Author Archive for Chris Valka, CSB

28
Mar
14

What Makes Us Feel Good about Our Work?

What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.

DOWNLOAD: WHAT MAKES US FEEL GOOD ABOUT OUR WORK (20 minutes)

Credits:  Ariely, Dan.  “What Makes Us Feel Good about our Work”  TED.  April 2013.

21
Mar
14

The Way We Think about Charity is Dead Wrong

I have always been frustrated by the double standard of charities with for-profit businesses – a frustration I share with our presenter today. Why is it that we are perfectly fine with for-profit businesses spending so much money to improve their products and ideas, but we don’t allow non-profits the same ability? Instead we want all their revenue to go directly to the cause.

What Dan Polleta expresses so well in this presentation is the importance of non-profits acting more like for-profits so that they can better meet the needs of those who need them most.  It is a wonderful suggestion as to how our communities can better support those who help those who need help.

DOWNLOAD: THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT CHARITY IS DEAD WRONG (19 minutes)

Credits: Polleta, Dan.  “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong”  TED.  March 2013.

14
Mar
14

High Anxiety

The opening of this discussion should catch you just as much as it caught me.  Mary Hynes opens with a statistic:  the average high school student today has the same anxiety level as the average psychiatric patient in 1950.

Based on what I see at any given university, I would concur.  Students I know carry an enormous amount of anxiety with them – at times, even crippling amounts.

So why is this?  One reason offered is because our ideas of happiness have become so outlandish and unrealistic, the pursuit of them makes us a nervous wreck.  Interesting thought. . . but again, this is just one notion discussed in the interview.

DOWNLOAD: HIGH ANXIETY (50 minutes)

Credits:  Hynes, Mary.  “High AnxietyTapestry.  CBC Radio, March 7, 2013.

07
Mar
14

Lamenting the Road Not Taken

In his most recent book, Missing Out:  In Praise of the Unlived Life, Adam Phillips writes that, “we are haunted by the myth of our own potential.”

This week, we join Mary Hynes as she speaks with Adam Phillips about his book.  In the interview, you will consider your own parallel life – the one that never happened, but that might occupy an extraordinary part of your mental time.  But it is not all bad, as Phillips says, “that in missing out on one experience we always open ourselves to the potential of another, and that in depriving ourselves of the frustration of not getting what we think we want, we would be depriving ourselves of the possibilities of satisfaction.”

So join us as we consider the mix of regret and foggy optimism that our hearts associate with the roads not taken.

DOWNLOAD: LAMENTING THE ROAD NOT TAKEN (50 minutes)

Credits:  Hynes, Mary.  “Lamenting the Road Not TakenTapestry.  CBC Radio, February 22, 2013.

28
Feb
14

The Art of Asking

Not that long ago, I went to a café in Denver Colorado when I was on vacation.  I just dropped in and to my surprise there were no prices on the menu.  Usually, this means I cannot afford it, but in this case, the manager told me I could pay what I felt the food was worth.  Of course, this prompted a dozen questions from me – questions that are similar to those discussed in this talk.

Admittedly, Amanda Palmer is a little on the crazy side, but her ideas are provocative and worthy of discussion.

Really, this talk isn’t just about asking, but about community – and how asking people to help builds community.  And for that, it is a very worthy while watch.

DOWNLOAD: THE ART OF ASKING (13 minutes)

Credits:  Palmer, Amanda.  “The Art of Asking”  TED.  February 2013.

21
Feb
14

The Calling of Delight

Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ, has been one of my heroes for some time – in fact, if you search the history of this website, you will notice there are several interviews I have featured with him.

So you can imagine my delight when two of my favorite personalities (Tippett and Boyle) sit down to have a conversation.

In this interview, Boyle speaks of his work and personal struggles – as well as the lessoned learned from all of it.  Of particular interest to me was his thoughts regarding our fear of the incarnation.

That said, the whole interview is well worth listening to, so enjoy.

DOWNLOAD: THE CALLING OF DELIGHT (51 minutes)     

Credits: Tippett, Krista. “The Calling of Delight”  On BeingAmerican Public Media.  February 26, 2013. 

21
Feb
14

Spiritual But Not Religious

There are two different but wonderfully related aspects to this interview:

The first is with David Webster, author of Dispirited:  How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish and UnhappyThe basic premise of this book is that that the mind, body, spirit movement is a lot like a cocktail – and not in a good way. You start with a little Buddhism, add a dash of meditation, shake it all up with a bit of chanting, and what do you end up with? A mess.

The second part of the interview is with Ken Miller, who has recently produced a documentary entitled, Hellbound, asking whether or not Christians should be rethinking eternal damnation?

DOWNLOAD: SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS (50 minutes)

Credits:  Hynes, Mary.  “Spiritual But Not ReligiousTapestry.  CBC Radio, February 8, 2013.

14
Feb
14

The Secret Desire to a Long Term Relationship

This was one of the more fascinating presentations I have heard on relationships.  As you will find out, we are, for the first time in history, wanting sex as a matter of desire.  Sounds strange I know.

Additionally, we are looking for our partners to give us EVERYTHING we need in our lives and we are now living even longer.

The mystery of desire lies, as you will hear, in imagination – which is often quite limited for us.

So how do you sustain desire?

This is one of those interviews that you will not want to miss.

DOWNLOAD: THE SECRET TO DESIRE IN A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP (20 minutes)

 Credits:  Perel, Esther.  “The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship”  TED.  February 2013.

07
Feb
14

The Art of Noticing and Creating

From the On Being Website:

We live in a world that is re-creating itself one life and one digital connection at a time. And Seth Godin is one of the most original and helpful voices I know on this landscape for which there are no maps. He was one of the early Internet entrepreneurs and remains a singular thought leader and innovator in what he describes as our post-industrial connection economy.

Rather than merely tolerate change, he says, we are all called now to rise to it. We are invited and stretched in whatever we do to be artists — to create in ways that matter to other people. And Seth Godin even sees marketing in this light:

“Marketing isn’t advertising; marketing is the product we make, the service we offer, the life we live. And so the question as you go forward is, will you choose this ethical marketing that doesn’t involve yelling at people, networking your way to the top, spamming people and lying. Right. But instead it involves weaving a story and weaving a tribe, and weaving a network that means something.”

DOWNLOAD: THE ART OF NOTICING AND CREATING (51 minutes)

Credits: Tippett, Krista. “The Art of Noticing and Creating”  On BeingAmerican Public Media.  January 24, 2013. 

31
Jan
14

Before I Die I Want To. . .

This was one of the more creative, thought-provoking and inspiring interviews I have seen.  I have no doubt that, 6 minutes from now, you will want to replicate these ideas in your own community.

Our public spaces are potentially powerful environments to develop relationships and support one another, but we don’t think about them as such.

Our shared spaces can better reflect what matters to us individuals and communities.  I believe it is time to realize this.

DOWNLOAD: BEFORE I DIE, I WANT TO. . .  (6 minutes)

Credits:  Chang, Cindy.  “Before I Die, I Want To. . . ”  TED.  June 2012.




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