Tuesday, May 29, 2012

End Malaria with Great Work

I just read the book End Malaria. It's a cool new book put together by Michael Bungay Stanier of Box Of Crayons fame. It is published by Seth Godin's The Domino Project... and it will save lives just by your purchase.

End Malaria: Bold Innovation, Limitless Generosity, and the Opportunity to Save a Life is written by 64 thought leaders - including Tom Peters, Gary Vaynerchuk, Sir Ken Robinson, Brene Brown, & Seth Godin to name just a few. It's the list I would put together for the game, Who would you invite to a dinner party.

The topic is Great Work and doing more of it. The book is divided into 8 main themes: Tap Your Strengths, Create Freedom, Love & Be Kind, Disrupt Normal, Take Small Steps, Embrace Systems, Get Physical, Collaborate.

"More than fifty extraordinary writers and thinkers have come together to contribute to this project and to write about what they think is most important to let Great Work flourish in your life and your organization. Great Work is the work you do that has meaning and that you care about and that has impact - in short, the work that matters."

$20 from the sale of each book goes to Malaria No More.

So, I guess the question is: Have you got your copy yet?

what we do today

Each morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most.

- Buddha

how will you measure your life?

I just read the book How Will You Measure Your Life? In it, Clayton Christensen takes his 2010 address to the Harvard Business School graduates and puts it in book form.  Mr. Christensen says in the introduction, 

"I don't promise this book will offer you any easy answers: working through these questions requires hard work. It has taken me decades. But it has also been one of the most worthwhile endeavors of my life. I hope the theories in this book can help you as you continue on your journey, so that in the end, you can definitively answer for yourself the question "How will you measure your life?"

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in an address to the 2010 HBS graduating class. In a nut shell...
On the last day of class, I ask my students to turn those theoretical business lenses on themselves, to find cogent answers to three questions: First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not. Two of the 32 people in my Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. Jeff Skilling of Enron fame was a classmate of mine at HBS. These were good guys—but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.
One of the theories that gives great insight on the first question—how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. 
A theory that is helpful in answering the second question—How can I ensure that my relationship with my family proves to be an enduring source of happiness?—concerns how strategy is defined and implemented. ...Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy. 
 'Marginal Cost' theory addresses the third question I discuss with my students—how to live a life of integrity (stay out of jail). Unconsciously, we often employ the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives when we choose between right and wrong. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK.” The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in, and you don’t ever look at where that path ultimately is headed and at the full costs that the choice entails. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once.”

It's a useful book for students and teachers and parents and people with jobs :)

It's a question we should all ask of ourselves,
How will you measure your life?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

lean on me

I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel. ~ Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load you need to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
If you just call me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

daring greatly

I'm not perfect. Got a problem with it?

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910

Monday, May 21, 2012


Merely thinking that compassion and reason and patience are good will not be enough to develop them. 
We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practice them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

where to look

"The best teachers are those 
who show you where to look 
but don't tell you what to see" 

~ Alexandra Trentor

Friday, May 18, 2012

paper and glue

Can art change the world? 
Can art change lives? 
JR says the answer is YES.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

touch the snake

David Kelley is well-known for his astute application of design thinking to many of life's intractable problems. Perhaps he'll become better known as the man who wouldn't let the world divide people into "creatives" and "non-creatives". People are naturally creative... Let your ideas fly!

"That opting out [of creativity] that happens in childhood … moves in and becomes more ingrained by the time you get to adult life.” ~ David Kelley

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I read something cute today:

The best way to knock the chip off your neighbor's shoulder
 is to pat him on the back. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This week was a week of chaos

This week was a week of meditation
that was hard to sit still through

This week was ... a challenge ...and a reminder ...and a prayer

Prayer by Marie Howe

Every day I want to speak with you. And everyday something more important
calls for my attention - the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage

I need to buy for the trip.
Even now I can hardly sit here

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside
already screeching and banging.

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath.
Why do I flee from you?

My days and nights pour through me like complaints
and become a story I forgot to tell.

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Maurice Sendak on death... and life

"I think what I've offered is different. But not because I drew better than anybody or wrote better than anybody, but because I was more honest than anybody." - Maurice Sendak

Sunday, May 6, 2012

and then I will ask...

Is it possible to be happy with this life?

Did you enjoy your story?

where do you stand

A hero’s path I sought to tread,

Found disillusionment instead.

on occasion

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

 R.J. Palacio, Wonder

Friday, May 4, 2012

braver, stronger, smarter

Christopher Robbin: “Oh, Pooh. If ever there’s a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you must remember.”
Pooh Bear: “And what might that be, Christopher Robin?”
Christopher Robbin: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

what makes us who we are?

If you have 6 minutes... 
NASA will fill you with a sense of wonder and appreciation.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

the things we do

“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you.” 
 ― R.J. Palacio, Wonder
I love these ads...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Do more with what you have.

at this moment

Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life
 at this moment, 
are precisely the ones you need in your life
 at this moment. 
There is a hidden meaning behind all events, 
and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.

Deepak Chopra