Very Inspiring Part 2 …


Well, I have spent part of the last week considering the “Pay It Forward” part of this award.

To accept the award, I am now given the opportunity to nominate ten other blogs which I feel deserve this recognition.

I know of many more than ten blogs which provide consistently positive, challenging, and thought-provoking content.   This is a true test of my ability to narrow the list down.

Here are my first five  nominations in no particular order or arrangement:

Mirth and Motivation – Elizabeth Obih-Frank

EOF is a gentle and prolific spirit.  She also pumps out Positive Kismet.  She has traveled and lived in various spots around the globe and this broad background is reflected in her warm regard for us human beings in all our various guises.

EOF considers the infinite variety of human life and finds the common threads, those things which bind us together and not those which tear us apart.

She is a true believer in the power of positive motivation.  EOF’s byline is “Ask. Believe. Receive.”.  What more do I need to say:)

Cultural Offering ~ Kurt Harden

Kurt is one of those eclectic folks and his daily offerings are like getting a box of wrapped candy in the mail.    He does focus on culture, but it’s not the ephemeral silliness that we are assaulted by with the steady stream of rock stars, divas, and athletes, often behaving badly.  

Kurt has a sharp eye for the little oddities and curiosities of our lives and he knows how to spark our interest, as we all move through our days.

Kurt shares the deeper cultural aspects of our times and I always enjoy his offerings.  He’s also a real person ~ approachable and down-to-earth.  Very visual and very musical.

Shrinking The Camel ~ J. B. Wood

As they say “I knew him before he was somebody”:)  I’ve followed this blog when it was written by Bradley J. Moore, which was actually a pseudonym for J. B Wood, a very accomplished businessperson.  No dreamy-eyed visionary, J. B. has walked the walk in the halls of corporate America and experienced great success in that environment.  

With that corporate background and business acumen, you would expect a more hard-nosed approach.  You would be surprised.

J. B. understands that our work lives can be better than we let them be.  The title of his new book says it all:  At Work As It Is In Heaven:  25 Ways to Re-imagine the Spiritual Purpose of Your Life

EMJAYANDTHEM’S Blog  ~ MJ

MJ is one thoughtful, sensitive, and funny person.  She writes because she has to, about life, relationships, from a perspective that is clearly feminine, but also speaks to our larger commonality.

She talks about walking in the grass, cooking a meal, working with others, and moving into a new relationship with her mother on consecutive days.  At first, I was confused by how she moves from one topic to another seemingly unconnected.   Now I realize she writes about life exactly as we live it … messy, sometimes random, and a delightful mix of the miraculous and the mundane.

MJ can make me laugh, cry, think, and decide … all in one well-crafted post.   She writes with thoughtfulness and sensitivity about life, including some parts that most of us shy away from or try to ignore.

Weaving Influence ~ Becky Robinson

Becky Robinson is a multi-threat person:  She blogs, she markets, she manages, she has created a solid on-line presence through her words and projects.  Becky is high-energy, intelligent, and has a solid respect for the really important things in life.

Becky blogs about everyday events and often uses her children, family, and friends as the main actors.  In a few words and a few minutes (no more than 12, if you can believe that:), Becky creates heart-warming and lively vignettes.

The business and branding lessons usually take me completely by surprise.  This woman understands how to function in today’s world.

Part 3 (five more fascinating bloggers) is coming soon.

Again, thanks to David Kanigan ~ to be inspired, visit his blog “Lead.Learn.Live”.

Still feeling very pleased by this honor in the Heartland …

John

On Being Curious, Cruel, and Critical . . .


“How DO you come up with something to talk about every day?

I am sometimes asked how I come up with ideas for blog posts.  

Well, sometimes someone asks “Where in the world did THAT come from?“, which may be a different question:).

However, to address those who actually are interested in the creative process of writing a blog around six days a week, I follow Three Laws of Being:  Be Curious, Be Cruel, and Be Critical:

Be Curious:

I follow a large number of people who blog regularly in the areas of leadership, learning, and human behavior, as well as several sub-categories, such as spiritual and social issues, written communication, and visual communication.

I don’t know how people can write about a subject or area without paying attention to the other people who are doing the same thing.

My interests are all over the place and some might say I lack focus.  I prefer to stress the positive aspects of being curious about many things.   From this interest in many different things come an ability to “connect the dots”.  I see how concepts or ideas from very different areas can relate to one another.

I can see both differences and similarities in apparently unrelated things

Since this practice generates an immense amount of content to check each day, see my second Law below.

BE CRUEL:

I can decide whether to read a blog post or a stream in about 2 seconds maximum.   As many have posted, titles are important and so are those first few lines of text.   Decisions are made and “delete” is often clicked based on that bit of information.

I also regularly unsubscribe to blogs, regardless of who writes them or what they are about.  My DiSC profile reflects a strong orientation toward C behavior, which includes a tendency to engage in “comprehensive” review of a topic.  If I am following leadership blogs, I want to follow them all.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed with words, I have to make hard decisions about which blogs have not proven to offer one of two essential elements for me:  Usefulness or Amusement.

A valuable stream either provides content which I can reflect on or makes me smile.  Either works to give value:)

BE CRITICAL:

Critical thinking involves both creative thought and analytical or logical thought.  Both are very useful when reflecting on someone else’s words.  I look for ideas, concepts, terms, and words which appear in a new light.  I look for a fresh way of thinking about something.

I value the weight of statistics and facts, while keeping an eye out for those whimsical thoughts which may contain the truth of an issue or situation.

An important element here is to avoid the filter bubble” effect, which is the disturbing tendency of search engines to show us information that closely relates to what we are already interested in, based on the sites we have already visited.

If you only look at one side of an issue, you only know one side of an issue.

Be aggressive about seeking out diverse viewpoints and oppositional positions.

Since Becky Robinson will not let me take any more than 12 minutes to compose a blog post, I am now finsihed:)

What important elements have I missed or misstated?

Creating content critically in the Heartland  . . .

John

Mum’s The Word . . . Or is it?


Heidi Cohen advertises herself as offering “practical advice” . . . and she DOES.

Lurkers and others:

For proof, look no further than her recent post titled 21 Reasons Why We Lurk which is a very comprehensive list of reasons why people visit and read webpages or blogs, but do not add anything to the mix.

I could have come up with maybe 10 of these at best, but my list would have skewed heavily toward reasons that reflect poorly on lurkers.  This reflects my ongoing dissatisfaction with the level of discourse that I see online.  Heidi has done a much more balanced analysis and I recommend you read her post. Continue reading

Mark All As Read . . .


Finally . . . A Ray of Hope for my Reading List:)

 

I subscribe to around 65 blogs on leadership, learning, communication, thinking, and a few other odd topics through Google Reader.  In addition to that group, I also have email subscriptions to probably 20 or 30 more blogs on roughly the same subjects.  I add as many as 2 to 3 subscriptions every week.

I like to be informed . . .  well informed . . .  in many areas. Continue reading