Effective Leadership/100% Under Your Control/ "Rank" Irrelevant:
(Every day brings an infinite # of full-fledged leadership opportunities regardless of name, rank, or serial number.)
No.1 Life Decision: The attitude you take into your next conversation/interaction.
"We do no great things, only small things with great love."—Mother Teresa
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble."—Helen Keller
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."—Anne Frank
"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones."—Churchill
"To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts."—Henry David Thoreau
"The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party but they say nothing. And if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away."—Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I suppose I've known all along that there was a lot more to life than a professional career, but surgery has been a very demanding mistress, and it has given me a self identity that will be hard to shake."—Ned Cabot, upon retirement from his medical career, and who died in a boating accident in the North Sea in September 2012
"Living alone has also made me much, much more conscious of inconsequential things, the sweet banalities of a day in a life. I feel now as if I spent most of my previous time on earth in a state of perpetually frenzied obliviousness, intent on executing all the Important Tasks at Hand.. The test to take. The application to finish, the man to marry. The job to get, the brief to write, the motion to file, the verdict to appeal, the meeting to schedule, the PowerPoint to prepare. The apartment to buy, the meals to organize, the two miles to run, the sex to have, the kids to get to school and playdates and doctors and volleyball games and SAT tutors and college. The marriage to end. The books to write. I was always good at screening out the noise and focusing exclusively on the signal, which made me successful at school and at work and (more or less) as a parent. Until I lived alone, I was not so good at understanding—really understanding, beyond the obligatory modern lip service to smelling the roses and living in the moment—that the extraneous noise can be lovely. The Buddhists call it mindfulness, a word I sort of hate but an MO I've come to believe in.
"Such as right now, when I put the half-full quart of grapefruit juice back on the refrigerator shelf hastily, and watch the sloshing make the carton swivel and teeter before it rights itself, like a wobbly drunk almost falling and then too firmly planting his feet to stand perfectly still. We deprive ourselves if we ignore all the tiny inconsequential bits and pieces, the flotsam and jetsam of life. Quarks and neutrons and atoms and molecules, the earth, asteroids, stars, the shaft of light angling through the kitchen window right this second, illuminating the slow motion Dance of Ten Thousand Dust Motes; isn't it all flotsam and jetsam?"—from the protagonist in the novel True Believers, by Kurt Anderson
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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