Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm Growing!!!

Hey there, hi there!

My blog seems to be turning into a bibliography. I do apologize. It seems that books are my current raison d'ĂȘtre...

I read a surprisingly deep book called What Your Clothes Say About You by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine (of BBC TV series What Not to Wear fame). The book inspired me to go through my closets and to commit a whole big trashbag-full of old clothes to recycling (check out the What Not to Wear style baromater (quiz) too!)

The book has some lovely photos and great ideas on how anyone can update their wardrobe. However, it really goes very deep into the female psyche, explaining why we make certain fashion faux-pas (mainly lack of self esteem). And they believe (as do I) that making a positive step will also improve your inner self, i.e. dressing in a way you truly love is a step towards loving yourself more. I also believe that the same applies to our surroundings, so I undertook the seemingly overwhelming task of clearing my study from under piles of accumulated junk. I had to do it because my physical therapist forbade me from using my laptop placed in my lap while sitting on the sofa - so I had to clear my desk. It feels great. We now only have one junk room left in the house....yes, I still have a lot o' growing to do.

Speaking of growing, I am still reading the amazing, A-mazing book, Principle-Centered Leadership. The more I read it, the more I totally fall in love with it. Here's a quote:

"Principle-centered leadership suggests that the highest level of human motivation is a sense of personal contribution. It views people as the most valuable organizational asset - as stewards of certain resources - and stewardship as the key to discovering, developing, and managing all other assets. Each person is recognized as a free agent, capable of immense achievement, not as a victim or pawn limited by conditions or conditioning".

Wow!!! I love the idea of stewardship: "...the idea that you don't own anything, that you give your life to higher principles, causes and purposes."

It's kind of like in Out of Africa: Karen comes to realize that we don't own anything in this life, we are only allowed to borrow it (whatever it is, it can even be a person) for a while and our job is to make the most of it.

Another lovely book that I finished reading yesterday is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman . It's about how different things make different people feel loved. One person needs physical touch more than anything else, another needs gifts. So a well-meaning husband could be showering his wife with presents, yet she could feel unloved because he doesn't hug her often enough. So it's useful to find out what our (and our mate's) primary love language is so that we can "speak" that language. It's really a lovely, positive book. The five love langues are: gifts, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation and acts of service. Do check it out!

P.S. The photo is Pink Lady with Black-and-White Cat

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Flexing the Cranium

Hey There Bloggers!

The news of the death of Pink Lady's blog have been greatly exaggerated - Pink Lady has simply been busy with other things...

I am reading a book called Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey (the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and also known as a "modern day Socrates"). He has some brilliant things in the book. Here is one: The Seven Habits of Ineffective People - I love it! It's funny - yet sadly also many people really do live like this (I can't claim that I don't occasionally succumb to these habits...).

The Seven Habits of Ineffective People

1. Be reactive: doubt yourself and blame others.
2. Work without any clear end in mind.
3. Do the urgent thing first.
4. Think win/lose.
5. Seek first to be understood.
6. If you can’t win, compromise.
7. Fear change and put off improvement

Something else that really struck me in the book is that Covey says that he often asks this question at his seminars: "How many of you would agree that the vast majority of the work force possess far more capability, creativity, talent, initiative, and resourcefulness than their present jobs allow or require them to use?". About 99% of people agree with this statement. Covey goes on to say:

"We all admit that our greatest resources are being wasted and that poor human resource management hurts our bottom line".

Wow!!!! I could have written that line myself. That really sums up what I live for - to somehow make the business community come to grips with this truth and, what's more, to do something about it. That's my mission in life.

I wonder why it is so easy for us to see the infinite potential for growth and development in children, yet we forget that the same applies to us adults. We may stop growing in size (or at least in height!) but there is no need for us to ever stop growing intellectually, phychologically, emotionally, etc. In the words of the former TV ad for the US Army: "The mind is a terrible thing to waste". Did you know that our minds are more powerful than any computer? And the same thing that applies to our muscles applies to our minds: use 'em or lose 'em!

So keep pumping those cranial muscles! :-)

Pink Lady

P.S. The little girl in the photo is Pink Lady - at her uncle's summer cottage.