Thursday, January 1, 2009

HarvilleQuarters - The Rules

It may seem a bit silly for me to define rules for what does and does not constitute a HarvilleQuarter, but if we don't have some common understanding of the term, it will become rather meaningless. Now, you may be thinking that it's pretty meaningless to start with, but we need to correct that. Hence this post.

So - in order to use the term HarvilleQuarters in accordance with the intention of its creator (i.e., me), here are the rules - or at least...

The Guidelines
  1. A HarvilleQuarter will last approximately three months, although we won't be terribly fussy about that.
  2. A HarvilleQuarter occurs during your retirement years.
  3. A HarvilleQuarter represents a discrete "project" that is different from how you spent your time during the three months before and the three months after the HarvilleQuarter.
  4. A HarvilleQuarter activity occupies at least 20 hours a week on average during the quarter.
  5. At the end of each HarvilleQuarter completed, you will write up a report of your experience and post it to this Web site (aha, you weren't expecting that one, were you?).
  6. When you've completed a HarvilleQuarter, you will feel that your life has been enhanced in an ongoing way.

Other Important Information

  1. Although it is assumed that most HarvilleQuarters will be unpaid, there is nothing in the guidelines to prevent a paid work experience from qualifying.
  2. Serving your fellow man - or your planet - is always a good way to spend a HarvilleQuarter, but is not a requirement.
  3. HarvilleQuarters can be done by yourself, with a spouse or friend or in small groups.
  4. While some HarvilleQuarters could be expensive, many should require little or no cash outlay.
  5. The fact that a HarvilleQuarter has ended does not mean you have to give up the activity entirely, although it will probably occupy much less than 20 hours a week going forward.
  6. Highly successful HarvilleQuarters can be repeated in subsequent years if you feel that you did not exhaust their possibilities the first time.
  7. Sharing your HarvilleQuarter experiences with fellow HarvilleQuarterMasters (I just made that up) is an integral part of the process.

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