Four things you may have missed this month.

Once a month, I curate the best links I've come across that make me think, laugh or have inspired me. Here is the July list:

1. Last month comedian Kathy Griffin posted a very disturbing image. If you didn't follow the story read about it here. I am sure Griffin didn't expect the harsh reaction she received from just about everyone. Mitch Joel wrote this post and although he doesn't mention Griffin I think he has some good things to say about being offended. Read: In Defense of Being Deeply Offended by Mitch Joel. 

2. I'm inspired by a book of fairy tales written by refugee children. The author's worked with children in refugee camps on this collective creation. Read the article about it here.  If you love children's books this would be a good one to add to your shelf!

3. I'm obsessed with this commercial. I don't drink Gatorade but I think they managed to capture their message extremely well in this ad. I can't imagine how they will top it!

You can read more about the commercial here 

4. I've been travelling in Ireland, England and The Netherlands for the past few weeks. I feel very proud to be Canadian. I can't believe it's been 17 years since this commercial came out. It still holds up pretty well. Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

 

I am still getting over jet lag today and it will take me a few days to get back into the swing of things. I've been doing a lot of thinking and I'm looking forward to getting back into work. I want to help people live truthfully so that we can heal our world. I've got space available for one on one coaching in July. If you would like to explore how to move forward in any area of your life email me here.

 

If a tree falls in the forest...

I know I am not alone in my love/hate relationship with social media. If Instagram was a person our relationship would be in trouble. 

I have a friend who isn't on any social media. Before you make any assumptions let me tell you she is a 35 year old woman who has made a conscious choice. For those of us who spend more time than we want to admit online I want to share some thoughts to help you start to rethink your relationship with social media. I don't think social media is evil. I do think, it is highly addictive and we need to be smart about how we use it. 

But first, I want to address why I don't think you should take a break. I hear a lot of people say or post, "I'm taking a month off social media"  Or "I'm giving up facebook for Lent."  The last one is usually posted on facebook - thank you for letting us know how pious you are. I view this approach akin to admitting you have a problem in your relationship but instead of exploring how to fix it you are going to avoid it. Instead of taking a break how about establishing some criteria and thinking about your social media habit?

Social Media is about image. I love Paul Jarvis recent blog post recently on curated images. Read it here. Why do we post things? Often it is because we want to impress other people. We want them to look at our perfect latte, our Kinfolk inspired picnic or our happy family and think good things about our life. I know. I am as guilty of this as the next person! Sure we may tell ourselves that we are sharing with our friends. All 2500 of them. Before you post something try asking yourself, "Why am I posting this picture/comment/update?"
 


Social media is driven by consumerism. In exchange for the use of these online platforms we offer our personal lives up to the advertisers who can the target us in their campaigns. According to Investopedia, "The crux of Facebook's source of revenue is digital advertisements. The company reported advertising revenue of $7.9 billion last quarter." 

Social media is sucking up our time. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming, according to research done by Social Media Today.  The full article can be found here

I recommend reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. He gives a reasoned and thoughtful approach to Social media. He suggests,“Identifying what matters most in your life, and then attempting to assess the impacts of various tools on these factors, doesn’t reduce to a simple formula—this task requires practice and experimentation.”

I'm considering some of my social media use. I have been thinking about this for several months. I have made some good decisions and I know I will continue to refine my use over the next few months.

I want to help people live truthfully so that we can heal our world. Let's get honest about our social media addictions and the impact it is having on our relationships and mental health. If you would like coaching around social media or any other barrier you have that is keeping you from living your life connect with me. 

Sandy

How do you learn anything?

I have been pondering this question after a recent conversation with a primary school teacher who is upgrading her credentials so that she can work with children who have learning disabilities. We had a lengthy conversation about systems and cycles of poverty and how important it is for parents to advocate for their children. I was recalling my own two children and how the school system was tricky for both of them but for completely different reasons. I think many of their challenges came from not fitting in a system that has been designed to accommodate a certain type of child and learner. 

A few months ago someone asked me "How do you learn?" We were talking more about my recognition that I had reached a point of completion (for now) with all the unlearning I have had to do in a specific area of my life. In this current season my focus has shifted to constructing rather than deconstructing. I like to frame it as a time when I am moving towards something instead of moving away from limiting beliefs. He asked me, “so how do you learn?”  It is a good question to ask someone who considers herself a learning catalyst! I’ve thought about how people learn and change for most of my career. 

Here are some suggestions to help you answer this question:

1. Forget Learning styles - I still hear many people say, “I am a visual learner” or “I am auditory learner”.  New research has debunked those old ways of thinking (now referred to as neuromyths).  Read this article for more. Or just do some reading on learning styles.

2. Reflect on how you learn. Think about something you have learned recently. How do you know you learned it? How do you define learning? Do you learn different things in different ways? For example - if you were asked to cook something you had never made before how would you go about it?  What if you were asked to do something that required more complexity?  How do you approach it? A good example would be how do you answer the question, “how do you learn?” 

Why is this important? It is important if you want to change and grow in your life or if you want to experience transformation. Understanding how you learn or at the very least becoming aware that learning is much more complex than you may have considered, can help you set realistic expectations and begin to create the conditions that are conducive to transformational change in your life.

I love Sir Ken Robinson on education. Here's a video that I recently watched. Let's not confuse education and learning though!