Summary of “Is Execution Where Good Strategies Go to Die?”

So what determines whether execution brings life or death to your strategy? It’s not what you think.
In my work analyzing the thinking styles of leaders in organizations, I’ve found that strategy is usually developed by people who have a big-picture orientation, while execution is often done by those with a detail orientation.
The third gap between strategy and execution is in the narrative around the strategy.
Too often, salespeople aren’t involved marketing conversations about messaging and sales enablement strategies.
The fourth gap between strategy and execution is in measurement and metrics.
How many experiments are you able to run per week or even per day? How well are you connecting the various forms of capital across your business? How rapidly is your ecosystem growing? How easily can people share data across the enterprise? These are much better indicators of whether you are truly aligning strategy and execution for digital disruption.
Execution doesn’t have to be the place good strategies go to die.
As you are developing your strategy, take into account the thinking styles and mental models of the people who will be responsible for its execution.

The orginal article.

Summary of “30 Behaviors That Will Make You Unstoppable”

Unlike most people, who are dependent on substances or other external factors, you are in control of what you put in your body, how you spend your time and how long you stay in the zone.
Although 70 percent of US employees hate their jobs and only one in three Americans report being happy, relentless and unstoppable people purge everything from their life they hate.
Surround yourself with people who remind you of the future, not the past.
Surrounding yourself with people who you want to be like allows you a fresh slate.
For most people, behaviorally-focused goals are the better and more motivating option.
As Dan Sullivan has said, “10X thinking automatically takes you ‘outside the box’ of your present obstacles and limitations.” It pulls you out of the problems most people are dealing with and opens you to an entirely new field of possibilities.
Recovering from my work generally consists of writing in my journal, listening to music, spending time with my wife and kids, preparing and eating delicious food, or serving other people.
They wait until they feel “Secure.” Not people who are unstoppable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Deeply Intelligent People Don’t Try to Think Themselves Out of Unhappiness”

His masterful ability maintain a laser-like focus on evolving goals-the thing that makes him successful-also is the mechanism that prevents his happiness.
Genuine happiness emerges when you stop creating your own unhappiness.
By the time you started avoiding uncomfortable emotions by trying to think your way out of them, the plan was already set in motion.
To discover happiness means that you need to get out of your own way.
You need to recognize that your thinking-your search for a solution to your pain, your seeking of external happiness, and your contemplation of all things outside of the present moment-creates unhappiness.
These clouds fill with rain the more that you think through your emotional discomfort, the more that you remove yourself from the here-and-now, the more that you dilute your experience of now with thoughts of then.
To work through unhappiness, George first had to reduce his habits of unhappiness.
Admitting what you don’t know, embracing the present moment, and simply witnessing life’s journey as it unfolds is not only the highest form of intelligence-it’s how you discover real happiness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Secret to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Overnight Success”

This month, the novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen was awarded one of the most prestigious honors a writer can receive: the MacArthur “Genius” grant, given to artists, thinkers, and public intellectuals whose ideas have culture-altering potential.
In this interview, he opens up about a period of his life that’s been mostly overlooked: the two decades he spent trying, and mostly failing, to write fiction, working in secret while he juggled a host of other responsibilities.
Joe Fassler: Your public life as a novelist has really only been about two years long - but I’ve read in interviews that writing fiction was important to you for many years before that.
Viet Thanh Nguyen: I started writing fiction semi-seriously when I was in college.
There’s something about writing that, to me, is much more exhausting than office work, for example, or academic work, which I can do eight hours a day or more.
Writing is only partially about the external rewards of publishing a book - even only partially about the external manifestation of the book itself.
If it’s coming out of that deep need, then the sacrifice will be worth it - because, I think, through the act of writing, you learn something about yourself.
The whole idea about spirituality being necessary as a way of disciplining yourself, and separating yourself from the world of tempting vanities that is so tempting: I think that applies to writing as well.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Guide to Finding Happiness: Dan Buettner’s ‘Blue Zones'”

Happiness is an active process, not something you get by sitting back and waiting.
So what’s the right way to think about effort and happiness? Should I be trying for “Happiness” per se-or something more magnanimous, like purpose or meaning?
Dan Buettner: Right away there’s a problem because, academically speaking, happiness is a meaningless term.
We’ve run pieces in the past that touch on, for example, Viktor Frankl and others who have said that life is really about pursuing meaning, and if you pursue happiness as we Americans tend to think about it, you end up going to amusement parks and shopping malls and trying to do things that are supposed to be making you happy but are sucking life out of you.
Even though you can’t measure happiness, you can measure life satisfaction, partly by asking people, and partly by discrete questions about how much you smile or laugh or feel joy.
Hamblin: Kind of like the lazy person’s approach to happiness? Or maybe just the thinking person’s approach?
So that’s yet another way we can think about our environment shaping our happiness.
Who you hang out with has a huge impact on your happiness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 6 Ways Business Leaders Talk About Sustainability”

The message for business leaders, as for social change agents: To change our frames is to change the way we perceive, prioritize and invest time, effort and money.
My colleagues and I see at least six main frames at work in the sustainable business space.
The focus of people using a resources frame to understand sustainability is often on waste reduction and technological innovation.
Time is fundamental to all sustainability frames, with capitalism seen as myopic at a moment when key challenges demand much longer time frames.
Challenges of this frame: Successful business leaders must evolve a much more expansive view of time, no easy task.
Turn the moral spotlight on other frames, and it is clear that the Moral Frame encompasses them all.
Challenges of this frame: At a time when some MBA courses still treat business ethics as a sort of sheep-dip treatment for students, an elective, be careful not to sound moralistic or missionary.
In summary, a key skill for all of us driving change is to recognize the frames shaping other people’s worldviews and priorities-and, equally important, to understand and evolve our own frames.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Falsification Mindset: How to Change Your Own Mind”

In the middle of the 20th century, philosopher and professor Karl Popper found himself mystified by the beliefs and methods of the otherwise intelligent and rational people around him.
Whatever seems to contradict it is tossed aside or somehow contorted to fit our beliefs.
If we find evidence that seems to contradict our beliefs, we should be stopping to see if perhaps we need to abandon or modify our belief.
As a way to cure this ill of self-confirming theories and belief systems, he came up with what is now called falsificationism: the idea that a theory or belief system can only be scientific if it clearly lays out what specific evidence would prove it wrong.
Putting the falsification mindset into actionThe falsifiability mindset is all about thinking through the implications of beliefs, judgments, and decisions.
My personal falsification storyOne of my strongest-held beliefs was that in order to be professionally fulfilled, I needed to be a professor of philosophy.
For any belief you have, ask what it would take for you to change your mind.
Just ask yourself how you could be proven wrong - about any old belief you have.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Life-Changing Questions to Ask Yourself Today”

Happiness, life satisfaction and the daily habits of the most successful people are topics which researchers love to study.
Think about what’s not perfect in your world, whether it’s a self-destructive habit, burdensome debt, loneliness or anything else.
Plus, researchers have found that performing acts of kindness make people feel happier.
You can’t be present and your best self if you’re constantly asking yourself questions such as: Did they think that I was smart? Did they think that I was successful? Did they think what I said was stupid? In truth, you can never really know what someone else thinks of you.
Instead of worrying about it, be your most confident self and concentrate on what you want to communicate, ask good questions and look people in the eyes.
Her friend-who had a fantastic day in spite of her one hairy leg-proved that the people who have the most fun are comfortable in their own skin.
Take some inspiration from J.K. Rowling, who said “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Think about the people you miss the most on this planet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You Think With the World, Not Just Your Brain”

Among philosophers, biologists, and cognitive scientists, this nightmare is an exciting new field of study, known as embodied or extended cognition: broadly, the theory that what we think of as brain processes can take place outside of the brain.
The octopus has a bizarre and miraculous mind, sometimes inside its brain, sometimes extending beyond it in sucker-tipped trails.
Neurons are spread throughout its body; the creature has more of them in its arms than in its brain itself.
The body codes how the brain works, more than the brain controls the body.
The way in which the brain approaches the task of walking is already coded by the physical layout of the body-and as such, wouldn’t it make sense to think of the body as being part of our decision-making apparatus? The mind is not simply the brain, as a generation of biological reductionists, clearing out the old wreckage of what had once been the soul, once insisted.
Isn’t the phone, now, part of the physical structure of the brain?
Extended cognition promises to rip up the idea of a mind that lives only in the furrows of the brain, but it doesn’t always follow through.
The list will still do its work if you are dead. If we can accept that a grocery list is in some way thinking, is the part of the mental apparatus that remains lodged in the human brain really so central? The thought-capacity of objects is indifferent to whichever bit of brain is plugged into it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Artificial Intelligence: Douglas Hofstadter on why AI is far from intelligent”

Since winning a Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction for his 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Hofstadter, 72, has been quietly thinking about thinking, and how we might get computers to do it.
In the early days of AI research in 1950s and 60s, the goal was to create computers that think and learn the way humans do, by remodeling our ability to intuitively understand the world around us.
Thinking turned out to be more complicated than something that could fit in a 1950s computer program.
What did eventually yield results was giving up on thinking altogether, focusing computers instead on highly specific tasks and giving them vast amounts of relevant data-resulting in the AI boom we see today.
Through all of these shifts in AI, Hofstadter, a professor of cognitive science and comparative literature at Indiana University, has been trying to understand how thinking works.
Douglas Hofstadter: When I think about translation I think about creating a text in a second language that is equally good as the text was in the original language.
QZ: Do you think it’s possible for a computer to do literary or elegant translation at the level of a human without this kind of thinking?
DH: If you ask me in principle if it’s possible for a computing hardware to do something like thinking, I would say absolutely it’s possible.

The orginal article.