As an editor for getAbstract, I knew instantly which abstract I wanted to share with readers when our resident blogger asked me for a recommendation list: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. Now I know the colorful language in this article may put some people off, but if you can look beyond the swearing and (hysterical) references to “bags of burritos” you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and inspiring message: Finding the courage to be forthright in the face of adversity makes life worth living. Manson inspires you to not sweat the little things and, instead, spend your energy on contributing to the world. His vision is one that would benefit many people in the sometimes-overwhelming times we live in.
Educators will tell you it’s a scary world out there. Technology, with its double-edged sword, expands knowledge while simultaneously establishing attention deficit as the norm. So many apps, chats and sites — and so little time. Even in the merciful absence of electronics, getting restless, young minds to stay on task in school is an enormous challenge – particularly when teachers insist on employing archaic tools such as textbooks, pencils and notepaper.
A mishandled crisis can ring the death knell for a brand or individual in today’s hyperconnected world. Scandal has become the fuel that helps feed the information bonfire. United Airlines learned this tough lesson the hard way. On April 9, passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 3411 from Chicago, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky, filmed an altercation whereby security staff forcibly removed a United passenger from the aircraft. The footage went viral within hours. Although it doesn’t capture the passenger’s reaction to the initial request or the sequence of events leading up to the forced evacuation, the clip depicts the inhumane treatment of a paid-up customer with a valid ticket – an act that ignited widespread public outrage on social media. Read the rest of this entry »
Silicon Valley is a model of economic prosperity and a beacon of technological progress. But has the once-idealistic tech industry lost its way?
Critic Douglas Rushkoff thinks so. He remembers fondly when the Internet was shaping up as a tool to promote economic opportunity, free expression and equitably distributed wealth. Alas, he argues in Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, the utopian dream has given way to a dystopian nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »
As work becomes ever more flexible, the line between people’s professional and private lives is at times so thin that sometimes one area spills over into the other. Work may cut into your family time if you check your inbox at home or take work calls.
Hiring mistakes happen all the time. You bring in someone with impeccable credentials, a history of achievements and an impressive educational background. You would have bet a million bucks the guy would be a star. But in a few months, you realize it’s not going to work out. What his sparkling resume didn’t reflect was a bloated ego, an unwillingness to accept constructive criticism and the inability to collaborate with co-workers.
Bringing in the wrong people isn’t just a matter of a faulty evaluation system. Poor hiring decisions cost time and money and can really harm cohesiveness and productivity. Ensuring that you make the right decisions requires you to look beyond a candidate’s skills and experience. Obviously, you want people who will strengthen – not sabotage – your organization.
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 »
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.
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.
The moment when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly named La La Land as the winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Picture will go down in history as one of the award ceremony’s all-time biggest bloopers. La La Land’s producer, Jordan Horowitz, upon learning the truth, humbly and graciously revealed the true winner, Moonlight, to millions of incredulous onlookers, and handed over the much coveted statuette to the team behind Moonlight.
This Tinseltown snafu echoes the awkward gaffe at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, when presenter Steve Harvey erroneously announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez Arévalo, as the contest’s winner only to reveal the true winner, Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, moments later. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you’ve just graduated from school or you’ve had it up to here in your current position, looking for a job can test the limits of your patience. It can actually be downright discouraging. Your well-written, error-free cover letters rarely solicit a response. On those rare occasions when you’re granted an interview, you show up on time wearing nice, conservative clothing and generally make a strong impression. The interview goes well and you’re certain you’ll hear from the company.
Days go by … and nothing. Self-doubt starts to creep in. Maybe you’re not as qualified as you think.
In fact, you may very well be an ideal candidate, but computer programs designed to evaluate information gleaned from job applications, personality tests and social media unceremoniously reject you. A growing number of organizations are depending on algorithms to help shape their hiring practices, yet some observers believe it’s a mistake to rely so heavily on technology.
Congratulations, you made it to the finish line!
We had a great time with you on social media and hope to hear more from you in the future. The reading challenge is over, but your journey toward a more efficient you is just beginning – and we’ll be there with you, every step of the way. Keep reading and stay focused on your goals.
And now the winners: You read, you liked, you shared, you commented and you won! Congratulations!
In his new book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass, Bill Treasurer doesn’t mince words. Leadership is hard, and sooner or later every leader faces a situation that is literally a kick in the behind. Throughout the book, he drives home one point: If you want to become a better leader, you have to learn from those situations – you have to learn from your mistakes.
getAbstract had the opportunity to sit down with Bill and discuss his new book.
getAbstract: The moment we read the title of your new book, we were intrigued. Why did you call it A Leadership Kick in the Ass?
Bill: Even before I wrote Leaders Open Doors, I pitched an idea to my publisher of a book called Leadership is Freaking Hard. And it resonated. There are a lot of books that give you the idea that leadership is all this flowery attractive stuff, but if we get real about leadership, it’s freaking hard. As we were talking about that title, we thought it was too playful, and so we changed it to A Leadership Slap in the Face. Leadership is often a wake-up call; leaders go through startling experiences that are humbling – you fail, you mess up, you have a giant misstep. Those events are critical to the formation of you as a leader. They give you the seasoning, experience and wisdom you need.
As we were shaping the book, we shared experiences and we’d often say, “You know, I was facing this situation and I’ll tell you it was a real kick in the ass.” After a while we thought, “Why don’t we just call it what it is, A Leadership Kick in the Ass.”
I did get permission from my 80-year-old mother. [Laughs] I said, “Mom, we’re thinking about calling the book A Leadership Kick in the Ass, what do you think?” And being a New Yorker she said, “You know, Bill, ass isn’t really much of a swearword. You even hear it in PG movies.” So, we thought it was edgy enough to get attention but tame enough that readers will know our aim isn’t to offend them in any way.
Who doesn’t identify with the following scenario? A restaurant hostess escorts several young adults to a table. Literally seconds after being seated, they whip out their smartphones like Ninja warriors with throwing stars. Uh-oh, must be urgent. My goodness, someone else wants to be your Facebook friend! Wow, Beyonce’s new hairdo is blowing up Twitter! Holy cow, the Yahoo account you just checked three minutes ago has two more emails!
Those of you fretting over the future consequences of artificial intelligence may want to note the unsettling robotic behavior of present day flesh-and-blood human beings. If you’re not scared, you ought to be.
Prof. Sherry Turkle, director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is clearly alarmed by technology’s effect on people. Her video talk, Humans First – Technology Second, offers a pessimistic assessment of the current state of interpersonal relationships.
“Technology makes us forget what we know about life,” says Turkle, whose research revealed that the majority of people prefer texting to talking – even though they acknowledge that it damages the interaction.
getAbstract: How did you conclude that fear is the number one obstacle to managing change effectively?
Stott Steinberg: The fact that we’re all capable of successfully innovating our way to the top – and all it takes is one simple shift in mindset to do so. Research shows the leading barrier to ongoing business success isn’t time, money, or resources: It’s resistance to change, and lack of risk tolerance. As fast-moving and unpredictable as today’s world is though, we’re all forced to adapt on a daily basis. Haven’t taken a good look at your shifting schedule or priorities lately? Surprise – chances are, you’re successfully changing and innovating every day already. If everyone is capable of innovating, the only thing stopping you from getting ahead consistently is your own sense of perspective. As we discovered, fear comes in seven flavors. Learn to conquer them and you’ll soon find out – the possibilities are endless.