The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.

What is an agreement?

The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.

An agreement is:

  • a programming of the mind.
  • a language, a code that helps us understand each other.
  • a belief system that has domesticated us.

It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.

Unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we live by. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and have existed longer than we have.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The First Agreement

The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.

Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposal. 

You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.

“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.

What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word. Click To Tweet

Purpose of the agreement

Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.

Implementing the agreement

Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if you are not careful. So:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Be careful of the words that you use on yourself.
  • Do not speak against yourself.
  • Avoid gossiping and don’t believe gossip.
  • Accept and love yourself so you can demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.

The Second Agreement

The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.

Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.

Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.

Purpose of the agreement

This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.

Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.

Implementing the agreement

Understand that:

  • All opinions about you are not necessarily true.
  • Opinions about you depends on the person and on their moods.
  • We can choose what to believe and what to agree with.
  • You must trust yourself and don’t need to trust anyone else.

The Third Agreement

The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.

Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.

Purpose of the agreement

The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.

Implementing the agreement

To properly implement this agreement:

  • Ask for clarifications rather than making assumptions.
  • Remember that it is OK to ask questions.
  • Collect the right data about people and situations first.
  • Don’t assume that people can read your mind.
  • Ask for what you want, expect yes or no. Understand that you can say yes or no as well.

The Fourth Agreement

This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best” and consolidates all previous three agreements.

Purpose of the agreement

Forming the habit of always doing your best will:

  • Save you from harsh self-judgement.
  • Increase your production.
  • Mature your self-love.

Implementing the agreement

Keep in mind that:

  • Your best will fluctuate all the time. It will depend on your mood, on your energy level, on your health and on your situation.
  • You must take action without expecting any rewards. This way, you will be able to enjoy your actions better.

Review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.

I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.

Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.

As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.

Favorite quote(s)

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.

Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.

Ratings 4.5/5

Author

Don Miguel Ruiz

Quiet : The Power Of Introverts In A World That Cant Stop Talking By Susan Cain

In the American Culture, leadership is often equated with hyperextroversion and an emphasis is placed on personality, charm, and charisma.

On one hand, people feel a constant urge to fit into the extroversion mould, to develop an extroverted personality and feel pressured to always project confidence.

On the other, introverts have become the ugly step-children.

Basically, the American Culture promotes an Extrovert Ideal when several temperaments exist, are valuable and needed in Society.

Quiet _ The Power Of Introverts In A World That Cant Stop Talking By Susan Cain #book #bookreview #bookreviews #quiet #introversion #introvert #introvertproblems #introvertlife #introverts #introvertstruggles #introvertsunite #extrovert #introverting #introvertsbelike #introvertthoughts #introvertsareawesome journeytoleadershipblog.com

Many “people, especially those in leadership roles, engage in a certain level of pretend-extroversion”.

1. The birth of the Extrovert Ideal

The Extrovert Ideal is “the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight”.

The Extrovert Ideal was born when public speaking became a must have skill in the beginning of the 20th century.

The American Culture swiftly shifted from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality.

Hence, people started focusing on the way they presented themselves, on making a good first impression, on appearance, on selling themselves well all the time.

They then transformed themselves into personae, performers, sales men and women and became fascinated with movie stars.

2. The Introverted temperament

Extroversion and introversion are extreme temperaments that are said to be inherited.

Most people exhibit behaviors along that spectrum depending on the circumstances: no one is fully an introvert or an extrovert all the time.

The most common misconception about these temperaments is that introverts are antisocial and extroverts are pro social.

The reality is that introverts are quickly overly stimulated, the said stimulation is exhausting and that they need downtime to recharge from socializing.

Furthermore, introverts are creative, tend to work alone, to value solitude because “solitude can be a catalyst to innovation“; it is vital to their creativity and allows them to deliberately practice.

At their core, introverts observe society rather than participate in society because participating requires too much mental multitasking.

In addition, they:

  • are highly reactive,
  • are listeners more than talkers,
  • ask questions like “What if?”,
  • rather quality over quantity,
  • avoid conflict most of the time,
  • avoid group activities,
  • are non competitive,
  • “welcome the chance to communicate digitally”.

Even with opposite temperaments, introverts and extroverts are often drawn to each other and get along.

The Introvert Success

Should they act out of character or stretch themselves in order to be who they want to be? Can introverts succeed without altering themselves?

Most introverts know how to act out of character and fake extroversion to some extent.

Some introverts fake extroversion to survive, to fit in and succeed.
Others have fooled themselves into thinking that they are extroverts, have taken on a role that is expected of them or their job, feel obliged to serve up a persona.

introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly Click To Tweet

The truth is that introverts can act out of character rather convincingly, should act out of character if it is vital or if they are deeply attached to their objectives but cannot and shouldn’t act out for too long. Acting out of character for too long can result in burnout and health problems.

To succeed without altering themselves, some introverts focus on core personal projects that are important to them.

To identify their core personal projects, introverts:

  • Think about what they wanted to be when they were children.
  • Assess the type of work they generally gravitate to.
  • Observe the people and things that they envy.

Furthermore, introverts understand that certain social situations can be intimidating.

Therefore, in order to remain calm and confident, they adopt the same behavior and facial expression as if you were calm and confident.

They also take regular breaks alone where they need to restore, recharge and be themselves.

Introverts may have to cut an agreement with themselves: they socialize and act out of character as much as they want to or as much as they are comfortable to just as long as they take the time to recharge.

Review

In Quiet : The Power Of Introverts In A World That Cant Stop Talking, in an almost autobiographic writing style, Susan Cain puts a positive spin on the term “quiet”, reflects on the place of introversion in the American society and seeks to understand the Extrovert Ideal.

Susan Cain objectively describes her personal experience as an introvert and adopts a scientific approach to depicting the difference between introversion and extroversion.

In The American and Western society, there is an obsession and an urge to develop an extroverted personality.
Indeed, leadership is often equated to hyperextroversion and most of our institutions are organized to favor extroversion, value open spaces, transparency, team-work, and competition to the detriment of quiet leadership, creativity, solitude, alone time, introversion are not well seen

So throughout her research and her journey of self-discovery, Susan Cain goes through her own experience, childhood memories to find explanation and insights into her introversion and answers the following questions: Should introverts alter themselves to succeed? To what degree should they stretch themselves?

The answer lies somewhere between you can act out but you shouldn’t act out for too long.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Yet today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable. We see ourselves as a nation of extroverts—which means that we’ve lost sight of who we really are.

We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight. The archetypal extrovert prefers action to contemplation, risktaking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt. He favors quick decisions, even at the risk of being wrong. […] We like to think that we value individuality, but all too often we admire one type of individual—the kind who’s comfortable “putting himself out there.” […]

Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.

‘Here everyone knows that it’s important to be an extrovert and troublesome to be an introvert. So people work real hard at looking like extroverts, whether that’s comfortable or not. It’s like making sure you drink the same single-malt scotch the CEO drinks and that you work out at the right health club.’

They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.

introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly

many people, especially those in leadership roles, engage in a certain level of pretend-extroversion.

Ratings 4/5

About the author

Susan Cain

 

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You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life By Jen Sincero

We create our own reality…

Our reality first starts in our subconscious mind.

1. Upgrade your mindset

Our subconscious mind has accumulated so much information around us from our childhood and has formatted our current system of belief.

No matter how much your conscious mind thinks that it is in control, it’s not. It is your subconscious mind that rule your life and manifest itself in your decisions.

The key is to unblock yourself by fixing your subconscious belief, to set your mind on what you truly want, to start present, quiet the ego, step out your comfort zone, and getting past your fears and the fears of those around you.

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life By Jen Sincero #book #books #bookreview #bookreviews #selfawareness #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment @jensincero journeytoleadershipblog.com

2. Work on loving yourself

After upgrading your mindset, the second to creating the life that you want is to love yourself no matter what.

When you truly love yourself, you do not bother people and you do not want to be bothered by nonsense. To fall in love with yourself:

  • Understand and appreciate your uniqueness.
  • Use words of affirmation and rephrase your negative self-talk.
  • Do things you love and put yourself first.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others and always do your best whatever the circumstances.
  • Learn to forgive yourself.
  • Stop caring about what others think of you.
  • Change your habits, try new things and step out your comfort zone.
  • Trust your intuition.

3. Set your mind on your goals

Our mind is our most powerful tool.

So much so that what we chose to focus on become our reality.

Therefore, once you have learned to love yourself, to rewire your grain and quiet the mind, it is time to set your mind on what you truly want, attract it and work towards it.

While you do so, it is important to give, to practice an attitude of gratitude, learn to forgive yourself and others, and to surround yourself with like-minded people.

When you start creating your own reality, life will get bad before it gets better!

Review

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is a regular self-help book with known and effective Principles to improve your life and to live the one you want.

Except that Jen Sincero has an upbeat delivery, puts a funny spin to these principles and adds personable examples.

She forces you to look within, to challenge your perception of reality, your circumstances and your role in creating your circumstances.

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero promotes life improvement from the inside out and is centered around love.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

You’ll have to believe in things you can’t see as well as some things that you have full-on proof are impossible. You’re gonna have to push past your fears, fail over and over again and make a habit of doing things you’re not so comfy doing. You’re going to have to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling to your decision to create the life you desire like your life depends on it.

If you want to live a life your never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.

You are responsible for what you say or do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.

What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

We’ve made being in fear a habit.
We’re pumped full of it as children, like sugar, then as we grow we continued to take in the bad news on TV and the horror in the papers and the violence in books and films and video games and all this junk that fills us to the brim with fear about the world. We’re taught to play it safe and not take risks, and to caution everyone around us to follow suit.
And it becomes such an accepted part of our social conditioning that we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Ratings 3.5/5

About the author

Jen Sincero

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Secrets Of Six Figure Women: Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life By Barbara Stanny

Although, most women remain underpaid and make 50% to 80% of what men make, more and more women are earning high salaries.

Women who underearn operate below their potential, have negative beliefs about money, work more for less pay without making the “conscious choice to live with less”.

The reality is that underearning affects your self-confidence, breaks down your lifestyle and limit your opportunities.

To start earning more and to make the right decisions, women need to change the way they think about themselves and their relationship with money.

SECRET 1 “Financial Success Is Possible in Almost Any Field, and Lack of Education Doesn’t Have to Hold You Back.”

Six-Figure women get credentials and go for the highest level of education they can possibly get.

However, they don’t let credentials stop them from achieving success.

SECRET 2 “Working Hard Doesn’t Mean Working All the Time.”

Six-Figure women take pleasure in their work and they work smart.

At the very least, they find jobs that are stimulating and fulfilling.

SECRET 3 “Focus on Fulfilling Your Values Rather Than Financial Gain.”

Women feel that they have to overwork themselves, stay longer hours than their male counterparts in order to attain their ambitions or to compete with men.

However, that lifestyle is not sustainable. High earning women look for signs of fatigue, burnout, a way to get more done in less time, to up their focus and for a way to balance their personal and professional life.

SECRET 4 “Loving What You Do Is Much More Important Than What You Do.”

The put their visions and values before financial gain.

Moreover, they want to live on their own terms.

Focusing on making money only creates an internal void that could never be filled.

SECRET 5 “Feel the Fear. Have the Doubts. Go for It Anyway.”

They are confident and believe in themselves.

They believe that they can do anything they set their minds to.

Of course, they struggle with self-doubt and fears but they somehow manage to overcome those fears or to fake it until they make it.

SECRET 6 “Think in Terms of Trade-offs, Not Sacrifices, to Find a Workable Equilibrium.”

Six-Figure women deal gracefully with social injustices.

They have figure out ways to deal with biases, injustices, racism and sexism with their sense of humor.

SECRET 7 “Sometimes You Just Have to Shrug It Off and Have a Good Laugh.”

They are grateful for what they have and how far they have come.

SECRET 8 “Appreciate Abundance.”

Six-Figure women are not victim of their circumstances.

They refuse to be beaten down or depressed for extended periods of time. Instead, they remain positive and optimistic against all odds.

Review

Secrets Of Six Figure Women: Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbara Stanny identifies the secrets of six-figure women, understand the traits and the principles that these women live by, so that we can apply these principles to our personal lives.

Secrets Of Six Figure Women: Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life helps you grow internally, expand your mindset, remove self-limiting beliefs, become self-aware, become financially aware and boost your income.

Furthermore, Barbara Stanny aims to shift the mindset from overcoming obstacles to finding in opportunities to increasing your earnings.

She shifts the focus from wage gap to wage gain, from lack to abundance.

Barbara Stanny, a new aged woman with a lot of questions when it comes to the process of women earning six figures, interviews and introduces us to the mindset of high powered and high earning women from all professional background.

I enjoyed the fact that she gave easy and achievable steps into earning more.

I also appreciated that Barbara Stanny tackled the fact that almost every woman and monorities experience the same hardships in the workplace.

Unfortunately, in 2020, not much has changed in corporate. Racism and sexism are still present in most organizations.

Do you have the same experience at home or in the workplace? Has earning a high income created any backlash at home or in The workplace?

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Was holding a high-paying job even worth what I imagined it would entail? Did six-figure women have to work absurdly long hours, forfeit their femininity, forgo their happiness, give up all semblance of a personal life? Did their marriages hold up? Did their children suffer? Did they bear lasting scars from breaking glass ceilings or battling gender bias? Was it possible for anyone to become a high earner? Could I?

What if we shifted the spotlight from women’s plight to women’s progress? What if we turned our attention from what’s wrong with the system and instead analyzed what’s working for those who are succeeding? We’re not ignoring the problem; we’re merely shifting our perspective.

Lawyer Tracy Preston told me the same thing. “If I internalized every time someone said something racist or sexist I wouldn’t be able to function. There’s always some incident that’ll be jarring, but I recognize it’s people’s ignorance. How do I deal with it? As they say, being black in America isn’t easy, so you have to have a sense of humor. Otherwise you’d go crazy.”

Like it or not, money affects virtually every area of your life. Lack of it leads to dependency and hardship. It can limit your access to health care and lifestyle choices. It can keep you in an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfying job. It perpetuates the cycle of poverty and debt, of discontent and chronic stress.

Our state of mind, however, often resembles a rearview mirror. We head toward the future seeing only the images from our past, and then wonder why nothing ever changes. I once heard insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to be different. Given that definition, I can safely say underearning is a form of financial insanity.

The real work in raising the bar is to stop doing the same old thing you’ve always done, to try out new strategies, to ignore false alarms, to resist the urge to quit, and to refuse to fall back into familiar terrain. The ability to tolerate discomfort—doing what might not feel good, but doing it anyway—is the only way you’ll ever complete the path to financial success. It helps to keep in mind that the discomfort is temporary, but the payoff is extraordinary.

You must let go of where you are to get to where you want to go.

men got high marks from their bosses when they were forceful and assertive, but women were downgraded for displaying the same qualities. To be quite candid, the double standard is alive and kicking—assertive men are respected, assertive women are resented.

Ratings 4.5/5

About the author

Barbara Stanny

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Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing By Matthew Allen

Smart Thinking is a skill and an attitude.

Smart Thinking is effective reasoning that requires the filtering of information.

Needless to say, Smart Thinking helps you become successful at work and in your everyday life.

What is Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking combines the way:

  • You reason and comprehend the complex world that you live in.
  • You access information, process information, analyze and express your ideas and critical thoughts.
  • You clearly communicate, present, classify and structure these ideas.
  • You illustrate these ideas.
  • You adapt your ideas to your audience and persuade them.
  • You understand someone else’s idea.
  • You discern useful information, sort out and understand general information.
  • You assess, make decisions, solve issues and predict the future based on your experiences, assumptions and biases.

What is required in Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking requires information and the proper use of claims

A claim is a written or spoken statement, true or false, that expresses the view of the world.

Therefore, claims are descriptive, reserve positive and negative value judgement.

To properly reason, claims are linked together and must be carefully structured.

How to reason effectively?

Reasoning effectively means avoiding errors, internally evaluating arguments and thoughts before expressing them.

In effective reasoning, clear, well-formed, well-founded and truthful claims are welcomed and are easily accepted by an audience.

To reason effectively, you must start with claims that are more acceptable and end with those that are less acceptable to an audience.

“Reasoning is not about answers […], but about the process of making answers more acceptable by giving appropriate reasons for them.”

Furthermore, using expertise, accurate examples or authoritative sources is a way to solidify a claim and make it more acceptable.

Another way to reason effectively would be to remain in control of your claim, aware of the context of the claim and believe that your claim is true before sharing it with an audience.

The different types of reasoning

There are five types of reasoning.

1. Causal reasoning

Causal reasoning employs common sense and allows reasoning from cause to effect.

2. Reasoning from generalization

Reasoning from generalization explains how a general event impacting general population leads to another event.

3. Reasoning from specific cases

Reasoning from specific cases takes specific events and provides a conclusion.

4. Reasoning from analogy

Reasoning from analogy uses an analogy to a given case to draw conclusions about that case.

5. Reasoning from terms

Reasoning from terms used the meaning of words from a given context.

Review

Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is a roadmap to critical thinking and analytical skills which are heavily required leadership.

Taken from practical experiences and Australian History, Matthew Allen explores the philosophical concept behind language, the importance of words, critical thinking and the reasoning process.

Matthew Allen teaches us ways to make our reasoning strong and effective. He shares the analytical structure of reasoning and consolidates every single one of his theories with exercises and comprehension tests in every chapter.

In addition, his book and examples are socially conscious when it comes to the treatment of Aborigines in Australian History.

Furthermore, Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is not the type of book that I’m used to reviewing. However, I recommend it for leaders seeking to build remarkable leadership and critical thinking skills.

After reading this book, you will want to consider issues in depth and within context, be smarter about the messages you convey, avoid making assumptions and make well-founded claims.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Reasoning is something we already do: all of us have be learnt, in one way or another, to think and to reason, to make connections and see relationships between various events and attitudes in our world. So, being a smart thinker is not about becoming a different sort of person, but about improving skills that you already have.

It is our responsibility to understand what is happening in society and to act where necessary to conserve or change, to get involved, to make things better, and to fight injustice. We can only pick our way through the complex tangle of opinions, assertions, ideas, and assumptions that make up the dominant social world in which we live.

We should never assume that there can be only one right view; we should not, in turn, presume that all views are right.

What makes assumptions dangerous is not their content […] but, rather, that they are not consciously considered and tested to see if they are correct.

What any one individual knows about world is extremely limited. People tend to be experts in certain small areas and ignorant in many others; their detailed knowledge is often applicable only in limited situations.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Matthew Allen

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The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

Santiago, humbly raised in the Spanish countryside, loved to read, wanted to travel, see the world and find his “treasure”.

Instead of being a priest like his parents desired, Santiago became a shepherd in order to wander throughout Andalusia.

The “Young Boy” was obsessed with discovering and accomplishing his Personal Legend.

The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho #books #bookreviews #success #purpose #inspiration https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

The Discovery Of A Personal Legend

Everybody has a mission in life, a Personal Legend.

A Personal Legend is what you Always wanted to accomplish ever since you were young.

In your childhood, realizing your Personal Legend seems clear and feasible. However, the older we get, your belief that you can accomplish your Personal Legend seems to get dismantled by a mysterious force.

This mysterious force, made of negativity, deters you but also shows you how to accomplish what you truly want in Life.

The Courage To Pursue Your Personal Legend

Most people are afraid of following their dreams because they are:

  • Told from childhood that they would never achieve their Personal Legend. So, the dream stays buried deep inside of them.
  • Afraid of hurting the people closest to them, without realizing that those closest to them can help achieve their purpose.
  • Frightened by the many obstacles and failures that arise while pursuing their dreams, even if their life is already challenging enough.
  • Scared of realizing their dreams. They tend to fear success and self-sabotage.

On Your Quest Of Self-Discovery

According to Paulo Coelho, the Universe conspires to help us in accomplishing our Personal Legend.

It puts people on our way, good and bad, to guide us and redirect our course. The people we meet on our journey to accomplishing our Personal Legend are also part of the Journey.

Indeed, we can learn everywhere we go, with whomever we are and from everything.

For example, Santiago who has met a number of people on his quest of accomplishing his Personal Legend.

It first started out with a dream: one night, he had a wonderful dream about the Egyptian Pyramids. Then, he went to an old Gypsy woman to have his dream interpreted.

After that, he went to a village to change his book to a bigger one. While reading his new book at a well, he meets an old man who claims to be an old king of Salem and who encouraged the boy to accomplish his Personal Legend and to believe in Omens.

On his journey towards the Egyptian Pyramids, the Young boy sold his sheep and arrived in Tangier. There, needing to cross the Sahara, he met a Dangerous guide who would run away with his money.

After being robbed, the boy wandered to the door of a Crystal Merchant, whose unachieved dream was to travel to the Mecca and who against all odds gave him food, a place to stay, a job and who treated him fairly.

While crossing the Sahara desert, he bumped into an Englishman, believer in omens, avid reader, who introduced him to the discipline of Alchemy.

Stranded in an Oasis in the desert, he fell in love with Fatima, the woman of the desert who taught him Love and that Nothing should hold him back from accomplishing his Personal Legend.

Finally, while starting to learn the language of the desert, he bumped into the Alchemist who would teach him the language of the world and show him that lead can be turned into gold.

Review

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho explores the themes of following your dreams and achieving self-awareness while doing so.

The Alchemist, through the journey of Santiago the shepherd, helps you identify who and why you are.

This whole book is a metaphor for travel and purpose. Furthermore, each character represents a stage in the life of a person. In addition, I am not used to reviewing fiction but this book was long overdue.

The story of the protagonist Santiago is very relatable, applicable to every stage of our lives, and easily interpreted. Sometimes, we have ups and downs but if we stay focused on our dreams, we really achieve our purpose in the end.

I truly recommend this book for people who have spent their lives not achieving their purpose or who refuse to become bitter. It gives hope and comfort. It lets you know that it is never too late to accomplish your Personal Legend.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

“People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”

[…]intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life[…]

[…] before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up.

Ratings 4/5

About the author

Paulo Coelho

 

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Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds By David Goggins

Western society has an obsession for mediocrity and complacency even though we have great resources to excel and even though our minds are strong and are built to endure whatever challenges we face.

Succeeding and functioning at your highest potential is all a matter of detaching yourself from that system of belief, gaining self-awareness and conquering the mind.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds By David Goggins #books #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #characterdevelopment #selfimprovement #badhand #canthurtme #accountabilitymirror #discomfortzone #pathofmostresistance #impossibletask #takingsouls #armoredmind #cookiejar https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

#1: Self-limiting beliefs

Inequalities in the system, systemic oppression will always exist but are not the core reason why you are not excelling and functioning at your highest potential.

The truth is you are the one limiting yourself.

That is why you must imperatively identify what is holding you back in life.

To do so, you can:

  • Get a journal and write down your pain, the list of things that are causing you pain.
  • Give shape and name to what is bothering you.
  • Create rituals where you call yourself out, face the hard truth.
  • Set tangible goals for yourself and keep yourself accountable.

By identifying what is limiting you and creating rituals, you will be able to renew your purpose and reinvent yourself.

#2: The path of most resistance

You must understand that in life, there will always be pain. But if you have a purpose, you can overcome that pain and borrow the path of most resistance.

Before starting your mission, you will have to objectively assess your current situation and abolish your ego for it is the cause of all your problems.

On your mission and on the path of most resistance, you might get depressed and discouraged but you have to be convinced that your depression is a sign that you are no longer in your comfort zone.

#3: Taking Souls

In life, you will be confronted with your own demons, bullies who will oppose you for no reason and will face many other challenges.

You have to prepare your mind for eventual opposition and understand that:

  • Challenges reveal your character and your mindset.
  • Pain is finite and you can take on any challenge you want.
  • You must defeat your own demons before you can defeat your opponent.

The Taking Souls strategy is a game that you play with yourself and yourself only by tapping into your own reserve of energy and power. It allows you to easily defeat your opponent and find your inner beast:

  • Know who you are and why you are here and why you are fighting.
  • Find areas in your life that need improvement.
  • Take on tasks that you deem impossible or that make you uncomfortable.
  • List your strengths and weaknesses. Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
  • List the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent or bully. Bullies are already insecure and unstable so it’s easy to get into their heads.
  • Remember that the easiest way to fight a bully is to help them.

#4: Flipping the script

Every negative experience creates callouses in the mind. When you know how to avoid negative self-talk, to manage your mind and your callouses, then you can choose fight over flight, push through any obstacles and overcome self-doubt.

To build the most stable callous mind there is, to acquire mental toughness and to improve your character, you need to accept your Self, stop running away from your past, face the source of your wounds, fear and insecurities.

For this reason, when you are facing opposition or a negative situation, you have to:

  • Flip the script and stop seeing yourself as the victim of your circumstances.
  • Work the hardest when you want to the least.
  • Seek excellence to outdo your competition.
  • Make your competition admire you and your abilities.

#5: Attaining your goals

Now that you are comfortable with the concept of pain and possess the ability to flip your negative experience, it is time for you to start:

  • Feeding off your pain to overcome challenges and to live the life you want.
  • Painting a picture of what success feels and looks like.
  • Visualizing yourself achieving your goals or overcoming the obstacles standing in your way.
  • Using your past achievements to fuel your news goals.
  • Putting in the work to succeed.

When all is said and done, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate your success.

Review

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is David Goggins‘ raw and uncut autobiography.

In Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, David Goggins aims to help you use your setbacks as fuel for your success, live a bolder life to your fullest potential, master the mind and use it to its maximum capacity.

David Goggins, intense and pragmatic, shares his hardships and successes in his civilian and military lives. Through his story, he encourages people to stop playing the victim and making self-limiting choices.

To make this short, his story is rooted in pain, very dramatic and hard to read. You basically need to brace yourself for the first chapters where David Goggins recalls his childhood.

Throughout his autobiography, we can observe:

  • The evolution of his relationship with pain and suffering. He went from enduring pain, to insulating himself from it, to embracing it, to enjoying it a little bit too much, to diligently seeking it, to understanding that he is immune to suffering and finally using his pain as a pillar for his success.
  • The shift from Victim to Warrior mentality.
  • The catharsis from depicting his life and transferring his knowledge in a book.
  • His willingness to open old wounds and repair the broken pieces of his life.
  • His weight loss, brutal honesty, resilience, confidence and individual growth.

Furthermore, I couldn’t help to wonder about military life and how they recruit their candidates.

On one hand, does the military hire people who don’t know what to do with their lives, who completely lack purpose or are at their wit’s end? Then, the military breaks them down, builds them up into superhumans, gives them a patriotic purpose, and pours into them their way of thinking to get these superhumans to obey them and do whatever they want without asking questions?

On the other hand, according to David Goggins, “Hell Week is designed to show you that a human is capable of much more than you know. It opens your mind to the true possibilities of human potential, and with that comes a change in your mentality.”.

Needless to say, it’s amazing what these soldiers put their mind and body through but still survive. I wonder if they know how much they lose or gain mentally and emotionally doing so? If they are able to function outside of that institution and with that level of trauma?

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds should definitely be called “How to make the best out of the worst”.

While reading this book, you will experience a lot of sadness, twisted experiences, inspirational and funny perspectives on life. Just life!

As much as I had a hard time reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Nobody likes to hear the hard truth. Individually and as a culture, we avoid what we need to hear most. This world is fucked up, there are major problems in our society. We are still dividing ourselves up along racial and cultural lines, and people don’t have the balls to hear it! The truth is racism and bigotry still fucking exist and some people are so thin-skinned they refuse to admit that.

There is no more time to waste. Hours and days evaporate like creeks in the desert. That’s why it’s okay to be cruel to yourself as long as you realize you’re doing it to become better. We all need thicker skin to improve in life.

I looked at the people who were making me feel uncomfortable and realized how uncomfortable they were in their own skin. To make fun of or try to intimidate someone they didn’t even know based on race alone was a clear indication that something was very wrong with them, not me.

Self-improvement takes dedication and self-discipline.

The first step on the journey toward a calloused mind is stepping outside your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Until you experience hardships like abuse and bullying, failures and disappointments, your mind will remain soft and exposed. Life experience, especially negative experiences, help callous the mind.

Ratings 4.5/5

About the author

David Goggins

 

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Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones By James Clear

Atomic Habits are small habits that are essential to your overall improvement and that seem insignificant at first sight but that can create powerful outcomes if practiced regularly…

Atomic Habits help you grow in confidence, overcome setbacks and fulfill your potential.

Habits create freedom by removing the need to make decisions about simple tasks and by allowing your mind to focus on other challenges.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones By James Clear #habits #book #books #bookreviews #leadership #atomichabits @jamesclear journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. Improvements & Atomic Habits

There is tremendous value in improving incrementally thanks to the power of small habits.

Truthfully, incremental improvements are not noticeable right away but become meaningful and make a difference in the long run.

That’s because, small good habits compound themselves into big results and bad habits into toxic results. However, these habits will place you on the path to success.

The only thing, to see the results of your habits, to track your progress, you need to implement these habits long enough in order to cross what James Clear calls the Plateau of Latent Potential.

To get over the Plateau of Latent Potential, you need to avoid setting goals. Instead, you may have to set up a system to make actionable progress and to create better habits.

2. Building & Changing Habits

Changing habits is difficult because we try to change the wrong thing or we try to change the wrong way.

Furthermore, change is especially difficult when your identity is in direct conflict with the habit you want to develop, if you are too attached to your identity or believe that your identity is set in stone.

To change the right way, you need to make a shift in your identity, rework your system of belief and make this habit become an intrinsic part of your identity.

In turn, your identity will gradually be molded by your habits and the belief that you have the power to change whichever habit you want.

3. The Four Laws of Behavior Change

Before trying to change, we must be aware of the old habits that have held you back and have most likely become automatic and unconscious.

You can make a list of your habits and ask yourself objectively whether or not these habits help you become the person you want to be. You don’t need to evaluate, congratulate or criticize yourself while doing so. 

To create better habits, you can follow the Four Laws of Behavior Change:

  1. Make the habit obvious
  2. Make the habit attractive
  3. Make the habit easy
  4. Make the habit satisfying

1. Make the habit obvious

You can make it obvious by clarifying the habits you want to acquire.

You have to make it clear when, where and how you want this new habit to take place.

You can set your habits at a particular time and location, you can group them with other habits or you can set up your environment to stimulate the said habit and to encourage self-discipline

2. Make the habit attractive

Habits become more attractive if you can associate them with things you already enjoy, if you surround yourself with people who already have that attractive habit or if you shift your perspective and change the way you talk to yourself.

Making your habits attractive motivates you to act because you definitively expect a reward.

3. Make the habit easy

To build up a habit, it is important to practice. To make practicing effective, you must make it easy because it is human nature to preserve energy, reduce the amount of work and follow the Law of Least Effort.

Therefore, to make a habit easy, you canu must make it easy because it is human nature to preserve energy, reduce the amount of work and follow the Law of Least Effort.

Therefore, to make a habit easy, you can remove any element of friction associated with the habit, set up your environment to ease yourself into the habit or practice a small habit for at least 2 minutes that will progressively grow into the habit that you desire.

4. Make the habit satisfying

People are more likely to repeat a habit if the experience was satisfying.

However, people often look for immediate satisfaction even if most satisfactions in society are delayed and even if a fundamental truth for success states that delayed gratification leads to greater rewards.

So to build a successful habit, you need to ensure to receive immediate gratification once in a while.

Review

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, James Clear shares his traumatic story of how he recovered in his youth from an accident and how he realized, through this experience, that small good habits can help you overcome setbacks and fulfill your potential.

Moreover, it shows you that if the reason for building a habit is strong enough then you can bear anything to succeed.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones should be called “How to develop the best habits the best way possible”. Every single sentence made for a great quote.

This book has been eye opening in understanding my habits and their in the affirmation of my identity.

Very insightful, it makes you analyze your present, think about the meaning and the impact of your actions on your future life. To develop new habits is very much a self-awareness exercise.

In addition, James Clear provides fundamental principles that you can rely on. He teaches you how to provoke good habits and destroy bad ones, to shift your focus from your goals towards building a structure, system and habits to achieve said goals

I recommend it for anyone who is struggling to get it together and don’t know where to start. For anyone seeking to rework their habits, it is imperative to get an accountability partner, track your habits and measure your progress.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.

Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny
decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots
entrench themselves and branches grow.

A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.

Our preference for instant gratification reveals an important truth about success:
because of how we are wired, most people will spend all day chasing quick hits of
satisfaction. The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. If you’re willing to wait for the rewards, you’ll face less competition and often get a bigger payoff. As the saying goes, the last mile is always the least crowded.

Ratings 4/5

About the author

James Clear

 

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6 Leadership Books To Read While Social Distancing

There is nothing like a good book to anticipate difficulties, to lazily and passively kill time, to help you nurture your mental health and to increase your understanding of yourself and life…

Needless to say, books are essential for growth and contain invaluable life principles.

6 Leadership Books To Read While Social Distancing #books #book #bookreviews #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment #leadership #leadershipdevelopment journeytoleadershipblog.com

The books selected, geared towards self-improvement, share useful principles to get inspiration and broaden your mindset.

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action By Simon Sinek

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action provides a leadership framework for leaders and organizations.

Indeed, this book invites people to look within and back up each action with an intention. Great leaders know why they do what they do.

It also explains how people won’t buy into an idea, a product or a person until they know the story and the reason behind it.

2. Mental Toughness: Essential Principles of Leadership and Success By Mak Hill

If you intend to live your life to the fullest and to pursue your goals, mental toughness is required at all cost.

Mental Toughness: Essential Principles of Leadership and Success, Mak Hill states that leaders who are mentally tough are generally successful because they:

  • Have been through a lot in life.
  • Acknowledge that their attitude determines their altitude.
  • Understand that their circumstances don’t determine your mindset or your level of success.
  • Face their fears, overcome self-doubt and are at peace with their past.

3. Ego Is The Enemy By Ryan Holiday

Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday states that you have to remain humble in your aspiration in order to succeed and the way people treat you don’t determine your worth.

This books teaches you to discipline your ego during your moments of success and failure. Challenges come and go but you must always be mindful of your attitude towards these challenges.

4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success By Carol S. Dweck

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck invites us to move from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset in order to perform to out highest level, to stop worrying about what others think of us, to let go of fears and past failures.

Leaders who adopt a Growth Mindset are open to learning, are at peace with themselves and have achieved personal success.

5. Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t By Jim Collins

In Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, by surveying different companies to understand what makes them great, Jim Collins offers a complete roadmap to success.

Jim Collins stresses the importance of self-discipline in order to become great.

6. Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline By Peter Hollins

Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline, Peter Hollins provides us with different strategies to help us achieve anything we want to.

Leaders who follow though on their goals and dreams have taken a good look at themselves first, then have worked to improve their mindset. They believe that they are capable, have purpose, are continual learner and that discomfort is inevitable. 

 

While everyone is social distancing, taking time off to take care of themselves, you can always take away something from books.

Books can reduce your stress levels, improve your communication, emotional intelligence, self-awareness and self-discipline.

Let me know below what you think about our book selection!

 

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Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It By Bob Goff

The term “Ambitions” refers to your goals, dreams, purpose and your desires to achieve success…

Achieving your ambitions is not given to everyone. It becomes essential to prepare yourself for your dreams, to plan for success and for obstacles.

Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It By Bob Goff #book #books #bookreviews #success #dreams #motivation #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. Prepare yourself for your dreams

To prepare yourself for your dreams, you have to gain in self-awareness.

Who are you? Where are you? What do you want? These 3 questions will help you identify and pursue your ambitions, gain in confidence and in clarity.

Indeed, before going after your dreams, you must be honest with yourself, understand who you truly are and your motivations for your actions. You have to look past your fears, failures and negative emotions. What is going on underneath the surface?

To find out where you are going, it is important to assess your current situation so you know what to modify and what to improve on. 

Furthermore, to figure out what you want in the long run, you have to look at everything that you have done and curated for yourself so far. 

2. Plan for your dreams

Now that you know yourself better, it is time to size up your ambitions and put them into context. Does your ambition have a specific meaning? Does it have a long life shelf? Is it in service to others? Will it create a legacy? Is is feasible?

It becomes detrimental to plan for your dreams and then plan some more.

You don’t have to rush through the process.

Instead, you can identify yourself as a student and be a student of life. Your curiosity will probe you to ask a lot of questions, especially to the people you admire.

3. Remove potential obstacles

There will be many obstacles in your way but you really have to keep at it. When you think you have remove all obstacles, expect some more.

You may have to explore various opportunities and endure different experiences before attaining your goals. You will have to learn to find people you trust, to move forward when you fail, to select the right opportunities and to preserve your time and energy.

In addition, you will have to get rid of the habits, limiting beliefs and patterns that hold you back. Needless to say, your fears won’t go away on their own.

In case you fail, plan your response to the failure, admit it and be proud for going after your dreams. Failure happens and you must resist the urge to give up.

4. Act on your dreams

You don’t have it all figured out but now you are more self-aware, knowledgeable about your dreams and have a plan. You can start working on your dreams and downloading them into reality.

To stay on track of your dreams, you have to learn to say no respectfully and effectively. Then, you can use your current ambition to build up another one and your failures to focus on your next move.

Furthermore, some ambitions are easy to achieve and others aren’t. Acting on your dreams requires that you make yourself available to people and opportunities that fit your ambitions.

To pursue your ambitions, you are going to need a strong community around you to keep you sane and on track. To find a community, you have to get to know people, take up genuine interest in others and their ambitions, be available and present.

There is no need to compare yourself to others, to seek outside validation or permission. There are a million different ways to achieve your goals.

Review

Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It by Bob Goff is written for people who always suspected that there is more to their life, who wish to acquire success principles, to make real moves, who are serious about their dreams and want to advance them.

Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It will help you reframe your mindset, especially if you are used to dreaming or having your dreams shut down. It doesn’t have all the answers but definitely motivates and shares good success principles.

Using his personal experiences as support, Bob Goff does not introduce us to new life principles. However, he provides us with a different, positive and sincere perspective on success that can inspire people.

It is strongly faith-based. Even though your system of belief lies elsewhere, you can always extract valuable principles from this book.

This book will help you get unstuck, on your way to executing your dreams and tending to your own fire.

Never give up on your dreams!

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Make no mistake, identifying and pursuing your ambitions is going to take a lot of courage and clarity.

[…]there is massive power in self-awareness. Don’t overlook or underestimate it. It’s not indulgent to spend some time reflecting on your life; in fact, it’s foolish not to.

Life can be delightfully wonderful, and it can also be punishingly difficult.

The path to your ambitions is not one long race; it’s a series of wind sprints that eventually covers the distance of a marathon.

Who you are right now is an accumulation of all you’ve done and all that’s happened to you. Some beliefs have limited you; perhaps you’ll discover more that will launch you.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Bob Goff

 

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