9307 Slices
Medium 9781609940706

Your Prosperity Assessment

Willis, Ethan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


We’re asking for a very specific reason. In this book, we make this promise: if you follow the practices we will describe, your level of prosperity will grow.

The Prosperity Assessment is a quick, insightful, multi-faceted evaluation, which is divided into three categories: money, happiness, and sustainability. It’s easy and even fun to do online, and there’s no charge to take it as many times as you want. The assessment should take about ten minutes. For each question, click the ranking that best describes your current situation. You will be asked to identify your perceived levels of prosperity in the three categories and compare them to your actual levels of prosperity. The assessment doesn’t stop there however.

In an extended phase of the assessment, you can invite your friends, co-workers, or family to take the assessment and answer the questions based on how they view your levels of prosperity. We’ve found that this type of “360-degree feedback” component helps identify areas that you overlooked, undervalued, or overvalued when you initially took the assessment on your own. We promise the results will be revealing.

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Medium 9781626561625

Rule #1

Edesess, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You may not believe this: Whether you’re a small investor with a few thousand dollars to invest, or a wealthy investor with a few million dollars, or a gigantic pension fund with a hundred billion dollars, you need only consider at most about 10 investment products. The rest are of no use and aren’t worth thinking about.

If you were going to buy a computer, how many brands do you need to choose from? About 10? And the same thing for a smartphone—maybe 10 models, at most? This point applies whether you’re a teenager doing homework or a top executive at a Fortune 500 firm.

Shopping for investments is a little different. You’re faced with tens of thousands of investment vehicles to choose from, offered by thousands of investment firms. There are more than 80,000 mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) worldwide. There are almost 10,000 hedge funds. The array is mind-boggling. And it keeps expensive financial advisors busy trying to guide confused investors through the mess. They let you know it’s difficult to choose because there are so many choices.

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Medium 9781576750780

Chapter 5 Media, Girls, and Body Image

Augustine, Ellen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ellen Schwartz

how impossible images
of physical perfection
are making our girls sick

The tyranny of the ideal image makes almost all of
us feel inferior … We are taught to hate our bodies,
and thus learn to hate ourselves. This obsession
with thinness is not a trivial issue; it cuts to the
very heart of women’s energy, power, and
self-esteem. This is a major health problem.

—Jean Kilbourne, in Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders

The anorexic is weak, voiceless, and can only with
difficulty focus on a world beyond her plate.

—Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

Many of our girls have “the look of sickness,
the look of poverty, and the look
of nervous exhaustion.”

—Ann Hollander, Seeing Through Clothes


A PLAGUE IS ABROAD IN THE LAND. It has not been caused by rats or mosquitoes, but by profit-driven industries relentlessly marketing an ideal body image impossible to attain. The victims of this epidemic? Our young women and girls.

The onslaught starts with a seemingly innocuous toy. While Barbie is presented as fun and wholesome, her image sets the tone for what girls come to expect of themselves in real life. Her unnaturally thin body makes even little girls with normal bodies unhappy with their appearance.

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Medium 9781576750353

3. The Leadership Crisis

Robert K. Greenleaf Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the eight years since I wrote the following essay on “The Leadership Crisis,” I have moved into a more meditative life with greater concern for the forces and influences that either nurture or depress the human spirit. And I have come to see the conditions that raise or lower the quality of life in colleges and universities as not materially different from those that operate in other institutions: governments, hospitals, churches, schools, businesses, philanthropies. Therefore, what I first addressed to colleges and universities and published in an academic journal, now seems to me to be much more widely relevant. And what is being said today in the flood of literature about how to lead in business seems equally applicable in the academic world.

Most important, as I noted in the earlier essay, “an indispensable condition for the persuasive power (of leaders) to be effective is that the institution is living out a great dream. … Institutions function better when the idea, the dream, is to the fore, and the person, the leader is seen as servant of the idea. It is not ‘I,’ the ultimate leader, that is moving this institution to greatness; it is the dream, the great idea. ‘I’ am subordinate to the idea. ‘I’ am servant of the idea along with everyone else who is involved in the effort. … It is the idea that unites people in the common effort, not the charisma of the leader. … Far too many of our contemporary institutions do not have an adequate dream, an imaginative concept that will raise people’s sights close to where they have the potential to be. … that has the energy to lift people out of their moribund ways to a level of being and relating from which the future can be faced with more hope than most of us can summon today.” That was the way I saw the crisis of leadership eight years ago: the need to produce in more of our institutions the overarching dream that will have this energy.

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Medium 9781576754597


Horn, Bernie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Here is a quiz. Actually, it’s part of the questionnaire I used to gather research for this book. Think for a second:

Time’s up. There are no correct answers, because we don’t have a clear definition of liberal or progressive, we can’t easily explain the proper role of government, and therefore, we can’t distinguish ourselves in a fundamental way from conservatives.

That’s what’s holding us back.

24Progressive thinkers are fairly unanimous on this point. Strategists John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira conclude that “the underlying problem driving progressives’ ongoing woes nationally [is that] a majority of Americans do not believe progressives or Democrats stand for anything.” Columnist E. J. Dionne writes that progressives have “a reluctance to make their case on the grounds of principle and philosophy. This in turn, weakens their moral position and cedes moral argument to the right.” Michael Tomasky, executive editor of The American Prospect, declares that what we “still don’t have is a philosophy.” Progressive writer Paul Waldman complains that progressives lack a “master narrative.” And Gary Hart remarks that “the best Democrats lack all convictions, or at least all courage to state what those convictions are.”

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