learning how to not take yourself so seriously

And by that, I mean me.

Yes, it was lovely to get away. We enjoyed being with old old friends, as well as meet some new and very interesting people. We enjoyed lovely weather, long walks, and even a big hike. I got to give hard-learned advice to my friend on how to set limits and not be taken advantage of. And today, we took in the Norman Rockwell Museum out in Stockbridge, on the advice of another friend.

It was the least we could do. He asked us to do 2 things for him, after he took us on the amazing hike up a gorge, fed us cheese and wine at the top of the mountain, and then dinner back at his house.

The first thing was to read a book. It’s ordered; the reading will follow eventually. “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success”, by Adam Grant. Our friend is a successful businessman who made less than he had, thanks to being a friend of Bernie (Madoff)’s, so had to go back to work after he retired and had moved out to Lenox, Mass. His wife also got sick, went to the doctor’s, and died a few days later. So he has a right to tell us what to think and what to read. We can choose whether to think it back.

Here’s what the book people think the book is about:

Give and Take changes our fundamental ideas about how to succeed—at work and in life. For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Give and Take illuminates what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common.

Using his own groundbreaking research as the youngest tenured professor at Wharton, Grant examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. In professional interactions, it turns out that most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

I’m intrigued, no question about it.

The other thing was to go to the Rockwell Museum. That was easy.

I have photos to show how brilliant Norman Rockwell was and how what he did was complex and significant. And his artwork was much more than just illustration. I want to show one in particular that is not well-known; it’s not from a magazine cover.

It’s called Portrait of a Man.

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Now would you have identified this with a Rockwell? Okay, maybe you artsy people out there, but I was flabbergasted.

And now, here’s the description.

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A Portrait of a Man.

It just changes my perspective so radically.

Thanks, friend; I needed that.

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10 responses

  1. Pingback: so many mixed messages about marriage | But Mostly Hers

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