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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!

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‘Tis the Season to be… Productive?

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Fall 2011:

 After reading some of Paul’s posts on  his blog, 101 things in 1001 days, I’ve come to realize it would be useful to slap some timelines on some of my goals.  Paul’s approach was to give himself 1001 days to conquer all of the items on his list, and he has a countdown to day zero in order to keep him on track.  I must say he’s accomplished some neat things, such as Bungee Jumping, Reading all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Stories, Scubadiving, and Skinny Dipping in the Ocean.  This got me to thinking…. How could I make this timeline thing work in my favor?

I got it.  My timelines will be seasonal, meaning I will pick a handful of items on my list to tackle every season. So here you have it people, my bucket list items to tackle this fall:

#2 Taking Salsa Lessons – I have put the word out looking for suggestions on a good instructor. I will also look into local clubs that offer free lessons earlier in the night before their regular programming starts.

  • I would like to take lessons once a week
  • By the end of the season I would love to be confident enough to dance in public without loosing the rhythm 

#4 Raising Happy, Healthy, Confident, Cooperative, Responsible, and Faithful children – Of course this is one of my ongoing goals, and one in which I am involved every single day.  This season, I will concentrate my efforts towards this goal as follows:

  • By keeping up with our Special Dates
  • By working with each of my children to develop their own life lists
  • By providing more structure for them (see goal #23)

 # 5 Growing in Faith  – Another ongoing goal, my plan is to seek a deeper level of connection with God during my prayers.

  • I want to engage in a deep prayer and meditation session at least once per week

  #11 Completing my Bachelor’s Degree – Happy to report that my fall class has already begun, and it is very interesting; which is a great thing since this is a night class. 

  • By the end of December I should be 3 credits closer to getting that degree.
  • And enrolled for at lest 3 more credits for the Spring semester

 #14  Mastering a Few Signature Dishes  – So far I have mastered 1 dish: Chofán.  During the summer I cooked much more than my usual, and most of it was pretty good, but not as good as I would like it to be.  So I will be cooking some more, repeating dishes I cooked this summer until I have them down pat. 

  • The goal is to completely master 3 dishes during this fall.

 #20 Becoming an Accomplished Writer  –  This will be a long process that I plan to enjoy every step of the way, so no rush here. These steps are next:

  • Translating my first short story, Lo Mal Hecho (Bad Deeds), into English
  • Making improvements to my Blog

# 23 Leading an Organized Life  – You might recall me posting about how this is the goal I feel would make the biggest impact on the rest of my list, and my life.  Now, this is much more time and energy consuming than one might think, at least for me.  So far there’s been some progress in terms of decluttering certain areas of my apartment, and creating routines to help my kids, and myself, get through the day with a bit more ease.  Here’s what I want to do next:

  • Completely implement our household routines and tweak as necessary 
  • Create and start to follow a Budget

# 24 Exploring RI from A to Z – I made some progress on this one this Summer, and I plan to keep on discovering the nooks and crannies of my cozy state this season. 

  • I want to cross of 3 RI cities/towns from my Little Rhody list

 #34 Volunteering/Donating –  This one is a fairly recent addition to my list.  My efforts in this area will be concentrated on:

  • Making one blood donation
  • Finding a one time volunteering opportunity that I both care about and can fit into my schedule (easier typed than done)

 #35 Reading More  – Another fairly recent addition to the list.  I have committed to reading 10 books per year.

  • Will read 5 books in order to complete this year’s quota. 

How about you, care to share your upcoming plans?

Mission Accomplished… For the Most Part

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As I had a long weekend coming up, I decided to jot down some action items to tackle in order to advance on my list.  Here are the results:

Having Fun (#33)
definitely accomplished this one by going to the Go Karts, where I took the slippery track for the first time and laughed with all of my lungs; also played in the arcade there.  Watched a couple of movies, and surprisingly I liked both (not Oscar material but fun to watch): No Strings Attached and The Adjustment Bureau.  Enjoyed the company of a few good friends; special thanks to Antonia for giving me my first gel manicure.  Lastly, went to Karaoke Night at a local bar with a few friends.  No, I didn’t sing, but I danced; plus during this outing I took care of my next item.

Crossing One Goal off My List
Fulfilled Item #37 by Having a Martini during Karaoke night.  I am far from being a cocktail expert; tend to stick to Margaritas and Wines when it comes to alcoholic beverages.  However, I’ve always been curious about Martini’s since characters such as James Bond make it look so glamorous, so I ordered one.  Did not love it – too dry for my taste. Mine was garnished with a lemon wedge which was a surprise.  I asked the waitress about the olive and she replied that they only put the olive in Dirty Martinis; and they also serve an Apple Martini. I had no clue. Sipped it very slowly; that was the only drink (other than water) I had all night.

Work on # 23 – Getting Organized
I was shooting for making some order out of the piles of paperwork resting on my desk table, and bookshelf, which I did not get to.  However, I made some progress on de-cluttering, as well as tackling some neglected household chores.  Not bad at all.  Big shout out to Kiara for helping me with this; that’s true friendship I tell you 🙂

Knock out One Rhode Island spot from #24
Didn’t Get to this one.

Finish Reading the Book (#35)
This one is part of my goal to Read More. I had read about 2/3 of Paulo Coelho’s book  La Quinta Montaña and I wanted to finish it over the weekend.  I did!!!

Cook Something! (#14)
Mastering a few Signature Dishes is one of my goals into which I have put little effort. The truth is I hadn’t done some real cooking for almost 2 months.  So this weekend I was supposed to master Moro de Habichuelas Rojas (Rice with Red Beans) and Bistec Encebollado (Steak with Onions).  The bad news is that I do not have this one under my belt yet.  The good news is that I did cook it and it was decent; I just want to fine tune my personal sazón on this dish a bit more.

So, how was your weekend?  Also, Please Vote for your Favorite:

On Review

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My thoughts on:  

The Complete Persepolis
By Marjane Satrapi

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 – This is the first graphic novel I have ever read.  As you can see, my rating for Persepolis is 5 red buckets, which means I really, really liked it.

This is an autobiographical graphic novel (some call it a comic because of the illustrations).  At first glance, my perception of the book was that it couldn’t be very deep since it looked pretty much as a comic strip; glad to report that assessment was far from accurate. 

This is the story of Marjane and her experiences as a girl, teenager, and eventually a young adult living in Iran during the war with Iraq.  It is interesting to see the diverse forces that converge in forming Marjane as a human being; there is the totalitarian regime forcing her to wear the veil, which her forward thinking parents protest against; her parents who instill in her a sense of what is fair and a thirst to fight for her rights but at the same time are trying to protect her from the explosive environment in their city; Marjane’s sense of spirituality and yearning for a relationship with God; her formal education at a French private school; the need to belong, to find her herd among her peers; and Marjane’s strong family ties. 

It is very interesting to learn about the atmosphere of this war from the viewpoint of a person who grew up in the midst of the conflict, and Satrapi does a beautiful job of helping the reader relate.  Persepolis is a quick read because the black and white pictures greatly enhance the meaning of the text, and it is delivered in a way that makes it appealing to the reader, also, the book has a chronological story line.

I won’t spoil the story for you, but will just say that Marjane eventually comes to terms with all the forces that are impacting her life;  she finds her way through  them.  And yes, I totally recommend this book.

Progresando

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Progress Report:

 On # 11 Completing my Bachelor’s Degree
Happy to report that I have completed my Summer course on Studies in Narrative with a final grade of B+, which puts my overall GPA at a 3.33.  I am very excited about the fact that completing this course contributed towards 3 of the items on my list: #11, #20, and #35.

On The List 

Ready, Set, Go

 I have recently added 3 new items to my list #33, #34, & #35, and I am up to a good start on each of those goals.  In addition, some of the other objectives on my list have been further defined, which has helped me in advancing on those areas as well, for example: #4, #14,  #20, and #24.

 

Facing Challenges:

On #5 Growing in Faith
From the 5 steps I had commited to in order to move towards this goal, I have found one of them especially challenging: Praying everyday.  Although I do it most days,am  finding myself still unable to reach a deeper level of connection with God.  My friend Michael recommended a book, which probably will be the next book that makes it to my Read 2011 list.   On the other 4 basic steps towards this goal, I am doing mostly good, but not 100%.