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UHNW Blog

 
  • How Will YouI Be Remembered? What Is Your Legacy? Paul Chek

     
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  • Ken Blanchard Lessons Learned

     
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  • Ken Blanchard – Legacy

     
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  • Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

    Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile

    Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile     When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.   Chip Conley creates joyful hotels, where he hopes his employees, customers and investors alike can realize their full potential. His books share that philosophy with the wider world.   Why you should listen to him:   In 1987, at the age of 26 and seeking a little “joy of life,” Chip Conley founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality by transforming a small motel in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin district into the now-legendary Phoenix. Today, Joie de Vivre operates nearly 40 unique hotels across California, each built on an innovative design formula that inspires guests to experience an “identity refreshment” during their visits.   During the dotcom bust in 2001, Conley found himself in the self-help section of the bookstore, where he became reacquainted with one of the most famous theories of human behavior — Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which separates human desires into five ascending levels, from base needs such as eating to the highest goal of self-actualization, characterized by the full realization and achievement of one’s potential. Influenced by Maslow’s pyramid, Conley revamped his business model to focus on the intangible, higher needs of his company’s three main constituencies — employees, customers and investors. He credits this shift for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008.   Conley has written three books, including his most recent, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, and is at work on two new ones, Emotional Equations and PEAK Leadership. He consults widely on transformative enterprises, corporate social responsibility and creative business development. He traveled to Bhutan last year to study its Gross National Happiness index, the country’s unique method of measuring success and its citizens’ quality of life.   “Chip Conley is that rare breed of CEO who possesses both a brilliant business mind and a very big heart. He’s a true role model for anyone who wants to lead.”  Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco     After fifteen years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley’s company was suddenly undercapitalized and overexposed in the post-dot.com, post-9/11 economy. For relief and inspiration, Conley, the CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, turned to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs. This book explores how Conley’s company “the second largest boutique hotelier in the world” overcame the storm that hit the travel industry by applying Maslow’s theory to what Conley identifies as the key Relationship Truths in business with Employees, Customers and Investors.   Part memoir, part theory, and part application, the book tells of Joie de Vivre’s remarkable transformation while providing real world examples from other companies and showing how readers can bring about similar changes in their […]

     
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  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”   Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.   Why you should listen to him:   Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.   Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.   “A man obsessed by happiness.”   Richard Flaste, New York Times   Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.  

     
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  • Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness

     
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  • Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?

     
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  • Nancy Etcoff on the surprising science of happiness

    Nancy Etcoff on the surprising science of happiness

    Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness — the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it’s untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.   Nancy Etcoff is part of a new vanguard of cognitive researchers asking: What makes us happy? Why do we like beautiful things? And how on earth did we evolve that way?   Why you should listen to her:   In her book Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff refutes the social origins of beauty, in favor of far more prosaic and evolutionary explanations. Looking for a partner with clear skin? You’re actually checking for parasites. And let’s just say there’s a reason high heels are always in fashion.   Her recent research into the question of happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should’ve known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of “The Science of Happiness” at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.   “Skewering the popular wisdom that beauty is a social construct, this Harvard psychologist argues that we ogle such features because they radiate the health and fertility our species needs to survive.”  Time     In this provocative, witty, and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, Nancy Etcoff skewers one of our culture’s most enduring myths, that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior. Etcoff, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, skewers the enduring myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior.   Etcoff puts forth that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism, but instead is in our biology. It’s an essential and ineradicable part of human nature that is revered and ferociously pursued in nearly every civilizatoin–and for good reason. Those features to which we are most attracted are often signals of fertility and fecundity. When seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival, our sometimes extreme attempts to attain beauty–both to become beautiful ourselves and to acquire an attractive partner–become understandable. Moreover, if we come to understand how the desire for beauty is innate, then we can begin to work in our interests, and not soley for the interests of our genetic tendencies.

     
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