I came across a quote from actress Lily Tomlin that seems especially poignant this week: "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized: I am somebody."
It's been a strange week, but I hope it's been a reminder that we have to work for the good we want to see in the world.
Here are a few things I've been reading and pondering lately. Enjoy and if you're feeling inspired, pass it on.
1. Long-term Optimism
You don't need any more election analysis, but I'll leave you with this very short post from investor Brad Feld. "I’m a long term optimist and hold that value front and center," he writes.
If ever there were a time to think big about the future, it's now. Kindness, generosity and optimism are the values that can bind us together.
2. The Psychology of Mastery in Creative Work
Maria Popova's Brain Pickings is perhaps the single best resource for creative inspiration online. She has spent years discovering and sharing ideas that are truly timeless. (You can learn more about her here.)
It's very different than most of what you come across these days—deep, long articles that quote ancient texts and poems. But trust me, it's worth checking out.
Here she is quoting writer Janna Malamud Smith:
I posit that life is better when you possess a sustaining practice that holds your desire, demands your attention, and requires effort; a plot of ground that gratifies the wish to labor and create — and, by so doing, to rule over an imagined world of your own.
As with the literal act of gardening, pursuing any practice seriously is a generative, hardy way to live in the world. You are in charge (as much as we can ever pretend to be — sometimes like a sea captain hugging the rail in a hurricane); you plan; you design; you labor; you struggle. And your reward is that in some seasons you create a gratifying bounty.
3. A happy work environment is counterintuitive
And perhaps more importantly, it's on both employers and employees to figure out what makes people tick.
Intercom's John Collins explains:
Alexander Kjerulf, a Danish management consultant who styles himself the Chief Happiness Officer and has advised Ikea, Lego, Oracle, Tata, and Pfizer amongst others, says that results and relationships are actually the most important factors for ensuring people are happy at work. Gallup research backs him up — perks are less important than engagement, which occurs when staff feel they are contributing to something significant.
4. Pinterest's Retention Wins
There is just so much good stuff in this post from Pinterest's former head of growth Casey Winters.
It's wide-ranging post that can't really be summarized—just check it out.
5. Random Links
- Intercom is pushing content marketing to new heights
- Check out Johnny Cash’s Love Letter To June Carter
- "To be the man, you gotta beat the man" — a dose of inspiration, courtesy of Ric Flair
- This is a really cool (and free) intro to Sketch
- A lot is written these days about remote work, but what about telework?
- When vs. How - A great piece to help us put our careers in perspective
- Seth Godin always knows what to say