Payoff Summary – Dan Ariely

Payoff SummaryThe Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations

The only way to achieve your dreams is to persist.

And, the only way to persist is to continue being motivated.

What is motivation and what are the factors that drive it?

Read on and find out.

Who Should Read “Payoff” and Why?

To be successful, you have to persist.

Hence to achieve results, you have to be highly motivated.

“Payoff” explains the meaning and roots of motivation, as well as which motivation-inducing tools it is best to use.

After reading it, you will feel enlightened, you will finally understand yourself more, and you will know what to do the next time you face a lack of motivation.

We believe that this book is an excellent read for all people who have a problem with persisting in what they do or having a problem finding what they want to do.

About Dan Ariely

Dan ArielyDan Ariel is a best-selling author and a professor of behavioral economics and psychology at Duke University. He has founded The Center for Advanced Hindsight.

“Payoff Summary”

Today, many people work jobs they do not enjoy working.

They are looking at their professions as a way to make ends meet, and are unmotivated to become the best workers they can be.

Motivation, however, is the only thing that can keep you stick to your routine of going to work every day, year after year, without ending up extremely unhappy.

But, wait, everyone talks about motivation, but what exactly is it?

Many people would agree that the best motivator there is is money.

However, they could not be further from the truth.

Motivation is much more complex than people think it is, and it is a mix of pride, achievement, happiness, and many other factors.

Among all these factors, the most significant one is meaning.

Do not mix up meaning and happiness, like most people often do.

Meaningful work does not always bring happiness.

Many times people that do meaningful work do not do it because it makes them happy, but because it gives them a sense that they are doing something that counts.

This helps us arrive at the next conclusion: motivation does not depend on happiness.

But then, what generates meaning?

Most of the time, it is the sense that you are doing something bigger than yourself, that changes more than just your own life.

Repetitive tasks and jobs are contrary to those of meaning. Us, humans, after being faced with repetitiveness, simply quit.

We cannot find the meaning anymore after doing the same task over and over again.

On the other hand, performing activities that feel the meaningful build up people’s motivation. And the key to feeling that you do something meaningful is to feel the promise of achievement.

Another thing that contributes to creating meaning is an effort.

Tasks that you put your time, energy and effort in are more meaningful for you than those you did in a short amount of time, without investing yourself in them.

Next, let us not forget the ownership of the work as a major motivator as well. In other words, when people are given a chance to claim ownership, they feel more motivated, since they are standing behind what they did.

Also, when it comes to motivation, it comes from external and internal sources.

The most central motivator of all is the wish to achieve happiness.

Unfortunately, many people have wrong notions of happiness and the things that would make them happy.

They usually tie happiness to external motivators such as money.

However, these motivators can work only in the short time, while in the long haul people need something more: an internal source that will fuel their efforts and keep them going.

Only in instances when people find pleasure in doing something and are driven from within can they continue working hard toward their goals.

So, stop wishing for happiness that comes from bigger material possessions, and start finding it in small everyday things.

Even if your surroundings are not granting you with motivation, such as a “well done” from your boss, or a sense that you are doing something meaningful, try to find that meaning yourself.

Even in the most mundane tasks, find the things that they help you master, and think of them as only stepping stones to what you will achieve in the long run.

Be your biggest supporter and applaud yourself for every small achievement you make daily.

Key Lessons from “Payoff”

1.      Meaning and Happiness Are Not Connected
2.      Ways to Induce Meaning
3.      Motivation Must Come From the Inside

Meaning and Happiness Are Not Connected

Many factors define the levels of your motivation, but the core one is meaning.

If you find what you do meaningful, you will continue doing it, even in times when you do not feel happy.

That is right, happiness and meaning are not synonyms, and meaningful jobs do not make people feel happy, but still, they keep their motivation levels high.

Ways to Induce Meaning

A sense of meaning usually happens when people feel that they are working for a bigger purpose.

Also, when people put more effort into a task, more time and energy, they will consider it more valuable and thus more meaningful.

Motivation Must Come From the Inside

There are different motivators one can use to persist, but internal and external.

However, external motivators are just momentary and are not sustainable in the long haul.

For a long-term motivation, individuals have to feel motivated from the inside.

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“Payoff” Quotes

These results show that when we are acknowledged for our work, we are willing to work harder for less pay, and when we are not recognized, we lose much of our motivation. Click To Tweet The consultant experiment, I continued, showed that people dramatically underappreciate the extent and depth to which a feeling of accomplishment influences people. Click To Tweet It shows that when we work harder and spend a bit more time and effort, we feel a greater sense of ownership and thus enjoy more the fruits of our efforts. Click To Tweet A society without trust is not a society: it is a collection of people who are continuously afraid of each other. Click To Tweet The lesson here is that a little sweat equity pays us back in meaning—and that is a high return. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Payoff” is an excellent book on the topic of motivation, that can be read by any age group of readers.

Its biggest strength is that it is short and focused, it is easily read, extremely fun, and full of useful takeaways.

It is time you accomplished all of your goals!

We heartily recommend it.

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The Big Leap Summary

The Big Leap SummaryConquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level 

Everyone has dreams, but not everyone lives them.

We tell you why, and show you how you can go from being a dreamer to being a doer.

Who Should Read “The Big Leap” and Why?

“The Big Leap” is a book about dreams and fears, and how beating the fears and self-imposed limits can make all of those dreams come true.

We recommend this read to people who are trying to find the direction of their lives, or who are not satisfied with how life plays out so far, and want to transform their reality.

About Gay Hendricks

Gay HendricksGay Hendricks is a bestselling self-help author and a psychologist who specializes in couple’s therapy.

“The Big Leap Summary”

Our lives are determined by our behaviors, the challenges we take, and the excuses we make.

Sadly, we all have a dream which we never got to make real because of the excuses we constantly come up with.

We are driven and limited by fear of the unknown and fear of change.

To live a truly exceptional life you need to understand that no one ever promised you or told you that life is going to be easy.

The beauty of life is in fighting for what you want and the enjoyment you get after making a significant effort.

All of this time you are the one that is keeping away from a life of happiness.

Oddly, many humans resist happiness, self-imposing imaginary limits to how happy life should be.

And once they come close to their imaginary limit, they tend to sabotage themselves.

This is also connected to the fear of realizing your dreams and achieving your full potential, or what the author calls the upper limit mindset.

First, people tend to be afraid that when they become the best that they can be, there will run out of excuses to make their dreams come true.

Second, they think that once they realize their dreams, there will be nothing left to strive for.

If you want to truly experience success and be happy, you have to “cure” all of these unhealthy behaviors and beliefs.

And then, you have to take the big leap into the life of happiness.

This leap will not be easy to do – it requires a lot of confidence.

However, there are ways to overcome the fears and gain this confidence and finally, arrive at the place of bliss.

The first technique is breathing.

You have probably heard about the calming effects of breathing since it is used as a technique in meditation.

The breathing we are talking about is focused one, and lets you take control of your thoughts and fears and transform them into strengths.

Then, another problem is the upper limit mindset, which we already mentioned shortly above, which you can fix by not letting your guard down.

In fact, the problems arise only when you get the illusion that you have what you want, you let your guard down, and then become vulnerable to disappointments if things do not go as planned or wished.

To cure this mindset it is also important to recognize it, and you can do it by catching yourself when you start worrying.

So, the next time you feel worried, stop for a second and question the source that fuels these worries.

Finding the source will help you find the solution.

There are two types of worries you may have: the ones connected to issues you have control over, and the ones relating to issues you do not have control over.

If you are worried about something you can change, then stop worrying and start acting.

However, most of the times when you start questioning your worries, you will realize that they are not connected to something that depends on your actions, some of them are about issues and situations that have not yet arrived, and may never happen, and most of them are not even actual problems.

When you realize it is that kind of worry that is burdening you, accept that you cannot do anything to change it, and promise yourself to resolve the problem when it actually happens (if it does).

Life is too short to spend it worrying, wishing and questioning.

Instead of doing that, why don’t you just live it?

Key Lessons from “The Big Leap”

1.      We Are Imposing the Limits to Our Own Happiness
2.      Do not Become a Victim of Fear and Self-Sabotage
3.      Strive to Get to the Zone of Genius

We Are Imposing the Limits to Our Own Happiness

Our possibilities are limited only by our minds.

Everything that we are doing nowadays was once believed to be impossible.

The same goes for happiness: believing that happy moments are rare and short will lead you to live a life lacking happiness.

Changing your mindset is the most crucial step in changing your reality.

Do not Become a Victim of Fear and Self-Sabotage

Many people sabotage themselves because of their fear of either failure or success.

We all have a belief of how much we deserve, and if we think we may get more than that, we tend to sabotage ourselves.

Why?

Because we believe that things that seem too good to be “true” certainly are.

This is called the upper limit mindset, which makes us complicate our lives and create unnecessary problems.

Strive to Get to the Zone of Genius

Four zones of work exist zone of incompetence, zone of competence, a zone of excellence and zone of genius. Of course, you should strive to work in the last one.

Do not think that being the best in what you do is something impossible – just remember the first lesson!

Challenge yourself and watch how your life transforms.

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“The Big Leap” Quotes

Fear is excitement without the breath. Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it. Click To Tweet Letting yourself savor natural good feelings is a direct way to transcend your Upper Limit Problem. By extending your ability to feel positive feelings, you expand your tolerance for things going well in your life. Click To Tweet In my life, I’ve discovered that if I cling to the notion that something’s not possible, I’m arguing in favor of limitation. And if I argue for my limitations, I get to keep them. Click To Tweet Criticism and blame are addictions. They are costly addictions because they are the number-one destroyer of intimacy in close relationships. Click To Tweet I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Big Leap” is a book about taking chances in life and finally making relevant decisions, instead of just wishing for things to change.

It is a book which is highly motivational but sadly lacks practical advice, although there are some exercises which you can do.

In any case, if you do not feel motivated, we recommend you start here.

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The Man Who Fed the World Summary

The Man Who Fed the World SummaryNobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger

Are you looking for an inspiring story? – Something that can get you started?

Although we hate to admit, the world has become one self-centered place, and we must do something about it before it’s too late.

In this review, we discuss the main factors that are a part of the War – declared on hunger and starvation.

Who Should Read “The Man Who Fed the World”? And Why?

Is there anything nobler than standing up for those, who are too weak and neglected by their governments? – We sincerely doubt it.

The Man Who Fed the World” is an amazing story about a person, who unlike any other was driven by honesty and integrity to save the planet. We recommended to everyone willing to explore the reasons behind Borlaug’s ideology.  

About Leon Hesser

Leon Hesser is an expert regarding agricultural science and economy.

He is also a former farmer, who heads the U.S. program that targets the increase of food-production globally.

“The Man Who Fed the World Summary”

The Stalin’s purges and famine imposed mostly on the KuIaks marked only the beginning of worldly starvation, which continued after WW2.

In colonized Africa, and some Communist countries, the situation was escalating, but the international community felt no urge to react.

One highly skilled, and prominent “artisan” known by the name of Norman Borlaug had humble beginnings. Born in 1914, he soon faced the “1930 Great Depression”, spiced up with the devastating effects of WW2.

He literally revolutionized the ideas about agriculture, with plans in mind to install a mentality, which would become the fundamental ground for fighting hunger, and exploitation to unknown scales.

His optimism and passion were ignited during his school days, where the wrestling coach taught him a valuable lesson – Don’t bother starting a new campaign, if you are not prepared to give all you got!!

On numerous occasion, he encountered the same question: – What is your strategy for eradicating hunger from the face of the Earth? – He promptly replied: Focusing more on the yield of wheat crops, and in return, we can extract more food per farmland.

Many questioned his ideas, but somehow success and endurance revolved around him – building a shield against those who tried to obstruct the progress.

His commitment inspired many, and his endeavors to integrate all parties were not so well-received.

Every society has its own way of utilizing agriculture, and changing tradition come at a price.

Norman was aware that success is only possible if the government agrees to provide support through an aggressive campaign to upgrade the production systems.

He never felt hesitation to argue with government officials, whose policies were not only harmful to their community, but to the world.

In later years, he managed to convince the Indians, Pakistani, and Mexicans that the government must assist the production of crop fertilizers, and to avoid trade interference.

The work and his ideas had a considerable impact on Mexican agriculture, altering the core of the system.

During those days, the green revolution was preparing for take-off, and people throughout the world labeled it as a wheat and corn revolution.

Borlaug as a head of the program, and campaign to wipe out starvation on a global scale, had intentions to imply the value of wheat productions, even in countries dependent on harvesting.

These practices were later put to the test in both India and Pakistan, starting a boundless green revolution.

So, what was the trigger for turning a simple wheat revolution into a full-scale global green uprising?

His work extended beyond agricultural borders, and by using various links and networks located in research centers, Borlaug managed to spread the mania on a worldly basis.

For instance, he didn’t allow scientist to extract info from other projects, but instead to conduct their own set of analyzes.

One might wonder – How did Borlaug win the Nobel Peace Prize? – He was merely focusing on famine, not the war! Think of it this way: Many people are driven to war due to lack of resources available, which can be a dangerous incentive for activating a conflict.

In truth, there was only one class that truly supported Borlaug’s intentions to the full extent. The poor and hungry; those who felt the burden of an empty belly, and lack of human rights.

They didn’t criticize his endeavors and even praised his ideas – as the green revolution founder.

According to Borlaug’s beliefs, a farmer cannot trust a scientist who sits in a lab, without experiencing the hardship of harvesting.

Getting your hands dirty, and absorbing the burden of wheat production, is the only way you be allowed to suggest other forms for altering the food-production system.

What has left of the green revolution?

No one can say that we (as a global community) have managed to overcome the seriousness of the situation.

However, Borlaug laid down strong foundations for next generations with hopes that one day hunger will no longer pose a threat to the world.

The end goal is to offer employment opportunities to young and motivated people, to replace those, who can no longer provide valuable service to their community.

Key Lessons from “The Man Who Fed the World

1.      The shortages of high-quality staff must be replenished
2.      Dedicate yourself fully, to your cause
3.      Control the birth-rate, especially in rural communities

The shortages of high-quality staff must be replenished

Unfortunately, the scarcity of knowledgeable personnel with sincere motives affects the expansion of agricultural science.

Addressing this problem required expertise, something that Borlaug had and wanted to use in order to inflict change upon the world.

Dedicate yourself fully, to your cause

In today’s numbers and professional analyzes, Borlaug’s organization deserves all the credit for saving more than a billion of lives.

Although he is known as a man who immersed in his work, he expected the same from his associates.

Control the birth-rate, especially in rural communities

In his famous and enlightening speech, Borlaug warned about another danger that threatens to destabilize the world.

The population growth is one problem covering all spheres of human influence, and it can largely contribute to world hunger if we don’t combine our efforts.

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Our Critical Review

Not much can be said expect that Borlaug was a great man that will be remembered for his efforts and practices.

One cannot simply dislike such book and story.

According to us, “The Man Who Fed the World” deserves the highest praises for its message, and practical side.

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Unbroken Summary

Unbroken SummaryOur “Unbroken Summary” recaps the life of an athlete, who later became a survivor. The legend of Louis Zamperini will continue to echo through time; a story about a man who despite all the odds managed to conquer the hearts of many throughout the world.

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

How much do you think a man can take? How much pain and suffering, how much torture and anguish? And how capable do you think is one of forgiving his tormentor?

Find out in Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Louis Zamperini. Titled “Unbroken,” it is one of the most uplifting stories about resilience and redemption you’ll ever read.

Who Should Read “Unbroken”? And Why?

“Do not judge me by my success,” said Nelson Mandela once. “Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Well, few people have fallen down more times – and harder – than Louis Zamperini. First, it was quite literally: his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

Then, he had to survive for a month and a half drifting at sea. And when he thought he finally made it – he was captured by the Japanese and brutally tortured in a prisoner-of-war camp for almost nine hundred days.

Zamperini didn’t just get back up again. He got back up a stronger and a better person. He even forgave his tormentors.

Heartbreaking and inspiring, “Unbroken” is one of those stories so profoundly emotional it will undoubtedly stay with you for a while.

No matter who you are or where you are – it cannot leave you indifferent. In fact, we nominate this book as one of the ultimate human-testers: if it doesn’t move you, then you’re probably a robot.

Things are moving fast out there, so we may just need this kind of things.

About Laura Hillenbrand

Laura HillenbrandLaura Hillenbrand is a bestselling American author.

After falling ill at 19 – with the controversial and still not well understood chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – she had to drop out of college. Confined to her home, she dedicated herself to writing.

In 2001, she published “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” a biography of a racehorse which was turned into an extremely popular movie two years later.

“Unbroken” was published in 2010 to widespread acclaim and rave reviews. In 2014, Angelina Jolie directed its movie adaptation, which was also a success, grossing over $163 million at the box office.

Find out more at http://laurahillenbrandbooks.com/.

“Unbroken Summary”

Raised in a strict Catholic household, the young Louis “Louie” Zamperini is often picked on by other kids in his neighborhood in Torrance, California, for being an Italian-American unable to speak English well. Soon enough, his father teaches him how to box in self-defense.

And, before you know it, Zamperini fights back and turns from a troubled boy into a troublemaker.

Unhappy, he often dreams of running away for good. But, for the time being, he has to run away from the police first, since he often steals cigarettes, food, and beer.

Fortunately for Louie, his beloved older brother Pete – already a star in the school track team – is capable of translating this capability into something useful.

Pete takes Louis to the training runs with him, and soon, at his advice, Louis quits smoking and drinking and starts dedicating his time to exercising and running.

He is undefeated during the last three years of his high school, breaking all of his brother’s records, and setting a world interscholastic one for the mile in 1934.

Two years later, at 19 years of age, he tries out for the Olympics. He doesn’t get into the team for his discipline – the 1,500 meters – but he does for the 5,000 meters.

To this day, no U.S. athlete younger than him has ever qualified for the Olympics for the 5000-meter run.

At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Zamperini finished eighth. However, his final lap was so fast that Adolf Hitler himself asked a personal meeting. “Ah, you’re the boy with the fast finish,” said the Fuhrer after shaking Zamperini’s hand.

Nicknamed the “Torrance Tornado,” most probably Louis Zamperini would have had a chance of winning an Olympic medal already at the next Games. However, his running career was cut short when the Pacific War broke out.

Zamperini enlisted in the army and became a bombardier. He flew a B-24 called the “Super Man.” However, in April 1943, during a bombing mission over Nauru, Zamperini and his crew – including pilot Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips – found themselves in the middle of an apocalyptic air battle. Thanks to Phil’s piloting skills and Louie’s cleverness, “Super Man” was landed – but bullet-riddled and incapacitated.

Here is Zamperini himself checking the bullet holes on the “Super Man” in 1943:

unbroken pdf

So, the crew is given a new plane, the “Green Hornet,” a notoriously defective lemon. Unsurprisingly, the plane crashes just a month later, killing all but three members of its crew: Louis, Phil, and Francis “Mac” McNamara.

Now, come the ordeals.

The three survivors had little food and basically no water. So, the only way for them to survive was to capture rainwater and use it sparingly, while eating small fish and birds landing on their raft.

To make matters worse, Mac goes a bit mad and eats all their available chocolate.

And did we mention that they are in the middle of the ocean?

Of course, there are sharks!

And they have to fight them using nothing but their bare hands and the oars. Surprisingly, they manage to fend off few shark attacks, with Louie even eating the liver of one. Yes, that really happened!

And as if it wasn’t enough, they also had to survive through a storm which all but capsized their raft. On the 27th day, destiny had another surprise for them: a Japanese bomber strafed them, damaging their raft! Six days later, Mac died.

Sounds too movie-like? That doesn’t make it untrue. But it does make it worthy of an adaptation. Even the trailer will give you goosebumps:

If you watched the trailer carefully, you’ve noticed that we’re far from finished.

Louie and Phil survive for 46 days. However, when on the 47th day, they reach land in the Marshall Islands, they are immediately captured by the Japanese Navy.

First, they are put in the Ōfuna POW camp, but afterward transferred a couple of times. Louie would eventually end up in the Naoetsu POW camp in northern Japan.

(If you like to have a better perspective, here you can see an interactive map of Zamperini’s journey).

All the while, he is tormented by Mutsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed “The Bird,” No. 23 on General Douglas MacArthur’s list of 40 most wanted Japanese war criminals.

For the purposes of this summary, we don’t need to describe too much the 200 times Zamperini is punched in the face or the fact that he was forced to clean a pigsty with his bare hands.

Suffice to say that there’s a reason why the Bird is ranked that high.

Miraculously, Zamperini survives. Back at home, he marries Cynthia Applewhite. They have a daughter, but Louie is incapable of being happy. He is tormented by his memories and becomes an alcoholic in an attempt to forget.

Once, Cynthia catches Louie uncontrollably shaking their baby. So, she files for divorce.

Fortunately for the newlyweds, Billy Graham comes to town. In one final attempt to help her husband, Cynthia convinces Louie to attend one of Graham’s preaching sessions.

The experience transforms him: Louie finds faith, quits drinking, and becomes a motivational speaker.

But the story isn’t over yet.

With faith comes forgiveness, and Louie does precisely that: he forgives his tormentors from the war.

And he wants to do one better: upon hearing that Watanabe is still alive, he wants to go and forgive him in person. The Bird refuses, so Louie sends him a letter.

The same year, Louie is one of the Olympic torch-carriers for the 1998 Nagano Olympics. As such, he runs past Naoetsu, the POW camp where he was once imprisoned.

As he leaves the sight of the camp behind him, it seems as if symbolically he leaves the past behind him as well.

Key Lessons from “Unbroken”

1.      Humans Are Capable of Enduring So Much Suffering
2.      No Matter What Happens, You Can Always Get Out
3.      Forgiveness Is the Best Way to Free Yourself from Your Past

Humans Are Capable of Enduring So Much Suffering

Louie Zamperini’s story is a story of perseverance.

Its moral? Well, we guess: humans are made of sterner stuff.

Zamperini went through hell, from air fights to having his plane crashed, from surviving a month and a half in a raft to fending off sharks, from being tortured as a war prisoner to beating alcoholism.

And, as Maya Angelou said once, during all this period, he allowed to be changed but never reduced.

He was the Great Zamperini all throughout.

No Matter What Happens, You Can Always Get Out

In a way, Zamperini’s life was a long list of prison escapes.

First, thanks to the help of his brother and his passion for running, he escaped the prison of juvenile delinquency. Then, he escaped death in an air fight. Afterward, he escaped being lost at sea. Then, he was put in a literal prison – he escaped from there too when the Americans liberated it.

Back to spiritual imprisonment, he has to find a way to escape the prison of the past experiences right after the war. To top that, alcoholism sneaks at the back door – and he has to escape from it too.

Finally, with the help of his wife and faith, he does. Because, no matter what happens, you can always get out. Sometimes, you may need willpower; other times, a helping hand.

Forgiveness Is the Best Way to Free Yourself from Your Past

There’s a painful aftermath of being a victim of any kind of violence. Because, even after the ordeal is over, you can’t let it go.

How can you?

Your whole body will probably be protesting against it. “The paradox of vengefulness,” writes Hillenbrand, “is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when their tormentors suffer.”

Zamperini chose a better way: he forgave them.

And that made him a free man once again.

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“Unbroken” Quotes

Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live. Click To Tweet Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered… Click To Tweet A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain. Click To Tweet What God asks of men, said Billy Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen. Click To Tweet At that moment, something shifted sweetly inside him. It was forgiveness, beautiful and effortless and complete. For Louie Zamperini, the war was over. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Unbroken” is a testament to human’s willpower and – as William Ernest Henley would eloquently write – his “unconquerable soul.”

Really. It doesn’t get much more uplifting or heartwarming than this.

Trust us.

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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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Find Your Why Summary

Find Your Why SummaryA Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team

Unfortunately, most of our lives we spend so much time doing things, that we don’t have the time to ask ourselves why we are doing them. Really: what’s the meaning, the purpose of it all?

After pointing out to you almost a decade ago that you should always start with a why, Simon Sinek is back to teach you how to “Find Your Why.”

Who Should Read “Find Your Why”? And Why?

Simon Sinek is too popular to ignore anything he does.

And “Start With Why” – his debut book – was one of the things which made him so big. So, when that book gets a follow-up, it’s only normal than the answers to the above questions are as generalized as possible: 1) everyone; 2) because everyone wants to have a purpose and a direction in life.

Or, to quote Simon Sinek himself: “Find Your Why” is a book “for all of the people who want to learn their WHY, who want their companies to start with WHY, who want to help others find their WHY . . . for all of the people who want to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired to go to work, to feel safe when they are there and to return home fulfilled by the work they do.”

About Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker

Simon SinekSimon Sinek is a British- American leadership consultant and motivational speaker. To say that he is one of the biggest names in both areas may be an understatement. His TED Talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” is the 3rd most viewed TED talk of all time. “Together Is Better” and “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe” are just as beloved.

“Find Your Why” is his fourth book. Previously, he has published “Start With Why,” “Leaders Eat Last,” and “Together Is Better.”

David MeadDavid Mead is a corporate trainer whose worldview was turned upside down once he met Simon Sinek in 2009.

Inspired by his Golden Circle concept, he started working closely with him, first by developing content and then by organizing popular workshops. He has presented their ideas to over 150 organizations located on 5 continents.

Peter DockerPeter Docker is a keynote motivational speaker and popular leadership consultant. He is a former international negotiator for the UK government and Royal Air Force senior officer with combat experience.

In 2011, he joined Simon Sinek and his Start With Why team. His main focus is transforming Sinek’s theories into practical coaching manuals.

“Find Your Why Summary”

Have you ever asked yourself what’s the point of it all? What’s the meaning behind the things that you’re doing? What’s the purpose of your life?

Or, in short:

WHY are you doing what you’re doing right now?

It can be a depressing thing, we know. To tell you the truth, we ourselves have rarely bothered to ask our hearts and untethered souls such a troubling question. And even now, as we do, we are stunned to face the silence and the lack of satisfying answers.

But don’t take our word for it.

Simon Sinek went through the same process as well. At one point during his life, he discovered that there was nothing which really made him happy. He had lost all passion and enthusiasm for anything. His friends noticed his depression, so, naturally, they tried helping him by offering some advice.

Nothing worked.

Until Sinek decided to delve deep into his past and discover his WHY. Soon enough, he did: he wanted to inspire others. The rest – as they say – is history.

So, why don’t you go and try doing the very same yourself?

Dig deep in to your past and discover whether something you have done sometimes filled you with a feeling you won’t mistake for anything other than happiness. If so, stop – for a second, a minute, an hour, a week, a month! – and think it through why that was.

For example, a woman the authors worked with had all but given up on her life. She didn’t know what to do – and even less why to do it.

Through a series of long – and rather painful – conversations, the authors of “Find Your Why” did manage to locate the root of all her sadness: an abusive father. However, that part belongs to the past and psychology studies. The one which follows belongs to the future and motivational books.

Namely, the woman had a sister. And the thing that really made her feel as if she did something good with her life was few acts of self-sacrifice when she protected her sister. There was the revelation, there was the WHY: she wanted – really, really desired to help vulnerable people in need.

And, suddenly, her life made sense again.

However, discovering your WHY sometimes may not be as simple. You may need some external help such as the woman did in the above example.

So, try to casually slip your WHY conundrum in a conversation with some of your friends. Start retelling stories from the past and see where that will lead you. The only thing you need is a good listener with observant and curious mind. Because these people will try to find your WHY for you.

Few of them – and you just might have a winner.

Key Lessons from “Find Your Why”

1.      There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY
2.      Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past
3.      Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY

There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY

The only things you should be doing in life are the things which make you get out of your bed – happy and smiling. And the things which make you happy – are usually those you do because of a profound reason.

Your WHY.

If you remember Sinek’s “Golden Circle” explanation, this WHY is the center of the said circle, enclosed within the HOW and the WHAT. And it is what people buy – they don’t buy WHAT you do, neither HOW you do it. They buy it because of the WHY, the story behind it.

That’s why Apple is so huge. It just happens to produce computers – because it thinks differently. To them, the WHY is the more important of the HOW and the WHAT. And it is to us as well.

So, if companies can do it – why shouldn’t you be able as well?

Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past

If you want to discover your WHY, the best way is to close your eyes and start thinking about the past. See what made you happy when you were a child – and try to find out why.

List all the stories. Maybe you’ll find some interrelations, some things which repeat as if a pattern.

For example, maybe you wanted to visit your grandparents not because you had time during the summer vacation, but because their house is next to a forest, which you were able to explore. And maybe you wanted to do the same when you went on those high school excursions.

If so – shouldn’t you be working as, say, an ecologist, instead of draining your life in that small, dark office of yours?

Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY

Even when you discover your WHY, you’re merely halfway finished. Because – now you need to start following it.

And overcoming fear isn’t really an easy task.

However, there’s a great way to do this. And it’s fairly simple: just share the WHY. Tell it to others. Especially strangers.

When someone you’ve just met asks you “What do you do?” don’t beat around the bush saying things such as “Well, I was this and then that but plan on to become a third thing…”

Just say it out loud: “I’m an ecologist because I want to explore and preserve nature.” It may sound funny at first – but, believe us, your life depends upon it.

Because this practice will not only give you the much-needed confidence. It will also help you adjust your message. And it will also reassure you that you’re doing the right thing.

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“Find Your Why” Quotes

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY. Click To Tweet There’s just one problem with feelings. They can be tremendously difficult to express in words. That’s the reason we so often resort to metaphors and analogies. Click To Tweet When we align emotionally with our customers and clients, our connection is much stronger and more meaningful than any affiliation based on features and benefits. That’s what starting with WHY is all about. Click To Tweet There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks… Click To Tweet The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Most people are writing self-help books. As Simon Sinek writes in the Foreword to this book, he and his team are focused on creating the “help-others” bookshop section.

True, “Find Your Why” is not as groundbreaking and as inspirational as its predecessor “Start With Why.” In fact, to many, some of the ideas in “Find Your Why” may seem nothing more but recycled versions of previous ideas Sinek has persuasively presented.

However, “Find Your Why” tends to be much more practical and applicable. And, even if repetitive, it can still inspire you to change your life.

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Move Your Bus Summary

Move Your Bus SummaryAn Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life

Not everyone can perform the same.

However, everyone should perform their tasks, to keep the organization going.

“Move Your Bus” shows you how you can deal with the different types of workers and how you can become a high achiever yourself.

Who Should Read “Move Your Bus” and Why?

“Move Your Bus” is a guide to boost your performance at work no matter at what stage of your life or career you are. It will help you understand your role and your abilities and will teach you how you can achieve the success you long for.

We recommend it to everyone who feels like they are not moving forward, as well as managers who need help motivating their employees to perform better.

About Ron Clark

Ron ClarkRon Clark is a bestselling author and business consultant. He is the founder of the Ron Clark Academy.

“Move Your Bus Summary”

Each organization consists of different people, with different worldviews and personal histories.

These people also differ in their company roles: some of them move the company forward and aim high, while others do what is asked of them (or less) and just ride along without going the extra mile.

So, the question most business owners ask themselves is how to create an organization in which all employees contribute to a common goal.

To help companies understand how to achieve this desired result, author Ron Clark developed the bus metaphor.

Imagine a bus situated in a Flinstones cartoon.

Why the Flintstones?

Because there is no engine to drive the bus. In other words, the only way the bus will move is if the people inside of it push it to move.

Now, what does this metaphor stand for?

The bus is equivalent to your goals: you will be able to reach your goals only if everyone in your team performs on a level high enough to move the bus.

It is essential that you understand the “everyone” part. No matter the role, each team member needs to contribute.

Now, this metaphor also has a few more variables in it.

First, the Driver is the one who is directing the team and pushing everyone forward.

Then, the Runners are the top performers and contribute a lot.

The Lodgers are all the diligent workers who do a good job.

Next, the Walkers contribute the less but still, make some steps forward.

Finally, the Riders, do nothing, just keep the bus back.

In each organization, the Driver, or the manager, should firstly focus on the Runners, since they are the hard workers who if allowed, can be the backbone of the organization.

Managers should encourage and support runners, and show them that they value their efforts.

Joggers, unlike the runners, do not exceed expectations, but managers can depend on them since they always come when called upon.

The Walkers are slow, but have the potential to grow, and are much better than the Riders, who do their job only when they are sure that someone is watching.

The Riders lack a work ethic and are the hardest to manage.

So, if you want to create a good team, you must become a good leader yourself and adopt the behavior of a runner.

There are three easy steps to develop Runner habits: show up to work early, dress your best, and put in the extra mile to perform well and complete tasks.

Also, as an extra step, we will add the need to mind how you communicate. You should not engage in any kind of negative conversations.

Instead of focusing on what is wrong, always search for answers.

Each problem is an opportunity for progress. If you adopt this mindset, you will also empower those around you.

The best way to speed up becoming a Runner, is to learn from the Runners that surround you.

Do not be shy or embarrassed to ask for help. Asking for a helping hand is not a weakness – it is just a sign that you worry about your job and your performance.

However, when you do ask for help, be prepared to be criticized.

Criticism is beneficial for you – it will help you improve. Listen to what others have to say; they will most likely point out things you are not aware are keeping you back.

But, what if you do not think you can become a Runner?

Do not worry that does not mean that you must be insignificant in your company.

However, even if you are not a Runner, it is essential that you put the organization’s need ahead of yours. In other words, do not get greedy for rewards. Rewards will come to you only after you know your role, and you complete it well.

Key Lessons from “Move Your Bus”

1.      Keep Your Expectations High
2.      Know Your Workers
3.      The Five Types of People in Any Organization

Keep Your Expectations High

Not having any expectations is the worst advice anyone can give you. Instead, set reasonably high expectations, communicate them, and hold the people accountable for their work.

In that way, everyone will be motivated to deliver what is expected of them.

Know Your Workers

Having high expectations does not mean that you will have the same expectations for everyone.

On the contrary, someone’s low is someone else’s high. So, remember that all people perform on a different level, and set your expectations accordingly.

The Five Types of People in Any Organization

  • The Drivers
  • The Runners
  • The Joggers
  • The Walkers
  • The Riders

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“Move Your Bus” Quotes

People who walk slow ain't got nowhere to go. Click To Tweet If you lift up the people around you, you lift up yourself as well. Click To Tweet Trust me, people will allow you to be a sponge, soaking up all their negativity. But remember, full sponge doesn’t move very quickly and it will keep you from being able to run or even walk. Click To Tweet I don’t care how smart you are, if you don’t have a strong work ethic then you are slowing down the bus. Click To Tweet In life, we have riders, walkers, joggers, and runners. Fuel the runners. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Move Your Bus” is a quick read that gives valuable lessons and will ultimately reshape the way you interact with your environment.

In today’s world in which functioning is impossible without teams, it is valuable to understand the differences between the types of people and how you can manage them.

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Do the Work Summary

Do the Work SummaryOvercome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way

You– with your big brain and your tiny heart – is your own worst nightmare! You over-rationalize things when you don’t need to – and you don’t believe yourself when you must.

Steven Pressfield says: it’s time you put an end to this. And “Do the Work”!

Who Should Read “Do the Work”? And Why?

“I didn’t have the time to write it out, which is a shame,” closes one touching Primo Levi poem. “It would have been a fundamental work.”

Maybe you have one lying around in a drawer as well. And procrastination and distractions stop you from putting the effort to complete your masterpiece. You don’t want to end up like the speaker in Primo Levi’s poem, don’t you?

If so, “Do the Work.” Or read Steven Pressfield’s book and learn how.

About Steven Pressfield

Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield is an American writer, famous both for his fiction and non-fiction works. Most of the former deal with historical subjects, mostly taken from Ancient Greek history.

“The Gates of Fire,” for example, is about the Battle of Thermopylae, while “Tides of War” about Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War. “The Virtues of War” and The Afghan Campaign” is a pair of books which focus on Alexander the Great’s conquests.

However, he’s probably most famous for his debut novel, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” which was turned into a successful movie in 2000.

Unsurprisingly, Pressfield’s debut nonfiction book, “The War of Art” dealt with writing creative fiction and breaking through creative barriers. We’ve already featured it in our list of “6 books that will turn you into a great writer.”

“Do the Work” is its follow-up.

“Do the Work Summary”

Are you familiar with things such as blank-page (or: blank-screen) syndrome or, even worse, writer’s block?

If so, the good news is you’re not alone. Basically, every writer who has ever lived has experienced this – and much more. And the even better news is that Steven Pressfield, a famous contemporary author, provides you with a manual on how to beat all of it.

Or, to use his introductory analogy to describe the objective of the book better:

“On the field of the Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.”

Resistance is a concept Pressfield has invented himself; and it’s an important one to many, to state the least (Godin, Kelley, Kiyosaki, Lechter, Trapani…) Basically, it’s an umbrella term for all those obstacles standing between you and your finished project.

Your number one enemy, your arch nemesis, the Darth Vader to your own, personal Anakin Skywalker.

In a nutshell, Resistance is a monster and it manifests itself in many different forms. It can be doubt or self-criticism, it can be rational thinking or a cup of coffee with a friend.

Actually – anything which takes you away from doing the work!

Motivation is a good way to start fighting it. Passion, perseverance, grit –  you know the drill. Interestingly enough, even negative traits can do the work (pun unintended).

For example, stubbornness. It was what helped Charles Lindbergh fly over the Atlantic and Steve Jobs built “Apple.”

You know why?

Because they didn’t overthink it! In the case of Lindbergh, he didn’t even prepare well enough. And that made all the difference! Because thinking too much and excessive preparation is usually an enemy – especially when you are a writer. Putting words on paper – now, that’s the actual job.

Don’t worry: you’ll have time to reflect on them the next morning. And then do some more writing.

Because the real enemy, your own worst nightmare – is, after all, you. You are free to do whatever you like – really, you are! – and, for some reason, you choose to be subjugated by Resistance.

Don’t do it!

Fight back!

A good way to do this is by asking yourself two questions: “how badly do you want this?” and “why do you want this?” May the answer to the former be “I’m totally committed” and to the latter “Because I have no other choice.”

Otherwise, you don’t want it. And you won’t do it.

Key Lessons from “Do the Work”

1.      You are the Knight. Resistance is the Dragon.
2.      Do the Work Now. Reflect on It Later.
3.      Facing the Big Crash

You are the Knight. Resistance is the Dragon.

If there’s a project which is really important to you – a diet regime, an entrepreneurial project, or writing your masterpiece – then, just as sure, there will be resistance on your path to complete it. It’s just the way things go: passion and commitment breed fear and doubt.

Even at 75, Henry Fonda supposedly threw up before every stage performance!

However, you can beat Resistance. Because, as dragon-like as it is, you have all the chivalric traits you’ll ever need!

Do the Work Now. Reflect on It Later.

Now, “Do the Work” is specifically written for writers. And when it comes to them, Resistance has many names: self-doubt, writer’s block, self-censorship… So, it’s no surprise they’re usually pictured as neurotics, right?

However, the problem – says Pressfield, one of their peers (so, he should know) – is fairly simple. Namely, writers don’t differentiate between what is their work and what is not. While carpenters (for example) would never mistake thinking about making a chair for work, writers will.

And they do. Even though they should not. They should simply start putting words on paper. Because even thinking about them later will result in editing. Thus, more work!

Thinking about the resistance of the blank piece of paper, however, will result in nothing but more resistance!

Facing the Big Crash

It will inevitably come.

No matter what you do or how much you prepare for it, the Big Crash will one day appear at your doorstep. It may be a technical glitch, burned manuscript, a family problem – you name it!

First of all, the bad news: you can’t really prepare for the Big Crash.

However, the good news is – knowing about it will help you overcome it. Look at it this way – if you wanted it badly before the Big Crash, now you should want it even more badly!

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“Do the Work” Quotes

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate. Click To Tweet The opposite of fear is love - love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at our dream and see if we can pull it off. Click To Tweet The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it. Click To Tweet A work-in-progress generates its own energy field. You, the artist or entrepreneur, are pouring love into the work; you are suffusing it with passion and intention and hope. Click To Tweet At least twice a week, I pause in the rush of work and have a meeting with myself… I ask myself, again, of the project: “What is this damn thing about?” Keep refining your understanding of the theme; keep narrowing it down. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Do the Work” – to quote its introductory sentence – “is designed to coach you through a project (a book, a ballet, a new business venture, a philanthropic enterprise) from conception to finished product, seeing it from the point of view of Resistance.”

And, as it promises, the book hits every Resistance Point along the way, providing the reader with applicable knowledge – based on invaluable experience – on how to beat it and pass over it.

Obviously – and the book admits this from the outset – “Do the Work” will mainly interest readers who are writers themselves. And it reads better if you’ve already read “The War of Art.”

But, even so, as Seth Godin states in the Foreword, it’s “practical, direct, and personal.” And you should read it at least twice.

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Born for This Summary

Born for This SummaryHow to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do

Unsatisfying career, middle-level managers who torment you on a daily basis, low wages, 9-5 working hours, no prospects for a promotion – oh, no, you were not born for this! But, everybody’s like that! Could there actually be something more than this?

Chris Guillebeau says there is. And “Born for This” is his how-to manual.

Who Should Read “Born for This”? And Why?

If you hate your job – “Born for This” is one of the first books you should include on your reading list. However, since it goes over many strategies on how to find the work you were meant to do, the book may be even more interesting to those who have just entered the job market. Namely, recent graduates.

Finally, it should appeal to the more fortunate ones as well. Because it can teach them how they can start their own business, while not losing the comfort of having a job.

About Chris Guillebeau

Chris GuillebeauChris Guillebeau is an American blogger, motivational speaker, and nonfiction writer. He made his name as the author of “The Art of Non-Conformity” blog, now available at this address. Subsequently, he published a book with the same title in 2010, which was followed by the extremely popular “The $100 Startup” – which we had to include among our top entrepreneurship books.

Since then, he has published three more books: “The Happiness of Pursuit,” “Born for This,” and “Side Hustle.”

“Born for This Summary”

Lillian Moller Gilbreth is probably not a name you have heard too many times before – even if you have watched all “Cheaper by the Dozen” films!

If you have – it’s based on her life. Yes: that means that she had 12 children. But, she was also one of the first female engineers to earn a Ph.D. in human history!

No wonder they called her “a genius in the art of living”!

To say the least, Gilbreth was an expert in efficiency. And she earned her expertise by constantly experimenting with her family’s time management (in a good way, of course)!

And if she could do it – back when she had so many obstacles to confront – why shouldn’t you be able as well?

That’s what Chris Guillebeau tries to tell – and teach – you in his remarkably simple manual for efficiency “Born for This.”

Lesson number one: if you want to win the career lottery, start experimenting! Everything else you hear – is, more or less, a lie. There’s no clear-cut way to success – just as there’s no one sure-fire way to live your life!

You career shouldn’t be a warfare or a “Survivor” episode! In fact, you shouldn’t even fathom it as a career at all – if by “career” you mean “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress”!

Oh, no!

You want to work in the circus now – please do! And six months later you want to train for a pilot – do that if you have the money. And regret nothing if three years later you realize that circus was where you were meant to be from the start!

Because that’s exactly why you started experimenting in the first place: finding your ideal job. And, as Guillebeau giftedly presented at “Talks at Google” there’s always more than one path to reach it.

Speaking of ideal jobs – no matter what they are, they seem to all share four traits.

First of all, you want to do them! Mark Twain supposedly said that if you find a job you enjoy doing, you will never have to work a day in your life. And he was right!

However, joy is only a part of the equation. And it tends to diminish if the money isn’t enough, or the work flow is all wrong. So, you need to earn as much as you deserve, and you need to feel that you’re fully immersed in your work and constantly improving.

The fourth ingredient is the atmosphere at work. Because there are many things that are wrong with current workplaces, and the frustrations may ultimately kill your enthusiasm, no matter how much you love your work or how much money you earn!

Now, searching for an ideal job starts with two lists!

One of them should include all of your strengths, and the other – all of your weaknesses. Don’t expect the latter to evolve – genius is non-transferrable – and focus on the former. Choose the ones you like the most.

And move on to the second exercise: find 100 people on your contact list and offer them 15-minute consultations in that area. This will both show you where you are at the moment – and help you improve your skills. Feedback is, after all, everything.

Next, it’s time to conquer your fear and get that ideal job of yours!

And there’s a threefold solution to this: 1) work on it while you work; 2) workshift, and 3) prepare if/then sketches to manage the risks!

In other words, this means: 1) not leaving your current job while preparing for a new career; 2) experimenting with different careers along the line of your ideal one on side; 3) and having an if/then plan for every problem which may arise in the meantime.

Key Lessons from “Born for This”

1.      Your Ideal Job Has Four Ingredients
2.      Find It with Two Lists and One Hundred People
3.      If You Can’t Find Your Ideal Job – Create It

Your Ideal Job Has Four Ingredients

If you’re working something which doesn’t feature these four ingredients – you are working the wrong thing!

Because, your ideal job will always give you some pleasure and as much enjoyment! Next, it will earn you as much money as you would need. Thirdly, it will never be boring and will make you immerse fully in it.

Finally, you will be able to do it in the perfect work environment.

Find It with Two Lists and One Hundred People

You can easily find your ideal job!

The best way to start is with two lists – one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses. Obviously enough, you’ll want to focus on the former; and ignore every job which asks the latter.

Now, that you know what you are able to work, choose what you want! And then, select 100 people from your contact list from which you can get some feedback concerning these particular strengths!

If most of them say something similar – such as “you’re always great at summarizing things” – there you have it – that’s your ideal job!

And yes – we’re talking from personal experience!

If You Can’t Find Your Ideal Job – Create It

Now, there’s always that option: nobody really offers what you want to do. In that case, create your ultimate job. One guy, for example – called Tony Bacigalupo – wanted to be a Mayor. And, he nominated himself to be the Mayor of New York Cities, his coworking space!

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“Born for This” Quotes

Finding the work you were meant to do is rarely a linear journey. It’s a process of exploring many little twists and turns that lead us to the place we ultimately belong. THE WINNING. Click To Tweet It’s less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You’ll always find time for things that have a strong enough why. Click To Tweet Remember, it’s not just a numbers game. It’s about managing your risk by picking the right numbers in the first place. Click To Tweet Select the job title you want, don’t choose from existing ones. Click To Tweet Winning a gazillion dollars in the lottery would be nice, but finding what you were meant to do is far more important. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Daniel H. Pink – the author of “Drive” and “To Sell Is Human” – didn’t hold back on the compliments when “Born for This” was first published.

He wrote that the book “is chock-full of inspiring yet practical advice to develop new streams of business, build your fan base, and invent the job of your dreams.” And he added afterwards: “If you’re looking for someone to help you find your footing on the new frontier of work, Chris Guillebeau is your man.”

We think pretty much the same. Because, as Susan Cain wrote at the time, Guillebeau really “makes getting your dream job seem less of a dream and more of a reality.”

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The Artist’s Way Summary | FREE PDF |

The Artist’s Way pdf

A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

“The Artist’s Way” is a book for all creative souls who want to free their inner artist.

Who Should Read “The Artist’s Way” and Why?

Do you believe you have had an artist in you, that disappeared, because of all of your obligations and tries to fit society’s standards?

Do not worry, that artist is still there. You just need to wake him or her up.

We recommend “The Artist’s Way” to all people who feel like they strayed from their creative path, as well as those who sometimes feel blocked and unable to get inspired.

About Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron is a poet, fiction writer, essayist playwright, and award-winning journalist.

“The Artist’s Way PDF Summary”

Let’s go back to the time when you were a child.

Could you just sit in the room by yourself, just drawing, or singing for hours and hours?

Did you go to bed wishing to hear bedtime stories, and imagining things when you were supposed to sleep?

Are those passions still active today?

Or, have you, like most of us, become a person wanting to be creative, but can never find the time because of his stuffy office work?

These people are called shadow artists and are living their lives haunted by what they could have become.

Even if you are an artist, you may encounter creative blocks.

So, how can you free your inner artist?

There are twelve steps that “The Artist’s Way” reveals to you, which you should focus on weekly, for ten weeks.

Do not rush through the steps and allow yourself to truly make them your habit.

We will cover some of them briefly.

First, start by writing morning pages.

Morning pages let your mind unwind and wander. Your morning pages will not be brilliant – but that is their purpose.

You need to free yourself and let yourself rumble.

Morning pages are a form of artistic meditation which focuses your attention on the present moment.

How do you write them?

Simple. First thing in the morning, before you do anything else and let the world get in the way of your creative awakening, sit down, and let your thoughts wander on a sheet of paper.

There will be days when you will not know what to write but just start somewhere, even from the fact that you do not know about what to write.

When you are working on your morning pages, it is important that you shut off the internal editor, that critical part of yourself which will make you evaluate what you are doing.

Do not worry about how good these pages are! Just let your brain experiment with different thoughts.

Next, make sure you take your inner artist on a date. Relax in your own company, and let your mind drift.

This date is a day you set out for yourself, and allow yourself to relax.

Go to the movies, pamper yourself, or just go for a walk around the block. It does not matter what you do – you can even wash the dishes if that is what you enjoy doing!

Just pay attention to your surroundings. Explore the taste, the smell, the sound of all things you do.

You will be amazed at how many different new things you will discover once you pay attention.

Make it your habit to explore and experience something new – no matter how small it may be.

Now, you have to know that there will be tough times. But desperate times will come, whether you are an artist or not.

You may not be an artist, just because you believe that artists have a harder life. You may think that they lose their sanity, or that they cannot hold healthy relationships.

Whatever it is, realize that your thoughts hold you back from achieving your creative freedom.

And so do people. People can be intimidating, but you should not allow anyone to influence your creativity.

Now, if you have suppressed the creative part of yourself for a long time, maybe it will be harder to wake it up.

But nothing is impossible!

And the further you go with digging inside yourself, the easier it will get.

You will notice new thoughts and feelings, which you may find strange or scary at first, but you have to embrace because they are part of the process.

Another thing art can do to you is expose you to criticism and as a result, strengthen you as a person.

Do not be ashamed of your work!

Listen to what people say, but do not let them influence what you do.

On the path to creativity, you will discover many weaknesses.

But whenever you do – do not worry. Instead, celebrate!

At least you know you are on the right path of waking up your inner creative genius.

Key Lessons from “The Artist’s Way”

1.      Art as the Path to Self-Discovery
2.      Accept that Nothing is New
3.      Trust the Universe

Art as the Path to Self-Discovery

Whenever you experience frustration, anger, negativity, or fear – be happy!

It means that your artistic process is working and that it is showing you all of your weaknesses.

However, art will also show you many sides of your strengths that you have previously not been aware of, and ultimately will lead you to understand your true being better.

Accept that Nothing is New

Artists do not come up with their own ideas – the collect them out in the world, in the universe.

Accept this, and you will notice how creative blocks become a distant past.

The pressure when you take accountability for your “brilliant” idea is immense and can block you entirely.

Think of yourself as just a channel, and you will be much more peaceful and creative.

Trust the Universe

When you are passionate about what you do and about your vision, opportunities will pop up on every step of the way.

The higher power will take care of you and help you. Everything you need to do is to keep being creative.

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“The Artist’s Way” Quotes

In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me. Click To Tweet Leap, and the net will appear. Click To Tweet Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can. Click To Tweet Serious art is born from serious play. Click To Tweet Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Artist’s Way” is not an easy fix that will instantly change your life.

It is a book which will make you go through a 12-week process filled with various exercises that will help you find the creative side of yourself.

If you follow through, you will surely feel liberated, and free up the creativity that you have spent your life suppressing.

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