in your body and mind. And you create positive change in the world.
– from the book: “Don’t die with your song unsung”

I’ve shared it before… and I’m more than happy to share this wonderful ted talk again: Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

… and it’s not hard to smile.. is it?

Share a smile with a stranger today.