for anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. that's pretty much all the info u need.
— Amy Krouse Rosenthal (@missamykr) March 15, 2013
Category: Managing oneself
Discernment: paying attention to what you pay attention to
I hope the irony is not lost on you that after years of living in a foreign land under the tutelage of a stranger whose language you’ve had to learn, your words of wisdom for us are: “you can find everything you need inside of you.”
U.S. workers did not share in the growth of the economy of the last forty years
According to a recent study ((https://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WRA516-1.html)), unlike the growth patterns in the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of full-time workers did not share in the economic growth of the last forty years.
Had the income distributions of the three decades following World War II (1945 through 1974) held steady in the following four decades, the aggregate annual income of Americans earning below the 90th percentile would have been $2.5 trillion higher in the year 2018 alone. That is an amount equal to nearly 12 percent of GDP—enough to more than double median income—enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year.
The median income for all adults with nonzero income was $42,000 in 1975 and it grew to $50,000 by 2018. Had income for this percentile grown as the same pace as the economy, it would have reached $92,000. In other words, their income growth captured only 17% of the growth that occurred in the whole economy.
A lesson from jazz legend Miles Davis
Loose improvisation is integral to jazz, but we all know Miles Davis as a very exacting character. He could be mean, demanding, abrasive, cranky, hypercritical, and we might conclude, given these personal qualities, and the consistent excellence of his playing, that he was a perfectionist who couldn’t tolerate screw ups. [Herbie] Hancock gives us a very different impression, telling the tale of a “hot night” in Stuttgart, when the music was “tight, it was powerful, it was innovative, and fun.”
Making what anyone would reasonably call a mistake in the middle of one of Davis’ solos—hitting a noticeably wrong chord—Hancock reacted as most of us would, with dismay. “Miles paused for a second,” he says, “and then he played some notes that made my chord right… Miles was able to turn something that was wrong into something that was right.” Still, Hancock was so upset, he couldn’t play for about a minute, paralyzed by his own ideas about “right” and “wrong” notes.
[Says Hancock:] What I realize now is that Miles didn’t hear it as a mistake. He heard it as something that happened. As an event. And so that was part of the reality of what was happening at that moment. And he dealt with it…. Since he didn’t hear it as a mistake, he thought it was his responsibility to find something that fit.
Hancock drew a musical lesson from the moment, yes, and he also drew a larger life lesson about growth, which requires, he says, “a mind that’s open enough… to be able to experience situations as they are and turn them into medicine… take whatever situation you have and make something constructive happen with it.”
What matters, Davis is quoted as saying, is how we respond to what’s happening around us: “When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that you play that determines if it’s good or bad.” Or, as he put it more simply and non-dualistically, “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”
Source: Open Culture
Athlete and scholar rejects identity crisis
Dedicated to students on athletic scholarships and their teachers.
Myron Rolle, a Florida State defensive back, deferred his National Football League ambition to pursue a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University, the makings of a nice story. It isn’t THE story.
That Rolle long ago recognized he isn’t defined by athletics, that he refused to allow a jersey or helmet to constrain self-awareness and personal esteem is what should really be saluted.
Rolle is an athlete, yes. A really good one. But there’s more than playing playmaker. Like being a son who recognizes that his parents sacrificed greatly when they left family in the Bahamas so the kids could have better. Like being the youngest of five brothers who credits his success to their friendship and guidance. Like being an academic and humanitarian. Like working to fulfill his goal of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.
For Rolle, whom scouts project as a top 50 draft pick, good enough to make him a millionaire, football isn’t first on the to-do list. Never has been, which is remarkable when you consider that so many athletes let themselves be defined by the games they play.
Update 201221: I am re-reading this 10+ years after and I can’t help but think about the Super Bowl winner -a medical doctor- who chose to opt out of the football season to care for his patients in times of covid-19. Respect.
Survey: Money not meaningful
About 62 percent of small-business employees think pay is better at larger companies (and 72 percent think benefits are better), but they stay at their jobs anyway, according to the survey of 474 employees at both large and small firms.
Small-company workers cite a better working environment as a reason to forgo a higher salary elsewhere.
Small companies have benefits that provide “meaningful value to employees,” says Jeffrey Blue, director of marketing for Salary.com. About 46 percent of those surveyed called work-life balance the biggest perk. Thirty-four percent cited loyalty to justify staying with a smaller company, while about 30 percent mentioned relationships with their boss or coworkers. Plus, small-business employees thought they had a better chance of getting ahead and eventually boosting their salary. (USNews.com)
Tom Peters on the brand called you
Tom Peters in his usual enthusiasm:
Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here’s what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc.
From a classic article from 1997 that Seth Godin has picked up here.