HBR on Perfectionism

Harvard Business Review’s How Perfectionists Can Get Out of Their Own Way by Alice Boyes:

Perfectionist are guilty of:

“Struggling to make decisions or take action. Perfectionists are motivated to make the absolute best choice — even when doing so isn’t strictly necessary. This can lead to decision paralysis.”

What to do:

  • Learn from successes…By reflecting on the pathways that led to your successes, you’ll be able to see that you achieved a meaningful end despite not doing everything completely flawlessly or being 100% certain of success in advance.”
  • “You can also identify non-perfectionistic, but successful, role models and colleagues — how are they able to be effective without succumbing to perfectionism? Observe what they do and learn from it.”
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HBR’s advice on important but not urgent tasks

I first read about this concept of important but not urgent tasks in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Harvard Business Review’s article How to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just What’s Urgent by Alice Boyes tackles this idea as well. Here are a few highlights of the article:

  • The deadline is the greatest factor that pushes people to finish a task over the tasks’ level of difficulty or pay off, according to a series of studies recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research
  • Set a whole day for one important but not urgent task
  • Every week, clear a few hours for personal time like medical appointments. If you don’t need it, you have a few vacant hours. If you need it, you have time to attend to your health and other needs
  • “Shrink” your goals until they are “doable”
  •  Acknowledge that doing certain goals can make you feel things and that this experience can be stressful

Training Your Mind to Stop Seeing Red

From Fast Company’s article How To Coach Your Brain To Stop Being Mad At Someone by Art Markman:

  • Understand the purpose of anger.
    • Anger is part of a motivational system that gets you riled up whenever you do not get what you want. In the past, the strength that anger gives you can help you win against another caveman. In the modern world though, most fights are verbal and emotional, so these quarrels are no longer won by adrenaline-driven physical might. Thus, the power that anger gives is now largely unnecessary.
  • Try to forgive the other person.
    • The forgiver gains more than the forgiven.
    • To truly forgive, one must forget the nitty-gritty aspects of what the other person did to you because constantly remembering those things will fuel your anger.
    • Forgetting the details deactivates the motivational system.
    • “You may always be wary of them, and you may not fully trust them ever again, but that’s different than staying mad.”
  • Think about the situation differently
    • If you can’t forgive, think about other things. My idea: When I remember what that person did and I get mad, I will do crafts.
    • Make lemonade out of lemons. My realization: This has led me to do research on understanding anger.
    • Think of the situation from the other person’s perspective. Consider that their behavior was because of circumstances and not because of their innate character.

My response:

  • I need to reflect on these points
  • I need to think of action points related to the advice from this article

Why Oprah shouldn’t run for president

I love Oprah, but I kind of agree with this article. The Oprah option reeks of desperation.

New York Times’ Oprah, Don’t Do It by Thomas Chatterton Williams

“I am not immune to Oprah’s charms, but President Winfrey is a terrible idea. It also underscores the extent to which Trumpism — the kowtowing to celebrity and ratings, the repudiation of experience and expertise — has infected our civic life. The ideal post-Trump politician will, at the very least, be a deeply serious figure with a strong record of public service behind her. It would be a devastating, self-inflicted wound for the Democrats to settle for even benevolent mimicry of Mr. Trump’s hallucinatory circus act…The Oprah bandwagon betrays the extent to which social causes and identities — and the tribal feelings they inspire — have come to eclipse anything resembling philosophical worldviews. American politics has become just another team sport, and if suiting up a heavy hitter like Ms. Winfrey is what it takes to get the championship ring, so be it. The idea that the presidency should become just another prize for celebrities — even the ones with whose politics we imagine we agree — is dangerous in the extreme. If the first year of the Trump administration has made anything clear, it’s that experience, knowledge, education and political wisdom matter tremendously. Governing is something else entirely from campaigning. And perhaps, most important, celebrities do not make excellent heads of state. The presidency is not a reality show, or for that matter, a talk show.”

Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffet Believe in Optimism

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Reveal the Secret to Successful Leadership in Just 1 Word:

  • “While the evidence supports Gates’ argument, he’s careful to say that ‘being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice. It means you’re inspired to look for people making progress on those fronts, and to help spread that progress more widely.’ If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must–by definition–be an outlier. You must have a vision other people don’t share, inspire others to join you, and keep hustling when others are giving up. Building your optimism muscles will help you achieve all three.”

How the ACLU prepared for Trump

How The ACLU Is Leading The Resistance:

“More than six months before the media and much of the American public was blindsided by the election results, the ACLU was preparing for a Trump presidency…Romero directed his staff to begin compiling detailed reports on what, exactly, a Clinton and Trump presidency would mean for civil liberties and constitutional rights…Building a detailed report on Trump was much more daunting—and unpopular. Romero concedes that some of the staff, already burdened with the pressure to wrap up pending litigation against the Obama administration, likely viewed it as ‘Anthony’s vanity project.’ But he pushed forward. ‘Everyone was talking about Clinton, Clinton, Clinton. We had a Clinton plan and we were thinking about the transition, but we had to have a Trump plan because if he was to be elected, the challenges would have been too great to just [address] on the fly,’ Romero explains when I meet him at his offices in early March…The ACLU published “The Trump Memos” on July 13, 2016. (Since Clinton didn’t pose nearly as serious of a constitutional threat, the ACLU didn’t publish its memo on her until October.) The 27-page document took all of candidate Trump’s campaign rhetoric on six big issues…literally and seriously, drawing out his often vague or incoherent statements to their possible policy positions. Then it built a clear defense against each… Today, the document reads like a detailed playbook for Trump’s first 100 days, and likely beyond.”

Ted’s Creative New Year’s Resolutions

Ted’s 9 creative New Year’s resolutions by Julia Fawal and Nadia Petschek Rawls (For each topic, there are videos regarding the topic):

  • “Become pen pals with someone in prison”
  • “Do one thing that scares you — knowing you’ll get rejected.”
  • “Celebrate one of your failures with friends.”
  • “Say yes to everything for one month.”