Monday, October 15, 2007

Self-help books and me

don't really get along. But, every so often one comes my way - shepherded there by the strange synchronous forces of the universe - and I find myself thinking, hmmm, this is actually useful. Such was the case with Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness which talks about strengths rather than weaknesses and which led me, quite directly, to be very proactive about a job opportunity.

Recently I've read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This was published in 1989 so it's old hat to most people. I came by it via reading someone's blog and decided to give it a go - there are many secondhand copies out there. (1743 available secondhand through Amazon! oops, no, there are now 1664 - still selling fast, people!)

So, what do I think? I think that my family would roll their eyes and leave the room if I suggested we create a family manifesto and put it up on the wall of the (non-existent) family room, where we can see it when we hold family meetings. I think my family would roll their eyes at the thought of family meetings - I know they would because I've suggested them in the past. That doesn't mean we wouldn't benefit from these things, just that they wouldn't happen with the highly sceptical individuals that make up my family.

I think that being proactive rather than reactive is a very powerful tool and I've been trying to change my way of thinking to this for a while. I love the idea of Win/Win solutions - though I've never liked the phrasing, but maybe that's because I've heard it used in contexts when it wasn't actually true or relevant to me.

I think we should all seek to understand first and be understood later - though I often fail at that.

Prioritising and visualising the end are both useful teaching tools - though, again, I often fall short.

It was good to read it and I hope I can implement some of his ideas in both my personal and professional life.

On a lighter reading note, I bought Stephanie Meyer's New Moon today - as a third week to a packed teaching schedule present for myself - it has this very lush cover. I really enjoyed Twilight although I had some misgivings about the book - particularly Bella's masochistic romantic bent! Still, it was a page turner. I'd like to read this one with a view to some of the ideas I've turned over researching the Rapunzel Rapunzel series of poems. Hmmm - interesting thought. I'll tell you more when I've read the book.

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