Three Books I’m Grateful for in 2015

by

Books-I'm-Grateful-for-in-2015_Web

I thought I’d wrap the final day of the year with a blog on my favorite books of the last twelve months. I’ve read a lot of great books this year – fiction, non-fiction, and business, but three of them stand out as great reads that I’m truly grateful for reading. None of them are “business” books, but they all evolved my perspective on work and life. I will read every one of these books again, when the time is right.

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

I wasn’t around when my book club selected this book, so when I started reading it on a plane, I didn’t even know it was non-fiction, since my book club rarely reads non-fiction. When I realized it was a memoir of Frankl’s time in four different Nazi death camps, I braced myself for a very depressing read. By the time I landed, I was surprised to find I actually felt lighter and happier, with a new perspective on “meaning”. I called my father, a retired philosophy professor to see what he knew about this book. He laughed and said he used it in one of his courses for forty years. I was not ready for that in college or even graduate school. But a few years after forty, after getting married and having kids and wondering about the meaning of life, this book hit the spot. Honestly, I’m not sure what I got exactly other than a sense of peace, but I will definitely read it again next time I’m feeling a little lost.

“10% Happier” by Dan Harris

Over the summer, I read Dan Harris’ story about discovering meditation. I have since nicknamed this book: “how meditation can help you be a bad-ass”. I have attempted meditation for years, but have always left all my resolutions at the yoga retreat, since it never seemed to fit into my action packed life. For me, this book and the Headspace app on my phone have finally gotten me into a somewhat regular meditation practice that has helped me be “10% Happier”. I found Harris’ writing to be extremely engaging, weaving his personal story and his pursuit of a meditation practice into interesting commentary on contemporary religious movements. It was a joy to read, probably my favorite of all the books I read this year.

“How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haims

I just finished this Christmas gift yesterday. The critics say this is a great book to read if you have teenagers; I am so grateful I read it now before my kids get one day older. It is well-written and backed by engaging stories and shocking statistics. Building on what I have already embraced from Love and Logic, Lythcott-Haims convinced me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable letting my kids fail at the little things, that way they slowly become ready for bigger and bigger challenges. I could clearly connect how what I was doing today would impact my children’s abilities to function as adult, not only to be “successful” in work and life, but also just to feel purpose and be happy. I am so grateful for this book. Hopefully my father will forgive me for the mess I’ve been letting my kids make running the hand mixer on the brownies and painting with marbles in the workshop.

 

READ MORE

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

About a week ago, I completed the second live (virtual) training in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach through iPEC. Once again, my mind was blown! It reinforced for me that virtual workshops can, and do, work, and, in a lot of ways, I prefer them...

read more
Finding My Work-Life Balance

Finding My Work-Life Balance

In my previous post, I told the story of how I got back into consulting after becoming a mom. All of the diverse experiences I had during that journey have helped me to find my work-life balance by… Defining Boundaries “Go home,” my first boss said 12 years back —...

read more
How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

I Landed My Dream Job Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision...

read more
Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

In August of this year, as part of our annual company meeting, our team at Thought Ensemble participated in the foundational session of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training led by Dr. Nika White, IOM, CDE (she/her/hers). One of the most meaningful moments...

read more
Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

It is often said that organizational culture is like a fog — it is all around us; it impacts our ability to see, to move quickly, and to deliver; but we cannot quite put our finger on it. Indeed, some organizations see their culture as a byproduct of operations,...

read more
We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

Why have we refreshed our brand, you ask? Well, as we have grown and matured as an organization, we felt that our previous brand elements no longer represented us as well as they could. You see, we founded Thought Ensemble back in 2008 to help companies better compete...

read more
Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

I recently wrote about how company purpose is being tested and inspired by all the events of 2020. This topic is very real for us at Thought Ensemble. We’ve been thinking a lot about what really matters as we’ve navigated the...

read more
How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

In August 2019, the Business Roundtable rewrote their statement of corporate purpose. I followed this with significant interest being that I have never forgotten the debates about corporate purpose in business school almost two decades ago. We were taught that the...

read more
Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

I love working with companies who really want to make a difference, beyond just making money for their shareholders. I mean, making money is fun and all, but it is even more rewarding to join in on a just cause. Plus, as this HBR article explains, companies who have...

read more