Supplement the learning environment with resources

“Seligman’s PERMA+ Model Explained: A Theory of Wellbeing”

Originally posted in our June 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. As we enter the Summer months, many of us reflect on the year so far and take time to be with family and friends. This period can be an opportunity for growth, recovery, and rejuvenation. With this in mind, we wanted to focus on a few tools that can improve our well-being; whether that is hearing a time of rest or during our day-to-day lives. We’ll…

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“How a ‘beginners’ mindset’ can help you learn anything”

Originally posted in our May 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. Keeping the theme set by John Kay’s talk on obliquity, we turn to an article from the BBC about the beginner’s mindset. The work of Tom Vanderbilt is outlined in the article, showing ways that adults can re-commit to learning and the importance of learning many things. Learning from our mistakes, varying our practice, and sharing our new knowledge with others are ways to improve…

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“A Path to the Minimum Viable Product”

Originally posted in our May 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. Thinking about obliquity in more practical terms, we could understand the concept of achieving a complex and dynamic goal by finding the smaller, more achievable goals that make up the whole. When we think about entrepreneurial ventures, we talk about minimally viable products (MVP), which are, in a way, a simplification of a more complex mission. In a guest blog for Steve Blank, investor Shawn…

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“Obliquity: How Complex Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly”

Originally posted in our May 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. In his TEDx talk from 2012, economist John Kay unpacks the concept of obliquity. That is, “our complex goals are often best achieved indirectly.” Kay provides a variety of examples, from geography and rocket science to architecture and philosophy, that show how sometimes the most effective route towards a goal is one that appears indirect. As he says, “defining what our objectives are is actually…

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“The problem with stories about teacher ‘burnout’”

As we discussed with the term languishing, when we focus on a particular profession, teaching, we see a fraught and reductive phrase bandied around: burnout. Teacher burnout is a topic which many think pieces, studies, and keynotes have tried to address. ‘Teachers need to learn to relax,’ they might say, with some relaxation techniques included. But how are we ignoring what’s really going on with teachers that “describe themselves as frustrated, exhausted, and disappointed by their…

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“How People Learn To Become Resilient”

Whether we discuss psychology, business, entrepreneurship, education, or society in general, resilience has become a hot-button issue. But, what do we mean by it, and how can we develop it in others? In this comprehensive New Yorker article, we see a thorough breakdown of the research and conceptions around resiliency. From the research of Norman Garmezy, we learned that situational factors play a huge role, but there are also dispositional variables to consider in an…

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“I’m Not Languishing, I’m Dormant”

Adam Grant, popular author, psychologist, and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, published a recent piece concept of languishing. A term coined by Corey Keyes, languishing is defined as the place between what psychologists have defined as depression and flourishing. But, author Austin Kleon has a bone to pick with this concept. In his recent blog post, Kleon breaks it down in impactful and straightforward terms. When we define the world…

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“Self-efficacy”

“Perceived self-efficacy is defined as people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self-efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, motivate themselves, and behave. Such beliefs produce these diverse effects through four major processes. They include cognitive, motivational, affective and selection processes.” This paper breaks down the above and further explores the following concepts: Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs Efficacy-Mediated Processes Adaptive Benefits of…

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The Ultimate List of Customer Development Questions

Written by Mike Fishbein, founder of Startup College and author of How to Build an Awesome Professional Network, this post is a comprehensive list of customer development questions. It provides a great rundown of how to prepare for customer interviews.  

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