Week One – Canvas Week One and Two

Empathy is difficult. It is also crucial to the progress of both science and society. It demands that we make a deliberate and consistent effort to step out of our familiar frames of reference. Only then can we synthesize different perspectives, observations, and experiences — the very act at the heart of creativity, which will be essential to solving the increasingly complex problems that beset our world.
When I first read this I thought that dark matter was going to relate to something in our everyday lives. The things we do not know everything about, like race or dark matter, we end up being afraid to learn and talk about. I think that it is important to always open the mind to all sorts of topics.
The “HOW”
I think this article talks about how we can see the world. We always need to be learning. I think that we have to learn about different topics because at the end of the day things are connected. It is naive of us to think that everyone known about life from humans are the only things that are to be understood. We need to know that there is so much that we do not know, and we need to understand we can be a little uncomfortable with that. That is because being uncomfortable helps us evolve.
The “WHY”
For the why, I think we read this because we need to see how things are connected. It showed like in chapter two that different things can spurt different inspirations. It is important to keep on learning about what we do not know about. I also think that we need to learn about one another because then we would be more aware of perspectives, unstead of being scared like what we think dark matter is.
It was interesting because he mentioned that some people think they do things because they feel it in their heart or soul, but he says that is a biological decision. If something links in our brain that we believe in it, then we do it for ourselves. It then becomes a chain reaction, and you will have people want to be a part of what you want. You will also have people that will be loyal to you. The example I liked is the one about Martin Luther King Jr, and it helped because it was someone we all know. Sinek talked about how Dr. King believed in his cause, and he had the gift to make other people believe in his issue also. The individual then makes it their own, and they ended up showing up to the talk for themselves because they believed that is what their America should be. For the most part, we all end up wanting the same thing, but the way we go about it is the great divider.

The “HOW”

Simon Sinek does this by showing visuals and graphics of his examples. He used the “Golden Circle” method where there are three circles. The biggest circles show the “what” of a situation. All companies know to show what they want to sell to you. The circle in that “what” circle is the “how” circle, which shows that only some companies know how they will sell the product. The smallest circle in both of the other circles represents “why” companies make the products they do.

Personally, the “how” in being an innovator and taking a chance is very hard for me. My parents are immigrants, and they work hard to make sure I am happy and stable. I do feel like it is my responsibility to choose a job that will help me succeed, but if I want to be a politician it is quite a gamble. My purpose to become a politician is to genuinely see what my perspective of being a woman of color and living in a community of diversity can thrive. I know many people say that politics is corrupt, and there is no use to being a politician. But it will be like that if no one tries. I need to find my “why” of changing the world. The sky is the limit as the Orville Brothers demonstrated. I want to learn and help all kinds of people, so I hope people will learn and help me.

The “WHY”

I think the purpose of watching this Ted Talk is to have a background on all the other articles we are going to read and watch. Simon talks about how companies like Apple have successful sales because they make us believe in the “why” of their product. He explains that we need to find the motivation and inspiring message that helps connect a person to your company. Simon Sinek says “people do not buy what you do, but why you do it.”

Overall, I think it talks about how we need to find the “why” in what we do in order for other people to believe in what we do. That is important to be a leader. It is important to know that firsthand, instead of trying to go out of order with the method he talks about. I need to find my “why” with the obligated classes I take and the issues I believe in. I want to become a politician one day, so I know essentially I need to sell myself. There is one way to do it by showing my stances and being a picture perfect politician. I think though if I am not passionate about what I am doing, then I cannot convince people to believe in me. It is about being genuine and passion to get you where you need to go!


The “HOW”
“Reading makes you smarter through “a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills.” Reading — whether Wikipedia, Michael Lewis, or Aristotle — is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information.”
Something that they recommended to do is join a reading group, vary your reading, apply your reading to your work, and encourage others. Doing these things can really impact our lives. It is important to be reading. It is important to learn about things we do not know about. Also with technology, we can read in multiple places. It makes it a lot easier to have a wealth of information right at our grasp. I think we can even do something as little as downloading a news app on our phone.
The “WHY”
 But deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.
I think we read this article because of finding perspective in reading books again. I remember when I was younger that I loved reading books. It made me feel so good, I want to get back to that. I like using self-motivation to help me do the things I need to do.

The “HOW”

There are the different ways to be a smart learner. One of the tips is that “smart learners question the question”. Sometimes our yearning for learning more is stunted when we are younger. I think of times when little kids keeping asking “why?” over and over again. Most of the time they are told to stop asking those questions during class to not stop the lessons. This is when they just go to the class, and the student becomes complicit. I think my college classes I have been able to do this more, but when is the line drawn. I know that there are people that play devil’s advocate, but sometimes there are times when the professor does not want that kind of conversation. I think the “how: can sometimes be difficult. A question I have is “how can we properly question the questions without seeming rude?”

One thing that I do that smart learners do is “focus on the micro while keeping the macro in mind”. I like to think of the big picture a lot, and so I think that helps me become a smart learner. I like to take a step back most of the time, and that helps me be better at my work. Another thing I like to do is “surround myself with smarter people”. I like to think that the talks and discussions I go to will help me gain more perspectives. It is important to always train your mind to listen and discuss with other people to make good decisions. I always think if the world was just a world full of me’s, then we would not have the things we have today. It was because of people building off of each other to create the civilization we have now. Who knows if the wheel would have been invented if the world was a bunch of Alyssas?!? The last thing I will use to be a smart learner is to “listen intently”. I would like the same done to me if I wanted to give valuable information, so I need to do that with other people. I need to work on this. Sometimes when I am listening to people I need to talk out loud what I heard to make sure I understood. Sometimes that messes up the thinking the other person had. I need to allow the other person to speak, so I am able to fully learn from them.

The “WHY”

Jeff Boss talks about what things smart learners do. I think we reading this article because there is always a “why” we can ask about things that we do. We do not always have to just do the status quo. I think it is important to learn more than just what is required. We will never really learn until we think about the undiscovered. It is up to us how much we want to get out of an education. It is our responsibility to be smart learners not only for ourselves but for other people. We all need to work together and to do that we need to learn about each other.


You are Not Special

The “HOW”

He portrayed his message in such an understandable and likable way. He gives statistics. In reality, over 3.2 million other students graduate from high school the same year you did. There are even over 37,000 valedictorians. He really put things into perspective. Essentially McCullough tells us that we are not the center of the universe, which is how we are taught to feel.

He tells us the things we can do. He first talks about how we know very little when we graduate high school, and it is bad to think we know everything. He says it is important to read because we owe it to ourselves to keep on learning. In that way, we will able to be the best version of ourselves. He says “to read all the time for self-respect”. He also talks about to love what you do, and believe in its importance. There is one thing to be good at things, but there is also an important part of being passionate about what you do.

I think being in the moment is so important to do. In the world of social media, it is so hard to do things without doing fun things without posting about it and thinking about how it will look like in the pictures and videos we make. I do not use social media as much, so I have been able to avoid that. What I do need to do is to not look at other people’s lives so much. I need to just live my life. The other way to be at the moment is to be selfless. I do need to let other people know how much I care about them enough, so I need to presently tell people how much I appreciate them! I would want that done to me, so I need to do it for others. That is a way we can make people feel special. Not for the accolades, but because we appreciate them in our life.

The “WHY”

David McCullough Jr gave a commencement speech about telling his high schoolers “you are not Special”. I actually read the book for this before this class, and it honestly made me feel much better about myself. I think we watched this because it gave us a perspective on what our motives should be in life. One of the biggest insecurities people have is not being good enough, and they do that by comparing themselves to other people. America has such a mentality that there can only be one great person, so we create that environment. In order to be worth something, we need to be special. We need to differentiate ourselves in order to then feel better about ourselves. It then creates a dangerous path, and happiness becomes second in deciding what to do with our lives.

Can we also note he made a joke about Donald Trump way before the time a joke like that would be so relevant?!?


“For leadership to exist, a leader must cross paths with a crisis; an exemplary person must meet her “sinister mate.”
This quote seems so ominous to me. I think this shows that people do not have a smooth journey at all. I think we have to face our feelings inside of ourselves. That means facing the things we usually ignore. The “sinister mate” is there to test us, but it also there to help us practice with future obstacles to come. I think it is important to note that sometimes the “sinister mate” may mean an outside source, but it also means our internal selves. Once we come to terms with a “sinister mate” we can take on anything.
If we live in a world of crisis,” she continues, “we also live in a world that romanticizes crisis—that finds in it fodder for an addiction to the twenty-four-hour news cycle, multiple information streams, and constant stimulation.”
I thought this was interesting because a lot of people want to know what is going on in the world. I do not think people want to see the horrors of crisis, but we are also prone to clicking the articles and videos that showcase these dramas. I personally think it is so overwhelming to see crisis every day. It can suck so much energy out of you. In a way, this can be like for a person who owns their own business or is leading a group of people. I feel like a boss you do not get a break. There are more problems than happy announcements to make. I think it can be so overwhelming. It is important to see a good balance between the crisis and solutions.
The “HOW”
Although Jobs had considerable charisma, his real edge was his thoughtful involvement in every step of an unusually expansive leadership process. In an almost quantitative sense, he simply led more than others did.
The “how” of this article is that you have to come to terms with how you are as a person. Steve Jobs had shortcomings to his leadership from consistently yelling at people to missing plenty of meetings. I think that essentially at first it was a rough road for him. He did not really appreciate the people on his staff, and he did not have good communication with the people on his team. By the end, he realized that the problems happening day-to-day can be resolved by knowing that he needs other people to get it done.
The “WHY”
I think it is important to know that leaders are unique, and so everyone has their own “sinister mate”. That means we each have to go through our own journey on how we find out what our strengths are. It also helps us see what we can improve on. It allows us to be the best we can be. I know I have to do more soul-searching to find what I can do and what I can improve on.

Zappos

The “HOW”
So instead of having jobs,  in iHolacracy people have roles. Each role belongs to a circle rather than a department, and circles are guided not by managers but by lead links. Circles overlap, and individuals hold many different roles.
Zappos has such an interesting aspect of the way they lead their people. It has a combination of a commune where people are all mostly equal, and the way they work together is through living the same lifestyle. It was cool to see the little things they do to make the space quirky. The decorations and gadgets in their offices make space more of them, and it allows for more creativity. Obviously, at first, it was going to be really scary to completely change the leadership and hierarchy of the company. Here they have roles instead of having jobs. It equalizes the playing field between employees, and it allows for a more collaborative environment.
The “WHY”
 “We do not pursue recognition, success, wealth, and belonging to live a good life,” Laloux explains. “We pursue a life well-lived, and the consequence might just be recognition, success, wealth, and love.”
This is a good example of finding the motivation in what we do. They have a common goal to live a good life, and with that will come with things like success, wealth, and recognition. It is important to have your team have the same aspirations and goals to achieve a goal. They may not be for the same reasons, but everyone needs to be on the same page. This is what Steve Jobs has mentioned in his memoirs that he did not just want the money and successful products. He wanted good products that he could be proud of and have a team knowing they did the best that they can. I need to find that kind of passion and motivation in my life to pursue.

The “HOW”
This speech was from Bryan Stevenson who talked about the system of injustice in America. He was a lawyer to help people who are on death row. He realized that he was able to better his job with one thing; proximity. Proximity is there to break down barriers. Proximity allows the ability to talk about these issues. I know that getting to know people I do not have something in common with at first, and proximity will allow us to find a commonality. He mentioned that there is a separation that society does to make it us vs. them. For example, he talked about how children are seen as different if they come from a broken home. It seems that they cannot be fixed because we are not like them. I think that I need to go more out of my way to just meet different kinds of people, so it is not a us vs/ them mentality. We should all be on the same page.
The “WHY”
“We can change the world… it is necessary to do things that are uncomfortable”
Sometimes we feel helpless, but we can together change the status of how people are living. We have to question what is supposed to be the norm. At the end of the day we are all broken people. We cannot think we are better or worse than other people. With that, we have to at the end of the day to be uncomfortable. If I want to be in public service, then I need to meet all kinds of people. That means I need to see what is out there, and that is important in being a good person and good leader.

Thanks, everyone!

-Alyssa Macaranas


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