7 Minute Workout

Yesterday, I talked about a few things I do to re-energize myself when my batteries are feeling low. Last month, a NYTimes article pointed to the benefits of high intensity workouts as described in The American College of Sports and Medicine Health and Fitness Journal. It turns out there is a scientific basis for doing short, concentrated exercise, as opposed to longer bouts of medium to low intensity (jogging, 2 hours at the gym looking in the mirror, etc). “There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author …

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If you want to work yourself out of a funk, exercise very hard or very gently, but forget about the middling stuff. It won’t help. I notice that after I wrestle competitively or do a PACE workout for twenty or thirty minutes, I am both exhausted and exhilarated. More importantly, I get a surge of energy that lasts for hours. When I jog or lift weights or do an aerobics class, I feel worse afterwards than I did before. I’ve also noticed that I can recharge myself by meditating or napping for a half-hour. (I’m still not convinced that meditating is any better than napping, although everyone tells me it should be.)

Answers, Not Questions

Here’s a recent interview from the NYTimes with CEO of Bausch & Lamb, Brent Saunders. He says many things that I like and agree with in regards to management, partnerships, and problem solving. I think most people don’t realize that everybody comes to the C.E.O. with problems. Most people don’t come to tell me good news. The people I rely on or view as high-potential folks are people who come with a problem but also bring ideas for the solution. It may not be the right solution. We may do something entirely different, but they’ve been thoughtful about it. Earlier in my career, when I went to my C.E.O.’s, I walked in and said, “Here’s the problem and I have …

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Speculation vs. Investing

One sensible way to acquire wealth is to buy shares of stable, cash-rich companies and hold them for long periods of long time. Most people do something else. They buy a stock at a price they hope will increase, and they plan to sell it at a profit if and when it does. Although both strategies are generally considered to be forms of investing, I prefer to reserve the term investing for the former and call the latter speculation. Any dictionary will tell you that speculation is distinguished by the fact that it is based on incomplete information. And that is certainly true of most of what most people – professionals included – do. They have some partial knowledge that …

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Mother & Child

Mother & Child 1977 Reynaldo Fonseca (b.1925, Brazil) Oil on canvas, 29″ x 23″ I may have as many as 1,000 works in my art collection. This is one of my favorites. As you can see it’s a painting of a mother and child. The mother holds the child in one arm, fist clenched and looks beyond a bird that is perched on her finger. The child seems to be looking shyly to the side. The different visual references give the portrait drama. How did the bird get there? What is she looking at? What is her child looking at? The figures themselves are statuesque rather than naturalistic. The figures stand in front of some sort of wall or wooden …

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Top Ten Books

I like lists. Particularly lists of the “best” poets, composers and artists but also lists of the “best” books, films, and plays. A new book, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, edited by J. Peder Zane, asked the top 125 contemporary American and British authors to list their favorite books of all time. Here’s a list of the top 10 books of all time. Take a look at it and see how it compares to your own list.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857)  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)  Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1600) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) In Search of …

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Force of Habit

I spent ten years writing about self-improvement. I wrote more than a thousand essays and a dozen books. And as I wrote, I tried to walk my talk. What I discovered is this: It is very difficult to change one’s behavior. Most people don’t admit (even to themselves) that they need to change. These people are usually very good at pointing out why other people should. Some people know they should change but never even try. The best of them have a sense of humor about it. Others know they should change and try mightily to do so but fail. I haven’t figured out whether these people should be admired or ridiculed. A very small number of people decide to …

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