Sincere, valuable insights from a self-improving businessman.

The Road to Self

REFLECTIONS FROM A SOULFUL CEO

A property manager and developer shares his journey to a more enlightened view of business and life in this debut memoir.

In 1990, the 41-year-old Goodman, a managing partner of a Minnesota-based property management company that his father founded, was “alone and struggling in my relationships,” so he took a road trip to California “to find some answers and garner the peace I had been seeking.” This book is a distillation of the new perspectives he gained during that journey, and how he’s lived by them ever since. He organizes this book into 32 chapters that provide brief essays on various concepts, including “Trust the Universe,” “Heal Your Fear, Heal Your Anger,” and “Choose Social Responsibility.” Goodman also touches on some of his own key challenges, including being sexually abused by a housekeeper as a child and his difficulties finding a long-term romantic partner as an adult. He emphasizes the value of expressing emotions and developing good listening skills, outlining how he improved in these areas in order to improve his relationships, particularly with his father (now deceased) and his son. The author also shares several stories about his real estate business, including his championing of mind/body programs for residents and staff at his company’s senior living facilities. Goodman, now serving as chairman of his company, brings a charming humility to his narrative. For example, he explains how consultants had to tell him that he was “sending mixed messages” by looking over employees’ shoulders while also encouraging them to use their own judgment. He’s particularly touching on the topic of his father, expressing gratitude for his parent’s participation in therapy, which demonstrated “that change is possible at any age.” Other authors have certainly expressed similar views, including the epiphanies of a midlife California road trip, but this book offers a sweet, succinct discussion on how to live a better, happier life.

Sincere, valuable insights from a self-improving businessman.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9980001-0-7

Page Count: 152

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2015

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A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

THE ART OF SOLITUDE

A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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BEATING THE STREET

More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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