Brittany Gibbons Makes Me Laugh Out Loud (and think)!

Looking for an insightful and funny (laugh out loud) book filled with honesty? Get Brittany Gibbon’s book Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It today (click here to order).

BrittanyGibbonsFatgirlWalkingI found myself laughing out loud in airports, on the front porch of our house, on the top deck of a river cruise – pretty much everywhere I had Brittany’s book in my hands. Her writing is honest throughout. Through her descriptive writing, Brittany has a gift of bringing you inside her mind. Her wording is so detailed that you feel like you are back-in-time with her.

Inside of all that humor, Brittany shares poignant lessons exposing elements of our society that too often people shy away from discussing. As the subtitle of her book says, she addresses sex, food, love, and body image (plus parenting, marriage, and much more) – from childhood to adulthood. Brittany’s skillful words have a magical way of connecting to you, the reader and your life. I found myself thinking,  “I’ve thought that before.”

In the speaking industry, a concept that is often stressed is “authenticity.” Brittany’s writing is an ideal example of being authentic. Without having an intense social media strategy, she drew hundreds of thousands of readers to her blog. Why? Because people were looking for an authentic voice and she provided it (and continues to today).

You’ll find that same captivating voice in her book. Treat yourself to the hilarious and powerful Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It today (click here to order).

P.S. You can read her blog at www.BrittanyHerself.com

Are you living by rules that don’t exist?

penguins-living-by-rulesDo you ever feel an urge to do something fun, goofy, or just “because”, BUT you don’t? What stopped you? What rule was running through your head that make you think you better not? Imagine living a life free of ridiculous rules we’ve put on ourselves.

Penguin’s Can’t Fly +39 Other Rules That Don’t Exist by Jason Kotecki is a book for adults that uncovers some of the most useless so-called rules we can find ourselves living by. It explores some small but mighty actions you can take to turn your life into the fun, adventurous and exciting story you deserve. This beautiful 240-page hardcover work of art is a magical combination of Jason’s whimsical illustrations, humorous wit, and poignant anecdotes.

Jason is a dear friend of mine and so I get to see him and his partner, Kim, LIVE this book in every aspect of their life – parenting, relationships, and business. The 2 of them and their children are the epitome of living without rules that never belonged in our lives in the first place. Watching them live freely is invigorating. Capture what they’ve discovered in this BEAUTIFUL book!

A beautiful book? YES!! Jason is a sensational artist who brings the pages to life with characters and colors that will make you smile, think, and definitely laugh!!!

Treat yourself and your friends with this awesome gift. Please help others discover this incredible book by sharing this post and/or the following link to learn more about the book:

Get More: http://rulesthatdontexist.com

“In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan and My Nutritionist.

A great way to start a new year and each day is by giving our body the energy to have an amazing day. 
 
Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” is a great foundation for how to approach choosing, buying, growing, and cooking food. While the book gives away its main lesson in the first sentence of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”, the journey Michael takes you on from that point on is enlightening.
in-defense-of-food

What was interesting was how the book worked in conjunction with my nutritionist’s advice. I’ve struggled with a bit of intestinal annoyance for two decades – until very recently when I began working with a nutritionist. My nutritionist was unaware I was reading this book and so his suggestions were completely independent of the book. Would the book and my nutritionist conflict against each other?

Just 3 days of following my nutritionist’s advice resulted in completely eliminating my intestinal issue. The solution? Eat LOTS more healthy fats such as olive oil, macadamias, avocado, wild fish, and grass-fed meat (if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, butter would be included in this list). Ironically all of those foods follow the main guidelines this book teaches. “Mostly plants” is precisely what I was eating – more than ever.

Here were some of my highlights from the book:

  • Eat food your Great Great Grandma would recognize 
  • “Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting.” 
  • “You are what what you eat eats.”
  • Garden and be part of the process
  • Cook and be part of the process
  • “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” 

For those of you like me who have seen the documentaries discussing the dangers of eating meat, my nutritionist addressed that concern. Meat only becomes unhealthy when eaten excessively and without veggies. When meat sits in your system and rots, that’s when the meat goes from good for you to potentially harmful. However when you combine it with veggies, the veggies clear/cleanse your intestines – not letting anything sit there. Thus, you get the best qualities of everything. 

Please know that I am NOT a doctor or health professional. I am a person who read a book on eating that combined with the guidance of a nutritionist helped me.

Do you Think Like A Freak?

Think-Like-A-Freak-Steven-Levitt-Stephen-DubnerIn the world of Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s book Think Like A Freak, they pose some great examples of why you might want to think like a freak.

This book came to me from the inspiration of listening to their podcast titled Freakonomics (listen to by clicking here). When I’m driving to a campus, military installation, organization, or an event to conduct a training or present a session, listening to Freakonomics (and a few other great podcasts) makes the drive seem much shorter and regularly gets me thinking in new ways.

The book Think Like A Freak is written to get us thinking – for you to question what you have been taught to think AND how you’ve been taught to think. Think Like a Freak is filled with lots of great concepts and discussions.  My favorite takeaways from listening to this audio book were:

  • Admit you don’t know. Doing so leads to much more room for learning and success.
  • Quit. Yes, be willing to quit. As I looked back through my life, I can see times where my choice to quit was the right choice. Sadly, too often we taught “Quitters never win and Winners never quit” which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Knowing what and/or when to quit can make a huge difference in one’s life.
  • Plan for Failure. Instead of only asking what it will take for a project to fail, ask yourself and those you work with, “If this project would be determined to be a complete failure 6 months after we completed it, what would have had to have happened?”  Then reverse engineer to insure those possibilities are eliminated. Now, you have a much more sound approach to your project.
  • Think like a child. Question. Ask, “Why?” and do it frequently. Consider that maybe you are asking the wrong question – the question everyone else asks and not the question everyone is forgetting to ask. One of my favorite sections is how they show this concept through a world champion hot dog eater.

If you choose to listen to the Audio Book instead of reading the book, the authors, Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, are the actual narrators and they do a great job. They are engaging throughout.

If you’ve read or listened to Think Like A Freak, please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below.

 

Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way by Ursula K. Le Guin

LaoTzu-TaoTeChing-Ursula-Le-GuinThe depth within the simplicity of Ursula K. Le Guin’s book Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way is inspiring.

The Tao Te Ching is an ancient Chinese writing by Lao Tzu consisting of 81 very short chapters (typically one-page each and sometimes as short as a paragraph). Ursula makes the clear distinction that this book is her rendition of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and not a translation. While the book is short in length, the thinking and reflection you may find in it is endless.

While MANY words, lines, and paragraphs impacted me, here are just 14:

  • “To give birth, to nourish, to bear and not to own, to act and not lay claim, to lead and not to rule: this is mysterious power.”
  • “Anyone who doesn’t respect a teacher or cherish a student may be clever, but has gone astray.”
  • “So the wise soul keeps away from the extremes, excess, and extravagance.”
  • “Knowing other people is intelligence, knowing yourself is wisdom. Overcoming others takes strength, overcoming yourself takes greatness. Contentment is wealth. Boldly pushing forward takes resolution. Staying put keeps you in position. To live till you die is to live long enough.”
  • “In not wanting is stillness.”
  • “Because there is no where in you for death to enter”
  • “Lie low to be on top, be on top to lie low.”
  • “Study the hard while it’s easy. Do big things while they’re small. The hardest jobs in the world start out easy, the great affairs of the world start small. So the wise soul, by never dealing with great things, gets great things done.
  • “The tree you can’t reach your arms around grew from a tiny seedling. The nine-story tower rises from a heap of clay. The ten-thousand-mile journey begins beneath your foot.
  • “Mind the end as the beginning, then it won’t go wrong. That’s why the wise want not to want, care nothing for hard-won treasures, learn not to be learned, turn back to what people overlooked.”
  • “I have three treasures. I keep and treasure them. The first, mercy, the second, moderation, the third, modesty. If you’re merciful, you can be brave, if your moderate you can be generous, and if you don’t presume to lead you can lead the high and mighty.”
  • “The best captain doesn’t rush in front. The fiercest fighter doesn’t bluster. The big winner isn’t competing. The best boss takes a low footing. This is the power of noncompetition.”
  • “So hardness and stiffness go with death; tenderness, softness go with life.”
  • “Nothing in the world is as soft, as weak, as water; nothing else can wear away the hard, the strong, and remain unaltered. Soft overcomes hard, weak overcomes strong. Everybody knows it, nobody uses the knowledge.”

Consider treating yourself to this wonderful gift!!

Have you read any renditions or translations of Tao Te Ching? If so, what were your reactions and thoughts? Please share in the Comments section below.

Life is Short And So Is This Book: Brief thoughts on making the most of your life by Peter Atkins

LifeIsShortAndSoIsThisBookGreat title that perfectly fits this quick read. Since I started reading this book on my Kindle while riding my bike in our basement, I hadn’t paid any attention to the title beyond “Life Is Short And.” I had no idea how short the book was. That fact does not takeaway from the value of the book. Each chapter gives you just the right amount of material to implement the belief or concept being shared into your own life.

To help open discussion and sometimes to further strengthen a lesson being shared, Peter weaves quotes from well-known writers, thinkers, and business professionals throughout the book.

The lesson that most stuck with me was “Small Steps” – focus on the small steps. Doing so will keep you focused on the action that is needed now right in front of you.

Additional favorite quotes included:

  • “Focusing on what matters means saying no to things that don’t matter. Otherwise, your life becomes cultured with distractions.”
    This quote reminded me to say “No” to engaging on FaceBook more than three times a day.
  • “It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein
    Brilliant insight by Einstein. What would happen if each of us was willing to stay on a challenge until we could solve the situation?
  • “To make the most of your life, say no to things that don’t matter, work hard at what you love, and occasionally take time away from your core focus to rest so that your mind can be quiet for great insights to come.”
    For me, this quote had perfect timing. 2015 is going to include significant traveling, speaking, and writing. This week, I’m stepping away from my work to rest, rejuvenate, and expand my mind, body, and spirit. History has told me that the rewards of doing so are immeasurable.
  • “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” Mark Twain
    Is each of us living fully? If not, what would it take for you to do so? Take Step #1 toward doing so in the next 30 minutes. Remember the lesson from earlier? One step at a time. The key is taking the step.
  • “Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” Oliver Wendall Holmes
    Once again reminding us to TAKE THE FIRST STEP.
  • “If you have close friendships and love your work, the odds are quite high that you’ll be happy most of the time.”
    Love is a great way to express how I feel about my work and my friends. A week ago, I was in Utah spending time with close friends in a Mastermind (6 friends and colleagues come together to discuss your companies, the future, and ask for input you are seeking in any area of your life). The 3 days wrapped up with skiing in the beautiful mountains outside Salt Lake City with a separate group of friends.

    As helpful as the life and business advice was from my Mastermind and as incredible as the views were, the invigorating mountain air was to breath in, and the joy of moving through the Utah snow was while skiing, it was the friends I was with that brought the deepest fulfillment. When I left Utah, I had been refreshed through relationships. Consider the possibility to take more time for friends in 2015.

At the end of my bike ride this afternoon, I suddenly realized I was in the last chapter of this powerful, quick read. Take 45 to 90 minutes to treat yourself to this inspiring read by Peter Atkins. Click here to find the book on Amazon.com.

What do you do when a book shares a lesson or strategy you strongly disagree with?

I just finished listening to the best-seller book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie via Audible.com. While not typically considered controversial, the title of the book can provoke varying responses in people.

Do you want to “win” friends? Most people say, “I do not want to win friends. I do want to build wonderful friendships.” Other people may wonder, “Does ‘Influence People’ actually mean you are going to learn how manipulate others?

book-warning
When I first heard of the book two decades ago, I had similar reactions and questions. Then, I stop and ask myself, “Why am I creating unnecessary drama over a title or certain lessons in a book?” Unfortunately if someone wants to, a person can take the lessons from many books labeled as classics and misuse the concepts. If we never read a book that has aspects we don’t like, we’d miss the opportunity to question and grow from differing outlooks.

I try to find the golden nuggets in each book I read (assuming the book is well-written and I can at least enjoy the reading process). If the current lesson I’m reading in a book doesn’t fit my personal beliefs and/or approach, I stop and ask myself, “Why does this disagree with me? Am I being close-minded or is there a valid logic to why this specific lesson or message isn’t sitting well with me?

For example: in How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale shares how to use competition to motivate employees. While in the past I may agreed with that approach, my viewpoint has changed over the years. Competition can often lead to people continuously comparing themselves to the “other” team instead of focusing on the joy of their work. Long-term, competition can turn into a “us vs them” mentality.

By asking myself, “Do I believe competition is a good strategy for motivating my team?” I was able to have this discovery for myself. The result of reading that section of the book was a reinforcement in the belief that I want each member of The DATE SAFE Project excelling and thriving for the love of their own growth and discovery – for the individual to receive deep fulfillment from their efforts in helping spread our mission.

Sometimes we need disruption to help ourselves grow. Other times, your inner self is sending you an uncomfortable message because it wants you to avoid using a certain approach that is incongruent with your authentic self. The key is being open to that discovery and then making the choice that sits best with you

Live Your Truth by Kamal Ravikant

Upon finishing reading Kamal Ravikant’s first book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, I found myself being gravitated toward his style. I’ve always loved easy, quick reads that get you thinking. Maybe that is intellectual laziness on my part or a magnetism toward simplicity.

Kamal’s 2nd book is titled Live Your Truth, a theme I’ve believed in for a few decades. Once again, Kamal did not disappoint. He takes you on quick journeys with many chapters only being a page to three pages in length. Many people will read this book in under 2 hours.

For those of you noticing, I am referring to Kamal Ravikant by his first name. The choice is intentional. Thinking of an author by the author’s first name makes the person more real. I would hope the same for the readers of my books and blog – that they would say, “Mike’s book” instead of “Domitrz’s book” (which seems cold and distant).

Kamal does a great job of pointing out there is no one way to discover your truth – that journey is yours to figure out. A book that was wonderful at helping me discover my truth was Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want by Catherine Nomura and Julia Waller (click here to learn more).

If you love to have simple concepts and thoughts that challenge you to look inward, Live Your Truth could be an ideal fit for you. Kamal is great at sharing from his heart, his soul, and his own personal experiences of discovery.

He writes with words and language that inspires me to want to spend a week at the Monastery outside Big Sur to write my next book.

LiveYourTruthKey discoveries and/or lessons from this book for me were:

  • Resist Nothing. Go with the Flow. If life is a river and you try to fight the current, life will be an ongoing struggle for you. If you learn to go with the flow and be present in the moment, you will move down the river and onto the next moment of life – never getting stuck trying to go backward.
  • EFFORT is what matters and reflects who I am – not outcomes and results. Lots of outside forces can impact outcomes and results. The one aspect you have the most say in is your effort. If you give fully of yourself, you will always be growing and learning through every outcome and/or result. Thus, you will be living life fully and growing. That fulfillment lasts longer and is much more consistent than the high from an outcome or result.
  • Go ALL IN and Share with the World. You’ve only got one life. Why keep everything to yourself?
  • Forgiveness first lies in forgiving yourself. The person you are angry with, disappointed in, or hurt by is human, “Fallible, full of mistakes, trying to make his way through the world like the rest of us, afraid. Human.” Just like ourselves.

I especially enjoyed when Kamal tells the story of a lesson comedian Louis CK learned from legendary comedian George Carlin. Of course I’ll leave that for you to read yourself.

Treat yourself to this wonderful book of self-discovery and sharing by Kamal Ravikant. If you’ve read the book, please let me know your thoughts of what you discovered.

If you are a member of KindleUnlimited through Amazon, you can download and read this book for FREE!! Click here to download the book from Amazon today.

KindleUnlimited is an amazing program offered by Amazon that provides you thousands of books to choose from each month $9.99 a month. You don’t pay anything for the individual titles you want to read – just the $9.99 a month.

“Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant

After completing The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly yesterday (will be blogging about in the coming days), I went into my Kindle to start on my next reading journey. A title was in my Kindle that I didn’t recognize: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

I don’t remember downloading this book – ever. Neither does Karen. Hmmmm. The title sounds interesting. I ask myself, “Why don’t I open it, start reading, and see if it captures me? I have 20 minutes.”

Well that 20 minutes was all I needed to know I wanted to read this simple, quick, and powerful book. I would resume reading at the airport and finish the book on my 2nd flight (slept on the 1st flight). This is a book some people will easily finish in under 2 hours.

The author, Kamal Ravikant, shares lessons and insights that are succinct with the importance of loving yourself.

  1. Love Yourself
  2. Follow a few simple systems to following through with that commitment
  3. Ask yourself a couple questions that could more easily take you down the path you want to experience.

loveYourselfWhile I’ve always believed in loving yourself and the importance of doing so, Ravikant helped me realize a few ways I was failing to actually live with love for myself and provided me solutions for reprogramming my thoughts do live with love for myself.

During times others or yourself are bringing negativity and/or stress into your life, the book shares the importance of asking yourself the following question, “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?”

During moments of making choices, help yourself with the question, “If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?”

I applied the question “If I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do?” to redirecting my food choices at the airport to be congruent with my wellness outlook and goals.

One area of the book reminded of an important aspect the Landmark Forum reveals – that we are “Meaning-Making-Machines.” The phrase “Meaning-Making-Machines” explains how we, as human beings, make up meanings to everything. We are wired to do so. In doing so, many of us add a ton of unnecessary drama, excuses, and negative energy to our lives. Instead, be sure to realize “what actually happened” verses the meaning you attached to it.

An example a person could have is, “My friend wasn’t talking to me today. He must be mad at me.” What actually happened was “My friend was quiet” – nothing more. nothing less.

A key to being able to recognize the “Nothing more. Nothing Less” moments throughout each day is to believe in yourself. To be able to believe in yourself, you must first love yourself. That is not “like yourself” – that is “love yourself.”

The importance of doing so is shared in Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. Treat yourself to the cool techniques for learning how to truly and deeply love yourself by purchasing and/or download this book today.

If you are a member of KindleUnlimited through Amazon, you can download and read this book for FREE!! Click here to download the book from Amazon today.

Remember at the beginning of this blog post when I shared that I didn’t remember downloading the book. When I realized it was part of KindleUnlimited, I remembered that I probably downloaded it along with several others in the free reading program – titles that caught my attention and I’m glad this one did.

**Why the image of the book cover is not included in this post:
Upon giving this book a “5 Star” review on Kindle, I noticed the cover of the book for the first time. With the issue of mental health, suicide, and gun violence at the forefront of conversations in our country, I made a choice to not include the image.

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