I came across the "What Matters Now" ebook in my recommended items on Google Reader (if you do not use an RSS feeder, I highly recommend you do so).
This free ebook, courtsey of Seth Godin, is a collection of slides from numerous writers, editors, entrepreneurs and business owners, intended to inspire and motivate its readers to refocus on what is important and relevant today. Among the contributors is Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert who chose to write about the word "Ease," and why we should resist the constant chaos that creeps into our daily lives:
"EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: the world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down."
Gina Tripani's contribution about "Productivity" is also particularly inspiring. I could not agree with her more that "Getting things done is not that same thing as making things happen."
I referenced this ebook numerous times as I crafted my personal and professional statements for graduate school. Whether you or someone you know might be able to use it for a similar purpose, or just want to inspire the people around you, I encourage you to circulate among friends, families and coworkers. Proceeds from the hardcopy version benefit Room to Read.