1) Your mind-set makes you smarter: Carol Dweck, the Stanford psychologist, has identified two mind-sets that shape, well, our minds. There’s the fixed mind-set, in which you think your thinking abilities can’t change. Then there’s the growth mind-set, in which your thinking abilities can be developed.
"These beliefs matter," Paul observes, "because they influence how we think about our own abilities, how we perceive the world around us, and how we act when faced with a challenge or with adversity."
The question, then, is how to own our development—which is a matter of deliberate practice.
2) Your concentration makes you smarter: If we consider intelligence to be our ability to solve complex tasks, then we need to appreciate how to deal with complexity—namely, with sustained focus, since that’s the only way we can load difficult problems into our heads.
One way to have more energy at work? Eat smarter. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet—as in, you survive on bagels and coffee, like Ms. Hepburn above—then you’re inviting the low-energy grump into your life. As Lifehacker writer Jason Fitzpatrick notes:
A diet comprised mainly of carbohydrates… . is a recipe for a constant cycle of blood-sugar highs, lows, and the accompanying feelings of exhaustion that go with them. If carbohydrates are the kindling of your metabolism, protein is the slow burning old-growth wood that keeps you going.
"There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that."
—Ernest Hemingway, who got up insanely early and knew the benefits of a standing desk.
It’s Friday! Make it a good one by making note of how you carry yourself today. Why? Because, as a growing body of research is finding, the way you hold your body shapes the way your mood will hold you. In other words, your posture predicts your feelings—and your work.
"Smiling is so effective because it may reduce the body’s stress response when you’re in a brief period of stress, regardless of whether you’re happy or not.”
“If you already have advice to give, you’re not listening. If you already know how this story turns out, you’re not listening…And if you already have your counterattack planned, you’re not listening…make sure that really listening is your only agenda item at that moment if you want to build trust, develop relationships, solve problems, create collaboration, and demonstrate your leadership.”
“Always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.”