Inside this Sunday:
- I’m reading about idleness.
- I’m working on a competition for you to win free tuition to my new course.
- I’m thinking about having more time to think.
Greetings once again from superlative South Africa 🇿🇦 … my gosh this country is beautiful.
By the time you read this we will actually be touching down in the U.S. but 3 days later than expected.
Our flight on Wednesday was delayed due to federal rest regulations for flight staff, and we jumped on the opportunity to grab 3 extra days in SA.
The extended stay, however, coincided with the re-introduction of load-shedding.
What is load-shedding you’re wondering?
It’s the intentional powering down of the electricity grid in rotating locations to ease capacity issues.
It’s also the bane of most South Africans’ existence.
But one thing I’ve been reminded of is that South Africans are resilient.
Load-shedding preparation kicks in and looks like this:
- Stock up on uninterrupted power suppliers.
- Top up on cold water and ice.
- Boil the kettle.
And then just chill.
There is nothing you can do.
I shut down my laptop, went outside, and enjoyed the sun.
As Anne Lamotte famously wrote:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
See you in two weeks ✌️
p.s. we’re giving away 3 free tuitions to The Learning Culture Experience. To enter, head over to our new podcast on iTunes, leave a rating and review, email a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will draw 3 random winners on March 18, 25, and April 1st.
Just edging it last edition for most clicks was my 2021 Year in Review. I highly recommend the review process, and if you haven’t done one before, why not start with a quarterly review at the end of this month?
Less Work, More Leisure
Perhaps to seek solace as my comfort with relaxing on holiday grew, I just finished reading Bertrand Russell’s 1932 essay on leisure, In Praise of Idleness.
His main contention is this:
“A great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by the belief in the virtuousness of work.“
He goes on to advocate for an organized reduction in the amount we work (calling for 4-hour workdays) as a means to “happiness and prosperity.”
A culture of too much work is contributing to the suffering in society.
“There was formerly a capacity for light-heartedness and play which has been to some extent inhibited by the cult of efficiency. The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.”
He points to the benefits of time to rest. Time to think. Time to be creative.
“Athenian slave-owners, for instance, employed part of their leisure in making a permanent contribution to civilization which would have been impossible under a just economic system. Leisure is essential to civilization, and in former times leisure for the few was rendered possible only by the labors of the many. But their labors were valuable, not because work is good, but because leisure is good.”
There is an obvious problem here: slavery. But of course, Russell isn’t advocating for slavery. Instead he uses the Second World War as an example of how modern technology “has made it possible to diminish enormously the amount of labor necessary to produce the necessaries of life for every one.“
While men went off to fight, women, children and more doubled and tripled down on scientific production at home to keep soldiers armed and families fed.
If so much was accomplished in such a short space of time, what would happen if we all just slowed down and worked less?
It’s an interested idea, but one that feels impossible in today’s competitive, win-at-all-costs environment.
What is perhaps better, is to advocate for prolonged periods of rest and recovery for those that do work hard.
This would have the added benefit of giving people time to think, to be creative and to come up with new ideas.
And as Russell concludes, “we attach too little importance to enjoyment and simple happiness.”
More enjoyment and simple happiness would lead to more ease and security.
More ease and security is ultimately what we need.
“Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.”
I’M WORKING ON
The Learning Culture Experience
One month to kicking this off, and we’re getting really excited!
Please share this with anyone you know responsible for learning in teams.
📆 The course starts on April 11, 2022
🏷 The early-bird price is $2,990
💫 Subscribers to this newsletter get 15% off.
The Learning Culture Podcast
We’ve released 3 new episodes for you to enjoy of our new show!
- What is Learning Culture? – learn how to see your company through the lens of Learning Culture and what role a Learning Culture Officer could play.
- Coffee with Tameka Harris – bring the tissues for this one, as Tameka opens up about why she does what she does.
- Coffee with Christopher Lind – learn how to navigate the tricky terrain of being a new person with big ideas in a new company.
The team put a lot of effort into the artwork and production for this podcast. I really enjoy the intro music they came up with.
Let me know what you think!
And please take a moment to follow and subscribe so you don’t miss the next episodes.
We’re giving away 3 complimentary tuitions for The Learning Culture Experience.
Here’s how to enter:
- Check out our podcast on Apple Podcasts.
- Leave us a rating and review.
- Email a screenshot to email@example.com
That’s it. We will be drawing 3 lucky winners on March 18, March 25 and April 1st.
I’M THINKING ABOUT
Building on Bertrand Russell’s ideas above, here is why we need time to think.
This email newsletter was originally shared with subscribers on March 13th, 2022. To receive the latest newsletters twice a month, sign up below!