Australian Perspective on Goal-Free Careers

November 29, 2006

This was sent to me by a reader in Australia.

Job Myth: Setting career goals and sticking to them is the best way of having a successful career.

Dr Jim Bright: “The evidence in favor of goal setting is not great. Most diets use goal setting as a motivational technique but the failure rate for most diets is more than 50 per cent. That great careers adviser, John Lennon, said, ‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.’ Being flexible, open to opportunity, persistent and optimistic are probably more important qualities. Goals can be useful, but mostly in the short-term.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, November 25-26 2006.

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Goal-Free Quotes

October 25, 2006

A number of years ago, in an attempt to get more students to join their humanities program, Indiana University ran an advertising campaign with some great (goal-free type) slogans like:

“Do What You Want When You Graduate or Wait Twenty Years for Your Mid-Life Crisis”

“Insurance for When the Robots Take Over All The Boring Jobs”

“Okay Then, Follow Your Dreams in Your Next Life”

And my favorite – “Yeah, Like Your Parents are So Happy”

Source: “Skeptical Inquirer” magazine, November/December 2006

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Quotes of the Day

August 29, 2006

I am currently vacationing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with my family. While in Provincetown, we found a store that had some beautiful cards with some great quotes. Here are my favorites:

“Ever notice that ‘what the hell?’ is always the right decision?” – Marilyn Monroe

“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.” – Anonymous

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

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Quote of the Day

June 22, 2006

Today someone asked me for a quote on detachment. She wants to use it on her business cards. Here is what I provided.

“Forcing life to go down a particular path often leads to dissatisfaction and failure. The solution is detachment – letting go of specific outcomes — playing full out, not worrying or caring about how things turn out. The surest way to detach from one outcome is to reattach yourself to a more empowering outcome: serving others, replacing a bad habit with a good one, or focusing on the present.”
- Stephen Shapiro, Author, Goal-Free Living

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Quote on Finding Hidden Opportunities

May 23, 2006

“Only the most foolish of mice would hide in a cat’s ear, but only the wisest of cats would ever think to look there!” (attributed to both Andrew Mercer and Scott Love)

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Quote of the Day – Abraham Lincoln

May 15, 2006

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

– Abraham Lincoln

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Quote of the Day

April 11, 2006

“Bel far niente” — The Italian expression for “the beauty of doing nothing”

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Quotes of the Day – Will Rogers

March 28, 2006

“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble. It’s what we know that ain’t so.”

“Everybody is ignorant. Only on different subjects.”

- Will Rogers

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Investor’s Business Daily Quote

November 30, 2005

In my “other” life, I work with large corporations to create cultures of innovation. My first book, 24/7 Innovation, has been out for over 4 years. But it still gets quoted. The latest quotes are in Monday November, 28th’s Investors Business Daily.

Get workers to focus on outcomes instead of specific tasks, says Stephen Shapiro, author of “24/7 Innovation.”Often, employees need “a better understanding of how their work contributes to the whole,” Shapiro said. Get them to “focus on what adds value rather than ticking things off a checklist.”

(And) make workers proactive. Workers can’t be passive receivers of information, Shapiro says. They need to “manipulate information, analyze it and use it to add value — by helping customers, improving operations and exploiting new opportunities.”

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The True Story of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2005

One of the Goal-Free Living secrets is “Want What You Have.” Therefore it is timely to share with you the true story of Thanksgiving as told by Ben Franklin.

Mark Skousen granted me permission to reprint the following story from his new book, The Compleated Autobiography, by Benjamin Franklin, due to be released next month.

THE REAL STORY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING by Benjamin Franklin (1785)

“There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civiliz’d people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country. Being so piously dispos’d, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel there were many dispos’d to return to the Egypt which persecution had induc’d them to abandon.

“At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remark’d that the inconveniences they suffer’d, and concerning which they had so often weary’d heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthen’d; that the earth began to reward their labour and furnish liberally for their subsistence; that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.

“He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they ow’d to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have in every year observ’d circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.”

–Benjamin Franklin, The Compleated Autobiography, compiled and edited by Mark Skousen (Regnery, 2006), pp. 331-333. Copyright 2006, by Mark Skousen. All rights reserved.

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