SPEED BUMP Dave Coverly Teach Yourself To Learn Creative minds are always learning. Brain coach Jim Kwik, who has worked with millionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, among others, shared four of his top learning tips on the Make It website: • Get rid of your ANTs. ANTs are automatic negative thoughts telling you that you can’t learn something new. You’re too old, you’re not smart enough, it’ll be too hard, and so forth. Teach yourself to talk back to your ANTs. If you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t learn that,” tell yourself, “Yes, I can learn that.” Expand your mind to fit what’s possible, Kwik says. • Feed your brain. The food you eat can help your brain stay fit and flexible. Avocados, for example, provide monosaturated fat, which can maintain a health blood flow. Blueberries can help protect your brain from oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in your body, and reduce the effects of brain aging. • Read a lot. Reading promotes learning. Expose yourself to different ideas by reading a wide variety of books and articles. Set a goal—just 10 minutes a day for a start, then increase that. Billionaire Warren Buffett is said to read 500 pages every day. • Stop multitasking. Multitasking is a myth. Task-switching is more accurate: you might believe you’re doing two-to-three things at once, but you’re actually switching between tasks. Task-switching takes more time, is less productive, and causes more errors. Every time you switch tasks, you need to regain focus and flow—which takes anywhere from five-to-20 minutes. How To Create Happiness At Work You spend lots of time at work—even if you’re working from home these days— so it makes sense to be happy there. Boss Magazine has some tips for increasing your happiness on the job: • Build strong bonds with co-workers. In an office setting, you spend more time with your colleagues than with your family. Even when you’re distant, you still depend on them for assistance and support. Get to know them as people. Thank them and praise them for their help. Celebrate their successes. Talk about stuff other than work. You’ll create relationships that will make work feel more like play. • Know your role and responsibilities. We feel stress when we’re uncertain about what we’re supposed to do. Be sure you know exactly what you’re responsible for— now more than ever. Who do you report to? Who depends on your work? How are your results being measured? The more you know, the better you can concentrate on doing your job. • Set goals for yourself. It can be very motivational and satisfying to achieve goals, even small ones. Challenge yourself to hit a self-imposed deadline, learn a new skill, or ace an important project. When you accomplish each goal, spend some time savoring the experience. Then get started on a new objective. • Find a sense of purpose. You work to get paid, of course, but that’s not very fulfilling. Look beyond your paycheck to establish your purpose. You’re helping customers achieve their goals, making the world a better place, bringing positive change to your community— these statements can fill your work with a sense of purpose that will increase your happiness and contentment. “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.” —Stephen Hawking Preparing For a Fresh Start Switching to a new career can seem like a daunting task. Here’s some advice from the Inverse website on establishing a new career: • Audit yourself. Conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Look at your core competencies and zero in on skills that you can transfer to a new role. Consider going back to school or completing online courses to fill in your gaps. • Look for meaningful work. Identify the kind of work you find fulfilling and satisfying. Look for work that will provide opportunities you don’t have in your current role. Figure out what you enjoy doing so you can seek work that fits both your personal and professional needs. • Become an expert in the industry. Pick a subject that matches your skills and educate yourself. Read up on the industry, its leaders, its opportunities, and its challenges. Because you’re starting out fresh, this is your chance to define yourself and show your passion for change.