Tag boredom

“Nothing in this process is ever wasted” – The Key to Transforming Yourself …*

“The way to transform yourself is through your work. Now I know this runs counter to our prevailing cultural prejudices. Work is too ugly, too boring, too banal. Self-transformation, we think, comes through a spiritual journey; therapy; a guru who tells us what to do; intense group experiences and social experiences and drugs. But most of these are ways of running away from ourselves and relieving our chronic boredom. They’re not connected to process and so any changes that occur don’t last. Instead, through our work, we can actually connect to who we are instead of running away. And by entering that slow organic process, we can actually change ourselves from the inside out in a way that’s very real and very lasting. This process involves a journey of self-discovery that can be seen as quite spiritual, if you like. And, at the end of this process we contribute something unique and meaningful to our culture through our work, which is hardly ugly, boring, or banal.” – Robert Greene

Happy Independence Day! As we gather with friends and family to celebrate, I thought I would share author Robert Greene’s TEDx talk for a bit of weekend inspiration. In this talk Greene examines the key to transforming yourself in a lasting and authentic fashion (and you know how much we value processes of change and transformational moments here at rethinked * ) Greene’s talk, while not necessarily providing any groundbreaking new insights on processes of self-transformation, is a well articulated and welcome reminder of many truths most of us know and understand–achievement takes a lot of (often behind-the-scenes) work; embrace a growth-mindset; we can often only connect the dots of our lives in retrospect; follow the sparks of energy and passion in your life–but which we too often lose touch with in the hustle and bustle of daily life and fail to enact. I hope this will help refresh your commitment to living authentic and meaningful lives.

reflect, follow the sparks, embrace the process & rethink …

The Key To Transforming Yourself – Robert Greene at TEDxBrixton

We humans tend to fixate on what we can see with our eyes. It is the most animal part of our nature. When we look at the changes and transformations in other people’s lives, we see the good luck that someone had in meeting a person like Yost, with all of the right connections and the funding. We see the book or the project that brings them money and the attention. In other words, we see the visible signs of opportunity and success. But we are grasping at an illusion. What really allows for such dramatic changes are the things that occur on the inside of a person and are completely invisible—the slow accumulation of knowledge and skills; the incremental improvements in work habits and the ability to withstand criticism. Any change in people’s fortune is merely the visible manifestation of that deep preparation over time. By essentially ignoring this internal invisible aspect, we fail to change anything fundamental within ourselves. And so in a few years time, we reach our limits yet again, we grow frustrated, we crave change, we grab at something quick and superficial and we remain prisoners forever of these recurring patterns in our lives. The answer, the key, to the ability to transform ourselves is actually insanely simple: to reverse this perspective. Stop fixating on what other people are saying and doing, on the money, the connections, the outward appearance of things. Instead, look inward. Focus on the smaller, internal changes that lay the groundwork for a much larger change in fortune.

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Here’s how this would work in your own life. Consider the fact that each and everyone of you is fundamentally unique, one of a kind–your DNA, the particular configuration of your brain, your life experiences. In early childhood, this uniqueness manifested itself by the fact that you felt particularly drawn to certain subjects and activities. What I call in my book, Mastery, “primal inclinations.” You cannot rationally explain why you felt so drawn to words, or to music, or to particular questions about the world around you, or to social dynamics. As you get older, you often lose contact with these inclinations. You listen to parents who urge you to follow a particular career path; you listen to teachers and alcoholic magazine editors who tell you what you’re good and bad at; you listen to friends who tell you what’s cool and not cool. At a certain point, you can almost become a stranger to yourself and so you enter career paths that are not suited to you—emotionally and intellectually. Your life’s task, as I call it, is to return to those inclinations and to that uniqueness that marked each and everyone of you at birth. At whatever age you find yourself, you must reflect back on those earliest inclinations, you must look at those subjects in the present that continue to spark that childlike intense curiosity in you. And you must look at those subjects and activities that you’ve been forced to do over the past few years that repel you, that have no emotional resonance. Based on these reflections, you determine a direction you must take—writing, or music, or a particular branch of science, or a form of business, or public service. You now have a loose overall framework within you which can explore and find those angles and positions that suit you best. You listen closely to yourself, to your internal radar. Some parts of that framework, for me, journalism and Hollywood, do not feel right, and so you move on, slowly narrowing your path, all the while accumulating skills. Most people want simple, direct, straight-lined paths to the perfect position and to success, but instead you must welcome wrong turns and mistakes, they make you aware of your flaws, they widen your experiences, they toughen you up. If you come to this process at a later age, you must cultivate a new set of skills that suit this change in direction you’ll be taking, and find a way to blend them with your previous skills. Nothing in this process is ever wasted. In any event, the goal that you are after is learning and the acquisition of skills, not a fat paycheck. Now, look at what happens to you as you adopt this very different and internally driven mindset. Because you are headed in a direction that resonates with you personally and emotionally, the hours of practice and study do not seem so burdensome, you can sustain your attention and your interest for much longer periods of time. What excites you is the learning process itself, overcoming obstacles, increasing your skill level. You are immersed in the present instead of constantly obsessing over the future and so you pay greater attention to the work itself and to the people around you, developing patience and social intelligence. Without forcing the issue, a point is reached in which you are thoroughly prepared from within. The slightest opportunity that comes your way you will now exploit. In fact, you will draw opportunities to you because people will sense how prepared you are.

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Two Challenges To Enhance Learning, Gratitude & Happiness …*

Two Challenges To Enhance Learning, Gratitude & Happiness ...*  | rethinked.org

 

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling drained by this interminable winter and I find myself on travel sites, more often than I care to admit, checking out airfare to warmer climes. Unfortunately a trip to a warm sandy beach is not really in my immediate future so I’m turning to the next best (also, free and local) thing: CHALLENGES. As a child, whenever I was bored or disengaged, I would ask my father for a “project”. Basically, he would give me a challenge, a set of guidelines and constraints, and I would go off and build or make something, thrilled with the task of navigating the constraints he gave me. These projects never failed to reinvigorate me so here are two challenges for March that I will be trying out. Join me?

– DRAW A PICTURE OF EVERYTHING YOU LEARN – 

The other night, I was having dinner with some friends and we were talking about the injustice of growing out of kindergarten and how great life was when 90% of our days revolved around arts and crafts (I told you, I’ve been feeling quite grumpy lately.) My friend remarked that back in those days, “you drew a picture of everything you learned,” and wondered why that ends once we graduate to middle school. Good question, why do we stop? Especially when we know what a tremendous thinking tool drawing can be. So for the next month, I will draw a picture of something that I have learned every day.

– #100HAPPYDAYS – 

The next challenge is something that I’ve noticed popping up all over my social media channels lately: #100HappyDays. The premise couldn’t be simpler, note the sources of joy and happiness in your day, every day for 100 days, and document these sparks of happy with a daily picture. Nothing like focusing one’s attention on the positive to experience increased gratitude (and its many social, emotional and cognitive benefits) and happiness.

Every day submit a picture of what made you happy! It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you did to a stranger. 

So first you register in the challenge, then choose your favorite platform for submitting pictures. Here you can decide yourself on the privacy of your participation and happy moments. 

  • Share your picture via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a public hashtag #100HappyDays; 
  • Come up with your own hashtag to share your pictures with to limit publicity. (Don’t forget to tell us how to find your pictures though)
  • Simply send your pictures to MYHAPPY(AT)100HAPPYDAYS.COM to avoid any publicity. 

People Successfully Completing the Challenge Claimed To: 

  • Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
  • Be in a better mood every day;
  • Start receiving more compliments from other people
  • Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
  • Become more optimistic;
  • Fall in love during the challenge. 

Sounds like exactly what I’m looking for! Who’s in?

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Maira Kalman on Her Buddhist Bowling Shoes, Curiosity > Knowledge, & How Love & Work Protect Us From Sadness & Loss …*

“To slow down time, that’s something that’s very important to me, and what I did was I bought this pair of shoes which are two sizes too big for me, in a thrift shop in England […] These bowling shoes are two sizes too big so when you wear them, you have to really be careful of what you’re doing and you have to walk quite slowly and quite carefully. So it forces you to be in the moment, so I call them my Buddhist Bowling Shoes.”  – Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman: What I Choose To Illustrate And Why via Ink Talks published February 6, 2014.

Infuse your day with wisdom from the great Maira Kalman. If you don’t have time to view the video yet, catch some highlights below.

think & rethink …* 

“You don’t really have to have knowledge, what you have to have is curiosity. So she [Kalman’s mother] was a woman who loved to read and who took me to the library when we came to the United States–to the opera, to concerts, to museums–all the time, but there was never a test. There was never having to prove yourself. And that kind of freedom–allowing you to absorb all that there is around you without ever having to perform–is an extraordinary level of confidence in somebody and self-confidence building and it’s a very hard thing to do–to step back and let your child just experience what they experience with all the mistakes that they make.”

“And basically the idea is that you really have to stop and look at everything–everything that arrests you, everything that delights you has to be noted.”

“What is important and what is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Which is the question that I ask myself at least a dozen times a day, if not every minute. But when you go outside yourself, of course, and you’re looking at what’s around you, it’s endlessly extraordinary.”

“That sense of humor, that lightness, that irresponsibility about not knowing what’s going to happen and kind of not caring is necessary.”

“The moral of the story is it’s not bad to be bored. And actually, boredom, and fear of boredom, is a great motivator. The sense that you allow yourself to get bored and then you get so frustrated you say, ‘Okay, now I really have to do something.'”

“The question that we ask ourselves is: “What protects you? what protects you in this world from sadness and from the loss of an ability to do something?” And for me, what protects me, of course, is work and love. And I think that those two things cover pretty much every single thing because who you love, what you love, and what you do with your time is really the only question that you have to answer.”

Hat Tip: Maira Kalman On Curiosity, Courage, Happiness, And The Two Keys To A Full Life, via Brain Pickings, published February 11, 2014.

{ Studio Schools } “They want to do things, they want to get their hands dirty, they want education to be for real.”

“We called it a studio school to go back to the original idea of a studio in the Renaissance where work and learning are integrated. You work by learning, and you learn by working.”

CREATE Framework | via http://www.studioschoolstrust.org/

The CREATE framework is grounded in a wide range of skills typologies and has been developed specifically for Studio Schools in order to equip young people with the key employability skills that they need to flourish in life.

 

In this short TED talk from July 2011, Geoff Mulgan introduces The Studio School, “a new concept in education, which seeks to address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the current education system provides.” The Studio Schools are based on a “simple idea about turning education on its head and putting the things which were marginal, things like working in teams, doing practical projects, and putting them right at the heart of learning, rather than on the edges.”

“We think we’re onto something. It’s not perfect yet, but we think this is one idea which can transform the lives of thousands, possibly millions, of teenagers who are really bored by schooling. It doesn’t animate them. […] They want to do things, they want to get their hands dirty, they want education to be for real.” 

Studio Schools, which operate in the UK exclusively, are based on seven key features:

  1. Academic Excellence ~ Like traditional schools, Studio Schools teach the National Curriculum and offer key academic and vocational qualifications. On leaving their Studio School, students will have the full range of progression routes available to them. They will have gained the qualifications, knowledge and skills to choose the option which is suitable to them: entering the jobs market from an advantageous position; starting an apprenticeship; or going on to further or higher education.
  2. Employability and Enterprise Skills ~ Key employability and life skills underpin all the activities at a Studio School through the unique CREATE skills framework. CREATE is comprised of a wide range of skills and stands for Communication, Relating to people, Enterprise, Applied skills, Thinking skills and Emotional intelligence. Four years in the making, CREATE is grounded in a wide range of skills typologies and has been developed specifically for Studio Schools in order to equip young people with the key skills that they need to flourish.
  3. Personalized Curriculum ~ all students are assigned a ‘personal coach’ who meets with them one-to-one every fortnight to develop their own personalized learning plan. This allows students to tailor their curriculum to their individual needs and aspirations, and track their progress towards their CREATE skills and qualifications. Personalization of the curriculum is further supported through a small school environment in which every young person is able to access the tailored support that they need.
  4. Practical Learning ~ Enquiry-based learning (EBL) lies at the heart of the Studio Schools’ curriculum model. In Studio Schools, students learn the National Curriculum principally through Enterprise Projects in their school, local businesses and surrounding community. To root students’ learning in the real world most projects involve external commissions. So whether it is a health report for their local hospital or a business brief for a local employer, students’ learning is authentic and actively involves them in local community life.
  5. Real Work ~ students spend a significant portion of their weekly time on real work placements. Students work as employees in local businesses and, crucially, students over sixteen earn a wage. Students in Year 10 and 11 participate in four hours work experience each week, and students in Year 12 and 13 spend two days per week in work. There is considerable evidence that this direct, ‘hands on’ experience better prepares young people for life and work.
  6. Small Schools ~ As small schools of around 300 students, Studio Schools offer a supportive, personalized learning environment in which strong pastoral care runs throughout the school’s activities. This helps to ensure that no young person gets lost within the institution and that young people are able to build strong relationships with their peers and coaches. Crucially, coaches know students well, making them better able to tailor the curriculum to their individual needs and aspirations.
  7. Students of All Abilities

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Speaking of studio schools, I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a deep critical thinker turned designer who shared some fascinating insight about her transition from ‘traditional’ classrooms to a studio-based learning environment. She noted that studio-based schools promote an enhanced sense of transparency and openness that is markedly absent from desks and rows types of schools. In the studio, everything one works on is out in the open, visible to all other pupils. Being a learner in this type of environment, requires one to adjust to a certain level of comfort with ‘failing’ publicly–when one’s process is laid bare for all to see, the inherent stumbles and mistakes of learning and growing can and will be witnessed by others. This typically is not the case in traditional classrooms, as pupils’ processes and mistakes are shielded and contained by their individual desks and notebooks. What really interested me, was this designer’s observation that whereas while she was in traditional types of schools the emphasis was on seeming as intelligent as possible, once she entered studio-based education, her focus shifted to learning how to embrace this transparency which was inherent to her new learning environment. This observation made me wonder about the link between learning environments and Carol Dweck‘s research on growth mindset. Can growth mindset be nurtured and communicated through spatial arrangements? Are pupils in studio-based learning environments more likely to adhere to a growth mindset than those whose process and learning practices are shielded by the boundaries of their desks and the neat rows in which these desks are arranged? I’d love to know what you think…*

Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School | via TED.Com, published September 2011.

 

Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org

 

READ

Beyond the Product: What We Should Be Teaching Young People ~ On asking questions & acting upon ideas…* via David Sengeh on LinkedIn, published March 26, 2013.

Empathy Equals Scary Vulnerability–And Is Totally Necessary For Success ~ via Fast Company, published March 22, 2013.

Don Norman on rethinking…* design thinking ~ via Core77, published March 19, 2013.

Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative ~ via BBC, published March 22, 2013.

Six Habits of Highly Empathic People ~ via Greater Good Science Center, published November 27, 2012.

Swedish Experimental Food Lab Erects Tiny Edible Cityscape ~ Atelier Food: exploring ways to rethink…* our food systems.  via Wired Design, published March 20, 2013

Here’s A Google Perk Any Company Can Imitate: Employee-To-Employee Learning ~ via Fast Company, published March 26, 2013

Why Organizations Are So Afraid to Simplify ~ Knowing when to stop is as important as starting. via Harvard Business Review, published March 20, 2013

WATCH

Richard Turere: My invention that made peace with lions ~ via TED, published March 2013.

Design Thinking — Maximizing Your Students’ Creative Talent: Co Barry at TEDxDenverTeachers ~ via TEDx, published March 22, 2013.

Socrates (In The Form Of A 9-Year-Old) Shows Up In A Suburban Backyard In Washington ~ via NPR, published March 27, 2013.

What if a 10-year-old designed a city? ~ via GreenBiz, published March 26, 2013.

LOOK

Federico Uribe Paints with Reused Electrical Cables ~ via This is Colossal, published March 20, 2013.

Self-Sufficient Green Dream Home is One With Surroundings ~ Isolée by Frank Tjepkema. via Dornob.

Time to Get Something On the Side: 30 Inspiring Passion Projects & Why You Should Have One ~ via FastCo.Create, published  March 20, 2013.

From Recycled Skateboards, Electric Guitars ~ via Design Taxi, published March 22, 2013.

Sculptures That Reveal The Hidden Beauty Of Regular StuffDaniel Eatock’s One + One series.  via FastCo.Design, published March 26, 2013.

EXPLORE

Big Thinkers on Education ~ via Edutopia.

A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources ~ via Open Education Database, published March 12, 2013.

Skillshare: Got an Art/Design Class You Want to Take… or Teach? ~ via Core77, published March 22, 2013.

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