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HuffPost and WalletPop on “How We’re Living Now”

HuffPost and WalletPop on "How We're Living Now"

On Monday night, in Lower Manhattan, I attended a joint panel/reception hosted by news sites The Huffington Post and WalletPop. The subject of the evening, was “How We’re Living Now,” which was an examination of trends in consumerism during this ecomonic downturn. It was a great event, and WalletPop has some coverage:

The key to thriving in the new economy is understanding why we do things, not just knowing how to do them.

That was one of the takeaways of a panel last night at the Morrison Hotel Gallery featuring WalletPop contributors Jason Cochran, Zac Bissonnette, and Bruce Watson; Huffington Post living section editor Russell Bishop; and “The Happiness Project” founder Gretchen Rubin. WalletPop’s Andrea Chalpua moderated.

“I can teach people technical skills, but I can’t teach them how to be thoughtful,” Mr. Bishop said. “That’s what I look for in an employee: someone who is responsible. Someone who acknowledges when they’ve made a mistake and can learn from it.”

Self-awareness is, of course, useful beyond the workplace, and has been long before this recession hit: As Ms. Rubin pointed out, ‘Know yourself’ is one of the core principles of happiness. These days, self-awareness about money is particularly important. So we tested attendees, many of them financial writers, about their own self-awareness when it comes to money. Specifically we asked, what is your money style?

“I’m really frugal,” said Anna Vander Broek of Forbes.com. “I took a cab here for $5 and it broke my heart,” she said. It was the only money she’d spent all day.

“I’m an aggressive conservative,” a business writer and editor, Dan Colarusso, said. Just this weekend, he went to a Hugo Boss sample sale on 33rd Street in the Garment District and bought three ties for $99. The next day he went to the “ghetto Pathmark” in Brooklyn to buy the store’s generic Grape Nuts, for $2 less than the real thing.

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