• November 2014

The Business of Counting Your Blessings

What are the top three blessings in your life? Your children and family? Your business? Your health? How about your human rights? For many of us, our freedom is an inalienable right. But for so many around the world, that is not the case.

We couldn’t think of a better person to talk to about human rights than Karen Hanrahan, who works in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Hanrahan has long been a member of our Inkandescent Speakers Bureau, and for years we’ve had the privilege of talking to her about the work she does internationally.

What exactly are human rights? And how can small-business owners make an impact and a difference? Scroll down to read our Q&A with Hanrahan, and click here to listen to our podcast interview with her on the Inkandescent Radio Network.

And don’t miss insights on the science of gratitude by Stanford professor Dr. Emma Seppälä. “Research suggests that, in general, we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative ones,” she says. “However, burdened with the problems that we inevitably face in life, we often fail to remember the blessings and give too much importance to the problems in our lives.” Psychologists have found two reasons for this habit. Click here to learn more.

Also in this issue:

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our columnists take stock of the many blessings in their lives and businesses, including:

  • Estate Planning attorney Lisa Hughes teaches us how a trust is different from a contract, and answers the top five FAQs about trusts.

In celebration of Compassion Week, November 10-16, we leave you with this parting thought from “Do It Anyway,” “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.”

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success. Happy Thanksgiving! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, BeInkandescent.com

Human Rights Are About More Than Values; They're Strategically Important to Global Security

COVER STORY: NOVEMBER
2014

Obama appointee Karen Hanrahan believes that human rights are at the core of the human experience and that human rights consist of fundamental rights and freedoms that every person is inherently entitled to—simply by virtue of being a human being.

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher
Be Inkandescent magazine

Photos courtesy of the US Department of State

The doctrine of human rights has been highly influential within international law, and within global and regional institutions.

But what, exactly, are human rights?

And why are these rights too often nonexistent for so many women and girls, and other populations, around the world?

To better understand this issue, we turn to Karen Hanrahan. An appointee in the Obama administration serving as deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Hanrahan began her work for the administration working with the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as the US coordinator for International Assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

From there, Hanrahan went on to design and run the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She also served as the chief innovation officer for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in London.

We met Hanrahan back in the spring of 2008—before she had stepped into these top jobs. Looking back at the years since 2008, she explains that the common denominator for all of her work has been her goal to help US government agencies improve the plight of people around the world.

Scroll down for our Q&A. And click here to listen to our podcast interview on the Inkandescent Radio Network.


Be Inkandescent: By definition, human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behavior, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law. How do you define human rights, and how are they defined by the US government?

Karen Hanrahan: Human rights are at the core of the human experience. They are the basic rights and freedoms we are entitled to just because we are human. They protect all people, regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.

Human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and freedom of expression; and social, cultural, and economic rights. These include the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to work and receive an education.

The most basic rights are laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and they are protected and upheld by international and national laws and treaties.

These rights and freedoms provide the foundation for human dignity, and they belong to all of us. Where these rights are not protected or respected, abuses occur, including torture, discrimination, slavery, rape, killings, and other forms of injustice. These things are happening all over the world, despite the strong legal framework and system that defines and promotes human rights.

I would also change at least one part of the definition you cite above. Human rights are not just moral principles, and they are not just about values. They are strategically important to global stability. We in the Obama administration, and particularly under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recognize that human rights are both a value and a critical element of our strategies for international security, stability, and prosperity.

The past decades have shown us that people rise up and fight when they reach their limit of injustice and abuse. Particularly in today’s interconnected world, people are learning about their rights, organizing and taking action to demand better treatment. More governments are challenged today than ever before by popular uprisings rooted in a demand for justice, equality, and a better life.

Be Inkandescent: The plight of women and girls, and the millions of other groups who are persecuted around the world, is a daunting issue to understand, let alone solve. How are you working to help?

Karen Hanrahan: Women and girls do face particular challenges around the world—from sexual and gender-based violence, child marriage, and trafficking to systematic discrimination. The problem is particularly acute during wars and conflicts, and I encourage everyone to learn about the situation of women and girls in the world, including the critical positive role they play in pulling societies out of poverty and out of conflict.

That said, violence and discrimination against women and girls remain a major challenge, even in our own country. A few months ago in Kenya, I spent an afternoon at a clinic for victims of sexual violence.

Half of them were girls, one only 10 years old. Their stories reminded me of all the hurdles we and they have, including cultures where rape is not viewed as a serious crime, nor punished as such; and systems that continue to victimize women and girls when they seek help.

In most places, in addition to women and girls, most minority groups have an uphill battle to avoid abuse and secure their rights. These groups includes ethnic and religious minorities, the disabled, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, to name a few.

How can I make a difference? Every day on the job, I have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to educate, to influence, to support, and to mobilize voices to advance human rights around the world.

Don’t stop now! Read more of our interview with Karen Hanrahan. Listen to our podcast on Inkandescent Radio. And dive into the Science of Gratitude.

New Year's Resolution: Start Your Own Happiness Project

“Each person’s happiness project will be unique, but it’s the rate person can’t benefit from starting one,” writes Gretchen Rubin in her book, “The Happiness Project.”

  • Start small: Put your keys away in the same place every night.
  • Think big: Repair relationships with your family.

Most importantly, decide what resolutions you can make by answering the following questions:

  • What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying, or energizing?
  • What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life?
  • Is there any way in which you don’t feel right about your life?* Do you wish you could change your job, city, family situation, or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values?
  • Do you have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what elements of your life do you find progress, leaning, challenge, improvement, and increased mastery?

Once you’ve made your resolutions, find a strategy to assess your progress and hold yourself accountable.

  • Check out the Happiness Project Toolbox website: hapinesssprojecttoolbox.com.
  • Record and score your resolutions.
  • Keep a one-sentence journal on any topic you like.
  • Identify your personal commandments: Share your happiness hacks, your Secrets of Adulthood, and any kind of list that keeps you on track.
  • Create an inspiration board of your favorite books, quotes, movies, movies, or images.
  • Want to start a group for people also doing Happiness Projects? Send Gretchen an email.


9 Tips for Keeping your Resolutions

  1. Write it down … and be specific. Not “make more friends,” but “start a movie group, “remember birthdays,” “say hello,” “make plans.”
  2. Review your resolution constantly. If your resolution is buzzing through your head, it’s easier to stick to it.
  3. Hold yourself accountable. Tell people about your resolution, join or form a like-minded group, score yourself on a chart.
  4. Think BIG! Maybe you need a big change, a big adventure — a trip, a break-up, a new job.
  5. Think SMALL! Don’t assume that only radical change can make a difference. Cleaning your fridge can give you a real boost.
  6. Break your main resolution into manageable tasks.
  7. Keep your resolution every day. Weirdly, it’s often easier to do something every day (exercise, post to a blog, deal withe the mail) than every few days.
  8. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Instead of training for the marathon, aim for a daily 20-minute walk. Instead of cleaning the basement, tackle one closet.
  9. Consider dropping a resolution —* if you keep breaking it. Don’t let an unfulfilled resolution to lose 20 lbs. or give up TV block you.

Learn more about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project at gretchenrubin.com.

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

– William Blake

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

Books

The Blessing of Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture"

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand,” said computer science professor Randy Pausch in the last lecture he gave before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. Here’s his advice.

Read more...

Estate Planning

A Trust Is Like a Contract That's on Steroids

“While a contract is an agreement between two parties that sets out the rights and responsibilities that each party owes to the other,” says Estate Planning attorney Lisa Hughes, “a trust is a contract on steroids.”

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Food

Is Butter Good for You?

If you have been avoiding butter to stay slim and healthy, you may be surprised by the results of a new research study showing that butter elevates blood fats after a meal considerably less than olive oil.

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Great Spots to Work

Linden Row Inn, Richmond

Linden Row Inn is a relaxing spot to work when you are staying at the hotel, making it a good option when visiting Richmond for business, and it’s a great spot for local entrepreneurs looking for an in-town getaway to recharge.

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Hiring

Giving Thanks for Your Professional Network

“Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for my network of colleagues and friends,” says Hiring and HR expert Barbara Mitchell. “Of course, this network didn’t come together overnight.” Here’s how she did it, and how you can, too.

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History

The Blessing of Being a Grateful American

What does it mean to be a Grateful American? Gilder Lehrman President Jim Basker interviews David Bruce Smith on why he founded the Grateful American™ Foundation—and how he hopes to make it fun for kids to learn about history.

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Intuition Rules

Do It Anyway

Are you looking for personal meaning and deep happiness in a crazy world? Then you’ll enjoy Kent M. Keith’s book, “Do It Anyway.”

Read more...

Live Love Laughing

Why Giving Is Good for You

Holding on to some of your money is prudent, but hoarding is not, insists philanthropist Tim McCarthy. Here’s why.

Read more...

Networking

Did You Know That Networking Can Make You Smarter?

It’s true, networking makes you smarter, according to Andrea Kuszewski, who recently wrote about the topic in Scientific American.

Read more...

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Website developer
Max Kukoy
Managing Editor
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Associate Editor
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Assistant Editor
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Editorial Interns
Meet our 2014 team

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PR Rules

The Blessing of Great PR

Did you see our interview about “PR Rules” on “Let’s Talk Live?” Many thanks to reporter Sonya Gavankar and News Channel 8.

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Public Speaking

Embracing the Blessing of Criticism

“Even though criticism can sting, it is also a gift,” insists Public Speaking expert Hilary Blair. “One thing is certain: We must be open to criticism in order to improve.”

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Inkandescent Radio

Tom Shroder Talks About the Surprising Healing Properties of LSD in "Acid Test"

LSD might help veterans with PTSD, and those struggling with depression, alcoholism, and stress-related disorders.

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Retirement

The Five Scariest Financial Mistakes People Make

“I really enjoy a good scare; in fact I used to love horror movies,” says CFP® Howard Pressman. But now “what scares the pants off” of him are the common financial mistakes he sees people make.

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Self-Help

Is Your Body Language Sabotaging Collaboration?

“Most leaders today are aware of the need to look confident, powerful, and assertive, but fewer understand the impact of empathy and warmth. And this may be more of a career-limiting factor than they know,” says Carol Kinsey Goman.

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Speakers Bureau

What Do You Need to Know About PR?

What do you do? Why do you do it? How do you do it? Answer these three questions to harness the power of your PR campaign.

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Inkandescent TV

What's New on: ARTiculate TV

Are you ready to unlock your public speaking potential? That’s the question Hilary Blair and Robin Miller ask—and answer—in each monthly episode of “Studio Time With Hilary & Robin,” on ARTiculate TV. Don’t miss an episode.

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Truly Amazing Women™ Who Are Changing the World

How Can Women End Domestic Violence?

Employment is the key for abused women to regain dignity and independence, says Ludy Green.

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Wealth

The Financial Power of Giving Thanks

What are you doing this holiday season to share your wealth with others? Wealth Management expert Rita Cheng offers some ideas on how you can give back.

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To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!