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Book Review: The Levity Effect by A. Gostick and S. Christopher March 20, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Society, Work.
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Note to all managers: Have fun, relax and laugh at work. I was a little disappointmented with this management book. The first 4 or so hours of this book was mostly the authors saying “have fun” with a little bits of companies that implement programs for loosen up their staff.

I can definitely appreciate the things Gostick and Christopher brought to the table in this book. They have worked with lots of relavent and current companies that are known for both their success and their relaxed business environment. But they spent a large portion of the book talking about companies in creative fields, such as advertising and marketing.

In the last hour, the book finally moved into lots of ways to implement levity. The ideas were listed out which makes for tough listening. And the listening of the book was also made more difficult by the straight reading of the book. While I am sure the book was humorous, the narrator (one of the authors) read the words and did not “customize” it as an audio book. It made listening to some sections seem out of place in a book about humor – they should have lossened it up.

I just thought they weren’t practicing what they preached.


Relaxing, Having Fun, and Letting Go February 26, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Fitness, Society.
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I came across this interesting article on the LiveStrong web site – Lance Armstrong’s Foundation for fighting cancer. It is rather long, but I think it has some useful content. The problem is that when you are stressed and not able to find time for fun things, what makes you think you can find time to read an article about it?

So, I thought I would take a small section out that I thought was a good taste of what you can find. The article takes a very personal six step approach to the problem. See if you can answer these questions:
1) What is fun (for you)?
2) What are some barriers to (you) having fun?
3) What beliefs are barriers to (you) having fun?
4) What are some strategies (to get you) to have fun?
5) What are some creative samples of fun activities (for you)?
6) What steps can increase the fun in your life?

The whole article is quite detailed and almost rigid, which to me takes the fun out of having fun. In the end, you have developed a chart that lists all the activities and can document when you have fun. But it may work some people, especially when you are in a depressed state and need a way to work out of it.

What to do? October 7, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Society, Work.
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After catching up on TED Talks wonder how you get to be that much of a contributor. Having switched jobs from one that was fast paced, required moving and travel and the like, to one that was less intense, I kind of knew this would happen. I have switched my personal focus away from work toward family and the true life (of life-work balance). Before, I was always busy doing. I know that there was so much I was missing – there was always something to do and I didn’t necessary grow that way either. But now I really have to work to progress. There are still so many things on my to do list, but less at work and more at home… I suppose that only make sense.

But I guess my point is that sometimes it feels like that we are so busy surviving and keeping up with the lists that we aren’t contributing. Watching people on TED really makes one wonder what else we could be contributing. But then I also wonder what affect these people’s talks really have. How many people have heard of XDR-TB? Or how “important” is architecture and art? What benefit are video games helping our world?

Maybe that is the point, to individuals, some of these things are important. We each have to find our own cause. The problem I have is that there seems to be so much suffering in the world that the potential causes to support are endless. Here are some of the things that are important to me:
Ending War, homelessness, hunger, disease, bad politics….

But “life gets in the way.” going to work, taking care of sick kids, enjoying quiet time with the family, taking care of the house, keep myself healthy. They aren’t chores – they are life. I need to figure out a plan or at least a way to plan these things into each day. When I look around, I feel I have so much and I feel conflicted that I am trying to fit more in. How can that be?