Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers PDF Summary

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers PDFThe Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping

This is not just another book about stress.

In fact, it’s probably the only one you should read.

Since it’s written by a renowned scientist and a brilliant science writer and since it will not only expose many of the other stress-related books as fakes, but it will also offer you science-backed tips on how to control your stress levels.

And since, let’s face it, there’s not another book on the market which actually explains “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.”

Who Should Read “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”? And Why?

Even if it certainly looks that way – trust us – we didn’t oversell “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” in the introduction above.

So, if you feel under a lot of stress and want to understand its origins and learn a few coping mechanisms – this is the book we recommend.

It’s a book we most warmly recommend to anyone who is even remotely curious about human behavioral biology and the inner workings of the human’s body.

About Robert Sapolsky

Robert SapolskyRobert M. Sapolsky is an American neuroendocrinologist, a professor of biology and a widely revered science writer.

Born in 1957 in Brooklyn, New York to Soviet immigrants (hence the surname), Sapolsky obtained a Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology at Rockefeller University, after spending some time in Kenya to study the social behavior of baboons and a few years more working in the lab of noted endocrinologist Bruce McEwan.

Dubbed “one of the best science writers of our time” by none other than Oliver Sacks, Sapolsky has authored seven bestselling books, including “The Trouble with Testosterone,” “A Primate Memoir,” and “Behave.”

He is currently the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University

“Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers PDF Summary”

All animals – humans notwithstanding – possess basically the same stress-response mechanism, grounded in something aptly called the “fight-or-flight syndrome.”

“Aptly” because we practically don’t need to explain it: when in the presence of great physical danger, your only two choices are to either fight back or flee.

Now, if you are a lion attacked by another lion, there’s a good chance that you’ll try not to be a coward; however, if you are a zebra and you happen to notice a lion lurking in your vicinity, well, you better run!

Strangely enough, as far as the biology of the response is concerned, it matters not whether you fight back or flee: in either case, vast amounts of energy are delivered to your muscles, so that you are able to fight or run away.

If you want the response of your body broken down a bit, here’s an explanation of what the fight-or-flight syndrome actually does inside you!

First, your liver and your fat cells release glucose, fats, and simple proteins, and feed the muscles you’re going to need the most during the next few minutes; so, if you are a zebra, you suddenly get super leg muscles!

At the same time, your blood pressure, your breathing rate and your heart rate increase dramatically in an attempt to acquire and send more nutrients and oxygen throughout your body.

Chances are you’re not going to eat anything or have sex with someone while a lion is chasing you down the African savannah, so – in an attempt to conserve all the energy it possibly can – your body shuts down both your digestive and reproductive functions.

What happens next is the most interesting part if you have that misfortune of being a human: the minute the danger passes, the stress-response mechanisms shut down, and everything’s suddenly back to normal, regardless of the fact that you had been in a life-or-death situation just a few moments ago.

And why is this interesting?

Well, because, as Sapolsky notes, even though “zebras and lions may see trouble coming in the next minute and mobilize a stress-response” they “can’t get stressed about events far in the future.”

So, in a way, their fight-or-flight apparatus is finely tuned to their ways of life.

Because as great as it is to have super legs when you’re running for your life, it’s all but pointless to keep having them – and have problems eating and reproducing – even when you’re trying to calmly lie down or graze in the savannah!

And because:

Sustained or repeated stress can disrupt our bodies in seemingly endless ways… Many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can be either caused or made far worse by stress.

That’s where we, the humans, come in.

You see, we have – fortunately – developed the very same mechanisms to cope with danger, but we have – unfortunately? – developed a highly complex brain as well!

The result?

We get stressed by a job interview or the taxes, by a tight deadline or an expected visit from our parents – the same way a zebra does when attacked by a lion; and, what’s even worse, we do that not in the immediate presence of this danger, but way in advance of it!

So, basically, we have mastered the art of wasting our body’s energy on the wrong places and at the wrong time while leaving some other parts of us completely bereaved of energy when they need it the most.

Let’s go back to our example with the zebra.

If the stress-response mechanism causes its digestion and reproductive functions to shut down, what do you think it will happen to it if this fight-or-flight syndrome grows into something of a chronic nature?

You’ve guessed it: serious, serious problems!

Now you probably get why zebras can’t get stress-induced ulcers and why men regularly get them!

And you finally understand why you had problems maintaining your erection that night before the interview for that coveted job.

Key Lessons from “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”

1.      Stress-Response Mechanism = Fight-or-Flight Syndrome
2.      How to Treat Stress: Few Practical Bits of Advice
3.      Stress Is Bad… But Let’s Not Stress Out Over It

Stress-Response Mechanism = Fight-or-Flight Syndrome

Humans and animals share the same fight-or-flight mechanism.

In a nutshell, this means that in the presence of great physical danger, our bodies react in much the similar manner: they release vast amounts of energy and direct it to the most important centers at the moment to prepare us to either fight back or flee.

This is basically what stress is.

However, humans react in much the same way even in the absence of danger, namely, even if merely thinking about it.

And that’s very bad.

How to Treat Stress: Few Practical Bits of Advice

Stress can be reduced – but it’s impossible to eliminate it altogether.

There are no magical cures for it, but there are a few things that seem to help:

#1. Exercise: self-explanatory; demonstrated to reduce stress in numerous studies.
#2. Socialization: the more time you spend with friendly people – the right people – the less time your body will think that it needs to fight someone or flee from somebody else.
#3. Predictability: as we explained above, only humans can stress over future events; which is especially dreadful, since sometimes these events don’t happen at all; so, try to establish predictability when you can so that you can prepare your body in advance.
#4. The 80/20 Rule: Be aware that the first 20% of your efforts should reduce about 80% of your stress.
#5. Find an outlet: find something that gets you back to normal; it can be anything depending on the person; in our case, is playing or watching soccer.
#6. Serenity now: OK, that didn’t work that well for Frank Costanza! But something similar worked more than perfect for both the Stoics and the numerous people who know the Serenity Prayer by heart.

Stress Is Bad… But Let’s Not Stress Out Over It

There is a strong relationship between stress and some illnesses and a moderate one in the case of some other diseases.

However, stress is almost always just a part of the equation.

So, please stop giving money to people who say otherwise:

Everything bad in human health now is not caused by stress, nor is it in our power to cure ourselves of all our worst medical nightmares merely by reducing stress and thinking healthy thoughts full of courage and spirit and love. Would it were so. And shame on those who would profit from selling this view.

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“Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers Quotes”

Sustained or repeated stress can disrupt our bodies in seemingly endless ways. Click To Tweet

What goes on in your head can affect how well your immune system functions. Click To Tweet

Many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can be either caused or made far worse by stress. Click To Tweet

If you’re running 26 miles in a day, you’re either very intent on eating someone or someone’s very intent on eating you. Click To Tweet

Hope for the best and let that dominate most of your emotions, but at the same time let one small piece of you prepare for the worst. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We absolutely adore Robert M. Sapolsky!

So, it’s kind of difficult for us to be objective about any of his books.

We won’t be about this one either: already in its third edition, this is far and away the best book on stress out there!

Sapolsky knows his stuff, and he has a way with both words and images. So, there’s not only plenty you’ll find enjoyable here – but there’s also plenty you’ll never forget.

10/10!

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Stealing Fire PDF Summary

Stealing Fire PDFHow Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work

Steve Jobs once said that taking LSD was not merely “a profound experience,” but also “one of the two or three most important things” he had done in his life.

Stealing Fire” may hold the answer as to why.

Who Should Read “Stealing Fire”? And Why?

If you are living on this planet, you probably know who Malcolm Gladwell is and what the rule of 10,000 hours he popularized refers to. Put plain and simple: if you want to become a master at something, be sure to spend years and years training to do that something.

Well, “Stealing Fire” is about those who believe in shortcuts: according to Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, high performance is nowadays much more linked to states of altered consciousness than it is with grit and habits.

Those who simply want to learn more about altered consciousness are welcomed to read this book as well.

About Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

Steven KotlerSteven Kotler is an American journalist, author, and entrepreneur.

One of the leading experts on high performance, he is most famous for his several nonfiction books, three of which are already considered classics in the field: “Bold,” “The Rise of Superman” and, especially, “Abundance.”

He is also the co-founder of the Flow Genome Project.

Jamie WhealJamie Wheal is an American author, an expert in leadership and peak performance.

He has advised numerous executives, owners of sports teams and athletes.

A historical anthropologist by degree, Wheal’s studies have been published in peer-review academic journals and anthologies.

“Stealing Fire PDF Summary”

The myth of Prometheus stealing the divine fire and gifting it to mankind is probably one of the most famous myths in history.

No wonder it has inspired numerous authors to call Prometheus a champion of mankind and think of fire as the fundamental building block of progress and civilization.

In “Stealing Fire,” Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal use this myth as the underlying metaphor to make a rather controversial case: just like Zeus in Greek mythology, the governments and the corporations of today are keeping “the fire of altered consciousness” to themselves – and we need a few Prometheuses to steal it!

Why?

Because we have science on our side, and they are consciously preventing us from experiencing one of the most beautiful states a person can experience in his or her life: a state the Greeks referred to as ecstasis, and one that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi decided to rechristen it as “flow.” (Kotler and Wheal stick to the ancient terminology.)

Namely, the state of fully immersing yourself in the present in such a way which will make you experience it in all of its richness, completeness, and timelessness:

In case you still don’t know what we’re talking about, ecstasis is something you have/can/will experience while having sex or, if you practice it, during a session of deep meditation.

And, yes – after taking psychedelic drugs.

All of these things lead to a state of altered consciousness which is defined by four characteristics, neatly grouped under the acronym STER:

#1. Selflessness: your prefrontal cortex is a quite recent formation designed to separate you from the rest. However, this means that it is constantly anxious; in the state of ecstasis, people shut off their selves and are capable of experiencing “collective awareness.”

#2. Timelessness: unfortunately, no matter how many books have been written about the power of now, we are evolutionarily designed much too imperfectly to be able to live in the present:

Under normal conditions, with an active prefrontal cortex constantly scanning scenarios in the past and the future, we spend very little time living completely in the present… When our attention is focused on the present, we stop scanning yesterday for painful experiences… We quit daydreaming about a tomorrow that’s better than today. With our prefrontal cortex offline, we can’t run those scenarios.

In the state of ecstasis, however, time is suddenly non-existent, and everything there is in the world is the present moment. Already breathing a sigh of relief, ha?

#3. Effortlessness: in ecstasis, your brain releases six neurochemicals: norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and anandamide. These make you feel as if you are a master of your craft and as if you are on your way to producing a masterpiece.

#4. Richness: in the state of ecstasis, you are able to make connections much faster than in a normal state; thus, you are able to see things in a new light and bring disparate ideas together in a way which should help you generate an abundance of completely original solutions and new ideas.

We have terabytes of information available to us,” note Kotler and Wheal; “we just can’t tap into it in our normal state.

Now, before you say “a completely unsubstantiated apology for using psychedelic drugs,” bear with us for a few more moments!

First of all, do you know that humans are not the only animals who take drugs? (Before you say anything: yes, we are animals!)

Strangely enough, despite the potentially adverse health effects, it seems that many members of the animal kingdom use drugs in one way or another.

That’s the reason why dogs lick toads and why cats like catnip so much. Goats have been known to eat magic mushrooms since the dawn of times. And bottlenose dolphins toss puffer fish back and forth to, well, get high: the process helps them ingest micro-doses of the puffer fish’s neurotoxins!

Much more interestingly, it seems that some drugs are not as harmful as some other substances, which, for some reason, have been legal for centuries.

And this is not a claim merely thrown out there, but something David Nutt, one of the most respected British neuropsychopharmacologists maintains, backing it up with proper studies and data.

It seems that alcohol does more harm to both its consumers and society than do even heroin and crack cocaine, while tobacco is unhealthier than both cannabis and LSD!

See for yourself:

So, why are tobacco and alcohol allowed and LSD and cannabis forbidden?

Possibly because, unlike the former two, the latter pair tends to make people less manageable and more empowered, just like sex does, just as meditation does. And not because psychedelic drugs are more harmful than cigarettes or whiskey!

Now, don’t get us wrong: everything comes with a caveat.

Even sex.

But, then again,

The ecstasy will always come with the agony; that’s the human condition.

Key Lessons from “Stealing Fire”

1.      The Altered States Economy
2.      Eric Schmidt and the Burning Man
3.      Constant State of Flow

The Altered States Economy

At a time when you are expected to deliver great results on a daily basis, not only distractions aren’t your friend, but also the normal, default state of your mind may be your enemy.

That’s why, everybody wants to experience something more, obtaining a state of ecstasy and euphoria, a state of the perfect workflow.

Many of the ways to achieve this are perfectly legal: sex, meditation, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, legal drugs, VR, other types of immersive experiences, social media.

Combined, these account for about $4 trillion of the US economy on an annual basis.

And that’s how fabulously much “the altered states economy” is worth.

Eric Schmidt and the Burning Man

You probably know who Eric Schmidt is.

If not, here are the two most important highlights: he is one of the richest people in the world and the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2015, as well as Alphabet Inc. the next two years.

Now, do you know how Sergey Brin and Larry Page finally settled on him?

Believe it or not, because he was able to prove his courage and determination by attending the Burning Man festival.

Don’t know what that is?

Bearing in mind the subject of this book, you already know that it’s an altered-consciousness related festival.

But, please, google it to find out more. And while doing that, have in mind that it’s where Elon Musk’s hyperlink train was first conceived!

Constant State of Flow

Ecstasis is a state during which one is able to experience selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness, and richness. Needless to add, it’s something few would argue to experience at least five to ten times a day.

But, try to imagine having sex as many times, and you’ll see why a constant state of flow is not a goal to be desired. In the cases of some other ecstasies-inducing experiences, it may be even worse: a lot, lot worse.

Which is something you should never forget, since, nowadays, ecstasies lie within your grasp and it is just too tempting?

So, choose your moments of ecstasy wisely. And use them to enrich your life – not destroy it.

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“Stealing Fire Quotes”

The human brain remains the most complex machine on the planet. Click To Tweet

Advances in science and technology are giving us unprecedented access to and insight about the upper range of human experience. Click To Tweet

If you train your body and brain, and manage your energy and attention, you’ll be able to get into the flow more frequently and perform better at work and at home. Click To Tweet

Once we step beyond taboos and social conditioning, it’s easier to see that access to ecstasis has been hardwired into us. Click To Tweet

The ecstasy will always come with the agony; that’s the human condition. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Controversial and provocative, “Stealing Fire” is – to quote its blurb – “a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.”

Well worth (at least) a read.

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Designing Your Life PDF Summary

Designing Your Life PDF SummaryHow to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

Everything you see around you has been designed to match somebody’s original vision.

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans have an idea: why not do the same with your life as well?

They have a manual to help you get started:

Designing Your Life.”

Who Should Read “Designing Your Life”? And Why?

There’s nothing more deadening than a nine-to-five routine in a career you don’t love.

Burnett and Evans’ “Designing Your Life” is a book written specifically for those who are both stuck in it and want to do away with it once and for all.

Dubbed “an inspiring and thought-provoking graduation gift,” “Designing Your Life” is also the perfect book for recent graduates and last-year students.

About Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Bill BurnettBill Burnett is a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford and the Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford University.

After earning a master’s degree in product design from Stanford University, Burnett led Apple’s Powerbook product line, before coming back to teach at Stanford.

With Evans, he co-founded the Life Design Lab.

Dave EvansDave Evans is an American entrepreneur and design professor.

After a successful career at Apple, he co-founded the famous video game company Electronic Arts, after which he became a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University.

“Designing Your Life” is his only book so far.

“Designing Your Life PDF Summary”

Almost 70 percent of US workers are not satisfied with their jobs.

Moreover, about 30 million Americans aged between 44 and 70 believe that they have made the wrong college choice and, if given an opportunity, would choose differently now.

And now the twist:

75 percent of college graduates don’t really work in a field which bears any resemblance to the subject they majored in!

Even though at first glance the third statistics may seem bad as well, you can consider it your silver lining as well: it means that there’s always a chance to do something differently.

In other words, you can reach your final destination even if your current location isn’t the one you hoped for. You just need to know the direction.

Who cares if it takes you longer: the point is to live the life you always wanted to!

There are four critical areas of your life you need to assess before you embark on your journey:

#1. Health: physical, emotional, mental – they are all important, the basis of everything else!
#2. Work: and it doesn’t matter whether paid or volunteer.
#3. Play: the things you do for the fun of them!
#4. Love: now, do we really need to define love (yes, this one includes your pets as well!)

The goal, of course, is to find a balance between these four areas – one that you will find most suitable to your current interests and future expectations.

Another balance you should pay a lot of attention to is the one between your workview and your lifeview, aka your personal philosophy of what the phrases “good job” and “good life” mean.

Write about 250 words on each so that you have a clear vision of both. And set your compass accordingly.

In other words, don’t take a job which doesn’t fit neatly enough within your lifeview. No matter how much it pays, in time, it will bring you discontent and unhappiness, since it will eventually force you to either reconsider your principles or quit.

Speaking of happiness – don’t forget to keep a Good Time Journal.

This is nothing more but a simple diary documenting not only your experiences but also your reactions to them.

If you feel engaged and focused, underline those activities in green; if you feel bored or unhappy, underline them in red.

But, put in bold, highlight and circle the activities during which you experience full immersion, or what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to as flow. Some people experience flow while playing football, others when writing; yet, a third group while dancing or making lunch.

It doesn’t matter – once highlighted, these moments will help you realize which things energize you and which things drain your energy.

No need to point out the obvious: once you uncover them, choose the former, thus choosing yourself.

However, what if there are no such things at the moment?

In other words, what if you are all but drained out of all energy and stuck in a career, an environment, a life that seemingly you can’t get out of?

There’s a way out for that as well!

Getting unstuck starts with mind mapping, i.e., making a map of associations stemming from one central idea which should be your final goal.

Say that you want to become a good writer even though you spend most of your day working as a programmer at an obscure bank.

Put “writing” in the center of your mind map and start brainstorming associations, such as “books,” “reading,” “studying,” “free time.” Now jot down secondary associations, like “a room of one’s own,” “silence,” and “library.”

Now, put these ideas into an actionable plan: maybe all you need is a library card and two hours of silence a day to start your project.

After all, many authors managed to write award-winning books while having full-time jobs. How did they do it?

If you want to know more about the best ways to design your life, you can listen to TEDTalks delivered by both of the authors on YouTube.

Here you’ll find Dave Evans’ San Francisco TED Talk.

Below you can watch Bill Burnett’s:

Key Lessons from “Designing Your Life”

1.      Your Life Is Just Another Designer’s Problem
2.      Reframing Your Dysfunctional Beliefs
3.      Develop a Failure Immunity

Your Life Is Just Another Designer’s Problem

Designers constantly deal with problems. Two of them – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans – realized that the biggest one of them all has been too rarely addressed in designer’s terms: Life.

In “Designing Your Life” they suggest innovative ways through which you can actually design your life the same way a carpenter designs a cabinet – with a lot of planning and flawless execution.

In their words:

A well-designed life is a life that is generative—it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of surprise. You get out of it more than you put in. There is a lot more than ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ in a well-designed life.

The main philosophy of a life designer boils down to two simple rules:

1. You choose better when you have lots of good ideas to choose from.
2. You never choose your first solution to any problem.

Reframing Your Dysfunctional Beliefs

Possibly nothing hinders your life as much as your dysfunctional beliefs.

The best way to deal with them is by reframing them.

For example, a dysfunctional belief would be that there’s only one person perfect for you on this whole planet.

Reframe this dysfunctional belief (which has probably resulted in numerous heartbreaks so far) into the one which is statistically much more probable: there are “multiple great designs” of your ideal partner, and it’s your job to experiment.

Develop a Failure Immunity

We have mentioned this numerous times: not only failures aren’t that bad, but they are actually great learning experiences.

Just reframing your dysfunctional belief that you must never fail can help you live a far happier life. But if you follow Burnett’s and Evans’ advice, you can do one better!

List all of your failures (experienced and potential) and divide them into three categories: “screw-ups” (e.g., pouring coffee) “weaknesses” (e.g., you can’t drive) and “growth opportunities” (e.g., wrongly allocating the money for your first startup).

The first are trivial and will keep on happening no matter what you do; the former are part of your character and, instead of spending years to correct them, you need to accept them and focus on putting your strengths to work instead.

The third category is the one you should constantly assess, so that you can see what you have learned from your past failures and what you should do to prevent them from happening in the future.

There it is: now you’re failure-immune!

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“Designing Your Life Quotes”

It doesn’t matter where you come from, where you think you are going, what job or career you have had or think you should have. You are not too late, and you’re not too early. Click To Tweet Dysfunctional Belief: Happiness is having it all. Reframe: Happiness is letting go of what you don’t need. Click To Tweet Living coherently doesn't mean everything is in perfect order all the time. It means you are living in alignment with your values and have not sacrificed your integrity along the way. Click To Tweet It’s not hard to imagine that if we added up all the hours spent trying to figure out life, for some of us they would outweigh the hours spent actually living life. Really. Living. Life. Click To Tweet As a life designer, you need to embrace two philosophies: 1. You choose better when you have lots of good ideas to choose from. 2. You never choose your first solution to any problem. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In the words of Daniel Pink, “’Designing Your Life’ walks readers through the process of building a satisfying, meaningful life by approaching the challenge the way a designer would. Experimentation. Wayfinding. Prototyping. Constant iteration. You should read the book. Everyone else will.”

And you really should!

Even though it may not be as innovative as Burnett and Evans try to point out, it is, nevertheless, a great manual, combining numerous surefire strategies suggested by similar books and inspiring authors into one comprehensible guidebook on how to finally start living your life.

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Feeling Good PDF Summary

Feeling Good PDF SummaryThe New Mood Therapy: The Clinically Proven Drug-Free Treatment for Depression

If you suffer from some mild form of depression – or even anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse – “Feeling Good” can help you possibly even more than medications.

But even if you suffer from major depressive disorder, please read this book and use its suggestions in combination with your medications.

It does help.

Who Should Read “Feeling Good”? And Why?

According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. In more comprehensible terms, that is almost equal to the whole population of the United States, and it amounts to about 1 in every 25 people!

If you are one of them, “Feeling Good” is certainly a book that should be on your radar. It’s the book which basically introduced the world to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), according to Wikipedia, “the most widely used evidence-based practice at improving mental health.”

Which means that Burns’ subtitle is not an exaggeration.

We certainly hope the same will prove true in your case as well.

About David D. Burns

David D. BurnsDavid D. Burns is an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

He is primarily known as the popularizer of Aaron T. Beck’s cognitive behavioral therapy through his “Feeling Good” bestselling series of books.

Burns is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

“Feeling Good PDF Summary”

About half a century ago, David D. Burns received an M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Three years later, he went to the University of Pennsylvania to start his training as a psychiatric resident.

Fortunately for him, a guy named Aaron T. Beck, now regarded as “the father of cognitive therapy,” was doing his pioneering work in the field during these very years.

Contrary to what Freud and most psychoanalytic approaches taught at that time, Beck was all but certain that depression wasn’t an emotional state, but a cognitive problem.

He devised this theory by working closely with depressed people and realizing that most of them had actually a lot of friends and had managed to achieve a lot in life but were still stuck in an emotional prison which made them feel as “losers” and “loved-by-no-one” outcasts.

Now, how could that be? – Beck thought.

Or, to rephrase that, if an emotion is an uncontrollable natural reaction to an external event, then why are some people so unhappy even though, rationally examined, the events which trigger this unhappiness are, at worst, agreeable?

His answer: because thoughts predate – and, even more, create – feelings.

And that’s the first of the three principles of cognitive behavioral therapy:

#1. To formulate it once again, this time in the words of Burns, “all your moods are created by your ‘cognitions,’ or thoughts.”
#2. Consequently, depression is nothing more but the result of negative thinking, i.e., “when you are feeling depressed, your thoughts are dominated by a pervasive negativity.”
#3. Your negative thoughts function the same way the mirrors in amusement parks do: “negative thoughts which cause your emotional turmoil nearly always contain gross distortions.”

To sum up – no matter how naïve it may sound:

Every bad feeling you have is the result of your distorted negative thinking.

Now, since feelings, in turn, influence your thoughts, depression is actually the result of a wicked Catch-22: the worse you feel, the more grotesque and misleading your thoughts are, which creates even more depressing and dispiriting feelings.

Fortunately, there is a way out?

So, “what is the key to releasing yourself from your emotional prison?”

Simply this: Your thoughts create your emotions; therefore, your emotions cannot prove that your thoughts are accurate. Unpleasant feelings merely indicate that you are thinking something negative and believing it. Your emotions follow your thoughts just as surely as baby ducks follow their mother.

In simpler words, according to cognitive behavioral therapists, depression is not an emotional disorder, but a thinking problem.

And can be solved by challenging the suffering person’s negative thoughts, i.e., cognitive distortions.

Burns lists eleven of them:

#1. All-or-Nothing Thinking. Technically known as “dichotomous thinking,” all-or-nothing thinking is when you portray yourself in black-or-white terms. It’s obviously not true that it’s worthless if it’s not perfect.

#2. Overgeneralization. If something happened to you once, it doesn’t mean it will happen to you again. And even if it happened to you twice, the third time may be the charm!

#3. Mental Filter. Also known as “selective abstraction,” mental filtering means being unhappy because of that lost point on your exam even though you got an A. Really?!

#4. Disqualifying the Positive. Nothing good ever happens to you? How about the fact that your boyfriend kissed you lovingly this morning, or that you were promoted just a week ago! All of that matters!

#5. Jumping to Conclusions. This can come in at least two different forms: as mind-reading (“I know she doesn’t like me…”) or fortune telling (“I can feel something’s bad about to happen!”)

#6. Magnification. This is when you start worrying about your lifetime reputation because everyone saw you spilled your coffee on your shirt this morning. Also known as – somewhat unscientifically, but quite fittingly – “catastrophizing.”

#7. Minimization. Ah, the other side of the “binocular trick”: shrinking things until they become insignificant, be they other people’s imperfections or your own qualities.

#8. Emotional Reasoning. Your emotions are not true; if they were, then how would you explain the fact that you wanted to smack your sister on the head with a frying pan that time she invaded the privacy of your room? Consequently, if you feel like a dud, that doesn’t mean you are a dud.

#9. Should Statements. This is when you try to improperly motivate yourself by saying “I should do this” or “I must do this.”

#10. (Mis)Labeling. “Personal labeling,” writes Burns, “means creating a completely negative self-image based on your errors. Mislabeling involves describing an event with words that are inaccurate and emotionally heavily loaded.”

#11. Personalization. Personalization means assuming personal responsibility for an event contrary to the evidence. Burns calls this distortion “the mother of guilt.”

If you want to learn more about cognitive distortions, read here.

And then start doing something about them!

Key Lessons from “Feeling Good”

1.      Your Feelings Are Actually Mirroring Your Thoughts
2.      The Three Principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
3.      The Real Founder of CBT: Epictetus

Your Feelings Are Actually Mirroring Your Thoughts

Most people think that they should believe their gut.

In other words, that if their feelings tell them that something is true – this guy is bad, that girl is the love of my life – it is inevitably true.

The problem?

Feelings are not merely transitory, but they are also just a reflection of your thoughts.

Consequently, almost all of your bad feelings are actually negative thoughts.

The Three Principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an evidence-based practice for improving your mental health, is based on three principles first developed by Aaron T. Beck:

#1. Our emotions are created by our thoughts; how you are feeling at the moment is actually the same as what you are currently thinking about;
#2. Depression is an emotional prison created by constant negative thoughts;
#3. The majority of our negative thoughts are not true, i.e., they are cognitive distortions.

The Real Founder of CBT: Epictetus

As Burns points out, CBT is actually as old as philosophy, since it shares some of its beliefs with Stoicism.

In other words, thinkers as ancient as Epictetus realized that our happiness doesn’t depend on the external events themselves, but on the way we decide to feel about them.

So, if you are feeling depressed, find some solace in Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” or Seneca’s “On the Shortness of Life.”

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“Feeling Good Quotes”

Every bad feeling you have is the result of your distorted negative thinking. Click To Tweet Your thoughts create your emotions; therefore, your emotions cannot prove that your thoughts are accurate. Click To Tweet Your feelings result from the meaning you give to the event, not from the event itself. Click To Tweet Every time you feel depressed about something, try to identify a corresponding negative thought you had just prior to and during the depression. Click To Tweet By learning to restructure (your negative thoughts), you can change your mood. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When a book is written with an objective to help you, the only question that really matters is “does it in practice?”

A 1989 article says it does. And a 2005 study published in the “British Journal of General Practice” confirms this.

It’s something scientists call “bibliotherapy” and we strongly advise you to try it by reading this very book.

At worst, it has no side-effects.

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Love & Respect PDF Summary

Love & Respect PDF SummaryThe Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

Do you speak the language of love?

Or, let us rephrase that: do you know that in the dictionary of women, relationship is spelled C-O-U-P-L-E and in the dictionary of men, it is spelled C-H-A-I-R-S?

Wait… what?

Read our summary of “Love & Respect” to find out!

Who Should Read “Love & Respect”? And Why?

“Love & Respect” is a book everyone should read: couples who argue because they argue, couples who don’t because there’s a very high chance that they will (come on, guys, you’re barely in the second month of your relationship; it’s a bit different later on).

Due to its Christian undertones in the first two parts and explicit Christian message in the last one, “Love & Respect” will probably be enjoyed the most by religious couples of almost any Christian denominations.

About Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Dr. Emerson EggerichsDr. Emerson Eggerichs is the author of the “Love & Respect” series of books and the president of Love and Respect Ministries.

After obtaining a B.A. in Biblical studies, an M.A. in Communications, and a Master of Divinity degree from Dubuque Seminary, Eggerichs worked as a senior pastor of East Lansing’s Trinity Church for almost two decades.

In the meantime, he received a Ph.D. in Child and Family ecology from Michigan State University and authored his most famous book, “Love & Respect.”

He gives marriage conferences throughout the country and works closely with his wife Sarah, with whom he has lived in a happy marriage for almost half a century.

“Love & Respect PDF Summary”

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,” instructs the men St. Paul the Apostle in his “Epistle to the Ephesians,” “and the wife must respect her husband.”

According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in that very verse, the Bible says more about relationships than all the great poets, philosophers, and researchers who have ever lived or will ever be born.

And that is because, in his opinion, love and respect are the primary emotional needs of women and men respectively, which makes them as necessary to the wellbeing of each respective gender as air or food:

Wives are made to love, want to love, and expect love. Husbands are made to be respected, want respect, and expect respect.

True, Eggerichs doesn’t go that much into original psychological or scientific explanation as to why this should be true, but he offers numerous examples to prove his point, in addition to a supposedly surefire strategy to put it into practice and reap the rewards for your efforts.

Accordingly, the book itself is divided into three main sections:

PART ONE: THE CRAZY CYCLE

This is the theoretical section, analyzing in much more detail St. Paul’s above-quoted verse, and illustrating how all unhappy families are, in fact, unhappy in the same way, since they are all trapped in the identical no love/no respect succession of arguments.

This is, in a nutshell, the Crazy Cycle from the title: without love, she reacts in a disrespectful way; without respect, he reacts in an unloving way.

Why?

Because unlike women who usually see the world through pink sunglasses, men most often use blue sunglasses.

When men and women argue, these differing points of view escalate to the point of no return (Even Wittgenstein would say that we don’t visualize the meaning of words in the same way…)

PART TWO: THE ENERGIZING CYCLE

The only way to stop the Crazy Cycle spinning is to reverse it!

Because just the way a woman’s disrespect demotivates a man’s love and vice versa,

His love motivates her respect; her respect motivates his love.

So, in probably the most important section of his book, Dr. Eggerichs offers two strategies to energize the cycle of marriage: C-O-U-P-L-E for the men, and C-H-A-I-R-S for the women.

C-O-U-P-L-E: How to Spell Love to Your Wife

Closeness: She wants you to be close.
Openness: She wants you to open up to her.
Understanding: Don’t try to fix her; just listen.
Peacemaking: She wants you to say, “I’m sorry.”
Loyalty: She needs to know you’re committed.
Esteem: She wants you to honor and cherish her.

C-H-A-I-R-S: How to Spell Respect to Your Husband

Conquest: Appreciate his desire to work and achieve.
Hierarchy: Appreciate his desire to protect and provide.
Authority: Appreciate his desire to serve and to lead.
Insight: Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel.
Relationship: Appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship.
Sexuality: Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy.

As Dr. Eggerichs concludes in the last chapter of this part, “the energizing cycle will work if you do.”

In other words, since everybody needs to be loved, love cannot be a passive activity. And as John Gottman demonstrated, marriages succeed not because couples don’t argue, but because they find a way to reach a compromise.

For the men, a compromise might mean listening to their girlfriends or wives and not trying to fix them; for the women, it may mean acting vulnerable and agreeing to be led.

But there’s no going forward unless both sides leave some of their burdens behind.

Your job, regardless of your spouse’s doings?

To “be the first to ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11).”

PART THREE: THE REWARDED CYCLE

In the final part of his book, Dr. Eggerichs suggests that there is another cycle following the energizing one, and this one is the cycle where both partners uncover the real reason why they should love.

Since Dr. Eggerichs is a Christian author, it’s only expected that the reason is none other than God Himself.

If you love someone because you believe Paul’s words the greatest of all things is love (1 Corinthians 13:13), then you can truly love someone, regardless of how much she respects you (if you are a man) or how much he loves you back (if you are a woman).

The rewarded cycle is the cycle where “His love blesses regardless of her respect, and her respect blesses regardless of his love.”

Key Lessons from “Love & Respect”

1.      The Crazy Cycle is the No Love/No Respect Doom of All Marriages
2.      A Woman Wants to Be in a C-O-U-P-L-E
3.      A Man Needs His C-H-A-I-R-S

The Crazy Cycle is the No Love/No Respect Doom of All Marriages

If you are in a relationship and you have a lot of arguments with your partner, there’s a high chance that this is due the fact that you think that she doesn’t respect you (if you are a man) or that he doesn’t love you (if you are a woman).

It’s a crazy cycle this one, since once any of you two sets it off, it’s very difficult to stop it.

Why?

Because if the man shows no love, it makes the woman act in a disrespectful way, which encourages the man to act in a loveless manner.

A Woman Wants to Be in a C-O-U-P-L-E

To stop the crazy cycle, you need to energize your relationship.

If you are a man, show your woman that you are a C-O-U-P-L-E.

In other words, be close and open up to her; understand her and try to be the peacemaker in the relationship; finally, show her that you are loyal and that you esteem her highly.

A Man Needs His C-H-A-I-R-S

OK, it may sound a little bit funny in a title, but it’s not at all funny once you break down that acronym!

So, if you are a woman, always make your man feel like a conqueror and appreciate his desire to be the best at everything and above you in all hierarchies (even though, let’s face it, you’re way better than him: wink, wink); next, respect his authority and value his insight.

Finally, appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder relationship and, let’s face it, his needs for sexual intimacy.

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“Love & Respect Quotes”

No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being. The key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing him unconditional respect. Click To Tweet When a husband feels disrespected, it is especially hard to love his wife. When a wife feels unloved, it is especially hard to respect her husband. Click To Tweet Forgiving is the direct opposite of judging. Nothing is easier than judging, nothing is harder than forgiving, and nothing can reap more blessings. Click To Tweet Women confront to connect. The typical response from a man, however, is that he thinks his wife is confronting to control. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Love & Respect” puts too many chips on one bet and it may be a bit too Christian for some people’s taste.

However, other than that, it’s actually very balanced, and it provides readers of all genders with valuable insight about the common failings of all relationships and even more valuable tools to repair them.

If it is up to us, though, love and respect go hand in hand, and all sexes need large quantities of them both.

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Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDF Summary

Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDFThe Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

Achieving success is both much more complex and simpler thing than people say it is.

At least that’s what Eric Barker believes.

And he has a book-length apology of his belief:

Barking Up the Wrong Tree.”

Who Should Read “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”? And Why?

Wide-ranging and abounding in practical advice, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” is for everybody who needs a manual for success and happiness.

It’s not a book you read – it’s a book you reread and constantly employ.

Eric BarkerAbout Eric Barker

Eric Barker is an American blogger.

The content of his “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog is syndicated by “Time Magazine,” “Business Insider,” and “The Week;” the blog, updated once a week, has over 300,000 subscribers to its newsletter.

A sought-after speaker featured in “The New York Times” and “WSJ,” Eric Barker has so far authored only this book.

“Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDF Summary”

Let’s start our summary with an eye-popping statistic:

A study of 700 American millionaires has revealed that their mean grade point average was 2.9!

In other words, the valedictorians didn’t do as well as the outliers!

In fact:

Research shows that what makes students likely to be impressive in the classroom is the same thing that makes them less likely to be home-run hitters outside the classroom.

Why?

Because to excel at school, you need to conform; and it’s very likely that this will teach you to be that kind of a person even after graduating and getting a job.

Which may get you a top job, and even a few “employee of the year” titles.

However, the ones that actually change the world are the non-conformists, the people capable of defining success in their own terms.

The earlier they do that, the earlier they realize that many of the activities they are made to do while young are actually extraneous to their goal.

So, they choose not to do them.

And, in the long run, this focus gives them just enough grit to come out on top!

If you want to follow them and build just enough perseverance to succeed, then a good idea will be to use the WGNF guidelines and transform your struggles into a game:

#1. Make the games winnable: you’ve played a lot of games in your life and, chances are, you’ve lost at least half of them; however, the very fact that you know a game was winnable has motivated you to play out the game until the very end.

#2. Attach goals: just like a video game, split the game of your life into levels which gradually become more difficult and have a clear goal on each of them; splitting up your goals into smaller chunks will motivate you to move and move you will – with the right pace.

#3. Build in novelty: each level should be not just more difficult than the last, but also introduce something new; just like a character in a video game, acquire new skills as you go along the road to success.

#4. Give/ask for Feedback: in the absence of feedback, you may be tempted to give up; interaction is a great way to keep track of your progress.

Of course, there’s no point in playing a game the outcome of which will not make you happy.

So, how do you discover whether a future objective is worth your time, effort, and attention?

Eric Barker has a solution for that as well!

If you don’t want to bark up the wrong tree, then constantly check your decisions against the WOOP process.

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan, and, once broken down like that, it seems pretty self-explanatory.

So, when you have a wish to do something, first start with a specification of the outcome you want.

After that, it’s time to see which could be the obstacles preventing you from reaching that outcome.

Once you get to know them, it’s time to make a plan to circumvent them or, even better, jump over each of them.

If the last one is impossible (due to lack of competence, lack of time, etc.), then it’s best if your wish stays a wish until some better moment arrives.

However, when there is a plan, and that plan is doable – it’s time to be gritty!

One thing you should know in advance is that even though a plan is doable, it doesn’t mean that it will work out in the end: some level 10 bosses are just unbeatable!

What should you in cases such as that?

Simply: quit.

Don’t be afraid to do some experiments and quit the ones that don’t work… you need to try stuff knowing you might quit some of it to open yourself up to the luck and opportunities that can make you successful.

However, while trying to do that, never forget the real objective of success: allowing you to lead a balanced life.

And a balanced life means scoring high on the four metrics that matter most:

#1. Happiness
#2. Achievement
#3. Significance
#4. Legacy

Key Lessons from “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”

1.      The WGNF Guidelines for Success in Life
2.      The WOOP Decision-Making Process
3.      HASL: The Four Metrics Which Matter the Most

The WGNF Guidelines for Success in Life

“Homo sapiens” may just as well be called “homo ludens,” i.e., the game-playing man: that’s how much people like to play games!

So, use this to your own benefit and transform your struggles into games.

However, as always in games, there are certain rules you need to follow, or, in Barker’s opinion, the WGNF guidelines.

WGNF is short for winnable, goal-based, novelty-ridden, feedback-centered – and these are all adjectives which should describe each of the games you need to devise.

Do that – and your road to success will be much less thorny, and much more enjoyable!

The WOOP Decision-Making Process

If you are not sure which project you should take, be sure to check it with Barker’s WOOP tool before you embark upon it.

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacles, and plan, which means that you should only try to make your wish come true if you can devise a plan specific enough to address each probable obstacle and, eventually, reach the wished-for outcome.

Otherwise, try to direct your energy on something else.

HASL: The Four Metrics Which Matter the Most

Always measure your life against these four metrics:

Happiness: find a way to live a pleasurable and content life;
Achievement: set yourself meaningful goals and try to achieve them;
Significance: try to have a positive impact;
Legacy: live your life in such a way that others may say that they have benefitted from your existence.

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“Barking Up the Wrong Tree Quotes”

When you align your values with the employment of your signature skills in a context that reinforces these same strengths, you create a powerful and emotionally engaging force for achievement, significance, happiness and legacy. Click To Tweet

Success is not the result of any single quality; it’s about alignment between who you are and where you choose to be. Click To Tweet

College grades aren’t any more predictive of subsequent life success than rolling dice. Click To Tweet

You do need to be visible. Your boss does need to like you. This is not proof of a heartless world; it’s just human nature. Click To Tweet

Hard work doesn’t pay off if your boss doesn’t know whom to reward for it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Barking Up the Wrong Tree” is not so much innovative, as it is thorough in its research.

Well-structured and humorously written, it’s easily digestible and straightforwardly applicable; certainly a book worth reading and rereading.

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Happy Accidents PDF Summary

Happy Accidents PDFThe Transformative Power of “YES, AND” at Work and in Life

Sometimes, finding the perfect mix of freedom and dedication may seem hopeless. Many people just can’t get out of the way fast enough because they are afraid of change.

Learn more about how to adopt the right winning mentality.

Who Should Read “Happy Accidents”? And Why?

Every now and then, we fill trapped in the circle of mediocrity. We wonder what’s wrong with us and why we haven’t indulged in activities that bring us joy!

Happy Accidents” puts a label on this reality and tries to understand people’s behavior regarding the same issue.

We believe it’s suitable for the wider audience!

About David Ahearn, Frank Ford and David Wilk

Four Day WeekendWell, evidently David Ahearn, Frank Ford, and David Wilk are the co-founders of the Four Day Weekend comedy group.

“Happy Accidents PDF Summary”

What’s the deal with comedians? Well mostly, these entertainers draw on their personal experience and surroundings to think of hilarious and sarcastic jokes. Their performance is also affected by the type of audience, which is on the receiving end!

For the most part, they are solo workers. However, communication as a group has led to satisfactory results.

Working together as one means that they’ll either succeed od stumble as a group. Spending so many hours together sparks mental proximity and interdependent connection.

Betting the bottom dollar on collaboration is one of the few ways for putting an end to shallow limitations. Embracing the “Yes, I can do it” mentality chases away the negative mindset which profoundly influences a person’s ability to amuse the crowd.

Improvisation Is Key for Reaching the Stars

Even Bear Grylls – an adventurer and TV presenter said on numerous occasions that doing things off the top of your head is beneficial. If you ever end up in the wild, without proper gear or tools – the most important thing is to keep your morale up by improvisation and adapting to the environment.

In 1996, when Four Day Weekend was starting off their joint endeavors, they had to face a series of obstacles. These guys put in a lot of hard work, which eventually converted into a mentality to make good use of any happy accident.

The business community and the local authorities wholeheartedly endorsed their innovative idea, which made the path to success a bit easier. Nonetheless, there was a long road ahead of them.

How to seize every opportunity? The members of Four Day Weekend settled in Dallas. Over this transit period, they remained open to any scenario, without advocating for one turn of events. When someone offered them Fort Worth, they packed their bags and went on an adventure.

Think of spontaneity

People stuck in the daily routine, day in and day out hate to admit that opportunities are hidden behind every action. These symbols occur all the time, but not everyone has the guts to follow the same life-intensity.

Ask yourself the following question – What does that other person has that I don’t have? Probably, the one and only answer would be – ATTITUDE! Don’t let excuses stand in the way of success. A flashback to teenage years, where we bet that you’ve dismissed dozens of ideas, which could have infused some freshness into your life!

The members of Four Day Weekend after a large-scale search eventually laid their eyes on a theater which accommodated their needs. They even made a deal with the manager to take a percentage of the sales, in exchange for not paying rent.

Look at the possibilities, don’t be shooting in the dark

It’s no surprise that your colleagues or friends would like to see the organization flourish as well. The spiritedness and togetherness must be fueled with the “Yes” attitude. When you do treat people in a similar manner, you are sending positive vibes and encouragement!

Every person on this planet is eager to prove its worthiness to the world and show why their ideas should be taken into consideration. By understanding this mindset, you may be able to see the reality with different eyes.

For instance, Four Day Weekend’s members were extremely worried that their audience was using their cellphones during the show.

They later found out, that these people were just calling or texting other people, to share how amazing the show was!  

So, during the breaks, the troupe encourage the audience to post pictures of the show on their Social Media profiles. As a result of this strategy, the popularity of the comedy went from OK to WOW. In other words, the group became an overnight sensation.

Four Day Weekend’s acclamation went through the roof, which made the group aware that the success they’ve reached up to 2016 now has to be maintained.

They continued welcoming the “Yes” attitude as part of their game plan and made an effort to boost each member’s status and reputation.

Now, their focus is fixated on finding new audiences, which know how to appreciate a good joke.

Focus on Partnerships and Relationships

Prosperous businesses must be open to various relationships and links. According to Four Day Weekend having a good time and making new friends counts the most.

It’s also critical to mention that after the devastating 2001 attacks, the members of Four Day Weekend agreed to perform for the military and other groups for free.

Key Lessons from “Happy Accidents”

1.      Don’t rely on your vanity
2.      Don’t undervalue anyone
3.      Excitement springs from right actions

Don’t rely on your vanity

Put your ego to the side and show why there’s no such thing as a bad idea. If you are firm in your opinion to cooperate with other parties and show them the respect, they are due.

Most people forget this mind-blowing but straightforward concept that yields impressive results.

Don’t undervalue anyone

As you can see, everyone deserves high-merits for their involvement in a certain activity. Doing the things, you wish others should do for you, is a great way to stay humble and on the right track.

Perhaps, the bottom line is – it’s never easy to destroy someone’s restrictions including yours.

Excitement springs from right actions

First and foremost, create an atmosphere of support, where people could present their ideas without becoming a laughingstock.

Even if you dislike the proposal, work on your rejection-skills to make everyone feel like part of the team.

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“Happy Accidents Quotes”

Always remember: If this were easy, everyone would do it. Click To Tweet We never explore the exact same material, or the exact same show, or the exact same audience. There’s always a fresh space for improvement, learning, and growth. Click To Tweet We all have a unique perspective…when we honor the unique perspective of others, we are often provided a glimpse of the potential that would otherwise go unseen. Click To Tweet True collaboration teaches us to let go of our preconceived notions and instead deal with the reality of what is being offered. Click To Tweet Passion and loyalty are the two most central components to the success or failure of an organization, and both…come from feeling heard. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, this storytelling book filled with practical tips can make all the difference if you know how to make use of it. We were thrilled and amazed by the sense of excitement and uniqueness in each sentence.

We sincerely advise everyone to dive into this storyline and learn the benefits of adopting the right attitude.

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The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage PDF Summary

The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage PDFWe are all searching for a place in this world, but that’s often easier said than done.

Emotional stability is critical for staying on course and striving to improve with each passing day.

In this short summary, we try to put Susan’s speech in the right time-frame driven by the right set of goals.

Who Should Read “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage”? And Why?

Every person encounters life-altering events which on many occasions come out of a clear blue sky. That weakens your defense mechanism and questions your ability to be fully prepared by anticipating every possible threat that may befall you.

Susan David has the tricks up her sleeves, and in “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage” she explains why you should heed all warnings.

Pay attention.

About Susan David

Susan DavidDr. Susan David is a keynote speaker and the founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School.

She is the author of a few books including Emotional Agility and Beyond Goals.

“The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage PDF Summary”

Have you heard of Susan David? Nonetheless, we are here to tell you the story of a psychologist who cast doubt upon traditional methods and embraced spontaneity. When she was only 15 years old, Susan had to deal with more than an average teenager can handle!

Her father’s death induced a change in behavior especially when it comes to mastering the ability to stay “OK.” At the spur of the moment, a perceptive and thoughtful teacher helped her, by urging Susan to put everything that troubles her on a piece of paper.

That subtle but highly powerful gift made her aware of the emotions that swooped in. Every time she had these harsh feelings, she remembered to take a notebook and write everything down, with hopes that it will clear her mind! These sensations examine how people express their emotions and steer their life.

A survey covering more than 70,000 people opened her eyes to the fact that 1/3 of the participants had this judgmental notion that further inflamed fear, anger, and anxiety. Susan figured that despite the challenges in life, a person could learn how to become aware of these tendencies.

The society has a massive role in enforcing these shameful principles, which put a label on various types of emotions, as scandalous or toxic.

This new concept is carried out by quasi-principles which impose moral correctness, and how you should behave in a given situation. Pushing the power-button is not without risks. By shamefully tackling these emotions you put your internal pain on hold, which must rise to the surface sooner or later.

Paradoxically, she argues that those free from discontent, stress, and regret are buried. The bottom line is that every soul on this planet has to deal with the mental burden that questions the emotional agility. Being in tune with your inner needs is the core of this lifelong synergy.

Susan even shares her views on people’s primary concern – thoughts. She stimulates acceptance in all forms! In other words, stop worrying about what and how you should feel, and embrace the present moment and allow all feelings to emerge.

This is not rocket science, and all it takes is a little determination to learn to ropes of what is holding you back. First things first, find out what triggers stress! Such simple exercise allows you to become increasingly aware of your mental surroundings.

Naming your feelings may seem odd, but such orientation directs your response, and it helps the brain to take concrete steps.

Let’s outline some common mistakes that may put you off track:

  • Don’t put “I am” – You are not the one who is frustrated, there’s only a sense of frustration that you see and perceive!
  • Don’t identify your present state with any passable phenomenon.

Susan implies that staying angry is not the same as being aware of anger. The first scenario indicates that take yourself to be one of these feelings! Emotional agility signifies higher perception and the ability act upon the case.

Ask yourself – How to get closer to my goals? Which action would be the turning point in my life? How to recognize what is hindering my progress? This internal analysis pushes each and everyone towards higher engagement and emotional stability.

The name of the game is – the world remains as it is, an uncertain place filled with mystery and struggle. It’s up to you to create your own inner reality and fight to preserve that peace.

Key Lessons from “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage”

1.      Embrace flexibility in dealing with problems
2.      Interpret the sensations which are aroused by external factors
3.      Find the courage to oppose the phenomena

Embrace flexibility in dealing with problems

Most people simply rush into things. They are not flexible with the methods they use in handling the complexity of today’s world.

Such approach leaves you stranded in a shallow perspective!

Interpret the sensations which are aroused by external factors

It’s vital that you stay calm and tackle the judgmental notion. If you take a breather from criticizing you may be able to see the big picture.

It’s best if you can stay by the side and act as an observer.

Find the courage to oppose your concepts

You are not your mind’s guardian angel. In other words, you don’t need to safeguard its shallow limitations that deteriorate your mental health.

Stay focused on the right tasks and abandon the depthless tendencies.

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“The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage Quotes”

Diversity isn’t just people; it’s also what’s inside people, including diversity of emotion. Click To Tweet Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility. Click To Tweet Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Susan clearly made a name for herself. We really love reading her discoveries and theories on topics related to human psychology.

Endorsing her ideas and breakthroughs in the realm of psychology can change your life and put you in a better mood.

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Spark Joy PDF Summary – Marie Kondo

Spark Joy PDFAn Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Marie Kondo, the most organized woman in the world, is back!

And she wants to “Spark Joy” in your life.

How?

By tidying, of course.

A life-changing one, mind you!

Who Should Read “Spark Joy”? And Why?

If you haven’t become a Konvert by now, here’s your chance to turn into one in mere hours!

Because “Spark Joy” is the long-awaited sequel to Marie Kondo’s bestselling classic “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and it’s an illustrated master class on the art of organizing.

In fact, as Kondo says it herself, “this guide will serve as an ‘Encyclopedia of Tidying Up,’” meaning you can skip from one section to another whenever you feel like, and you can easily find an answer to almost all of the questions Kondo’s first book was mute about.

To sum up: if you want to master the art of tidying up – “this book alone may be enough.”

Marie KondoAbout Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, famous for developing the KonMari method of tidying and cleaning.

She has written five books on organizing, two of which have been translated into more than 30 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide.

In 2015, Marie Kondo was chosen as one of the “100 most influential people” in the world by the prestigious “Time” magazine.

“Spark Joy PDF Summary”

If you’ve ever happened upon Marie Kondo’s brilliant “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” we don’t need to tell you that “a messy room equals a messy mind.”

Well, Marie – once the “maiden of mess,” now organizing consultant extraordinaire – is back with an update:

You could say that tidying orders the mind while cleaning purifies it… tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature.

In other words: tidying and cleaning are not merely practical activities, but also spiritual quests to self-discovery.

And joy.

Lots of joy.

No wonder “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” created a cult of “Konverts,” a worldwide community of people practicing and advocating the KonMari method with an almost religious zeal.

And there is certainly something sacred in it.

After all, not many people can talk of “the god of tidying up” or write a sentence such as this one:

At the age of fifteen or so, having awakened to the call of tidying, I spent every day tidying not just my own room but virtually every space in our home, from my siblings’ rooms to the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom.

Want to hear the call of tidying yourself?

A good way to start is by redefining tidying up from “a process of decluttering your house to make it look neat for your guests” into “a life-changing act of sparking joy in your life.”

From then on – it’s all about the six basic rules of tidying.

Let’s have a look at them all.

#1. Commit yourself to tidying up

This may seem like something trivial, but it’s actually very important.

In other words, the KonMari method (as you’ll learn in an instant) is based on a stay-or-go approach which is certainly not for the faint of heart.

It requires time and effort – and a lot of belief and courage.

These are all rooted in commitment.

So, you’re either fully in or fully out.

If the latter – the KonMari method is not for you.

If the former – move on to step #2.

#2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

The problem why many people suffer rebound after tidying up is fairly simple: they haven’t redefined the process, understanding it as something you do on-the-go, and something you can start doing right away.

This is not true.

Tidying up only works if you have an objective.

And that objective, in this case, is your ideal lifestyle.

Picture it!

Creative visualization is a powerful technique.

Whether you’ll draw the room of your dreams or you’ll write a diary entry about it makes no difference whatsoever.

The point is – to give yourself an objective and a “why” to your cleaning project.

No matter what you do – always start with why.

#3. Finish discarding first

The key to success in tidying is to finish discarding first.

As Kondo says – this is the secret to getting the job done both quickly and right.

You must – and, believe us, you have many reasons to – get rid of some things to make room for others. However, worrying about where to store the ones you’ll keep is something you should do later.

After all, you don’t know how much room you have for storing until you see what you will store no more.

#4. Tidy up by category, not by location

“It’s very important to get an accurate grasp of the sheer volume for each category” of things you own.

So, tidying up one room at a time simply won’t work!

Because most probably you have clothes/books/tools in more than one room and shuffling them around rooms will result in merely another form of the same mess – possibly neater only for the moment.

The correct approach is to first gather all items of a single category at one place and then, after seeing objectively how much of them you own, deciding where and how you can store them.

#5. Follow the right order

Have you ever happened upon some old photos of your family while cleaning around your house and ended up spending hours looking at them?

You sure have!

That’s why “it is crucial not only to tidy by category but also to follow the correct order.”

And the correct order is:

a. Clothes
b. Books
c. Papers
d. Komono (miscellany)
e. Sentimental items

“Spark Joy” lists many useful advices on how you should approach to tidying up each of these categories.

And did we mention that they are illustrated?

#6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

It’s sometimes difficult to decide which things you should keep and which things you shouldn’t.

However, it’s only obvious that this is an important skill to master.

Marie Kondo suggests comparing items to each other. After you’ve put every piece of clothing you own in a single category, give yourself three minutes to choose your favorite three items. There: these certainly spark joy within you.

Repeat the process until you can, before moving on to trying out or even hugging items to see if they (still) spark joy.

But don’t hesitate: if in doubt, throw it away.

Never ever forget that “it might come in handy” is a taboo during tidying.

Key Lessons from “Spark Joy”

1.      The Six Basic Rules of Tidying
2.      The Fundamentals of Storing
3.      Fill Your Home with Joy

The Six Basic Rules of Tidying

The KonMari method adheres to a strict six-rule manual:

#1. Commit yourself to tidying up.
#2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
#3. Finish discarding first.
#4. Tidy by category, not by location.
#5. Follow the right order.
#6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy.

No skipping, no circumventing is allowed.

The “no rebound” part is Kondo’s promise.

The Fundamentals of Storing

Generally speaking, there are four tenets of storage, summarize by Marie Kondo thus:

fold it, stand it upright, store it in one spot and divide your storage space into square compartments.

There are some things you’ll be unable to fold, and others that are not designed to stand upright.

However, most things you own adhere to this rule, and it is essential that you add one of your own: dividing your storage space the way a bento box is divided, i.e., into square compartments.

That way, your drawers will always be neat – and only 90% full.

Fill Your Home with Joy

Once you’re finished with tidying (that is, separating and organizing the items which spark joy in you), it’s time that you move on to adding some joy to your surroundings.

For example, instead of storing your cherished items in some far corner of your drawer, use them to decorate your home.

Add flowers, towels, curtains – and other colorful things which may enhance your joy factor.

Get creative!

It’s your home we’re talking about here!

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“Spark Joy Quotes”

A joy-filled home is like your own personal art museum. Click To Tweet

There are only two choices: keep it or chuck it. And if you’re going to keep it, make sure to take care of it. Click To Tweet

The important thing in tidying is not deciding what to discard but rather what you want to keep in your life. Click To Tweet

The real tragedy is to live your entire life without anything that brings you joy and never even realize it. Click To Tweet

I want to live my life in such a way that it colors my things with memories. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Marie Kondo is – to quote “The New York Times” – “perhaps the world’s only decluttering celebrity.”

And “Spark Joy” fills in the voids left by Kondo’s first book, the one that made her a celebrity in the first place.

It’s very rare that the sequel surpasses the original, but, in this case, even if strictly organizationally speaking, we kinda feel it does.

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You Can Heal Your Life PDF Summary

You Can Heal Your Life PDFDoctors?

Who needs doctors?

Louise Hay says:

You Can Heal Your Life”!

Who Should Read “You Can Heal Your Life”? And Why?

If you believe that your mind and your body are connected and that you have power over your own destiny – then read this book!

It’s one of the earliest to propose this.

And still one of the best.

Louise HayAbout Louise Hay

Louise Hay was an American bestselling motivational author, one of the founders of the self-help movement.

Published in 1984, her international bestseller “You Can Heal Your Life” has sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into more than 30 languages.

She died in 2017.

Find out more at https://www.louisehay.com/

“You Can Heal Your Life PDF Summary”

In “Is It True?,” the fourth chapter of her extraordinarily popular 1984 classic “You Can Heal Your Life,” Louise Hay seems to have put down in writing a justification for her book:

I have never understood the importance of having children memorize battle dates. It seems like such a waste of mental energy. Instead, we could teach them important subjects such as How the Mind Works, How to Handle Finances, How to Invest Money for Financial Security, How to be a Parent, How to Create Good Relationships, and How to Create and Maintain Self-Esteem and Self-Worth.

Can you imagine what a whole generation of adults would be like if they had been taught these subjects in school along with their regular curriculum?

In “You Can Heal Your Life” – a seminal work in the field of self-help literature – Hay has attempted to write a book for this new generation of adults, a sort of an alternative curriculum to life and everything else.

The main premise is very simple:

Everything is connected, and you can change your world by sheer mental power – from your body to your well-being to the nature of your very spirit.

Sounds too Secret-like?

That’s because it is!

Hay’s influence on subsequent authors in the genre is immeasurable – after all, her books have sold over 50 million copies – so don’t be too surprised to learn that you are already familiar with some of her ideas.

The gist of them is presented in the introductory chapter, “What I Believe,” which comprises the first part of this book on its own.

Its opening sentence has been quoted so many times that it has become an anthological one:

What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us.

In other words, we are responsible for everything that is happening to us, since “the thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.”

The root of all problems?

The innermost belief Louise Hay considers the main culprit for everything bad in your life?

A very simple, but, unfortunately, tremendously powerful thought:

I’m not good enough!

According to whose standards?

And to whom?

To make matters worse, this is as true as much as you believe in it.

Literally!

Because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: you make yourself not good enough by thinking that you are not. While you are sleeping, walking, talking, or doing any of your obligatory everyday activities – your mind relays this message to the Universe, and the Universe does everything in its power to transform it into reality.

The good news:

You can reverse this!

And Louise Hay provides you with an eight-chapter’ long psychoanalytical session, coupled with preparatory affirmations, relevant exercises and treatments, and a closing mantra.

The mantra always opens with “In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete” and concludes with the ever wonderful “All is well in my world.”

This comprises the second part of “You Can Heal Your Life” in which you can learn in detail about the true origin of this problem and what you should do to transcend it and start building your life anew.

Needless to say, the belief that you are not good enough or that you don’t deserve happiness stems from your early childhood years, when you had been inadvertently exposed to this kind of beliefs shared by the adults around you.

For the simple reason that your parents and their friends are actually not too dissimilar to you.

A quick rational check of these traditional beliefs should be enough to tell you how wrong they are: boys do cry, and women can handle money.

And even though they are untrue, these beliefs limit your vistas.

To transcend them, start examining them one by one more regularly and let go of the false ones the minute you realize their inaccuracy.

Next, try shifting your mindset from “I should” to “I could” so that “I should start exercising” transforms into “I can start exercising today.”

Adorn this with another important change: turn the negative affirmations into positive ones.

For example, “I don’t want to be fat” should become “I am slender” and “I don’t want to be lonely” is, from now on, “I am filled with love and affection.”

Much like David Hooper’s “Ask, Believe, Receive” is to Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret,” the third part of “You Can Heal Your Life” is to the second one of this book.

Namely, a practical step-by-step tutorial teaching you how you can put the ideas just presented to work.

Hay has chosen pretty much the same categories as Hooper, teaching you, in very brief lessons, how you can harmonize all your relationships and how you can be deeply fulfilled by your work, in addition to how you can be more successful and experience more prosperity.

Possibly the most famous chapters of the book are the 14th and the 15th in which Hay postulates her theory that “we create every so-called illness in our body,” since it, our body, “like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs.”

And she tops her theoretical explanation with a long list in which she states the probable cause for every disease – or, in Hay’s dictionary, dis-ease – and the new thought pattern which should help you cure it.

For example, according to Hay, fever is caused by anger, and it should be countered by the mantra “I am the cool, calm expression of peace and love.”

The cause of heartburn, on the other hand, is clutching fear, and the new thought pattern is the following one: “I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.”

Hay concludes her book with a story from personal experience, describing how she cured herself of “incurable” cervical cancer via her methods, an event which proved to her once and for all that pills can’t cure a disease.

Instead:

DIS-EASE CAN BE HEALED IF WE ARE WILLING TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK AND BELIEVE AND ACT!

Key Lessons from “You Can Heal Your Life”

1.      You Are What You Believe In
2.      Forgiveness Means Letting Go of the Past
3.      Every Disease Is Actually Dis-Ease

You Are What You Believe In

Louise Hay claims that your mind and your body are connected, in such a way that all of your experiences are actually just a mirror of your innermost beliefs.

That’s why it’s very important that you start thinking positively, reciting encouraging and self-assuring affirmations on a daily basis while transforming all of the “shoulds” in your life to “coulds.”

To paraphrase Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” – do this, and all the universe will conspire in helping you become the person you want to be.

Forgiveness Means Letting Go of the Past

A lot of the problems you experience in your present are actually remnants of the past.

Take Hay, for example!

Supposedly, her violent stepfather Ernest Carl Wanzenreid physically abused her, and a neighbor raped her when she was merely 5 years old!

The result of this?

An incurable cervical cancer, which, in Hay’s opinion, is the direct consequence of “deep hurt” and “longstanding resentment” of a “deep secret or grief eating away at the self.”

The solution is straightforward:

Let go of all the hatred.

The best way to do this is by forgiving those the anger against whom holds you back.

Here’s your mantra:

I lovingly forgive and release all of the past. I choose to fill my world with joy. I love and approve of myself.

Every Disease Is Actually Dis-Ease

In Hay’s opinion, just like her cervical cancer, every other disease has a mental origin.

In fact, every disease is actually a dis-ease, that is, a form of discomfort caused by repressed emotions and feelings.

The cure is simple: accept life and yourself, and you will be disease-free!

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“You Can Heal Your Life Quotes”

When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. Click To Tweet

I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive you, and I set you free. Click To Tweet

The past has no power over us. It doesn’t matter how long we have had a negative pattern. The point of power is in the present moment. What a wonderful thing to realize! We can begin to be free in this moment! Click To Tweet

Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive changes in every area of our lives. Click To Tweet

When there is a problem, there is not something to do, there is something to know. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Much of “You Can Heal Your Life” is outdated and unscientific.

But, even so, it’s still as inspirational as ever.

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