Masawa Minute 17 | Be a pioneer! | Stay away from toxic positivity | + More! 🥑

This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets on what we’re pondering + where you can get active.

This time we’ve been reading and thinking about wellbeing. But we still haven’t found a unified answer to what wellbeing means. Instead, we learned it can take several forms with many paths: embracing taking a break when you need it, developing resilience, improving your feelings about yourself, focusing on wellbeing in your organization, or blocking out the messages of positivity. So however you get there, you do you.


Planning for the human side of strategy

It’s a webinar on the human side of strategy brought to you by Ivey Academy Live. This Thursday (August 20th), the selected speakers will talk about the importance of the team wellbeing for an organization, how crucial it is to keep your employees engaged and how to improve your strategies by making them more people-centric.

The talk is given by Janeen Speer, VP of Talent at Shopify, Cheesan Chew), COO at RBC Ventures, and Tineke Keesmaat, founder of Tiltco, Inc. Mark it in your calendar now!

Fierce Urgency of Now

City Awake, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s young professional network, is hosting a decentralized five-day festival with 30+ events hosted by organizations and businesses across Greater Boston, but applicable to all: this year, it’s happening online.

The events will occur between September 16th and September 20th, focused on promoting opportunities for young professionals of color, discussing social impact storytelling, sharing the secrets on disrupting the tech industry and so much more. It’s truly something you shouldn’t miss. Be quick to sign up for the ones you like!

What we’re reading…

🌍 Want to change the world? Stop guilting people into it


During the last months, many of us started to speak up about the societal challenges we face and realized it’s time for a change. But change is hard. Just as it’s hard to believe we can make any difference by ourselves, that’s why we want other people to join. But how do we get them to do it?

There are two distinct ways to get anyone to do anything – guilt them into it or add to their positive self-image by telling them they’d do the right thing. The question is, which one works better. There are good arguments for both, but the studies find that encouraging people to act by emphasizing the positive side usually is far more effective.

Having a positive self-image is a need essential to our wellbeing. When we’re feeling good about ourselves, we have much more energy and resources to give. So why not use the potential of this approach to the fullest? By ensuring each other’s wellbeing, we can prompt others to act in a way that will help society’s wellbeing, too. Win-win.

You want people to do the right thing? Save them the guilt trip

🙏 It’s time to leave the hustle behind


Nowadays, Millennials are known as the burnout generation. It’s not something you’d like to be a part of, is it? Then stop buying into the hustle culture. 

Working more doesn’t necessarily equal getting more done. But it will definitely lead to a myriad of mental and physical problems. We’re told that working hard will guarantee you success, but success is never worth sacrificing your wellbeing.

Let’s rediscover the joy of taking a break – taking time off with no emails, messages, phone calls or notes, unplug entirely. When you make it a habit, you’ll frequently find yourself better rested, healthier and certainly more capable of achieving your professional goals. Sounds good to us! We’re taking all of next week off. Ha! Just kidding. (Maybe in September?…)

Work A Little, Play A Lot: The Antidote to Hustle Culture

🌳 Accepting your mistakes = the mindset of success?


How often do you make mistakes? How often do you feel okay with them? Statistically, it’s impossible to avoid them, but somewhere along the way, we learn to dread them and when they inevitably happen, ruminate on them for way too long.

That can change. The only thing that has to shift is your mindset – it has to become more resilient. You must understand that mistakes will happen no matter how you feel about it and start seeing them as a challenge – that’s how you’ll become more open and capable of accepting them.

Your mindset has a lot to do with your success and wellbeing in general, as it affects how you view your abilities. It usually falls under two types – fixed or growth-oriented. Which one do you think will lead to improvement and better results? We all have a mix of both, but there are numerous ways to train our minds to focus on the latter. Open the article and take notes with us!

Feel Like You’re Going Out of Your Mind? Consider Your Mindset

🍸 The movement never stops – but you should


Tostan is an Africa-based organization working with villages to engage communities and facilitate community-led change. This is the interview – no, more of a conversation – between its founder, Molly Melching, who arrived there as an exchange student from the US in 1974 and her successor, Elena Bonometti.

They talk about promoting community wellbeing, something that has been their mission for almost 30 years, and how they realized that the organizational wellbeing also matters – Tostan shifted from seeing the work during nights and weekends as a “cool thing to do” to celebrating the importance of quality time off. The pair also discusses what practices they put in place to ensure that the team can take time off without guilt as well as encourage them to take time for self development.

Read this for inspiration and great insights about building organizational wellbeing and developing a sustainable organization. We’ll surely be writing down some tips.

A Table for Two at Tostan: Organizational Wellbeing and Leadership Transition

🌼  When positivity gets too positive


Do you know someone that always insists on “positive vibes only”, “we have to stay positive”, “it could be worse”? That’s known as toxic positivity and yes, it can be very harmful to your wellbeing.

People who promote toxic positivity will go out of the way to avoid discussing serious, uncomfortable subjects and will invalidate any emotion that isn’t positive. Unfortunately, you can’t fix everything just by telling someone to “be happy” – negative emotions are an inherent part of human experience and there’s no better way of dealing with them than simply letting them pass.

Right now, the world is overwhelmed with negative emotions. But that’s okay. Learn to recognize the toxic positivity messages and avoid engaging with them, even if it means placing some boundaries between you and some people. Embrace critical thinking, process your negative feelings which are a natural response to negative situations, and remember – this too shall pass.

‘Toxic Positivity’ Is Real — and It’s a Big Problem During the Pandemic

Masawa update

It’s a damn good thing we’re setting up an impact fund with a focus on mental wellness. By default, we have to check in our wellbeing, the negative thoughts in our heads, any toxic positivity that arises, and other things on a daily basis. Starting any endeavor is a rollercoaster, and we’re certainly in the throes of something both extremely exciting and sorely needed. But we realize that this is not a race, it’s not even a marathon. It’s a marathon of triathlons for which we’re grateful to be a part of.

We’ve also updated the website for the nineteenth time. ☺ It tells an important literal story of how we’re going from issue to action, together. 

And finally, as we finish up our Friends + Family investment round, we wanted to thank all those who are pioneering and investing in the future with Masawa.  The round ends at the end of the months, so yell fast if you’re interested in taking part! Just imagine the positivity you’ll feel when you think about and tell your friends about your direct involvement and contribution to Masawa and nurturing capital to nurture minds, so that billions live life…

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