Posted by: Administrator | November 20, 2010

I’ve learned about the importance of optimism…

Picked up this book after a leadership training class in October. I was a bit skeptical at first, but its more of a research psychology book than a self help book. His essential theory is that Achievement = Talent + Desire + Optimism, and that optimism can be learned by changing explainatory style (how you explain both positive and negative events).

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault.

The optimists think about the misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to one case.

Seligman’s research spans from child development, to politics, to team sports — so it makes for an interesting read for a wide audience.

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Just finished re-reading Undaunted Courage, the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition.       Ambrose’s books on WWII — D-Day, Citizen Soldiers and others are classics, and all worth re-   visits in any book list.

A few excerpts:

Lewis family crest: “Omne Solum Forti Parri Est”

translated

“All earth is to a brave man his country”

“No American has ever surpassed Jefferson, and fewer than a handful have ever equalled him, as a friend, teacher, guide, model, leader, companion.”  — On Thomas Jefferson.

“He was exactly what Jefferson wanted him to be; optimistic, prudent, alert to all that was new about him, and able to describe the flora and fauna, the native inhabitants, and the skies above with scientific measurement. His health was excellent. His ambition was boundless. His determination complete. He would not, could not, contemplate failure.”  — On Merriweather Lewis.

“His fixed rule was to assume that the road ahead was good, until proven otherwise.” — On Merriwether Lewis

Seems like a good rule to me.

I had the opportunity to hear General Petraeus speak at a World Events Council of Charlotte yesterday, and was extremely impressed.

He mentioned that “nothing matters more to the troops than to know that they are appreciated by their citizens”.

He mentioed that the war in Afganistan is not one that you “kill or capture your way out of”, but alluded to the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afgan and Pakistan population.

He was asked whether he would run for president, and deflected the question by quoting the Lorrie Morgan song “What Part of No Don’t you Understand.”

That’s probably the right answer when your current boss sits in the Oval Office.

Perhaps he’ll change his mind at some point in the future.

-DSR

I’m sad to see the Winter Olympics come to an end. Team USA did the country proud — Lindsay Vonn, Sean White, Apolo Ono, USA-1 Bobsled, and the Hockey Team were definite bright spots.

USA winning the medal count certainly exceeded expectations.

Congratulations to Team Canada in the ice hockey.

International Sporting competitions allow us to set our differences aside and compete together in a common interest — something we don’t do enough of…..

We’ll bid the Winter Olympics a fond farewell….bring it, World Cup.

Oh, and I liked the Team USA flatcaps in the closing ceremony. Nice touch.

-DSR

Posted by: Administrator | February 28, 2010

I’ve learned that I really respect Kenneth Cole…

The company (and CEO) seems to be very socially concious….

I think the new “Awearness” campaign is brilliant.

Check them out at “http://www.awearness.com”.

They have a t-shirt that says… “In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson)”

-DSR



Posted by: Administrator | February 24, 2010

I’ve learned that Ian Poulter is my favorite PGA Tour Professional.

Class, stewardship, and a few pieces of flair…

Check him out at www.ianpoulter.com.

Posted by: Administrator | February 10, 2010

I’ve learned that Glee, simply put, is opening yourself up to joy.

Our country is going through some tough times right now. 2009 was a hard year for many. There were a couple of bright spots, and for me, “Glee” was one of them.

The high F in Defying Gravity is well, sick.

-DSR

I’m not sure what it is about live albums that I like so much.  I think its partially the creative improvisation that comes with a live performances, as well as the connection between the artist and audience on any given evening.

As I understand it, “Any Given Thursday” was largely taken from a performance in Birmingham, Alabama at the time when John Mayer had clearly landed on the music scene to stay – and was back playing in front of the people of Birmingham that had supported this ascension.

I love this album for the music – John Mayer’s lyrics are weighty and witty.  Additionally, his interactions with the audience between songs seem to come from a place of awestruck humility, perhaps like the lads returning to Merseyside after the Ed Sullivan performance.

The “Why Georgia-Body is a Wonderland-Stupid Mouth” sequence is a nice trifecta.

As he closes the show, Mayer thanks the crowd by saying….”Thank you Birmingham. Let’s grow old together, that might be fun.”

Seems about right….

-DSR

My niece Annabelle is ‘Practically Perfect in every way’….

Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NY

“Gathering Dust” by David Gray, and “The Rainbow Connection” as sung by Kermit the Frog are certainly up there on my list, but I think John Lennon might have come as close to perfection in capturing a powerful sentiment through music and lyric as I have seen.

The original is a classic in our culture, the Jack Johnson cover is powerful, and I’ll even commend the TV show “Glee” for their efforts on their cover this year.

“Imagine”

Words by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no Heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

John Lennon clearly had his flaws. But for me, the world is clearly a better place that he lived, wrote, and shared his music.

–DSR

Imagine – Jack Johnson cover:

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