Smatterings: Preview, Anti-aging Hacks, Career-building, Being Your Best

anti-aging, personal development, networking“Smatterings” is a new weekly column here at My Pleasant Places that comments on a selection of my favorite and/or most-informative or inspiring articles read on the web during the past week. It’s a nice way to pass on to my readers good posts/articles that have helped me in some way and also an opportunity to “put in my two bits” on a given subject.


Before jumping into my Smatterings from this week, I will give you a little preview into some of the other posts I am working on (“working on” may be nothing more than “thinking about it” at this time). Why? you may ask. So you will know that I am, indeed, working on posts. I am not posting as frequently as I would like, but that is because I am developing the skill to build informative, good-quality posts rather than just trying to get a post online. Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to do both: post informative, quality posts frequently. Until then, I will just post about posting quality posts. 🙂

The next post that you will see on here is about planning the perfect vacation. I know; it doesn’t sound all that riveting, but I think you will find it to be inspiring. And contrary to what you may initially think, it is actually coming out at the perfect time of year. You’ll have to wait to find out why that is true.

I am also incubating (aka “thinking about”) posts on planning one big project a week, journaling for solutions, incremental change (baby steps), creating a reading list, the power of introspection, etc. And I will soon be introducing another new weekly column called “The Living Word” (unless I come up with a better title). Do any of these sound particularly “inviting” to you? If so, weigh in with a comment, and I may work on your interest first.

I would welcome any other suggestions you may have for me to write about. These might come in the form of a question regarding previous posts that I have written, or based on what you read here at My Pleasant Places, you may have a suggestion that you think would fit right in to my genre, my style of writing. I would so appreciate your input.

And now, on to a smattering of the good reading I have enjoyed this past week.

7 Ultimate Anti-aging ExercisesPrevention

This brief little post was packed with information. I read these kinds of posts (and even entire books) regularly, and after a while, they start to sound like different ways of saying of the same things. But not this article! I learned several juicy little nuggets I had never heard before. From how to stand when doing squats (and, by the way, men and women should stand differently) to how to incorporate both sides of the brain when exercising, this article is full of good information.

One of the most encouraging tidbits was in regards to genetics. The heading is: “Hack Your Genetics.” The point is that there are things you can do to overcome your heredity (to an extent, of course).

…26 weeks of resistance training reverses the aging process at the genetic level, research shows. “You can actually train your tissues to behave the way they did when you were younger…”


How to Make Your Life Better by Sending Five Simple EmailsBarking Up the Wrong Tree

I am such a sucker for titles like this. Really? I can make my life better by sending five emails? I’m in!

This article delivered. Under five headings—Happiness, Job, Growth, Friendship, Career—the author makes a suggestion for a specific type of email to write to enhance your life in each of the given areas.

I liked all the suggestions, but I will highlight the one regarding career because I found it to be the most unique—meaning I had never considered such a simple idea before. It’s about connecting with casual acquaintances, people you only know superficially.

We all know how important it is to connect with our good friends, but did you know that some of your greatest opportunities come from networking with people on the periphery of your sphere? This is true because you and your “good friends” generally run in the same circles and are privy to the same opportunities. Therefore, you’re not often going to learn about a good opportunity from them that you didn’t already know about. Thus, the value in connecting with casual acquaintances.

I so agreed with the comments about Friendship, too, but you will have to read the article yourself to get that info.

By the way, Barking Up the Wrong Tree was a new blog to me. I found it by tracking down a link in some other article I read and really liked what I saw. It’s now one of my Feedly subscriptions.

What If You Were at Your Best?All About News

I received this article in a news magazine that I receive via email. I’ll tell you up front that I wasn’t overly impressed with the article itself, but the statement posed in the article did set me to thinking. Complete this sentence: “I am at my best when…”

The author offered a couple of suggestions. For instance, “I am at my best when I eat a complete and balanced breakfast.”

I had the opportunity this week to speak on the subject of organization and productivity to a group of teachers as they prepare for a new school year. I asked them to consider this statement and write three or more completions to it. Here’s some of the responses:

I am at my best when I have time to go through my morning routine before going to work.

I am at my best when I pray before work.

I am at my best when I have a plan for the day.

Here’s a few things on my personal list: I am at my best when…

…I am not rushed.

…when I am able to spend a little time outdoors early in the day.

…when I start the day with aerobic-type exercise.

You may be wondering where this question fits in to my subject matter? What does it have to do with organization and productivity? Simple: if I know when I am at my best (which certainly includes being productive), why don’t I set myself up for “my best” every day?

So if I am at my best when I am not rushed, then setting myself up to be my best means I will have to be an early riser. I think that goes without saying on everything listed above. If being at my best means I need to have time to complete a morning routine, pray, plan my day, exercise, eat breakfast, etc. before work, then allowing time for these activities is a must—which means getting up early enough. Otherwise, you’re short-changing yourself and others!

When are you at your best? What actions can you take to set yourself up to be your best every day?

Do you have any inspiring, motivational, informative, fun blogs to recommend? Please do so in the comments.

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2 Responses to Smatterings: Preview, Anti-aging Hacks, Career-building, Being Your Best

  1. Maria says:

    I love the paragraph on setting yourself up for success by making choices according to what you know will help you be most productive… Really great advice especially as the start of a new school year is ahead. I so often – despite knowing – ignore the things that do help me because it feels like more effort but the end result is that I am actually more frustrated! So, today, I resolve that I won’t do that but instead make it a priority to choose what helps me be at my best first! It reminds me of the principle of taking time to sharpen the saw (Stephen Covey – 7 Habits) before using it.
    Thanks, Diane!

    • Diane says:

      I love the “sharpen the saw” analogy, Maria! I think the best way to set yourself up for success is to concentrate on making your “setups” a habit. It will be difficult at first, but once the habit is formed, it will almost be automatic.
      Go for it!

I love to read your comments!