Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What to do With Your Dots

Dan Russell had an interesting post this week on the Creating Passionate Users blog: What a graphic can tell you. Take a look at the graphics and ponder how well you're using your dots.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Up With Grups

Up With Grups

Regular readers already know that I'm a sucker for new labels to describe groups with shared lifestyle characteristics -- Gen X/Y/Next, Twixters, Yeppies, Grunge Parents, you name it -- so this is another one I got a kick out of, probably because much of it describes my current lifestyle (minus the $300 jeans and obviously high income), especially the stuff about music, work and kids. The entire article is fun and worth a read but here are the topic headings to give you the flavour:
  • The Grup Music, or the Brand-new Sound of Twenty Years Ago
  • The Grup Look, or I Swear These Jeans Were Here a Minute Ago
  • The Grup Children, or Daddy, Please Turn That Music Down
  • The Grup Career, or Take This Job and Allow Me to Do It From Home, With Occasional Snowboarding Trips
Via Half an Hour.

Update: Additional commentary from Semantic Compositions

Monday, May 22, 2006

More than One Life

Shamash says, quite reasonably, that she wants to be More than One Person. I keep coming back to this post since she put it up a while back, pondering the wisdom and learning in her searching. A quote:
"I am a pie, parceling out my life into slices, never completely satisfying any dream. In giving a little here, a little there, every portion is half-assed. I am exhausted with it all."
As I commented on her site, when I started collecting things for this project, I had this vague idea that if only we could align our lifestyle choices with our values, integrating the most important parts of our lives into one optimized, meaningful superlife...then everything would be all good. And it might be all good if you could pull it off, but it may be impossible.

So many of our values (and dreams and goals) -- even core values -- are mutually exclusive. They can't be integrated into one life. Instead, we're stuck deciding which ones we want to compromise on, which ones go on the backburner, and which ones get current attention. And life often intervenes to pull us in different directions, spreading us too thin even when we think we've got things set up pretty well.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dreams and Goals and Plans

I was poking around in this list of business and career blogs and found a few gems around the concept of setting goals and following dreams. I wasn't really looking for them, but that's what seemed to stick...a quote from each:

Life 2.0: How big dare you dream?
"As we achieve our goals we push back the boundaries of what we think ourselves capable of - almost like blowing up a balloon one breath at a time. Yet for many of us there's a deep nagging suspicion that we don't need to keep pushing back those boundaries - that we are capable of far more than think, that we could in fact simply prick the balloon and be done with boundaries and limitation for good."

Making A Difference: Envisioning your dreams
"Blast off into the future - take a quick ride in a time machine out 5, 10, 20, 30 years - where your dream is realized. You've done it. It's happened. Take a look around at what's going on around you in this future place and time. In this future, what's different - in yourself, in the world? Where are you? What are you doing? Who else is there? What's accessible to you that seems out of reach today?"

Escape from Cubicle Nation: Before you create your business plan, create your life plan
"I cannot tell you how many miserable multi-millionaire entrepreneurs I met in my years in Silicon Valley. I believe they were miserable because they got too enamored with business growth at all costs and didn't see creating a great business as a means to create a great life."

Friday, May 19, 2006

Career Plans by Age 12?

Career plans by age 12? Maybe in Florida:
"Do children barely out of elementary school have the knowledge and experience to declare a career path? Brianna's feelings on the subject are shared by some adults, who also worry that a career curriculum would come at the expense of other activities such as music, art, and sports.

But supporters of the proposal say it gives kids a taste of the real world and encourages them to widen, not narrow, their sense of career options."
The arguments against this type of learning seem a bit weak to me. Career exploration and learning about how different career pathways require different kinds of educational planning don't at all imply that anyone is forcing a kid to choose a career in Grade 7.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Artist as Lifestylist

From Meghan Hildebrand's artist's statement accompanying a new show of her paintings:
"This blaring cacophony of data is driving me to accept it; to reject originality and true richness, to shop constantly and to accept decisions made on my behalf. Instead of joining it, my decision is to gently mock it, by combining with it an element that is inherently splendid, and can not be commercialized or streamlined. Colour, pure colour that remains genuine whether it's nostalgic mint green auto paint, the green-gold tips of moss or the steaming mustard-yellow of a sulphur sludge pool."
Maybe it's a stretch for lifestylism, but there's something beautiful about the idea of pure colour as an authentic response to the overloaded expectations of society. There's an inherent activism in her art, I think, and even the act of painting itself must reflect an alignment of her values with how she chooses to spend her time and resources. Inspiring!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Skip College

In Go Ahead; Skip Classes...and Why College Might Not Matter, Christian points to an interesting Forbes article on why to skip college:
"1. You'll be losing four working years.
2. You won't necessarily earn less money.
3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.
4. You don't need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.
5. Plenty of other people did fine."

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Happiness Hypothesis

The Happiness Hypothesis is a site accompanying a book, but by itself it offers some interesting tidbits about the pursuit of happiness. It's broken down into five steps (easy!) with an explanation of each:
Step 1: Diagnose Yourself
Step 2: Improve Your Mental Hygiene
Step 3: Improve Your Relatedness
Step 4: Improve Your Work
Step 5: Improve Your Connection to Something Beyond Yourself

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Feeling Your Financial Age

Jory is Feeling My Financial Age, and like usual, I'm glad she's sharing those feelings:
"I'd like to see a magazine that addresses how to use financial tools when money dries up for months at a time, when someone has to get out of a job and doesn't have six months of savings, when someone decides that financial risk is worth greater potential happiness, when we have to shoulder the entire burden of our health insurance, when we realize we can't plan the swerves and curves of opportunity."