She Says : He Says: Reading

Yesterday I returned from the library with four books in tow, to add to the library book I’m fifty percent through completing on the coffee table. Also, I currently have one book club read sitting on my desk that is 75% complete, but on-hold until we have a club meeting date set.

Please, raise you hand if you are also  reading multiple books. I’d like to confirm that it’s not just me?!

 

Reading

Personal Development and Business Books I’m Enjoying Right Now: GRIT

Here’s a fun metric. I’ve increased the total books read (this far) in 2018 by 500%.

Your next question is likely, “How can you increase you’re reading by so such a large percentage?”

Well…It’s easy to do when I’m unable to recall completing a single book that I started in 2017.

BAM

I know I’m not the only guilty person that picks up multiple books and puts them back down without reading the final page.

But, at a certain point in time the internet becomes boring, nothing new is on Netflix, my eyes glaze over upon opening Instagram, and the dust is piled so high on my bookshelf it’s now a hazard to my respiratory system. So, I blew off the first layer of dust and swiffered off the second layer, and finally reopened my books.

If you read my completed books list you’ll notice a theme – all of them are some form of personal development (aside from Gail Honeyman’s novel). Business skills, personal growth, leadership are on my mind now, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.

Book Review:

I most recently finished Grit by Angela Duckworth (here the link to her TED talk.) She’s studying what exactly is grit, how some have grit, what does it take to grow grit, and how can we measure our personal grit.Image result for grit duckworth

When asked if hard work or talent is more important the average person will respond “hard work” but studies show that deep down we still believe it’s talent. When the going gets tough it’s easy to say, “I’m just not any good at (insert activity here)” and halt any further progress. Angela studied Olympian athletes, National Spelling Bee champions, and NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and found that, yes, some of them were naturals, but many had to learn grit along the way. Talent will only take you halfway across the finish line, it’s the deliberate practice that pushes the person to the finish.

You can have talent and effort that grows the skill. But! Talent x Effort X Effort = Achievement. The deliberate practice has a more impactful outcome than pure skill/talent.

One way to stay motivated to improve your goals is incremental goals that build upon each other to meet your long-term goal. DING DING  DING.
Commonsense, but how many of us aren’t working toward a single goal? You go to work, come home, occasionally enjoy a night with friends, rinse and repeat. It’s easy to roll through life on autopilot, complacent, when you’re not growing. Those goals become little magnets that help pull you through these ruts.

The other personal takeaway from Grit is choosing your Choosing Your Hard Thing. Grit is grown when you pick one personal “hard thing” and continue to pursue and grow a skill. It is one thing that is difficult that you must work on daily to improve. You can quit the hard thing, but not until the season, semester, membership, etc is over. It’s a nice reminder to try new things, fail at them, maybe a few times through the season, but see it through until the end. A small way to flex your grit muscle.

All in all, the book is a compelling and quick read. It provides what I see as tips you can use to improve your performance at work or skill at home. It shows us why we see some succeed and others stagnate.

What is your “hard thing” that your currently working on?

or

What would you like your “hard thing” to be?

 

In case you’re curious……

Completed Books:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine : A Novel – Gail Honeyman
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
  4. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard
  5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

In – Progress Books:

  1. Smarter Faster Better
  2. How We Learn

Book Recommendation: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*

We’re about a third of the way through January and I’d like to invite us back to this month’s theme, Self-Care. There are many articles, posts, tweets, InstaLives, etc regarding what self-care is and is not. A few key points that everyone seems to agree upon are:

  1. Self-Care is NOT simply a candle, book, and alone time
  2. A social support group is key (deepening meaningful relationships)
  3. Taking a moment to recognize if an activity is building you up or wearing you down

These points are woven in and throughout Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F* This book may already tell you what you know, but he also provides the WHY. The WHY we care, WHY we shouldn’t care, and WHY it’s important to make some changes if you want to move through life happily. It’s a dose of realism, not self-help. It’s tongue in cheek, but serious points within the chapters.

Take responsibility for everything!

We may not be responsible for what is happening or happened to us, but we are responsible for how we respond. You can take the stress out of your response, but always aiming for positivity itself is stressful. What’s the better response and more realistic approach to moving forward?

“With great responsibility comes great power.” The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility for our problems is thus the first step to solving them.

Give a F* about the right things.

Is this meaningful to you? Are you wasting brain-space worrying/thinking about XYZ? You can only give a f* about so many things.

“Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity.”


The “Do Something” Principle: Motivation


Oftentimes a task seems overwhelming or you’ve set the bar too high and you never do anything, therefore, you never feel motivated. But, you’ve just found yourself in a toxic cycle.
How do you find motivation?
Action–>Inspiration–>Motivation —> repeat

Manson states, “If we follow the “do something” principle, failure feels unimportant. When the standard of success becomes merely acting– when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prereq- we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves forward.”

I chose to pull out these three points that we all grapple with on the daily. How do I find motivation, if nothing seems to be going right take responsibility for what you can and turning it around, and deciding if this worry is worth your energy.
Figuring out how to fine tune your reactions and responses to these questions can lead to greater insight into your well-being and how to happily trot through daily life.

How is your bingo card coming along? If you still need to download it, head back to this link and save the image to follow along.  This is where I’m at this month!Personal Self Care Bingo

If you skipped everything and just skimmed to the bottom, here is the takeaway:

Everyone has asked for a manual to life, living for dummies, how-to navigate life, at some point in time. THIS is the book that provides you the loose guideline you’ve needed. Unlike  when you’re putting together your IKEA table and end up with unexplained extra screws, Mark covers the bases and won’t leave you with more questions than when you started. 
I highly recommend this book, it’s a quick read that packs a punch.