As I transition this last year of teaching psychology courses at Carroll, I am reflecting on what lessons I have learned which will ease my transition out of academe. In particular, today I am reflecting on habits: how they are formed, maintained, strengthened, weakened, and suppressed. I am finding helpful several books recommended by some LinkedIn individuals I “follow:”
Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Nir Eyal’s Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (I also find his podcast and newsletter of value) and
Scott Sonenshein’s Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – and Achieve More than You Ever Imagined.
Among the habits I envision changing or developing are the following:
Reading (Though I shall continue my reading of literature, I now am finding much pleasure in reading lengthy thought pieces in, for example, The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker.)
Time Management (I shall not miss the day long series of meetings I have today!)
Self-identity and Self-understanding
Frameworks for understanding (e.g. how should one view the aging process)
Writing. I am interested in writing longer pieces and publishing them in venues like The Conversation or Medium or self-publishing a number of books.
Last night I took the time to wander and wonder outside our North Lake home with my camera taking pictures of the super moon. The evening not only was beautiful but the act of having to focus and refocus my camera helped develop in me thoughts about the importance of focus and refocus in my life. Reflection and refocusing in one’s life for me is not only good but imperative.
I’m sitting at my desk for the moment between the time of administering two exams. How best should I use this “free” time? Too often I use the time to start yet another project. Instead this time I am reflecting. I also am trying to dictate this blog piece using my Nuance Dragon Professional software. It surely has improved in terms of its accuracy and ease of use, and it is far past time for me to learn how to use it to my advantage.
Still, it has its limitations (or perhaps I still need to learn better its features).
“Hours longer we to bury was.” That gibberish was what the software produced when I attempted to quote something I read in Latin almost 50 years ago: “ars longa, vita brevis.” Art is long; life is short.
I had forgotten that the passage was originally attributed to Hippocrates. I embrace his more complete quotation:
“Life is short,and art long,opportunity fleeting,experimentations perilous,and judgement difficult.”
So much to learn; so little time. So much beauty to discover and to appreciate.
So many perilous experimentations to be risked in order to live more fully. So many difficult judgments to make. So many difficult conversations needed. Yet, I continue to believe that I have been blessed by being given the opportunity to teach and to learn continuously.
I have a goal of reducing the 37-years of accumulated office clutter by pulling together all the institutional research have done the past 37 years (thank you former research assistants) and combining it with present data collection processes. however, I am amused and annoyed to discover how technology sometimes makes data acquisition more difficult.
Right now two of my student research assistants are helping me pull together a blog piece dedicated to the Carroll alumni I have known as students across the past 37 years. Take a peak at a work in progress.
Let me know if you’d like a picture of you from year’s gone by. I’ll trade you for one of me OR of you today.
Too many apps. I am on a decluttering mission. I am especially interested in keeping (cross-platform and cross browser) software that enhances my capabilities for writing, screencasting, and facilitating global communication.
First I shall revisit each application and attempt to answer these questions:
Why it is on my machine? Was it pre-installed? Perhaps it was very favorably reviewed? Am I keeping it because of nostalgia? Have I forgotten that it is there? How often have I used it? Updated it?
What needs or research interests did it address at the time I installed it? Do these needs or interests still exist? Are these needs likely to continue over the remaining years of my teaching?
How well does does the application address these needs compared to other applications that I have since “collected”?
Is it likely to work with the new Mac “Yosmite” operating system?