Genre: Personal Growth

Review:Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Posted November 3, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

ISBN: 9780804137386
Review:Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeownEssentialism by Greg McKeown
Published by Crown Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Business & Economics, Decision-Making & Problem Solving, Time Management, Personal Success, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Success
Pages: 260
Format: ebook
Source: library
Goodreads
three-half-stars

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER 
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?   Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?   Are you often busy but not productive?   Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people's agendas?   If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.   The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy - instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing - it's a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

my reviewSo I am all about paring down to the basics these days. I had heard about this book and thought now I can learn how to pare down to the bare bones of survival. I know, I know it is a good dream but not feasible. However, this book did have some good points about boundaries and stuff. Like if your boss wants you to work on Sunday but you reserve that day for the Lord then you tell your boss to suck it and stick to your guns, and somehow you gain respect and your time back.

There is my biggest problem with this book. Supposed you work at Mickey D’s. If you tell you boss off there then basically you are SOL and jobless. While this book had some good advice, it is only applicable if you are in the upper economic classes. I mean in the freelancing community the hot topic is, should one take weekends and time off to recharge? I love my job, and I love to write, so I haven’t yet reached that crisis point when I tell everyone to fuck off that it is the weekend and not to bother me until Monday. But alas I know some who have. More power to ya. But if my cousin who is a road cleaner (I know there is an official name, but I cant think of it at the moment) tells HIS boss that he is not going to clear the road of snow in the wintertime on weekends cause that is family time, well again he would be SOL.

Again this book is an excellent book if you are upper middle class or richer. It seems that the American consumerism had gotten so big that it busted and now instead of McMansions we all want to go live in tiny houses with a tiny yard and a tiny friends list and a tiny…you get the picture.  But what if one doesn’t have the money or the means to get a tiny house custom built. What if you are really poor, and you do that extreme couponing thing and you need the room to store all that stuff. I feel that not everyone would have the ability to put this book into practice. I know that is more of a comment on our social classes than the book itself but still.

I would recommend this book, though. It DOES have some good valid ideas. We say yes to so many things when we need to be saying no.

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal

Posted October 15, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780698185500
Book Review: SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigalSuperBetter by Jane McGonigal
Published by Penguin on September 15th 2015
Genres: Self-Help, Personal Growth, Happiness, Psychology, General, Games, Video & Electronic
Pages: 400
Format: ebook
Source: bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growthIn 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.
But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.
Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build:
   • Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings    • Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships    • Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination
SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job.
As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is “just a game” again.
From the Hardcover edition.

my review

I am a huge gamer, and I also have been playing the Superbetter game ever since it came out. I had to admit that I really did not know HOW to play to get the most out of it, but after reading this book I feel as if I have a better grasp of the game.

She tells about how playing games can help us in real life everyday problems. I have to admit that I had never thought about taking my gaming obsession and applying it to real life problems. I mean really, How can World Od Warcraft help me when I am depressed. After reading this book, I realized that the skills in WOW like asking for help, working in a team, etc. can translate into the “real” world. I applied that to my life. I started asking for help and was surprised at how many people responded. It seems that there were a lot of people who wanted to help me but wasn’t sure how. I went back and started playing superbetter again and this time I knew HOW to play to get results. I got some of my friends to sign up for allies. And I can honestly feel that my depression and anxiety symptoms have become manageable.

I also love how she input tricks and power-ups into the book. Like for example anxiety and excitement is physically the same thing so if you feel anxious just make yourself think you are excited, and it becomes bearable. I tried this once, and it worked. I prefer to cut down on anxiety by the way of benzos but if you do not have access to them, then this is a good trick.

Another good trick is to breath in for 4 seconds and then breathe out for 8. This apparently does something to your nervous system and can stop anxiety and migraines and stuff. She admits that it is not perfect but most of the times she can get by without medication. I have wondered if this would help me. I am not to keen to try it though as even thinking about my anxiety gives me anxiety. I have learned that when I feel overwhelmed if breath like that then I can calm down.

I have added my power ups to the mix. Like I am trying to eat healthily so when I want junk food I eat a piece of fruit. When I feel horrible mediate and stuff like that. I still like all people with a serious chronic condition have bad days, but now they are fewer and farther spaced. I spend less time in bed curled into a fetal position not so patiently waiting for the end of time and more out and about and living. So the program works. I would recommend this to anyone with a  serious chronic condition. It is a great tool to make the living with your condition easier and enables you actually to make a life worth getting out of the bed.

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Posted August 21, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9781101010891
Book Review: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart TolleA New Earth (Oprah #61) by Eckhart Tolle
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on August 29th 2006
Genres: Self-Help, Spiritual, Personal Growth, Happiness, General
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

The bestselling book by one of the 21st century’s most innovative and exciting spiritual thinkers
 With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived "in the now." In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.
A New Earth was an Oprah Book Club pick and reads as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.

my review

 

I am a self-development junkie. I also LOVE Danielle Laporte so when she mentioned this book in her book I put it on hold at the library right way.

I like to think that certain books show up when you need them most in life and when you are ready to hear the message. Like there is some Grand Librarian in the sky that plans and doles out just the right book for everyone. This book was an eye opener for me. I have read the reviews on GoodReads making fun of this book but hear me out. I have been trying for a long time to force some changes in my life. Most I did ok but some it seems that I am hell bent on sabotaging myself. In A NEW EARTH, it discusses how our ego gets in the way. We think that the ego is US when it is not really. In order to move forward in life and goals, we need to get beyond the ego. Now there are a million books out there that will tell you the same thing. This book actually shows you how to do it. Like I have heard and read about Zen but I never really understood it. After reading this book, I understand that it is the real true us beyond our egos. I know how woo-woo that sounds, but it is true. I am still working on transcending my ego. It is not as easy as he makes it sound, but it is worth a shot.

The other fascinating thing he talks about in this book is the pain-body. When I first started on that section I was all like OOOKKKKK maybe this is a tad too far but after reading I thought about it, slept on it and decided he has a lot of valid points. I mean we have all seen the angry people band together and to kick each other and all of that so maybe we do attract people with the same pain-body as ourselves. He also mentions that the pain body needs the pain to feed off of so if you starve it then it will…dimmish. At least that is what I think he said. It gets a little woo woo around here so don’t quote me on it.

This is not a book for everyone and even Eckhart Tolle himself says that at the beginning of the book. Tolle says that people who have already “awakened” will get the most out of it. He also says that if you are not yet awakened it will sound like mumbo jumbo. I am not at all sure about that. I like to think other people understand and like this book but if you read the reviews on GoodReads you can see that is not the case.

 

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: Kiss That Frog by Brian Tracy

Posted April 3, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9781609942809
Book Review: Kiss That Frog by Brian TracyKiss That Frog! by Brian TracyChristina Tracy Stein
Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers on 2012
Genres: Business & Economics, Motivational, Personal Growth, Personal Success, Self-Help, Success
Pages: 145
Format: ebook
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Just like the lonely princess in the fairy tale who was reluctant to lock lips with a warty frog and transform him into a handsome prince, something stops many of us short of attaining our dreams. Our negative thoughts, emotions, and attitudes can threaten to keep us from achieving all that we’re capable of. Here bestselling author and speaker Brian Tracy and his daughter, therapist Christina Tracy Stein, provide a set of practical, proven strategies anyone can use to turn those negative frogs into positive princes.

Tracy and Stein present a step-by-step plan that addresses the root causes of negativity, helps you uncover blocks that have become mental obstacles, and shows how you can transform them into stepping-stones to achieve your fullest potential. The book distills, in an accessible and immediately useful form, what Tracy has presented in more than 5,000 talks and seminars with more than five million people in fifty-eight countries and what Stein has learned through thousands of hours of counseling people from all walks of life.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” the authors quote Shakespeare. The many powerful techniques and exercises in this book will help you change your mindset so that you discover something worthwhile in every person and experience, however difficult and challenging they might seem at first. You’ll learn how to develop unshakable self-confidence, become your best self, and begin living an extraordinary life.

why I read this book

I THOUGHT I was re-reading Eat That Frog. I started reading got confused then found out it was the wrong book. I kept reading to see what this one was about.

my review

What is it about self-help books that tell you to just let it go? I know I need to let some shit go but HOW?!

This book had the same good advice as other books like this but I find my self becoming increasingly frustrated with this genre. They all say the same thing and yet…they never seem to tell yu HOW to let that ex go? How to let the anger of how your life has turned out go. Yes I have issues. Yes I am in therapy. Been there for years and I am starting to think I am a hopeless case.

I want to be fair. I think someone with out the serious issue of shizoeffective disorder, someone who just has minor issues could get a lot out of this book. Someone who is not homebound because of anxiety and all that jazz will find info on how to look a bad situation in the eye and move on. The author gives 7 ways you can do this. All is good sound advice. I have heard it before from my therpist who even has a PH.D. As for me I think I need to lay off the self-help books for a while. A post on THAT coming soon.

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: The Art Of Happiness in a Troubled World

Posted December 17, 2014 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 0767920643
Book Review: The Art Of Happiness in a Troubled WorldThe Art Of Happiness in a Troubled World by Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtshoHoward C. Cutler
Published by Doubleday on 2009
Genres: Happiness, Personal Growth, Self-Help
Pages: 338
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Blending common sense and modern psychiatry, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World applies Buddhist tradition to twenty-first-century struggles in a relevant way. The result is a wise approach to dealing with human problems that is both optimistic and realistic, even in the most challenging times. How can we expect to find happiness and meaning in our lives when the modern world seems such an unhappy place? His Holiness the Dalai Lama has suffered enormously throughout his life, yet he always seems to be smiling and serene. How does he do it? In The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World, Dr. Cutler walks readers through the Dalai Lama's philosophy on how to achieve peace of mind and come to terms with life's inherent suffering. Together, the two examine the roots of many of the problems facing the world and show us how we can approach these calamities in a way that alleviates suffering, and helps us along in our personal quests to be happy. Through stories, meditations, and in-depth conversations, the Dalai Lama teaches readers to identify the cultural influences and ways of thinking that lead to personal unhappiness, making sense of the hardships we face personally, as well as the afflictions suffered by others.

My Review 2

I am all about reading books on how to be more happy and how to make this world a better place. I first heard about this book from unfinished Person. I had high expectations of this book buts sadly I felt sort of let down. I thought this book would be all about the Dalai Lama and how to better achieve happiness but rather it was more of the author Howard Cutler M.D writing about his experience with the Dalai Lama and then as an after thought what the Dali Lama says about how to live.

To be fair the book does have some good ideas about how to discuss poverty and violence and such. It talks about how the Dali Lama uses nonviolence to try to bring change and freedom to his people. I could have done without Howard C Cutler interjecting his thoughts and how he feels about stuff in the book. I wanted to read the book because I was interested in what the Dalai Lama had to say not some unknown American Dr. Cutler talks about some of his patients and how what the Dali Lama says can benefit depressed people and such. While I am interested in such, this is not the reason that I picked up this book so I was conflicted about this. There are times when a book goes off tangents that it turns out well but this was not one of those times.

it-was-ok

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: He Texted

Posted November 6, 2014 by Hillary in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

My Review

I have to be honest. I requested this book because I heard that It was in the same vein as He’s Just Not That Into You. At 21 I thought it was a great book. However I think at 34 I am a completely different person. I wanted to like this book but I have out grown stuff like this. It was entertaining to say the least but at 34 I am not the kind of person to wonder what he meant by this or this or blah blah blah. HOWEVER if I was still 21 I would have given this book 5 stars.

I really think that this book depends on where you are at in your life stage. If you are a teenager or in your 20’s go for it but for people who don’t wonder what a text means or why that hot guy wont friend you on Facebook then skip this book.

one-star
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Otherhood

Posted November 4, 2014 by Hillary in non-fiction / 1 Comment

ISBN: 9781580055215
Otherhood by Melanie Notkin
Published by Seal Pr-feminist on 2014
Genres: Gender Studies, General, Personal Growth, Self-Help, Social Science, Women's Studies
Pages: 291
Format: eARC
Goodreads
two-stars

More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now. In Otherhood, author Melanie Notkin reveals her own story as well as the honest, poignant, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking stories of women in her generation—women who expected love, marriage, and parenthood, but instead found themselves facing a different reality. She addresses the reasons for this shift, the social and emotional impact it has on our collective culture, and how the “new normal” will affect our society in the decades to come. Notkin aims to reassure women that they are not alone and encourages them to find happiness and fulfillment no matter what the future holds. A groundbreaking exploration of an essential contemporary issue, Otherhood inspires thought-provoking conversation and gets at the heart of our cultural assumptions about single women and childlessness.

My Review:

I liked the idea about this book. A women who is in here mid thirties (like me) who wants to have children and is afraid that she will never find “the one” (unlike me). It also talks about women who are infertile due to not being able to find a man. Ok I am over generalizing a bit but that is the basic theme of this book.

The author  Melanie Notkin takes us through a tour of herself and friends who for whatever reason is childless, not by choice, but because they can’t or havent found a man to impregnate them. I got through about 50 pages and liked it ok but then it started talking about how woman who are 35 and up become desperate to find a man and true love to be able to pop out kids. I have to admit that part did not sit with me well. I even asked other friends about what Notkin was discussing and responses ranged from why can’t she have a one night stand, to why not just marry whoever then have kids? One thing to keep in mind is that Notkin is an observant Jew so that puts an interesting spin on things. My IRL friends and I practice no religion so maybe that’s why we were all like if you want a baby so much why not take alternative means?

I am in no way putting down OtherHood. It is a good book and a discussion that needs to happen as women are focusing more and more on their lives and waiting until later to settle down and have children. I am just saying that I had a hard time on relating to her and the lens through which she sees the world.If you are religious though you may have a different viewpoint than mine. didnt-like-it

 

 

two-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Sink Reflections

Posted February 16, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

A book Review of sink reflections
I have followed Flylady for a few months now. When I saw that she had a book out I went to the Library and got it. The basic information can be found on her website but she has such a fresh and funny voice that you wont mind reading the book too.
I am the world messiest person. I had read other organizational books but none of them stuck. Flylady is all about baby steps. You don’t tackele all of your problems at once but rather you take baby steps to build routines that will get to the root of your problems. You start with shining your sink and build up from there.
What makes it even more refreshing is that Flylady herself has been where millions are now. She writes with sympathy and encouragement.You never feel that she is talking down to you but rather building you up to where you need to be.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has trouble keep a house decently clean. This book will guide you and it it is easy to follow.

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Review:Getting Things Done

Posted April 11, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

Review:Getting Things DoneGetting Things Done by David Allen
Published by Penguin on 2001-01
Genres: Business & Economics, Personal Growth, Self-Esteem, Self-Help, Time Management
Pages: 267
Source: library
Goodreads
five-stars

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to: Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations Plan projects as well as get them unstuck Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

getting things done

This was a re read for me. Back in the day I was an disorganized freak. I could find nothing to save my life. A friend recommended this book so I read it (can you tell I will read almost anything someone recommends?) Any way the book did help to some degree. When I remember to use the principals in the book that is.

In all seriousness though if you are disorganized and you miss deadlines and stuff or you miss very important events (like me) David Allen has some very good recommendations that can help you get a better hold on things.

I still remember when GTD was the latest fad. It is still going strong judging by the amount of GTD stuff on the internet and other book that have been written about it. One book about it is enough for me though.While I like the book and it concepts there is only a certain amount they can say without rehashing the same stuff over and over again. When they make a book that can actually do the organizing for me then I will be more interested.  In all fairness though the book does work so read it if you are looking to put some order in chaos.

five-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Buddha

Posted December 11, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

This is a fictionalized account of Buddha and how he became enlightened.0060878819.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_ When one envisions the enlightenment phase one tends to think that the people who have attained came to it easily. It is ones personal struggles that seem insurmountable. As this story illustrates however, this is not the case.

Buddha in this story started out life as a wealthy prince. He had every imaginable luxury. Yet he was still unhappy so he abandoned that life and became a holy man. What follows next is his journey to become enlightened. It is fraught with danger and risks that most humans would not take in this lifetime. He is rewarded when one night he finally breaks free of this world and awakens.

This book was well written and encompassed the philosophy of Buddhism. If you are just coming to Buddhism then you will have a difficult time of realizing where he is demonstrating a concept. If you have a basic understanding the this book provides a wealth of information. I have to say that I learned a great deal from this book. For example I think problems are to be defeated. I hate when something stands in my way. He describes that once you let  of the issue and just let it be then it will most likely resolve itself. It also illiterates that Buddhism principles are easy to learn but hard to follow through which is why so many fail to attain enlighten.

There was a previous book by this author that I reviewed, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. That book I didn’t like much but after reading this book I am tempted to go back and reread the first one. This goes support my theory that you should never give up on an author on the first try.

four-stars
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Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!