Fun Friday Links: Mental Toughness, The LeBron Effect, and Living with Presence

Filed Under Mindjet

Arwen Heredia

August 1, 2014

Welcome to Conspire’s Fun Friday Links, a weekly collection of interesting discoveries from around the Web. Most of the time, the goal is to get you thinking differently about innovation, collaboration, business culture, and life in general. Other times, we may toss an infographic or fun video your way. Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

7 Habits of People With Remarkable Mental Toughness

It doesn’t always seem like the smartest people in the world are the most successful. But, despite the frustration many may feel over the prosperity of the less-than-intelligent, the fact remains that plenty of people with extraordinary mental capabilities do pretty well for themselves — so it makes sense to see how they do it. From Inc.:

The definition of grit almost perfectly describes qualities every successful person possesses, because mental toughness builds the foundations for long-term success.

For example, successful people are great at delaying gratification. Successful people are great at withstanding temptation. Successful people are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. (Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t scared–that does mean they’re brave. Big difference.) Successful people don’t just prioritize. They consistently keep doing what they have decided is most important.

All those qualities require mental strength and toughness–so it’s no coincidence those are some of the qualities of remarkably successful people.”

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The LeBron Effect: Why Narrative Matters To Regional Innovation

Unless this is your first foray into the internet universe, you’ve probably at least heard of LeBron James. And, it’s pretty likely you know what he does, too. But what’s that really have to do with regional innovation?

According to Rebecca O. Bagley, quite a lot. She argues that the current LeBron debacle that’s currently infiltrating headlines everywhere is an excellent example of how narrative — the way a business, region, or industry presents itself to the world through both actions and storytelling — can completely shape its global perception. From Forbes:

“Imagine how much harder it would be for a business to encourage its employees to be innovative, if these employees didn’t think their company could change; how much harder it would be, if these employees were told by others their company wasn’t going anywhere.

Narrative matters. It’s true for businesses and it’s true for regions. Think of places like Boston or Silicon Valley. Talented people who have never been there want to work there. Why? Because there are opportunities and resources. But also because people keep telling exciting stories about these places.

Boston and Silicon Valley have narratives of innovation. They are regions that thrive on positive, innovative cultures built on open exchanges of ideas and an attitude that anything is possible.”

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An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence

If there’s one thing the collective “business” employee population knows, it’s how incredibly easy it is to slip into worries about past mistakes and future projects, and completely forget about what’s happening right now. But that’s nothing short of detrimental, and a conscious effort to be present can do wonders for both your productivity and your sanity. From Brainpickings:

“The working inhabitants of a modern city are people who live inside a machine to be batted around by its wheels. They spend their days in activities which largely boil down to counting and measuring, living in a world of rationalized abstraction which has little relation to or harmony with the great biological rhythms and processes. As a matter of fact, mental activities of this kind can now be done far more efficiently by machines than by men — so much so that in a not too distant future the human brain may be an obsolete mechanism for logical calculation. Already the human computer is widely displaced by mechanical and electrical computers of far greater speed and efficiency. If, then, man’s principal asset and value is his brain and his ability to calculate, he will become an unsaleable commodity in an era when the mechanical operation of reasoning can be done more effectively by machines.”

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