From the Publisher
What can I do to help you?
Back to the Future
Women and Philanthropy
Tiny Little Efforts
Beyond the Passion
Election of 2008
Lessons from IKE
No time for fooling around
For love or money?
Don't worry; be happy
Work and Life
Red-hot and true-blue
Mothers and Manners
Passions of the Heart
Endings and Beginnings
Holding on to Summer
Giving thanks & paying it forward
Renewing Old Friendships
Summertime! And the livin' is easy?
A different kind of wonderful
Gratitude & Grace
From the Publisher
Often, we hear athletes speak of “being in the zone” or “keeping their head in the game.” They are referring, of course, to that special state where the mind is totally focused on the task at hand. When they are “in the zone,” they are energized and motivated. They feel joyful, positive and competent. They accomplish great things.
Athletes have been heard to say, “The zone is where the magic happens.”
Artists speak of “the flow,” and we know exactly what they are talking about. For them, it is the state of total immersion in the creative process. They claim their best work is done when they are “going with the flow.”
Historians have recorded that Michelangelo was “in the flow” when he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – that he painted for days at a time without stopping for food or drink. Often, the master painter would pass out from exhaustion. When he awoke, he was ready to paint again — with the same passion and fervor as before.
Actors too know well the value of intentional focus. For them, one such experience could result in an Academy Award performance.
I have a good friend who is a professional keynote speaker. She stays busy and travels a lot. When one of her presentations goes especially well, she will call (no matter where she is) and tell me, “It went great; I rocked!” I can’t help but share the excitement I hear in her voice. I know she is pumped and ready to go again.
My friend “rocked” because she got on stage and stayed “in the moment.” She was confident and authentic and made a strong connection with her audience. And, by doing so, magic was made.
Entrepreneurs and business professionals know a lot about this subject too. Often we acknowledge that we work long hours. We say things like this: “I just love what I do. When I’m working on a project, I lose all track of time.” We too say some of our best work comes when we are totally absorbed in our efforts.
The trick for us, however, is prioritizing and allowing ourselves the luxury of focus. The challenge, of course, is letting go of the notion that we must constantly take on more and multitask to live up to the “super woman” image others paint of us.
For me, having just one thing I must do at any given period of time is a treat! When the opportunity presents itself, I go with it. I avoid all distractions. I close my office door. I ignore incoming calls and stay off the Internet. I get in the zone; I go with the flow. I get things done. And, once in awhile, magic happens, and I rock!
Afterwards, I sit back, relax and give focus its due!
From the Publisher
Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting at your desk; your hands are on the keyboard of your computer and, suddenly, you realize you’ve been sitting there a long time — typing nothing but thinking a lot, about all sorts of things!
This happens to me occasionally, most often when the days are longer than usual and deadlines seem further apart. It happens most often when I am less pressured to finish something or get up and go somewhere. It happens, most often, smack dab in the middle of the summer!
During these times, wistful thoughts surface, and I find myself reminiscing about the “good old days.” I think often about how much our industry — print media — has changed over the years and how fast it will continue to change. I think often about how many pairs of track shoes I’ll need to keep up.
When I graduated from college (in journalism), jobs were plentiful. There were newspapers and magazines, of all sizes, thriving all over the country. Thus, getting my first job in my field of choice was easy. All it took was a degree from an accredited college and a decent GPA.
I think about the two college students who are working here this summer as interns. Both are majoring in print journalism. Both will be looking for their first jobs nine months from now. I wonder, “What will their paths be? What will the future hold for them?”
I have no doubt the printed word will survive, and fine writers will always find work and be appreciated. But, their words will, no doubt, appear less often on paper. Okay, if reading books and newspapers (and magazines) online and on our iPads is the wave of the future, we publishers will adjust and provide those options.
But then, I wonder, what about printers? How will they adapt to the changes in their industry? Surely, they too, are looking forward and making adjustments?
I wonder about some of my friends and the industries they work in. I hear often, “Things will never be the same. Work is more difficult than ever. People just aren’t as interested in what we do as they used to be.”
I wonder if they too are willing to adjust to the changes in their industries. Will they be willing to learn new technologies, alter their products or services, target a new market and, in some cases, consider creating a whole new business?
These are not the types of daydreams I like. I would much prefer to be staring at my computer in deep thought about a vacation in Italy, India or Indonesia, but this is not the time.Today, we must heed the warnings of the midsummer daydreams of 2010 and embrace the messages they hold. To do otherwise, I think, could be dangerous and distressing, nothing short of a nightmare.
From the Publisher