Working Notes – What I’m Reading – February 13

What I’m listening to, actually.  Unusual, for me, I know.  Mark is a huge TED Talks fan, and if he watches a particularly good one, he’ll grab me by the elbow, nail me to the floor for the ten or twelve minutes the talk lasts, and make me keep still long enough to watch it.  It’s usually worth it, too.

This time around, it was really worth standing still for the twelve minutes and two seconds that Shaw Achor explained about how most people put the cart before the horse:  They figure that if they can just achieve all the success they want to achieve in the world, then they’ll be happy.  In fact, it’s the other way around.  Happy people are more than 30% more successful at everything they do.   And if you can find a way to be happy first, you can actually re-wire your brain to achieve more success.

The talk is laugh-out-loud funny, but has some sobering ideas wrapped up in the giggles.

Achor has a book out, The Happiness Advantage, but I so enjoyed the TED talk (I’ve watched it three times so far), and the stories of Amy the Unicorn and her husband Bobo, that I by-passed the book in favour of the unabridged audio presentation of the book.

The Happiness Advantage doesn’t just apply to business, I believe.  It could be used for life in general.

If you’d like to check out the TED talk, you can view it on the TED website or on YouTube.  It’s an entertaining twelve minutes at the very least.

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The other book I’m working through, very slowly, because it’s pretty dry going, is Sex in the Ancient World from A to Z by John G. Younger.

You’d think a book with a title like that would be an absolute page turner, but this is a Routledge Press title (Routledge specialize in academic publications – especially from the humanities).

It’s research for any number of books I have planned for the near future — especially all the time travel books I’m writing.  And I just plain love dipping back into history.  But academic writers really know how to take the fun out of a subject.  I have to rehydrate everything I’m reading to get any sense of wonder out of it.

Still, there’ll be a pay off in future books. 😉

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