Tuesdays with Morrie Summary

Tuesdays with Morrie SummaryAn Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson

We featured this book on our list of most inspirational books ever written, and we never got the chance to summarize it for you.

Time to right that wrong.

Join us on a few unforgettable Tuesdays with Morrie.

Who Should Read “Tuesdays with Morrie”? And Why?

As its subtitle suggests, Tuesdays with Morrie is about a relationship between a dying old man and an unhappy young man – a professor and a former student – “and life’s greatest lesson.”

And this lesson covers topics such as love and happiness, marriage and friendships, regrets and loss – and, ultimately, death.

In other words, that’s not a hyperbole in the subtitle: you may, in fact, learn life’s greatest lesson from this book.

And neither are the ones in the following two sentences: everybody should read Tuesdays with Morrie; because Morrie’s lessons can certainly change your life.

Let’s just say it this way: we would have loved to have Morrie as our professor; and, in a way, after finishing this book, we kind of feel like we did.

About Mitch Albom

Mitch AlbomMitch Albom is an American journalist, author, screenwriter, musician, and TV and radio broadcaster.

He made his name as a sports columnist for Detroit Free Press, becoming one of the most award-winning sports journalists of his time. In fact, the Associated Press Sports Editors awarded him best feature writing honors 7 times and named him the nation’s best sports columnist a record 13 times!

His first non-anthology book was simply titled Bo, an autobiography of football coach Bo Schembechler, co-written with him. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller, just like his second book, Fab Five.

However, the real breakthrough for Albom came after Tuesdays with Morrie was published in 1997. One of the bestselling memoirs of all time, the book remained on the New York Times bestselling list for over four years, an unprecedented success for a book of its kind. Unsurprisingly, the book was turned into an eponymous TV movie, the most watched television film of 1999.

Six years after Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom published The Five People You Meet in Heaven, another resounding success. Once again, it became a television movie in 2004, which, once again, was the most watched TV film of the year.

Five more books followed: For One More Day, Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper, The First Phone Call from Heaven and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.

Albom has so far founded several charities both in Detroit and Haiti.

Find out more at www.mitchalbom.com and www.saydetroit.org

“Tuesdays with Morrie Summary”

Mitch and Morrie, 1979

Tuesdays with Morrie opens with a college memory.

Mitch Albom, the book’s narrator, tells us what happened after his 1979 graduation from Brandeis University. After receiving his diploma, Mitch gifts his favorite professor Morrie Schwartz a monogrammed briefcase.

It is more than a token of gratitude; it is a token of love and respect. And it comes with a promise: Mitch assures his moved-to-tears professor that he will keep in touch no matter what happens.

Mitch, 1995

Sixteen years later, we find Mitch living a mediocre and unfulfilling life.

But if you think that means that he is some unsuccessful schmuck without a job and someone to care for him – think again. Or, better yet, read his biography above.

If you don’t want to scroll up, then let us tell you what’s happening with Mitch in the year of 1995. In a sentence: he is a 37-year-old well-paid nationwide-famous sports writer with a loving wife (Janine) and a pretty hectic schedule.

Since he’s always on the road on reporting assignments, he doesn’t’ have that much time for his wife; and, even though he has promised her children, he never seems to think it’s the right time to have them.

All in all, he’s living the life you probably dream about until you actually start living it.

Morrie, 1995

And one night, as he is disinterestedly flipping the channels on his TV, Mitch happens upon a show featuring none other than his favorite college professor! It’s a Nightline interview with Ted Koppel – the first of three – and it both astounds and saddens Mitch.

And here’s why:

You see, from the interview, Mitch finds out that Morrie has been diagnosed with ALS, which is short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which, in turn, is a technical term for something more widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If you still don’t know which debilitating disease we have in mind, then it’d suffice to say that we’re talking about the disease Stephen Hawking suffered from.

Let’s make that even more heartbreaking for you: Morrie’s favorite hobby – as he tells Koppel on the Nightline interview – is dancing.

Mitch and Morrie, 1995: The First Meeting

Mitch is overwhelmed with memories and feelings.

Soon, he contacts Morrie and decides to visit him in Boston. More specifically: West Newton, Massachusetts.

Their first meeting?

Well, a bit anticlimactic.

Namely, Mitch delays greeting his professor – i.e., someone who has effectively changed his life with no interest to get anything in return – because of a phone talk with his producer.

He still regrets this. But he regrets nothing since.

Mitch’s Sobering Wimbledon Experience

You see, shortly after Mitch’s first meeting with Morrie – at the time, all but planned to be the last as well – Mitch is sent on a reporting assignment to London. It’s the end of June 1995, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for some Wimbledon action.

However, Mitch can’t stop thinking about Morrie and their first discussion. And, one day, as he is knocked over by a crowd of reporters racing to catch a glimpse of then celebrity couple Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields, he suddenly realizes that he is on the wrong place chasing the wrong thing.

It’s Morrie he needs to be with.

And it’s Morrie he calls the minute he arrives in Detroit and finds out that the newspaper union is on strike and that his report from Wimbledon isn’t even going to get published.

Soon, the arrangement is made: Mitch will return to Morrie’s house every Tuesday until Morrie is able to talk, and they will discuss the things that really matter.

The last lesson. The most important one.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Morrie Schwartz, 1916 – 1995

Throughout Mitch and Morrie’s discussions – extending over a period of fourteen Tuesdays – we get a glimpse of both Morrie’s life and their relationship during the college years.

And we learn that life wasn’t that generous to Morrie.

The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, he was a poor, but precocious child. Since his father didn’t know how to read and his brother David was an infant, when he was merely eight years old, Morrie was forced to read aloud the telegram informing the family of his mother’s death.

Morrie’s father, Charlie Schwartz, was incapable of providing him and his younger brother David in no manner whatsoever: neither financially, nor emotionally. Which made the next two years of Morrie’s life a bit hellish.

Finally, his father remarried, this time to a Romanian woman by the name of Eva. Fortunately, she was kind and gentle and managed to provide both Morrie and David with the love and care they desperately needed. Unfortunately, David developed polio at a young age and this left him paralyzed.

Morrie’s father didn’t want David to find out that Eva is not his biological mother, so he forced Morrie to keep this a secret. Morrie would keep the telegram with the news of his mother’s death all his life so as to not forget that his mother existed.

In adulthood, Morrie married an MIT professor named Charlotte, who bore him two sons, Rob and Jon Schwartz. Charlotte caries for him in a compassionate, motherly manner.

It seems as if now, as Morrie is nearing his death, he is becoming a child again. Only this time, he is given the love he wasn’t during his actual infancy.

Mitch as a College Student

Though acting tough, Mitch himself was a tenderhearted young man while at Brandeis University, with a profound capacity to love and a sincere need to be loved.

Even though merely a student of Morrie, Mitch always saw in his professor something of a father figure. And their relationship – as exemplified by the farewell gift – resembled father/son relationship much more than a professor/student one.

In a heartbreaking moment, when Morrie is barely capable of moving – or even breathing – on his own, he confides in Mitch that if he could have another son, he would undoubtedly want that son to be Mitch.

The Main Lesson

An overarching element of Morrie’s lessons is his attempt to encourage Mitch to brave the wilderness inside him and find a unique path of his own:

We’ve got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it–and have it repeated to us–over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

In the eyes of Morrie, the world has gone astray and become just too materialistic. People believe that money and success bring happiness, and they don’t know that when death comes neither of these two matters not one bit.

What does is love and kindness, integrity and compassion.

A life which doesn’t have these as objectives is a life not worth living.

Mitch’s Brother

Inspired by Morrie’s words, Mitch tries his best to restore his relationship with his brother Peter.

Peter is living in Spain and suffers from pancreatic cancer, but doesn’t want compassion or help from his family.

So, Mitch tries to reach him, calling his brother and leaving him numerous messages; the only thing he receives is a short message from Peter stating that he is fine and that he doesn’t want to talk about his disease.

Morrie assures Mitch that his relationship with Peter would eventually be restored; we don’t know if Morrie knew something we don’t, but we do know that after his death, this really happened.

Death Is Not the End

Eventually, Morrie dies.

At his funeral, Mitch recalls promising him that he will never stop talking with him.

Unlike his graduation day promise, this is one that he still keeps. Namely, whenever in trouble or doubt, Mitch Albom conducts a silent discussion with his beloved professor in his head.

To this very day.

It seems that Morrie was right about this as well: “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Key Lessons from “Tuesdays with Morrie”

1.      Enjoy Your Emotions to the Fullest
2.      Don’t Ever Settle for Substitutes
3.      Love Each Other or Perish

Enjoy Your Emotions to the Fullest

The first time Mitch sees Morrie cries, he feels a bit uncomfortable. “It’s okay to cry,” says Morrie. Soon enough, Mitch learns that he is entirely right.

Because why should you hide from your emotions? If you are sad, why shouldn’t you cry? And if you are in love, why shouldn’t you give all your heart (we’re looking at you, W. B. Yeats)?

These are cathartic experiences and one day, you’ll be unable to do either.

So, open yourself. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

It may be awkward at first, but it pays off big time in the end!

Don’t Ever Settle for Substitutes

If there’s one thing Morrie is fed up with, it’s modern culture.

“Wherever I went in my life,” he tells Mitch at one point, “I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’”

Morrie’s interpretation:

These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.

Love Each Other or Perish

This is Morrie’s paraphrase of the most famous verse of W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939”: “We must love one another or die.”

It’s not exactly a choice is it?

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“Tuesdays with Morrie Quotes”

Accept who you are; and revel in it. Click To Tweet The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Click To Tweet I like myself better when I'm with you. Click To Tweet Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long. Click To Tweet Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Tuesdays with Morrie has sold almost 15 million copies so far, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. It is widely considered to be one of the bestselling memoirs of all time – if not the bestselling memoir in history.

It has been taught at many schools worldwide, whether American high schools and universities because of its messages or Asian primary schools because of its straightforward, simple writing.

The movie it inspired, the Oprah-produced 1999 ABC feature by the same name, won four Emmy Awards and was the most-watched TV movie of 1999. Starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, the movie (you can watch it in full here) will almost certainly bring a tear or two in your eyes.

But that’s nothing compared to the effect the book may have on you.

We dare you to not cry at the heartbreaking farewell; and we dare you to go on living the same mediocre life you do (yes, believe us, you do) after finishing Tuesdays with Morrie.

It’s a book that stays with you.

A book everybody should read.

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Braving the Wilderness PDF Summary

Braving the Wilderness PDF SummaryThe Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

It’s Brené Brown once again!

Meaning: we don’t have to introduce her at all.

Ever since her TED Talk on vulnerability became one of the Top 5 Talks of all time, Brené Brown has basically become a cultural icon!

You know her, you love her, you want to hear her thoughts on everything.

So, join her as he shares her most valuable lessons on:

Braving the Wilderness.

Who Should Read “Braving the Wilderness”? And Why?

By now, you should be already familiar with most of Brené Brown’s interests: vulnerability and courage, humiliation and pride, belonging and being an outsider.

In Braving the Wilderness she tackles once again all of them, mostly focusing on the last one of these dichotomies.

And, just like most of her other books, this one also analyzes the problems in a way which should attract both students of social sciences and common folks who just need someone to talk to.

Well, hurting people, Brené Brown is certainly someone you’ll enjoy having a chat with.

About Brené Brown

Brené BrownBrené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston and New York Times bestselling author.

She has spent over two decades studying under-researched topics such as vulnerability and courage, empathy and shame, and is widely considered one of the world’s most read and beloved experts on these subjects.

She is the author of half a dozen books, most of which we’ve summarized here: I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) (2007); The Gifts of Imperfection (2010); Daring Greatly (2012); and Rising Strong (2015).

Braving the Wilderness was published last year (2017) and Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. – Brown’s most recent book – just four days ago.

Brown’s 2010 TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” has been seen over 36 million times (as of October 2018) and is one of the five most viewed TED Talks in history.

“Braving the Wilderness PDF Summary”

We all live in a bubble.

And no, we’re not talking about multiverses or Bitcoin or any other kind of scientific or economic bubble.

No.

We’re talking about something that, based on urgency, may be even more serious.

Namely, the filter bubble.

Put simply, the filter bubble is a state of intellectual isolation caused by personalized searches. They make your life easier, of course, but they also make humanity’s future bleaker.

Why?

Because instead of using the Internet to connect with other people with different experiences and worldviews, you are using it to reinforce your previous beliefs and disconnect from everything else!

The Internet was supposed to usher us into an age of interrelatedness; instead, it is merely making us lonelier by the minute.

Enter stage Brené Brown.

Brené Brown, the Outsider

You see her now all smiling and vivacious and you are immediately overwhelmed by the feeling that she has her life all figured out.

And then you hear her sharing some of her past experiences and you realize that she may have already had more problems than you ever will.

In fact, most of Brené Brown’s childhood was marred by a crushing fear that she doesn’t belong anywhere.

As a little girl, she was oftentimes marginalized by everybody. It was a poisonous racially segregated environment and the white girls at her school didn’t like her African-sounding names: Brené and Cassandra (Brown’s middle name); on the other hand, her African-American friends of hers were somewhat afraid to hang out with her.

So, she was neither here nor there for most of her childhood.

Thigs got only worse in high school where she badly wanted to become part of her school’s cheerleading team, the Bearkadettes. Just like her mother – who had met her father in this manner. (Stop guessing: her father was indeed the star of the football team).

Brown did everything within her power to become a member of the Bearkadettes; unfortunately, neither the liquid diet nor her perfect routine didn’t help her make it.

And to top this off, her parents were disappointed in her for not making it to the team.

To fight pains such as this, Brené started to drink. So much, in fact, that she had to join the AA.

Guess what?

They didn’t want her there either, suggesting her to try the Co-Dependents Anonymous group instead!

Brené Brown Discovering Herself

Most of the people you know have gone through what Brené Brown did in her early years.

And it always boils down to the same problem:

We put a lot of energy to belong to something; read between the lines and that means that you are, in fact, putting a lot of energy to be something that, deep inside, you are not.

Back in 1987 Brené Brown was at one of the worst stages in her life. She spent most of her time drinking and smoking, partying even when she had no energy for it.

That was her way of forgetting about herself.

And then she met Steve, the man she would eventually marry.

The best part about Steve?

He saw through Brené’s attempts to belong somewhere; and started guiding her toward self-belonging. Three decades later Brown would explain to the world how she managed to do this, as a guest on Oprah.

Namely, permission slips.

Suddenly, next to Steve, Brené realized that she could permit herself to be the person she actually was. No conventions, no exhausting liquid diets you need to go through so that you can be accepted.

Just herself.

In fact, her fist permission slip stated: “Be goofy, have fun and enjoy life.”

And she has tried doing that ever since.

Brave the Wilderness Inside You

You are such a unique individual that no one has ever lived a life like the one you’re currently living.

That’s as close to a fact as an opinion can get.

So, it’s only natural that conventional wisdom may not work: your own self is a one-of-a-kind wilderness.

Whatever you do – treat it as such.

Of course, this means that your path through it is also unique and that you need to find it on your own. But, believe us – you will!

Because, deep down inside you, you actually know that walking inside it is what life is all about. “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step,” advised Joseph Campbell, “you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

And Campbell was one of the smartest and most inspiring people of the 20th century.

So:

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

Key Lessons from “Braving the Wilderness”

1.      The First Lesson of Self-Belonging: Brave the Wilderness Inside You
2.      The Seven Traits of Trustworthy People
3.      Tackling Loneliness and Ways to Burst the Bubble

The First Lesson of Self-Belonging: Brave the Wilderness Inside You

There’s a reason why everybody wants to belong to someone or something.

And that reason is quite obvious: it’s quite difficult to go through life alone. Men are social beings – and that’s exactly what Aristotle thought was their defining trait.

However, it is difficult to belong somewhere if you don’t know who you are. In that case, all of your attempts to become part of a group are actually wild guesses, shots in the dark. “Be careful who you pretend to be,” warned us once Kurt Vonnegut. “You might forget who you are.”

Well, Brené Brown is here to update this advice.

The best way to forget who you are, she says, is to never understand yourself completely in the first place.

And if you want to do that, be prepared to make some steps in the wilderness:

Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness — an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. The wilderness can often feel unholy because we can’t control it, or what people think about our choice of whether to venture into that vastness or not. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.

Look at it this way: nobody belongs to this place more than you.

Even if a wilderness, your self is a very unique place: your very own, personal Shangri-La.

And nobody can explore it better than you!

The Seven Traits of Trustworthy People

Self-belonging is not as easy as it sounds.

It means making yourself open to your traumas and pains and vulnerable to other people’s opinions and judgments.

But it’s worth it!

Especially if you can find trustworthy people you can talk to, dependable friends ready to listen to your

According to Brené Brown, these people share these seven traits:

1. They are reliable, which is self-evident;
2. They own their mistakes which is something people rarely do nowadays;
3. They are capable of respecting boundaries, meaning they know that they should leave you alone when you want to be alone, even if that means going to the cinema without company;
4. They are capable of keeping confidential information safe; so, be wary of people who can’t keep your secrets because the betrayal of trust is one of the most traumatic experiences one can go through;
5. They are capable of making decisions with integrity; integrity is underrated in a world of lies and money;
6. They are non-judgmental; they know that we all make mistakes and that pointing them out repeatedly helps no one;
7. They are generous; with everything; meaning: with them, you’re never the only one who shares.

Tackling Loneliness and Ways to Burst the Bubble

If you’re feeling that people are too divided, then be aware that it’s not exactly a feeling: it’s a fact.

For example, only a quarter of Americans supported a specific candidate overwhelmingly back in 1976; however, just a few years ago, more than four fifths were either strongly for Trump or strongly for Hillary Clinton! And, in the meantime, the number of people who describe themselves as lonely more than doubled!

We explained at the beginning of our summary why this is happening. The same mechanism applies to both examples. Put simply, we live in a world designed to keep us inside a bubble.

We don’t experience anything out of our comfort zone, because it’s so easy to stay inside it: personalized ads, personalized searches, and even personalized channels.

The solution spells itself: do the opposite of what Google or YouTube or your inside voice suggests you! Experiment! Experience the difference! And see for yourself whatever suits you best.

At a certain point during your journey, you’ll undoubtedly come across a place, a person, a point where it will all make sense.

Congratulations: you’ve found your way through your inner wilderness.

Now you belong to yourself.

The side-effect?

You already belong to others as well.

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“Braving the Wilderness Quotes”

You are only free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great. Click To Tweet But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Click To Tweet Sometimes the most dangerous thing for kids is the silence that allows them to construct their own stories—stories that almost always cast them as alone and unworthy of love and belonging. Click To Tweet Courage is forged in pain, but not in all pain. Pain that is denied or ignored becomes fear or hate. Click To Tweet We want to be part of something, but we need it to be real - not conditional or fake or constantly up for negotiation. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“It is inevitable —we will fall,” notes Simon Sinek in a review of Braving the Wilderness. “We will fail. We will not know how to react or what to do. No matter how or when it happens, we will all have a choice—do we get up or not? Thankfully,” he adds, “Brené Brown is there with an outstretched arm to help us up.”

Just like most of Brown’s books, Braving the Wilderness does feel as if an outstretched arm. It is both compassionate and empowering. Add to that mixture a lot of goodhearted humor and few mantras you’ll never forget – and you have a reason why you should read this book as soon as possible.

Especially if you feel like nobody understands you.

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Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself PDF Summary

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself PDF SummaryHow to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Tired of being yourself?

What if there was a way to reinvent yourself from scratch?

And what if you already know this way intuitively, and have already mastered it, but in the wrong departments?

Intrigued?

Let Dr. Joe Dispenza explain you the rest.

And start Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself today!

Who Should Read “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”? And Why?

Let’s face it: no matter who you are, your life has almost certainly been plagued by bad habits ever since you were a child. And since this is a book about how to break them – then it is undoubtedly a book recommendable to just about anyone.

However, we feel that we need to warn you straight from the start about a couple of things.

First of all, Dispenza’s book references many scientific concepts from different fields, so be prepared to grapple with some light neurobiology and quantum physics if you want to embark on this journey of self-remodeling with Dr. Dispenza.

Even so, Dispenza’s basic premise (the reversal of the thinking/doing relation) is not exactly widely accepted as a scientific fact. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that his methods wouldn’t work; it merely means that they might have been explained away here in a challengeable way.

By the way, if you want a book about habits most scientists approve of, then check out Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.

About Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dr. Joe DispenzaDr. Joe Dispenza is a chiropractor, educator, lecturer and New York Times bestselling author. He also holds degrees in biochemistry and neuroscience.

He is the author of several books dealing with health and wellbeing, most of them published by Hay House. In his 2014 book, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, he explores human’s ability to heal without surgery or drugs but through thought alone.

He builds upon this notion in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind and Becoming Supernatural.

Find out more at www.drjoedispenza.com

“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself PDF Summary”

At one point during their beautiful correspondence, René Descartes writes to Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia, that thinking people are capable of being unhappy regardless of how happy their circumstances actually are.

In other words, even if everything is going your way, your mind can still bother with things such as why someone else – even someone you don’t really know – is feeling bad at the same moment; and, thus, still cause you genuinely pain and unhappiness.

Even though the above is an undeniable fact – we’re sure you’ve gone through similar feelings at some point in your life – we seem incapable of grasping its real implications.

Namely, if your brain can make you feel unhappy even though you should objectively be happy, why shouldn’t the reverse be true as well?

Or to rephrase that in the form of a question Dr. Joe Dispenza poses: “Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?”

If not – stay with us.

We’re about to explain to you why you should.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life… Because of Quantum Physics

Yes, that’s the title of a Brian Tracy book.

But it’s also the main idea of Dispenza’s book. And the author digs deep to explain it. So, we guess we have to do the same as well.

Now, we’ve already mentioned quantum physics before, but the only thing we had the time to point out to you back then was how strange and bizarre it is. And we summed up this strangeness in a single sentence: “Believe it or not, quantum particles assume characteristics only when observed!”

Well, this is what attracted Dispenza’s attention the most. And the best way to demonstrate what it could mean in practical terms is by using a thought experiment.

The Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment.

Now, the science behind its weird consequences is unquestionable. And it boils down to this: a quantum system – say, an atom or a photon – can exist in multiple mutually exclusive states at one single moment. This is called quantum superposition, and it’s bizarre to even think about in theory.

And yet – it works in practice as well. That’s why we can have such a thing as a quantum computer, in fact; unlike regular computers which transfer information in terms of bits, quantum computers transfer it in terms of qubits. And unlike bits which can be either in the state of 1 or in the state of 0, qubits can be in a superimposed state, that is, a 10 or 01!

Back to our cat.

If we put it in a box with an object that emits radioactive waves, undoubtedly at some point it would die. However, quantum physics suggest that until we open the box, we must assume that it is both alive and dead.

Because the cat too is built of atoms. And that’s how quantum superposition works!

The Potential You’ll Be That You’ll Never See

Now, that’s a line from an Elliott Smith song.

But it’s also something Dispenza firmly believes in – and wants you to understand it!

If you still have problems understanding the experiment above, allow us to help you a bit: matter may not be as definitive as we thought a century ago. It seems that everything behaves as both a particle and a wave.

It is our scientific observations which allow us to fix things into more permanent forms – i.e., change their state from waves to particles (something called, the wave function collapse). As strange as this sounds, most scientists think this interpretation of quantum mechanics – called the Copenhagen Interpretation – is our best guess at how the universe works.

If you think that’s strange, wait till you hear how SF its consequences sound!

We don’t have time to explain this in detail, but in brief: if something can be in superposition of all its possible states at once and if it is our observation which reduces the superposition to a single state, and, finally, if it is true that information mustn’t be lost, then there is an infinite number of parallel universes (a many-worlds multiverse) across which practically everything has already happened, is happening or will happen!

What does this mean in more practical you-related terms?

Well, that our universe hides the potential of every single reality imaginable. It is through our observations that we reduce this potential to a single reality. And since our observations come from our brains, then basically our unhappiness is the product of our wrong thinking.

Change your thinking, change your life isn’t merely a metaphor.

It’s literally what may be happening every single second.

Live Out Your Desires in the Present

“Whether you think you can,” noted Henry Ford once, “or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

We believe we already made a case why Ford would think that.

Some of the greatest scientists alive believe that it is entirely possible that we are living in a “universal choose-your-own-adventure” narrative!

The difference between our lives and choose-your-own-adventure books, however, is that in the latter case, you can always go back to the branching page and choose once again to experience the other adventure.

However, life doesn’t work that way: every choice you make leads to an irreversible outcome which leads to another decision, and so on and so forth.

There are no undos in life.

However, as many books have taught you by now, there are dreams and fantasies and creative visualizations.

Well, Dispenza has a message for them all:

The quantum field responds not to what we want; it responds to who we are being.

In other words, thinking isn’t enough. (If it was, Rachel Hollis would have probably married Matt Damon.)

Thinking is merely the starting point of the process of reducing all of your possible realities to the one you want to live in. However, if you want to make your desired reality real, well, do precisely that. Namely start acting as if you are already living inside your visualizations.

But that’s something biology and neuroscience can probably explain much better.

Your Three Brains

Thinking happens in the first of your three brains: the Neocortex. The Limbic brain is the second one – that one’s responsible for your emotions. Finally, the third one is the cerebellum, responsible for your habits and your behaviors.

These three brains are interrelated, so you can’t change anything if you use only one of them. You need to force them to communicate so you can translate your thoughts into genuine emotions and actions and your actions into your character.

Here’s how it works in practice!

Say you want to become a more courageous person.

The first step is to activate your neocortex. Meaning: you need to find yourself a model – or, even better, models – and study their actions. You want to be a Maya Angelou or a Winston Churchill? Read about them and teach your neocortex what they did to become who they are.

Then, it’s time to put your Limbic brain into action. When a situation arises which demands bravery, willingly force your body to act the way you tried teaching yourself is the best one.

Now that your body has acquired an understanding of bravery, it will be easy to repeat the action you’ve already done once in the next similar circumstance. After all, they don’t say for nothing that the first time is the toughest.

Do a thing two or three times, and you can be sure that your cerebellum has registered it as a part of your character.

Meaning: you’ve successfully gone through the process of becoming who you want to be!

Key Lessons from “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”

1.      Become Who You Want to Be – From Brain Cell to Gene
2.      Don’t Play Out Your Past Memories – Live Through Your Future Fantasies Instead
3.      Learn How to Bridge the Identity Gap and Be Happy

Become Who You Want to Be – From Brain Cell to Gene

“The latest research,” writes Dr. John Dispenza, “supports the notion that we have a natural ability to change the brain and body by thought alone so that it looks biologically like some future event has already happened. Because you can make thought more real than anything else, you can change who you are from brain cell to gene, given the right understanding.”

In other words, science has all but proven the truth of an old adage: “Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions, watch your actions, they become habits, watch your habits, they become character, watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

You can find that quote in numerous different versions, but the link is always the same: it starts with thoughts; it ends with character and destiny!

Don’t Play Out Your Past Memories – Live Through Your Future Fantasies Instead

The reason why you are more than your genes is your brain; and, unsurprisingly, your brain can affect your genes.

In fact, it does precisely that even as you’re reading this article. However, the problem is that you are not exactly using its full potential, basically limiting yourself to being what your past has nonchalantly taught you without your intervention.

Think about it this way: you won’t change if you are living out your memories. Because that’s exactly who you are in the first place.

But you can change if you are living out your fantasies. Because that’s who you want to become in the future.

Or, in the words of Dispenza:

When you think from your past memories, you can only create past experiences. As all of the ‘knowns’ in your life cause your brain to think and feel in familiar ways, thus creating knowable outcomes, you continually reaffirm your life as you know it. And since your brain is equal to your environment, then each morning, your senses plug you into the same reality and initiate the same stream of consciousness… If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.

Learn How to Bridge the Identity Gap and Be Happy

Now, be aware that becoming who you want to be doesn’t mean that you’ll end up being happy. There are people who have perfect lives and, yet, they struggle. According to Dispenza, the reason for this is because they are not exactly themselves.

Because who you are is at least two people to start with; how you see yourself and how others see you. This is the identity gap everyone has to deal with on a daily basis.

You can only be happy if you bridge the gap; that is, if others start seeing you the way you see yourself.

You can do that using some of the methods above.

Dispenza also offers a shortcut: meditation.

Because meditating, as he explains, is “a means for you to move beyond your analytical mind so that you can access your subconscious mind. That’s crucial, since the subconscious is where all your bad habits and behaviors that you want to change reside.”

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“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself Quotes”

A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom. Click To Tweet We should never wait for science to give us permission to do the uncommon; if we do, then we are turning science into another religion. Click To Tweet Warning: when feelings become the means of thinking, or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the… Click To Tweet Think of it this way: the input remains the same, so the output has to remain the same. How, then, can you ever create anything new? Click To Tweet The point is, true happiness has nothing to do with pleasure, because the reliance on feeling good from such intensely stimulating things only moves us further from real joy. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself is a unique way of linking your habits and your happiness with neuroscience and quantum physics. We are not experts enough to know how much of it actually holds water.

But we do know people who are happy with the results of putting in practice some of its advices. So, if you are like us: ignore the science; but try the exercises.

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Girl, Wash Your Face PDF Summary

Girl, Wash Your Face PDF SummaryStop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

Ever felt like your self is constantly struggling against a vision of who you ought to be?

Tired of doing that?

Well, Rachel Hollis says: it’s time to get that dirt of other people’s lies off of you!

And it’s time for a total makeover:

Girl, Wash Your Face!

Who Should Read “Girl, Wash Your Face”? And Why?

The world of today is a merciless place.

Whether you are a single mom or a mother of two, an unmarried successful woman in your forties or a married twenty-year-old with no job – you are bound to be judged by those around you.

Why?

Merely because no one lives up to the standards of what being a happy woman means for the world. (That’s right – It’s the Anna Karenina Principle all over again!)

The only conclusion you can deduce from that: it’s not you, but the standards which don’t work.

And this is the main message Girl, Wash Your Face is trying to communicate.

That’s why it’s a necessary reading for all the women out there who feel as if they are battled to the ground on a daily basis by the perfect figures of beauty and success from the unrealistic movies of today.

If you need some inspiration to dream and an encouragement to turn those dreams into reality – then Rachel Hollis is your girl.

About Rachel Hollis

Rachel HollisRachel Hollis is the founder and recurrent blogger for TheChicSite.com, a motivational speaker, and #1 New York Times bestselling author.

A mother of four, Hollis is widely considered one of the world’s leading motivators for women, something which has earned her not only a place on Inc. Magazine’s “Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30” but also the flattering moniker “Tony Robbins for women.”

“Deeply passionate about empowering women in business,” Hollis is famed for her high-energy style and for her ability to inspire and galvanize female audiences.

She is also the CCO of her own company, the Hollis Company, and the author of Girl, Wash Your Face which spent about more than four months on The New York Times bestseller list.

She is currently working on a sequel: Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, to be published in March 2019.

“Girl, Wash Your Face PDF Summary”

“Man is the measure of all things,” uttered Protagoras about two and a half millennia ago, “of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not.”

In its bare essence, Girl, Wash Your Face is a tell-it-all mediation upon this famous saying. Or, in other words, it is a book about “one great truth”:

You are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track!

Of course, it’s easy to see why you should be in control of your life. The more difficult part is to actually take things in your own hands.

And here’s how you can do it!

Promises and Commitments

The second – and, quite possibly, the best – of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life was to treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

Let’s try that out here, suggests Rachel.

Say you have a friend who you like very much and would love to see her succeed. Let’s call her Pam. Now, Pam has a bizarre habit: she oftentimes makes arrangements with you to only back out of them at the last minute.

And her excuses aren’t that great either.

For example, even though a week ago you two had agreed to go to Paris for the weekend and experience French cuisine at its best, she canceled out on you because she felt that eating ice cream and streaming Netflix shows was much more fun.

The excuse sounds even feebler when you realize that Pam had promised to go on a diet just a month ago. When did she give up on the diet?

If you don’t have that high of an opinion for Pam – join the club: we’re not that impressed with her either.

The twist:

You are Pam.

Because you do to yourself what Pam is doing to you in this hypothetical example on a daily basis. You constantly promise yourself things and make commitments you are unable to keep. “Our words have power,” notes down Rachel, “but our actions shape our lives.”

So, lesson one: keep your promises to yourself the same way you’d keep them if you gave them to someone you really love. Bonus: split them into smaller, more manageable chunks so that the rewarding feeling of accomplishment can encourage you to go onward.

Dreams and Fantasies…

Now, going onward is both lonely and tiring if there isn’t a final destination to your journey, an objective you believe is important enough to reach.

And having an objective, on the other hand, is so essential that sometimes it can spell the difference between life and death.

However, “I want to be the next Oprah” or “I want to marry Matt Damon” are not very good goals.

Take it from Rachel.

It was her fantasy to marry Damon ever since Good Will Hunting. She spent hours and hours dreaming about it, picturing their wedding and their beautiful little kids.

Years later in LA, she happened upon Matt Damon while she was working as an events manager at some Miramax event. He was standing across the room and started approaching her the minute their eyes met.

However, since this is not a romantic comedy, but real life, he didn’t tell her that he has never seen a more beautiful woman in his life.

No.

The only thing he said to her was posing the rather anticlimactic question: “Can you tell me where I’m sitting, please?”

In other words, no matter how much of your time you spend visualizing some things, they will never come true if they are unreal to start with.

…and Actual Objectives and Goals

You need something much more tangible.

If you’re Jim Carrey, it can be a $10 million check; in Rachel Hollis’ case, it was a $10,000 Louis Vuitton Speedy purse.

The thought of owning it was what kept her going: she promised herself that she was going to buy it the first time she charged a client $10,000 in consulting fees.

It took her many years and many checks of $1,000 or $2,500 to get there, but one day she did do it. And the first thing she did afterward: went straight to the store and bought the purse. She claims to have never felt prouder.

Two lessons to take from here.

First, instead of setting yourself an unrealistic objective, set yourself a SMART goal. That stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Secondly – well, scratch the part about time-bound. Be patient with your dreams. Sometimes it may take a week to turn them into reality, sometimes more than a decade. Don’t forget that that’s how long it took Julia Child or James Cameron to come up with Mastering the Art of French Cooking or Avatar.

Home and Family

Rachel Hollis is a mother of four.

And she is also a CCO of her own company, a bestselling author, a blogger, and a motivational speaker.

So how does she do it?

“When it comes to women,” she says on her website, “there always seems to be a question about how we can balance everything. Girl, I don’t even try!”

Put simply: forget everything movies ever taught you. Not only there are no happy endings – but there are also no happy middle parts as well. At least not happy in the way they tell you are going to be.

Balancing between life and work is a myth; it’s something nobody can do it. (Not even Shonda Rhimes!)

So, embrace the chaos and try to find yourself around day by day.

Also, don’t even dare to say “no” when someone is offering a helping hand. The Beatles put this better than anyone: you’ll get by with a little help from your friends.

Body Image

Based on the tone of Rachel Hollis’ ode to self-love so far, you can probably already guess what her advice is going to be here, right?

Just embrace who you are and stop punishing yourself by following Instagram profiles of supermodels and actresses.

Well – not exactly: do stop doing the latter, but don’t do the former!

Because your body is a divine gift and you need to keep it in the best form possible. And because it’s not exactly a question of beauty – it’s a matter of health.

So, you don’t need to care about how you’d look like in a bikini on the beaches of Ibiza; but you do need to take your lifestyle seriously if you experienced problems climbing the stairs that Friday the elevator didn’t work!

That’s not a way to live your life.

Throw out most of your snacks. Start eating some healthy food. Exercise.

Your body will be grateful.

Sex

Also – your sex life as well!

If it is in any way boring – then you’re certainly doing something wrong.

Sex should be about pleasure, and when it is not, there’s no reason for it happening at all. And that’s exactly what Rachel convinced herself at a certain point in her marriage; this turned her sex life around.

Namely, firmly believing that the goal of sex is to experience an orgasm, she told her husband that she would never have sex again without achieving this goal. And since her husband was a thinking man, he agreed.

Now – if we are to believe her – Rachel does have an orgasm every time she has sex.

Some of her tips: start enjoying your naked body; encourage yourself with some positive sex talk; experiment; and when things aren’t going that well – well, power it through!

Even if that means committing yourself to having sex every day for, say, a month. Because, let’s face it: that’s one commitment you should be able to carry through easily.

Key Lessons from “Girl, Wash Your Face”

1.      You Are in Control of Your Own Life
2.      Someone Else’s Opinion of You Is None of Your Business
3.      Compare Yourself Only to Yourself from Yesterday

You Are in Control of Your Own Life

If you need to take only one lesson from this book – take this one:

You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.

That’s both a burden and a blessing. Because, on the one hand, it leaves you no room for excuses. But, on the other and more important one, it makes your life a joy and an experiment.

Your own personal, customizable journey.

Someone Else’s Opinion of You Is None of Your Business

We live in a social media-obsessed world, and everybody has something to say about someone.

Most of the time these are not good things. However, more often than not, it is precisely because of these things our lives seem so empty and meaningless.

Why should we?

If something makes us happy, what difference does it make if it doesn’t fit in the conventional narrative of happiness?

Think about it this way: if Picasso or Beethoven did what their surroundings told them to, they wouldn’t have become Picasso and Beethoven.

Compare Yourself Only to Yourself from Yesterday

“Comparison is the death of joy,” notes Rachel Hollis, “and the only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday.”

Of course you’re not going to be better than Oprah or Sandra Bullock in a few months’ time. Comparisons such as these can only make you feel unhappy and worthless.

But you can be better than yourself from yesterday – and achieving that will make you feel good and content.

Do that long enough and, who knows: maybe you can become the next Oprah or Sandra Bullock!

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“Girl, Wash Your Face Quotes”

You must choose to be happy, grateful, and fulfilled. If you make that choice every single day, regardless of where you are or what’s happening, you will be happy. Click To Tweet Friends, it’s not about the goal or the dream you have. It’s about who you become on your way to that goal. Click To Tweet Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight. Click To Tweet When you really want something, you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse. Click To Tweet God has perfect timing, and it's highly possible that by not being where you thought you should be, you will end up exactly where you're meant to go. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Chances are you are not going to find anything new inside Girl, Wash Your Face.

But, somehow, Rachel Hollis has a way of communicating the clichés in a manner that has already reached the hearts and brains of many girls and women worldwide.

So, why shouldn’t it do the same for you as well?

(One note, though: at certain points, the book may sound a bit too Christian and too preachy; so if that’s not your cup of tea – be prepared for digressions of this kind.)

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Year of Yes PDF Summary

Year of Yes PDF SummaryHow to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Are you saying “no” to too many things in your life?

Well, it’s time to change that.

Let Shonda Rhimes help you to kickstart your life-changing “Year of Yes.”

Who Should Read “Year of Yes”? And Why?

Do you like Grey’s Anatomy?

Considering the fact that the show is on TV for about 13 years now, we bet it’s safe to assume that not many would answer that question in the negative.

Well, this is the story of the person behind its success: Shonda Rhimes.

So, if you are a fan of that show, don’t miss this book.

Don’t miss it if you want to be the person behind the next Grey’s Anatomy: there are many lessons here for aspiring TV writers.

However, don’t expect all of them to be encouraging: there’s more to life than being successful. In fact, that’s lesson number one.

About Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Lynn RhimesShonda Rhimes is an American screenwriter and television producer.

She is best known as the creator, writer and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice. She is also the creative force behind ABC’s political thriller Scandal.

In 2017, Netflix purchased the streaming rights for Rhimes’ shows and made a multi-year development deal with her, according to which her future productions will be Netflix Original series.

Year of Yes is Rhimes’ only book so far.

“Year of Yes PDF Summary”

Even if you don’t know who Shonda Rhimes is, you certainly know what Shonda Rhimes has so far done. Because she is the creative force (both writer and producer) behind three top-rated TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal.

However, if you think that Year of Yes is a book about success – think again! It’s actually much more a book about happiness. And it’s not so much about what you should do to be happy, but about what you should don’t.

It’s also a highly personal account of how Shonda Rhimes became Shonda Rhimes – and what she would have done differently if she could go back in time. And what she actually did the minute she faced her regrets.

Born in Chicago as the youngest of six children to a college professor (her mother) and a university administrator (her father), Rhimes was (expectedly) an introvert.

Her favorite hobby was playing pretend with food items. She had a habit of hiding in her mother’s pastry and developing stories in which the green beans were ruled by the yams, and the tomatoes plotted an overthrow.

She was, in every sense of the phrase, a storyteller from birth, homo narrans.

Unsurprisingly, after attending Marian Catholic High School, she went on to earn a BA at Dartmouth College in English and film studies.

It was here that she started dabbling in much more serious make-believe games, joining the Black Underground Theater Association and directing numerous student productions. She also acted in some of them, writing fiction in the meantime.

It was the beginning of the 1990s, so it’s only natural that Shonda dreamt of becoming the next Toni Morrison, the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Interestingly enough, after Shonda became Shonda Rhimes, she had the privilege to have dinner with Morrison.

The thing they talked about?

Grey’s Anatomy.

Now, how did that happen?

How does one evolve from just a regular person dreaming a dream to an exceptional one living inside it?

Shonda has pretty straightforward advice:

They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.

I think that’s crap.

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? They are busy doing.

In other words: dreaming is easy; it’s doing the work necessary to turn that dream into a reality that is difficult.

However, that’s not what Shonda learned during this process of becoming one of the most respected people in the film industry; what she did is actually a much bleaker lesson: that success doesn’t bring you happiness.

In fact, it may be the very opposite: it’s what prevents you from being happy.

For two reasons:

First of all, if you want to be successful in Hollywood, you can’t allow yourself a break; however, if you are a writer, that usually means many solitary sleepless and stressful nights. After all, it’s not like you don’t know that even Muses need to take some rest from time to time.

The second reason is even scarier. Namely, no matter how lonely and insecure you feel, you mustn’t show this before anyone. Because nobody has the time to deal with an anxious person with panic attacks in a world where new episodes must come out each week and new TV shows are constantly created and produced.

Rhimes’ solution?

Well, the obvious one: gobbling up her feelings.

Literally.

And, of course, after she realized that this method gained her some weight, she felt so sad that she had to start eating some more.

You know it: the vicious, vicious circle.

And then, one day, her sister and her publicist all but ordered Shonda to accept an invitation for dinner with then-U.S. President Barack Obama and the First Lady.

Suddenly, Shonda realized that there must be another way. In other words, you can, instead of watching the world go by in front of your very eyes, take participation.

And just like Jim Carrey in Yes Man, she decided to say “yes” to everything.

You may remember 2015 as the year you did nothing in particular, but in Shonda Rhimes’ vocabulary, 2015 was her “Year of Yes.”

The first thing Shonda said “yes” to was her social life.

And this led to a few memorable experiences, such as being photographed by Annie Leibovitz and being interviewed (for the first time) for Good Morning America!

In addition, she organized a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. And she didn’t reject the offers for a friendly hangout by the cast of her shows.

The second thing Shonda said “yes” to was her family.

Rhimes adopted her first child back in 2002, and her second and third in 2012 and 2013. However, before her “Year of Yes,” she didn’t have that much time for Emerson, Beckett, and Harper. In 2015, however, she decided that that’s not a way to live your life.

So, she started saying “yes” every time her daughters would ask her to play with them. And she stopped working during the weekends so that she can dedicate herself fully to her family for at least two days a week.

It wasn’t always like that.

When she adopted her first child, a friend of hers asked her whether she had started interviewing for a nanny. Rhimes was furious: “Why would I want to adopt a child if I plan to make it someone else’s problem?” – she yelled.

However, soon enough she realized that real life doesn’t work the way movies do. In real life, it is quite tricky – and almost impossible – to balance family and work.

In comes Jenny McCarthy.

Though she has written some books about parenting – no, we’re not talking about that Jenny McCarthy.

It’s Shonda Rhimes’ supernanny who, in Rhimes’ words, helped her both realize that it is impossible to do it all and, ironically, actually do it all. (Your friends are an extension of you; and you are an extension of your friends. Never forget that.)

This helped Rhimes feel much more confident and act with much more assertiveness. And it inspired her to say “no” once in a while – when that secretly means saying “yes.”

Because a “no” to self-depreciation is actually a “yes” to compliments. And a “yes” to compliments leads to just the perfect amount of self-love.

And that – as Rupi Kaur points over and over again – is the only valid starting point of love.

Not to mention health, as well!

You see, Shonda Rhimes lost 117 pounds during 2015.

Now, you can say that it’s because of exercising and dieting and you won’t be wrong. However, the real, underlying reason is something else.

A newly discovered capacity for self-love.

Key Lessons from “Year of Yes”

1.      Unhappiness May Be the Price for Success
2.      The FODs and the Bad-Asses
3.      The One Rule of Happiness

Unhappiness May Be the Price for Success

Most people know that happiness and success are intricately related. And they instinctively agree that the former must follow from the latter.

OK, let’s agree with that. So, you can’t be happy if you are not successful. But can consider yourself successful if you are not happy?

As Shonda Rhimes found out during her “Year of Yes” – no, you can’t. And, unfortunately, success may be an obstacle on your road to happiness.

Because you may have to sacrifice many things so that you can become successful. And because, during the process, you may forget that you wanted to be successful only so that you can enjoy those exact same things.

You know – the plotline for every romantic comedy ever.

It turns out it’s much too real.

The FODs and the Bad-Asses

Shonda Rhimes thinks herself a FOD, that is “first, only different.”

How different?

Well, you know: not male, not white, and yet highly successful.

Since she’s a rare kind even today – did luck have anything to do with her success?

“I am not lucky,” answers at one point Shonda Rhimes. “You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way, and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

Other people you can call badasses: Julia Child, Serena Williams, Oprah… Wonder Woman. And Brené Brown.

And, well, you.

If you want to, that is.

The One Rule of Happiness

Remember the Anna Karenina Principle?

If not, maybe the first line of that brilliant Tolstoy novel will refresh your memory: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

In other words, in order to be happy, you need to check all the checkboxes. You can be unhappy, however, if only one (any one: love, friends, family, work, etc.) of the checkboxes is left empty.

Obviously, this explains why it is so much more difficult to be happy. But, what it doesn’t say is how you can be happy.

Shonda Rhimes, however, thinks that, in fact, it does.

Because, if there are so many things that influence our happiness, and if each of us is different – then the only way to happiness is your way.

There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people.

You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize, don’t explain, don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.

And that’s the one rule of happiness: don’t listen to others telling you how you can make yourself happy. It won’t work – because you’re a unique individual. Follow your inner voice should work. Even if that means having no family of your own or being less than successful in your profession.

For some people, happiness is having a coffee with their high school friends once a week. And why shouldn’t it be?

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“Year of Yes Quotes”

Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Click To Tweet ’Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need.’ ‘He is very dreamy,’ she says. ‘But he is not the sun. You are.’ Click To Tweet Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change. Click To Tweet Losing yourself does not happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one ‘no’ at a time. Click To Tweet If I don't poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Year of Yes is – to quote a review – “as fun to read as Rhimes’s TV series are to watch.”

So, if you enjoy rapid-fire dialogue, poignant moments, great punchlines and unforgettable life lessons – you’ll enjoy this memoir as well.

Raw and revelatory, Year of Yes is as life-affirming as its title.

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12 Rules for Life Summary

12 Rules for Life Summary

An Antidote to Chaos

Ready for a dose of Jordan Peterson?

Even if you’re not – here it comes!

Tight-packed in the form of his 12 Rules for Life.

Who Should Read “12 Rules for Life”? And Why?

There’s probably nobody as famous as Jordan Peterson in the intellectual world nowadays.

Which means that each and every one of his moves is carefully inspected by a host of people – both his two million (and counting) active followers and as many criticizers.

12 Rules for Life, however, is a much lighter and less controversial read than we’ve come to expect from Peterson.

It feels as if it is mainly aimed at teenagers and young people who are trying to find their way in life.

If you are one of them, based on many testimonies,

About Jordan Peterson

Jordan PetersonJordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and cultural critic – quite possibly, “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.”

He studied at the University of Alberta, where he obtained a BA in political science in 1982. After a year off in Europe, he returned to Alberta and received a BA in psychology in 1985.

Six years later, he earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University where he remained as a post-doctoral fellow for the next two years. He then moved to Harvard University, where he became an associate professor of psychology.

He published his first book, Maps of Meaning, in 1999, two decades before he published 12 Rules for Life.

In the meantime, he became an Internet celebrity, propelled by his argumentation against the Canadian government’s Bill C-16.

Find out more at https://jordanbpeterson.com/

“12 Rules for Life Summary”

As Jordan Peterson explains in the Overture to his 12 Rules of Life, this book grew out of one of his most interesting hobbies.

Namely – answering questions posted on Quora.

Well, one time he tried answering the question “What are the most valuable things everyone should know?”

His answer – which then included 40 rules – was, to say the least, quite popular.

As Peterson explains, it “has been viewed by a hundred and twenty thousand people and been upvoted twenty-three hundred times. Only a few hundred of the roughly six hundred thousand questions on Quora have cracked the two-thousand-upvote barrier.”

So, in other words, he had already written this book before he had even started writing it.

To complete it, he just combined some rules and dropped out the redundant ones.

And he came up with the 12 rules for life.

Key Lessons from “12 Rules for Life”

1.      Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Back
2.      Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible for Helping
3.      Make Friends with People Who Want the Best for You
4.      Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not to Who Someone Else is Today
5.      Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything that Makes You Dislike Them
6.      Put Your House in Order
7.      Pursue What is Meaningful, Not What is Expedient
8.      Tell the Truth
9.      Assume that the Person You are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t
10.      Be Precise with Your Speech
11.      Leave Children Alone when They are Skateboarding
12.      Pet a Cat When You Encounter One on the Street

Rule 1: Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Back

For his first rule, Jordan Peterson casts a cold look upon the nature and the “society” of the lobsters. But you probably already know this, since it has already been made stupendously famous via his debate with Cathy Newman.

The main reason for the analogy: the basic chemistry of a lobster’s brain is not that different from the chemistry of your brain.

And we know for a fact that, after a fight, “a lobster loser’s brain chemistry differs importantly from that of a lobster winner.” And this is “reflected in their relative postures,” which depend on the serotonin/octopamine ratio: more from the former makes you stand up straight and enthuses you with confidence.

Rings a bell?

It should – if it doesn’t.

Because it basically echoes Amy Cuddy’s exceptionally popular TED Talk: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

Now, the rule makes much more sense: if octopamine makes you slouch when you’re feeling bad, then stand up straight, and the serotonin wills start flowing:

So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.

Rule 2: Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible for Helping

We live in a scientific, materialistic world and we are pitifully unaware of the fact that there are different ways to understand it.

However, for most of history (back to, say, Newton), humans understood it in a profoundly different way, i.e., via myths. And myths had the power to give their lives some meaning and orientation.

Now, interestingly enough, the fact that we are aware that the universe has no obligation to make sense to us (Neil deGrasse Tyson) makes us cruel to, well, ourselves.

We are capable of inventing meaning even for our dogs and cats – but we are incapable of doing the same for us. And statistics show this: “People are better at filling and properly administering prescription medication to their pets than to themselves.”

And, as Peterson says, “that’s not good. Even from your pet’s perspective, it’s not good. Your pet (probably) loves you, and would be happier if you took your medication.”

Peterson analyzes the Genesis story in order to find an answer to the question of why we prefer our pets to ourselves. And – after few pages which concentrate on the order/chaos dichotomy – he finds it.

And it is the same Viktor Frankl discovered while going through the Hell of Auschwitz. Namely, the ones who go forward are the ones who have something to go forward to.

He whose life has a why can bear almost any how,” Peterson quotes his favorite philosopher Nietzsche to make his point once again.

How this relates to Peterson’s second rule?

Well, if you believe your life has a Meaning – with a capital M – then you will have to treat yourself as someone who deserves it. And if that’s the case, you will be able to recognize your problems.

And consider them accordingly.

Just like you would your dog’s.

Rule 3: Make Friends with People Who Want the Best for You

A highly personal lesson dipped in Jordan Peterson’s childhood experiences.

And as simple and obvious as a lesson can get: “Friendship is a reciprocal arrangement.

Peterson goes on:

You are not morally obliged to support someone who is making the world a worse place. Quite the opposite. You should choose people who want things to be better, not worse. It’s a good thing, not a selfish thing, to choose people who are good for you. It’s appropriate and praiseworthy to associate with people whose lives would be improved if they saw your life improve.

People who don’t want to improve are not exactly people you want to be around with. By definition, they can’t be helped. They will merely drag you down to their level to make themselves feel better, using you as an object instead of a human being (contra Kant).

If you spend your time around them, you are not helping yourself and, thus, you are not helping the world either.

Because the people who don’t want to improve are the same people who will give a cigarette to a former smoker or beer to a former alcoholic.

They don’t want to make the world a better place by improving; they want to make the world a worse place and, thus, simulate improvement.

To hell with them!

Make friends only with people who want the best for you, people you’d easily recommend to others for

Rule 4: Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not to Who Someone Else is Today

We’ve told you before that happiness may be a relative category.

In other words, that how you feel at this moment depends not on how close you are to some definitive state of things (i.e., Happiness with a capital H), but on how better off you feel when compared to those around you.

Regardless of the fact that happiness is not precisely Peterson’s cup of tea – it’s a fact that, for millennia, this may have worked for people in one way or another.

Nowadays, it’s all but a recipe for disaster!

Why?

Because, nowadays, you have the media and the Internet continually feeding you with images and news about the best of the very best.

And it’s only sensible to come to terms with a simple fact: no matter how good you are, there will always be someone better than you out there.

Look at it this way: millions of kids are at the moment playing basketball and dreaming of becoming the next LeBron; only a handful or one or even no one will do that!

What does that leave for the rest of the bunch?

Misery.

That’s why Jordan Peterson advises you to introduce a Copernican revolution inside your existence. It’s time to stop being the object revolving around some objects with a stronger mass; it’s time to become the object around which everything else revolves.

In other words: don’t compare yourself to other people; compare yourself with, well, yourself from yesterday. If you’re better than that guy – then you are on the right track!

Rule 5: Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything that Makes You Dislike Them

Parenting is an art.

And the most artful part about it is learning – and, then, communicating – the rules of it.

It’s only obvious that not everybody can be a good parent. What separates the good from the bad is their capability to guide their children on the road of improvement.

Because children are born into chaos. They learn the rules of life by constantly hitting walls – both literally and metaphorically.

A parent’s job is to organize the metaphorical part of his/her child’s existence in a way which will give it some meaning.

And that, in Peterson’s dictionary, doesn’t mean “happiness.”

After all, a child will always feel a little happier when given a candy; but that doesn’t mean that you should give your child candies all the time.

Your purpose as a parent is to be the superego to your child’s ego: to be the link between the chaos of the child’s world and the order of society.

If a child receives no feedback, then the chaos into which it is born will permeate well into his or her adulthood; and society will punish it, much less mercifully than you.

However, if it receives too much feedback, then the order will limit too much its potential; society will punish that as well.

The lesson here: set clear rules and proper discipline for your children; because if you don’t – society will.

Rule 6: Put Your House in Order

This one of Jordan Peterson’s rules goes back to Voltaire’s Candide.

If you recall, the book ends with a conviction that the only way to counter the evils of this world is by cultivating your own garden. That way, Voltaire believed, you can free yourself of the “three great evils: boredom, vice, and poverty.” And contribute to a better future of everybody.

Jordan Peterson rephrases this thus: put your house in order before you start philosophizing about how we should put the whole world in order.

Don’t blame other people for your own troubles, because, chances are, you haven’t taken advantage of every opportunity coming your way.

“Don’t blame capitalism, the radical left, or the iniquity of your enemies,” Peterson goes on. “Don’t reorganize the state until you have ordered your own experience. Have some humility. If you cannot bring peace to your household, how dare you try to rule a city? Let your own soul guide you.”

The actionable lesson: “Start to stop doing what you know to be wrong.

Rule 7: Pursue What is Meaningful, Not What is Expedient

Life is suffering.

Many ancient religions and mythologies have tried articulating that in some of the most famous stories we have inherited from our ancestors.

There is basically no way around it: no matter what happens, one day the people you love will inevitably die; and you will as well.

There’s an easy solution to this problem: hedonism. “Pursue pleasure. Follow your impulses. Live for the moment. Do what’s expedient. Lie, cheat, steal, deceive, manipulate—but don’t get caught. In an ultimately meaningless universe, what possible difference could it make?”

However, there’s also a more difficult answer, one which makes much more sense. Namely, if suffering is real – and no one can deny that – and if it is that painful to live with suffering, then certainly the worst thing you can do is cause someone else’s suffering.

And we know this intuitively: even if we don’t know what is good, says Peterson, we certainly know a priori, what is bad.

Well, Meaning – once again, with a capital M – must be doing good; and doing good is the negation of doing bad.

“If the worst sin is the torment of others, merely for the sake of the suffering produced—then the good is whatever is diametrically opposed to that. The good is whatever stops such things from happening.”

(No, that’s not diametrically opposed to tormenting others, Jordan.)

Rule 8: Tell the Truth

This rule is Jordan Peterson’s gospel to the Truth.

Let us quote its most beautiful part:

To tell the truth is to bring the most habitable reality into Being. Truth builds edifices that can stand a thousand years. Truth feeds and clothes the poor, and makes nations wealthy and safe. Truth reduces the terrible complexity of a man to the simplicity of his word, so that he can become a partner, rather than an enemy. Truth makes the past truly past, and makes the best use of the future’s possibilities. Truth is the ultimate, inexhaustible natural resource. It’s the light in the darkness.

In other words, just like God does at the beginning of John’s Gospel, we too have the power to organize the chaos of the world into something much more tangible.

Lies are only temporary and do service only to those who use them to manipulate. Truths don’t serve anyone per se. They can’t, since they are as they are, regardless of our interests and feelings.

So, they serve the world.

Your duty: “Tell the truth. Or, at least, don’t lie.”

Oh, if only it were as easy?

Rule 9: Assume that the Person You are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t

This one’s pretty much self-explanatory.

If you are merely telling somebody something, then the existence of that person is irrelevant. You might as well be talking to yourself in the mirror.

The problem?

You’ll never get anywhere with that kind of attitude.

For a simple reason: you are sabotaging your own improvement. There’s no way you know as much as you think you do – no matter who you are.

So, why don’t you start learning something from those around you?

Instead of a talker, become a listener; you’ll do your talking later; in the meantime – you may actually learn something.

And this reminds us of one of our favorite movie scenes.

Watch it straight away.

And don’t be a marketing rep; be a human!

Rule 10: Be Precise with Your Speech

Ah, good ol’ Wittgenstein!

If you talk about something you don’t understand, then you are contributing to the Chaos which engulfs the world.

You must, in fact, confront it!

Precision and specificity – just like truth – turn the Chaos into something treatable.

If you don’t know the specific destination you want to reach, there’s no way you’ll ever reach it. And being ambiguous about something is not much different from providing a wrong map for someone and telling him/her that following it will lead him/her to the right location.

Naturally, that will never happen.

Rule 11: Leave Children Alone when They are Skateboarding

Look aide, lefties: this is the part you are definitely not going to like at all!

It starts quite innocently: modern parenting is overprotective. And it is: called helicopter parenting, it risks raising children who are not prepared for life, but protected from it.

So far, so good.

However, according to Jordan Peterson, there’s a difference in what overparenting means for boys and what it means for girls.

Why?

Because boys and girls are different; and because, if not for overparenting, they would develop their sexual differences even more visibly.

So, let them do!

Why should we feminize boys and masculinize girls – when their differences are so natural? After all, “if they’re healthy,” says Peterson, “women don’t want boys. They want men.”

Now, correct us if we’re wrong, but isn’t this somewhat contradictory to Rule 5? We know people who would be ashamed of hearing their sons got expelled from school

How do you know when to put your foot down?

Or is it, unfortunately, not as apparent as Peterson proclaims it to be?

Rule 12: Pet a Cat When You Encounter One on the Street

So, all in all, suffering is an inescapable part of life.

There are two paths you go from here: either you are going to blame the universe, or take the sins of the world upon yourself.

If the former, you are never going to be happy; you’ll become resentful and bitter and a pain to be around with.

If the latter, there are, once again, two paths to choose from: either you are going to be smashed by the burden, or you are going to stand up straight and carry it.

And the best way to deal with your burden: to pet a cat when you encounter one. That is – to enjoy the little beautiful and good things happening all the time around you:

If you pay careful attention, even on a bad day, you may be fortunate enough to be confronted with small opportunities of just that sort. Maybe you will see a little girl dancing on the street because she is all dressed up in a ballet costume. Maybe you will have a particularly good cup of coffee in a café that cares about their customers. Maybe you can steal ten or twenty minutes to do some little ridiculous thing that distracts you or reminds you that you can laugh at the absurdity of existence.

Peterson’s way of dealing with suffering: watching a “Simpsons” episode at 1.5 times regular speed – “all the laughs; two-thirds the time.”

We promise we’ll try that.

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“12 Rules for Life Quotes”

It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you're going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons. Click To Tweet You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself. Click To Tweet ’No tree can grow to Heaven,’ adds the ever-terrifying Carl Gustav Jung, psychoanalyst extraordinaire, ‘unless its roots reach down to Hell.’ Click To Tweet Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded I-know-it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence. Click To Tweet So, listen, to yourself and to those with whom you are speaking. Your wisdom then consists not of the knowledge you already have, but the continual search for knowledge, which is the highest form of wisdom. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life will, undoubtedly, help some; it will also, undoubtedly, irk others.

In our opinion, there’s plenty in the book to justify the behavior of each of these two parties.

Because, unfortunately, as much as Peterson is trying to convince the world in the opposite, language is not precise.

And he’s not exactly telling the truth when he’s saying that his words have only one interpretation.

They have many.

Fortunately, some are encouraging and uplifting.

So read the book because of them.

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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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Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A PDF Summary

Always Running: La Vida Loca PDFAre you also on the run? Hiding from someone, or perhaps cannot find peace?

Anyway, this book gives a rundown on how a local gang-member became a shining jewel, whose actions inspire millions.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the plot.

Who Should Read “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”? And Why?

First and foremost, this is one of those books which carry a dose of hope, therefore – categorization would be utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, we welcome you to explore its secrets and find similarities between yours and Luis’ life. In other words, “Always Running: La Vida Loca” is predestined for troublemakers in the making, who needs to hear the other side of the story.

About Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. RodriguezLuis J. Rodriguez is an American poet, author, a novelist with Mexican origins, who managed to conquer the world with his life stories.

He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books including poems such as My Nature is Hunger, The Concrete River…

“Always Running: La Vida Loca PDF Summary”

Luis recalls his early days when he was about 9. Along with his family, he goes to Union Station, and the journey suddenly begins. His mother takes good care of Luis and his needs in particular. As a comic book lover, she provides him with new materials for him to read and entertain himself.

His father on the other end in reckless and stands firm in his idea not to return to Mexico at any cost. Luis’ mother doesn’t greet this news with enthusiasm, but eventually, she decides to stay as well.

Luis finds himself in the middle of a quarrel, and describe his situation as a bouncing ball – without any permanent settlement nor solution; only dodging troubles and going where the wind takes them.  

Luis tries to overcome the language barrier with an intention to blend into the group of students. The main problem is a lack of basic understanding, which makes life even harder. The teachers have little clue on how to deal with such personalities and help them integrate into the society.

Out of fear of becoming a laughing stock, he decides to speak as little as possible. He attends school superficially, with no real interest in digesting the teachings. Such a turn of events instigate a new behavior and leave Luis little choice but to indulge in troublemaking as a way of life.

Forming a gang is seen as a way out such misery and gaining respect. Being on the same wavelength as his unsettling friends makes him an essential figure in the newly formed circle. Joining the Animal Tribe and earning a nickname “Chin” represent the turning point in his life.

Meanwhile, Luis is aware of the violence and crime perpetrated by these groups as families are abused and threatened. Killing happens almost daily, as gang violence spreads like cancer. Secretly, he believes that life can change for the better, but he decides not to betray his crime-partners.

To prove that he is a valuable member of the organization, he participates in an assault against a rival gang member, while firebombing his house. Knowing that all the other family members are inside, doesn’t stop him from taking part in the aggression and brutality.

Then out of a clear blue sky, he is offered a chance to showcase his skills and make an honest living. Guided and mentored in a community center, he somehow manages to pluck up his courage and gear himself up with the right mentality.

A teacher recognized the potential Luis possesses, and as a response, some of Luis’ writing samples were sent to a committee. Without knowledge, Luis comes out a winner, without even being aware of his application. He is awarded $250 and praised for his style.

Another City-Based program hires him to paint murals, and decorate the urban environment. A journalism degree is within reach, now more than ever, but yet again runs into trouble when he saw a woman beat up by the police.

He interferes and intervenes, which adds another blemish to his resume for assaulting an officer in the line of duty. He is back in the beginning once more!

When he was at the height of is gang-membership career, Luis turned down an offer to take part in a cigarette laced with PCP operation. His decision convinced other members to go down the same road, and by the public, this action is greeted with respect and admiration.

He manages to survive the boiling atmosphere inflamed by acts of “betrayal,” and he is even shot at. This warning is pointed at other members to watch out how they behave.

Luis struggles to find cover, but with the help of others, he copes with the situation and rising tension. He eventually flees the bad neighborhood and ends up getting married. Out of nowhere, a discredited rival gang member approaches Luis at a family gathering to wreak vengeance.

Luis asks for forgiveness because of the suffering he has caused, and if killing him would alleviate the pain, he’s prepared to give his life.

Key Lessons from “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”

1.      It’s never too late
2.      Find your talent
3.      Grow daily

It’s never too late

Luis made it crystal clear, why he was the one who managed to abandon the circle of illusion and hatred.

Every person can wake up from a state of deep sleep, and then work its way through life until the goal is reached.

Find your talent

At first, no one is aware of its potential nor how to find it. Identifying your shallow limitations is the first step in eventually emerging as a winner.

In other words, you have to alter your mindset, before you embark on an adventure to conquer the world.

Grow daily

Education is just one tiny segment of learning; the real challenges are up-ahead. If you are not armed with knowledge and a positive spirit, you’ll quickly face a downfall.

So, don’t hesitate to invest in your professional expansion in order to improve your creative thinking skills!

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“Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A Quotes”

She was still young then in Watts, in her thirties, but she had all these ailments. She didn't' even have teeth; they rotted away many years before. This made her look much older until later when she finally obtained false ones. Despite… Click To Tweet There are choices you have to make not just once, but every time they come up. Click To Tweet Cry, child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There’s not much that can be said from our perspective, regarding the stylish correctness of this book. If our humble opinion is meaningful to you then – this book has thumbs up!

Take notes and learn!

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This Is Water PDF Summary

This Is Water PDFSome Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

The world doesn’t revolve around you.

That’s the gist of what David Foster Wallace wants you to never forget.

He explains why in his beautiful 2005 Kenyon College commencement speech “This Is Water.”

Who Should Read “This Is Water”? And Why?

If we are to take these questions literally, then the most appropriate answer – in our opinion – is “nobody because it’s a speech and it was always meant to be one.”

If, however, the question we are to discern from the general title is “who should hear ‘This Is Water,’ and why?” then the answer abruptly changes: “everybody because this speech can change your life.”

Especially if you are young and inexperienced.

David Foster WallaceAbout David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace was an American postmodern author, “one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last twenty years.”

He attracted attention already with his first novel, “The Broom of the System,” but it was his second novel, “Infinite Jest,” that brought him nationwide fame and made him one of the most revered authors of the modern age.

He left his third novel, “The Pale King,” incomplete; even so, the book was published in 2011 and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize the year after.

After struggling for years with depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction, on September 12, 2008, Wallace committed suicide at the relatively young age of 46.

“This Is Water PDF Summary”

This Is Water” is a book-length essay which Little, Brown and Company published in April 2009, half a year after David Foster Wallace decided to take his own life.

The book is, basically, an elongated version of the commencement speech the famous author gave on May 21, 2005, to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College.

As opposed to the book which was criticized as being too stretched for its own sake, the commencement speech has been widely praised and was even selected by the “Time” magazine as one of the 10 best commencement speeches in history.

So, we’ve opted to summarize the latter, sharing everybody’s opinion that the book makes the very same points, but in a rather overextended manner, which bereaves quite a few of them of their power.

As for the speech – it can change (and, in fact, has changed) numerous lives. And if you want to, you can hear David Foster Wallace now-poignant delivery of it below:

After greeting the students and congratulating them, Wallace begins his speech with a memorable parable, as he says, “the standard requirement of US commencement speeches”:

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

The point of the fish story,” Wallace quickly points out, “is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.

In other words, we are all living in the water we can’t see or don’t know, unaware of its existence, but, still, somehow absolutely confident that our worldview is the correct one.

Well, Wallace says, we are wrong for most of the time.

And it’s the job of a liberal arts education to tell us that we are wrong: not by filling our heads with unnecessary knowledge, but by making us aware of the fact that there is water around us.

Education is not about facts – it’s about humility.

It doesn’t mean knowing when Caesar was born; it means “learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.”

Real education teaches us “to be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about [ourselves] and [our] certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that [we] tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded.”

Educated people are, to put it in a word or so, conscious enough to be alive and infuse some meaning in the ultimately boring and unfulfilling lives almost everybody is doomed to lead.

And these lives are the lives nobody talks about in commencement speeches!

An average adult day isn’t even remotely comparable to the ones promised in self-help books and entrepreneur manuals.

An average adult day means getting up in the morning, going to “your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job,” working hard for eight or ten hours, and ending up so tired and stressed by the end of the day that all you want to do is just have a good supper and “hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again.”

And it gets even worse from there, because there’s a high chance that you don’t have your lunch prepared (because of your busy life) and because this means getting stuck in traffic while going to the supermarket where you end up stuck in the aisle together with numerous people who have experienced the same day as you.

Now, there are two paths you can go from there: you can choose to think that it’s all about you and be angry at everyone or understand that you’re just a little drop in the ocean and that everybody has some problem (or thousand).

Most of the people operate at the former, “default setting,” and don’t even think that there are other people who experience at least the same things as them.

But,” Wallace notes, “if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Wallace’s point is the same the Stoics tried to make over and over again:

The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

So, choose wisely.

Key Lessons from “This Is Water”

1.      Don’t Live by Default
2.      The Real Value of Education: This Is Water
3.      You Get to Decide What to Worship

Don’t Live by Default

Most of us operate at the default setting – namely, automatically. We leave our lives as if robots programmed to feel what we are told we should feel, or (to use Wallace’s parable) fish unaware of the surrounding waters.

The really important kind of freedom,” notes Wallace, “involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

The Real Value of Education: This Is Water

In the opinion of Wallace, “the real value of a real education” has nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with awareness:

…awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: ‘This is water.’ ‘This is water.’ It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime.

You Get to Decide What to Worship

In the ultimate scheme of things, your life has no meaning.

But you can give it one, and that’s a most wonderful thing.

Worshipping money, power or physical beauty is pointless because you will never have enough of any of them.

So, simply put, worship something else.

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“This Is Water Quotes”

’Learning how to think’ really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. Click To Tweet

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. Click To Tweet

The most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about Click To Tweet

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out. Click To Tweet

Capital T-truth is about life before death. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We have summarized two quite famous commencement speeches before: J. K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech of 2008 and Admiral William H. McRaven’s 2014 “Make Your Bed” address at the University of Texas.

We feel that “This Is Water” is better than both: humbler and wiser, more theoretical but ultimately more practical as well, poetical, straight-to-the-point, and exceptionally profound.

Don’t read the book. In fact, don’t read the speech either.

Just hear it once.

Chances are you’ll end up hearing it over and over again.

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Getting the Love You Want PDF Summary

Getting the Love You Want PDFA Guide for Couples

From time to time, we come across the terms such as “attention junkies”; “drama queen” and others; which spread lots of misleading info and concepts when it comes to love.

Building relationships as a process is nothing shorter than a pure brilliance, a real challenge and a quest for those ready to plunge into its fortune-telling elements.

Let’s dive right into Hendrix’s discoveries about love and affection.

Who Should Read “Getting the Love You Want”? And Why?

If you don’t need any love, then you are not alive. Our point is simple, Hendrix unlike other authors in the same realm, likes to mix it up. Facts, theories, and opinions create one comprehensive picture, which serves a higher purpose.

Therefore, we wholeheartedly welcome you to take a peek at this fascinating and eye-opening book (Getting the Love You Want) about love.

About Harville Hendrix

Harville HendrixIt’s shallow and unsatisfying to label Harville Hendrix only as a self-help author, without having to compliment on his unique style.

In other words, he is a real poster boy for providing value to the reader, and able to get into their minds.

“Getting the Love You Want PDF Summary”

Why are we feeling affection toward one person and not the other? As a story that is yet to be told, a mystery that is yet to be unraveled we decide to give an opinion on this question older than time. Finding that special someone is for the most people the backbone of life and a sprinkle of encouragement.

That magical moment, when two souls merge and form a special bond is indescribable because they are no words which contain the actual meaning of this deep connection. Many people valiantly discard the idea of monogamy and assert that falling in love with various profiles of people is equally compelling.

But let’s not skip these phases and move gradually:

Whether you are inclined to endorse the theory of love or not, it’s vital to at least acknowledge the fact that we all dream of finding our other half. The bottom line is the concept of love is not on the same wavelength as the process of building this profound connection.

Is the concept of happy childhood overrated?

Even the most caring and loving parents who endeavor to keep their little angels safe are not able to provide an eternal cover for their offspring. In other words, as much as we try to raise our children in the spirit of tenderness, some external forces tend to teach every one of us about the world fraught with danger.

Don’t let this be a discouragement that keeps you away from finding your way. All the twists and turns in life exist to make you more perceptive of the environment and its elements. For instance, Infants and teenagers have different sets of needs, and accommodating to their necessities is vital for keeping them in high spirits.

Generally speaking, this can be briefly explained in two scenarios:

– If the parents insist on instilling a sense of intrusiveness into the mind of the child, the kid can develop into an isolated individual.

–  If the parent is not omnipresent in the life of the child, the once abandon kid can develop an obsessive need for attention.

The brightness from within

The beauty of sexual evolvement is contained within the idea of visualizing the ideal partner. As a person progresses from one stage to the next, the sexual aspirations grow in its subconscious; a process also referred to as “imago.”

The same phenomenon manifests the concepts and ideals that influenced your emotional and intellectual expansion since an early age.

To put it differently – all the individuals that can fit into this frame represent the potential candidates which you find suitable according to the imago. If the partner you select/choose is a mere reflection of your parents’ attributes, the greater the chances are that you’ll end up receiving the same treatment that your “Guardians” gave you.

If you decide to fly in the face of danger to “overpower” this influence you need to be prepared to face the music. Building a mutually satisfying, love-filled relationship is not a power struggle but a gentle refinement that brings to light your intrinsic quality.

The Road You Should Take

According to Hendrix, couples must abide by specific ground rules to build a strong, conscious and lasting relationship. First and foremost, to sustain this form of partnership the partners must work as one and commit to at least 10-15 therapy sessions.

During that time, they are prompted to define their ideal partner and relationship to emphasize the flaws which are blemishing their perfect imago.

Second, Hendrix likes to pop up a question which arouses a dose of discomfort because it inquires the couple’s methods for bypassing affinity.

In addition, take a look at this activity list which is also the easiest way to avoid a confrontation:

  • Going out with your Friends
  • Watching TV
  • Staying Late
  • Going Fishing
  • Shopping
  • Drinking
  • Overfocusing on the Children
  • Becoming a Workaholic
  • Exercising Too Much

Finding Love

Have you noticed how feelings can change in a heartbeat depending on the situation you are facing? If the love-problem entails massive baggage, it’s normal for the affection to recede at least temporarily.

Couples need to become allies and best friends, not competitors who try to overshadow each other. This healing process is often referred to as reromanticizing.

So, the least you can do is allocate some time to make your partner happy. Start with: making their favorite dinner, or massage – in other words, anything that makes them feel loved and appreciated.

Such actions spark the unconditional love that later blossoms into an internal dialogue and understanding.

Key Lessons from “Getting the Love You Want”

1.      The era of love
2.      Understand the purpose of life
3.      The parents are mostly responsible for the child’s evolvement

The era of love

The first couple of months, when you feel the butterflies in your stomach is basically what you need to preserve.

Treating each other in the same manner can rekindle that fire once more, and spice you’re the relationship on the long haul.

Understand the purpose of life

If you remain with both feet on the ground and rely only on your conscious brain, you may feel how life dissolve naturally in positive energies.

As far as the coupling is concerned, the spiritual growth of both individuals is fueled by the elements deriving from right actions.

The parents are mostly responsible for the child’s evolvement

As the child grows, it develops a thirst for the material world, and maybe find a short fuse instead of warming hearth.

The childhood tendencies can induce a new behavior, which is inflamed or suppressed by the parental norms.  

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“Getting the Love You Want Quotes”

When we were babies, we didn’t smile sweetly at our mothers to get them to take care of us. We didn’t pinpoint our discomfort by putting it into words. We simply opened our mouths and screamed. And it didn’t take us long to learn that,… Click To Tweet Helen and I like to think of two people in a conscious love relationship as companion stars. Each person is a unique individual ablaze with potential. One is just as important as the other, and each has a unique and equally valid view of… Click To Tweet Dr. Hendrix, why do couples have such a hard time staying together?” I thought for a moment and then responded. “I don’t have the foggiest notion. That is a great question and I think I’ll spend the rest of my career trying to find out. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

All things said, all things considered; it’s fair to say that we all learned something today. Whether you are in a serious relationship or not, finding a way to improve your current emotional and mental state is vital.

We pretty much loved every piece of this magnificent masterpiece, and hope you’ll do too.

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