Living in More Than One World

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Predictions of Personal Happiness

Can we really predict the things that will make us happy? How does that relate to how much time and effort we allocate to various activities in life? Art Markman, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, addresses this in “Delusions of grandeur II: Overexcited, overanxious, and ready for action,” for his Psychology Today blog. Markman’s post references two other psychology professors: Harvard’s Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness and Tobias Greitemeyer of the University of Sussex.

Also worth reading is a short piece in the May-June 2009 Foreign Policy, The Next Big Thing: Happiness, by Swarthmore College psychology professor Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.…

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Po Bronson on Your Future

Po Bronson, author of the best-seller What Should I Do With My Life?, has a thought-provoking piece in the April issue of Fast Company, What Should I Do With My Life Now? His book presented a number of case studies of people who made significant changes in their life. The new article provides a realist view for people contemplating such changes in the current troubled economy. It’s based on six myths of personal transformation, underpinned by the fact that dream jobs, fulfillment and responsibility are all attainable, but they will not come easily.…

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Jim Collins, Peter Drucker, and more for Entrepreneurs

Many of us will have to become more entrepreneurially-oriented as we move deeper into the 21st century. In that spirit, be sure to check out the April, 30th anniversary issue of Inc., especially for the highly informative interview with Jim Collins. Jim is well-known for his books Good to Great and Built to Last, and he wrote the forewords for Peter Drucker’s Management: Revised Edition and The Daily Drucker. He references Drucker in his interview, which is about the state of entrepreneurship, and especially the entrepreneur, in the past, present and future.

There are lots of other things worth reading in this issue and on the magazine’s website, including The Business Owner’s Bookshelf, a list of 30 books that should be helpful whether or not you own a business, or think of yourself as an entrepreneur.…

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The Claremont Music Connection

Everything is connected. But one connection that took me a long time to make was between the lovely city of Claremont, California (Peter Drucker’s home and site of the Drucker School), and rock music. I have traveled to Claremont – which also contains a stretch of Route 66, not far from the Drucker School — a number of times since 2002 for research on my book. But it wasn’t until last year that I discovered how many great musicians come from Claremont.

Two members of one of my favorite ‘60s bands, Kaleidoscope, David Lindley and Chris Darrow, live there.…

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Happiness: Points to Ponder…

In the ongoing spirit of rethinking and reframing our lives, it’s worth reading Paul B. Farrell’s gentle advice in The Zen Millionaire’s 14 Secrets to Happiness on He references such diverse sources as Warren Buffett, Charles M. Schultz (creator of Peanuts), Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; formerly based at the Drucker School) and the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

It echoes and builds on advice he gave in a similar column in August 2007, Crash course for ‘happier millionaires’. Farrell includes a reading list of 10 books to set you on the road to happiness, including Flow, the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness (written with Howard C.…

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Win Wenger on Problem Solving

An ongoing theme of my blog is how we can continually think of our personal and professional lives in different, more productive ways. Techniques of creative problem solving are often useful shortcuts at helping us get unstuck. In the mid-1990s I took a creative problem solving continuing education course at Georgetown University with Win Wenger, a creativity guru and author who is also based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. I enjoyed the course, and have stayed in touch with him over the years.

His organization, Project Renaissance, is a great source for information on many creativity and thinking-related issues.…

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Staying relevant over many years…being a Renaissance Person helps

The concept of the Renaissance Man (or woman, for that matter) is closely related to living in more than one world. This type of person uses their talents in a variety of ways, engages in continuous learning, and moves among many different types of people and organizations. One of the best examples from history is Leonardo da Vinci, who seems to grow more popular each year. I’m continually fascinated by what keeps people relevant over a period of many years, as Peter Drucker managed to do. Randy Dotinga of The Christian Science Monitor analyzes Leonardo’s ongoing pop culture status — and in particular his importance to science musems — “Museums push to decode Leonardo da Vinci.” Readers of this blog should definitely enjoy Michael Gelb’s classic book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci.…

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If you can’t go to Cambridge…

My former USA TODAY colleague Cathy Grossman, who writes and blogs on the religion beat, says on her Faith & Reason blog that she travels to the UK in April, where she’ll be in Cambridge covering and blogging about a “four day seminar with theologians and scientists talking about evolution, consciousness and the brain.”

It will be her second stint in the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science and Religion. One of my favorite prizes of the year is the Templeton Prize, which is announced on March 16.…

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Workmanship counts: music division

I’m always interested in how people maintain doing excellent work over a period of many years, regardless of the type of work they do. As Peter Drucker has said, “Workmanship counts.” Two examples from the world of music are Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe, who will be touring together in Europe this summer. In my rock writing days — a long time ago — I interviewed Lowe several times and wrote a lot about him and his earlier band, Brinsley Schwarz. Both Cooder and Lowe are admirable for regularly leaving their comfort zones as musicians and songwriters. Among other things, Cooder has written a novella to accompany his latest album, I Flathead, and has worked in many musical worlds, including rock, world music and soundtracks.…

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Rethinking Work and Life for the New Realities

CNBC has an interesting feature on rethinking the work you do, balancing the possible benefits of change with practicalities.

One of the main concepts articulated by Peter Drucker to me in an interview in 2005 is that by maintaining diverse activities, interests and personal relationships, you have a cushion when life deals you a setback. As I was completing my book, that’s just what happened to me, when I was laid off by USA TODAY in December, after working there for 21 years. Had I not been working on the book, and preparing for its publication this coming August, the setback could have been a lot worse.…

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