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Movie Reviews, Part 1

Here is the first of several compilation reviews

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The movie industry, over the last year, not to mention the last decade, has been pretty grim, especially since the woke crowd took over. Here is the first of several movie compilation reviews:

The Truffle Hunters — A pleasing slice of life movie, offering an intimate portrayal of mostly octogenarian truffle hunters in rural Italy. We see their trials and tribulations, and the rapture of hunting for truffles. The pace is understandably slow, but the cinematography is special. Each scene is like a picture postcard and draws you in. There’s no compelling reason to stay glued to the 80 or so vignettes, and yet you do.

Free Guy — starring Ryan Reynolds. If you’re under age 35, you’ll probably find it enjoyable. For the rest of us there are some amusing moments and some interesting insights but otherwise the movie comes off as one long jangle of virtual high-tech claptrap.

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — This over-overwrought tale is an amalgamation of every lame cliche ever created about the Far East, and it is at least 30 minutes too long. The film is dripping with philosophical and symbolic BS, from start to finish.

As with some other action/sci-fi flicks of late, there are “no boundaries.” The gravity-defying hero and heroines can do this, and then minutes or seconds later we find that they can also do that. Their powers range widely, actually they are far too wide. How anybody ever dies among these superheroes is beyond me, but then that would be too involved for the screenwriter to contemplate in advance. While the flick is occasionally clever and amusing, and has its moments, save your money and save your time.

Werewolves Within — If you’ve see any AT&T commercials over the years featuring ‘Lily,’ otherwise known as actress Milana Vayntrub, you will be surprised to see her in this film. Most of the other surprises are totally lame. The cast tries to do a decent job but the roles they’ve been assigned and the range of behaviors that their characters are supposed to exhibit exceeds credibility.

The plot is full of holes and, even allowing for that, you can’t wait ’til this fractured films ends. Apparently the screenwriter sought to derive a neat, catch-all explanation for what transpired, but that, too, falls flat.

Respect — A big production biopic of Aretha Franklin that is as good as the recent spate on, say, Freddie Mercury, Judy Garland, Elton John, and even years back, Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, and Loretta Lynn (Coal Miner’s Daughter).

Jennifer Hudson mutes her otherwise outgoing, extroverted self to play the dutiful, highly talented, respectful, reverent, Aretha Franklin. Marlon Wayans does a star turn as her obsessive, over-controlling first husband, while Forest Whitaker does an adequate job as the possessive, over-controlling father.

The film offers great detail of the life of Franklin from age 17 on, but glosses over her multiple pregnancies and out-of-wedlock children, a rape at 10 years old by a guest of her father’s, and other elements of her early life. On balance, this is a movie of distinction.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Bite-Sized Motivation

The insights or wisdom we need to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words

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I’ve spoken to 1075 audiences at conventions, conferences, and meetings, and have had the opportunity to hear probably 800 other speakers as well.

The insights, perspectives, or wisdom we need, to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words. Here are 52 of my own six word “speeches,” drawn from my keynotes and breakout session on the topic of work-life balance. Some of these likely will resonate with you:

Choose from what you already have.
Everyone needs breathing space, especially you.
Information overload obscures meaning and relevance.
Deep breathes are essential for well-being.

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Make every day an organized day.
Allow your natural rhythms to rule.
Stay confident and in control daily.
Manage your time, manage your life.

Slow down to plot your course.
Look for the best in others.
Make yourself indispensable on the job.
Compete with yourself, not with others.

Learn to take control of today.
Manage your time to make time.
Take control of your desk clutter.
You’re the best when you’re fresh.

Do something to take control now.
Major projects often require a jumpstart.
Methodically pare down your paper piles.
Don’t attempt too much at once.

Evaluate your situation and what’s important.
Narrow your priorities to stay focused.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
Learn to embrace your many talents.

Take the time to become organized.
Become aware of how you react.
Arrange your space; help isn’t coming.
Manage the flat surfaces in life.

Periodically challenge yourself to perform better.
Take long, deep breaths as needed.
Reclaim your places, spaces, and graces.
Start big projects well in advance.

Don’t rush the truly important things.
Make the best use of today.
Schedule accordingly: plan for your future.
Be kind, cut yourself some slack.

Opportunity knocks, but are you answering?
Conventional wisdom has diminishing value.
When practical, substitute time for money.
The market for top talent lives.

The self-reliant survive and thrive.
Leadership requires forethought and super-vision.
Learn from and capitalize on mistakes.
Firmly face the future with confidence.

“Now” holds a lot of opportunity.
Control but don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Treading water won’t propel you forward.
Have you ever really tested yourself?

Life goes on; do your best.
Continually seek out the higher ground.
Luck is distributed evenly, but disguised.
You must be doing something right.

 


 

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Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “breathing space” for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

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1) Self Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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