Josh Waitzkin on The Art of Learning

I first heard of Josh Waitzkin after he was an interview subject on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. I listened to the 2nd ever Tim Ferriss show about 12 months ago and more recently heard the second podcast with Josh.

Today I’m listening to Tim and Sebastian Junger speaking and Josh is mentioned again. Tonight, I decided to listen/watch more about Josh, and came across this interview with him. My highlights are:

  • We see teachers who try to fit students into a cookie cutter mould…a teacher knows how to create someone in his own image and try to fit the student into the mould, good for himself and bad for the student
  • A student would do much better to have a teacher who was open to bringing out that students natural shine, their natural strengths
  • We need to be true to our natural strengths and be aware of our natural talents
  • An artist needs to be unobstructed as possible the way the express themselves.

One of the more interesting, endearing moments, however comes just after a question is asked about the movie The Search for Bobby Fischer (the story is about Josh’s chess career) where Josh breaks into laughter about something off-camera, and breaks into smiling and laughter, at a time I felt the conversation was about to get deep and serious.

Other points of note re: learning (specifically related to transitioning from Chess into Tai Chi):

  • Be wide open to every last bit of information; hold no ego about being wrong
  • You need to want to be moulded
  • Changing your perceptual patterns at will (in relation to understanding time moves at different speeds)

As always, the challenge is adopting these principles into our own lives and coming up with a way to embed them in our lives.

Simon Sinek on Authentic Leadership

Today I heard one of the best, most closest-to-me podcasts that I think I have ever heard. Simon Sinek was a guest on The Ziglar Show (Inspiring True Performance), speaking about how to actually, authentically lead.

Part way through the podcast I began really tuning in and absorbing the content to the detriment of what I was currently doing – akin to getting into a flow state listening to the discussion and the message being shared). I recommend you take a listen to the podcast, and let me know your thoughts on whether this had the same impact on you that it had on me.

Some of the key points I took away:

  • Leadership is not a rank or position. Leadership is a decision and a choice. It has nothing to do with your position in the organization. If you look after others, you have become a leader. “We call you a leader because you have the strength and confidence to go first into the danger, first toward the unknown, and we will follow”A great way to explain leadership. I also like to think of it as someone (yes, it can be a subordinate or individual) can take on a leadership role without being asked and without seeking recompense in some way.
  • He admitted to ‘cheating’, and only talking about things he cares about and things he understands. There are so many people out there who think they need to be someone they are not in order to build credibility, a fan base, an audience or even to feel ‘popular’. Being true to yourself is a key element to being trustworthy and being authentic!
  • If you want a work environment where you feel safe and supported, and you love your work, you must find or create a work community that fosters this.
  • Command and control is short term and will not last; those that last are those who are in service to others
  • If you are only a spiritual leader; you gotta learn how to function; if you don’t have that capacity yourself, you need to learn how to trust people; If you’re just a functional leader, you need to learn that spiritual stuff or no-one will trust you. It’s about balance, it’s about both functional and spiritual.

I can’t do this podcast justice with my words, but have attempted to share with you what I took away from the podcast. Have a listen and tell me what you took away from this!

Film score

I listened to the Jason Silva interview today whilst commuting, and a couple of things jumped out at me that I’d not thought of before – how powerful the musical score is from a movie.

I’d come home determined to watch Inception tonight (one of Jason Silva’s favourite movies), however could not find it on Netflix – but chanced upon a documentary instead called A Faster Horse (about the Ford Mustang). I decided to watch it as it’s been launched in Australia recently, and being a closet car-nut (closet as in I secretly read up on cars and dream about owing many of them but cannot extend the love into reality), I watched.

The one thing that seemed to have pervaded the story, as well as my subconscious was the music that accompanied the show. I’ve not noticed the score in many movies in the past but because it was something I’d come across recently from the podcast, I was obviously primed enough to notice it.

Listening to great people like Jason Silva (and partaking in watching a few episodes of Brain Games recently), is a great way to learn more about the world, as well as learning more about yourself. I highly recommend the podcast series to you.

Getting better in 2015

I’m looking for ways to better myself and others in 2015.

2014 was such a difficult year as I focused so much on work (as there was a lot to do) and had little time for other things.  It;’s not who I am so in 2015 I am getting back into the way

I want this year to be different.
I need this year to be different.

I’ve gotten back into my blood/plasma donations but need some help and ideas on what else to do in 2015.

Giot any ideas? let me know!

A Short Course in Human Relations

I saw this from one of my Facebook friends this morning and had to share!

The six most important words:
I admit that I was wrong.

The five most important words:
You did a great job.

The four most important words:
What do you think?

The three most important words:
Could you please. . .

The two most important words:
Thank you.

The most important word:
We.

The least important word:
I.

What do people really want?

“It’s freedom. I’m going to do what I want to do, how I want to do it, on my own schedule. What people also want to be respected for is their wisdom, for their power, for their coolness, for their influence, for their experience.”

—  Dr. Ken Dychtwald

The above is an interesting, succinct answer to the question in the title: “What do people really want” It resonated with me and some of the goals I sought to achieve when starting the project (and throughout the journey so far). Many people believe money will make them happy, but money can be a burden. The saying goes “those who have little give most“.

I’ve advocated that living a life that is in service to others and to make the world a better place in whatever way you can. Sure, we can see death, destruction and travesty if we choose to look for it, but in even the most desperate human survival stories there have been stories of courage, faith, hope and wonderment. Money won’t help you attain any of those.

My question to you (as we’re all individuals): “What do YOU really want?” Be personal, it can be different to everyone else because only you can be the best you out there.