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  • Contribution

In this video, Lee Brower retells “The Whipping Cream Story” and the lesson that it only takes a little bit of sweetness to change moods, attitudes, and emotional states from negative to positive.  He suggests that, as was the case for this story, these lessons may not be apparent in the moment but rather are the result of memories, reflection, and the eventual understanding of what actually occurred.

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  • Core

(I'd like to thank Empowered Wealth Ambassador Craig Adamson from Marion, IA, for bringing this podcast to my attention).

This interview with Gail Miller touches on many elements of Gratitude, True Wealth, and Leadership. In telling the stories of the many decisions and actions taken by her late husband Larry Miller, of her sons who now are active in the family businesses, and of her own initiative to keep the Utah Jazz as a permanent part of the community in Utah, Gail Miller shares glimpses of an extraordinary life of happiness, fulfillment, and meaning.

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The Jonah Keri Podcast #93: Gail Miller | Nerdist
Jonah Keri jazzes it up with Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller about building an empire from nothing with her late husband Larry; changes in Salt Lake City; how to succeed in business; philanthropy; redefining her life after Larry’s death; The Jazz Way; Coach Jerry Sloan; addressing diversity in a city like Salt Lake; player retention; rebuilding; creating a legacy trust to keep the Jazz in Utah in perpetuity; public financing of stadiums and arenas; e…

  • Core

I recently completed the book "How We Learn" by Benedict Carey, a science writer for the New York Times. Carey synthesizes the research on learning to develop what amount to "tips" on how to improve our learning. Many of his findings "show that some of what we've been taught to think of as our worst enemies – laziness, ignorance, distraction – can also work in our favor." That's the interesting, counter-intuitive conclusion that I draw from this book.

Among the ideas I found most surprising are:

1. Varying the environment improves learning. This so-called "context effect" not only means studying in various locations as opposed to a single designated study space, it also means altering the time of day, the medium (i.e., computer, book, discussion, etc.), even the music you listen to while studying;

2. Spaced learning – that is intervals between studying sessions, including interruptions – leads to greater long term retention than cramming or intensive study;

3. "Retrieval practice" (i.e., testing) is important, especially if it reveals ignorance of the subject matter. Research indicates that early testing sets the stage for greater learning. It also supports the notion that "you don't really know a topic until you have to teach it";

4. Distraction plays a critical part in problem solving because it allows for the mind, especially the subconscious mind, to work on the "incubation" of ideas. There's a time to focus and concentrate but there's also a time in the learning process for not focusing and for distractions to be considered an acceptable part of the process;

5. Interruptions trigger the "Zeigarnik effect" which states that people remember incomplete or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.

Carey also writes about "perceptual learning modules" and the effects of sleep on learning, topics that are explored in more detail by other writers and researchers. Taken as a whole, this book suggests modifications to teaching and training programs such as Empowered Wealth's that would challenge conventional educational and training practices.

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  • Contribution

This article adds an important distinction, the self-protective giver, to Adam Grant's work described in his book "Give and Take". This is consistent with our ideas about how to "Go B.I.G." (begin in gratitude); that is, start with self-respect, kindness and courtesy towards yourself.

Also, embedded in this article is a short summary entitled "7 Habits of Highly Productive Giving", which I found as useful as anything else in this article. the 7 Habits are:

1. Prioritize the help requests that come your way — say yes when it matters most and no when you need to.
2. Give in ways that play to your interests and strengths to preserve your energy and provide greater value.
3. Distribute the giving load more evenly — refer requests to others when you don’t have the time or skills, and be careful not to reinforce gender biases about who helps and how.
4. Secure your oxygen mask first — you’ll help others more effectively if you don’t neglect your own needs.
5. Amplify your impact by looking for ways to help multiple people with a single act of generosity.
6. Chunk your giving into dedicated days or blocks of time rather than sprinkling it throughout the week. You’ll be more effective — and more focused.
7. Learn to spot takers, and steer clear of them. They’re a drain on your energy, not to mention a performance hazard. 

Since "Generosity" is a vital part of our tool "The Levels of Gratitude" and an important skill that we train and develop in our work, Grant and Rebele's ideas add to our working knowledge of how to make Gratitude part of our character and thereby influence those around us in increasingly more positive ways.

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Beat Generosity Burnout
Selflessness at work leads to exhaustion — and often hurts the very people you want to help. Here’s how to share your time and expertise more effectively.