Friday Kin – 2012-08-31

Summer lethargy is a common ‘complaint’ in Japan from July to September.


However, although daytime temperatures regularly reach the mid-30s (95 F) in humid Tokyo, cooler autumnal winds usually arrive in the next two or three weeks – punctuated by a number of typhoons.

And so, with cerebral ‘refreshment in mind’,  this edition of the ‘Friday Kin’ series presents three posts to get you ‘up and thinking’ as 2012 enters the last quarter.


The Other Motivator

After a quirky start, (“…England’s inbred elites” had me raising a precautionary eyebrow), the writer weaves a fine opinion piece on what really drives people to ‘succeed’ at life, sports, career and even at playing ping-pong. (Paddle jockey” raised the other eyebrow but read on, there are some pearls waiting to be served.)

Does talent win out over practice in the making of a sporting champion? This question has been covered by a number of bestselling books and two of these are referenced here. I have my own views on a sporting champion’s ability mix which can be summed up as: “You can’t put in what nature left out.” And by “put in”, I’m not referring to banned substances!

Well, what about achieving career and business success? How is that to be encouraged?

If interest was flagging by this point, then for readers of an IT newsletter, here was the main course.

The usual motivational suspects were trotted out but then the author comes to a surprising conclusion… one that I noticed in how the Olympic medal-winning Japanese gymnastics, table-tennis and women’s football teams behaved during the ceremonies and in television interviews.

And is also on display here at school sports festivals, in the office when celebrating a new customer win; in fact anywhere members of groups with shared interests are ‘gathered’ together.

Can you connect the dots …?

How 60 Minutes a Week Can Electrify Your Job

Daniel Pink offers a tasty morsel on how the people of a business can come together and make things happen. Notice I said “people” – not just employees or managers.I’ve met a few managers like Ms. Shefner in my career but alas, they’ve definitely been in the minority.

21 Ways To Crush Your Procrastination

Craig Jarrow’s put together a decent list-style post on zapping the procrastination pig.
Any of these could be turned into habitual behavior – although I’d probably give #16 a miss!

If you got something useful from these posts, please show the authors some appreciation by commenting on and sharing their work.

Friday Kin – 2012-04-06

After a brief three year gap, here’s the latest ‘Friday Kin‘ – the gold, silver and bronze of blog posts I’ve been inspired by recently.

This week’s kin is themed around ‘follow through’ – and why many people don’t or can’t.


 Your Problem Isn’t Motivation

Peter Bregman’s post appeared in January’s Harvard Business Review blog and is a good introduction to a subject I’ve discussed here a number of times – that of motivation and follow through.

His key point is summarized well in this quote:

Motivation is in the mind; follow-through is in the practice. Motivation is conceptual; follow-through is practical.

In fact, the solution to a motivation problem is the exact opposite of the solution to a follow through problem. The mind is essential to motivation. But with follow through, it’s the mind that gets in the way.

Peter’s solution to “the mind that gets in the way” is simple and practical, and well worth the 60 seconds spent reading it.


 How to Make a New Year’s Non-Resolution

I’ve been following Daniel Pink’s writings for a while and in this post he features Dr. Kelly McGonigal’s new book, ‘The Willpower Instinct‘.

I think that willpower alone is definitely overrated as a change-enabler and I’ve have written about tools that can help people with follow through.

So, what’s a ‘non-resolution’?

Think of it as a way of paying attention to the consequences of NOT doing something. Curious? It’s a short post – imagine what you might miss by not reading it.


 Dangerous Mind Games

Derek tackles the thorny topic of ‘failure’ and how the perception of mistakes and errors can have devastating consequences on the likely success rate of our own dreams and goals.

A short, punchy read.

Well, that’s it for this edition of ‘Friday kin’.

If you enjoyed any of these three posts, please tweet, stumble or like, so that others may discover them.

– Mark Mcclure