Books: A Concrete Path for Big ChangeBy
The idea of clearing your mind is something few people actively think about. In the new self-help book Moving the Needle, Joe Sweeney makes the argument that today’s society can be overwhelming and that the notion of being busy can cause additional anxiety and stress. Often, you can be so consumed with the idea of being busy that you confuse progress with constantly being active. Instead, Sweeney suggests you step back and spend 10 minutes a day clearing your mind and realigning your goals.
In a key point about work-life balance and career development, Sweeney discusses understanding people’s needs. Connecting with people and building relationships is critical both in business and in life, and a selfless act can go a long way in solidifying and strengthening these relationships. Building and growing relationships can have long-lasting effects, Sweeney states, especially in your career. When you meet someone new, engage the individual in a five-minute personal conversation, whether at a professional conference, in a meeting, or elsewhere. Networking is a powerful tool to grow your career; you never know who will be your boss or who you’ll have to call on for information or for help.
Sweeney notes that work-life balance is a key area that many people struggle to manage effectively. He suggests identifying the different aspects of your life and putting them into a decision wheel. The decision wheel diagram shows you at the center with your many aspects as the spokes. You can use the wheel to identify significant events that may be coming up (e.g., special projects at work or a major life event) and determine goals associated with each aspect. This allows you to segment and compartmentalize parts
of your life and identify areas that may be out of balance. For example, someone could become so consumed with work and success that the reason for the hard work—e.g., to live a good life and/or provide for the family—gets lost.
Overall, Sweeney’s style of writing is accessible and direct. This book is widely relevant for anyone seeking help organizing their lives and careers.