Hobbyist Academia #11
Engage and Interact
I have a survey for you to take. First, a bit of background: I’m a Resident of the House of Beautiful Business, a platform/community/think tank out of Lisbon and Berlin that’s aiming to make humans more human and business more beautiful. A group of us that met during Resident Circles and House Work programming have spun off into Beautiful Work Lives, a global collective of professionals conducting research on the ingredients of a beautiful work life.
We gathered data with our first survey last summer, and distilled our findings into seven core ingredients or values that contribute to a beautiful work life: agency, awareness & realization, belonging, security & safety, organizational structure, meaning & purpose, and aliveness.
This year, we’re developing a workshop and continuing our research with another survey. We put a lot of thought into the survey respondent experience, and it’s a really interesting exercise in self-reflection about your work life and work structures.
It takes about 15 minutes and we’d love as many perspectives as possible. Take the survey here and please share it far and wide!
I listened to Leon Kass on this episode of The Ezra Klein Show while out on a long walk. Ezra was on parental leave for this episode, so it was guest hosted by David Brooks. It’s a conversation about what it means to live a meaningful life.
One of these days I’ll finish one of these books. Today is not that day. Today I just carried Still Life from my nightstand to the living room to the roof deck back to the couch, never quite managing to open it. The next chapter is about walking, which I’m actually really excited to read.
In shorter form, I’m reading lots of email newsletters. Meanwhile by Daniel Benneworth-Gray is about art and design. The format is a quick hit of links that can easily turn into rabbit holes.
Rahaf Harfoush’s newsletter shares what she calls dispatches from the digital frontier. Rahaf is a speaker, author, and professor exploring the intersection of technology, innovation, and digital culture. She’s also the Executive Director of Red Thread, a decentralized think tank collaborating on special projects.
The May 8th issue of Peak Performance by Justin Mulvaney, entitled “Life is for Living,” is an incredibly elegant explanation of what’s wrong with American hustle culture. It doesn’t go after the hustle by claiming that work is not valuable, but rather it contextualizes it within a richer way of viewing life. This connects nicely to the May 24th issue of Raptitude, “How to Get the Magic Back”. It’s by living life on what he calls art gallery mode, and the whole concept reminds me of my middle school biology teacher telling us not to lose our sense of wonder.
Nat Eliason has closed his chapter writing the “Monday Medley” and turns instead to “Infinite Play,” his new project in which he writes about what most energizes him. He’s taking the writing part of it more seriously, and choosing depth and quality over SEO and website traffic. This is the kind of work we want to support on the Internet; it’s the digital equivalent of buying local in your community and supporting small businesses.
On a lighter note, I’ve been enjoying The Sunday Digest on Sundays. It’s part of Sunday Scaries, which has a podcast too. Beyond just the content, there’s something comforting about everyone just talking about and acknowledging the shared human experience that is the Sunday Scaries.
Priya Parker wrote about invitations in her latest newsletter issue. It’s a really cool case study in how a thoughtfully designed invitation experience can be the lead-in to a gathering that can shift the culture of a community.
Save This For Later
My latest additions to the To Read list are less centered around one theme or topic. I must have been hanging out in a bunch of different corners of the Internet.
As a side note, one of the little things I love about non-fiction is that the book titles are basically self explanatory.
The Art of Enough: 7 Ways to Build a Balanced Life and a Flourishing World by Becky Hall
No Red Lights: Reflections on Life, 50 Years in Venture Capital, and Never Driving Alone by Alan J. Patricof
A More Loving World: How to Increase Compassion, Kindness and Joy from The School of Life
The School of Life is everything, both metaphorically and literally. Part organization, part company, part philosophy, part action. You’ll find content on themes of self-knowledge, relationships, work, calm, leisure & culture, and sociability. They’re based in London, with half a dozen other global locations. Sadly, we do not yet have one in the United States.
Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind by Andy Dunn
Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows
Fixed: How to Perfect the Fine Art of Problem Solving by Amy E. Herman
The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink
Daniel Pink curates a non-fiction subscription book club called The Next Big Idea Club with Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, and Susan Cain.
If you enjoyed this, check out The Collection on my website.