How to get your notebooks organized - A little know hack from Japan. This is a really useful way to keep all of your ideas, thoughts, meetings, and other important information without being limited by things like tabs or having to carry around separate notebooks. Try it!
What if Schools Graded Character and Values as Much as Math and Reading? - As someone who spent more than four years working with youth focused specifically on teaching social emotional learning skills, I can't tell you how important I feel like this article is. Take some time to read through this insightful article and then go to http://www.ipositive-education.net/ to sign your name to the Manifesto for Positive Education
Here's a great excerpt:
“The schooling of children has, for more than a century, been about accomplishment, the boulevard into the world of adult work. But imagine if schools could, without compromising either, teach both the skills of well-being and the skills of achievement. Imagine positive education.”
Break Out of a Rut with Small Personal Changes (LifeHacker) - An insightful article about our personal capacity for change. This article talks about how creating change in our lives doesn't have to be something big and cumbersome. In fact, most great change starts with small changes we make each day.
Best Apps/Websites: Here are the 3 apps that I used most often this week:
Blinkist - For all you lovers of books, nerds, and information junkies out there, Blinkist is going to rock your world! This subscription-based service takes top non-fiction books and summarizes them into a maximum of 20 minutes worth of ready they call "blinks". Well worth the investment (which is about the same price as one book) and is designed to be mobile friendly.
Pocket - I'm actually using Pocket right now to write this blog post. Pocket allows you to save articles, websites, links, etc as you come across them to read at a more convenient time. Pair that up with IFTTT and every time you post something on your social media it will go directly to Pocket for your reading pleasure.
FitnessBlender.com - The best video fitness/workout site I've come across in a long time (and I'm constantly searching). All of FitnessBlender's videos are FREE and you can customize your workout based on time, intensity, equipment available, etc. When I don't have time to go to the gym, this is the first place I go for a challenging and rewarding workout.
It's a long one but it came to me exactly when I needed it to (as they often do). I've been thinking a lot about mindfulness, calmness and just "being". There's so much information that we're always consuming and so many things to be doing, I find it easy to be distracted and to forget just how incredible this moment can actually be.
“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?”
~ Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
My biggest lesson this week has really been this:
I need to go deep within myself right now. What I mean by that is this: I spend a lot of time reading and listening for inspiration, motivation and growth. So much so that, at times, it can become unfocused. I've been asking a lot of questions and searching for the answers outside of where they really are: within me. So I've started to ask myself some really intentional and specific questions in hopes that I can start to live myself into those answers.
Keep Living Big,
Interested in doing some one-on-one coaching in the New Year? Feeling a bit stuck and want a jump start on your goal setting and action planning? Send me a message and let me know! I'd love to find a way to work together and help you reach your goals!
This week's favourite quote rocked me pretty hard as I was driving to Toronto for work. I like to listen to a lot of audio books while I commute. It's a great way to use that time in a productive and growth-inducing way. One of the books I'm listening to right now is called "The Way We're Working Isn't Working" by Tony Schwartz (President & CEO of The Energy Project). Here it is...ready?
"We cannot expect growth or improvement - in an dimension of our lives - without intentionally and regularly challenging our current capacity."
For me, this came at a great time. It's a clear reminder that I need to be continuously challenging myself to grow in positive ways and to be better than I was the day before.
For more about Tony and the work he does, check out: http://theenergyproject.com/
Here are the five best articles I came across this week:
Plan Out Your Day Productively with "Time Blocking" Method
I'm a huge fan of time blocking and it's something I train new staff on when they first join the organization I work for. Definitely recommend spending some time on this one!
9 Places You Can Be More Productive Besides Your Office
I'f you're like me, sometimes the worst place to try to get things done is the office. Here's a great list of places you can be more productive.
How To Ruin Your Life (Without Even Noticing You Are)
This one hit me hard this week. A great read that gives you the advice you need at a time when you probably need it. Thanks to my friend Anna for sharing this with me!
Top 5 Best Morning Rituals for a Super Productive Day
A list of things you may want to consider starting to do (or stopping) in order to make the most out of those first few precious hours of your day. Big fan!
How Personal Development Saved My Life
This short post speaks to the value of developing yourself, along with four things you can start to do now to invest in the most important person in your life - you!
The one big find I had this week is this cool app for your computer called Flux. Basically, you download this app for your PC or Mac and it dims your computer screen as the day progresses to mimic natural sunlight. It has the potential to both make your computer look better and also help you sleep better at night. Try it out! It's free!
Like I mentioned above, I've been listening to a lot of audio books lately. This big lesson was inspired by a parenting book I'm listening to called "Screamfree Parenting" (recommended for any parents out there). The big lesson is this:
The only thing that we have that we can truly call our own are the choices we make.
I'll let you decide what that means for you. =)
Interested in doing some one-on-one coaching in the new year? Feeling a bit stuck and want a jump start on your goal setting and action planning? Send me a message and let me know! I'd love to find a way to work together and help you reach your goals!
Matt Tod is an international speaker, leadership facilitator, writer and lover of all things Zombie-related.