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Wellness Tip:

Cultivate Optimism

There are major benefits to seeing the glass half full. Optimism is linked to resilience. It’s great for heart health. And it can make you live longer.

Yep, studies show that people with a positive attitude to getting old are less prone to disease and tend to live longer.

Now, that’s not to say you should gloss over all things negative (see ‘toxic positivity’). It’s just about cultivating a more positive attitude in a healthy way.

And yes – you can learn to be more optimistic. Read about how to do that here and here.

Productivity Tip:

Use The Feynman Technique

Learning new things isn’t just helpful at work, it also keeps our brains young. So here’s a way to learn new concepts quickly and effectively: use The Feynman Technique.

Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, had a four-step technique for learning:

  • Get your topic and research it.
  • Teach what you’ve learned to a sixth-grader (or pretend to).
  • Fill in any gaps. Your student can ask questions to help identify these gaps.
  • Simplify even further to make your explanation as clear as possible.

That’s it! It’s simple, but it works, because it forces you to get to the essence of the topic.

Next time you’re learning something new, why not enlist the aid of your 12-year-old niece or nephew and give it a go? (Note: You may have to pay for their time in candy.)

Routine Breakdown

Maria Popova, Writer & Founder of BrainPickings.com


If you’ve never visited Brain Pickings, you’re missing out. Read by over a million people a month, it’s single-handedly run by Maria Popova. To keep her mornings on track she:

  • Wakes up 8 hours after she goes to bed.
  • Meditates for 15-20 minutes.
  • Does a home workout (including chin-ups, pushups, planks and stretches).
  • Heads to the gym where she does most of her long-form reading on the elliptical.
  • Heads home to eat breakfast and start writing.


Why it works:

  • Sleeping for 7-9 hours is crucial, even if you don’t sleep at the same time each day.
  • There’s been a bucket load of studies about the benefits of meditation. It can even lead to lasting changes in the brain.
  • Morning workouts are amazing for a whole range of reasons.
  • Multitasking doesn’t work, but the elliptical is repetitive enough that Popova can focus on reading. That means mind and body get a workout at the same time.


Meditating first thing can get you calm and focused, and set a positive tone for the day. Don’t forget that you can use your Panda Planner to track your own meditation habit. When do you find the best time to take a few quiet moments?

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