Current sources of inspiration

Here are a few items that I'm either reading at the moment, or that I have recently read, and that are running around in my head.  In no specific order
Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code
The only way to get good at something is to practice.  Deep practice, ignition and sustained motivation are all needed to achieve greatness.  Deep practice involves attempting challenges just outside your comfort zone, slowing down if needed to truly understand what you're doing, and recognizing and correcting mistakes.
Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence
What is the neuroscience behind the social behavior? Social behavior is actually driven by physical/physiological structures and processes. They include "mirror" neurons (the root of vicarious living and emotional "contagion") and the high road/low road (perceiving the environment and "knowing" something at the gut level immediately, vs taking a second, rational look and reassessing our initial impression, validating or disputing the gut feeling).
Jane McGonigal, Gaming can make a better world
That one surprised me. At first, I thought it was a self-serving excuse for working in a frivolous field, but some of the points she makes are relevant for everyday actions. Through games, we learn behaviors that we can later apply in real life. What if we all lived as intensely as gamers game?
And here are few ideas that seem to be repeated across different texts, books, or presentations.
  • Start with the end in mind. That is, if you don't know where you want to go, how will you know which way to go, or when you get there?
  • The more you do something, the easier it gets. Whatever you do, it's a form of practice.  You get better at doing what you do most often.  This can also be phrased as "fake it till you make it", because as you fake it, you learn to do it.
  • Take some risk. If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll get the same results you always have (and if you get used to working outside your comfort zone, you expand it).
  • We live in a wold of abundance.  Very rarely does one person having something prevent anyone else from having one, too.
  • Evolution.  What we feel, what we desire, what we enjoy, we feel, desire and enjoy because in the past, it provided an evolutionary advantage to feel, desire and enjoy those things.  An example of this is "saving for later";  this way, our ancestors had something to eat in winter when there was nothing to harvest, but today, that can translate into acquiring stuff just because it feels good (retail therapy), and even into hoarding.