Keep Learning and Helping — for Yourself and Others (Productive Flourishing Pulse #459)
What GATES did you gain and put to use this year?
In our December Planning Tips post, our tips for doing something “purposeful and aligned” reminded Maghan, our resident thread-connector, of another post she’d recently found from the early days of PF: “Keep Learning and Helping: Let Go of Regret.”
In that video post, I talked about how to:
accept where you are today on your growth journey,
not regret how you couldn’t help others before, and
keep learning to improve how you can help others in the future.
In the video, I posed two questions related to this concept. As you’re planning for your end-of-year reflection — you are doing one, right? — you can use these questions to think about your learning/service in the year behind you and the year ahead. And I’ve added some supplemental questions to help you dig a little deeper.
What can you do today to help people that you couldn’t do in the past?
What new GATES (Genius, Affinities, Talents, Expertise, Strengths) have you gained/developed over the past year that you didn’t have in 2022? How did you gain them?
Which of your GATES were you able to use in a new way this year? How did you use them to help others?
Why those GATES in particular?
How do you want to be able to help people in the future that you can’t do today?
In what ways do you want to make a positive contribution to people a year from now that’s beyond your current capabilities?
What GATES do you want to/need to gain in 2024 to facilitate those positive contributions you want to make?
What GATES do you want to leverage more in service to others?
How will you pursue obtaining or leveraging those GATES?
Were there GATES from this year you’re particularly proud of learning/applying in service to others or yourself? Please share in the comments.
Other News & Features
For additional questions to fuel your end-of-year review, get our annual reflection exercise — coming soon as part of a paid subscription.
Are you needing a retreat from winter and a retreat to chart the next phase of your life, career, or business? Join us on the beach in the Dominican Republic for our next Level Up Retreat.
Reads and Seeds
This section is for great reads I’ve found over the last week and post seeds that I may or may not get around to finishing.
To answer some people’s questions about this: yes, the “Reads and Seeds” section is much more representative of my reading range and thread-connecting than my posts here or on. I’d like to spend more time turning the reads and seeds into essays and articles next year as I have more TEA to do so. More paying subscribers = more TEA for writing.
I love the concept of “semantic nadir” from’s “Stop Trying to Make a Good Social Media Site”: “No design of social media can get rid of what I like to call the ‘semantic nadir,’ which is what you’ll inevitably experience if your tweet ever goes viral, wherein eventually someone will take your tweet in literally the worst possible way.” In the atmosphere of cancel culture and outrage we live in, it’s the semantic nadir more than trolls that lots of people are scared of.
- ’s post “Our Unspoken Future” shares Dr. Iain McGilchrist’s idea that “the modern world is neurologically imbalanced towards the brain’s left hemisphere. This makes us excessively competitive and paranoid. As he [McGilchrist] notes: ‘the right hemisphere is engaged in social bonding and empathy, the left hemisphere in social rivalry and self-regard.’” And that idea reminds me of the thrust of Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind, where he argued that we need to balance both left- and right-brain thinking to thrive in the new creative economy. BOTH/AND > EITHER/OR.
- writes: “People are misinformed, adjusting to a new economy, and they are sad. I think that there is a lack of inspiration at many levels because there is a lack of leadership at really high levels.” That reconciles the wondering I’ve had about the disconnect between the data and people’s sentiment. For instance, so much of the suffering that came from the last tech winter1 was based on how a relatively small amount of people felt about how things might go relative to how they went, even though corporate profits were up and the economy is and was improving. Partisanship and disenfranchisement means we don’t trust political leaders, journalists get more clicks by scaring us and making us anxious, and it’s a lot of work to focus through the noise.