Need or want something we don't have? Request it!

Spring Cleaning

Spring: a time of growth and newness. Trees leaf, flowers bloom, and, for some, the ritual of spring cleaning gets rid of stale air and missed cobwebs in the house. But what about the stale air and cobwebs of old habit? When was the last time you took stock of those habits that are getting in the way of success? Three new releases have some insight on changing the behaviors that make it harder to achieve goals.

The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle supports the theory that to succeed one must fail, and be willing to admit and embrace failure.  She presents research gathered from several scientific studies that explore the culture of failure in both business and personal arenas, the habits of those who learn from their mistakes, and the role of forgiveness in trying again. Recognizing that mistakes do not always equal failure can open new possibilities essential for future success. Mining her own experiences, she presents examples of how errors made now can become achievements in the future.

Along with acceptance of failure is the idea of being open to criticism. Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen look at receiving this kind of advice in Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It Is Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and, Frankly, You're Not In the Mood). They focus on helping those receiving feedback to do so in a dispassionate manner, without triggering an emotional response or defensive reaction. Taken this way, feedback becomes a more potent catalyst for personal growth.

Meditation can be used to tie these ideas together. Russell Simmons, business maven and hip-hop original, credits looking within for a great portion of his prosperity. In Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, he uses examples from his own meditation practice along with interviews with other notables to show how attaining inner calm can lead to outward success. He offers easy-to-follow advice for starting a meditation study that can lead to a healthier mind and body, essential for future personal and professional fulfillment.