You all have mental health
Hello and welcome to the new edition of the Mental Healthy newsletter from Pilotfish.
‘Mental health’ and ‘mental illness’ are increasingly used as if they mean the same thing, but they do not. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.
“There is no health without mental health.” - World Health Organisation.
In the course of your lifetime, you may never experience mental illness, but you will struggle or have a challenge with mental well-being (i.e., mental health). Just like you have difficulties with physical well-being from time to time.
Your emotions, thoughts and feelings, your ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, your social connections, and your understanding of the world around you are all core attributes of your mental health.
When you feel unwell, you may not have a serious illness. It's just as likely that you experience poor mental health without a mental illness. You're going to have days where you feel a bit down, or stressed out, or overwhelmed by something that’s happening in your life.
An important part of good mental health is the ability to look at problems or concerns realistically. Good mental health isn’t about feeling happy and confident 100% of the time and ignoring any problems. It’s about living and coping well despite problems.
Remember this if you're ever feeling uncomfortable or even ashamed of your emotions - 4 in 4 people have mental health.
So, while I think that mental health still has a long, long way to go before it's as widely accepted as looking after one's physical health, we are indeed moving in the right direction.
Large swathes of the business world are still struggling to come to terms with the concept of remote work, even though there’s growing evidence that remote teams can be more productive than in-person ones. The biggest threat to wide-spread remote work is communication. Teams that can effectively communicate from remote locations will ultimately win. Unfortunately, those who cannot face many more years trapped in the dregs of traditional working norms.
I've been taking cold showers for the best part of a year, so I know damn well how effective they are at boosting mental health. When the doctor told me not to drink caffeine anymore, I suddenly panicked at the thought of kicking myself into gear in the morning. That was until I realised just how powerful a cold shower is at waking me up. You're probably not particularly enthusiastic about this, but seriously, I urge you to try it.
If you're a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, you've probably read his masterpiece, Outliers. In Outliers, Gladwell focuses on the fact that it takes at least 10,000 hours of focused practice to reach expert skill level. Well, that's just too long, and I have many interests, so instead, I went seeking an alternative opinion. This TEDx talk explains that to learn a skill - not become an expert - takes only 20 hours of considered practice.
Basecamp is one of the world's most successful remote companies. Since 1999, they've worked with an entirely distributed team, across many parts of the planet. So then, their Founders Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson must know a thing or two about how to lead a remote business. Here are eight remote leadership tips taken straight from the operational blueprint of Basecamp.
I try my best to journal every morning. I'm not as consistent as I should be, but when I do get the chance to put pen to paper, I feel a certain weight lifted off my shoulders. Martin Lieberman went several steps further by committing to spend the whole of 2017 documenting - in public - one thing about his day. Find out why he started and why he believes it could help him be a happier person.
Ryan Holiday is some what of a prolific writer. The guy's written six books in 6 years. With that kind of output, you'd think he might possess superhuman power. Maybe he does, but I'm sure he'd disagree with that. What he does have however is a thorough organisational system that by his admission has played a large part in his success.
"In 30 years time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed" - Richard Branson. I'm not sure many of you could argue with that statement. Thanks, Richard!
Burnout, all-nighters, sleep when you're dead. These are all statements of heroic status in the startup world. In reality, all of those things are dangerous and shortsighted and shouldn't be heralded as positive in any industry, let alone one that requires knowledge workers to use their creative muscle to solve complex problems. Feeling tired? Sleep!