George Orwell once wrote that a classical education would be impossible without corporal punishment. Maybe that’s why it isn’t taught in schools today. A classical education was demanding. It included rhetoric: the art of effective speaking and writing.
Lawyer and politician, Arlen Specter, started as a Democrat, then became a Republican, and then went back to being a Democrat again. As you can imagine, he resisted being labeled. What he actually said was, “I don’t like labels. I think they conceal more than they reveal — sort of like a bikini.” Continue reading “Labels: A necessary evil”
“Any organization that won’t take the trouble to be both clear and personal in its writing will lose friends, customers, and money.”
— William Zinsser, in his 30th-anniversary classic, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
Concentration is at a premium in an increasingly distracted world. And this is why writing a book is so difficult for the busy professional. Writing a book requires long periods of distraction-free thinking-time, focus, and solitude.
Author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, termed Flow as a state of hyper-concentration where we lose all sense of time. We become what we do. Focus or distraction become habitual. But concentration is a skill we can develop with practice. An incremental approach works well. On the other hand, constant interruptions weaken our ability to focus and to think through complexity. When it comes to concentration it’s a case of use it or lose it.
Have a purpose
Purpose, relevancy, and ideas in business writing
In the 1987 comedy, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, stressed marketing executive, Neal Page (Steve Martin), is reluctantly trapped in a shared hotel room with an optimistic and talkative curtain-ring salesman, Del Griffith (John Candy). Del can’t stop talking about the boring details of his life. Eventually Neal loses his cool. After a long tirade, he shouts, “And here’s another thing: Have a point! It makes it so much more interesting for the listener.” Continue reading “Purpose, relevancy, and ideas”
Do you hate to wait? Most of us do. Yet we wait for trains, in doctors’ offices, at airports. We flee from unstructured time. We try to fill every fatiguing moment with a host of distractions. And that leaves us time poor. Continue reading “Time poverty”
It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a book, governing a country, running a business, becoming sick, or getting well, everything is in process. There are four repeating stages of just about anything. Do you know where you are in the cycle? Continue reading “Four stages of just about anything”
Reviewed by Christopher Richards
The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the new world disorder constantly surprises us and what we can do about it, by Joshua Cooper Ramo
We may crave simple and easy-to-comprehend ideas but the world is complex. The Age of the Unthinkable relies on Chaos Theory for its perspective on a world where old ways of thinking no longer apply. Continue reading “Age of the Unthinkable”