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April 2019
One of the main reasons people fall short of their potential is they care more about looking good than getting better. Excellence is the product of high aspirations and low ego.

Here are my favorite recent reads on achieving aspirations and overcoming obstacles...
1. Why You Procrastinate
Procrastination isn’t laziness. It’s avoiding a task that seemes unpleasant. To interrupt that pattern, focus less on the dread of starting the task today—and more on the joy of finishing it tomorrow.

2. How Parents are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood
Snowplow parents prepare the road for kids. Responsible parents prepare kids for the road. Resilience is built not by eliminating struggle, but by normalizing it. Teach kids to see obstacles as temporary hurdles.

3. Making Jokes During a Presentation Helps Men But Hurts Women
When men make self-deprecating jokes, they’re seen as more capable leaders. When women do it, they’re judged as less capable.
Reminder: if a woman pokes fun at herself, it’s not a sign of incompetence. It’s a sign of humility and wit.

From My Desk:


4. Productivity Isn't About Time Management. It's About Attention Management
Most productivity struggles stem not from a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Worry about getting things done, and you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to work. Focus on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments, and you'll find that intrinsic motivation pulls you into your work.

5. Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up
The question encourages them to define themselves in terms of work. Instead, ask them about all the different things they want to do—and who they want to be.
You can aspire to be a person of integrity and generosity in any career.

On my WorkLife podcast, our latest episodes have focused on the office without a**holes, the perils of following your career passion, and networking for people who hate networking. Coming up this week: how to remember anything. Listen here.

Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Organizational psychologist at Wharton, author of ORIGINALS, GIVE AND TAKE, and OPTION B, and host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast
Copyright © 2019 The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, All rights reserved.

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