By Ken Ken Kaszak
I provide educational services in the areas of Financial Literacy and Health Literacy. My class in Investor Psychology is accredited by the PA Board of Accountancy. My new book, "Cut Your Calories…Now!!," is available on Amazon. I also provide the most effective and efficient low-cost benefit an employer can provide to its workforce.
This benefit can enhance employees professional and personal lives, provide valuable ancillary tools, and may just be the best stress reduction feature a company can provide. What is this magic benefit? Writing. I teach people how to write.
My knowledge of finance and preventive health wouldn’t be at the level it is without my ability to write. The extensive traveling I’ve done wouldn’t have been possible without my ability to write. My published articles and books wouldn’t be published if I didn’t learn the proper way to write. Many of the unique experiences I’ve had in this country and others wouldn’t be my experiences without my ability to write.
The way writing is taught in schools ignores the two most important traits a writer must have: (1) the ability to “train the brain” to allow the subconscious to do the heavy lifting and (2) the importance of developing total objectivity. It is this objectivity that allows something to go onto the page—and survive the rewriting process—only after it has gone through the “objectivity filter” that my students are given.
The Ancillary Benefits
The way I learned to write has enabled me to learn complicated subject matters above my level of intelligence. As a direct result, my memory is sharp, my business and personal correspondence is unmatched, and my research and time management skills are spot on. Writing has given me great “editing” skills—and I’m not talking about editing written documents. I’m talking about editing the “noise of life.” Lastly, objectivity also provides me with a tool I use every day in both my personal and business lives: a beautiful “BS” detector. (which is much appreciated by my investment clients).
“Tech Soul” v “Creative Soul”
Writing can give—or expand—a creative soul. People working in technology fields already possess a creative soul;it’s what brought them to the game. My students are taught the science behind creativity by learning the Four Steps of Creative Thinking: Saturation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification. They are also taught that some of the most fertile creative thinking occurs when their phones and other devices are turned off and out of reach. While this is difficult—but not impossible—for a tech soul to do, it is also during this time that same of the most random thoughts move from our subconscioius into an “Aha!” moment and then into a real world solution. .
A recent article in these pages “Inoculating Against the Burnout Pandemic,” discussed new ways corporations are trying to “decompress” their employees and maintain their mental health in the face of stress-producing jobs. Many people have benefitted from the cathartic aspects of writing and I know of no better stress management technique than writing. The ancillary benefits mentioned above also provide a foundation to deal with too many demands, too many deadlines and too much noise so that work events that once lead to feelings of stress are now dealt with in a way that keeps stress on the other side of the door.
There are many stress management classes offered by vendors of wellness programs. Some of these have value (meditation) and some are mostly without value (aromatherapy).
But there is nothing better a company can do to help employees reduce stress—and open the door to other benefits—than to implement a writing program.
Ken Kaszak is an investment advisor and writer. He provides educational services in subjects in finance, nutrition/fitness and, of course, writing.