Taking the Challenge – Update #1

On Sunday, I had grand plans of taking Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge.

Here is how its going:

The Day 1 email did not arrive on Monday. What could I do?  I had no email.  How could I start? I did resist watching Jersey Shore, turned off the TV at 9pm (after an awesome episode of Breaking Bad) and started a really good book recommended by my friend Lizard, Cutting for Stone.  I felt a sense of accomplishment, but no meditation.

This morning, Day #2 was in my e-mail box.  I had to get to work to do two hours of prep before my 9am meeting, but I did play a few minutes of Day #2 to check it out before I headed to work .  (I debated whether I could meditate during my actual commute to save time.  I decided, probably not.)

Key takeaway: I think it might be too “new agey” for me.  Listen to this dude and tell me what you think.  I am not sure I can listen to his voice for 18 minutes.

After my 12 hour work day the first thing I wanted to do when I got home was watch Bachelor Pad.  New agey man was not top of the list.  Not surprisingly, I can write and watch the crazy pants on this show simultaneously.

That’s where I am now….who knows if there will be an update #2?

Taking the Challenge

I’ve so lost my way.  I have tried not to write whiny posts about how work has taking over almost all of my time and energy, so I haven’t been writing much at all.

I have reverted to the place where I fill my non work time with more reality TV than a person should watch.  Somehow Millionaire Matchmaker, Jersey Shore, Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals, and Bachelor Pad have found there way on to my TiVo.  (Joining Big Brother of course, which I still love.)

I might need another 7 day detox.  What am I saying? I am sure I need another 7 day detox but what if, god forbid, I just worked more hours?  I would also miss out on such fine programming as Breaking Bad and True Blood.  That is, however, all of the fine programming on rotation at the moment.

The new fall season is coming and although I have not been paying much attention and it  has become less exciting for me over the years, I will be investigating the new goods to see if there is anything worth adding to the Top 10 hours. Its the closest thing I have to “back to school  in the fall” feeling which I used to love as a kid.  Buying new clothes and school supplies and heading back to see your friends.

No time like the present, pre-fall season, to try a 7 day detox, but I am having a hard time committing.  Maybe I will ease my way in to it, by just cutting out some of this reality crap. (I say some because I just can’t resist Bachelor Pad, I can’t)

I did also just sign up for Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge, again.  I don’t think I got past Day 1 last time but maybe I can stick with it this time around. There has been no meditation in a while. The theme is “Creating Your Soul Profile”.  Supposedly, I will learn (in 21 days) Who am I? What do I want? What is my dharma or purpose in life?  That seems like a lot to tackle in 21 days of 10-15 minute meditations but since I have never meditated for 21 days in a row, what do I know?

I will keep you posted, and if I really discover my purpose in life, and its NOT to watch lots of TV, perhaps I will be inspired to launch the 7 day TV detox!

The Soul of Leadership Was Not For Me

I just finished my first non-fiction book of the year.  I am not a huge non-fiction reader.  I like stories.  It can be a true story.  I prefer a good true story to fiction, actually.  But if it isn’t in the form of a story, I would like it summed up in nothing longer than a magazine article.  Maybe this comes from years of being told to roll things up to communicate to executives.   I have set a goal of reading at least 5 more non fiction books this year, so maybe I will find one that keeps my attention longer than an awesome episode of Glee or Breaking Bad.

I did force myself to finish Deepak Chopra’s The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness so I could get to my next book.  Why did I decide to read this?  Around New Year’s, I saw Deepak on CNN saying something very profound while I was running on the treadmill.  By the time I got home from the gym, I couldn’t remember what it was.  I searched the internet to see if I could find the clip on CNN.com or You Tube but no luck.  I thought if I read his new book, it might be in there.  I was also thinking a lot about unlocking MY potential for greatness, and it seemed like something that would help me get psyched up for my new leadership role at work (which has still not started yet..LONG transition period.)  I don’t think I found it in there because I still can’t remember what it was.

I think part of the problem might have been the Kindle.  On the Kindle, it is hard to flip back to refer to things.  When I am reading a story, I can visualize it in my head and I don’t need to go back and refer to anything.  With this book, the ideas kept leaving my mind and it was not easy to quickly browse back to re-orient myself.  Maybe it was the Kindle, or maybe I just was not that in to the ideas in this book.

Deepak talks about his leadership concepts using this acronym (see how it spells Leaders!)

  • L (Look and Listen)
  • E (Emotional Bonding)
  • A (Awareness)
  • D (Doing)
  • E (Empowerment)
  • R (Responsibility)
  • S (Synchronicity)

I always have a hard time getting through this “self help” stuff because it just sounds like common sense to me when I read it.  (Be a good person, listen to people and understand what they need, have self awareness, mediate a lot, etc…)  There are some pearls of wisdom here and there, but those could really be summed up in a magazine article.  I am sure some people find this book inspiring.  That what keeps this man in business, right?  Maybe my head was just not in the right place.

I think the people who read this book, will already embody a lot of these leadership qualities.  This book might remind them of things they already know or inspire them to be more conscious of them (until they get busy again) but my guess is that the people who really need to learn how do the things in this book (because they are horrible leaders) won’t read it, or can’t learn them from reading a book.   Just my opinion.

Next up, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The last in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.