Thursday, December 1, 2011

An update from Bono...

Recently Bono submitted this piece to the NYT on the current status of the AIDS epidemic and the effort to eliminate it. He saved the last paragraph to encourage America to keep its act together.

Worth reading.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A peak at Leonardo da Vinci's daily tasks...

Who wouldn't want to look at the to-do list of someone like da Vinci? In this article on the NPR website we get to look inside his personal notebook and read what he pondered on a daily basis.

The info shared here is just to whet your appetite for an upcoming book on the same subject matter by Toby Lester.

Can forgiveness impact your status?

According to Teresa Norton's post on the Harvard Business Review blog it does. This is a thought-provoking and insightful piece on how forgiveness affects a person's estimation of self-worth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Creative animated video to inspire runners

Saw this on the Adventure Journal blog which i enjoy very much. Mostly because they post things like this that inspire me to be outdoors.

Creative & compelling video.


Is there a conspiracy behind conspiracy theories?

Seth Godin posted an very interesting entry on his blog regarding "conspiracy theories" and how they come about and why the average person embraces them.

Here is a line from the article that intrigued me greatly: "Doubt is something people often want to buy, particularly if it gives them comfort."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is criticism ever really constructive?

In this article by Tony Schwartz on the Harvard Business Review blog he discusses whether criticism is ever really constructive. He discusses how giving feedback can be difficult to deliver not just for the person receiving it but for the person giving it as well.

This is a very helpful piece to read and reflect on regardless of the role you play in your organization bc the reality is we all find ourselves in the position of giving feedback as some point.

Monday, October 31, 2011

a sister's eulogy...

This piece written by Mona Simpson, Steve Jobs' sister, has no doubt made its rounds all over the world wide web -- but its worth posting even if for the millionth time.

It is very moving & beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mindset After Failure is Profound...

In this article by Jonah Lehrer on Wired.com he discusses the profound importance of a person's mindset after failing at a task. Even more importantly for me, as a father, he discusses the profound impact of our words/instructions/comments to children after failing or succeeding at a task.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Intuitive Decision Making...

Author Donald Miller wrote this concise yet profound blog entry regarding the validity of making decisions (quick ones at that) using intuition alone.

I found it similar to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink which is entire book dedicated to the topic. And of course anything by Gladwell is top-notch.

I recommend reading both the article and Blink.

Ben Franklin - master of social skills...

In this enlightening piece by David McRaney of You Are Not So Smart.com he discusses the myths & truths behind why we like or dislike certain people. It was very eye-opening for me and certainly caused me to stop and think. He uses Ben Franklin as the case study but certainly dives into deep research and study on the topic.

This article is quite lengthy but worth the read.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hydration during exercise - a new theory

Well actually -- its not so much a new theory as it is a contradiction to what we have been told (a better word is probably "sold") for a long time. When it comes to sports drinks and/or water are you over-hydrating?

This article might lead you to believe that you are. It is very interesting to say the least. And i must say the point Dr. James Winger of Loyola University Medical Center makes seems very logical.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Competition - good or bad motivator?

In this article by Seth Godin he makes a strong point about the advantage or disadvantage of using competition as a motivator. I found this piece to be very profound on several different levels and areas in my life.

Short & sweet as usual by Godin.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Encounters with Steve Jobs...

I have not had any...but all these people have and they shared a bit about it.
They are certainly compelling stories. Stories that cause me to ponder -- what is it about someone that has such an impact on others. Is there such a thing as "it?" A quality that you are born with. You have "it" and others don't. And this makes you special -- or at least more special.

Good questions...

I have found that pondering profound questions is a very good thing.

In this article on the Harvard Business Review they reflect on several potentially life altering questions that Steve Jobs posed in his 2005 Commencement address.

Profound indeed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Small Wins vs Big Wins -- which wins?

This blog entry by Dan Pink is an interview with author & Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile about her latest work "The Progress Principle."

I personally have not read the book yet -- however the interview alone shed some very profound light on the topic of progress in the workplace particularly concerning the culture of the workplace and supervisor/employee relationships.

This entry is worth the read alone -- and i imagine the book is a must read.

While i am at it i recommend checking out Dan Pink's "stuff." He is a good source of info on Twitter and the 2 books he advertises on his blog are very enlightening as well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beginner Training for a Triathlon

Rachel Sturtz of Women's Health posted this article on Active.com regarding training for a triathlon. There are some very solid training/technique tips here regardless of your experience level. However, the info is more geared for the beginner.

Wanna be faster...

Active.com posted this piece that includes 8 different articles on how to improve times throughout your triathlon disciplines: swimming, cycling, running & transitions. The articles cover everything from training exercises, to equipment to the mental game.

A very solid piece that should offer numerous ways to improve.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Improve your running mechanics...

This article posted by Active.com can be very technical at times but still provides good reminders and insight on proper running mechanics. I recommend following the links to other articles and particularly a couple of the videos posted here as well.

The videos really helped to provide visual understanding to what i had been reading in the article.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monkey see - Monkey do

Ever reach for your phone in your pocket because you thought it was vibrating only to find that it was not. Yep - you fell victim to "phantom vibration syndrome." No this is not a scientific term yet but i imagine as we become more & more dependent on our electronic gadgets and more & more in tune with them this will become a legitimate scientific term.

Martin Lindstrom wrote this article for Fast Company about this very idea. I personally have fallen victim to this numerous times and found this piece very intriguing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's all this "debt ceiling" talk about...

In a rare move i am actually going to post a "political" article -- well its truly more of a financial article. Lately there has been constant chatter on news channels & shows regarding the nation's "debt ceiling" and the dire need to raise it.

I ignored it as long as i could until i came across this very simple & practical article by the New York Times giving a quick Q & A to fill me in without having to sort thru all the partisan rhetoric (thankfully!).

Busy is not all its cracked up to be...

In this article by Chris Savage her discusses some of the most profound & simple advice he has ever received: "...Stop being so bloody busy."

This piece is beneficial for anyone that is tempted to add "just one more thing" to their schedule.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Get Started Running...

In this article by Olympian Kara Goucher in Runners World are some terrific running tips for beginner runners or maybe even the experienced runner that needs to relearn how to appreciate and accomplish a running goal.

These tips are simple & basic -- but profound & practical.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

5 practical race tips for Triathletes

This article on Active.com by Amanda McCracken gives 5 very practical tips on easily overlooked "things" for Race Day. These are useful and i would encourage any racer to read thru them regardless of their experience.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Myths about Introverts...

Being an introvert i certainly appreciate this article by Carl King on his blog. In it he discusses 10 common myths regarding introverts.

This is recommended reading for Introverts & Extroverts alike.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To decide or not to decide...

Jocelyn Glei from 99% wrote this article on the tendencies that play into our decision making and how we routinely over think them.

This piece if very profound and informative. She gives 5 very thought-provoking points and discusses things from 2 types of solutions to 3 types of intuition.

I found this article to be very helpful.

(Don't overlook the TED talk link by Dan Gilbert. It too is fascinating and practical.)

Don't limit your creativity - embrace uncertainty

In this article from the site 99% they use the "space pen" example as a way to show that we can too often limit our creativity by making our objectives and goals too narrow.

Instead they set the challenge of embracing ambiguity when working on projects. A good challenge indeed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Training for an Olympic Distance Triathlon

I just came across this helpful bit of info by Mike Ricci at Active.com. He focuses mostly on the run portion of the training regime and i found it helpful. Particularly how he breaks down the different types of run training that should be essential in your program.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is "Follow Your Passion" bad advice?

In this article by David Brooks of Study Hacks the familiar mantra of "follow your passion" regarding career advice is debunked. Brooks is not against being passionate about your work or even enjoying what you do -- but he does challenge the typical advice of discover your passion first and then find a job that compliments it.

I like this article and its fresh way of looking at this necessary part of every person's life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tell your imagination to go take a flying leap...

And keep doing it. This article by Mark Shead from the site Productivity 501 is stellar if you are needing some breakthroughs in problem solving or just being challenged to think differently.

Shead begins by discussing and showing why Einstein was able to come up with ideas that his contemporaries could not even begin to imagine (literally). Its an interesting read and even provides some tasks/challenges to help you grow your thinking.

One of my favorite quotes is by Einstein: "No problem will ever be solved by the same thinking that created it." Little did i know i would ever get read about what was potentially the source/reason behind that quote.

An added bonus: you get to view a sweet pic of Einstein in this article.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Idea Execution...

An organization that i highly recommend looking into is 99%. They offer many resources on all things ideas, design, workplace effectiveness, etc. This article from their website is a recap of things they discussed & learned at their annual conference.

There is some very insightful material in here. Again, a terrific group to follow and learn from.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Swim Tips from Dave Scott

6 Time Ironman Champion Dave Scott gives 3 helpful tips for swim practice. This is done via video which certainly makes it more effective for understanding the proper mechanics of the drills.

Triathlon: Proper push off in the pool

This is an informative article on the proper push off in the pool portion of a triathlon. Any advantage in the pool is worthwhile. Having a video accompany it is even more helpful.

The dangerous effects of sitting...

Recently i have read or heard some startling new findings on the dangerous effects of sitting on health. It is surprising that after all these years research is now starting to show that "sitting all day" can lead to obesity and cardivascular issues.

Check out this very well designed article from Mashable on the deadly habit of sitting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Apple doesn't fall far from the Steve...

With the recent news that Apple is now the World's most powerful brand this article by Brian X Chen of Wired was great timing. In this piece he is merely retelling insights from the original article posted in Fortune -- but regardless its an eye-opener about what goes on behind the scenes with top decision makers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Break through the Training Plateau

Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion provides some good insight on how to break through plateaus in training regardless of the sport/event. This article identifies 3 types of people once a plateau is reached. Which one are you?

Swimming is excellent for recovery...

Not only swimming an excellent recovery method and something triathletes are already scheduling, but research shows that it may be "the best" recovery method. This article by Matt Fitzgerald of Triathlete.com gives solid insight & proof via research.

Nutrition Info for Sprint/Olympic Tri's

The info given in this article on Active.com is very helpful as it relates to nutrition before & during the event. I was surprised at some of the advice given here by Rich Strauss of Endurance Nation.

Injury Prevention Tips for Endurance Training

This article on Active.com written by Vic Brown of VeloNews provides 10 solid tips to avoid injuries.

Improve Bike Splits...

This article has 3 solid tips on being faster on the bike portion of a Triathlon Race.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is your brain due for an upgrade?

The blog Productivity 501 had this very intriguing article on ways to upgrade your brain. I will tell you that this article by Mark Shead is lengthy and if you want to jump to the sections i thought were most enlightening skip down to the "Seek Out New Experiences" section and the "Think" section. These are very practical and dare i say enjoyable. Don't just upgrade & update your favorite technology tools -- upgrade your brain as well. Its an incredibly powerful tool that you dare not waste.

Friday, March 25, 2011

50 books every child should read...

Whether you are a parent or not this article from The Independent should spark interest with you...especially if you are a reader. The source, Education Secretary, Michael Gove, says that children should read a book a week (11 yr olds that is). I find that goal a bit audacious for this day & time, but i do applaud the challenge.

What i found interesting were the books on the list. Take a look for yourself and see how many you have read in your lifetime. Then consider whether or not you would have your kids read them. Admittedly i did not recognize many of the titles...it could be because this is a British website. Just a guess.

Creative Office Spaces @ Skype

Office Snapshots recently revealed the new digs for Skype's Palo Alto office. Being the Culture Directore here at work i am always intrigued and learning from new office spaces. I highly recommend taking a look at these pics.

(When you're Skype you can afford an office space like this)

Simplify your life...

I came across this article on the Becoming Minimalist blog and i really appreciated the challening yet practical advice on how to "live simply." In this piece the author, Faith Janes, discusses how acquiring a simplistic lifestyle does not come from one decision but from a group of decisions leading to one another.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule...

Here is an intriguing yet simple look at Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule posted by the blog SwissMiss. I certainly appreciate the simplicity that he took on daily tasks yet started & ended his day with a "big picture" question. Obviously very wise.

"Pick yourself" says Godin

No suprises here -- Godin has a revolutionary thought on the decision between waiting to be picked or picking yourself. Solid stuff as usual.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Religion & Politics...

These are 2 things i routinely avoid posting here - however this article was quite thought provoking. Phil Zuckerman from the Huffington Post takes the position that "white evangelicals" are actually the least likely group to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus.

It is quite a stinging criticism.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On the road with Dick Vitale

Because i am a huge sports fan -- mostly college sports -- including college basketball this article was very intriguing to me. I personally love & admire Dick Vitale. He has such a contagious joy and optimism for life. A true icon and role-model regardless of your passion for basketball.

Does difficult decision = important decision?

This article by Whitson Gordon of LifeHacker.com rang true for me becuase i am someone that is suceptible to "paralysis by analysis" when attempting to make a seemingly simple decision but am confronted with an unexpected plethora of choices.

In the article Gordon presents research from a number of different sources that sheds an interesting light on decision making.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creating success or creating successful people

The Harvard Business Review recently posted this article by Heidi Grant Halvorson addressing the question of why some people achieve their goals and why some people do not. Are successful people born or are there things someone can do to become successful based on these actions?

Overall its an insightful article worth your time and contemplation.

A compelling workspace...

My title is Culture Director at my workplace -- not that i am in to titles or think they should define all that we do -- but in my particular case i do assist in helping create compelling workspaces in & around our office.

This is a daunting task at times -- particularly when you inherit a building and space that is 30+ years old. The difficult task is to take that space and turn it in to a compelling environment one project at a time on a limited budget.

I just came across this article from "The Illuminated Mind" blog on creating an excellent workspace and i agree with most of what is said here. If i could pull it off for all our spaces i would be very pleased & i think my coworkers would be as well.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's your passion?

Is this a helpful question for someone trying to discern what they should do with the rest of their life? Author Daniel Pink discusses this topic in a profound article in The Telegraph online.

If you have ever been asked this question or maybe you ask yourself this question -- trying to determine your best path forward -- then i highly recommend this article.

Pink states that maybe the better question is: "What do you do in your free time?"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brainstorm like Disney...

The 99% website posted this article about brainstorming & making ideas happen. It is a concise but profound piece on how to create ideas and then make them a reality in a practical and efficient process.

Nature vs Nurture...

How much impact does genetics have on how a child turns out?
How much impact does parenting have on the development of a child?
How much impact does the child's environment matter in who they become?

Jonah Lehrer discusses all these questions in this Wall Street Journal article. Its a very compelling piece.

Distractions can lead to better thinking...

This article from the Wall Street Journal by Jonah Lehrer explores the notion that being distracted while thinking about something specific can actually lead to more/better idea creation.

So often we try to force ourselves to really "focus" and generate a solution to a problem -- when in reality it may be more efficient to daydream or allow our minds to wander.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Use the Treadmill for training more effectively

Over the past 2.5 years i have been actively involved in Triathlons. I got bored of footraces and the training that goes with them and decided to give triathlons a try. I loved it. Not just race day but the training too. From day one i have never looked back. I still compete in a footrace from time to time but only as something to stay in shape between training season.

I became a triathlon addict. I began reading, studying and watching anything i could find on triathlons and triathlon training. I even created a 3-ring binder full of triathlon articles. That leads me to this post. Instead of printing everything out i will now just include enlightening triathlon/racing/training articles here as well.

I found this article on Active.com about using the treadmill more effectively in the "run" portion of training. I will take insight on how to make the "dreadmill" more pleasurable.

behind the scenes (literally) of Pixar Studios

I recently came across this video from The NewYork Times. It is a behind the scenes look at Pixar Studios in San Francisco. Its a mixture of "how they do that" and a basic look at their offices & studios. Very compelling stuff.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Truthiness...does it sell?

And the compelling thought-provoking pieces from Brene' Brown just keeping coming. From her TED talk - to her blog - to her website i just keep reading very profound "stuff." I invite you to discover it too.

Here is an article she wrote some time ago -- but its 'truth' is timeless. Enjoy.

Voice lessons from Dixie Chicks...

I have been on quite the journey of self-discovery lately. In doing so i have come across a researcher named Brene' Brown that has numerous articles, talks, & books that have me thoroughly intrigued.

Just today i read this piece on women having a voice of authenticity.
(note: this article was not necessarily for me and my journey -- as i am not a female -- however i did find truth in it and felt it was worth sharing with anyone)

Following well...

So many books, blogs, podcasts, conferences exist to discuss and promote "leadership" but there are so few on "followership." With that in mind here is a brief but to the point list of 7 tips from The Catalyst blog on following well.

Please...no pleasing

An excellent but brief reminder by Seth Godin for anyone doing work that matters.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Carb loading & other myths

I just came across this article from Bicycling Magazine regarding common assumptions like "carb loading" and other old, counterproductive habits when it comes to eating. This article in particular is beneficial for those that train for races or ride regularly.

Solid info that will change the way you eat.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"The Price of Invulnerability"

I cannot overstate the profound impact of this video on the benefit of being vulnerable. This is compelling & life-change information for anyone. Here is the synopsis of the TED talk by Dr. Brene' Brown:

"In our anxious world, we often protect ourselves by closing off parts of our lives that leave us feeling most vulnerable. Yet invulnerability has a price. When we knowingly or unknowingly numb ourselves to what we sense threatens us, we sacrifice an essential tool for navigating uncertain times -- joy."

This talk will explore how and why fear and collective scarcity has profoundly dangerous consequences on how we live, love, parent, work and engage in relationships -- and how simple acts can restore our sense of purpose and meaning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK, Jr -- a lion man

I found this rather short but robust entry on the Fatherless Generations blog honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A nice piece to remind us of the monumental difference-maker he truly was.

As a bonus this entry also includes a link to his famous "I have a dream..." speech. Its an absolute must for those that have never listened to it before.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What makes Chick-Fil-A tick...

If you enjoy Chick-Fil-A...and i am guessing you do...this article by Success Magazine will help you understand why. I have written about this before -- Chick-Fil-A creates a meaningful difference between itself and any competition that is out there. Some of there amazing business practices & ideas are discussed here.

Eat more chicken! Chick-Fil-A that is.

What's up with up...

NewScientist posted this article today titled "Elevate yourself to become more virtious." I found this piece to be very compelling. The statitistics alone on how people's actions/reactions differed based on their relation to being "above" or "below" are very intriguing.

While reading this i began to consider our preconceived notions of Heaven always being above and Hell always being below and had to wonder if this doesn't reflect on that in someway.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Keeping the Peace with an Introvert...

The Atlantic recently published this article titled "Caring for Your Introvert." If you are even slightly interested in personality profiles this is a very solid read. And if you are Introvert or someone that spends any time with one or 10 its a must read.

As an ISTJ i wish everyone would read the article.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What's in a name...

If you have ever had to "brainstorm" about coming up with a name or idea for something new this article will resonate with you. Even if you're not in the branding business this is an enlightening piece from Fast Company.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Improve your meetings...

If you are a person that leads meetings or attends a lot of meetings you must see this blog post by Seth Godin. He is the author of many influential books and an all-around business/leadership guru. I recommend following his blog and picking up a few books of his as well. Most recently i have enjoyed The Dip and Linchpin.