Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming Summary

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming SummaryLucid dreaming is a compelling but mysterious subject.

You probably think that only some people (if any at all) can do it.

But, think again.

In the following summary, we tell you everything there is to know about this fascinating topic. We give you a step by step guide which you can use to learn different techniques to evoke lucidity in yourself.

Who Should Read “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming”? and Why?

Do you dream often?

Of course, you do, you just don’t remember all of your dreams.

Usually, as we open our eyes in the morning, the first light chases the dreams away from our mind.

However, with some training, you can turn the world of dreams into an adventure.

Yes, you have heard right.

Authors of “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming,” Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold, argue that anyone can learn how to get into a lucid state.

However, they do not teach you that just because it is fun.

Instead, they believe that you can use lucid dreaming to improve your daily life.

We recommend “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” to people who suffer from fears and nightmares, psychologists studying dreaming, students of cognitive science, and, of course, all other curious readers out there.

About Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold

Stephen LaBergeStephen LaBerge is an author and founder of the Lucidity Institute, which works to deepen the insight into human consciousness. He studies lucid dreaming at Stanford University.

Howard RheingoldHoward Rheingold is an author and a researcher on the augmentation of the human mind.

“Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming Summary”

You probably know what lucid dreaming is, but just in case you do not, let’s define it.

Ludic dreaming is when you “wake up” within a dream and are conscious of the happenings inside the dream.

Those who have experienced lucid dreaming say that it has made their lives better.

Yes, it may seem strange, or out of your control, but it is not.

In fact, anyone can learn how to do it!

Before we teach you how, let’s first explore the dream world in general, and differentiate the dream state from the waking state.

When you are awake, you experience the world through your senses: taste, sound, touch, and sight.

In dreams, on the other hand, it is different. The information that your brain uses to create a dream comes from inside because while you are dreaming, external sensory knowledge is limited.

In other words, when dreaming your brain uses the same process of perception as when you are awake. What is different is that in a dream state there are no outside factors that limit your experiences.

Hence, dreams are made of information which is already in your mind.

Hence, the possibilities of what can happen in a dream are endless.

Key Lessons from “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming”:

1.      How to Lucid Dream
2.      Types of Lucid Dreams
3.      Psychological Health and Lucid Dreaming

How to Lucid Dream

The first thing you need to do is to remember your dreams.

The best method to remember what you dream of, and understand it better, is keeping a dream journal. Place it beside your bed and write in it the moment you wake up. Do not wait, since you may forget details, or the dream overall.

After you are done with writing done, interpret your dream signs, or the things in your dream that tell you that you are dreaming.

Why are dream signs important?

Because lucidity happens when you notice an unusual event in your dream like flying.

Once you have spent enough time jotting down the dreams and identifying the dream signs, you are ready to explore techniques for inducing lucid dreaming.

Types of Lucid Dreams

Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams (DILDs)

In these kinds of dreams, you reach lucidity after you fall asleep and lose consciousness.

Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILDs)

In WILDs, you become ludic while you keep your mind active while you are falling asleep, and hence do not lose consciousness.

You can make yourself experience WILDs by using hypnagogic imagery and narrowing your focus to your breath or your heartbeat.

The most widespread way is using hypnagogic imagery. It is what you see in your mind’s eye during the transition from being awake to falling asleep.

With it, your mind stays active and does not let you lose consciousness.

In “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” you will learn more in-depth about hypnagogic imagery and how you can use it to induce WILDs.

Psychological Health and Lucid Dreaming

As we already said, lucid dreaming is not just “fun,” but it can also do wonders for your waking life.

How?

Well, many problems are rooted in repressed emotions or thoughts that you may subconsciously find too hard to cope with on a daily basis.

In the dream world, however, there are no barriers. Hence, lucid dreams can balance different parts of your personality and improve your wellbeing.

Another thing you can do is to use mental imagery to improve skills in your lucid dream.

Many studies show that mental imagery can improve performance. So, it does not matter where you work on your skills – whether, in reality, or your dreams, the important thing is that you do it, and your performance will skyrocket.

Last but not least, through lucid dreaming, you can develop your creativity and solve problems.

If there is a particular issue that troubles you in your waking life, you can approach it in lucid dreaming.

We have to note that using creativity in dreams is still a relatively young field of study, although some benefits have been already observed.

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“Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” Quotes

The fact that both ego and self say - I is a source of confusion and misidentification. Click To Tweet The well-informed ego says truly, - I am what I know myself to be. - The self says merely, I am. Click To Tweet Dreams are a reservoir of knowledge and experience yet they are often overlooked as a vehicle for exploring reality. Click To Tweet In the dream state, our bodies are at rest, yet we see and hear, move about and are even able to learn. Click To Tweet When we make good use of the dream state, it is almost as if our lives were doubled. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” is a highly instructive book with a fascinating concept that just about anyone would enjoy reading.

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Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! Summary

Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! SummaryHow to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months

Are you planning to be a father soon? Or is your partner already expecting?

If you can resonate with the above questions, then this is where you should be.

In the following summary of “Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!” we will provide you with all information you need to have before that small creature that changes your life forever arrives.

Don’t sweat it! The right information makes everything at least a little bit easier.

So read on, and become the best dad-to-be there is.

Who Should Read “Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!”? and Why?

Some people may feel shocked, and others may expect it. But no matter what kind of person you are, no man ever is wholly prepared for those life-changing words coming from his partner: I am pregnant.

We understand, having a baby is one of the most significant milestones in a human’s life, and it is natural to feel surprised, overwhelmed, and even frightened.

However, if you just put in the right amount of preparation, we promise that everything will be easier.

But, how do you prepare?

That is where “Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!” comes into play. It is a perfect guide for all nervous dads-to-be, couples wanting to start a family or men that are in general curious about fatherhood.

About John Pfeiffer

John PfeifferJohn Pfeiffer is an author, financial advisor and a father of three.

“Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! Summary”

If you are reading this summary and considering reading the book, then congratulations, you have conceived!

But, we have to warn you, even though you have done the (for many people) hard part, there is always a risk of miscarriage.

We do not say this to scare you, but to make you choose the day you announce the news wisely. It may be best to wait for the third month, so miscarriage is less likely to happen.

Holding the news for yourselves is one of the many ways to create a strong bond with your partner during her pregnancy.

Other opportunities show themselves when you schedule doctor visits or ultrasounds.

We get it, you may not be able to show up for every appointment, but we advise you to be there at the first, third and forth.

Why?

Because these are the times when the doctor will confirm the pregnancy, let you hear your child’s heartbeat, and let you see the baby for the very first time.

As the pregnancy progresses, and your partner faces physical challenges such as morning sickness, you will need to learn ways to be of help.

Finally, the body change that women experience is quite stressful for most of them.

So, make sure you shower her with love and show that you love the way her body is transforming. This will help her love it too.

Love each other, support each other, and communicate – and everything will be just fine.

Key Lessons from “Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!”:

1.      The Second Trimester
2.      The Third Trimester
3.      After The Birth

The Second Trimester

If you successfully reached the fourth month, congratulations are in order!

Miscarriage is now less likely to happen, and you and your partner can start preparing for the baby to arrive.

However, what are the expectations you can have in the second trimester?

Well, make sure you are prepared for some heartburn and mood swings as the hormone levels of your partner start changing. You can also expect the beginning of false labor pains, so you need to start working together with your partner in differentiating between the fake and real pains.

Additionally, you will soon know (if you want to) the sex of your child!

So, regardless of whether you decide to know the sex or not, you may start coming up with names.

This is also the best time to get as much of the baby things ready as you can: hold a baby shower, and prepare the home for the baby’s arrival.

The Third Trimester

As you enter the third trimester, with the name picked and your home ready, you might wonder what next?

Well, it is the perfect time to understand the birthing process.

You may consider birthing classes, the different delivery scenarios, and refresh your first-aid knowledge.

You should also decide whether your partner will have a vaginal or cesarean birth.

Furthermore, if you want to save the placenta or the umbilical cord, now is the time to make the arrangements.

Aside from all of this, just enjoy your last months!

Those things that you have heard – that becoming a parent is life-changing are no lie. Your interests and priorities will never be the same again.

After The Birth

Congratulations! Your baby has arrived!

It is the beginning of your new life.

Now, let’s move on to some decision-making.

The question on the list is breastfeeding. Will your partner go natural or use formula? Just make sure you agree and are on the same page.

Now, since the birth just happened, and all the attention will be pointed to the baby and the mother for some time, you will have to carry a considerable burden for the next few months.

You know, studies show that even men suffer from postnatal depression.

Maybe it is the time to include the grandparents. First, they can be of great help, and second, it is just amazing to let them enter your kid’s life from its beginning.

However, if you decide to do that, get ready for all the advice they will give you. You do not have to accept all of it.

In fact, you should not accept all of it. Set boundaries early on. You are the one to decide how your kid is brought up.

Another thing to keep in mind is to put a visiting policy in place. We understand that everyone will want to see the newborn, but its immune system is fragile, so for at least a month, stay away from too many encounters.

Lastly, be prepared for sleep deprivation, which will be one of the greatest challenges during this time.

But don’t worry, you will handle it just like everything else: by communication, planning, and showing support.

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“Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!” Quotes

One night a father overheard his son pray: “Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is.” Later that night, the father prayed, “Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be. Click To Tweet I hate to stereotype, but it requires so much less thought. Click To Tweet As Dad-to-be, your primary job is to make sure Mom-to-be doesn’t see red during this stressful time of emotional and physical upheaval for her, and do your part to make the pregnancy as successful as possible. Click To Tweet There are approximately 3,712 ways for a man to look stupid during pregnancy, and I’m here to help you avoid (most of) them. Time is of essence and you need to prepare. Click To Tweet Man up, get some knowledge of your own, and the entire process will go more smoothly for everyone. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Dude You’re Gonna Be a Dad!” is a book written by a dad of three for all men out there who are prepared to enter parenthood. It is a great read that covers the whole process: from conceiving, all the way to recovering after birth.

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The One Minute Manager Summary

The One Minute Manager Summary

The Quickest Way to Increase Your Own Prosperity

Quick:

In how many ways can you improve your life during the next 60 seconds?

Quite a few, it seems. (And you’ll still have one second left.)

Ready to learn a few more?

The One Minute Manager” is here just for you. Its title is no exaggeration: it aims to make you a better manager by taking just a minute of your time. (Or, better yet, three or four one-minute series).

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson are considerate towards your schedule in one more manner. The book is fairly short, and even reading it from start to finish won’t take too much of your time.

But, as always, we can do one better.

Because we have the summary.

Who Should Read “The One Minute Manager”? And Why?

The One Minute Manager” has been lauded by so many people that not few have deemed it a classic. One of the essential books on managements. Management 101.

So, to quote American television host and media mogul Merv Griffin, – “don’t miss it.” If you’re a manager, that is. Because to everyone else, the book may seem like not much more than a very bad novel.

About Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Kenneth BlanchardKenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., is an American trainer, writer and management and leadership expert. After receiving an MA in sociology and counseling from the Colgate University in 1963, he obtained his Ph.D. in leadership from Cornell four years later.

He has – usually, co-authored – more than 60 books, many of which have become bestsellers. He is currently the Chief Spiritual Officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Spencer JohnsonSpencer Johnson, MA, was an American physician and writer, primarily known for the 43-volume ValueTales series of biographical children’s books, of which he wrote almost half.

He also authored the highly influential business fable, “Who Moved My Cheese?” which has sold almost 30 million copies worldwide and is translated in no less than 40 languages.

“The One Minute Manager Summary”

The One Minute Manager” takes the form of a fable.

It tells the story of a bright young man who is looking for an effective manager.

He meets a manager after manager and he’s disappointed by all. Some are too autocratic, favoring results over people. Others are just too democratic and nice, preferring their employees over the results.

Is there not some middle ground, he wonders?

Of course, there is. And he finds it in the eponymous “One Minute Manager”.

The one-minute manager teaches the bright young man that people and results are not separated concepts. And that only people who feel good about themselves can and will produce good results.

But, how should a manager make his employees feel good about themselves and their job? In other words, how can he utilize their full potential while not using them?

Quite simply, in fact. Just by applying three one-minute methods.

First and foremost, the one-minute goal setting. Its basic idea is that 20% of your goals produce about 80% of your results. Listing them all may confuse your employees about their priorities. Listing only few at a maximum one page will be enough.

So, select just three to six goals and communicate them to your employees. Explain to them politely and nicely that you will expect some results and that you’ll hold them accountable in their absence.

And wait for the magic to happen.

Next, comes the one-minute praising. If someone does his job good, he needs to feel deep inside that he has accomplished something. After all, if he’s held accountable for not meeting the expected goals, why shouldn’t he receive something in return for meeting them.

So, praise the employees who do a good job. The rookies love the feedbacks. And they will do an even better job next time around.

Now, don’t be fooled! Not everyone will take you seriously the first time.

And that leads us to the third and final one-minute method: the one-minute reprimand.

Don’t overreact when someone does something bad. Just like you shouldn’t exaggerate in your praises when he does something good. Give him or her the chance to correct himself. But, be fair and tell him where and how he should do this.

So, quickly but precisely tell the worker who hasn’t met his goals what he has done wrongly. And don’t let him feel as if you’re not valuing him.

Results will come a plenty. And it will only take you three minutes of your day.

Key Lessons from “The One Minute Manager”

1.      Three Minutes (and Techniques) to Greatness
2.      Stop your “NIHYSOB” behavior
3.      Conditioning Your Employees’ Behavior

Three Minutes (and Techniques) to Greatness

The mythical “One Minute Manager” from Blanchard’s and Johnson’s story is actually a three-minute manager. But, never mind: their point remains the same.

In a nutshell, it’s based around the idea that in a fast-paced society, you’ll have to make time stop at least three times during each day.

Once, for a minute, to set the most important three goals for your employees. Second time, to praise the ones who’ll meet them in no more than 60 seconds. And a final, third time, to reprimand those who won’t. Quickly, precisely, and politely.

Stop your “NIHYSOB” behavior

Most managers think that their job is to catch their employees doing something bad. Blanchard and Johnson call this style of managing the NIHYSOB behavior. NIHYSOB is an acronym for “Now, I have you…” – well, you know what the SOB stands for.

And that is not what your employees are.

So, in the future, try to catch them doing something good. And praise them. Feedbacks go a long way. Just as compliments.

Conditioning Your Employees’ Behavior

Even though Blanchard and Johnson claim that your employes are not SOBs, basically, the one-minute manager still feels like kind of a modernized version of Ivan Pavlov. Remember him? He thought dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.

Blanchard and Johnson believe that this will work for your employees too. If done correctly. And gently. Maybe it will, who knows! After all, we are animals.

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“The One Minute Manager” Quotes

The One Minute Manager’s symbol is intended to remind each of us to take a minute out of our day to look into the faces of the people we manage. And to realize that they are our most important resources. Click To Tweet Everyone is a potential winner. Some people are disguised as losers. Don’t let their appearances fool you. Click To Tweet Take a minute! Look at your goals! Look at your performance! See if your behavior matches your goals. Click To Tweet We are not just our behavior; we are the person managing our behavior. Click To Tweet Goals begin behaviors; consequences maintain behaviors. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The One Minute Manager” was a sleeper hit in the 1980s. Amounting to no more than 100 pages, and going over just few practical advices, the book sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. We guess the people loved the allegorical approach and the straightforward writing, giving them an opportunity to read the whole book in the space of an hour, remembering almost all of it.

Now, who wouldn’t want that?

However, at least in the eyes of the more serious readers, the book hasn’t aged that well. Soon after becoming a bestseller, it was exposed by “The Wall Street Journal” as a heavily plagiarized version of an article by Arthur Elliott Carlisle, an University professor.

And if that wasn’t enough, in the meantime, managers started complaining that its tactics don’t really work in any other environment but the optimal. Simply put, the distraction-full fast-paced 21st century wasn’t going to allow managers to structure it in a minute or so.

So, reading “The One Minute Manager” nowadays is nothing more but a case of nostalgia. Peering into history to learn nothing about how to make your future better. And Blanchard and Johnson would be the first to agree: in 2015, they wrote “The New One Minute Manager.”

They knew the book needed an update.

But, that’s a topic for another summary.

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Singletasking Summary

Singletasking Summary

Get More Done One Thing at a Time

You can fool yourself, but you can’t really fool us: you are not exactly reading this! Because, reading requires both focused effort and analytical state of mind – and you’re not giving a fair chance at either at this moment.

Why would we say that?

Well, because you’re probably reading this while browsing Facebook or with headphones over your ears. And, that’s basically the same as not reading it.

Still convinced that you’re good at multitasking?

Let Devora Zack teach you a thing or two.

Who Should Read “Singletasking”? And Why?

The message of this book is quite simple: multitasking doesn’t work. The fact that you’re doing it and you’re still successful doesn’t mean the opposite. It probably means that you don’t have enough time to do anything else. And that you’ll finish twice as more if you start to singletask.

So, if you’re tired of multitasking, this book should come in handy to you. Read it, however, even in the opposite case. If we are to believe Zack, multitasking is biologically impossible.

So, either you are wasting yourself, or you are a freak of nature.

About Devora Zack

Devora ZackDevora Zack is an American leadership and networking expert. A magna cum laude Penn University graduate, Zack holds an MBA from Cornell and is a certified neuro-linguistic programming trainer.

She is the CEO of Only Connect Consulting, Inc., a company with a more than attractive portfolio, featuring 100+ clients in almost all major business sectors.

Singletasking” is her most recent book. Both of her previous works, “Networking for People Who Hate Networking,” and “Managing for People Who Hate Managing” have been lauded and awarded by numerous publications.

“Singletasking Summary”

Let’s get straight to the point:

Multitasking doesn’t exist. We’re not saying that, and, for that matter, Zack isn’t saying it either. It’s once again, time-proof good-old science spreading the news.

Namely, what you’re referring to as multitasking is, actually, “task-switching.” In other words, instead of doing many things at the same time, you’re still doing them one at a time, though switching quickly from one task to another.

How quickly?

Scientists have done the research and they have concluded that it’s probably no more than a tenth of a second.

To put that into laymen’s terms: it’s a rollercoaster ride what’s happening in your brain, it is. And it is not doing you any favors in terms of your health either.

Namely, multitasking – or, let’s call it by its real name, task-switching – shrinks your brain. No, we’re not joking: your prefrontal cortex actually reduces in size when you’re doing many things at the same time. It’s his way to say:

“I’ve had just about enough with this overload. I’m going back into my room and I’m locking the door. And no one is allowed until I get a list of priorities!”

Now, why would you do this to your brain? Are you a tyrant or something?

Of course, you’re not!

And that’s why it’s time to lend us an ear!

We have one word for you: singletask.

It is still underlined in red by your Microsoft Word dictionary. So, it is your job to make it trendy enough so that it deserves a place in non-custom vocabularies.

How?

Just follow these few simple steps.

First of all, reduce the time you spend on time-consuming apps such as Facebook. Start by shutting off all social media notifications immediately.

Secondly, learn to take short breaks: singletasking requires focus, and focus requires energy.

Speaking of which, your mind will be wandering from time to time; put down in writing everything that can wait. You’ll come back to it later.

Don’t forget that it’s a jungle out there, so no matter how hard you try, the other people will not let you focus. Teach them: make yourself unavailable, either by muting your phone or locking your door.

Also, clustertask! Group similar task together and complete them in a single go.

Finally, be a good listener. Whether you’re in a meeting or taking a walk with a friend – practice singletasking by not even taking your phone with you.

In time – you’ll see – you’re not going to need it.

Except when you actually need it.

Key Lessons from “Singletasking”

1.      Multitasking Is Actually Task-Switching
2.      Multitasking Shrinks Your Brain
3.      Singletask Yourself Back in the World of Human Relations

Multitasking Is Actually Task-Switching

The next time you hear somebody using the word “multitasking,” just stop him and throw at him few science-based pieces of information right out of Zack’s book.

First and foremost, say to him, multitasking doesn’t exist. Your brain is not capable of doing few things at the same time, so stop living in the illusion that it is. It’s like you’re telling me that you can watch five TV channels at the same time, even though your TV doesn’t have a PiP function!

What’s really happening is that you’re just switching fast and easy between tasks. It doesn’t help you with your assignments, though. You’re neither more productive nor more precise.

So, let’s get one thing straight: multitasking is task-switching. And…

Task-Switching Shrinks Your Brain

It does! It really does. Scientists have noticed that the prefrontal cortex of people who multitask is, on average, smaller than the prefrontal cortex of those who don’t.

Because, all challenging tasks happen in your prefrontal cortex. It’s not like you’re washing the dishes and listening to music! It’s like you’re counting money and talking to somebody about the results of last night’s football matches.

Can’t do it, can you?

Well, your brain says that he, for one thing, won’t anymore.

Singletask Yourself Back in the World of Human Relations

Multitasking isn’t only bad for your health. It’s also bad about your relationships. It’s because of it you’re unable to focus on the person standing next to you.

When you start singletasking, you’ll see how this will change your social life for the better as well. No more urges to accept a phone call in the middle of a conversation, no more glances at your mobile phone every ten minutes or so.

Just the miracle of the oh so simple and tender, so profoundly beautiful interhuman communication.

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“Singletasking” Quotes

By immersing yourself in one task at a time, one moment at a time, you’ll accomplish more while enjoying deeper, stronger relationships. Click To Tweet Multitasking is misleading. Rather than mitigating demands, it magnifies our problems. Our brains are incapable of honing in on more than one item at a time. Click To Tweet Multitasking weakens our ability to concentrate. We are collectively losing the ability to sustain prolonged attention. Click To Tweet It is all too easy to replace inward examination with external distractions. Click To Tweet Dedicating a mere three to five minutes at the start of each workday to organizing your to-do list can transform your entire day into one that is proactive rather than reactive. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Singletasking” is as straightforward as a book can get. It has only one message and it spends half of its pages to set the grounds for a theory defending it, with the other half spent on practical ways to implement it.

One could say that the book isn’t as innovative as Zack would have you believe. Moreover, it isn’t actually a book, but somewhat drawn-out magazine article.

Even so, the power and the importance of its message makes it an almost indispensable read for any millennial. Because, otherwise, the future of our minds may be a bit bleak.

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The Now Habit Summary

The Now Habit SummaryA Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

Have you ever been on the verge of defeat? – If you answer is Yes – that’s fine if it’s No, you are lying.

In either case, we summarize only the most essential topics that can give you the inner edge to come out a winner in any “harsh” environment.

Who Should Read “The Now Habit”? And Why?

This is one of those inspiring, and life-altering non-fiction books, which tend to get too personal. It makes you aware of the danger, if you ever become the victim of your mindset, and gives you tips on how to overcome such overwhelming force.

In addition, it’s highly recommended to all people, who are tired of being enslaved by their thoughts.

About Neil Fiore

Neil FioreNeil Fiore is a well-known author, motivator, and psychology superstar. Over the years he became a productivity expert and master in all elements linked to performance.

In his rich career, he has collaborated with top-notch brands such as Bechtel Corporation, AT&T, Levi Strauss & Co, etc.

“The Now Habit Summary”

Procrastination is a highly unfamiliar term that actually represents the difference between progress and stagnation. In general, Neil Fiore explains it through several examples. For instance, surfing all day long, or spending time on Facebook, instead of doing something that can ultimately produce value is procrastination.

Some people reckon that lacking productiveness indicates the same point, but as we move slowly you’ll grasp the contrast. Doing your chores, going shopping, or painting; only make sure that you are not laying around and doing absolutely nothing.

Believe us, when we say, there is never nothing to be done. A simple phone call just to say hello is sufficient to start the day in high spirits.

By now you surely have a clue of what we are trying to convey and why are we dispatching this message to the world! The bottom line is, there is not a single person in this world, who was born lazy, absent skills, talent, and will.

It’s evident that we procrastinate most often while we are at work, or something similar to it. As we mentioned, instead of going for the “Golden Globe,” – you are making excuses to avoid fulfilling the assignments for today.

Let’s reveal three characteristics of the highly avoided types of tasks that make people sick:

  • The most common aspect, when a job has been assigned to you but comes with a heavy load like fulfilling someone else’s expectations and neglect yours.
  • Second, when the task you are about to do is incredibly dull. From the beginning, you don’t feel the pull from it, and you are not motivated to go all the way through.
  • And the worst of all, you have no idea why are you being selected for the job.

You mustn’t sidestep any phase if you wish to understand why are we inclined to believe that some people are destined to be less productive. Returning to the roots is job number one.

How many times did your parents punished you as a kid for not fulfilling your duties or vice versa (you’ve been given a reward)? From the other perspective, if your child doesn’t obey your rules, and continues to be stubborn, you should teach him/her a lesson or not?

Kids are intuitive, pushing them harder won’t produce the expected results, and years later you’ll realize that you’ve made the wrong call. As a matter of fact, this method is a pitfall, and using it will only generate a counter-productive outcome.

How did the “grown-ups’ world” make us lethargic, and inactive? There is no other explanation then the one – We acquired the “lazy-skills” under the patronage of adulthood.

The society unintentionally has produced a system in which, work and playfulness cannot act as one. Instead, they collide and are presented as two opposite realities. The kids from very young age, absorb these harmful concepts and implement them later.  

Once the children are infected with this “virus,” it’s natural that they seek employment and find it okay when their job doesn’t match their potential. People continue to interpret work as some survival tool, and entirely disregard the idea of converting your hobby into a daily job.

Is it possible to be errorless? Not even the Greek Gods had that power. Why are we referring to perfectionism? Procrastination is deeply rooted in perfectionist’s mind. The trust you develop in your workplace with your colleagues or yourself must only serve as an incentive for future successes.

You cannot be perfect, no matter how you try it. Even in the digital age, some bosses or leaders are too concerned with every little detail and shout at even the slightest mistake. These individuals are 10x more prone to failure then gentle and calm leaders.

Key Lessons from “The Now Habit

1.      You are responsible for yourself
2.      The right spell of success
3.      Be courageous and go for glory

You are responsible for yourself

First things first, being a victim of injustice, and judgemental attitude should only make you stronger.

At all costs, you must avoid becoming a whiner who looks for a guilty party for every professional failure. Break that self-created, invisible wall, and build your own platform of success!

The right spell of success

The other side of the story; from the shadows of procrastination a new type of personalities emerge who have a clear vision, and the guts to follow it. They don’t say – I know, they say I wish to learn!

They avoid saying – It’s my time; they prefer: When is best to start putting my ideas into action?

Be courageous and go for glory

The ultimate truth – No try = no fail. Absent attempts you’ll be deprived of two things: personal development and professional enhancement. So, think twice, before you judge yourself on every temporary failure.

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“The Now Habit” Quotes

There’s a myth that time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money. It’s a nonrenewable resource. Once you’ve spent it, and if you’ve spent it badly, it’s gone forever. Click To Tweet In most cases, you are the one who confuses just doing the job with testing your worth. Click To Tweet The healthy individual has an appetite for fruitful activity and for a high quality of life. Click To Tweet Replace “This project is so big and important” with “I can take one small step. Click To Tweet In extreme cases of perfectionism, there is no distinction between judgment of one’s work and one’s sense of value as a person. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The Now Habit is a perfectly designed book for the digital age. It’s hilarious even to question the ideas of it, and we completely support and endorse Neil Fiore’s theory on productiveness.

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Rising Strong Summary

Rising Strong SummaryThe Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

Of course most of them are going to tell you discover your weaknesses as soon as possible, because somebody is going to use them!

After all, it’s a jungle out there! And when things get competitive, you’re either intelligent and gain an advantage, or weak and lose everything!

Fortunately, there are authors like Brené Brown out there who would beg to differ. Book after book, she has tried to convince the world that it’s good to be vulnerable and courageous to be weak.

And “Rising Strong” is not an exception – аs our summary will prove to you shortly.

Who Should Read “Rising Strong”? And Why?

One thing you can’t take away from Brené Brown is certainly her openness and sincerity. In fact, that’s the element which strikes readers primarily and profoundly. And, combined with her humor, it’s what has resulted in her 2010 TED Talk being one of the Top 5 most viewed TED Talks in history.

“Rising Strong” is for everybody who has enjoyed Brown’s “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection”. It’s a book about those who are willing to let a little more tenderness into their lives.

But, above all, it’s a great inspirational work about tackling the difficult times in your life. And about being compassionate to others who might not have the power to recover.

About Brené Brown

Brené BrownBrené Brown is a Research Professor at the University of Houston. She has spent most of her life studying the virtues of vulnerability and compassion. Because of this, she is considered one of the foremost experts on the roots of human connection.

Brown is the CEO of Brave Leaders Inc. She has written four #1 New York Times Bestsellers, the last one being her most recent book, “Braving the Wilderness.”

“Rising Strong Summary”

If you know anything about Brené Brown, you probably know this: that she’s great at storytelling and even better at coining mnemonics.

Do you remember the 3C sequence from “The Gifts of Imperfection”?

Of course you do! And you fire away instantly: the three Cs stand for courage, compassion, and connection!

Well, our dear little intelligent reader, Brown has another mnemonic in her new book. And this one is all about the letter R.

The reckoning; the rumble; the revolution.

That’s the subtitle and that’s what the whole book is all about. And those are the three steps you need to remember, whether you want to come to terms with your grief, failures, or setbacks.

Reckoning is Brown’s way of telling you that you need to tell your story in order to understand it. No matter what they teach you, life is not about denying how you feel. Because people are not making it easier for anyone, by shielding themselves from their selves.

It’s about digging deep, and formulating your emotions into comprehensible language. This is not merely a process of sharing with the others, but it’s also necessary so as to be able to understand it. You know how people who write down things suddenly experience a eureka moment?

There’s a reason for that and it’s implanted in the way your brain works. Namely, your brain usually likes to protect you from traumas, by misshaping the memories, by telling you to adapt and look forward. However, this means slowly losing a part of yourself.

So, face it!

That’s what the rumble is. Obviously, the process doesn’t end with you telling the story. In fact, that’s merely the beginning. Now, comes the difficult part. And it’s the part where you retell the painful story, visiting it over and over again. Challenging it; facing it; reality-checking it.

And taking the blame.

Because only perpetual self-examination and introspection can help you rise above the circumstances. Because grief is bad when repressed; and because grief is good when dug through, turned upside-down. It leads to discoveries. It leads to peace.

“Wisdom arises from suffering” – believed the Ancient Greeks.

And rightly so.

That’s the revolution. It’s the moment you transform your beliefs and ideas. And the moment you stop looking at the world through the looking glass.

The revolution happens when there are no more “it isn’t fair”-s and “I deserved better”-s. Moreover, when the world is no longer divided into two groups of people: the worthy and the “sewer rats.” Your brain is misleading and tricks you into doing this partition, because it wants to make you more selfish.

That’s evolution for you right there.

But, don’t listen to it. Face your vulnerability and cry from time to time.

Help around. And you will be helped.

Key Lessons from “Rising Strong”

1.      The Three-Steps Rising Strong Process
2.      Fall. Get Up. Try Again.
3.      Learn What Yoda Speaks You Should

The Three-Steps Rising Strong Process

We already went through it. And you already know it. Time to start practicing it.

First, reckon: dig deep for your emotions and shape them into stories. Then, rumble: tell others those stories; check and recheck them; cry, shriek, hurt; take the blame. Finally, welcome the revolution: your attitude towards life is transformed.

You are, as Brown would say, a badass.

Fall. Get Up. Try Again.

In the “Introduction,” Brown notes that her work has progressed in three stages.

Namely, the main message of “The Gifts of Imperfection” was “Be you.” Then, “Daring Greatly” suggested us to “be all in.”

Finally, “Rising Stronger” shouted from the rooftops: “Fall. Get Up. Try Again.” That’s how trying becomes doing.

And that’s how you remain you all the way.

Learn What Yoda Speaks You Should

Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda said that.

“Yoda is right!” – Brené Brown says that.

You can be a Luke Skywalker and say “I don’t believe it.” But Yoda – and Brown – have some smart words for that as well: “That is why you fail.”

As cartoonist Stephen McCranie once said: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” Nobel-Prize winner Samuel Beckett was even more wordy:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

And I’m sure Brown would want to quote that!

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“Rising Strong” Quotes

The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up. Click To Tweet We need a critical mass of badasses who are willing to dare, fall, feel their way through tough emotion, and rise again. Click To Tweet Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. Click To Tweet There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise. Click To Tweet We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

It takes some courage to not be touched by Brené Brown’s words. Because even when she gets a little loose as in “Rising Strong” and moves away from somewhat more rigorous scientific work into the world of the folksy and the spiritual.

She tends to be repetitive once again, but with ideas we are comfortable hearing about over and over again. Nevertheless, she does have some new concepts to share with us, and she shares them in her familiar unpretentious, relaxed manner, which abounds with quotes from both academics and blockbusters.

And stories you’ll like to read and will probably not forget anytime soon.

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Where Does It Hurt Summary

Where Does It Hurt SummaryAn Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care

Sick of going on those dreary hospital visits?

Not much you can do about the first part of that sentence! As long as you’re alive, you’ll have to visit your doctor from time to time.

But, there’s many things you can do about the dreariness of hospitals! Especially, if you’re an entrepreneur, current or would-be.

Where Does It Hurt?” is a book for you. And this summary is just the preview you need.

Who Should Read “Where Does It Hurt”? And Why?

“Where Does It Hurt?” targets at least three different groups of people.

In the first place, those who are in any way interested in the United States’ healthcare system. Secondly, those who are interested in business opportunities and practical business advice for the future.

Finally and especially, those who are both: entrepreneurs willing to disrupt and improve America’s healthcare system by launching medical start-ups in the recent future.

About Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker

Jonathan BushJonathan S. Bush is an American entrepreneur, most famous as the cofounder and CEO of athenahealth.com, a publicly traded company which provides digital apps and services for hospitals throughout the United States.

Stephen BakerStephen L. Baker is an American journalist and author. He has written articles for “The New York Times,” and “The Wall Street Journal,” in addition to few non-fiction books. He has also authored a novel, the techno-thriller, “The Boost.”

“Where Does It Hurt Summary”

Time for a quick Jeopardy round:

This country’s GDP accounts for a quarter of the world’s nominal GDP, and yet its healthcare system was ranked by WHO as worse than the ones of Cyprus and Costa Rica?

The correct question is:

What, in earth’s name, is wrong with USA’s healthcare?

Jonathan Bush says: quite about everything.

First of all, no matter how sick you are, it’s hard to even reach the hospital. Parking is so bad that sometimes you need to park very far from the premises. Then, you’ll be lucky if your medical record is found promptly – or, even found at all. And even if this goes well, you’ll still need to wait quite few hours before you reach your doctor.

No, we won’t even mention the bills! An interesting stat says much more: even though America’s healthcare system is ranked as the 37th best in the world, the expenditure per capita is the world’s highest!

In other words: if you live in the United States, you pay more and get less than most of the developed countries in the world.

Bush’s question: but, how has this not resulted in a competitive field?

It’s not like we don’t have precedents.

For example, when the LASIK eye correction surgery first arrived in the beginning of the 1990s, the operation wasn’t covered by insurance. So, people had to pay. And providers had to make the service as best as possible and as cheap as feasible.

Three decades later, this has resulted in a 95 percent satisfaction rate. Or, to put this in a more memorable way: in a world of competitors, the customer is the one who wins the most.

Consequently, hospitals will be better off if run like businesses. Bush himself should know this best, since his company, athenahealth, is a pioneer in the field. By offering patients information giant hospitals don’t, it has attracted a host of customers.

The same holds true for Cerberus Capital, which bought six Catholic community hospitals in 2010 and turned them into for-profit clinics. They now have 11 – so their model probably works! Very well, in fact.

And why shouldn’t it?

Say, you want to get a CT scan. You go to a hospital and they tell you there that it costs $500. A private-owned company with new equipment offers CT scans for five times less. Wouldn’t you opt for the second choice?

That’s right:

Competition results in alternatives, and alternatives mean lower prices and better service. In time, a more structured service as well.

In fact, Bush says that this is also a serious problem in the American healthcare system. It’s not structured properly, so many people visit specialists when they can be treated at a much lower level.

Primary healthcare is virtually non-existent in the United States, and, as Rushika Fernandopulle has found out, it solves many problems and saves everybody a lot of money.

How, you wonder?

Well, Fernandopulle worked with Boeing and realized that the company spent fortune on hospital bills for its employees, for health issues they were able to treat by themselves. Coaching them some proper preventive measures resulted not only in better health for the Boeing’s staff members, but also in drastically reduced costs for the company!

Primary healthcare is a good way for entrepreneurs to disrupt the market, but a health-oriented digital start-up is an even better one!

Case in point: Beyond Lucid and RegisterPatient.com are two such startups which have already shown great results. They considerably improve a patient’s experience by letting him or her sign up for appointments online and sending relevant data and records straight to doctors before the patient’s arrival.

Technology is great at doing these things. Interestingly enough, hospitals still don’t have it.

Entrepreneurs of America, unite: there’s your chance to make some change!

Key Lessons from “Where Does It Hurt”

1.      USA’s Healthcare System Is Out of Sorts
2.      Competition May Make America Healthier
3.      You Can Be Healthier If You Visit Your Primary Doctor

USA’s Healthcare System Is Out of Sorts

Something’s rotten in the state of… America. The people are sick, but much more than of some illness – they are sick of its hospitals! Because, USA’s healthcare system has been under the weather for decades now.

Parking is impossible, medical records unattainable, bills unpayable.  And it’s not because of the lack of money. There is plenty of money, in fact! It’s the competition that’s lacking.

Competition May Make America Healthier

It’s the basic logic of the market: when there are competitors and alternatives, the service gets better and cheaper and the customer always leaves satisfied.

The healthcare market should be disrupted by private entrepreneurs. In fact, says Bush. this is the only thing which will make it better. If hospitals are run like businesses, it’s not only the current patients which will benefit.

Competition will also result in the advancement of proper technology. So, basically, the sooner the healthcare system becomes a competitive field, the earlier we’ll find a cure for cancer.

You Can Be Healthier If You Visit Your Primary Doctor

It may sound a bit paradoxical, but if you want to be healthy, you’ve got to get something out of your head: don’t go to the hospital as often! Visit your primary doctor instead. Because your primary doctor will send you to the right kind of specialist when – and if – such a problem arises.

In every other case – he will teach you how to solve it. Nice and neat. And probably pain-free.

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“Where Does It Hurt” Quotes

The fabulous market opportunity is not in replacing bad with better. The trick instead is to provide something the customers simply don’t have. Click To Tweet With the expansion of health data, insurance carriers will increasingly be in a position to offer customized rates. Click To Tweet is this freedom to make choices that will lead to a real health care market, one with many providers, many customers, and many options. Click To Tweet The industries we care about least innovate at the highest speeds, while those we hold dearest to our heart innovate hardly at all. Education, for example, is perhaps our most precious industry. Click To Tweet Consumers participate in a kind of informal laboratory. This could be one of the pathways leading toward personalized medicine. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

You’ll probably won’t love “Where Does It Hurt?” It’s not that well-researched, makes some unfounded comparisons (choosing healthcare providers should work the same as choosing washing machines?), and doesn’t’ really add an argument to the table.

However, just like in the case of “True Enough,” your answer will depend on whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. And you’ll either like it or hate it. We, personally, found inside it both inspirational and falsely premised ideas.

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Why is Sex Fun Summary

Why is Sex Fun SummaryThe Evolution of Human Sexuality

Why Is Sex Fun?” is a book about sex!

That’s it: you’re all hooked up now!

We’re gussing there’s no need for an introductory paragraph.

Who Should Read “Why is Sex Fun”? And Why?

A good way to answer this question is by giving an answer to its opposite: anyone who thinks that the title “Why Is Sex Fun?” isn’t interesting enough shouldn’t leaf through the pages of this book. And, in this summary, we’ll try to make even those five guys out there reconsider.

About Jared Diamond

Jared DiamondJared Mason Diamond is an American polymath (physiologist, geographer, ecologist, biologist, anthropologist) and the author of many popular science books, such as “Collapse,” The World Until Yesterday,“ and the Pulitzer-Prize winning “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”

A professor of geography at UCLA, he was recently ranked as the 9th most influential public intellectual in a joint poll by “Foreign Policy” and “Prospect”. Read more at his personal website: http://www.jareddiamond.org

“Why is Sex Fun Summary”

It’s just like that old Salt-n-Pepa song says:

Let’s talk about sex!

And, boy, there’s so much we need to talk about it! S good place to start is certainly the one you’ve never even thought about a single second of your life. Now – wait a second – how should we phrase it?

Let’s pick up a trick of Jared Diamond’s book and try asking you something from the perspective of your dog. We’ll even try to use its dog language:

“Woof, master, woof! I have a question for you, bow-wow… now, ruff, why are you doing it so weird?”

“Weird?!,” you shriek in disgust, still bamboozled at the fact that your Golden Retriever can talk! “It’s you who’s the weird one, Buddy! You have sex in public with whoever you want!”

Cue the sound of a mic drop. You smirk in victory.

But, let’s get that smile off your face.

In “Why Is Sex Fun?,” Jared Diamond – and he’s the expert about this – says that your dog is, in fact, very right. Not one single animal shares the human sex standards. It’s us who are the weird ones in more than one aspect.

First of all, the human species is the only kind who has sex behind closed doors and with the lights out. Secondly, it is the only species which practices random sex, irrespective of whether the females are fertile or not. Finally, human males are the only animals which can go on having sex with a female even after impregnating her.

The reason?

Look at the title of the book: because sex, for humans, is a fun activity. And because nowadays it has very little to do with what it was originally all about: passing on your selfish genes.

Of course, this tells only a small part of the whole story. After all, it’s evolution! So, even the fun has to be in some way related to reproduction.

And, indeed it is.

You see, even though some say that monogamy is counter-evolutive, we’ve evolved to be monogamous exactly because it was better for our genes. And it all started with ovulation in female humans.

Have you ever wondered why ovulation is hidden from view only in humans? It’s there in plain sight even in our closest relatives. Just look at the baboons!

In fact, almost all animals have sex only when they know that sex may lead to pregnancy. Because of this, there are obvious signals who show when females are fertile in most of them. Somehow, human females evolved to hide this crucial fact from their male partners.

And get this: that’s exactly how monogamy was born!

You see, human males had no way of knowing when it’s the right time to have sex to impregnate females. So, they started having sex with the same female over and over again. And since they were able to have recreational sex, male humans gradually lost the desire to seek other females to copulate!

After all, how would they know if they are fertile? It made no difference to them whether they had sex with the partner beside them or the partner somewhere out there in the wild!

Moreover, you could even argue that staying had a comparative advantage in terms of their genes. Because, human females are physically connected with their children. Males are not: theoretically, they can leave the moment they impregnate a female.

And yet, they don’t! Why is that?

Because, in humans – as in many other animals – males are the more muscular kind. They are the hunters who fight and they are the ones who can protect the females while they are breastfeeding. Leaving a female alone while breastfeeding may spell disaster both for her and your child.

Now, we know you don’t like that much bodybuilders showing off their muscles, but there’s an evolutionary reason why they do this.

And it’s because men with muscles, in the eyes of your ancient female predecessors, were the Batmans to their Gothams. They offered them the best protection from the evil lurking around.

And, to them, that was the equivalent of love.

Key Lessons from “Why is Sex Fun”

1.      Today’s Societies Exist Because of Monogamy
2.      You Live Longer Because of Monogamy… And Menopause
3.      Size Matters… In a Way

Today’s Societies Exist Because of Monogamy

Concealed ovulation was the reason why people became monogamous. Simply put, after invisible ovulation became the fad of the pre-homo sapiens times, the best chance for a human male to impregnate a woman was to have sex with a single member of the group as often as possible for at least few months.

Of course, this led to stronger bonds, which grew even stronger after impregnation, because, unlike other animals, humans are virtually helpless during the first few years of their lives. That’s why monogamous families exist.

And that’s the foundation for a human society.

You Live Longer Because of Monogamy… And Menopause

Both impregnating a woman and pregnancy itself are energy-draining processes. Studies have shown that the less they happen in a male or a female, the longer that male or a female lives.

Mice don’t really have a choice: they spent all of their energy reproducing, because many of their children will. Their best chance at passing on their genes is by having as many children as possible.

In humans, it’s the other way around: the more energy they save from the process of creating a baby, the more energy they have for raising it properly. That’s why human females are the only animals which stop being fertile at a certain age.

They need to live longer and care for their children.

Size Matters… In a Way

Male peacocks have tails; human males have penises. In what way are they similar?

Well, evolutionary biology says that large and flashy tails should be detrimental to a peacocks’ chances for survival. Then, why are they interesting to females? Exactly because of that. The bigger and flashier they are the more they say “hey, look how great I am: despite this disadvantage, I made it this far!”

It’s the same with male penises. The more well-endowed a man is the more capable he is of producing healthy offspring. His words: “I’m so vigorous and fit throughout, that my body can focus so much of my energy on my reproductive organ.”

So, in a way – sorry to disappoint you, guys – for a completely different reason, size does matter.

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“Why is Sex Fun” Quotes

Our standards of sexual conduct are especially warped, species-ist, and human-centric because human sexuality is so abnormal by the standards of the world's thirty million other animal species. Click To Tweet Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices. Click To Tweet Sex is costly in energy, time, and risk of injury or death Click To Tweet By the criterion of services offered to mates and children, males of most mammal species are good for nothing except injecting sperm. Click To Tweet We quickly sense who attracts us physically and who doesn't. That quick sense is based on ‘sex appeal’, which just means the sum of the body signals to which we respond, largely unconsciously. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Why Is Sex Fun?” is part of “The Science Masters Series” – a fact which says many things about it. Number one: it’s written by a leading scientist. Number two: it’s written for the general audience. And number three: there’s not one single alternative fact inside.

“Why Is Sex Fun?” goes many steps further: it’s interesting, enjoyable, and enlightening. In fact, it has only one drawback: it’s short. We, for one, could have read Diamond talking about sex for at least couple hundred pages more.

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Option B Summary

Option B SummaryFacing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

There comes a time in life, when you or someone you know suffers from a devastating loss.

What do you say? How do you offer your support?

How do you move on with your life if that person is you?

In our summary of “Option B,” we answer all of these questions through the story of Sheryl Sandberg and her loss – recovery.

Who Should Read “Option B”? and Why?

Sheryl Sandberg, a successful and happy woman, watched her life crumble into pieces when her husband Dave Goldberg died while they were vacationing in Mexico.

Going through the loss and helping their children deal with the sadness were the toughest challenges that she ever encountered in her life.

After coming out of the crisis, she decided, along with her co-author Adam Grant, to document some of the most personal moments of her journey through grief, and in such a way share everything that she had learned about coping with loss.

We recommend “Option B” to everyone, since everyone needs to find the right way to receive and give support during a crisis.

About Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sheryl SandbergSheryl Sandberg worked in the US Treasury Department, and was a vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, before becoming the COO of Facebook. She is the author of “Lean In“.

Adam GrantAdam Grant is the Wharton School’s highest-rated professor and the youngest tenured faculty member. He is a former advertising director and a junior Olympian.

“Option B Summary”

We have all suffered or will at some point in time experience some devastating loss. However, feeling such loss must not stop our lives from functioning.

We cannot stop time; we cannot stop the world. Life goes on everywhere around you, no matter what happens to you, so you do not have the luxury just to stay away from everything. You have to learn how to cope, and let life flow the way it was moving before.

When Sheryl Sandberg suffered such a loss herself, she realized that she needed to find a way to cope with the seemingly unbearable sorrow, because she needed to care for her children.

Facing such challenge made her create a list of strategies that would help people weather the tragedy.

In “Option B” she shares the lessons she learned regarding giving and receiving comfort.

She categorized her insights in nine lessons for moving forward, which we cover in the key lessons below.

Key Lessons from “Option B”:

1.      Realize that “grief is a demanding companion.”
2.      Beware the “three P’s.”
3.      Name the elephant in the room.
4.      Try not to ask, “Is there anything I can do?” – Just do it.
5.      Have a go at journaling and acknowledge “little wins.”
6.      Parlay resilience into “post-traumatic growth.”
7.      “Take things back” from your loss.
8.      Respect children’s unique sensibilities
9.      Acknowledge that you can learn how to love again.

Realize that “grief is a demanding companion.”

Eleven years after they married, Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg left their two kids with their grandparents and went on a vacation in Mexico, to go to their friend’s 50th birthday celebration.

On Friday evening, Goldberg decided to go to the gym.

When he did not rejoin their gathering, Sandberg and Goldberg’s brother discovered him lying on the floor of the gym, with pools of blood under his head.

They did CPR and called an ambulance, but the situation was already past the point of no return.

Sandberg felt the deepest pain in her life.

Her friend, psychologist Adam Grant, consoled her telling her that she could find a way to recuperate more quickly, reinforce her strength and push anguish to run its course faster.

He guaranteed she would feel happiness again.

Weeks after Goldberg’s passing, she saw a father-kid activity coming up on the logbook. Since Goldberg was no longer there, she thought of an “Option B”: having somebody “fill in for Dave.”

At the point when Option A is not accessible, Option B is your only choice.

Beware the “three P’s.”

Therapist Martin Seligman reports that three propensities block people’s recuperation from hardships:

1) “Personalization” is the conviction that it is all your fault

2) “Pervasiveness” is the conviction that the event will negatively affect everything else in your life

3) “Permanence” is the conviction that things will never show signs of improvement.

Individuals who avoid the three P’s adapt better.

Name the elephant in the room.

After Goldberg’s death, Sandberg was often shocked when colleagues did not ask how she was doing. She acknowledges with empathy that although most grieving people want to voice their feelings, people tend to avoid the subject of death.

Psychologists call this avoidance the “mum effect.” Often, many who want to express sympathy do not know how.

Feeling lonely one night, Sandberg bravely posted on Facebook that instead of asking “How are you?” – a routine question often posed without thinking – people should ask, “How are you today,” to show that they understand the daily up-and-down struggle of coping with tragedy.

The reaction to the post was warm and positive. Strangers shared stories; friends began to talk openly and express empathy.

Try not to ask, “Is there anything I can do?” – just do it.

Instead of asking people if they need something, just do it. Holding out a helping hand encourages people regardless of whether they asked for help or not. The worst thing you can do is disappear.

Have a go at journaling and acknowledge “little wins.”

Recording small everyday triumphs supports your self-confidence, and helps you cope better. Focus on the positive, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Parlay resilience into “post-traumatic growth.”

There are different types of people out there. Some people suffer from PTSD or depression after trauma, while others bounce back and become stronger after a loss.

“Take things back” from your loss.

Do not waste your life by shutting happiness out. Rediscover fun by taking things away from your grief: do the things that are interesting alone or with someone else, even though you may have done them with your late loved ones before.

Respect children’s unique sensibilities

Sandberg thought that her children would suffer significantly from losing their father.

However, children have a different coping mechanism as opposed to adults, and as a result, can recover more easily.

Take care of your children by listening to them, valuing their ideas, and letting them shape their lives.

Acknowledge that you can learn how to love again.

After losing a loved one, letting yourself look for affection someplace else can be a problem. Dating can make you feel guilty. People that once knew you paired with someone may also find it troublesome to picture you with someone else.

However, you have to allow yourself to feel love again. Moving on does not mean that you stop respecting and caring for your late partner. It means you allow yourself to live.

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“Option B” Quotes

Option A is not available. so let's just kick the shit out of Option B. Click To Tweet Let me fall if I must fall. The one I become will catch me. Click To Tweet Each one of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. Click To Tweet Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B. Click To Tweet As we get older, we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In “Option B” Sandberg and Grant study how other people deal with trauma and, how some of them even found a new purpose in life through post-traumatic growth.

They furthermore explore the qualities of recovery and resilience and give advice and recommendations that anyone could use when in need of support, consolation, and finding your way back to happiness.

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Thoughts Without a Thinker Summary

Thoughts Without a Thinker Summary

Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective

The Ancient Greeks had a saying: “wisdom arises from suffering.” Unlike them who debated its veracity, about the same time far on the East, Gautama Buddha was convinced that, behind it, a great truth about man’s existence lies hidden.

So, he made this saying the key tenant of his personal philosophy.

Two and half millennia later, his followers, modern Zen Buddhist experts, and prominent neuroscientists say that he was onto something.

In “Thoughts Without a Thinker,” Mark Epstein, a renowned psychotherapist, has his say on the subject.

And, once again, we’ve prepared a neat summary for you.

Who Should Read “Thoughts Without a Thinker”? And Why?

“Thoughts Without a Thinker” is a psychoanalytical book about pain and suffering, so people suffering from anxiety and depression may find reading it a soothing and enlightening experience. In fact, since our world is a world of unhappiness, even those who are merely sad may find more than one reason to enjoy this book.

In addition, people interested in Buddhism will certainly like to find out how a modern psychoanalyst of prominence reads Buddha’s messages thousands of years after they were uttered.

About Mark Epstein

Mark EpsteinMark Epstein is an American psychoanalyst whose two main focuses of attention are trauma and Buddhism. Consequently, most of his books concentrate on combining the worldviews of Buddha and Sigmund Freud, resulting in a series of books popular both in the religious and the popular science community.

In addition to “Thoughts Without a Thinker,” he is most famous for “The Trauma of Everyday Life,” and “Going to Pieces without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness.” His most recent book is “Advice Not Given.” You can reach him at his website: http://markepsteinmd.com/.

Thoughts Without a Thinker Summary

Sigmund Freud was interested in many things. He wasn’t, however, interested in Buddhism!

Yet, as Mark Epstein shows, when it comes to Truth, the paths may be many, but the truth will always be the same. In other words, even though Freud knew nothing of Buddha, he discovered some things eerily similar to the ones the Indian prophesied.

For example, Buddha believed that we can’t understand ourselves because of three things: desire, anger, and delusion. Represented by a snake, a rooster, and a black hog biting each other’s tales in Buddhism’s “Wheel of Life,” these three feelings are problematic for Freud as well.

He just named them differently.

For example, in Freud, the snake of desire is called Eros, or the “life drive.” It’s what makes us strive for pleasant experiences and reject pain. It’s also what stops us from seeing our true selves.

The rooster of anger is Thanatos for Freud or the “death drive.” It’s the instinct which makes people do crazy things such as bungee jumping and boxing. Think of a situation when someone yelled at you! What you repressed at the moment is “the death drive.”

Finally, the black hog of delusion! It’s central to both Freudism and Buddhism.

It refers to the idea we have of ourselves – and which is, more than certainly, a wrong idea. We don’t really know ourselves because we are deliberately trying to create a different self every time an unpleasant situation arises.

And this goes way back!

You left your Garden of Eden the moment your mother stopped breastfeeding you! Everything which happened afterward – sorry to break this to you! – is a lie.

And that’s how psychological disorders came to be!

Disorders are nothing more but a friction between your actual self and the self you created. Your true nature wants to scream and run around naked; your social self-obliges you to wear a suit and whisper. In time, the tension may become overbearing.

And there’s no way out!

Even at the moment, you’re reading this, your self is not aligned with who you really are. It’s either inflated or deflated. In the first case, you suffer from narcissism, while in the second – from depression. In the first case, you believe that you’re the center of the world, while in the second – that you don’t matter.

Needless to say – neither is true.

All Buddhism ever speaks about is how you can free yourself from your self.

Buddha remained silent when a student asked him if his self-existed. That was his way of claiming that whatever he says, would be a reinforcement of the self. Staying silent allowed him to be above the situation.

And you can do this too!

You already know the equation: meditation + compassion. Mediation can help you negate your self by quieting your mind; compassion by sacrificing it for others.

It is exactly through these kinds of techniques that Easterners have achieved mindfulness and humility. Westerners still struggle with desire, loneliness, and delusion. Buddhists have a phrase for it: “hungry ghosts.”

Does it sound eerie enough?

Unfortunately, it’s grounded in reality. In fact, this is not only where Westerners and Easterners differ, but it’s also where psychoanalysis and Buddhism take separate paths.

Unlike Buddhism, psychoanalysis doesn’t try to cancel out the self; it tries to uncover it. According to Epstein – that’s the selfish way of science. Overanalyzing things to find an impractical answer.

Even though at first sight much more idealistic, Buddhism is the more pragmatic philosophy in this case.

Because it isn’t afraid to tackle the problem.

Because, ultimately, it finds the solution.

Key Lessons from “Thoughts Without a Thinker”

1.      Buddha and Freud Have Few Things in Common
2.      You May Know Yourself – But You Don’t Know Your Self
3.      Be a Buddhist: You’ll Be Happier

Buddha and Freud Have Few Things in Common

Freud didn’t care for Buddha, but his idea of the undetermined self as the central problem of human’s happiness is a thing he shares with the Indian religious thinker. In fact, both Freud and Buddha believe that our self is shielded from us because of desire, anger, and delusion.

They just name the feelings differently. But, the essence stays the same.

You May Know Yourself – But You Don’t Know Your Self

Even though you may be able to answer the question “Who you are?” the answer you’re giving yourself is certainly not the right one. Because to shield yourself from further pain, you’ve either inflated or deflated your self.

In the first case, you’re a narcissist; in the second, you suffer from depression. Neither will help you reach happiness.

Be a Buddhist: You’ll Be Happier

But, probably finding your true self will yield no results either. Because, it’s not about discovering it – it’s about eliminating it. Meditation and compassion are two safe paths towards this. The first helps you to quiet your desires and anger, and the second to sacrifice your self for the other.

Both lead to mindfulness which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism.

And which should be your ultimate goal as well.

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“Thoughts Without a Thinker” Quotes

The Buddhist picture of the Wheel of Life… has always seemed a particularly useful starting place in comparing Buddhist and Western notions of suffering and psychological health. Click To Tweet Freud traced the universality of human suffering to the coexistence of two irrefutable facts: first, the young child’s helplessness and dependence; second, the same child’s psychosexual prematurity. Click To Tweet The First Noble Truth of the Buddha asks us, above all, to accept the uncertainties that we otherwise try to ignore. In so doing, we can then appreciate the rest of the Buddha’s psychology. Click To Tweet The self, according to the Buddha’s language of the ancient Sutras, is a fiction—a mirage, a shadow, or a dream. In today’s psychodynamic language, we would call it a fantasy, a pretense, or a wish. Click To Tweet States of well–being are inherently unstable; they may temporarily counter the symptoms of alienation, but they are not a cure. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Thoughts Without a Thinker” is a book which tries to combine two seemingly disparate worlds: Western psychoanalysis and Buddhism. And it does quite a good job!

The book is thought-provoking, but, unfortunately, it is written in much more technical and much less reader-friendly style when compared to other books by Epstein. As a result, we guess that the book will be much more interesting to learned psychoanalysts than to the general public.

But, don’t take our word for it and try it! In fact, many people say that the lessons in this book genuinely helped them. And, let’s face it, the book is recommended by someone much more autorotative than us on all matters Buddhism.

After all, how many authors can say that their book has a foreword written by the Dalai Lama himself?

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