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Music means so much to a lot of people. The iTunes Festival is always nice!

Fortune

It’s about 11:00 pm and I’m standing among 3,000 fans shuffling out of the Roundhouse in London after a rousing Lenny Kravitz concert at Apple’s 8th annual iTunes Festival. In a spontaneous show of excitement and support for Kravitz, the exiting crowd began singing one of his more famous songs, “Fly Away.” This went on — down the stairs, out of the venue, onto the sidewalk — for a good 10 minutes.

As I stood outside, watching and listening to the fans, I was taken back to a conversation I had backstage with Oliver Schusser, Apple’s head of iTunes Europe, two hours before the show began.

“iTunes Festival is all about the fans in the audience, and the fans at home,” Schusser told me in an exclusive interview.

Is there any better feedback than to see people leaving a concert singing the songs they just saw the artist play? That’s…

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The Water Challenge

It time to step up to the challenge! Can you drink 2 to 3 Liters of water per day.  It sounds pretty easy, but let’s start tracking it and see what happens.  Here are the rules:

1. Take a selfie – Yes. Take a picture of your face so that you can see your skin before the challenge begins.  Save it somewhere that you will not lose it.

2. Track it – Determine how you will track if you reach your daily goal.  This is all on the honor system.  So, it only helps you by remaining honest.

3. The dates – September 1 to September 30th

4. Share – Take the time to share with us your successes and challenges during the month. If you found a favorite glass or time of day to drink water, share that with us.  When you start seeing some progress from drinking water, share that with us too.

5. Ending selfie – At the end of the month, put a before and after photo side by side.  Let’s see how well you did.

Enjoy!

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TIME

Researchers at University College London were able to create an equation that could accurately predict the happiness of over 18,000 people, according to a new study.

First, the researchers had 26 participants complete decisionmaking tasks in which their choices either led to monetary gains or losses. The researchers used fMRI imaging to measure their brain activity, and asked them repeatedly, “How happy are you now?” Based on the data the researchers gathered from the first experiment, they created a model that linked self-reported happiness to recent rewards and expectations.

Here’s what the equation looks like:

Robb Rutledge, UCL

Then, in their study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers tested their model by having 18,420 people play a smartphone game called The Great Brain Experiment for points. They found that their equation was also accurate at predicting the gamers’ happiness.

The researchers were not…

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TIME

What is life all about?

What’s your five-year plan? Your ten-year plan?

If you’re anything like me, your answer is probably something along the lines of “I have no idea.”

And just being asked that question makes you feel inadequate. Like you’re always supposed to know what the future will hold.

In his powerful book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, Clayton Christensen reflects that so many of his students at Harvard Business School feel they should always be able to answer “What is life all about?”

They expect to have their whole lives mapped out — and if they don’t, something is wrong with them.

Via How Will You Measure Your Life?:

Starting as early as high school, they think that to be successful they need to have a concrete vision of exactly what it is they want to do with their lives. Underlying this belief…

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Love great food that also looks good. This is a recipe that I will have to try!

With The Grains

January 2013

Though I have visually feasted my way through the food magazines strewn across my dining room table, all too often my meal choices remain unaffected by their inspiration. However, life is all too short to fill with the same old routines. One of my [loosely defined] goals for the new year is to eat better balanced, more varied meals (don’t let blogging fool you, I too fall victim to last minute scraping and convenience), so I started simply. I dogeared one recipe to try; I shopped appropriately, and voila…

Wild Rice Salad 01

A healthy bowl full of colors emerged!

Wild Rice Salad 02

I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from one of the Bon Appétit issues in said dining room collection. This rice salad is substantial enough to stand alone, or pair it with a dijon roasted salmon for a more mixed plate. In an effort to be resourceful (and maybe in some subconscious, knee-jerk…

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Sunday mornings are always a great time for reflection! Especially, a nice, fall morning when you can sit out on the patio and just look back over the week. As I reflect on just the past week, I have taken a look at how many items I have on my plate as current ‘to dos.’ I am not even looking at my long term goals, but that I have to do right now. What I know for sure is that I have to start saying ‘NO’ to a lot of the items that do not help me achieve my goals and start saying ‘YES’ to the items that help to improve the wellbeing of my family and/or my career goals.

At work, we do something called the ‘WIN’ for the day/week. WIN stands for ‘What’s Important Now.’ It is a concept that I think is great and can crossover into ones home and personal goals. It is a way to help you decide what it is that you need to be working on throughout the day. It brings focus and direction to an otherwise very cluttered atmosphere. I have developed short and long term WINs. I am now looking at each day as an opportunity to actually accomplish something that is beneficial to my family and something that is beneficial to my personal goals.

As I have started to implement this concept during the week, I have noticed how easy it is to veer of track. In looking at areas and people that stay focused day in and day out, it is easy to see that these individuals have greater success than those that operate in chaos. It seems as though this is an element that one would have to work on constantly until it becomes habit. If it were easy, I believe that we would have even more successful people in this world today. The fact that it is a challenge should not deter you, but should inspire you to set goals and use this method as a tool to help you reach your goal(s).

Reflection – – – this is why Sunday morning’s are so great! I do not do enough self-reflection and this Sunday morning has reminded me of the importance of self-reflection as a gauge of how to make you a better person.

Cheers to self-reflection!

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