Tralfamadore’s understanding of death

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, and so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
~ Billy from “Slaugheterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut.

This passage is a reinforcer of why funerals are meant to be celebrations. Celebrate the moments you have with the deceased. The moments are STILL with you – some more meaningful now than they were at the moment of occurrence.

Of course this is my interpretation. What is yours? Please share in the Comments Section below:

tralfamadore

“Essentialism” is an Essential Read

EssentialismI’m back with one a book recommendation – this book is a new addition to my list of All-Time Favorites. Had I read this book back in March (my last post), you wouldn’t have seen such a long break between blogging. Here goes:

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed or making excuses for why you are not getting something done? If so, Greg Mckeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is an essential read. Yes, I couldn’t resist the play on words. Wait. That comment was not essential. Move on.

As you may know from reading my blog, I love books that inspire you to dig deep into yourself AND provide you with skills and strategies for moving forward in the most positive direction possible.

Essentialism delivers at every level. As I dove into the book, I found myself writing more notes than ever before.  With the pages I was filling in my journal, you would have thought I was going to be tested on the material. My brain was spinning in multiple directions – full of excitement of how I would implement each specific lesson.

As I read further in the book, I had an epiphany! “Stop taking sooo many notes. Simply TAKE IN THE BOOK. Be present in its lessons.”

After all, this book is about “What is ESSENTIAL?” For the rest of the book, I took much less notes and found myself thinking more deeply. The results have been wonderful.

How has the book impacted me?

Right after reading the book, I was attending my favorite convention, PLATFORM (formerly known as the National Speakers Association). My history at the convention is to come home with pages of notes and ideas – only to implement a handful that truly stood out. By the end of this year’s convention, my notes were 1/5 their normal volume. Yes, I still attended as many sessions as possible. Ironically, the keynote speakers and breakout sessions were the best combination of experts, presenters, and content in all my years in the organization (a shout out to Dan Thurmon and Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman for organizing and running a sensational event). The greatly reduced note taking was a result of my asking the following question before writing something down, “Is this essential?”

Now imagine applying the same question to your personal life or slightly adapted question of “Based on my life priorities, is what I’m doing right now essential?”

For those who may be thinking, “That is a simple concept. Why read the book?” Essentialism opens our vision to how the failure to live by the essential question is currently impacting us – often in ways we are not aware and that are not positive. Then you are given specific tools to help you live by this philosophy and do so with less. The opportunity for profound transformation.

Treat yourself to this fantastic book!