Tag Archives: Writing

Good Reads 2013

Books

Photo credit: Henry on Flickr

I’ve been reading as much as possible the past few months, simply because I’ve missed making time for learning about bigger topics and exploring themes from new angles. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve had Essay Club and also quite a few plane rides, i.e. excuses to turn off the webernets.

Things I’ve been thinking, reading and writing about:
• Rapid cognition, i.e. snap judgements and the science behind them. What makes someone great at sizing up situations and people quickly and correctly? Is it possible to train myself to be better at this?
• Mentorship
• Vulnerability
• How and why do women and men behave and think differently in the workplace, and how can we better equip both sexes for success?
• Meditation

I’m sure we could have a fascinating chat over coffee about how these themes are all interrelated in my head; this is a work in progress. Maybe I’ll write about it here again as I tie things together and unravel them again. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from some really good books I’ve read in the past six months.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

In my favorite chapter, which revolves around the decision-making process of USMC Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper, Gladwell quotes Riper as saying: “You disaggregate everything and tear it apart, but you are never able to synthesize the whole. It’s like the weather. A commander does not need to know the barometric pressure or the winds or even the temperature. He needs to know the forecast. If you get too caught up in the production of information, you drown in the data.”

The crux of the entire book for me is here: “The key to good decision making is not knowledge. On straightforward choices, deliberate analysis is best. When questions of analysis and personal choice start to get complicated—when we have to juggle many different variables—then our unconscious thought processes may be superior.

It seems that the father of the unconscious [Sigmund Freud] agreed: ‘When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves.'”

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

On Mentorship: “We need to stop telling them, ‘Get a mentor and you will excel.’ Instead, we need to tell them, ‘Excel and you will get a mentor.’”

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Getting Excited and Making Things – January Post Recap

I’m not one for resolutions. I just needed to get back to writing more this year, so I have.

The name of this site (and my official mini-bio) is Dangerously Enthusiastic. That sums me up, as enthusiasm infuses everything I do. I got a new t-shirt with a motto that neatly summarizes what 2010 is all about for me. I am Getting Excited and Making Things.

That Would Be Me.

Here’s a quick list of what I dove into in January. Check out the posts you may have missed, give me the redux of what the posts you already read made you think of or inspired you to do, and let me know if you wrote anything in response that you want me to check out. Inspiring you to make stuff, see stuff in a new way and FEEL SOMETHING is the best work I can do. Continue reading

Giving Myself a D: Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” Book Launch

I’m taking a mentor’s advice and giving myself a D on life.

Last Friday, he told me a story about a teacher who, on the first day of class, told the students that he was giving them all an A. All they had to do was to write a paper on how they would work to earn the A that semester. By doing so, he believed the students would be freed of worrying about the grade and focus on the actual learning.

But my mentor rebutted that and said I should give myself a D. “A D never killed anybody,” he said. “Expect that people are going to laugh at you. Expect that you’re going to fail. And, once you give yourself a D, you can create your art.”

Seth Godin and me at the launch of his new book, "Linchpin." 1.15.2010

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I Feel Weird, Knowing You’re Reading Me

This is bits and pieces written over the course of about a week.
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(Thoughts) Something that made me sad today: A man was walking ahead of me on Madison Avenue as I was on my way back to my office. I saw him saying “Excuse me. Excuse me,” to a lady in front of him. She had earmuffs on. Whether or not she heard him or not, I don’t know. He shook his head and she kept walking.

I couldn’t help but make eye contact with him when I passed. He said, “Excuse me,” so I paused. It was a busy street, I wasn’t worried about myself. He said, “Are you from New York? I’m from Yonkers – I’ve been in the city since last night and I’ve been walking a very long time. All I’ve been asking people, what I want to ask you is, I’m very hungry. Can you help me get something to eat?” Continue reading

A Handmade Life

A 2007 entry in my journal

A 2007 entry in my journal

I wrote the below in my journal (see image above) a couple of months after I moved to New York.

“handmade life” implies something individualized, not mass-produced or machine-animated for the general population. “handmade” implies something genuine and stitched together with care. Choosing harmonious elements and weaving them together slowly, sometimes pricking your/my forefinger and letting the blood color a small corner of the finished product. Continue reading

At Least That’s What I Like to Tell Myself

9/12/2007
On the rooftop
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All I remember is the sentence ended, “at least that’s what I like to tell myself.” Something about not being sad because we’ll be older and wiser and more prepared than we would have been had we found our other halves sooner.

But still the message from one of those others, an other who might have been, confirms those thoughts. I’m not the only one who thinks it.
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In Search of Bedrock (Free Write No. Five)

Who am I?

Don’t we all ask ourselves that from time to time?

Some of us are luckier than others. We know our purpose; we know why we were put here and what our cells are made of. At our hearts, even when shaken and broken down, we know we can return to ourselves and find some strength within. In those times, we’re in search of bedrock. A foundation for something pure, secure and steady. Continue reading