REFLECTION: July is on our doorstep and summer awaits. One of the great joys of long, sunny summer days – especially when some of them are wide open ‘nothing planned’ vacation days – is the chance to curl up with a good book or two.
If you’re an everyday literary hunter and gatherer, you’ve probably got your supply on hand. They’re stacked up and backed up – hunkered down on that shelf in your office, loitering on the floor next to your living room chair, and languishing on your bedside table.
If, on the other hand, a trip to Chapters or a visit to Amazon are in your immediate future, I’d be glad to offer a couple of suggestions for recent books on life balance, focus and renewal that might spark your interest.
ACTION: Pat’s recommended summer reading short-list to help you step back, take stock, and create an even more compelling and satisfying future includes:
* Do More Great Work – by Michael Bungay Stanier (Workman Publishing 2010). Lighthearted and meaty all at the same time. Lots of exercises to help you surface your preferences and map out a future of significance. Michael playfully challenges you to puzzle out answers to questions like these. What are you like at your best? What’s calling you? What’s broken? What’s possible?
* The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working – by Tony Schwartz (Simon & Schuster 2010). I’ve followed Tony’s work since he first authored The Power of Full Engagement a number of years ago. This new volume offers an air tight case for building in time and space for renewal – as individuals, teams and organizations. Grounded in research and tested by the organizations that have used and shaped his ideas, he offers practical suggestions (and compelling reasons) for making renewal a part of everyday personal and business life.
* Here are a couple of other books I’ve referenced in earlier Pause messages that are also definitely worth a read: ‘Find Your Focus Zone’ by Lucy Jo Palladino and ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There’ by Marshall Goldsmith. And, of course, if you haven’t already read it, I have to recommend ‘Press Pause…Press On’ by yours truly (Check Pauseworks Shop for details.)
PS Does your summer reading taste run more to fictional escapes? If so, I recommend The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. And although I have yet to read it, so can’t give you a personal recommendation, on the suggestion of a handful of friends I’ve packed Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen for my get away fiction reading. I’ll let you know what I think of it.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.” – Helen Exley
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. – Oscar Wilde
(Sheesh, Oscar – I really had to think about that one for a while!)
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Often worth exploring are Michael Bungay Stanier’s blog and website .
READERS WRITE: Last week’s Pause message, The Not So Classic BMW, generated quite a number of insightful replies from readers – too many to include here in the e-zine. I’ve posted a compilation of responses on my blog, so that you can explore them as well. Here’s the link to the Responses To The Not So Classic BMW .