Posted by: donnakarlin | November 24, 2007

The ‘Bests’ Part of Blogging

OK so there’s more than one best part however I’m going to lump them all into one multi-faceted ‘best’… which makes it plural, right?  For those of you who know me, you’ll know it’s commonplace for me to make up words when the existing ones don’t fit the bill and for those of you who don’t know me….well now you know!

The first best is virtually meeting a community of like minded people who I would never have had a conversation with, whether through comments on a blog, email, phone or, sometimes when I’m really lucky, in person.

It also connects me to people in ways that has had a profound effect on my life, my work and my overall perspectives. 

A few years ago a client of mine asked if she might share my blog with a dear friend of hers in Indonesia.  I was honoured she would want to share it with others and told her as much.  We’ve had the most amazing email conversations ever since.  Will I ever meet this man and his family?  Who knows?  What I do know is he has touched my life in a way that goes beyond the impersonal internet.

This same client introduced me to a woman who she worked with years ago.  This woman lives in Austria and we have been in touch ever since.  A wonderful part of this story is last year about this time she flew to Ottawa so we could meet.  We had dinner, talked face to face and made a connection that will stand the test of time.

Another of the bests is finding out about people’s amazing lives, their work, life-long passions as they share their comments and insights with me through this blog and the few others I write. On Perspectives, I can write pretty much what I want as it’s my blog.  On Fast Company Experts, the topic is Leadership and even then, through comments, sharing of websites and links I find out about people who I wish lived just around the corner so we could meet and get lost in conversation.

One of these people who connected with me and who does amazing work is Sanford Shapiro from The Bend Learning Center.  The Bend Learning Center helps children with learning differences understand and reach their potential.  How much better does it get than that?  When we teach people how to learn we open their worlds up to something beyond their wildest imagination because there are infinite possibilities available to them. 

Even as adults, we learn something new every day, especially when we pay attention to the fact we don’t know all their is to know even if we are experts in various fields and professions.  Even if we do learn something new, are we more apt to integrate it into our worlds or less as we get older?

We expect kids to learn at a certain rate and depth.  What about us as adults?  Even those without any learning difficulties, how many let a year go by without ever picking up a book?

How much are we missing because life is just too busy?  So my challenge for this week is, what book are you going to start reading with the intention of finishing it?

A contemplative…
Donna Karlin



  1. I’m away from home and my book shelves, so I can’t easily pinpoint one book to start with the intention of finishing. Instead, I’m going to twist the challenge a bit.

    Parenthetically, Donna, your post reminds me to renew connections with some of my incredible virtual friends and to make at least one virtual connection face-to-face.

    Back to the challenge – All too often, I pick up a new “must read” and never get past the first chapter. Here’s my twist – I am going to pick up at least one book that I’ve started with the intention of finishing and finish it! David Rock’s Quiet Leadership is one candidate. Joe Vitale’s Life’s Little Instruction Manual is a second and Tom Brokaw’s Boom! is a third. Anything as yet unfinished by George Leonard goes on the list. And perhaps Oblamov – I’ve put off for at least a couple of decades actually finishing what is purported to be the classic Russian novel about procrastination.

  2. You’re going to be busy! This time of year, as the weather changes, days are shorter and colder I plough through so many more books than in the warmer months when I want to be outside absorbing the fresh air into my system. Looking forward to diving in!

    Enjoy your reading. Let me know if anything really stands out and whether or not you’ll recommend them.

  3. Donna,

    You didn’t tell us what you’d be reading?

    I’m going to finish up Naked Conversations by Richard Scoble, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. (Yes, I am generally reading multiple books at one time.) And I think this month I’ll go back and re-read Maxwell Maltz’s Psychocybernetics, the very first personal development book I ever read.

  4. […] 25, 2007 by Donna Steinhorn Donna Karlin posted a new OnGrowing Challenge over on Transformational Girlfriends.  She wrote, ” my challenge for this week is, what book are you going to start reading with […]

  5. Leave it to you Donna to call me on my own challenge. I have the book Blink, blinking at me in my office which I want to dive into and I’m out to hunt for a mental popcorn book to read over the holidays. I like to read one book that’s business related and one (especially during break) that doesn’t make the think, but one I can get lost in (at least one, usually 3 or 4 during break time). When I take a break I want to take a break!

    Off to Chapters to peruse what captures my imagination!

  6. I can recommend a few things that fall into the category of Mental Popcorn. Two categories, the first are fast and interesting reads, and as non-fiction are not purely escapist.

    My Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
    Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

    For pure escapism:

    Anything by Janet Evanovich (especially the Stephanie Plum mysteries)
    Anything by David Balducci (adventure)
    The Amber Room by Steve Berry

  7. Ahh …. mental popcorn – here are a few more:
    the Inspector Montalbano mysteries by Andrea Camilleri – a slightly cantankerous, always intriguing, hard-eating Sicilian
    Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (the swquels don’t quite measure up)
    44 Scotland Street and Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
    … and for your listening pleasure, I saw an ad on the subway that said is offering one free book download.

  8. OK…I should have known better than to ask about book recommendations! Think I should buy shares in Chapters!

    Nothing like getting lost in a book with a fire going in the middle of a winter’s day. And looking outside and the freshly fallen oh about 14″ of snow, looks like that time is here. Thanks you two!

  9. Maybe because I’ve been spending so much time with people in their final phase of life, or maybe because I’ve always been, um, not your average bear, I’ve been into some metaphysical stuff.

    “Remember” by The Group
    “The Astonishing Power of Emotions” by Abraham-Hicks
    “Oneness” by Rasha

    On the more (ahem) practical side of things:

    By Gary Hamel with Bill Breen

    How Chuck Feeney Secretly
    Made and Gave Away a Fortune
    By Conor O’Clery

    Is there a time limit? I’ve been picking away at some of these for a year now, and rarely do I ever ingest a whole book. Exception: see top list 😉

    Anyone who knows me, and how I educated my children, will understand that I don’t follow the crowd when it comes to how to learn. In fact, that rate and depth expectation for kids that Donna mentioned, contradicts this era in which we live. A time of opulent possibility, a time when we are understanding that anything truly can happen. Not because we follow some prescriptive method, but because we don’t.

    The following story tickled me, for this very reason:
    A nurse who cares for my mother shared a story of frustration about a nursing home resident not getting what they needed because of “rules”. He stepped in and took care of it because, he said, “Here’s the thing. I don’t care about procedure.”
    My hero.

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