Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Top 10 Authors

Being the avid reader I am, here's a list of 10 authors whose work I've enjoyed over the past few years:

10. Jay Fiset - Author of "Reframe Your Blame" which is that book where the exercises are really the secret sauce of this excellent book.  While there is the sharing of Jay's past trials and tribulations with finding how to be personally accountable that is enjoyable in its own right, jumping into the exercises to see how these ideas apply to oneself is what makes this such a powerful book.

9. Dan Pink - Author of "Drive" which is about motivation that includes a reading list that is just what I could use at times to take some of the ideas further.  Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation is quite an interesting idea to ponder.  The concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose are also some powerful ideas to see how well these fire me up to get me going on something new.

8. Tom Rath - Author of Gallup Press' "StrengthsFinder 2.0" and "Well-Being" which both have on-line assessments that can be useful in applying what one gets from the material in the book.  My strength themes are Learner, Achiever, Responsibility, Intellection and Strategic.  I suspect those who know the themes and know me could easily see how these relate to me.  It is quite something to get these kinds of results and have steps to take to refine how these can enhance the quality of one's life.

7. J.D. Meier - Writer of "Sources of Insight" blog that has lots of great ideas for improving productivity and how to view the world.  I've often enjoyed how he responds to so many posts on his blog and enjoys having conversation.  His book would be "Getting Results the Agile Way" that is about how to apply a software development methodology to other areas of one's life.

6. Thomas Friedman - Writer of "The World is Flat" that is quite the book about early 21st century history on more than a few levels.  I've also enjoyed his NY Times articles as he writes with conviction in a no nonsense way that I find refreshing at times.

5. Seth Godin - Writer of "Tribes" that discusses how people come together and form communities to some degree.  The book actually advocates being passed onto someone else who may be helped by it that made me want to go, "Aaawwww."

4. Gary Zukav - Writer of "Seat of the Soul" and "Soul Stories" that were both quite interesting books for me to enjoy and intellectually process.  While conveying the type of material that is quite radical, it is done clearly and with some compassion so that the transition is somewhat smooth.  I did enjoy seeing him on Oprah a few times.

3. Jack Canfield - Writer of "The Success Principles" and co-author of "The Power of Focus."  Both books are interesting for having lots of ideas and theories to bump up one's game in the world.  While the books took me a few months to get through, they are the type of books that more than a few people will go, "Huh?" to seeing someone read them.

2. Marcus Buckingham - Writer of "Go Put Your Strengths to Work" and "StandOut."  The latter had an on-line assessment I did last Christmas.  My top roles are Pioneer/Teacher.  Like the StrengthsFinder book .there are action steps to take from this and apply in one's life.  There is some emotion in Marcus' writing that is quite cool yet at the same time it is rather simple writing.

1. Frank McCourt - Writer of "Angela's Ashes," "'Tis," and "Teacher Man."  The writing style is what sticks out the most for me.  As depressing as the subject gets at times, there is still a ton of humor found in the pages of these books about his life in the US, Ireland and the back and forth challenges he experienced growing up in the manner he did.  While he passed away over 3 years ago now, his books will live forever.

Special mention to John Bogle who founded the Vanguard group, popularized index funds, and wrote more than a few books of which the last I read was titled simply, "Enough."  I'm not sure how many people would have the courage to write a book calling for a return to some basic principles yet that is what Bogle writes in this wonderful little book.  Anyone got some other authors that may be interesting within this subject matter?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aftermath of a hot seat....

This past Sunday I had my turn in the hot seat in my Creation Circle.  This is where I got the opportunity to have the others in my circle focus in on a specific problem I'm having and get help/support for this issue.  Now, leading up to the meeting I had more than a few conversations with my "coach" to help nail down the issue so that discussing the issue will be of value to everyone in the group.  While we started with how I can get rather emotional, we did get a little digging to get a bit deeper into the issue.

The issue I decided upon was my issue of self-confidence.  Now, if I'm in my comfort zone, I'll rarely have confidence issues as I can feel like King Kong in those places most of the time.  At other times, I may struggle whether this is in starting a conversation, introducing myself, or opening up in some cases.  Now, just before the hot seat, there were some exercises done as part of the meeting around getting our needs met that in a way overlapped with this that was a bit creepy.  Perhaps it is just a divine hand guiding things along that makes it seem really weird that things line up so well here and that is what threw me.  In the dyad I had, I got to share some of my background on this and got some interesting feedback.  In a way, it was the kind of kick I needed and served me quite well in being prepared for the hot seat.

Part of my time there was explaining the issue which I'd reckon is typical.  What I managed to get from this group was some amazing insights and ideas that will really help a great deal.  The idea of confidence being built instead of found was definitely something to shift my frame of reference.  That I tend to go for external validation at times was another useful point.  I do have the work of going through all my different groups to see which are the ones that feed me and which are the ones that drain me.  Last but not least is the idea of honoring myself.  This was tended to throw my stomach into knots which I could take as a sign of being an issue to work through soon.  Why would I have an issue with celebrating the awesomeness that I am?  Lots of different ideas come to mind though what if I just did things for myself to find what works to be ways of acknowledging that I am great at times.

Friday, August 10, 2012

People person, moi? Really?

Yet again in my life I confront the challenge that is, "Am I a people person?" to which I have to answer, "Yes, I am."  I say this in part because of how socializing can impact my day in both good and bad ways.  One of my biggest needs is to be connected to others which can take the form of some Facebook replies that I post a comment and then the original poster posts a follow-up that just melts me and hits my ooey-gooey center.  In a similar vein, if I had a day where I'm not reaching out to others, that tends to leave me feeling a bit hollow and empty.

Some people will tell me I have a beautiful soul.  I have reached a point in my life where I accept this compliment and try to avoid over-analyzing it.  I do think there is a lot to be said for how someone handles someone else crossing a boundary.  For example, I recently a Facebook friend post a private message that sparked a good discussion where I think opening up what was said allowed for some great exchanges of ideas.