Hardwiring Happiness Summary

Hardwiring Happiness SummaryThe New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

What if you were not meant to be happy? What if your brain was programmed by evolution to be sad so that you have a better chance to survive the jungle of modernity?

Rick Hanson says: well, then we’ll just reprogram your brain. And our “Hardwiring Happiness” Summary features both his theories and his practical tips and tricks.

Who Should Read “Hardwiring Happiness”? And Why?

Most people see the glass as half empty – even when it’s full.

Why?

Because we’re all alike: we tend to focus on the negative. Neuroscience students can read “Hardwiring Happiness” to find out why. Regular folks should read it to find out how they can counter it. The optimists and the overall happy few out there – don’t really need any of our advice.

About Rick Hanson

Rick HansonRick Hanson, Ph.D., is an American psychologist and a New York Times bestselling author. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, and he is currently a regular speaker at few major universities and NASA. He is also a senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at University of California, Berkeley.

Hanson’s books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. In addition to “Hardwiring Happiness,” he is also the author of “Buddha’s Brain” and “The Neurodharma of Love.”

You can read more at http://www.rickhanson.net/.

“Hardwiring Happiness Summary”

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to spend a whole day without having at least one negative thought?

No? Really?!

Well, then, probably you have what scientists unscientifically call “the happy amygdala.” In other words, that part of your brain which deals with emotional responses and decision-making processes is practically hardwired to focus on the good stuff.

Your computer breaks down while you’re working on your thesis and you lose a couple of hundred pages – hell, you say, repetition is the mother of learning! Your team loses in the NBA final after its opponents’ superstar drains a half-court shot in the last second – that was a great shot, you exclaim! And you are not even wondering whether a glass is half full or half empty! To you, the most important thing is that any glass is always fillable.

Needless to add, if you have a “happy amygdala,” you don’t need “Hardwiring Happiness”; you have biology on your side, and no book would ever beat that.

However – and unfortunately – most people have a “sad amygdala.” Which isn’t too kind to our bodies, releasing cortisol and adrenaline and other unhappy chemicals presumably at will. If you’re feeling anxious and edgy, well, take a number: you are just one among billions of unfortunate people hoodwinked by evolution.

And you do need “Hardwiring Happiness” to make things better.

Because, the good news is, your brain develops with every passing year – and you can steer its development in the direction you want the most. Biology and your early life didn’t result in your amygdala stimulating the nucleus accumbens?

Well, why don’t you start learning how you can do it yourself?

Take a lesson from the London cab drivers. According to a 2000 study by Eleanor Maguire, most of them have an overdeveloped area in their hippocampus. You’ve guessed it – it is the one most related to spatial memory.

So, the reason they remember streets much better than you is simple: they have unconsciously trained that part of the brain for years and years. What do you think will happen with your abs if you made at least a hundred sit-ups day in day out for twenty years straight?

Well, the same is true for your brain as well!

Then, why are so many people so sad and stressed out nowadays? How did they all manage to train their brains in such a misguided manner?

Once again, it’s got a lot to do with evolution. We – and we can’t overemphasize this fact – are the last in a long line of survivors. Basically, we are here because our ancestors were stressed out of their socks! And because if they hadn’t consistently focused on the bad stuff, they might have gotten the dirty end of evolution’s stick.

In other words, it wasn’t a good idea to be relaxed if there was a saber-toothed tiger in the cave a hundred meters away from you and your family! It was much better to be stirred up by even the slightest rustling of a leaf.

The problem?

Even though the danger is no more a tiger, but a deadline – your reaction has remained basically the same. That’s right: you are overreacting. By definition.

So what should you do to face this and put an end to your evolution-based inherent negativity bias?

What else: counter it with positivity. A lot and lot of positivity. As powerful as it is, “positive thinking is very superficial,” says Rick Hanson. You need to “take in the good,” that is internalize it deliberately in your implicit memory.

Really – almost anything will do. A nice dinner, a walk in the park, a discussion with a friend, a memory Experience it once again with all your senses. Savor it. Think about it every time you’re feeling bad.

Let’s just say that a few years from now, your amygdala will have a lot to thank you for.

Key Lessons from “Hardwiring Happiness”

1.      It’s Not You: It’s Your Amygdala Which Is Sad
2.      Internalize Positivity and Counter Your Negativity Bias
3.      Take in the Good and Transform Your States into Traits

It’s Not You: It’s Your Amygdala Which Is Sad

It seems that at least few modern scientists believe that your sadness isn’t psychological, but biological. Namely, the amygdala – the part of your brain which deals with emotional responses, decision-making, and memory processing – has been trained by evolution to be negatively biased.

In other words: it stimulates you to think of the worst. That way, the worst can’t surprise you. This worked well in the early days of the homo sapiens when there were a lot of bad things that could happen to our ancestors basically each and every day. However, it doesn’t work well now when the worst thing that could happen to you is not anymore an attack by a mammoth, but a missed deadline.

The problem is that you and your Neanderthal great-great-great-granddaddy (yes – we know that we need to include few more of those “greats”…) are reacting in exactly the same way.

Who would have thought: you may be sad by design!

Internalize Positivity and Counter Your Negativity Bias

Let’s face it – it’s not a good thing to learn that evolution built you sad. And we don’t need scientists who tell us that, right? We may have been better off without knowing this.

Well, Rick Hanson doesn’t think that way. In fact, he claims that once we learn this, we can finally start being happy. Because we just need to retrain our brain.

And the best way to counter the negativity bias we’ve inherited from our distant ancestors?

Happy thoughts. And not just positive thinking – Hanson says it’s too superficial. You need to act much more profoundly and internalize the positive thinking, transforming it into an inherent part of your memory.

How?

Just remember this acronym and stick blindly to it: HEAL. It stands for: having positive experiences; then enriching them; next absorbing them; and, finally, linking them with the negative material so that you can overwrite the latter.

Take in the Good and Transform Your States into Traits

What we just described above is Hanson’s elaboration on the idea of “taking in the good.”

Its central element is actually quite simple: take some time to enjoy the happy moments of your life. Experience them. Savor them. Don’t let them pass by you just because that’s in their nature.

Remember: your goal is to transform these “fleeting mental events to lasting neural structure;” or, in layman’s terms, to go from the few brief happy states of your existence into permanent traits of your character.

It takes a lot of work to do this. But, you can do it.

After all, it’s your happiness we’re talking about.

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“Hardwiring Happiness” Quotes

By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience—even the comfort in a single breath—you’ll help turn a passing mental state into lasting neural structure. Click To Tweet Neurons that fire together wire together. Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Click To Tweet The brain is good at learning from bad experiences, but bad at learning from good ones. Click To Tweet Mammals, including us, become friendly, playful, curious, and creative when they feel safe, satisfied, and connected. Click To Tweet Even if you, like me, have done things worthy of remorse, they do not wipe out your good qualities; you are still a fundamentally good person. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

After remarking that “if we understand the brain a little, we can take care of our lives a lot,” Mark Hanson, a Professor at the University of Oxford, wrote that “Hardwiring Happiness” is “a book to savor, to practice, and to take to heart.”

And, obviously, a lot is happening here: few interesting scientific theories, some even more fascinating studies, and numerous practical advices which may make a real difference to your wellbeing. However, the book feels a bit repetitive, and we feel that we agree completely with one Amazon reviewer who describes it succinctly as “40 pages of good info stretched out to 300.”

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Happier at Home Summary

Happier at Home SummaryKiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life

Do you feel happy? If not, you probably think that you’re pretty far from feeling even an ounce of happiness.

Well, Gretchen Rubin says that you’re wrong. Because all you need is some small changes and no more than nine months to be “Happier at Home.”

Who Should Read “Happier at Home”? And Why?

There are two types of people: those who like adventures, and those who want peace. “Happier at Home” is for the latter: it claims that you don’t really need anything more than a nicely organized home and a loving family to be happy.

By the end of this book, even the adventurers may concur.

About Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen RubinGretchen Rubin is an American author and blogger, usually writing about the three h-s of happiness: human nature, home, and habits. And she writes with a lot of humor.

Her books have sold more than 3 million copies, and her personal website – https://gretchenrubin.com/ – has more than 700,000 subscribers and is one of the most popular of its kind.

She is the author of many books, among them “The Four Tendencies,” “The Happiness Project,” and “Better Than Before.”

“Happier at Home Summary”

By now, we’ve featured Gretchen Rubin quite about enough times so that you can remember her as the author of few books whose subtitles are longer than some of Hemingway’s short stories.

This one’s no exception: “Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.”

OK. Now, do I really need to read the book? Or is this everything I need to do so as to be, as its title states, “happier at home”?

Of course you should – and of course it isn’t. But, it gives you a glimpse of what the book is all about. Namely, the small stuff. You know, the stuff which makes life world living.

Because that’s what the happier-at-home project is most interested in. It’s a nine-month program which, by the end of it, should make you feel happy about yourself, your home, and your everyday routines.

But, let’s not get carried away – if your home was as it was supposed to be, you wouldn’t need a nine-month project. So, before starting with it, let’s make a list of what is good and what is bad about it.

In other words, ask yourself four fundamental questions:

1. What makes you feel good when you are at home?
2. What makes you feel bad when you are at home?
3. What do you need to do in order to feel more as in 1 than as in 2?
4. What do you need to do in order to continually grow even though staying at home?

Now that you know where you’re heading, it’s time for the essential spring-cleaning exercise. “A messy room equals a messy mind,” Marie Kondo wrote in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” And Gretchen Rubin did the experiment to find out it is true.

Decluttering your home from the stuff you don’t need will result in freeing your home for the stuff which makes you feel happy and satisfied. And the bonus is – that the same happens in your mind as well.

Now, you’re ready to fill it with the stuff that really matters: your family.

You see, Gandhi’s idea that you need to be the change you want to see in the world matters nowhere as definitely as in your house. You want to have an affectionate and caring partner who will rarely get stressed and nervous? Then – be one yourself. Until you inspire him or her to become one.

Because, you see, in families, people learn from each other. If you give up smoking, there are 67 percent chance that your partner will too. That means about 7 in 10 couples!

Now, if that doesn’t motivate you to become nicer and more thoughtful – nothing will!

Of course, being happy is related by definition to protecting yourself from unhappiness. Which, in other words, means at least three things.

First of all, avoiding unhappy people who drain your energy. Secondly, using different stimuli in the present to bring back past memories to get you up when you are down. And finally, resisting temptations which, turn you into an instant gratification monkey, i.e., someone who sacrifices his future more permanent happiness for a brief moment of satisfaction in the present.

Key Lessons from “Happier at Home”

1.      Declutter Your House, Declutter Your Mind
2.      Avoid the Unhappiness Leeches
3.      Remember the Pareto Principle – and Act Accordingly

Declutter Your House, Declutter Your Mind

Your brain is a mighty organ. So powerful, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to control it. In other words, it notices things at least few hundred milliseconds before you (yes, that’s quite about right). Free will? Nah – it may be just an illusion.

Anyway, if your brain is capable of noticing things all around you and react accordingly, you may help him at least at the place where you spend most of your day, i.e., your home.

Declutter it!

If there are some things which remind you of chaos or unfinished business – throw them away. Get some headspace. And fill your room – and your brain – with the things that matter the most.

Avoid the Unhappiness Leeches

Now, as hard as you try, there’s a high chance that all your effort will go down the drain the very minute you meet a person who seems immune to your cheerfulness and, in fact, tries to infect you with his dark energy.

There are three types of these unhappiness leeches, says Gretchen Rubin. The first kind is the slackers who feign helplessness in order to get your attention. The second ones are the gossipers who have no lives of their own, so they try to make laugh of the ones who do. And the third kind is the grouches, the needy and the pessimistic folks who counter your joy at seeing a rainbow with a “Meh, it’s just a natural phenomenon…”

Do we need to say more?

It’s pointless to spend time with people who make you unhappy.

Just avoid them.

Remember the Pareto Principle – and Act Accordingly

A positive attitude is the right attitude – no matter what the initial stimulus is. So says Dalai Lama. So says Gretchen Rubin as well. Because only 20 percent of your happiness is the result of the things which happen to you. The other 80 are decided by your reactions.

For example, once Rubin’s daughter spilled some nail polish on the floor. Gretchen could have raged all day about it – but that wouldn’t have changed anything. So, she just asked her nicely to quickly research the best ways they can deal with the stain. In the end, Gretchen’s daughter found a solution.

The results?

No stain, no anger, no remorse.

And a newly acquired skill. (Which, by the way, we should learn too).

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“Happier at Home” Quotes

I am living my real life, this is it. Now is now, and if I waited to be happier, waited to have fun, waited to do the things that I know I ought to do, I might never get the chance. Click To Tweet It's so easy to wish that we'd made an effort in the past, so that we'd happily be enjoying the benefit now, but when now is the time when that effort must be made, as it always is, that prospect is much less inviting. Click To Tweet While some more passive forms of leisure, such as watching TV or surfing the Internet, are fun in the short term, over time, they don't offer nearly the same happiness as more challenging activities. Click To Tweet I'm not tempted by things I've decided are off-limits, but once I've started something, I have trouble stopping. If I never do something, it requires no self-control for me; if I do something sometimes, it requires enormous self-control. Click To Tweet As I turned the key and pushed open the front door, as I crossed the threshold, I thought how breathtaking, how fleeting, how precious was my ordinary day Now is now. Here is my treasure. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There are few things you can never get enough of. Happiness is certainly on the top of this list. And, consequently, books which help you be happier as well.

“Happier at Home” is one such book. It may not be the best one – but it is both wittily written and applicable. So – you can’t ask much more, can you?

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Flourish Summary

Flourish SummaryWho Should Read “Flourish”? And Why?

Let’s face it: you’ve been a while on this planet, and you still haven’t found an answer to the most important question you can ever ask. Namely: how can you live your life as a happy person?

Martin E. P. Seligman has dedicated his whole life trying to answer that question for you. And he thinks that he went the furthest in his last book, aptly titled “Flourish.”

About Martin E. P. Seligman

Martin E. P. “Marty” SeligmanMartin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, a former president of the American Psychological Association, and the 31st most cited psychologist in the 20th century.

He has written over twenty books, most of them in the field of positive psychology, of which he is the foremost promoter in the scientific community. The most celebrated among them are “Learned Optimism,” “Child’s Play,” and “The Optimistic Child.”

“Flourish Summary”

There are many self-help books on the market. And as much as some of them have an effect on you, rarely are these books written by real scientists.

Martin E. P. Seligman is an exception. A revered psychologist, he turned to writing self-help books only after coming up with few highly cited scientific theories which endorse the promotion and use of self-help methods.

The one he’s most associated with?

Positive psychology, a scientific field he named and basically founded, together with Christopher Peterson, and a certain Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Its goal?

To scientifically study what makes life worth living.

Its results?

Nothing short of fantastic!

Here’s just one comparison to back that adjective up.

As many people suffering from anxiety and depression already know, “Prozac,” “Zoloft” and “Lexapro” are not just a myth – they actually help. However, what they don’t know is that it helps just a bit more than placebo. In numbers: two-thirds of patients got better after taking prescription drugs, but half of them experienced similar effects even though what they basically took was Tic Tacs!

As for positive psychology?

One week of specially developed treatments and exercises resulted in an almost unanimously confirmed six-month-lasting happiness! No prescription, no pills – just a good ol’ dose of gratitude and kindness.

But why should you believe Seligman?

Well, for one, as we said above, he is a scientist. And scientists are not allowed to suppose things like, say, philosophers are. By definition, they are skeptical and try to falsify their hypotheses until they are sure they are not lying.

Aristotle, Plato, Nietzsche – none of them had any idea if their ideas concerning human life and happiness are based in reality. They didn’t conduct experiments; they didn’t test their philosophies on real people.

Others have tried doing that but have chosen the wrong method. For example, life satisfaction questionnaires don’t work – because your answer will reflect your current mood in about 70 percent of the cases.

So, what does?

According to Seligman, it all starts with defining the elements of well-being. And in order for anything to be considered an element of human happiness, it needs to have three properties.

First of all – obviously – it needs to contribute to well-being. Secondly, the majority of people should pursue it for its own sake – not merely to get some other element. Finally, it can be defined and measured independently, not just in relation to other elements.

The outcome?

Seligman’s “Well-Being Theory,” which says that well-being consists of five elements. And you can easily remember them: you just need to remember the mnemonic, PERMA.

P stands for Positive Emotion. Warmth, comfort, pleasure – you name it, you know it.

E stands for Engagement. This is present only when we are entirely dedicated to doing something, so much so that we don’t even notice the time flying by. Csikszentmihalyi has named this state – the state of flow.

R stands for Relationships. Nobody can be happy if alone. You need a family, some friends, a partner; in other words – social connection and intimacy.

M stands for Meaning. This is why you hate your job. You want to belong to something you actually believe in, something which has a meaning bigger than you. And how does answering calls from 9 to 5 does this for anyone?

A stands for Accomplishment. Not accomplishment as in “I want to accomplish winning the lottery.” But an accomplishment as in “Hey, I didn’t understand this passage in the summary, but now I do. And that makes me happy!”

Key Lessons from “Flourish”

1.      Leave Science to Deal with Your Well-Being
2.      Human Well-Being Consists of Five Elements: Pursue Them!
3.      When It Comes to Happiness, IQ and Wealth Mean Nothing

Leave Science to Deal with Your Well-Being

A long time ago, Aristotle wrote in the “Nicomachean Ethics” that the happy life is the good life. Because happiness, in his opinion, was the only thing humans wanted for its own sake. Money, beauty, friends, honor – humans want them so that they can be happy. And nothing more: they can’t be goals in themselves.

Most philosophers agreed with Aristotle and, consequently, spent their lives trying to find the equation for happiness. Their problem? They didn’t test their hypotheses. So, they were allowed to say absolutely anything – and be equally right.

Scientists can’t do this. Thus, their conclusions make much more sense.

Human Well-Being Consists of Five Elements: Pursue Them!

Positive psychologists have spent the last two decades trying to find out the definition of human happiness. Only recently, they successfully did. “Flourish” is the first book to present this new theory of human well-being, adding two more elements to the original three.

The result is a neat acronym, PERMA. In other words, well-being consists of five elements.

First of all, positive emotions. Excitement, awe, satisfaction, warmth, pride, joy – these all fall under this category. Secondly, it involves engagement – the state of deep, effortless involvement. The third element – relationships – is a no-brainer.

Meaning is all about purpose, i.e., finding your why. Finally, accomplishment means the pursuit of mastery and the joy of overcoming obstacles.

When It Comes to Happiness, IQ and Wealth Mean Nothing

What about intelligence? – you ask. Or money?

Surely, I can’t be happy if I don’t have a high IQ to understand happiness. Less so if I don’t have money to buy myself a helicopter – because, you see, I always wanted to fly one!

Well, IQ and money, it seems, have too little to do with well-being to be an element of its definition. In other words, if you have the five things stated above, you have enough IQ and money to be happy. If you lack just one, then – be an Einstein or a Tesla, if you will – all the money in the world won’t make you happy still!

We know it sounds cliché. But it’s true.

Science says so.

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“Flourish” Quotes

To enable us to hear criticism nondefensively and to act creatively on it, we need to feel secure. Click To Tweet One never knows if basic research is truly basic until one knows what it is basic to. Modern physics came into its own not because of its theories… but because physicists built the atomic bomb and modern nuclear power plants. Click To Tweet The topic of positive psychology is well-being… the gold standard for measuring well-being is flourishing, and… the goal of positive psychology is to increase flourishing. Click To Tweet The mood you are in determines more than 70 percent of how much life satisfaction you report and how well you judge your life to be going at that moment determines less than 30 percent. Click To Tweet I’m trying to broaden the scope of positive psychology well beyond the smiley face. Happiness is just one-fifth of what human beings choose to do. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Just like the two elements to the original theory proposed in “Authentic Happiness,” “Flourish” is a great addition to the positive psychology canon.

However, Seligman goes to great lengths to sell the main idea of the book – the PERMA-theory – and spends less time backing up his sale. This is not what we’ve grown accustomed to expect from Seligman.

But, nevertheless, it’s him – so there’s just about enough value in this book to add it to your next month’s to-read list.

 

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First Bite Summary

First Bite Summary

How We Learn to Eat

You’re on a strict diet for the seventh time this year, but, for some reason, you have to try that new pizza at your favorite restaurant. Also, a tiny piece of cake: what’s the point in having lunch and not a dessert after? And why do these dishes ape your willpower over and over again?

What if – Bee Wilson asks – you like certain foods because they remind you of your childhood? And what if there’s a way to circumvent the power of your “First Bite”?

Who Should Read “First Bite”? And Why?

Unfortunately, a small percentage of people today eat healthily.

Even though most of us are aware that sugar and fast food are not exactly the right choice for anybody. Even worse, the majority of parents would rather allow their children to eat once a week at “McDonalds” and convince themselves that it’s not that bad than experience another apocalyptic tantrum from them?

First Bite” is for parents who want to change that. Both for themselves, but, more importantly, for their children. So, if you are a parent and want to learn what you can do better regarding your child’s eating habits – read this book. Do the same if you yourself want to have a healthier diet.

It’s never too late to start doing the right thing.

About Bee Wilson

Bee WilsonBee Wilson is a bestselling British writer on food and food-related matters.

She worked as a food critic for the “New Statesman” magazine for five years, before starting the “Kitchen Thinker” column in “Stella.” In addition, she has written for “The Guardian,” “The Times Literary Supplement,” and “The Sunday Times.”

She published her first book, “The Hive,” in 2004. Since then, she has published four more: “Swindled,” “Sandwich,” “Consider the Fork,” and “First Bite.”

“First Bite Summary”

If you are a parent, you already know how it is: every second meal of your child is a battle on the scale of the Second World War.  And, you know what, we get it: after a while, it’s easier to surrender. Even if that means feeding your child cereals instead of vegetables for breakfast!

But, what if what he or she eats as a child is a one-way portal to his adult eating habits?

Think about it!

Much of our worldview is built by way of comparison. If you haven’t been to – or even seen a picture of – Vienna and Prague, your hometown may be the best place you’ll ever visit. The same holds true for food: if you hadn’t eaten a lot of sugar as a child, apples might taste to you sweeter than chocolate.

Don’t believe us?

A 2012 study revealed that, to some people, a cob of corn or a ball of mozzarella is sweeter than cereals!

The reason?

You’ve guessed it: they didn’t consume a lot of sugar as children!

But, how do you do that? How do you teach your children to eat healthy food? How do you prevent the inevitable: them throwing away the broccoli and stealing a bar of chocolate instead? After all, don’t most children have only one thought on their minds for the first decade of their lives: “Get candy!”?

In 1939, in the September edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), Clara Marie Davies published an article titled “The Self-Selection of Diets by Young Children,” which presented the results of a study examining the behavior of children’s food habits.

At four pages, you wouldn’t expect the article to be called, seven decades later, “a fountainhead of argument, discussion and reinterpretation for everyone hoping to untangle the modern gnarl where children’s appetites, food choices and health collide.”

The experiment – that is, “the world’s longest, most detailed and most ambitious dietary experiment” – was relatively simple. Namely: give few children a selection of 33 foodstuffs every day for four and a half years, and never even hint to them what is the better choice or the proper amount to eat.

The results were staggering!

First of all, every single one of the 15 examined children tried each and every one of the dishes available! Secondly, no two followed the same diet pattern. Thirdly – not one child settled for the now-predominant cereal-and-milk diet. And finally – they all grew up to be healthy, well-nourished children!

But, how did they do it? How were they capable of balancing their diets so neatly and correctly?

“Such successful juggling and balancing,” concluded Davis, “of the more than 30 nutritional essentials that exist in mixed and different proportions in the foods from which they must be derived suggests at once the existence of some innate, automatic mechanism for its accomplishment.”

What does this mean in laymen’s terms?

Just make a selection of foods for your child – and let him or her choose the one he or she would like to eat the most. Each day. For an extended period of time. And when he/she chooses a Hershey’s bar over a carrot, don’t worry: that doesn’t mean that your child has stopped eating vegetables!

After all, evolution works for both of you: you wouldn’t have been here if you didn’t have an innate mechanism to choose the right food!

What parents are actually doing when forcing their children to eat something they don’t like at a particular moment is activating another mechanism which has much more to do with psychology than eating habits.

Namely, humans don’t like to be forced into doing anything. And, more often than not, they tend to develop an intrinsic revulsion towards what they had been pressed to do contrary to their wishes. It doesn’t matter if it is piano classes or a beetroot. Forcing won’t work.

Unfortunately, parents nowadays deal with an even more severe problem.

Namely: TV. And large corporations.

Did you know, for example, that about three-fourths of the food marketed to children has disgracefully low nutritional value?

We asked before and here we ask one more time: how is this allowed?

Key Lessons from “First Bite”

1.      Children Will Usually Choose the Healthy Snack – If You Let Them
2.      Learn to Distinguish Appetite from Hunger
3.      Countries – Be More Like Japan!

Children Will Usually Choose the Healthy Snack – If You Let Them

Over 80 years ago, a Canadian scientist decided to conduct an experiment – which, nowadays, may even seem a bit unethical. Namely, to make a selection of 33 different foods for 15 children and carefully examine their food behaviors for a long period of time.

The trick?

She wasn’t allowed to tell them what to eat and when to eat at no point in the experiment.

The result?

Fascinatingly enough, all children tried each of the foods selected for them. Moreover, not one of them opted for a cereal-and-milk diet. And yes – they all grew up well-nourished and healthy.

The moral?

Don’t force your child into eating things she/he doesn’t want to. Make a selection of foods and let him/her choose.

Learn to Distinguish Appetite from Hunger

As the experiment with the children’s dietary habits shows, our distant relatives – and by distant, we mean the ones who first put the “sapiens” in our taxonomical status – had internal regulating mechanism when it comes to food.

That’s why, they were rarely – if ever – fat. Because of all those marketing campaigns and multinational fast food chains, that mechanism is messed up nowadays. Namely, most people can’t make a distinction between appetite and hunger. And confuse the first with the latter.

However, the first leads to obesity; the second is the last spark of our ancestors’ dietary regulatory mechanisms.

How can you distinguish them?

Start skipping meals. You’ll see that it’s not that bad. When it does get bad – that’s hunger. It’s a state of the body – believe us! – you’ve probably never experienced before.

Countries – Be More Like Japan!

Japan is both a small island country and the third largest economy in the world, so we suppose the title applies to many areas. However, for the time being, we’re interested in no more than one. Namely, food habits.

You see, even though the words rhyme, there are almost no obese Japanese! And the Japanese nation is, on average, the fifth longest-living in the world – with all those above her, some of the smallest countries and least populated countries in the world (Monaco, Macau, San Marino, Andorra).

And in Japan, there are more than 120 million people living!

So, how did they do it?

Well, obviously – with a nationwide campaign. You’ll be surprised to learn that today’s Japanese diet is no more than few decades old.

So, why shouldn’t we do the same in the U.S.?

After all, we have a serious, serious problem with obesity!

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“First Bite” Quotes

The way you teach a child to eat well is through example, enthusiasm, and patient exposure to good food. And when that fails, you lie. Click To Tweet No one is doomed by genes to eat badly. Pickiness is governed more by environment than biology. Click To Tweet Eating well is a skill. We learn it. Or not. It’s something we can work on at any age. Sugar is not love. But it can feel like it. Click To Tweet A few decades from now, the current laissez-faire attitudes to sugar - now present in 80 per cent of supermarket foods - may seems as reckless and strange as permitting cars without seatbelts or smoking on aeroplanes. Click To Tweet When eating becomes a matter of life or death, and each new bite is a celebration, you may discover that none of the other stuff was quite as important as sitting and breaking bread together. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“First Bite” – as a review in the “Wall Street Journal” noted – is a real treat!

Described as a book “about the pleasure of eating and how we can reconnect with this,” “First Bite” won several awards, including Food Book of the Year. Scientifically sound and applicable, the book is a joy to read. Do yourself a favor and read it.

After all, you’ll be doing your children an even bigger one.

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The Longevity Project Summary

The Longevity Project SummarySurprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

Once again, we find ourselves stranded on an isolated island.

Yearnings to expand the knowledge of human life has brought us to this point, where one can analyze the entire existence of species.

In our brief summary, we discuss the factors that affect longevity and what you can do about it.

Who Should Read “The Longevity Project”? And Why?

The person’s lifespan depends on various factors that include both influences deriving from external and internal sources.

If you are eager to “prolong” the end of this journey, you must take countermeasures.

The Longevity Project” is a practical and insightful book, which focuses on superior knowledge with an intention to decode the message in the bottle.

We recommended it to all people, no classification is necessary.

About Howard S. Friedman & Leslie R. Martin

Howard S. FriedmanHoward S. Friedman is an award-winning psychology professor at the University of California.

He is the author of several books including “The Personality Reader,” and “The Self-Healing Personality.”

Leslie R. MartinLeslie R. Martin is a colleague of Howard and teaches at La Sierra University in California.

She is passionate about finding a way to improve social relationships and find the recipe for longer life.

“The Longevity Project Summary”

Being organized is a good way to earning the nickname “Geek” or something similar.

But fear no more, research has shown that these children tend to be an adjunct of conscientious; an asset that adds to longevity and happiness on a larger scale.

Take notes and push forward.

In other words, a great way to indulge in happy childhood and later stages of life is to apply carefulness.

The power of such attitude derives from conscientious behavior, which leads to forming a defensive mechanism construed of positive vibes and sincerity.

Dr. Terman realized the significance of observation. As a matter of fact, the only way to make this analysis work was to take into account all patterns.

Evaluating the impact of these concepts must be supported by two analyzes, one at the beginning, and the second one 20-30 years later – during the adulthood age.

By all means, one cannot stop from mentioning, that conscientious people have hard feelings about risk, an attitude that grants them the privilege of living a healthy life.

They are less prone to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, or to get into trouble.

We don’t end here; biology plays its role when it comes to synchronizing the components of the brain, and the ones of the emotional intelligence.

Taking the matters to another level rests in the hands of those who understand that laughter and playfulness are essential for achieving longevity.

It may seem too optimistic, but a cheerful behavior can easily subdue any type of cold, and help you feel better.

Is this a long-term prescription, or merely a placebo effect?

As it was expected, children that were not exposed to stress and violence during the childhood period had better chances of living longer and being happier.

Same cannot be said about those who encounter struggle on a daily basis.

The abundance of information makes us cling to one particular theory, that is often misleading.

For instance, laughter as a phenomenon cannot be placed in the same category with happiness.

Finding a beacon of hope is not enough, and many other participants of the study felt the same way.

As it turns out, a healthy lifestyle is the only route one should take. Having the full package includes being wise, happy, and healthy despite the influence of external factors.

We bet you are already familiar with the growing divorce-rate throughout the world.

Scientists have proven that longevity is mostly affected by unhealthy relationships and represents a strong ground for turning towards drinking and immorality.

In college, Donna began smoking, and even though she managed to build a successful career, Donna wasn’t able to create harmony in the home.

Her marriage also resulted in divorce (same as her mother), and not even prosperity, regarding the professional endeavors, saved the situation.

Donna’s example should serve as a lesson to you, and to those who believe that children exposed to the painful process of divorce, will continue to penetrate life in all its spheres without any scars left from the painful past.

After comprehensive research, it was discovered that failed marriages have a greater effect on man’s life longevity than on women.

Such disturbance triggers instability in both physical and mental perspective, leading to health problems and frustration.

Not even one list can go without the effects of religion or belief in something. The philosophy about life is critical for maintaining happiness in the long run.

According to experts, these ideas are not entirely accurate, and the aftermath of such claims is yet to be discovered.  

From what we have seen so far, the formula for ensuring the quality of life varies on a case-to-case basis.

However, one thing we can say for sure: Having too many friends, is not the same as having a few that react to your cry for help.

Longevity = Happiness + Social Acceptance + Happy Marriage + Health + Belief

Key Lessons from “The Longevity Project

1.      Failed relationships are a real issue
2.      The power of religion
3.      Understand happiness, and absorb its features

Failed relationships are a real issue

In reality, married men tend to outlive those who are single or got divorced. As far as the women are concerned, their longevity is affected by the quality of marriage.

Such revelation indicates that divorced women have no disadvantages when it comes to the lifespan.

The power of religion

The conducted study revealed that the side-effects of a “prayer” had no significant impact on one’s life, nor the quality of it.

It doesn’t influence health and longevity, because the last touch belongs to the person and its individuality.

Religion is here to keep high spirits and motivate its subordinates.

Understand happiness, and absorb its features

It’s not a rocket-science to be aware of the fact that happiness has no existence of itself. It’s often the byproduct of successfulness in other fields.

Good social life, successful career, healthy marriage, loving wife/husband all contribute or hinder the progress of one human being in efforts to find bliss.

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“The Longevity Project” Quotes

The late comedian and actress Lucille Ball had her own secret to staying young: live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We cannot reveal all the secrets that will eliminate your urge to read the book.

We leave you on the verge of restlessness, which will hopefully reduce the stigma attached to meaningless concepts.

In our opinion, this book will remain embedded into the very core of human existence.

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Finish Summary

Finish SummaryGive Yourself the Gift of Done

Have you ever felt like your life is merely a list of disappointments and defeats, a catalog of ideas and in-progress projects?

If you’re like us – you have. Numerous times.

And Jon Acuff has written a guidebook just for you. Its title is as straightforward as it gets: “Finish.”

Who Should Read “Finish”? And Why?

Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? If so, it’s quite likely that your portfolio doesn’t include too many finished projects. Because – Jon Acuff says – you’re probably just giving yourself an excuse not to finish them.

What you need is someone to tell you how to strangle that disgruntled perfectionist inside you. And that someone is Jon Acuff. We feel that “Finish” is a book which targets preeminently creative people, but almost anyone who struggles to complete a project may find something useful inside.

We know we did. How do you think we finished this summary? Yeah – we know, it’s far from perfect. But, that’s precisely the point.

About Jon Acuff

Jon AcuffJon Acuff is a bestselling American nonfiction writer.

He first came into prominence when he was hired by Dave Ramsey as a full-time speaker and author in 2010. Soon enough, he wrote his first book for Dave Ramsey’s company, “Gazelles, Baby Steps & 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt.”

The book was followed by “Stuff Christians Like,” a collection of essays on topics discussed on Acuff’s very popular blog, http://stuffchristianslike.net/. His next book, “Do Over,” may have been his greatest success so far; in fact, Seth Godin described it as “the best career book ever written.”

Before “Finish,” he also wrote “Quitter” and “Start.”

“Finish Summary”

How could it be that, no matter what you’re doing, you just can’t put the final full stop?

Because that has happened to you so many times before that the only viable explanation is that you are experimented on by aliens, who want to find out whether not finishing a project would cause humans more pain and torment than getting their extremities ripped out slowly.

Yup – that might be it.

That – or perfectionism. You know – the thing you say is your best-groomed personality trait every time your teacher asks you why you haven’t filed your report.

According to Jon Acuff – who, to your utter amazement, hasn’t even considered the first option – it’s undoubtedly perfectionism. Because, if you are like him – and like about 90 percent of the people – you will probably give up once the things stop being perfect.

And that will inevitably happen.

So, the real question is: why do you suppose that everything will be perfect from start to finish? Wouldn’t it be better if you assumed the opposite – so that you are happy when it goes according to the plan, and ready when it does not?

Sounds rational, right?

However, it’s not something you can achieve naturally. Because you’re probably inherently enslaved by something scientists refer to as “the planning fallacy.” And when we say scientists – we mean Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

We know it sounds like a good title for a Big Bang episode, but, unfortunately, is not funny. It means that you’re overly optimistic when you’re planning anything – even if your past experience has proven you otherwise numerous times before.

The solution?

Change your plans halfway down the road. Say you want to write the first four chapters of your book in two months? After a month – when you will be predictably stuck over the twenty-sixth revision of your seventh sentence – cut the initial objective in half.

So – two chapters by the end of the next month.

Jon Acuff says that, on average, you have about 63 percent chance of fulfilling this second, fine-tuned goal.

Another great way to make your life easier and get things done?

To the ears of all the slackers out there, this one will surely sound like a symphony: don’t really do them. Or, to use the more scientific term, practice strategic incompetence.

Essentially, this means that you are great at some things, good at some others and terrible at many. However, to resort to Daniel Kahneman’s psychological expertise once again, you’re overconfident, and you think you’re an expert in everything.

But, more often than not, doing something in an imperfect manner is much better than not doing it at all. And why should you be able to clean up your front yard perfectly if you’re a father of two with 4 billion readers of your blog?

Yes, we’re talking about Jon Acuff.

And no – we have no idea how unruly his front yard looks at the moment.

Key Lessons from “Finish”

1.      The Joy of Being Imperfect vs. The Planning Fallacy
2.      Don’t Go to Your Hiding Place or Use a Noble Obstacle as an Excuse
3.      Fun = Success

The Joy of Being Imperfect vs. The Planning Fallacy

The perfectionist conundrum – another possible Big Bang episode title – may have been best and most straightforwardly summarized by The Guild’s Felicia Day in “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).”

“It’s either perfect,” she writes, “or it’s the worst thing ever made and everyone is an artistic failure, including myself. (Yay, emotional extremes!)”

How many times have you felt this? And how do you still think it is healthy?

The problem is relatively straightforward: you’re overambitious. You’re suffering from a weird case of the planning fallacy, namely the idea that you can get things done flawlessly and in time. Nobody has; and nobody will ever be able to.

Because – as John Lennon sang right before his death (talking about the tragic irony of vindication!) – “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

Don’t Go to Your Hiding Place or Use a Noble Obstacle as an Excuse

You can blame perfectionism for two very distinct and very tormenting distractions which hinder your creativity severely on a daily basis. Namely, hiding places and noble obstacles.

Hiding places are activities which you do instead of doing the one which you need to be doing. They are safe places where you can go to “hide from your fear of messing up.” Which is why you visit them pretty often. But Netflix, Facebook, Twitter – neither of them asks for any real skill. How far can you get in life that way?

Noble obstacles sound virtuous – but are actually just excuses. On the surface, they seem like Very Good Reasons to not pursue your goal at the present moment. In one case they evolve into the Y of the phrase “I can’t do X until Y,” where X is your project. In the other, they are the negative Y in the false idea “But if I finish X I will become Y.”

For example, would be entrepreneurs would rather do nothing than become workaholics – even though not every entrepreneur is an alcoholic to start with.

Fun = Success

For example, this guy certainly isn’t. He’s the exact opposite, in fact: a flamboyant, otherworldly, larger-than-life character who’s in it for the fun. The success is just a side note.

Why – at least in that regard – can’t you be more like him? Find your why. Have fun. Enjoy. Do the work because you want to. If success comes as well with it – then great. If it doesn’t – it’s not like you spent your life doing something you don’t like, right?

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“Finish” Quotes

But more than just analysis, perfectionism offers us two distinct distractions: hiding places and noble obstacles. A hiding place is an activity you focus on instead of your goal. A noble obstacle is a virtuous-sounding reason for not… Click To Tweet This is the first lie that perfectionism tells you about goals: Quit if it isn’t perfect. Click To Tweet Developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers. Click To Tweet The harder you try to be perfect, the less likely you’ll accomplish your goals. Click To Tweet Finishers make things easier and simpler. The next time you work on a goal, I dare you to ask the following questions during the middle of the project: Could things be easier? Could things be simpler? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Finish” is an appropriate companion piece to Jon Acuff’s “Start” – and a nice addition to the philosophy expressed in “Do Over” and “Quitter.” It’s exciting and applicable, but, moreover, amusing and funny as well.

As Michael Hyatt says “no one beats Jon Acuff” when it comes to laughing at your own shortcomings. Chris Guillebeau paints a too vivid picture to get around it: “It’s wisdom disguised as stand-up comedy, like eating a bag of jelly beans and somehow ending up smarter.”

And he’s not far from the truth.

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The Little Book of Hygge Summary

The Little Book of Hygge SummaryThe Danish Way to Live Well

No, this is not the Vikings era, but it sure does bring something extraordinary.

Don’t worry, this won’t be another history lesson, but an insightful journey spiced with the taste of Danish Life.

In our MicroBook, we summarize the essential elements which act against unhappiness and anxiety.

Who Should Read “The Little Book of Hygge”? And Why?

One cannot grow, without identifying its weakness. Don’t be afraid to get out of the comfort zone in order to discover the meaning of “living the life.”

The Little Book of Hygge” is a one-of-a-kind book that gives a slight portion of the Danish way of life. We recommended it to all workaholics and other people who are suffering from depression.

About Meik Wiking

Meik WikingMeik Wiking is an author born in Denmark in 1978. He has an executive role as a CEO in a Research Institute located in Copenhagen. From very young age, he expressed interest in finding more about the quality of life.

“The Little Book of Hygge Summary”

If you understand the geography and climate of Scandinavian countries, you are familiar with the two assets that describe the region: the cold, and lack of sunlight.

This doesn’t prevent the Danish people to be ranked among the happiest people in the world. What is their secret?

In recent history; the term “hygge” has gained extra momentum as the main incentive for sharing positive vibes in the community. But what’s the real meaning of this?

As we mentioned, Denmark continues on a regular basis to outrank other European countries regarding the happiness index.

According to experts, in both 2013 & 2016, Denmark was pronounced a winner in the same category, while in 2015 it was positioned in the third place.

Individuals who lack the knowledge about the Danish culture, would not understand the essence of this report.

As far as the economy is concerned, Denmark has incredibly high tax rates; a state policy that tries to suffocate major class differences.

Let’s find out, how the Danish Community manages to maintain the high global status in terms of happiness! Basically, there are two fundamental concepts:

  • The first one covers the taxes, and how should a person contribute to the state in order to become a valuable member of an equal society.
  • The second one represents the magic of the hygge.

This concept had its first use back in the 19th century. It’s one of those words; you cannot merely translate without absorbing its social meaning.

In Norwegian, it literally means “well-being.” Nowadays, the world has reached its full-expansion, and the Danish even use it as an adjective – hyggelig.

Hygge isn’t a second-rate substitute for happiness; it’s a term that has its own unique use.

As an indispensable part of the Danish culture, it shines up to the sky by promoting a good and healthy atmosphere amongst the people.

One of the ways that can help you digest its meaning is the design of candlelight. According to the Danes, candlelight is even synonyms with hygge.

If you wonder, what is the big deal with lighting a room, take a moment and organize your thoughts.

Denmark is a freezing place, positioned in both the Northern and Eastern Hemisphere. Its inhabitants burn more candles per person than any other country in Europe.

To the Danish, lamp design is a tradition, ongoing for generations. This mindset is responsible for stimulating closeness and warmth during the cold and dark days.

Certainly, such attitude and dedication must be thoroughly examined. Finding the right mix of lights is a skill that generates comfort and an atmosphere of support.

In such regards, “hygge” reaches its full growth during the winters, when everyone is feeling nostalgic about their homes.

Finding shelter and inner harmony is a formula used by the Danes to achieve satisfaction. Solitary attitude and mentality is not a prescribed method for reaching bliss on all levels.

According to the Danish society, when the person’s basic needs are well-satisfied, the next best thing comes in the form of friendship and mutual respect.

From such standpoint, you can begin to absorb the value of real friendliness and strive for comfort. In Denmark, there are strict laws that restrict the process of overtime employment.

Such regulative grants the people an abundance privileges to enjoy life while maintaining a perfect balance between personal and professional endeavors.

For instance, hygge is something so “insignificant” as sitting on a park bench with your friends or playing cards with your family.

It can be understood in myriad ways because it’s all about embracing playful and carefree attitude while staying devoted towards the well-being of others.

Key Lessons from “The Little Book of Hygge

1.      Find the activity that triggers “hyggelig”
2.      Money doesn’t buy happiness
3.      At the end of the day, all we have left is love and solidarity

Find the activity that triggers “hyggelig”

Another illustration of applying the “hygge” behavior is through biking. The Danish people love bikes, and unlike cars, RVs, buses, and other vehicles, a bike brings you closer to the environment.

Moreover, urbanization of country is less possible, where people prefer bikes over cars and other transportation methods.

Money doesn’t buy happiness

It all comes down to this – the less expensive something is, the more it belongs to the hygge category. How do you understand hyggelig?

The truth is, you cannot purchase such orientation, because hygge appreciates the process of time well-spent and engagement with the rest of the community.

At the end of the day, all we have left is love and solidarity

By now, we assume that you already have a clue about the significance of the “hygge,” as a helpful tool or weaponry that will protect you from the unforgiving wilderness and hostility.

It all comes down to the present moment, be blessed with real love and congeniality.

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“The Little Book of Hygge” Quotes

The closest you will ever come to seeing vampires burnt by daylight is by inviting a group of Danes for a hygge dinner and then placing them under a 5,000K fluorescent light tube. At first, they will squint, trying to examine the torture… Click To Tweet So, to all you introverts out there, do not feel embarrassed or boring for being a person who prefers things that are hygge. Click To Tweet Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happens but seldom. Click To Tweet Nobody takes center stage or dominates the conversation for long stretches of time. Equality is an important element in hygge—a trait that is deeply rooted in the Danish culture—and also manifests itself in the fact that everybody takes… Click To Tweet Every person I’ve met who has moved to Denmark tells me the same thing. It is close to impossible to penetrate the social circles there. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

You cannot receive better lecturing than reading a book written by a person who was born and raised in a country that has a high happiness index.

We are pleased to be a part of such journey and encourage you to do the same.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck Summary

 The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck SummaryHow to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do

What stops you from being happy and free?

Often, people have a tendency to accuse others, the environment or the superiors for their anxiety.

Our book summary gives you a test of reality and presents an opportunity to change your mind.

Who Should Read “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck”? And Why?

It all comes down to one simple question – How do you feel? – Money, status, and family would mean absolutely nothing if you sacrifice your peace for the sake of it.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” is an out-of-box book that doesn’t feel sorry for you or your well-being. As such, it promotes a new healthy attitude towards life; thereby it’s suitable for all sorts of people.

About Sarah Knight

Sarah KnightSarah Knight has obtained her college degree from Harvard University. She is currently a freelance author and an editor.

“The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck Summary”

In truth, the “letting go” process can be a lot harder than expected. Nevertheless, in essence, it requires only mental resilience in order to get the technique right. A lot of people claim that they are not attached to meaningless things, but, it seems like an almost impossible task to shake them loose.

The “The Not Sorry Method” is one of the assets that can help you in this endeavor.

On the spur of the moment, one can leverage two possibilities, to fully apply the method:

  • The first one manifest the ability of not giving a fuck about a particular thing or issue.
  • The second is a bit different, and it literally promotes the “not giving a fuck” attitude towards most things and the lack of interest to solve problems.

However, there is a handful of “stuff” that mustn’t be neglected. Being attached to someone or something is not a sign of strength and wisdom, but quite the opposite. One thing is for sure, living the life of your dreams must be complementary to your easy-going and loose behavior.

Experts agree that most people overestimate opinions, and we should zoom in on innate sensations and phenomena. Unless you favor the title “Asshole,” it’s perfectly logical to take into consideration other people’s feelings.  

In this book, you’ll have the taste of “spring cleaning” as a process of essential value to the idea of “not giving a fuck.” Famous YouTube comedian – Jon Lajoie in a hilarious way expresses the power of adopting such attitude by identifying all the things that cause emotional instability:

Think of it this way: Your mind is a trash can, which absorbs all the garbage. Unless you empty it, all the “smelly” things will continue to pile up. If you have strong determination to unveil these meaningless questions and ideas that float in your head, you’ll be able to “let go” on all levels!

Once you put all the concepts on a piece of paper, you can then decide what is worthy of sticking around, and what needs to be eliminated. For example, worrying about getting married, can cause trouble in all other spheres of influence.

How can you master the “Not Sorry Method”?

Coming close to perfection to exploit this methodology fully, is a skill of the highest order. There’s always that little voice in our heads that is telling us to beware of other opinions, which hinders the opportunity to beat the system.

Becoming proficient to effortlessly and painlessly take care of your closest ones is perhaps the harder trick in the book an individual should master. It’s relatively easier with strangers and acquaintances.

For instance, if you sit on a table where opinions differ, you should avoid topics that cause quarrels. The best strategy would be to evade answering questions related to “things” that most people have their own personal agenda.

Steering clear of such arguments will grant you the edge in your efforts of becoming a real “care-free” lord. Once you understand the burden of “giving a fuck,” you can slowly progress towards the next level.

Overall, there are dozens of things that can get us bummed out; these situations can be accommodated into various categories. Once you make it clear which concept belongs to which category – you can begin the process planning your next move, regarding the “not giving a fuck” adventure.

Every day, the society imposes many new concepts; one can either embrace or disregard them. The reality of “giving a fuck” about everything is undergoing a global expansion. Out of politeness, we tend to fulfill the desires of other people, and totally neglecting our preferences.

The only real formula for solving this problem is to apply the Not Sorry Method.

Key Lessons from “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

1.      The value of staying true to what you believe is right.
2.      Start with small “f*cks”
3.      Don’t take part in everything that seems trendy

The value of staying true to what you believe is right.

Don’t become enslaved by the Internet. Understand the destructive, marketing power of these platforms and take little part in this “Social Madness.”

In the similar fashion, you can handle the e-mail list and all the other features that are causing distraction and tiredness.

Start with small “f*cks”

Sarah advises that it’s most natural to start with “fucks” that you can quickly get rid of.

This step involves discarding concepts that do not affect the well-being of other people, making them ideal candidates for eradication.

In the process, you’ll be free from extra worries such as being polite and respectful.

Don’t take part in everything that seems trendy

For example, the social media or the Kardashian Klan can really get us upset, or in worst case angry.

Instead of fighting it, you are given a choice to unfollow them, or simply don’t read/watch such ridiculous articles/videos.

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“The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” Quotes

The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck is all about prioritizing. Joy over annoy. Click To Tweet As someone who grew up in a household full of guilt, I think it’s important for our kids to know that they can make decisions about what to care about, and that they don’t need to pay attention to the approval or condescension of other… Click To Tweet You may not realize it, but the number of fucks you personally have to give is a finite and precious commodity. Click To Tweet The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck is all about prioritizing. Joy over annoy. Choice over obligation. Opinions vs. feelings. Click To Tweet You may not realize it, but the number of fucks you personally have to give is a finite and precious commodity. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In all honesty, we were a bit skeptical about the “practical” side of this book.

Sarah convinced us about the magic of adopting a care-free attitude and why it’s worth embracing on all scales.

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The In-Between Summary

The In-Between SummaryEmbracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing

Our strivings and plans must not overshadow the importance of being here and now.

If your mind is elsewhere, you’ll never be able to enjoy the actual situation, which unfolds with each breath.

In this short preview, we give you the most exciting stories that shaped Jeff’s life.

Who Should Read “The In-Between”? And Why?

The yearnings and urges never seem to ease off, always in pursuance of the next victim. Our mind is fully concentrated on employed methods to reach these self-imposed scenarios.

The In-Between” is a practical and insightful book that teaches individuals to abandon their shallowness and accept the moment. As such it’s highly recommended to all people out there.

About Jeff Goins

Jeff GoinsJeff Goins is hailed as an author, blogger, and story-teller. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1982 and wrote several books including “The Art of Work.”

“The In-Between Summary”

When Jeff became a father, he immediately felt the burden of every moment. The quote: “Children grow too fast” converted into an omnipresent reality, and such occurrences forced him to concentrate on the present moment.

This mindset was practically initiated one night when Jeff was trying to put his son back to sleep.  

When Jeff realized it’s no use, he took the boy downstairs in the living room to have some fun. He accepted the situation that he would not be getting too much sleep, and as a result, his son was happy, smiling and saying new words.

The fact that he got rid of all the expectations and the urge to control his son contributed to peacefulness and inner satisfaction.

This gesture brought mutual respect and emotional closeness on a “parent and child” wavelength. “Not forcing anyone into anything” carved a new mentality that he embraced on all levels.

One thing that cannot go unremembered and unlisted is his rock-band tour throughout North America and Taiwan.

Jeff was setting up for the big stage, and with high hopes and plans, he embarked on a tour – dreaming of celebrity status and rock & roll life.

The reality was quite different, and the band often went on 12-hour van rides all over the country, just to play in front of a small crowd (consisting of no more than 50 people).

Once, they ended up having a meal at a pastor’s house. This moment struck down Jeff like a bolt of lightning from a clear sky, indicating that he’s missing on everything that’s going around him.

The idea of rock stardom made him forget about the value of friendship and kindness.

Another life-altering event that Jeff recalls is his adventure in Spain.

During his college days, he spent a semester in Seville as an exchange student. As a restless young adult, Jeff was eager to expand his collection of stories, therefore going out almost each and every night was a priority.   

One night, he stayed up past midnight with the local host to watch TV. Although he didn’t understand the Spanish TV-Show due to the language barrier, he suddenly burst into laughter alongside other people.

This moment lasted for hours, and Jeff learned the value of little things.

After the exciting time-spent in Seville, Jeff was on his way to return to Illinois. All the scenery and boredom while living in his parents’ house made him think that going there would be meaningless.

It was merely an obligation, an act of respect rather than something he had intended to do.

While being on a train, the guy sitting next to him said – It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Jeff was shocked “What is so fascinating about corn-fields? – The man expressed his gratitude for going home, to his wife’s grave and daughter and taught him to respect the ones around him.

Jeff was a church member, supported by his wife, they both attended ceremonies and gatherings. At one point, Lois (Jeff’s wife) started to feel weak, and her body was showing signs of severe illness.

When it became apparent that she has only a couple of months left to live, Jeff decided to spend quality time with his wife to the very end.

Lois loved fishing, and Jeff drove 700 Miles to Virginia Beach only for the sake of his wife. He stopped at a gas station to full up the tank of his RV.

One random guy said to him: Wow! I bet it costs a lot of money to fill up that big thing, especially in this economy!

Jeff paid no attention to neither the economy nor his budget. The only thing he wanted to do is to be with his wife in a place, where she would feel comfortable.

Key Lessons from “The In-Between

1.      Be grateful, respect the moment
2.      Don’t be overwhelmed by negativity
3.      Don’t wait for something to get better

Be grateful, respect the moment

We cannot emphasize enough; how crucial it is to be able to understand the value of presence. Nothing is better than being pleased with what you have.

Share this gratitude and make sure that your methods match your behavior.

Don’t be overwhelmed by negativity

It’s quite often that we came under the influence of negative thoughts, and unfortunate events. Don’t be surprised to hear that almost the entire world suffers from the same agony.

You are now left with a choice, to find the good in any situation, or continues whining. Remember: There is always the second-half of every story.

Don’t wait for something to get better

In truth, we have a habit of thinking that “Now” is never good enough. It’s much more economical and prosperous to live in the future, but is it worth it?

Absolutely not, and the sooner you get the big picture, the better!!

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“The In-Between” Quotes

The big moments are the tiny moments. The breakthroughs are often silent, and they happen in the most unassuming places. Click To Tweet The good life comes like most good things—unexpectedly—in moments that are fading away faster than we realize. These are the moments that take our time but don’t demand our attention. When we miss them, they’re gone. In those times… Click To Tweet Our journey is full of rest stops- park benches and airport terminals- that signal the arrival of things we anticipate. Sometimes, they´re worth the wait; other times, the glory doesn’t shine quite like wed hope. Regardless, we need to… Click To Tweet And as we embrace the wait , we learn to appreciate the delays and postponements that teach us some things in life are worth waiting for. Click To Tweet But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Short anecdotes, stories, and fables represent an easy-digestible form of writing.

The author goes straight to the point, without any hesitation and that’s the beauty of it. With the assistance of a story-telling manner, you’ll absorb the ideas and apply the strategies.

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Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Summary

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t SummaryWhy That Is And What You Can Do About It

Is your dream to be a writer?

Well, guess what: so is mine.

And, if you do not know already, we share this dream with millions of other people all around the world.

However, your dream remains just a dream, since it seems that “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t.” And so does mine.

So, what can we do? Are we doomed?

Don’t worry; this is all about to change.

Who Should Read “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” and Why?

Do you want to be a writer?

You know, writing is much more than just finishing your manuscript.

“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” explains all variables in a great story, whether it is a story told in a book, a screenplay or an advertisement.

We recommend it to all aspiring writers who finally want to get their big break.

About Steven Pressfield

Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield is a bestselling writer of both fiction and nonfiction.

He has worked both in advertising and screenwriting and is the owner of his popular writing advice blog stevenpressfield.com.

“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Summary”

The writing world is hard to penetrate to.

Let’s say you just finished your novel. You have spent hours and hours “bleeding” words onto the paper, and you finally saw your creation done.

You are probably excited – for the fun starts now! You cannot wait to see how people will react. What will they say? Will they love it? Will they hate it?

Stop.

Stop asking those questions.

Chances are, you will never get the answer since nobody wants to read what you have written.

People avoid commercials, unknown books, and unknown writers.

But, your writing group thinks you are brilliant!

No one cares. Those people there are forced to read your writing. The real audience, however, has many other things they would prefer doing.

Does this mean that you are doomed? That you have wasted your time dreaming of becoming an author?

No, don’t worry, not all hopes are lost. The only thing that this means is that your writing needs to be exceptional.

And, by exceptional or if you prefer “good”, we do not mean that you can write clever, and nice sounding sentences.

Good writing is the one that will hold your reader’s attention and make him or her thirsty for more.

Good writing is easy to understand. And most significantly of all, it is never boring.

Thankfully, you can easily avoid being boring by making your work scary, tragic or suspenseful.

And let’s not forget the other thing that you absolutely have to do: get out of your own head.

Yes, we know that you have been taught to write what you know, but you need to stop rumbling about the things you find fascinating and start focusing on your audience.

You have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work hard before you get any recognition whatsoever.

And the best way to learn the craft is to become someone’s apprentice.

Also, read stories like those which you want to write, and try to develop your unique voice and style.

If you are using too many phony phrases, pretend you are writing a letter to a friend or your family, since when we write to people, we know we sound more like ourselves.

In the end, you have to tell a great story.

And to be able to tell a great story – you need a great concept. The concept revolves around the problem your protagonist faces and how he resolves it.

After you think of the concept, think about a theme you would like to convey: is your story a story of envy, survival, or revenge?

Or is it about something else?

You will notice that in most movies and books, the structure is the same. Usually, it is a three-act structure which has remained the same ever since the ancient times.

First you introduce the problem and create interest, then you show the protagonist’s fight with the problem, and present many other conflicts, and finally, you finish with a resolution.

These three acts need to be balanced – give them enough time to develop.

Also, develop your characters. No story will be good enough without three dimensional, deep and developed characters.

Make them memorable so that readers can connect with them.

Lastly, be patient. Writing is just like any other skill – you have to keep at it in order to develop it.

Read a lot and write a lot. Accept critiques and revise.

Do it again.

And one day, your authorial voice will be heard.

Key Lessons from “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t”

1.      Start with a Concept
2.      Become a Problem Solver
3.      Follow the Three-Act Structure

Start with a Concept

Without a concept, your story is nothing.

Do not start without a direction. Those who wander in writing – are lost.

Become a Problem Solver

Writers are problem solvers.

Writer’s blocks do not exist!

If you hit a wall, just think hard about the problem that creates the situation, how that problem can be further complicated, and finally how it can be solved.

Follow the Three-Act Structure

No matter the genre, most stories follow the three-act structure.

It has to be something that works since it has survived since ancient times to today!

So, stop trying to be clever, and do like the grand masters do: tell a story in three acts.

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“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” Quotes

When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of… Click To Tweet You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her? Click To Tweet At the beginning, the author's writing was like a selfie: a disposable plea for attention that was all about him and his life. But since he hadn't done much living, there wasn't much substance. Click To Tweet All of a sudden I understood why I was so moody, neurotic, simultaneously paranoid and megalomaniac, mistrustful, uneasy, driven by ambition but paralyzed by guilt about my ambition, horny, obsessive, compulsive, obsessive-compulsive, not… Click To Tweet My role-options in life and career, I realized, were not limited to Businessman, Athlete, and Boneheaded Patriot. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you are serious about your writing career, you absolutely must get this book!

In it you will find all the core concepts of telling a story.

If you have already read extensively on the subject, you may not find anything new, but still, it is good to be reminded of the things that matter from time to time.

You can never know at what point something will resonate with you.

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