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I work, therefore I am
The news
Don’t let what you don’t know hurt you. People are worried about their health and their livelihoods. To avoid uncertainty and the anxiety that accompanies it, many of us try to reduce the perceived risks we face. But philosophers throughout history—including, notably, the Stoics of ancient Greece, who believed “[c]hange what you can, accept what you cannot” —have thought the better course is to increase our tolerance for uncertainty. [Atlantic]
Happiness isn’t everything. In fact, constant serenity can be boring. A life that is “psychologically rich”—interesting, varied, and surprising—can be better for some people, even if it’s sometimes painful and unpleasant. About 10 to 15% of people across cultures said they would choose a psychologically rich life over a happy or meaningful one. After all, the cracks are “how the light gets in,” to paraphrase the late songwriter Leonard Cohen. [WSJ]
The rules of engagement. A new book called Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time traces human activity from early hunter-gatherers through the development of agriculture, industry, and the service sector. What’s driven our progress? The desire to seek out stimulation and engagement—and avoid boredom—during our waking hours. But the more progress we’ve made, argues the author, the more boring some jobs have become. [Economist]
Learning itself is a skill, and developing it is a critical driver of long-term career success.
Our insights
Why it matters. The World Economic Forum recently declared a reskilling emergency as the world faces more than one billion jobs transformed by technology. The world of stable lifetime employment is now fully in the rearview mirror, replaced by the expectation that both executives and employees must continually refresh their skills. The pandemic has only heightened the urgency of skill building, either to keep up with the speed of transformations now under way or to manage the particulars of working in new ways.
Reskilling for life. The key to staying relevant in a changing world is to become an “intentional learner.” This involves adopting a fresh mindset: believing that you’re able to grow, evolve, and change, and also cultivating your curiosity. After that, it’s important to practice these five skills.
— Edited by Mike Borruso
Always learn
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