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Embrace Grit, Enjoy the Journey, and Always Be Reading (Sunday Reads #11)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

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Getting Creative Work Done

If you struggle to declutter your magazine pile, a technique called ABR – Always Be Reading may be for you.  As someone who spends many hours a week focused on helping people read more (with a Kindle preferably) this approach sounds interesting, and is actually pretty aligned with what I personally do.

Are you a manager?  Your late-night or very early-morning emails may be hurting your team.  Being always-on hurts team results in a big way.  I’ve been in the habit for years of delay-sending the email I write after 6:30pm on Friday or over the weekend until late Monday morning.

If you’d like to form successful habits, you need to know what motivates you.

A recent study showed that heavy cellphone users report higher anxiety levels and dissatisfaction with life than their peers who use their phones less often – and another showed a correlation between stress levels and the barrage of alerts and notifications.  This app automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone or iPad each day and helps you set limits.

Not only is it stressing you out, but your smartphone may be making you a lazy thinker.

Grit has been shown to be the common trait amongst leaders and high performers.  Talent matters, sure, but no matter what natural talent you have, you need to put in the work.  You need the passion to start it, live it, and breathe it – and you need the perseverance to do it until you get it done.

Train (and Sleep) Like an Athlete

What do the best athletes do that you don’t?  They don’t look for a quick fix, they set their goals and then raise them, and they constantly seek out new information… and more.

They also love what they do.  In Exercise Is Not a Final Destination: How to Enjoy the Journey, the author provides three life lessons to maximize your fitness journey: 1) Stop Looking at Exercise as a Means to an End, 2) Seek out Coaches, Mentors, and Heroes, and 3) Find Exercise With Deeper Meaning and Purpose.  YES.

What a fantastic infographic about getting lean & the various tradeoffs involved.  Having personally been at all but the two most extreme levels described, the tradeoffs seem spot-on.

Using melatonin could provide more and better quality sleep compared to using an eye mask and earplugs in a simulated noisy and illuminated environment, according to research.  This is especially important in hospitals, airplanes, and other noisy (aka annoying) places to sleep.

An incredible story about a high school girl who could become the best runner ever.  This particular quote about the improved performance of runners over the last 14 years is astounding: “In 2001, only two high-school girls ran the 1,600 meters in under 4:50, and only one ran faster than 4:45. Last year, 46 girls ran faster than 4:50; eight broke 4:45.”

If you want to improve your performance in work and life, should you remove gluten from your diet – or is that just a fad?  Chris Kresser weighs in.  As I’ve said in the past, it’s quite easy to get out of hypotheticals – at least for yourself – through experimentation.  Don’t believe what anyone says at face value; just test it yourself.

Random Musings

Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and luminary in Silicon Valley, is investing in an aging cure.  As today’s billionaires start to age, and biotech companies start to function (and get funded) more like software startups, I believe we’re going to see an huge uptick in the advancement of anti-aging.

Humans: The Next Platform covers the growth of biohacking, nootropics, and extended longevity.

James Clear talks about The Art of Zanshin in Everyday Life.  Focus on the process, not the end result, and achieve your goals.

Apple has been using its own employees to test out the Apple Watch’s health and fitness features for almost two years.  Pretty cool to see the “secret workout lab” at Apple HQ.  Expect to see a lot more of this leading up to the late April launch.

If you’re not already subscribed to Refocuser updates, research shows you’ll be a much happier person just by reading more inspiring stuff.  Subscribe now.

Written by Mike Torres

March 22nd, 2015 at 8:47 pm

  • Ravi

    ABR is one strategy, though my strategy is more of a “read fewer things well” approach. I read a few mags (New Yorker, Outside, Atlantic) and browse a handful of online sites but read them thoroughly. I rely on my twitter feed to inform me of other stuff.