Living in More Than One World

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Geoff Dyer: Traveling Far and Wide

The Australian has an insightful interview/feature story on the British author Geoff Dyer, whose writing has encompassed many worlds, with books in both fiction and nonfiction. I’ve only read one, the wonderfully-titled collection of essays Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It. His new novel, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, was reviewed in The New York Times by another highly accomplished, well-traveled writer, Pico Iyer. Also see the brief Q&A in The New York Times’ Paper Cuts blog, Stray Questions for Geoff Dyer. I really like this quote from The Australian interview: “All the writing I do is for me and about things I want to learn about, (which) are adding to my cultural capital.” Finally, Dyer reveals his fantasy career in a short piece for The Observer, My other life: Geoff Dyer.…

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If you’re curious, read (and listen) on…

The pros and cons of curiosity in life are explored in a great radio interview yesterday with psychology professor Todd Kashdan, of George Mason University, on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, produced by WAMU-FM. (It’s the public broadcasting station of my undergrad alma mater, The American University, in Washington, D.C., and also the producer of The Diane Rehm Show.) Kashdan was promoting his new book Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life. For more on Kashdan and the book, see his Q&A with Positive Psychology News Daily, and his blog. He’s also one of the interviewees in Deborah Kotz’s recent usnews.com post, 10 Secrets to Finding Happiness During the Recession.…

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Major recognition, major impact: Nonprofits receive MacArthur Award

Every year I look forward to the announcement of The MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Program awards, the so-called “genius grants” that have been given to creative, make-a-difference individuals since 1981. The winners receive $500,000 over five years, with no strings attached on how the money is spent. Reading their profiles, and the media stories about them after they’ve won, is always enlightening. The 2008 fellows include a critical care physician, urban farmer, structural engineer, novelist, anthropologist, stage lighting designer and other professions. The entire list of winners, from 1981-2008, makes fascinating reading.  But the foundation also makes awards to organizations, and on April 27 it announced the worldwide, nonprofit recipients of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.…

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Fast Rules from Alan Webber

There is a variety of interesting material online about Alan Webber and his new book Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self. Among other things in a varied career, he was the co-founding editor of Fast Company.  He has also written insightful columns for USA TODAY. Linda Tischler’s post on a Fast Company blog reports on his recent talk at the Japan Society in New York. He also did a guest post on Gloria McDonough-Taub’s CNBC blog Bullish on Books. The book grew out of years of collecting and distilling wisdom on 3 x 5 cards, a habit he encourages for his readers.…

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Laid Off, But Hopeful

To those of us in the challenging position of being laid off (and for others who might have a similar fate in the near future), the ongoing Wall Street Journal blog Laid Off And Looking makes for interesting reading. It contains valuable insight into the personal aspects of the job search and interview processes. Even though it follows a group of M.B.A.s who have been laid off recently, you don’t have to be an M.B.A. (employed or otherwise) to benefit from this blog. Today’s post, Coping with Isolation While at Home, is about the contrast between being alone at home during a layoff, versus the social interaction you previously experienced in the workplace.…

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Slow Down and Get Centered

Curt Rosengren’s April 23rd guest post on usnews.com, Take the Slow Road to Success, is a brief reminder that speed and frantic activity aren’t always the best ways to advance your goals or further your career. He suggests finding something that works for you —  such as meditation, gardening, journaling or other centering activities – that by doing on a regular basis can help you slow down, focus and think more clearly. An important point to remember is that these tools are short breaks, not obligations that consume your life. Also worth reading is a post on the same day from his own blog, The M.A.P.…

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Finding Direction From the New Self-Help Books

For an easy-to-follow roundup of eight new self-help books, see Megan K. Scott’s AP story, New Self-Help Books Inspire in Our Troubled Times. It includes capsule descriptions and sample advice from such authors as Judith Orloff, M. J. Ryan, Alan Lurie and the financial journalist Jean Chatzky. Lurie seems to be an embodiment of living in more than one world: he is an executive at Grubb & Ellis, an ordained rabbi and a former architect. Learn more about him and his book Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected Purpose, Peace and Fulfillment at Work, in the recent New York Post feature, Divine and Conquer: Rabbi Exec Preaches Higher Path to Profit.…

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Putting Drucker into Action in Iowa

What drew me to the brief profile in the Des Moines Register about Michelle Hankins Cook, a manager for Norandex Building Materials Distribution, was her response to Words to Live By: the Peter Drucker quote “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” But what I found even more interesting was how this and other themes of the bio represented areas of living in more than one world covered in my book, including varied and fulfilling outside interests, family, volunteerism, mentorship, leadership, meaningful achievements and challenging work. Her background includes  being both an airplane pilot and lead singer in a rock band.…

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The Economist, Education and Wendy Kopp

For an insightful British take on education in New York City and elsewhere, see Off to School, on Economist.com. The Economist’s education correspondent uses the occasion of chairing an education conference in New York City to also visit various schools there and in nearby Newark, NJ. There are some quotes from an interview with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, and a visit with a TFA alum to speak to current TFA teachers at a Bronx middle school. In Jim Collins’ recent Inc. magazine interview, he called Kopp “my entrepreneur for this decade.” He continued, “Her organization is truly an entrepreneurial creation that is out to utterly transform education.…

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This (guardian.co.uk) column will change your life…according to Oliver Burkeman

How can you resist a column called This Column Will Change Your Life? The latest from Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian (where he is also a reporter), deals with positives and negatives regarding habits and routines. Sometimes the regularity of the routines causes the benefits derived to be diminished. “But there is one way,” Burkeman writes, “to get the best of both worlds: develop habits and routines that are designed to disrupt your habits and routines, and keep things fresh.” This could entail weekly self-reviews of your work, which even though being another form of routine, still gets you out of your daily routine for awhile.…

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