Reclaim Your Dreams

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under inspiration, motivation, personal development

Reclaim Your Dreams: An Uncommon Guide to Living On Your Own Terms
by Jonathan Mead

Why I wanted to read this book: I came across an interview that the author did on The interview initially caught my attention because the book The 4-Hour Workweek was one that changed my mindset in terms of internet business; the subtitle of the interview is “Zero Hour Work Week Maverick Reveals His Secrets To Living Life On Your Terms”. So if Tim Ferris came up with the 4-Hour Work Week, and Mead claimed to be the Zero Hour Work Week Maverick, I wanted  to see how it was done.

I found Mead’s interview to be very insightful and motivating – so much so, that one of his quotes on becoming your own boss hangs in my cubicle at work:
I personally believe the biggest attribution to making this happen for myself was knowing 100% without a doubt that this was going to happen. It was only a matter of time and I would do whatever it took and I would try everything that I possibly could try. I would fail over and over if that’s what needed to happen, but I knew that it was going to happen, that it was just a matter of time.

How inspiring is that?!

  • Premise of the book: we’ve all been domesticated into settling for security instead of following our hearts and pursuing our dreams. Mead promised to show us how to get past limiting beliefs, get back to our authentic selves and pursue our passions.
  • You should read it if: you want to cultivate a different mindset than the one held by mainstream society; you want to motivate yourself to change the way you think; you want to get closer to what’s authentically you and farther away from societal constructs of what life is supposed to be like.
  • You shouldn’t read it if: you pretty much already know who you are, where you want to be and how to get from where you are to the end result.

Now you might be wondering why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5. The book is divided into 2 parts: part 1 is letting go of the thoughts that are holding you back and part 2 is making it happen. I read alot of material like this and of course write a bit of it here. So I didn’t find anything new in terms of motivation, but that doesn’t mean that the next person won’t. Its just that I’m already familiar, from my own way of thinking, of where Mead was going with the first half of the book. Also, I thought he should’ve gone into more detail about methods of changing one’s thoughts, instead of just explaining that you need to. Overall though, you might not find what I say as motivating as what he’s written in part 1, so I would encourage you to check it out for yourself. Besides that though, I really enjoyed this book, especially the ways in which Mead really prompts you to make this journey to authenticity a commitment to yourself.

As wonderful as I think the book is, one of the benefits of Mead’s book is that he now offers worksheets to go along with it. So you can follow along and complete the exercises as you go, and you can also use the prepared worksheets to answer his questions in the book and other supplemental questions that are a part of the worksheets. I thought this was a really cool thing to provide, because the majority of the time when reading books like this, you’re just absorbing the thoughts of the author with the intention to go back and do the exercises. The worksheets make that so much easier to do the first time around.

Points I took away from the book:
  • Success is happiness in the present moment.  “Realize that  the winner in life is not the one that accomplishes most; it’s the person who enjoys their life fully that’s most alive.”
  • Tips on how to remove the background noise that’s getting in the way of what really matters.
  • Don’t follow the pre-made template of life if its not making you happy.
  • We’ve been conditioned to doubt ourselves and seek security above passion and happiness.
  • Be present in your daily life, make time for what you truly want and find more ways to get involved.
  • Ways to change your mindset about work, so that you don’t dread it even when you’re doing work that you love.

I’ll end with a quote that I really love:

“If anything is a sin, hiding your light is. If anything is a crime, it is not flying.”

You can get Reclaim Your Dreams on Jonathan’s website,

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under personal development, relationships, self esteem

Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway
by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

My old roommate recommended this book to me a while back and I never read it. I can’t really say why I was reluctant to pick it up, but I was. I guess I didn’t really see myself as fearful of anything. Boy was I wrong! I think the issue was also that the majority of ‘self-help’ books don’t really provide the tools for you to help yourself solve problems. More likely than not, the author just regurgitates the same ineffective advice that other authors have shared, or the book doesn’t really give tools at all, just words of motivation. But this book is different.Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway delivers on its promise of “dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision, and anger into power, action and love”. I absolutely love this book and feel that it would be a great resource if you decide to read it too.

  • Why I wanted to read this book: my friend recommended it
  • Premise of the book:whenever you start something new and unfamiliar, you will experience fear. We must get used to feeling this fear, because it never goes away. Avoiding fear is a defense mechanism that we’ve all adopted to protect ourselves from what we perceive as a painful situation. But avoiding our fears holds us back from personal growth and is ultimately destructive.
  • You should read it if: you want to implement changes in your life, you’re embarking on new goals or your progress on a specific goal has stalled and you can’t figure out why
  • You shouldn’t read it if: self-help books aren’t your ‘thing’

Jeffers shows you how to change your perspective on fear and take control of your life. She also gives you tools to overcome the negative, destructive thoughts that keep you bound in a place of helplessness. The best part for me was that she writes about changing your mindset in order to command control of your destiny, which is so important and one of my core beliefs. In addition, she shows you how to stop blaming others, stop blaming yourself, and just get er done! This was a very empowering book and once I read some others on my list, I will be going back for my 2nd read.

Points I took away from the book:

  • how to deal with loved ones and friends who don’t want you to change
  • how to create the support system that you want
  • don’t be hard on yourself if you’re initially unsuccessful when testing out something new
  • how to stop indecision and fear surrounding a ‘big’ decision
  • how to have a whole life so you won’t feel needy
  • accept the things that happen in your life and let go of resistance to external events
  • ways to silence the chatterbox of our conscious mind

If you have read Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway, or go on to read it after this review, let me know what you think and if it helps you to make progress in your life.

Comment Response To Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man

November 12, 2009 by  
Filed under relationships

On my old blog, I received a new comment on the review I wrote of Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. I decided to write a full post in response and share it here. Let me know what you think of my response.

Anonymous said,

BWAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Love the review and the comments. I can’t even count on my fingers and toes the number of clueless black women who bought into this nonsense. What kind of MAN refers to a woman’s sexuality as her cookie? What kind idiot tells her to wait 90 days as if that’s some magic formula that’s going to make a man stay with you. All that guarantees is that YOU will be without sex for 90 days. It guarantees NOTHING on the part of the man. Instead of telling women “beware of all the dogs”, “change yourself so you might be lucky to tame the dog”, why not write a book to tell all the dogs to GROW THE F*CK UP!!! It is only in the black community where the women blame and tame themselves. That’s why it will go down the toilet where it’s headed now.

First of all, thank you for your sarcastic compliment of my review. I knew you meant it to be funny, but I take it as praise instead.

Clueless black women bought into the nonsense
So we’re called clueless because we find value in what Steve wrote. Honestly, Anon, there’s not much pop culture advice for black women to reasonably follow. Clearly, from the number of out-of-wedlock births, black women need sound, practical advice on how to conduct themselves in relationships. And I’m not just blaming black women here – the semen that impregnated them didn’t just fall from the heavens like manna. So yeah, maybe we are clueless for listening to Steve.

Whats more likely is that we find value in what he’s written because it makes sense. There really isn’t much to Steve’s book that we haven’t heard from our grandmothers, mothers and aunts, but that we no longer listen to. We’ve discarded the old-fashioned advice on how to date as outdated and impractical. But how is our present way of doing things working out? I disagree with you on the premise that he’s advocating women to change in order to tame the dogs out there. He’s advocating change because the way we’ve been conducting relationships is not working. Black women know this – and thats why we’ve ‘clulessly’ embraced his book. Those of us who’ve analyzed our success rate and want to improve our chances are looking for ways of doing so, and find that Steven’s methods are conducive to our goals. Furthermore, we are not men and don’t know how men think. So for a man to step out and say ‘hey, ladies, this is how we think’ and then put forth advice that gives us a measure of protection in the dating realm, well, I just don’t see how its clueless for us to listen. I’m not a man, I admit that I can guess how men think, but the only people who I generally get advice about men from is other women. And yeah, they don’t necessarily think like men either.

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