📝 Notes for the Curious: Edition #80


Spring has sprung in the Netherlands. Which means the weather is shifting from sunny, to rainy, to hail, often several times a day. I’ve been immersed in writing and all the news and updates rolling out from Facebook’s F8 developer conference. As a community builder, who primarily builds on Facebook, these past two years have been incredibly exciting as Facebook dives deeper into their commitment to communities. The big turning point was the first Facebook Community Summit in 2017 where Facebook announced their new mission. Since then it has been a rapid roll out of community focused tools and initiatives such as the second Community Summit in London, which I attended. The launch of the Community Leadership Circles Program (if you run a genuine community group on Facebook - not an empire or an audience for what you do, and live in Amsterdam where I lead the local Circle, come and join us! Then, at F8, during Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote he said this about the future of Facebook, “communities are as central as friends”. This is a huge reconition of the exact thing that I have been saying for years, communities will save the world. Learning how to be in community with other people is, I believe, the way that we will heal some of the huge divides we see in society, mitigate the epidemic of loneliness we find ourselves in and so much more. This is a great time to be involved in the work of community and I’m sure I will have more to say on this in future editions of the Notes.

But for now, let’s get on with this edition of the Notes…

1) The art of brain picking

I’m sure that most of you at some point have had someone ask you “can I pick your brain?” Your response has probably ranged from “how flattering, of course!” to “Are you kidding me?! You want me to give you all the knowledge I’ve spent years accruing in an hour over coffee?” It’s a delicate balancing act, being caught between the desire to help. The thing is, people do need help, those of us who have already walked the path can be of help to those walking behind. It is often the way we are approached that is the problem. Which is what makes this guide on how to ask to pick someone’s brain the right way so useful. Don’t forget, you can always say no when someone asks to pick your brain, I’ve got you covered there as well with tips and templates on how to say no with grace, kindness and zero guilt.

2) Anger management

How do you deal with anger? Not anger directed at you but anger you feel towards others? Do you explode with rage whenever you feel it or do you bury it deep down and let it eat away at you? We are full spectrum humans, that means we have a range of emotions that we need to be able to feel and exhibit. Everybody gets angry, the state of the world alone gives us reasons to be angry on a daily basis. But how do you handle anger in a healthy way? 12 professional therapists share their strategies.

3) A new way to plan and achieve your goals

I hadn’t come across the GIST method of planning before, but I have to say, I sort of love it. It makes a lot of sense to my brain. I am a very big picture thinker. I can always see the goal, I just get a little fuzzy on how I’m going to get there. The GIST method embraces the fact that there are many possible routes, then let’s you hone in on exactly what needs to happen to get to the end point. It feels very aligned with how I mentally process new projects anyway, I just hadn’t realised that there was a name for it. What do you think? Will you give GIST a go, do you think you already plan that way or is it completely repellent to you?

4) What is happiness?

Big thinkers answering big questions in under 3 minutes. Is our definition of happiness changing?

5) Going through it

I’m mildly obsessed with Ann Friedman’s new podcast, Going Through It. If you’ve ever wondered if you should keep going or quit, this is the podcast for you. From Hillary Clinton to Glennon Doyle to Ellen Pao, the podcast focuses on women who have been faced with the stick or quit decision and navigated their way through it.

Until the next Notes,


Who am I and who do I help? I’m Emmy McCarthy and I make small businesses better and help people create leadership in their communities.

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