Giovanni Bellini: San Zaccaria Altarpiece

Artist Giovanni Bellini
Year 1505
Type Oil on panel
Dimensions 500 cm × 235 cm (200 in × 93 in)
Location San Zaccaria, Venice

From Wikipedia:

The San Zaccaria Altarpiece (also called Madonna Enthroned with Child and Saints) is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini, executed in 1505 and located in the church of San ZaccariaVenice.



Visited:   19.04.2012
Location:   San Zaccaria Church, Venice, Italy
Comments:   Overwhelming, stunning, in overlooked church (lucky for the few visiting), top 5 highlight in Venice for me.




Henry David Thoreau

From wikipedia:

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionistnaturalisttax resisterdevelopment criticsurveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.


When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

This world is but a canvas for our imagination.

Giorgione: The Tempest

Artist Giorgione
Year c. 1508
Type oil on canvas
Dimensions 83 cm × 73 cm (33 in × 29 in)
Location Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

From Wikipedia:

The Tempest (Italian La Tempesta) is a famous Renaissance painting by Italian master Giorgione dated between 1506 and 1508. Originally commissioned by the Venetian noble Gabriele Vendramin, the painting is housed in the Gallerie dell’Accademia of VeniceItaly.

On the right a woman sits, suckling a baby. She could be a gypsy, or to some people’s eyes a prostitute. Her pose is unusual – normally the baby would be held on the mother’s lap; but in this case the baby is positioned at the side of the mother, so as to expose her pubic area. This appears to signal that the mother’s realm is the everyday rather than the sacred. A man, possibly a soldier, holding a long staff or pike, stands in contrapposto on the left. He smiles and glances to the right, but does not appear to be looking at the woman. Art historians have identified the man alternatively as a soldier, a shepherd, a gypsy, or a member of a club of unmarried men. X-rays of the painting have revealed that in the place of the man, Giorgione originally painted another female nude. To some, he represents steadfastness; they point to the pillars behind him, which often symbolize force or strength. These pillars, however, are broken—a classic symbol of death. One may also note the stork on the rooftop on the right. Storks sometimes represent the love of parents for their children.

The painting’s features seem to anticipate the storm. The colors are subdued and the lighting soft; greens and blues dominate. The landscape is a not a mere backdrop, but forms a notable contribution to early landscape painting.[1] The painting has a ‘silent’ atmosphere which continues to fascinate modern viewers.

There is no contemporary textual explanation for The Tempest, and ultimately, no definitive reading or interpretation. To some it represents the flight into Egypt; to others, a scene from classical mythology (Paris and Oenone) or from an ancient Greek pastoral novel. According to the Italian scholar Salvatore Settis, the desert city would represent the Paradise, the two characters being Adam and Eve with their son Cain: the lightning, as in ancient Greek and Hebrew times, would represent God who has just ousted them from Eden. Others have proposed a moral allegorical reading, or concluded that Giorgione had no particular subject in mind.

Marshall Goldsmith

From Wikipedia:

Marshall Goldsmith (March 20, 1949) is an American author of management-related literature. Born in Valley Station, Kentucky, he received his BS from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, his MBA from Indiana University‘s Kelley School of Business (from which he received the 2009 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award), and his PhD from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1977 (where he was recognized in 2010 as one of the school’s 100 most inspirational alumni over the past 75 years). From 1976-1980 he was Assistant Professor and then Associate Dean at Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business. He currently teaches executive education at Dartmouth College‘s Tuck School of Business, and he frequently speaks at leading business schools.

Major press acknowledgments

  • The Times – 15 Greatest Business Thinkers in the World
  • BusinessWeek – 50 Great Leaders in America
  • Wall Street Journal – Top Ten Executive Educators
  • Forbes – Five Most-Respected Executive Coaches
  • Leadership Excellence – Top 5 Leadership Thinkers
  • The Economic Times (India) – Top CEO Coaches of America
  • Economist (United Kingdom) – Most Credible Executive Advisors in the New Era of Business
  • Fast Company – America’s Preeminent Executive Coach



Do you want your children to be happy? Do you want your parents to be happy? To you want the people who love you at home to be happy? Do you want the people who respect you at work to be happy?
You go first.
You be happy.

The great Western Disease lies in the phrase, “I will be happy when…”

Look in the mirror. Not just at how you look, but at who you are. If you want to be a better leader, a better professional, or just a better person, don’t kid yourself. To achieve meaningful goals, you’ll have to pay the price. There’s no product, no diet, no exercise program, and (I hate to admit it) no executive coach who can make you better. Only you can do it. If your source of motivation doesn’t come from inside, you won’t stick with it.

Old people almost never regret the risks they took that failed. They almost always regret the risks that they failed to take.

“Mojo” is, “That positive spirit toward what we are doing now, that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside”

One of the great false assumptions in leadership development is, “if they understand, they will do”. If this were true, everyone who understood the importance of going on a healthy diet and exercising would be in shape.

Successful people are much more likely to change by envisioning a positive future than by reliving a humiliating past. Proving that a successful person was “wrong” is often a counter-productive waste of time. Successful people respond well to getting ideas and suggestions for the future that are aimed at helping them achieve their goals.

Habit #2 – Choose experiences over material goods

I know that for some people this might not be the right way towards more happiness, but for most of us…. it is.

Here is a quote from a great book (see books section):

Want to buy happiness? Then spend you hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, movie, or the theater. Go on vacation. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go play paintball. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and tell even more people about it afterward. When it comes to happiness, remember, it is experiences that represent really good value for the money.
Richard Wiseman – 59 Seconds Think a Little, Change a Lot

Richard Wiseman base all his advice on (usually numerous) studies..

My favorite experiences are travel, concerts & visiting great museums/buildings (all easily combined).

This Habit has many spin-off habits involving: Journaling, systematic reflection & review time, Simple living, and more…. I will come back to all of them on later posts.

Let’s enjoy one of George Carlin’s best…. STUFF: