Living in More Than One World

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Becoming a Student of Life

I’ve just discovered Harriet Swain’s delightful weekly series, How to Be a Student, on guardian.co.uk. It’s been running for a year and a half, and it’s all online. Although these concise columns are aimed at British university undergrads, they have broader relevance to anyone involved in ongoing learning (even if it’s informal) or teaching, no matter where you live.  I found it especially interesting as next week I begin a new teaching semester at The Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science. Each column is titled The Art of…; May 26’s is The art of asking questions.…

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Get Ready for the BBC’s Reith Lectures

I’ve read many references over the years to the BBC’s Reith Lectures, which have been given yearly (except in 1992) since 1948, to “advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest,” in honor of the BBC’s first director-general. But I didn’t realize how much material was available on past lectures – and the upcoming series – until finding producer Jennifer Clarke’s BBC Radio 4 May 25 blog post ‘Multiplatforming’ the Reith Lectures. Clarke explains that this year’s lectures, “A New Citizenship,” by Harvard government professor Michael Sandel, in addition to the traditional live lectures and broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, will also have an array of social media and BBC radio, podcast and website activity.

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The Life Stories of Ry Cooder

In an earlier post, I wrote about Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe’s upcoming European tour, and about the standard of musical excellence maintained over many years by both musicians, as well as their ability to work outside of their comfort zones. I had interviewed and written extensively about Lowe in my music writing days, though I never interviewed or met Cooder. Now comes word from Cooder’s record label, Nonesuch, that he has a collection of fiction, Los Angeles Stories, that will be made available only on the tour. This follows a novella that came with his recent album I, Flathead.…

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Guidance for Life and Career from Drucker Apps

Ira Jackson, the dean of Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at the Claremont Graduate University, has written The View From Drucker: Drucker Apps, in the May 23 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, about an innovative regular feature on the Drucker Institute website. Twice a month, since January 29 of this year, the Institute takes a topic and includes information on various facets from Peter Drucker, in the form of excerpts from relevant passages of his books, material from the voluminous online Drucker Archives and videos or audio files featuring Drucker or outside experts. There is also the full text related to the topic from The Drucker Difference columns on BusinessWeek.com by Rick Wartzman, the director of the Drucker Institute.…

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Learning about Learning From Tad Waddington

I’m about to begin a teaching semester, and many of us will be either teaching, taking classes, pursuing degrees or involved in self-learning ventures this summer. In that spirit, you should benefit from Tad Waddington’s short and to-the-point May 22 Smarts blog on Psychology Today, Smarts: Four things worth learning about learning. Waddington, author of the book Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work, demonstrates how with additional focused effort and thinking about what we are trying to learn, we’ll gain greater understanding and recall. This is especially true today when we are bombarded by so much material online, in print and on TV and radio.…

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How Do You Spend Your Time?

The Boston.com Managing Your Money: Personal finance advice feature has a brief, intriguing May 20 entry by a local accountant, Jamie Downey, The Best Financial Advice I Ever Received. Downey expands on advice he heard from the author/sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer; to invest your time, rather than spend it. Downey examines his own life in a variety of categories, to demonstrate how he invests his time in various activities. His advice and personal example goes beyond finances to give an interesting blueprint for the intelligent, productive use of time. (Most of this time, by the way, is outside of the workplace.…

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Quick Reads on Summer Memoirs

Sometimes the best way to make sense of our own life and ultimately improve how we live is reading about how other people describe and interpret their existence. Library Journal has done a real service with Short Takes: 50 Summer Memoirs for the Beach, Backwoods, or Flu Bunker, as selected with brief annotations by a team of reviewers. Whether or not you take LJ’s advice to employ these as beach reading rather than novels, it’s fun reading these capsule descriptions of the books, many by authors who are not well known, but sound like they have led interesting lives. Some of the authors faced life-changing circumstances.…

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From San Francisco to Bhutan: The Benefits of Measuring Happiness

Check out Chip Conley’s wide-ranging May 18 ideas in Huffington Post, What We Measure Matters. Conley is both a practitioner and a writer; as founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hospitality and the author of such books as PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow. The latter is about applying psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to the business world, taking a concept developed for the individual and applying it organizationally. In his post, Conley discusses how his company asks questions of its employees to help them consider the highest levels of attaining meaning from one’s work and making a positive difference in the experience of the people they serve.…

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If you’re feeling down, read this…

If your current personal or professional situation is making you discouraged, read the Warren Bennis May 18 essay in BusinessWeek, Only the Optimists Survive. Bennis is one of the world’s top leadership experts; a successful author, consultant and professor. Although he writes here for a business-oriented audience, his message of tough-minded optimism, of seeing beyond your current situation and doing what’s necessary for a better future, is applicable to anyone. And his examples go beyond the business world. Franklin Roosevelt had to deal with the terrible shape the country was in when he was elected President, as well as his own paralysis.…

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Charlie Munger: Not Just Warren Buffett’s Right-Hand Man

Kathy M. Kristof’s Personal Finance column in the May 17 Los Angeles Times, Charlie Munger’s got a billion words of wisdom, is well worth reading, beyond whatever you take away about investing. Munger is vice-chairman of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett’s right-hand man and, as Kristof puts it, “one of the world’s savviest investors.” Munger, who is 85 and a Harvard Law graduate, is also chairman of Wesco Financial, and an example of a person who trains his powerful intellect on a variety of areas. He, like Buffett, remains vital and relevant long past traditional retirement years. I first heard of Munger in 2002, when interviewing the late Jim Michaels, the legendary former editor of Forbes, for my forthcoming book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life.…

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