On Leadership, Recommended Readings, Weekly Reader
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Would you like to improve your life?

Would you like to improve your life? Lucky you…because you’ve come to the right place!

As always, this Weekly Reader features links to recent articles that grabbed my interest or tickled my fancy. I hope you find something that makes you laugh, think, or cry.


Author and executive coach Brad Stulberg has thoughts on how to make that improvement real, which you can find on getpocket.com with 8 Rules to Do Everything Better.

All eight have something to offer, but I found this one especially helpful.

Make the Hard Thing Easier — Willpower is overrated. Rather than relying completely on self-control, intentionally design your environment to make the hard thing easier. For example, if you (like everyone) are constantly distracted by your smartphone, don’t just turn it off — remove it altogether from where you’re trying to concentrate. If your challenge is eating healthy, instead of relying on your willpower at 9 p.m. after a glass of wine, simply keep the brownies out of the house. This applies to everything. Don’t just think about how you’re going to accomplish your goals; think about how you’re going to design for them.


Cal Newport writing on his Study Hacks blog, quotes C.S. Lewis during World War II in suggesting that if you want to improve your life, get on with it because Favorable Conditions Never Come.

“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”


Julie Danielson (a.k.a. Jules) from my hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, had a wonderful chat with illustrator Mike Wohnoutka of the children’s book How to Apologize by David LaRochelle on her blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Of course, knowing how to apologize is a skill that we can all work on to improve our life!

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone knew how to apologize? Luckily, this humorous guidebook is full of practical tips about when, why, and how to say you’re sorry. From a porcupine who accidentally popped his friend’s balloon to a snail who was running so fast he stepped on a sloth’s toes, hilarious examples and sweet illustrations abound. For both listeners who are just learning and older readers who need a refresher, this book will come as a welcome reminder that even though apologizing can be hard, it doesn’t have to be complicated.


Finally (he says to himself), stop writing such long emails! The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Angry Grammarian has a tip to help in The bigger the boss, the shorter your emails should be.

“After the Modern American Empire falls to the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese Communist Party wields control of our country from sea to shining sea, we’ll only have ourselves to blame — and our adjectives.

Last month, China took a great leap forward. The Washington Post recently reported that Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, told the company’s 197,000 employees to write shorter memos with fewer adjectives. At the world’s 49th-largest company, concise writing is now corporate dictum.

Excuse me while I go buy a plane ticket.

Ren believes that his employees’ writing needs more discipline. Yes, I resemble that remark. Time to cut some adjectives.

Have a good week.

More to come…

DJB

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