Be present in the moment. Practice acceptance, gratefulness and kindness.There you have it – the skin-and-bones formula for happiness – according to the philosophical deep thinkers and psychological experts who study such matters. Sounds so simple, yet is so elusive.
Happiness is so important to human beings that in 2011, the prime minister of Bhutan, a tiny kingdom in the Himalayas, proposed a global day of happiness to the United Nations. Since 2012, March 20 has been designated as World Happiness Day. According to the World Happiness Report for 2017, Norway is the world’s happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The United States ranked 14th with the UK 19th. Read the rest of this entry »
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I particularly enjoyed this book because I like to learn more about how you can improve your life, expand your mind, improve your health and treat illnesses through mindfulness and meditation. I truly believe that meditation helps you positively change your life and the life of others.
I learned about different kinds of mindfulness meditation, how mindfulness can help you deal better with emotional challenges, and how to accept things the way they are.
Happiness is not an emotion; it’s a state of being. Much has been said about it and there’s much left to be said. But one thing is clear: The pursuit of authentic and lasting happiness is universal. Wherever you are in your path toward happiness, these five books will help you understand what happiness really means, how to achieve it and most importantly, how to maintain it.
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Data Crush by Chris Surdak won getAbstract’s International Book of the Year in 2014 and with good reason. Big Data are two words that are seemingly everywhere. It’s the vast amounts of data that we now have access to thanks to the internet and social media.
Our online behavior is being tracked constantly, every click, every like and every page you view is tracked and catalogued. While this brings up a lot of troublesome questions for individuals, companies must use this information and leverage it to predict consumer behavior and, ultimately, succeed in their market.
Is one of your passwords “password” or “123456789”? Hey, don’t laugh, it still happens. And it’s not surprising: First, most of us don’t think we’re ever going to be hacked, and second, most digital natives don’t have as many privacy concerns as earlier generations.
But whether you’re a tech wiz or a newbie, online privacy is an issue worth thinking about. Remember the Yahoo hacking scandal? It took them three years to notice they were hacked! If you’re a Yahoo user, you might have even gotten an email from them advising you to change your password. If you did, hopefully you changed it to something stronger than “iloveyou” and you started using two-step verification for extra security. Read the rest of this entry »
I read Thrive a few years ago when I was just about to change my job in management consulting. I was not only reassessing my goals, but also whether my personality and attitude still suited that industry. At the time, Arianna Huffington’s book was exactly what I needed: She speaks about life goals beyond earning money and power – there’s a “third metric,” as she calls it, which includes “well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.” That’s what I’d been looking for. I knew there was more to life than just waiting for the next promotion or raise. It was a relief to hear from this successful business woman that, yes, there’s more out there that I can achieve. That’s probably the most important lesson I took away from this book: It’s OK to have goals that are different from those of the People around me, because they’re goals worth having.
Another thing I love about Thrive is that it’s a well thought out book with knowledge ranging from Greek philosophy and mythology to various contemporary studies on productivity and happiness.
I would recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a new perspective on what it means to be successful.
Let’s try an experiment: Take a minute to count how many women have leading positions in your company. One, two, three…zero? Don’t be surprised if the number is low; women still have a long way to go when it comes to gender equality.
While the gender gap is closing, it’s simply not closing fast enough. Not one single nation in the world has closed the gender gap when it comes to economic participation or political empowerment. The most recent projections say it’ll take another 169 years for the gap to close completely. At the current pace, gender equality is not something we’ll live to see – and neither will our children.
Think 24 hours isn’t enough time in your busy day? Try being a world leader. Yet even the most powerful people in the world sometimes need to relax and temporarily get away from it all. Reading is a source of pleasure for many of us – world leaders included – whether it be educational, inspirational or merely a fictional escape.
A week before he left office, Barack Obama explained to The New York Times the pivotal role that books played during his presidency and how they enabled him to “maintain my balance during the course of eight years,” “slow down and get perspective” and “get in somebody else’s shoes.”
getAbstract had the opportunity to talk to information technology professional and Data Crush author, Chris Surdak, and ask a few questions about big data, what companies actually do with the data they collect and how your company can succeed in this new information age.
getAbstract: Is everything we do online really being monitored all the time? How much data do people produce daily?
Chris: Absolutely everything that we do online is being monitored all of the time, although not all companies are doing this. It should be obvious which companies do capture our data. They are organizations that provide us with services without charging us for them. Think of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Waze, etc. These companies provide us with tremendous capabilities, apparently for free. However, the real costs to us is our privacy. These same companies are worth hundreds of billions of dollars because we give them our data, and they turn it into value and, eventually, money.
We all go through ups and downs at work. It’s normal to have unproductive days and days when you don’t seem to get anything done. But when does it become a problem? How can you turn things around?
getAbstract had the opportunity to talk to performance expert and Love It, Don’t Leave It author, Beverly Kaye, and ask a few performance questions every employee wants the answer to.
getAbstract: What are the top skills every employee should have to improve job performance?
Beverly: For starters, communication seems like common sense, but the truth is, common sense is not common. Verbal, written and listening (often not included) are key to building relationships and improving performance. Knowing what to say, when to say, and how to say is truly a science. Employees who take the time to learn the art of both public speaking, as well daily communication will find it helps dramatically to change the dynamic of a position. Due to technology, written communication has become the new first impression. Find programs that double check grammar! Employees should never fear to start over to retrain their written skills. The most important, and often forgotten form of communication, however, is listening. The old saying “We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason” has never been truer. Every employee should have the ability to listen…not just to what is said but to the words between the words.
Awareness is another rarely considered, but critical skill for employees. Employees should be aware of time, of areas for self-improvement and the changing climates of their industry.
Finally, patience is integral to employee success. Everyone succeeds on their own time schedule, and in unique ways. Employees need to plan for future success but be flexible to the reality that life does not always go as we planned.
Has “reading more” also made it into your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, how do you make sure you’re not only reading more, but also the most relevant books?
We might have an idea for you: Start with the “Top 10 Summaries”, the 10 most downloaded getAbstract summaries in 2016, and stay informed and connected to the most current and relevant business information – in just 10 minutes.
Have a look at the most popular summaries from the past year!
When you think of the next 12 months, do you think of projects you want to start or changes you’d like to make?
If your answer is yes, keep reading. getAbstract had the opportunity to chat with professional development gurus Jason and Jodi Womack. They explain how to get unstuck, Get Momentum and take that first step to success.
getAbstract: We all have many goals we want to achieve. How do you prioritize?
Jason and Jodi: The definition of “goal” simply means “the object of a person’s ambition or effort.”
Our book, Get Momentum, helps people make consistent progress on their big, ambitious goals by focusing their effort productively.
In reality, you can only have ONE priority at a time. The most important thing is what you’re choosing to do right now.
When he was charting his career course, it’s unlikely that Mike Rowe thought about collecting owl vomit, making charcoal or turning the bones of dead cattle into useful products.
Rowe probably didn’t envision himself developing a passion for the Dirty Jobs TV show that enjoyed a seven-year run on the Discovery Channel. Life can be funny that way. Doors open unexpectedly and you walk on through. Or maybe you’re among the fortunate ones in a profession you’ve dreamed of since childhood.
In his 2016 video talk, Don’t Follow Your Passion, Rowe warns against the dangers of pursuing unrealistic goals and ignoring the practical demands of life. Wishes and desires, he explains, often are not aligned with talents and capabilities.
“Just because you’re passionate at something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it,” Rowe says.
He’s an economics instructor at the renowned Cambridge University. He’s served as a consultant to the World Bank and other prestigious financial institutions. He’s a fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington and the author of several popular books.
If Ha-Joon Chang came across as a snooty intellectual you probably wouldn’t be shocked, though that would go against everything he believes. The South Korean argues that economics is not just for those with lofty IQ’s and fancy degrees; it’s accessible to everyone – which may explain why Chang’s 2016 video presentation, Economics is for Everyone, is one of the most popular video talks in getAbstract’s library.
Economics has always been an intimidating subject, Chang says, mainly because we defer to “experts” who complicate matters with thorny mathematical formulas and esoteric jargon and principles. Marxist, Keynesian, GDP, regressive tax, supply side, variable cost, etc., etc. Yuck. No wonder we can’t be bothered.
“Economics has been uniquely successful in making the general public reluctant to engage with its territory,” Chang wrote in his well-received 2014 book, Economics: The User’s Guide.
Chang’s point is that average people know plenty about economics. They’re in the trenches every day, working hard to support a family and hopefully move up the ladder. You’re entitled – strongly encouraged, even – to have an opinion about economics. You don’t need a master’s in political science to express your views on Obamacare or be a psychologist to weigh in on gay marriage, right?
Unlike physics or chemistry, with their immutable laws and theories, economics is a fluid, inexact science subject to society’s evolution and peoples’ behaviors. Neoclassical economics, for instance, the most popular of the nine major schools of economics, posits that people tolerate work to afford pleasure. But as we’ve seen in the age of high-octane consumption, making more money does not ensure happiness. Often it’s quite the opposite.
“Any subject studying human beings, including economics, has to be humble about its predictive power,” says Chang.
Economic insight, Chang explains, requires being receptive to contrary viewpoints instead of stubbornly clinging to a single philosophy. Every school of thought has its valid points and flaws. If you are just able to grasp the basics – don’t worry about the fancy terms – then economics will not seem so daunting.
Take it from an expert.
You’ve reviewed dozens of résumés, sorted out the best applications and invited a handful of qualified candidates for an interview. Now what?
Do you hire the person wearing orange? The one that wants a cup of coffee? Or the one with the strongest handshake?
These seem like inane questions, but no matter how objective hiring managers try to be, there are plenty of subjective factors that affect hiring decisions. Jacquelyn Smith and Shana Lebowitz offer an insightful list in their article 28 Surprising Things that Affect Whether You Get Hired.