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In her book The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel classifies people as either stasists or dynamists. Stasists resist change and try to tightly manage it. Dynamists, on the other hand, embrace change. They see the future as wide open and teeming with possibility. Which of the two are you?
I ask because nothing is as constant as change. Think back to the time you entered the job market. It doesn’t matter if that was five years or five decades ago. Name the industry, and it has experienced significant churn.
More is on the way.
More than a decade ago, I decided I needed to get back into regular exercise. I was overweight and tired of feeling exhausted. I needed to do something. But like everyone else, I was busy.
I had a habit goal I wanted to install: Exercise for thirty minutes, Monday through Friday, at 6:00 a.m. There was only one problem. I couldn’t seem to follow through. If you’ve ever failed at reaching a New Year’s resolution, maybe you can identify.
The Revenge of Analog (PublicAffairs, 2016)
My personal involvement in the digital revolution made me extremely interested when I encountered journalist David Sax’s book, The Revenge of Analog. He follows the trend away from digital in several different areas including publishing, retail, the work environment, and education.
Sax makes explicit something many of us feel implicitly. Real, tangible things matter. And that insight has tremendous implications for business today—not only in how we purchase and consume, but also in how we invest and grow.
Mindset (Ballantine Books, 2007)
What is a mindset? According to world-renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, it is an established set of attitudes or beliefs. We all know instinctively that attitude is important, but Dweck argues that it is basically everything.
She explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as … well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are what they are, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? This book challenged me, because I realized that in some areas I possess a fixed mindset and others a growth mindset.
It’s resolution time. Getting fit, getting organized, improving our personal finances, traveling, and reading more are among the most popular resolutions this year, according to research by iQuanti.
Sounds great to me. Who wouldn’t want those things? Unfortunately, despite good intentions, thousands will fail at their resolutions in just a few weeks. But that’s only the start of our problems.
I’ve worked in and around publishing my entire professional life, and I’ve written several books of my own. I believe in the power of books to help people improve and grow. Read the right books, and you can trigger massive transformation in your life.
More than any other business books I read this year, five titles especially challenged me, stretched my thinking, and helped me to grow personally and professionally. Each one also benefited my team in different ways. I bet they can do the same for you.
We’ve all heard it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Probably like you, I take that on faith. But it’s fun to see how research agrees that special benefits come from giving, not just receiving.
Giving has been an important part of Christmas ever since the Three Wise Men presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But sometimes it seems like receiving is the main point of the holiday, doesn’t it?
I get it. I like receiving gifts as much as the next person. But if you want to give yourself a real gift, try generosity toward others.