Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Peter Drucker’s 5 Existential Questions for the Fall Semester

As we’re all aware, the immediate period after Labor Day is one of transitions, new beginnings and self-examination. Among other things, it is the Jewish New Year, and the start of the school year. Many people are starting or ending jobs, moving to a new residence, or deciding on potential new careers. I wrote about this period last year, in my post “5 Self-Management Tips For the Fall 2012 Semester.”

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Whether or not you are a college or grad student, it’s worth considering questions Peter Drucker posed to this group in a fascinating essay, “The Romantic Generation,” in Harper’s Magazine, May 1966.…

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The Summer of Happiness

If we had an unlimited amount of time on this earth, it would take a big chunk of that time to read all of the books, articles, websites and blogs devoted to the subject of happiness. But that doesn’t stop the flow, or end the curiosity of those of us who are intensely interested in the subject. The cover of the July 8/15 Summer Double Issue of TIME magazine is “The Pursuit of Happiness.” It is a five part, 15 page section; including the lead article by Jeffrey Kluger, “The Happiness of Pursuit.” (This is also the title of a quirky, engaging book by Cornell University psychology professor Shimon Edelman.)

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The special section also includes a happiness poll and a look at happiness around the world (including the transformation of Finland from the suicide capital of the world into a much happier country).…

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Oliver Burkeman and the Mid-January Effect

Improving your life at any time of year can seem overwhelming. That is especially true for mid-late January, with many people trying to implement new year’s resolutions or similar goals and strategies. Last year I wrote about keeping on track at a time when the weather is bleak and things don’t seem to be changing fast enough. I believe that my thoughts from last year are still valid, but you might want to add the ideas of Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman to the mix. I wrote about him in 2009 and 2011, and he has a new book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.…

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4 Areas of Mid-January Self-Improvement

Last week I wrote a guest post for LexisNexis Government Info Pro, Creating Your Total Life List for 2012. Much has been written at the end of last year and the beginning of this one about new beginnings. But as we get deeper into January, it’s easy for the fresh feeling to wear off. No matter how many systems you use to better your life, having handy reminders for self-improvement are always helpful:
1. Time management and productivity: Jason Womack, whose book Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More, will be released next month, is interviewed by Meridith Levinson for CIO.com, in Time Management: 6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity.…

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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 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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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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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 MarketWatch.com. 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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