Personal Development and Business Books I’m Enjoying Right Now: GRIT

Here’s a fun metric. I’ve increased the total books read (this far) in 2018 by 500%.

Your next question is likely, “How can you increase you’re reading by so such a large percentage?”

Well…It’s easy to do when I’m unable to recall completing a single book that I started in 2017.

BAM

I know I’m not the only guilty person that picks up multiple books and puts them back down without reading the final page.

But, at a certain point in time the internet becomes boring, nothing new is on Netflix, my eyes glaze over upon opening Instagram, and the dust is piled so high on my bookshelf it’s now a hazard to my respiratory system. So, I blew off the first layer of dust and swiffered off the second layer, and finally reopened my books.

If you read my completed books list you’ll notice a theme – all of them are some form of personal development (aside from Gail Honeyman’s novel). Business skills, personal growth, leadership are on my mind now, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.

Book Review:

I most recently finished Grit by Angela Duckworth (here the link to her TED talk.) She’s studying what exactly is grit, how some have grit, what does it take to grow grit, and how can we measure our personal grit.Image result for grit duckworth

When asked if hard work or talent is more important the average person will respond “hard work” but studies show that deep down we still believe it’s talent. When the going gets tough it’s easy to say, “I’m just not any good at (insert activity here)” and halt any further progress. Angela studied Olympian athletes, National Spelling Bee champions, and NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and found that, yes, some of them were naturals, but many had to learn grit along the way. Talent will only take you halfway across the finish line, it’s the deliberate practice that pushes the person to the finish.

You can have talent and effort that grows the skill. But! Talent x Effort X Effort = Achievement. The deliberate practice has a more impactful outcome than pure skill/talent.

One way to stay motivated to improve your goals is incremental goals that build upon each other to meet your long-term goal. DING DING  DING.
Commonsense, but how many of us aren’t working toward a single goal? You go to work, come home, occasionally enjoy a night with friends, rinse and repeat. It’s easy to roll through life on autopilot, complacent, when you’re not growing. Those goals become little magnets that help pull you through these ruts.

The other personal takeaway from Grit is choosing your Choosing Your Hard Thing. Grit is grown when you pick one personal “hard thing” and continue to pursue and grow a skill. It is one thing that is difficult that you must work on daily to improve. You can quit the hard thing, but not until the season, semester, membership, etc is over. It’s a nice reminder to try new things, fail at them, maybe a few times through the season, but see it through until the end. A small way to flex your grit muscle.

All in all, the book is a compelling and quick read. It provides what I see as tips you can use to improve your performance at work or skill at home. It shows us why we see some succeed and others stagnate.

What is your “hard thing” that your currently working on?

or

What would you like your “hard thing” to be?

 

In case you’re curious……

Completed Books:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine : A Novel – Gail Honeyman
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
  4. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard
  5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

In – Progress Books:

  1. Smarter Faster Better
  2. How We Learn

Basic Coding is to 2018 as Basic Typing is to 1997 [and other ‘Friday Thoughts’]

It’s another Friday and we’re two weeks into February, six weeks into the new year, only 319 days until Christmas (better start shopping now).

First, a few housekeeping items, how are your goal sheets coming along? They aren’t? Well, feel free to download your copy of “Champion Your Life” the bullet journal gone digital here. I’ve knocked one item off my list and see being able to check one more off this weekend.

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Second, have you checked out the “He Says, She Says” section?

If not, take a peek at some of our comical takes on life ranging from commuting, reading, and computer usage. This series is still up and coming, but we’d love your feedback!

Now, onto High-Five Friday Favorites/Thoughts:

    1. After numerous conversations with friends in varying career paths (psychology, marketing, teaching, and tech), we’ve decided that going forward basic coding will be an essential skill in life. Knowing any HTML, CSS, or Python, might be useful in the future. Kids are already taking programming classes in 3rd grade, many millennials may need to up their skill set to stay current in the near future.  What are your thoughts on this?
    2. Boats that are actual hot tubs AKA hot tubs boats are amazing. Everyone should give it a try, AKA something new I tried last Sunday.
    3.  Housing is so expensive to rent or buy in Seattle, I’m going to be poor the rest of my life. #shouldHaveBeenAnEngineer #iWishIwasBetteratMath #maybeI’llFranchiseHotTubBoats? 
    4. Old Friends are Gold. Even across time zones. I’m grateful for having friends near and far.
    5. We had a Girls Night Out and watched the latest 50 Shades of Grey. I’d never seen any of the others, so my expectations were LOW. This movie turned out to be a little funny and have some action. I was pleasantly surprised, I’d give it 1 out of 5 stars.

 

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What’s one highlight for you this week?

Are you teaching yourself to code?

Friday Favorites: Hulu, Doughnuts, & Spreadsheets

It feels a little like a Thursday and a lot like a Friday. These short weeks should be a regular thing. I’ve read compelling arguments for the shorter work week both here and here.
*If you’ve yet to download or receive a copy of January Self-Care Bingo, leave me a comment or download your image from the link!*

On that note, I’ve joined the link-up and here are a few Friday Favorites!

Friday Doughnuts

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Aside from needing to rescue my Tupperware from the office refrigerator, working from the office on Friday means a Top Pot doughnut. It’s the perfect incentive to occasionally cross the floating bridge on a Friday.

Younger

I’m not one for binging a television series, ever. But, I did watch four, albeit short, seasons of Younger last week. It’s comical, slightly relate-able, and takes place in Manhattan. Hillary Duff makes her debut back to television as an editor at a publishing house and a 40 year pretends to be 26 to get a job at this publishing company. 21 minutes episodes fly by and I’m highly anticipating the 5th season.

If you watch it, I hope you’re also rooting for Liza and Charles to end up together.

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2018 Planning & Goals

People generally fall into two categories when it comes to a new calendar year. Those that buy planners and those that don’t. I fall into the first category and I maintain that planner for approximately 50% of the year. Nevertheless, I enjoy planning out a variety of general goals I’d like to accomplish. It seems everywhere I look “goals” is a forbidden word this year, but sometimes a goal is the best way to fuel motivation to accomplish something. Intentions are the 2018 buzzword. Look at it this way, you build a foundation of intentions that are lasting and these help you to accomplish any and all goals. So, get it girl, GO BOLD, set BIG GOALS.
I see how both can fit into your life.
My friends and I sat together this week and created vision boards for 2018, a little serious and a little fun. I’ll have more on that next week.

Spreadsheets and Work Tools

Not the most exciting, but i’m helping out our staffing team this week with role placement and planning. It’s a great change of pace!

Reading for Pleasure

High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way is the book in my backpack. I have a separate post planned to take a closer at this book, but I’m crushing on it so much that I had to share a little early. It’s based on years of research and provides dozens of anecdotes throughout each chapter. If you want to learn more right now, check out his guest appearance on this podcast.  High Performance Habits: Episode: 104 with Brendon Burchard. (He’s also an Accenture consulting alum!)

If you decided to skim through the favorites, I hope if nothing else, you leave with a smile on your face from this dog picture.
This is Paisley, the 2 year old Samoyed!
Tuckered out from a day at the park and waiting for her owner to take her home & away from this gaggle of girls watching The Bachelor Premiere. 12/10 

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What’s your Friday Favorite?
Are you in favor of the 4 day workweek?

Virtual Coffee Date [#2]

If we were having coffee I’d share with you…

I’ve just returned from an amazing weekend running around L.A. and Harry Potter World with my best gal pals

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Old friends truly are gold, not many other would put up with, let alone,  join in the constant singing of Christmas Carols. But, they’re not above secretly record videos of these private off-key performances…

I’d tell you that an automatic cat feeder is my favorite purchase as of late, no more crying cats in the A.M.

Barre class has somehow found its way to be my favorite workout class. It’s incredibly challenging, but feels great as re-entry to strengthening muscles. If it’s Flybarre vs. PureBarre I would choose Flybarre every time. It’s less scripted and equally effective.

I have a post about Croatia to share, but I need to add the pictures before it’s ready. All in good time.

I’m still crushing on the Brene Brown’s work. She’s a researcher, speaker, author of several books.  Shoutout to spending a weekend with friends with whom I can unapologetically be myself and belong (rather than fit in).

“One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”
― Brené BrownDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lea

I researched the psychology of human relationships, communication methods and outcomes for my senior capstone project. Brené’s research is my bread and butter.

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One more Daring Greatly quote:

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”

That’s all for today. Those Croatia pictures are coming soon, I promise.

 

 

 

Starting from Scratch.

Can you remember the last time you were a beginner at something?

It’s hard. It’s plain hard, especially, when you know what you were once capable of doing on a regular basis.

I’m a lifelong mediocre athlete. I played high school tennis, but solidly held onto the 4th singles slot. I was and still am a non-competitive dancer, a jazz baby, middle school tapper, and I picked up ballet late in life. I continued to dance in my university’s no-cut Repertory Dance Group for three years and have again recently picked up tap.

JV Cross Country instilled in me the idea that I CAN run and it IS fun. The golden rule for running is to find your pace partner and don’t push yourself before you’re ready. Because of my jack-of-all trades upbringing, I was always in decent shape, had strong legs, and was never injured.

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It’s now that I’m almost four years out of undergrad and I sit at a desk 9-5, with little overall movement. Similar to the mermaids cursed by Ursula in The Little Mermaid–my baby muscles shriveled. After last year’s PNW Ragnar Relay I let my slightly injured hip/knee  go and escalate from annoyance to injury.

Here’s photographic evidence of the first appearance of the hip injury.

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I’m back to a beginner status.

I can’t do a real push up.
Squatting the bar is hard.
Running 3 miles without creaky knees is an accomplishment. 

But, I’m glad this happened.

It’s gives me perspective on how I once had to work to my personal best. When I can run 6 miles with ease, I’ll appreciate the accomplishment and remember the hours of strength training and rainy day runs. 

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It’s a time reestablish what my new norm is as a 26, nearing 27 year old, without dwelling only what I was at 23. Eight hours at a desk is a vastly different lifestyle than 3 hours of class a day and walking all over a college campus. 

I plan to shoot off fireworks and ring cowbells when I run my casual 10 minute miles without gasping for air.

If you don’t use it you, you lose it,and i’m ready to rediscover what i’m capable of doing. 

When did you last feel like a beginner?

Day in the Life #1

Everyday is different, but this is a glimpse into last Wednesday.

7:00 Alarm #1. Roll over, turn on light, turn on coffee, scroll through email and instagram.

7:30 Make lunch, “bake” Shakeology protein pancake for breakfast, fill water bottle, and turn off lights in the apartment.

7:40 Slip on shoes and out the door with breakfast, work clothing, and lunch packed.

8:00 Arrive at office gym and tuck my life backpack into a locker. It’s a “sunny” Seattle day and I head out for 3 miles along the waterfront.

 8:45 Shower and head upstairs to my desk by 9:01. I always make it to my desk in a more timely fashion when I workout in the morning. I say hello to the only other 2 currently at work.

9-11 Eat breakfast, answer emails, prep devices to ship to our next conference.
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11:00 Snack on almonds and visit our upstairs helpdesk to unlock my account.

12:30-1:45 Head out for a rare lunch outing with co-workers. I hit my step count before 1pm (And for the first time in a week!)

2-5 Work, work work

5:20 Start walking home in a hurry to buy last minute supplies for my painting class. Snack on an Oreo filled donut and jerky (weird, yes).Oreo-doughnut-top

5:50-6:40 Drive, sit in traffic, take wrong turn, park, and arrive to painting class ontime 10 min late. Thankfully, the parking attendant was precise with directions and I found the building fast.

6:40-9:00 Join two friends as we learn to blend landscapes and colors this week. One of my friends is incredibly talented and may as well be a pro, we joke we’ll pay for lessons in glasses of vino.IMG_5260

9:30 Eat dinner using my free Chipotle coupon! Burrito bowl FTW! I went the sofrita/carnita route with lettuce, rice, veggies, salsa and no guac because they had already sold out.
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9:45 Pick up stuff from my boyfriend’s and then head home to pack for a weekend in Whistler with friends. I’ve only snowboarded once in my life, so I’m opting for 1 of 3 days boarding.

11pm Pack and eat chocolate leftover from my Hawaii trip. Swap out clothes from the suitcase that I’m repacking for Whistler.

12:30 Go to bed FAR later than usual. Lights out!

Currently: Typing this in front of the fireplace in Whistler.

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Cheers!
Michelle