Friday, November 16, 2007

Value of Time

Per week, according to the numbers I'm finding so far, the average working adult American spends approximately:
  • 41 hours working
  • 56 hours sleeping
  • 8 hours commuting/driving
  • 10.5 hours buying, preparing, and eating food
  • 28 hours watching television
  • 6.5 hours getting ready for the day or getting ready for bed
  • 4 hours per week doing household chores (remember, this is an average)

That's 154 hours.

There are 168 hours in a week.

So if you want more time than that, where do you shave it from? Eat faster? Sleep less? The glaring item on this list, to me, is the 1/6th of this average working American's life is spent watching television. Cut that to your absolute favorite shows, say... one hour a day worth of TV, and suddenly you have gone from 14 to 35 hours of your time freed up for other things in life (family, friends, exercise, church, reading, volunteering, etc).

An aside - it is amazing, actually, that with those numbers above we're still finding time as Americans to volunteer the number of hours we do each year to help others. The statistics on the amount of time and money we're giving each year give me a lot of hope when I'm looking around for reasons to.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Understanding and Illustrating Personal Development

Superheroes and cartoon characters have hijacked the medium of sequential art. I've wanted to rip it out of their clutches for years, but I'm not sure what the "killer app" would look like that could accomplish the task. One of the things I am toying with is the concept of having sequential art play a role in Harnessing Your Passions, but I'm not sure if it would work best in short illustrative chunks throughout the book, or as a separate guide from the book entirely.

One approach to documentaries and personal growth books that I enjoy is presenting the information matter-of-factly, then having a story to accompany each concept that illustrates it and brings it to life more for the reader/viewer. I'm wondering if this approach could somehow work mixing text and sequential art. I think, for example, it would be amazingly handy if you could take some basic concepts around time management or strength management and have it pinned up as an illustrative poster in your cubicle at work, keeping you in touch with that knowledge in a very visual way.

Mutual Mentoring

Often, the relationship between mentor and mentee becomes one of mutual mentorship over time. But what if you went into the mentoring relationship with the understanding that it was a mutual mentorship, that each person is expecting to both give and receive knowledge and experience, offering each other the ability to grow where they desire to while harnessing and sharpening the strengths and talents they already possess? Would that taint the mentoring experience somehow, or (as I suspect) enhance it?

Friday, November 9, 2007

No Answers Given

I need to do additional research to back this hypothesis up with facts. If it turns out as I suspect, it may be a critical realization to bring up in the book.

It has been my experience that when a person goes to a counselor or therapist, sometimes they are expecting to be given answers. Really, though, the job of the counselor is to help each person discover the answers themselves by finding and asking the right questions, providing tools, etc. No one else can possibly hold all the right answers for another person (I'd personally question if they can hold any, truth be told), so the only hope of success that counseling has to succeed is for the person seeking help to respond honestly to the questions asked, consider the questions and their responses to them, and then do whatever "homework" the counselor provides (i.e. tools of some sort to help with whatever they are trying to do). No open mind means no answers found. Of course, this also assumes a competent counselor.

I think that it is much the same with people who read self help books. No book holds the answers to life, but it might hold some of the right questions you need to be asked - and often it is the inability to ask the right question that holds us back from finding what we seek. I have found that, after reading countless books on time management, goals, leadership, management, and so on, none of them hold everything I need but each of them provides at least one tool to help me focus.

I have to think about this some more, but my gut tells me this is important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Passion Formulas

Innovation + Passion = Motivation

Motivation + Passion = Determination

Determination + Passion = Creation

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Note About Happy People and Mirror Neurons

Don't want to lose this link to an article about Mirror Neurons and Happy People - it's one of the biggest pieces to the jigzaw puzzle I'm working on that I've found yet. It also explains... me, better than any attempts I have previously struggled through, particularly the part on happy people.

"Remember the flight attendant's advice... you must put on your own oxygen mask first."

A Note About Seeking

"One of the best ways of increasing your chances of finding something is to be looking for it." Car keys, an argument, an anomaly on a medical diagnosis... sometimes you can find something important, other times you can self-fulfill a prophecy.