Category: self help

The How of Happiness

Posted March 16, 2012 by Hillary in book review, Book Reviews, non-fiction, self help / 0 Comments

how to be happier
From GoodReads:
You can change your personal capacity for happiness. Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky’s pioneering concept of the 40% solution shows you how

My Review: This book shows you steps you can take to increase your own happiness. It explains that we have a set point for happiness and 40 percent of that is in own power to change. She gives readers a short diagnostic test that identifies in which area they would benefit the most from the happiness boosting exercise.
It lists and goes into detail several exercises that you can do. It also explains when to do them for optimal timing. That was one new thing that I learned. I thought you did them as often as possible but the author explains that some things if you do too often in can have a negative effect.
She also explains what will increase happiness and what won’t. She explains the hedonic effect. That is where we become used to what we have and it no longer gives us the pleasure that it once did. Once I read that I realized why something’s I used to get pleasure from I no longer did. The way she put it made sense.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I believe everyone can benefit from inducing more happiness in their lives. This book gives clear and concise details on how to make that happen.


Review: Eat That Frog

Posted February 20, 2012 by Hillary in book review, self help / 1 Comment

A book Review of eat that frog
The legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.
I was reading through Google Reader when I came upon Unfinished Person’s blog. He talked about this book and I thought I need to learn how to manage my time. Between Grad school and my hobbies I feel that there is not enough time in the day. So I promptly requested this book from the library.
It was interesting. Brain Tracey the author says to do the most pressing thing first. To”eat the ugliest and biggest frog” then do other things. I have to admit that I tend to do the opposite. I procrastinate until I have no choice then I feel stressed out by my perceived lack of time. Once I followed his advice and broke down what I was actually doing I found that I wasted a  lot of time on Facebook and online. So From now on I am going to do the most pressing things first then if I have time to do other less pressing things.
This book is recommended for people who want to learn how to better manage their time.

Review: The Case for Falling in Love

Posted July 29, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, self help / 0 Comments

the case for falling in loveltearlyreview

This is  a book that was hailed as the anti-self help book. Where most self help books tell you what to do to gain a man (annoying if you ask me) this book goes in the other direction and tells us how the “self-help” culture gets in the way of actually falling in love.

In the first half of this book the author explains how certain books exploited the gender gap leading readers to believe there is something wrong with them if they do not act as if society accords them too. In one section she explains how her friend was reading from John Gray’s “Starting Over”. After she read a few passages this once strong independent woman became so concerned that she was doing everything wrong and started to act in the very manner that drives men off. She shows that these books were written for a time ages past. Instead she shows readers that just accepting yourself and acting like you is the best way to go. She does a through job at disassembling the convoluted gender stereotypes and why they do not work in today’s world.

The second half of the book she explains what to do if you been through a break-up. She treats relationships that have ended not as personal failures but as a way to grow. She states that each relationship teaches us something about ourselves and that we should take the opportunity to grow. She does caution against dating certain kind of men. Namely those who act as we were still in the 50’s.

I found myself agreeing with her. This is the kind of book strong independent woman need to read. After taking apart the self-help culture and poking fun at traditional books on how to get a man or what to do to keep a man she shows that acting like yourself really is the best way to go. This was a refreshing read. I too get tired of hearing that I must mold myself into a cookie cutter of a perfect wife or girlfriend to keep a man. Her overall tone of the book is that somewhere somebody will love your quirks is much needed.


Review: The Artist Way

Posted July 5, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

Review: The Artist WayThe Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Published by Penguin on March 4th 2002
Genres: Art, General, Individual Artists
Pages: 272

A stunning gift edition of the powerful bestselling book on creativity.The Artist’s Way is one of the bestselling gift books of all time. Beautifully packaged with a slipcase and ribbon, this tenth anniversary gift edition is the ideal gift for loved ones engaged in creative lives.

the artist way

I had been having serious writers block for the first half of the year. I tried everything I knew to combat it but to no avail. Then while reading book blogs I began to hear of a book called the Artist Way. I decided I had to check it out.

I have to say I was not disappointed with this book. It has been three weeks since I started the cornerstone of the book which is Morning Pages and Artist Dates. I can already see an improvement.

The book takes on a 12 step aura to help combat “creative blocks” It is not only for writers but for anyone who wants to live more creatively. That means even if you do not pursue any of the tradional creative outlets than this book can still help you.

Some people might be put of by the spiritual aspect of this book. I read some reviews where this was the case. I do not feel it is overly spiritual in in that case the spiritual overtones actually added a dimension to the book.

Overall people who are looking to be more creative  will enjoy this book.


Review:Happiness Project

Posted April 12, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

happiness project

Everybody wants to be happier. Sure we could all move to the tropics and make ourselves think we are happier but what if you want to change your life where you are? That is what author Gretchen Rubin did.

This book chronicles a one year journey that the author took to “change her life without changing her life” She conducted research on happiness and made a resolution chart and tried then out for a year.

She draws on current happiness research. What does happiness really mean? She points out that it will be different things for different people. Which is true what makes me happy wouldn’t necessarily make you happy. She took some antidotes from some people well known for their happy state of mind and drew inspiration from them.

She sets up a system that allows her to focus on one aspect of happiness per month. For example the first month she focuses on energy. Because having energy will make the other resolutions easier. Makes sense. Then she sets up how she will gain more energy. She goes to bed when tired even iif its at 9 30 pm. Sounds simple but how many of us really do that? She keeps a resolution chart to track everything.

This book was really fascinating. She had scientific facts to back up her claims so it does not come off a New Agey or some far off experiment that everyday people like me and you could not do. In fact it is so doable that many people are doing their own happiness project, including myself.


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

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.


The Power of a Praying Woman

Posted March 28, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, christian, self help / 0 Comments

The Power of a Praying WomanThe Power of a Praying® Woman by Stormie Omartian
Published by Harvest House Publishers on February 1st 2014
Genres: Christian, Christian Life, Prayer, Prayerbooks, Religion, Women's Issues
Pages: 254

Stormie Omartian's bestselling The Power of a Praying® series (more than 23 million copies sold) is rereleased with fresh new covers and new material to reach a still-growing market of readers eager to discover the power of prayer for their lives. It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying® Woman is just for you. You'll find personal illustrations, carefully selected Scriptures, and heartfelt prayers to help you trust God with deep longings, not just pressing needs cover every area of life with prayer maintain a right heart before God Each chapter concludes with a prayer you can follow or use as a model for your own prayers. Women of all ages will find hope and purpose for their lives with The Power of a Praying® Woman.

power of a praying woman

From Goodreads:

It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying Woman has led countless women into deeper, more fulfilling prayer lives. Now, with a new cover, Omartian, through her knowledge of Scripture and candid examples of her own epiphanies in prayer, shows you how to:
1. draw closer to God
2. know His plans and purpose for your life
3. receive comfort, help, and strength for every day
Trust Him moment by moment with the concerns of your heart and discover the awesome power that prayer will release in your life.

This is a re-read. Every time I read it I feel that I get more out of it. I try and read it several times a year.

Ever since I was little I have been taught to pray for others. Somehow it seemed selfish to pray for myself. This book shows that not only is it good to pray for yourself but that God wants you to. It tells when you stop and take time to yourself that you fortify yourself to do what God has in store for you.

This book explains all the different areas that you can pray for yourself. It explains why those areas matter and how it can help you have a better life. The author puts in some things that I would have never thought to pray for myself for. She really puts a new perspective on how to have a deeper understanding of an effective praying life.


When books cross over into real life.

Posted March 22, 2011 by Hillary in blogging, ramblings, reading, self help, Writing / 0 Comments

When most people read it is to escape reality and to delve into a good story. However there are some books that propose to provide a richer life out side of books. Flow was such a book. I reviewed it a while ago and one thing has stuck out to me in all of that time. It mentioned that chess players engage in physical activity to strengthen their mind. At first, I was like, how can that help strengthen your brain? My laziness knows no bounds. I will be the first to try and get out of anything resembling purposeful movement.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. My attention was waning and my writers block was so bad that I could hardly write my own name. I had heard of writers and other people say that daily exercise cures both aliments. Of course up until then I never actually listened.Then one month into my writers block, when I despaired of ever writing anything again I decided to give walking a try. It wasn’t the magic cure all but slowly it was as my brain was disengaging itself and starting to function again,ideas began to come and I can focus for more than an hour at a time.

What amazes me is that the more I exercise my body the stronger my brain becomes.And not only that but I have really really realllly bad anxiety and it get in the way of writing also. Walking has helped more than medication has ever did. Plus it does not put me to sleep.

And to think I would have never even thought of adding in walking had I not read a book about inducing happiness first. When people say they dislike reading or do not have the time for it, I always remind them that they will be richer and better off for it. There is so much to learn out there. Even fiction can teach you valuable things through the power of a good story.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Posted December 28, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

7 habits

You remember while you was in collage, your friends that majored in something such as business administration talked about books such as this one and how much it has helped them over the years? While you who majored in a liberal arts degree who thought themselves above such books scoffed as such nonsense. Fast forward 5 years later and it is clear who is making more money and stuff and you start to wonder if there were a timeless piece of wisdom in such books, so you finally get it from the library and see what you may have missed.  This was one of those books.

The idea is there are seven principles of highly effective people. By effective it seems getting people to see things your way or as Covey describes it, an agreement that works for both people.

He outlines each step as a stepping stone to true independence which is really interdependence. By completing each step you supposedly become more and more effective at achieving your goals.

The one thing that surprised me was that Covey states in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is he advocates sticking to a principal centered pardagram. I was under the impression that most “business” books was all about getting ahead but I was mistaken.

Overall I enjoyed this book. It not a literary masterpiece but it does have some good advice.


Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Posted December 1, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews, self help / 0 Comments

I have a co7 siritual lawsnfession to make. I have a secret addiction to self-help books. I am not sure why. Its not like half the books tell me anything new. Like for example; The seven Spiritual Laws Of Success did not say anything that was not also in ‘”The Secret”.

But I have heard friends tell me Chopra is the best. I had to see for myself. Of its own accord the book to me is just ok. Like I said there was nothing new in there.I have heard people say that it really works but I have not undergone any testing to see. I mean how would you know if it works or not?

It was a quick read. Enjoyable by it’s own merits but not a great work of art or anything like that. On second thought I guess it’s not meant to be.

The basic Idea  is to give you seven laws and if you follow them then you can achieve anything you want.

I would be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this book. Maybe I am in the minority.