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The One Minute Review

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My thoughts on: 

The One Minute Manager
By Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Red Buckets : 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a literary expert;
therefore, reviews posted here are entirely based on
my personal opinion and taste as a reader.
 

Goal # 35 Read More – I first got this book from a friend about six years ago; at the time she was my supervisor and had recently promoted me to the position of Manager of one of the departments under her command.  As it happened, I ended up relocating shortly thereafter and never got to really read the book, just briefly scammed through it. 

My goal of reading more led me to retake this book; as I needed to read 5 more books before the end of the year to reach my self-imposed quota.  I recalled the book as being interesting and conveniently short.

In general I am not very interested in business literature but this text is a bit more than that; I am glad I decided to go for this one.  In summary it is a great book for managers of people; whether you are managing people at work, home, or life in general.  The basic concepts are simple and easy to apply to any aspect of your life and relationships. 

At times the oversimplified concepts made me want to go “Duh!”, but that is really the beauty of the book.  It provides the reader with key skills in a way that anyone can understand and relate to.  The cores of the book are three basic steps – One Minute Goal Setting; One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands – which when applied, will have a huge and positive impact on your interactions with people, as well as help produce the desired results from those interactions. 

Through the text there are several quotes that exemplify its main messages.

“Everyone is a potential winner.  Some people are disguised as losers; don’t let their appearance fool you.”

“People who feel good about themselves produce good results”

The authors of the book, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson are widely recognized for their achievements in the world of management and management literature.  Johnson is also the author of one of the most useful books I have read Who Moved My Cheese? , which is all about dealing with change and making it work in your favor. 

Have you read The One Minute Manager and/or Who Moved My Cheese?  Do you have any good short books recommendations? Happy Readings!

Of Childhood Dreams and the Midlife Crisis…

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Below is a piece submitted by a very good friend who has agreed to post on carolasbucket.com as a guest contributor.  Enjoy

Post By Guest Contributor Alejandro

Have you achieved your childhood dreams?  Have you considered that your dreams need to be adjusted to adult reality?  Mines were: 1) Cool fast car with awesome music (check), 2) Beautiful, healthy, smart children (check), 3) Good paying job that I love where I were a suit (check), 4) A home in an awesome neighborhood (check), 5) Friends that I love and they love me back (check).  Happiness level = 6 out of 10.  Why are so many of us unhappy and depressed when we have so many things to be happy about?

Well, this blog post will not answer that question, as I am no genius on life and love matters, but I will lay out my thought process for how I want to live the rest of my life and achieve true, and long-lasting happiness.  Is that even possible say you?  I say it is.  I see it every day, it’s a state of mind, a journey, not a destination.  This is something that is easier for some to achieve and harder for others depending on your background, personality, life skills and social upbringing.

 To start, you must know yourself, you must know your personality… for men, here is a start:

http://manofthehouse.com/relationships/communication/dr-helen-fisher-4-personality-types-men

For women, here is a start:

http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/meeting-women-six-personality-types

These profiles are not designed to match you exactly, but they will give you the basics, so you understand why you like to do certain things and why you behave in certain ways in certain situations.  We can have any behavior that we want and desire, but it takes practice and effort, if it is not your God-given natural gift.

 After learning more about you, decide on what is most important to you.  If your own happiness is not number 1 on your list of priorities, think again.  If you are not truly happy, you cannot make your partner, children, friends and others truly happy.  If someone really knows you, they KNOW that you are not truly happy, even if they don’t tell you.  Once you have the realization and understand who in your daily life is happy and who is not, it is extremely easy to see.  We all know that really cheery person that doesn’t need six cups of coffee to get through life, and that is usually in a good mood.  I ask her why so happy, she says: “I have a husband that loves me and the best children in the world, what is there not to be happy about.”  If in doubt, just ask, those “happy people” are usually more than willing to tell you how happy they are, why and how they achieved it.

 Here are important questions in key areas of your life that you should consider:

  • Relationships.  Which ones are important?  Are you spending time on the right ones?
  • Spirituality.  Do you meditate, pray or contemplate life?  What motivates you?
  • Financial.  Are you managing your money correctly?  Prioritizing your expenses?
  • Professional.  Is your job rewarding?  Are you doing what you like to do?
  • Health.  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you exercising enough?
  • Lifestyle.  Are you living and doing the things that matter and fulfill you?
  • Knowledge.  Are you learning the right things?

 Concentrating in just one area is not the path to happiness, neither is trying to balance them all.  Each of us must pick what is important, set goals, find the resources needed to succeed and start to change our lives to what we want it to be, only then can we start the journey to happiness.

 Here are some resources that I have found useful in my quest:

 Good luck… See you soon.

Guess Who

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Guess Who

The Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar

So guess who had a great time last weekend at The Cuban Revolution Restaurant while knocking  one item off her bucket list?  Why me of course you silly, why else would I be posting about it 😉

This casual space boasts a relaxed atmosphere with hints of 1950’s Cuba.  What I loved the most about this place was the live jazz; I am a sucker for live music, but when it comes to live jazz I drool.  They also played some Son, which is a native Cuban rhythm with some similarity to Salsa. You can almost taste the flavors of the Caribbean countryside through the beat of Son (click on it to sample a classic of this contagious rhythm.) 

My friend Vanessa tagged along; she is usually the one to come with whenever I want to have som fun.  Needles to say she had to be there to watch me check off item #42 on my list, Having a Mojito.  Unlike my experience with the Martini, I absolutely loved this mixed drink.  Rum + Fresh Mint + Club Soda + Lime + Sugar  =  Give me another one pleaaase!  That night I had 2 Mojitos, lots of fun, and good company.  Vanessa and I got out past midnight, after which she headed home to her hubby, while I… Well, that’s another story on its own.  Peek in soon; I promise I will keep you posted (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)

Special Date: Friday Night Live

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Special Date: Friday Night Live

Friday Night Live Crew

It is not in vain that Providence is called The Creative Capital; we have a good concoction of cultures, flavors, and rhythms, as well as many artists injecting life and energy into the city.  I enjoy this mix and often drag my kids to cultural events, may they too develop an appreciation of varied forms of art.  For our latest special date, Aleck and I attended Friday Night Live,  a weekly family friendly Improv show where a group of talented performers make it up as they go.

We had lots of laughs during this interactive show where the actors often ask the 

Aleck and I at the show

audience to provide random words as inspiration for their improv skits.  Part of the show is an acoustic guitarist that gives the performance an extra kick.  They also have an Open
Stage Night once a month where members of the audience get their 5 minutes of fame to perform a skit of their own. This clean comedic performance, which was named Best of Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly,  is family and wallet friendly at $5 per person.  Aleck and I absolutely enjoyed it.  He was happy I brought him to the show as our special date, and took many pictures of the skits.  I was glad to have such a handsome companion (not that I am biased ;))at this event.

Friday Night Live is part of the Everett company, “a cross-cultural, cross-generational group of artists that creates original evening-length dance theater performances, produces film and video, carries out a wide range of educational programs, and mentors new generations of young artists” as stated on their website  “Everett, through its Company, Stage and School, brings live art to diverse audiences. With a 25-year history, a Company that tours nationally; a vibrant Stage of monthly programming; and a School that offers free classes to low-income youth in everything from ballet to improvisation, Everett is at the forefront of integrating art and community…  No one is turned away for lack of funds and 95% of students attend classes for free.”

At the end of the performance Bianca, one of the talented young actors, asked us to watch a short promo video for a film she’s hoping to produce as part of her final thesis at Emerson College.  In her own words 
Got You tells the story of an 8 year old girl’s discovery of her mother’s suicidal thoughts. This film aims to raise awareness for depression and suicide and how it impacts the relationships we have with our loved ones. I would be so eternally grateful if you could help make this film a reality. Every dollar toward a donation counts, but even if you can’t help out financially, please spread the word! We NEED to raise $5000 by December 3rd!” 
I strongly encourage you to help.  Donations start as low as $1.  As someone who has dealt with postpartum depression, and still deal with clinical depression and SAD, I know how painful and alienating this condition can be, and the profound effect it has on one’s relationships.

Here is the link to the “Kickstarter” page where you can learn more information and also donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gotyou/got-you-an-emerson-college-bfa-short-film

Is Not Only for the Perks – I Promise

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Is Not Only for the Perks – I Promise
 

Being that Thanksgiving is so close, I am taking the opportunity to be thankful for what I consider to be a privilege in my life: my job.   Unfortunately, in the United States too many are suffering the absence or loss of a job , or the uncertainty of maintaining their current jobs in the near future. I was searching for current information on the state of national unemployment and I stumbled upon this data on the site for The National Conference of State Legislation: 

The unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, to 9.0%, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on November 4, 2011. Unemployment has hovered between 9.0 and 9.2 percent since April 2011. 

Approximately 13.9 million workers are unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed, those without a job for 27 weeks or more, dropped slightly to 5.9 million workers.

I have been working at my present job for 6 years now, and I have much to be thankful for in this respect:

  • The coolest supervisor ever
  • Some flexibility in my hours
  • Summers off
  • A decent benefit package
  • A beautiful and pleasant environment
  • Nice co-workers
  • And the best, I get to take classes towards my Bachelors degree for free, yes FREE

An added perk is all the great speakers and performers that come to campus every year; in addition to some very cool, fun, and family friendly events that I can bring my kids to.  Here are some of the speakers, performers, and events I have been so fortunate to witness:
President Clinton, Harvard Professor Tim McCarthy, Money Guru Jean Chatzky, Musician and Performer Freddy Cole (Nat’s brother), Annual Easter Egg Hunt as well as Annual Kids Field Day, Actress Mary McDonnell, Journalist Joan Lunden,  among many others.  Why,  just this week I ran into…

How cool is to pet a baby Kangaroo right at work? Courtesy of Southwick's Zoo

 
 
A blood drive right at work – how convenient! Free pizza for all donors included.

International sensation Svet, Mr. Hip-Hop Violinist casually performing for students and staff right at the student center

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Svet Promo Video , Svet Bio

Thank you Dear Lord for my wonderful job!

What are you thankful for?