Archive for February, 2010

The Future of Reading?

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

enTourage eDGe

This week I attended a Tools Of Change(TOC) Conference in NYC.  The conference was about the future of publishing.  At this conference I saw several tools that could change book and magazine reading significantly.  Qualcomm will be introducing a new ereading device that displays vivid colors yet sips battery juice very slowly.  Ray Kurzweil demoed an ereader software he’s been working on in partnership with Baker & Taylor.  The software is called Blio and combines text, audio, embedded videos, and more in an interactive platform.  And by now you’ve heard about Apple’s iPad.

The most exciting thing to me was a dual screen ereader/netbook type device called enTourage eDGe.  So far I haven’t been too impressed by the Kindle and all the similar ereaders.  The Edge is different from the other readers on the market.  The left side is a touch screen ereader that you can highlight and make notes in.  The right side is basically a netbook.  You can check your email, surf the web, or tweet about the book you’re reading.  If you click a link on the left side (the book), the link opens on the right side where you will see the video, definition, map, or any other helpful tool that was linked in the document.  Meanwhile, the left side hasn’t changed so you still have your place.

I’ve ordered the enTourage eDGe.  I’ll write a longer blog after I’ve had a chance to spend some time with my new gadget.

Book Review Tuesday: Proverbs

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I’m staying at a hotel this week as I attend the Tools of Change conference for the publishing industry.  I’m meeting many great people, including some bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Lindsey Nobles, and Chris Brogan that I’ve been following for awhile.  It’s nice to be able to connect in person.  Anyway, back to the hotel…like many hotel rooms, some guy named Gideon left his Bible here.  Having been raised (reared still doesn’t sound right) in the Christian faith all my life, I happen to know that the Bible contains this great book called Proverbs that many believe was written at least in part by Solomon, proclaimed to be the wisest man ever.  Here are a few of my favorite proverbs:

18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly.

4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

3:16  Length of days is in [wisdom’s] right hand, in her left riches and honor.

18:22  He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.

What is Your Dream?

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Dreams are elusive.  If we don’t write them down, take action steps toward achieving them, and stay focused, dreams quickly become faded memories of what might have been.  In the overstimulated world that we live in, the next shiny thing catches our attention before we’ve even fully comprehended the wonderful dreamy thought we just had.  And just like that it’s gone–often forever.  With so many distractions to keep us occupied 24 hours a day, who has time to dream?  Maybe we just need a big enough WHY.  Here are a few reasons why it’s important to dream:

1.  Dreams provide energy.  Sometimes the routine we settle into begins to take the life out of us.  Without dreams to strive for, many of us become drones, bored and empty.  Carving out some time to be alone to think and dream often recharges our batteries.

2.  Dreams provide meaning.  Life is much more fulfilling when we are working toward a dream.  The dream can be as public Martin Luther King’s vision of equality or as personal as buying our first house.  Even the most wealthy people often find themselves with all the comforts imaginable, yet dissatisfied.  They haven’t chosen a meaningful dream to pursue next.

3.  Dreams provide hope.  There are times in life when all we have is a dream of better circumstances.  In The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner found himself homeless, with nothing but his dream of a better future for him and his son.  Chris kept the dream alive and never gave up hope as he pushed himself to success.

We all need dreams no matter what season of life we find our selves in… at rock bottom looking for hope, running the rat race needing energy, or living the good life but seeking meaning.

Take some time alone to think and dream.  What did you come up with?

Book Review Tuesday: The Principle of the Path

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

This week I’ve been listening to Andy Stanley’s latest book on audio.  I’ve talked about Andy before.  In his latest book, The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Andy explains that direction, not intention, determines destination.  I found the book to be a good reminder to think long term.  Andy points out several times that we don’t always see an immediate effect from our actions.  That doesn’t mean there are no consequences.  The analogy of the path leading to a destination is useful.  We sometimes get off track…make a poor decision.  Each action or decision is a part of our journey and compounded those actions and decisions do lead somewhere.  Where do you want to go?  It is useful to ask yourself if what you’re doing leads down the path toward the destination you choose or if you’re defaulting down another path.

My only gripe with this book (not saying I agree with everything…I’ve never found that book/author) is that the audio book is not read by the author.  Most books I’ve listened to that are not read by the author lose some of the feeling–the inflections aren’t in the right places.  I think this is especially true of books written by speakers, like Andy Stanley.

One thing Andy pointed out that I found especially helpful: talk with people who are where you wish to go.  People who have already traveled the path know the best route.

Book Review Tuesday: You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

In You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader, Mark Sanborn gives a good overview of leadership skills.  Sanborn defines a leader as someone who influences others.  By that definition we all are leaders.  The author challenges us to use that influence positively.  He shares many stories throughout the book to illustrate the ways that people lead others even when they hold no authoritative office or position.  We can bring positive change to our workplace, community, and relationships without being the boss.

Sanborn is also an excellent speaker.  I saw/heard him speak at Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’ memorial service.