Startup Easy PDF Summary

Startup Easy PDFA Step by Step Guide for Entrepreneurs

The “get rich quick” scheme is no longer fooling anyone! We all know that unless you come from a wealthy family, the path to improving your financial position is paved with thorns, not roses.

That’s the harsh reality, but it’s of utmost importance that you have a mentor during the process.

Consider Shishir as your friend to be, someone who will help you to get the big picture!

Let’s roll!

Who Should Read “Startup Easy”? And Why?

The Startup world incorporates various factors that every entrepreneur should take into account.

Although it’s hard to find a book that contains all the necessary elements for you to step up, we deem that this one is the closest we are ever going to get.

Startup Easy” helps you take a sneak peek into the deep entrepreneurial mysteries, and how you can leverage that position.

Upon reading it, you’ll be able to put a weight on your ideas and assess their potential. It’s a process you wouldn’t want to sidestep!

Shishir GuptaAbout Shishir Gupta

Shishir Gupta is a lawyer, author, and the CEO of StartupLanes. He launched his first startup back in 2001, and embarked on a lucrative journey.

His work has been featured on CNBC Young Turks, TiE the Knot, Startup Weekend & Startup Grind.

“Startup Easy PDF Summary”

It’s needless to say that the effects of the digital enhancement are a force to be reckoned with. Neglect their impact, and you’ll find your idea buried in the ground. This leads us to our next revelation:

The Startup Ecosystem needs to perceived from an impartial standpoint, and thus tackle the disruptive technologies that constitute a threat to your progress.

Startup Definition

If you are a rookie in the Startup Stratosphere, there’s a good chance you have absolutely no idea what the term Startup stands for! Fear not, because there are as many definitions and conceptions about Startups as there are stars in the night sky.

For argument’s sake, if you are serious about launching your own business, comparing notes with investors and customers should be the least of your concerns.

According to the author, Startup represents a scalable business, with a limited operating history. A small company even by domestic regulations, where the founders own and finance the business.

What’s not included and has absolute Zero relevancy to the Startup System:

  • The size of the company
  • The sector of the economy
  • The industry in which the Startup operates

Many tech-savvy people have an advantage over more conservative heads, regarding the process of launching a startup, right? Wrong! You don’t need to be Elon Musk, or Bill Gates to create your own product or service.

Shishir makes it crystal clear by stating:  

A startup can exist without technology also, consider the example of Shake Shack. Shake Shack welcome people from all over the city, country, and world who gathered together to enjoy fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics in a majestic setting.

On top of that, not every new company has the earmarks of a Startup. Only a tiny fraction of the bulk, deserve to be labeled as such. If you want a real-life example, take notes:

A local a barbershop doesn’t meet the criteria of a Startup, and as a business model is not scalable. The rest of the launches, which are ascendable and innovative, can be incorporated into the Quick-Growth type of businesses.

Adopt the Entrepreneurial Mindset

We assume, you all know that entrepreneurship is not a numbers game, but a process composed of expertise, sheer will, and attitude. Early failure is not a foregone conclusion, but an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey.

By thinking big, and acting rather than reacting, you’ll lay the groundwork for commencing a successful professional endeavor. Don’t relate your concept to your age, because imposing restrictions on yourself can cost you dearly.

Shishir amplifies on this by saying: Staying calm, experimenting, and refraining from judgment is the all-encompassing strategy that will lead you to ultimate victory. Don’t attach a timeframe to these ventures, and move with great confidence.

He backs this notion by referring to a product sold on Amazon named NoPhone Air. It’s basically “Air” in an empty pack, but it surprisingly got media coverage and raised approximately 550$.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

When it comes to innovation: the most accurate definition would be – turning an idea into an actual product or service with great value and potential. Startups are in tight correlation with creativeness, because they are compelled to create something better than the existing product/service.

In Shishir’s opinion, there are two types of Innovation:

  • Evolutionary innovation
  • Revolutionary innovation

An innovative startup puts the problem in the core of their operations. By identifying the chasm between customers and the existing product, you’ll get one step closer to devising a solution that meets the customers’ demands.

What exactly do you need to launch your own Startup? What are the core necessities one, can’t do without?

  • Physical: office, delivery vehicles, laptops, etc.
  • Intellectual: Brand, patent, copyright agenda, customer database, etc.
  • Human: stakeholders, human resources, in other words, people.
  • Financial: financial capabilities.

Hipster, Hacker & Hustler

Prior to diving deep into this book, we had zero knowledge regarding the importance of these terms. Shishir pays exclusive attention to them, and delivers an easy-to-grasp explanation:

  • Hipster: Creative genius. Someone who’s not aversive to change, and tends to follow the latest trends in the industry.
  • Hacker: The backstage boy – often portrayed as some weird-looking dude (sorry girls), but that’s not always the case. It’s the master behind the curtain.
  • Hustler: The person who doesn’t take “No” for an answer. A real problem-solver with impressive critical thinking skills

Fire up the team

Amazon’s very own Godfather, Jeff Bezos, overly-emphasizes two key concepts – Disagree or Commit. In doing so, he managed to create a highly proficient organizational structure that thrives on decision-making.

Even if you feel disposed to disagree with the plan; be honest about it. Don’t endorse a concept that you actually have no intention of giving your best shot to make it work. Become one of those people who dare to criticize even the Brain of the operation.

Disagree or Commit, as it turns out, is marked as a method that averts a potential conflict, due to the fact that lack of consensus can instigate lethargy within the organization.

What does it take to build a successful Startup?

  • Scalability: This process is self-explanatory. Your Startup must have the potential for reaching the sky, otherwise, it won’t pan out!
  • Born out of passion: Doing something solely for the financial benefit behind it, will not suffice. You have to love what you plan on doing and radiate that enthusiasm.
  • Disruptive: Generally speaking, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; adding an extra feature to an existing product could serve an equal purpose.
  • Independent: The ideal startup model is composed of founders with no intention of giving away their elbow-room. They enjoy their autonomy and freedom to make decisions.
  • Execution: Get Things Done, and Fast! Don’t roam around purposelessly and embrace the hustler attitude!
  • Start Small: At the outset, you might want to target a smaller market segment, and win the audience over with your diligence and commitment.
  • Young: This particular segment doesn’t refer to the operating history of the company, but relates to the overall display. Energized and eager to adapt businesses comprise this group.
  • Technology: Your startup must be either technologically-oriented or technologically-enabled.
  • User experience: If you plan on building a user-centric company, then you have to put their demands on the top of your list.

Remember – failure is not a defeat, but a lesson!

More Critical Information

Lean Startup is a term coined by Eric Ries. In his bestselling book “Lean startup “– he explains it as a process that embodies uncertainty and risk. The goal of this procedure is to identify and eliminate waste.

In addition, take a look at the five principles that add to the Lean Startup definition:

  • Entrepreneurs are everywhere
  • Entrepreneurship is related to management
  • Validated learning
  • Use the: Build – Measure – Learn tactic
  • Innovative accounting

MVP – Minimum Viable Product: Is used as a basis to launch a new product and get feedback as quickly as possible. The Minimum part refers to the idea of doing only what’s expedient, and do the refinement later.

Build – Measure – Learn Method: It emphasizes pace in terms of decision making and product launch. What does that indicate?

It illustrates your readiness to build the minimum viable product, receive feedback, assess its value, and experiment along the way. By doing all these things, you’ll know when to pivot, or even stick to your strategy which according to your KPIs proved to be effective.

Key Lessons from “Startup Easy”

1.      Your age is irrelevant
2.      Write your ideas
3.      Be yourself

Your age is irrelevant

Don’t put ideas in your head that would limit the scope of your business. Stay open-minded and beware of these tendencies.

Age is just a number, and that couldn’t be more accurate especially in the field of entrepreneurship.

Write your ideas

It may seem like a pretty casual routine, but it’s an insanely powerful tool. Such a trick can give you the impetus for change and evaluation.

Visualization is crucial to success, but putting your dreams on a piece of paper is even better!

Be yourself

Yeah, it may seem a little out of the blue, but bringing authenticity to this world can really be beneficial. A poor imitation can backfire on you, and leave you empty handed.

In your spare time, try to work on your individuality by questioning your habits and way of life.

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Startup Easy Quotes

When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you; you’re nuts! Click To Tweet No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. Click To Tweet If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting. Click To Tweet Every good leader knows the art of compromise. Click To Tweet There’s nothing to be gained by complaining. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Entrepreneurs in the making, or those willing to sharpen their skills, will benefit from the insights shared by Shishir Gupta.

In all honesty, not many authors dare to unveil so many obstacles that an average entrepreneur faces on its journey.

We not only enjoyed reading this powerful guide but also learned a lot of cool tips from it. These lessons can be implemented into your business or help you to establish a new one.

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Big Little Lies Book Summary

Big Little Lies Book SummaryAs everybody knows, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…

So, they are not exactly little.

But, when it all starts, they are not that big either.

So, let’s just call them:

Big Little Lies.

Who Should Read “Big Little Lies”? And Why?

“A brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive,” Big Little Lies should disappoint no one.

Especially not women.

But read it if you are a man, nevertheless.

Liane Moriarty Biography

Liane MoriartyLiane Moriarty is a bestselling Australian author.

She spent some time working as a copywriter at an advertising company before embarking on a career as a writer.

In 2004, she published her first novel, Three Wishes, written so as to obtain a master’s degree in creative writing at Macquarie University.

The Last Anniversary followed two years later, after which What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist’s Love Story came out.

In 2013, Moriarty’s fifth novel, The Husband’s Secret, made both The New York Times and The USA Today bestseller lists; the rights to the novel were soon acquired by CBS Films, and a Blake Lively-starring thriller is already in production.

Big Little Lies – which debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list in 2014 – was adapted last year into an award-winning HBO miniseries, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

The two have already optioned the rights for Truly Madly Guilty, which was published in 2016.

Moriarty’s last novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, came out just last month, September 2018.

Find out more at http://lianemoriarty.com.au/

Plot

Big Little Lies opens with two very interesting and thought-provoking epigraphs.

The first one is a schoolyard chant you’re probably already familiar with: “You hit me, you hit me, now you have to kiss me.” The second is a pledge and promise by the Pirriwee Public School:

Pirriwee Public School
. . . where we live and learn by the sea!
Pirriwee Public is a BULLY-FREE ZONE!
We do not bully.
We do not accept being bullied.
We never keep bullying a secret.
We have the courage to speak up if we see our friends bullied.
We say NO to bullies!

And, of course, there’s a reason for both of these epigraphs.

Chapter 1

Not the least because the book begins at Pirriwee Public School where the parents of the children who go there participate in a fundraising trivia night.

However, this is not just an ordinary trivia party. Namely, it’s an “Audrey and Elvis” trivia night, which means that all the women present are dressed up as Audrey Hepburn, and all the men are dressed up as Elvis Presley.

Obviously, this means that it’s kind of hard to realize who’s talking to who and what exactly is going on there. And then, an Elvis punches another Elvis across the jaw, and he falls into an Audrey. Two other Elvises pull him away. An Audrey buries her face in her hands and turns aside.

And as someone is shouting “Stop this!” and another one is wondering whether to call the police, a siren is heard wailing in the distance.

Also – a scream. And another. And another. It seems that they are all coming from a nearby balcony.

Then we hear everyone blabbering about things as confusing and diverse as the American spelling of “mum” and helicopter parenting, the Erotic Book Club and French nannies.

Suddenly, Detective-Sergeant Adrian Quinlan utters a chilling sentence: “Let me be clear: This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.”

So, apparently, someone – presumably, one of the parents – has died.

However, Moriarty doesn’t tell us who. Instead, she goes back in time to tell the whole story.

Chapter 2 – Chapter 70: The Six Months Before Trivia Night

The second chapter begins at the fortieth birthday of Madeline Martha Mackenzie as she is driving to Pirriwee school to take Chloe, her five-year-old daughter, to her orientation day.

However, at a red light, she has a slight mishap: she goes out of the car, and as she runs back to the driver’s seat, she trips.

Jane Chapman, a single mother of another five-year-old, Ziggy, happens to be in the car behind her. She goes over to help her and the two strike a friendship.

Soon, Jane meets Celeste Wright, a friend of Madeline and mother of two twin children – Josh and Max.

Madeline, Jane, and Celeste become inseparable. Their goal – to become the new Blond Bobs, the mums who “rule the school” with their perfect haircuts (hence the name) and their horrendously gifted children.

The Blond Bobs are “mum prefects,” explains Madeline. “They feel very strongly about their roles as school mums. It’s like their religion. They’re fundamentalist mothers.”

However, all is not well beneath the surface. In quite a short period of time, we learn that, unfortunately, all of these women have to struggle with some significant problems in their lives.

1. Madeline’s Two Marriages

Madeline’s problem seems to be the least serious one.

An alpha female with substantial wealth and strong will, she is married to the dedicated and steadfast Ed. Chloe is one of the two children from that marriage, the other being Fred.

However, Madeline is also mother to teenage Abigail, whose father Nathan abandoned them when she was an infant. The problem is that now Abigail, for some reason, is growing too close to Bonnie, Nathan’s new wife.

2. The Price for Celeste’s “Perfect” Life

Moving on to Celeste.

As Jane realizes from her first meeting with her, she is “so unacceptably, hurtfully beautiful, it [makes] you feel ashamed.” However, the fact that she is exactly like a woman should look like doesn’t mean that her life is exactly like a woman’s life should be.

On the contrary, in fact.

You see, just like Rupi Kaur warns in one of her poems, she has somehow confused anger with kindness. And even though her life seems perfect on the surface, she is in fact continually beaten up and abused by her wealthy husband, Perry Wright.

And she puts up with it.

Possibly because she has developed some form of the Stockholm syndrome. Possibly because she loves her husband so much. Or maybe because we grow up with life lessons such as the one shared by the schoolyard song Moriarty uses as an epigraph to her book.

“No one deserves to live like this,” Celeste’s counselor Susi says at one point.

What does she know? – thinks Celeste. After all, she hasn’t seen the whole of their lives:

She hadn’t seen the expression on the boys’ faces when Perry spun his crazy stories about early-morning flights across the ocean. ‘You can’t really fly, Daddy. Can he fly, Mummy? Can he?’ She hadn’t seen Perry rap-dancing with his kids or slow-dancing with Celeste on their balcony, the moon sitting low in the sky, shining on the sea as if it were there just for them.

‘It’s almost worth it,’  she’d told Susi.

Perhaps it was even fair. A little violence was a bargain price for a life that would otherwise be just too sickeningly, lavishly, moonlit perfect.

So then what the hell was she doing here, secretly planning her escape route like a prisoner?

3. Jane’s Painful Trauma

Jane, a new arrival in Pirriwee, has a terrible secret of her own. Namely, she doesn’t want anyone to know what happened on the night her son Ziggy was conceived. Spoiler alert: she was basically raped as a 19-year-old girl by a guy named Saxon Banks.

Yes, she was there to have sex with him. And yes: she did not change her mind and did not say “no” when it all started. In fact, “she helped him take her clothes off” and “giggled like an idiot” throughout.

However, instead of replying “yes” to Jane’s murmur “condom?” Saxon started choking her and convincing her that it’s fun: “You’ll like it. It’s a rush. Like cocaine.”

He backed off after some time.

But then it got worse:

He positioned her underneath him and shoved himself inside her as if he were operating some sort of basic machinery, and as he moved, he put his mouth close to her ear and he said things: an endless stream of casual cruelty that slid straight into her head and curled up, wormlike, in her brain.

‘You’re just a fat ugly little girl, aren’t you? With your cheap jewelry and your trashy dress. Your breath is disgusting, by the way. Need to learn some dental hygiene. Jesus. Never had an original thought in your life, have you? Want a tip? You’ve got to respect yourself a bit more. Lose that weight. Join a gym… Stop the junk food. You’ll never be beautiful, but at least you won’t be fat.’

Jane didn’t resist in any way, silently agreeing with everything. “When he rolled off her,” says the novel, “she didn’t move. It was as though her body didn’t belong to her anymore, as though she’d been anesthetized.”

4. The Intertwining of the Stories

Jane shares her traumatic sexual experience with Celeste and Madeline. Interestingly, the two know exactly who Saxon Banks is: a cousin of Perry, Celeste’s husband.

However, in order to protect Jane from further pain, Celeste and Madeline decide to keep this a secret from her; at least for the time being.

Things go from bad to worse when Ziggy is accused of biting and choking Amabella, a classmate of his. While interrogating him, Jane realizes that it is not him who has done the bullying, but Max, one of Celeste’s twins.

Now, Jane too has a secret she doesn’t know how to break to Celeste.

Meanwhile, Celeste’s marriage deteriorates even more. So, she starts renting an apartment for herself, so that she has a place where she can hide from Perry.

Chapters 70 – Chapter 78: Trivia Night

The “Audrey and Elvis” Trivia Night arrives.

On that very night, Josh tells Celeste that it is his brother Max – and not Jane’s Ziggy – who is bullying the other children.

And Celeste realizes that Max too is confusing love and violence, mimicking the behavior of his father. There’s no way back: Celeste has no other option but to leave Perry. Perry, in the meantime, finds out about Celeste’s secret apartment.

When the two – visibly shaken – arrive at Trivia Night, Jane sees Perry and recognizes him as the man who had raped her.

Perry doesn’t deny this: so as to avoid trouble for himself, he admits to having used his cousin’s name on several occasions such as the one described by Jane.

And he shows no remorse for it. Instead, in the argument which follows, he hits Celeste.

Enraged and out of nowhere, Bonnie – Madeline’s ex-husband Nathan’s new wife – pushes Perry from the balcony.

And now you know: he is the parent who dies in Chapter 1.

Big Little Lies Epilogue

Madeline soon learns the real cause of Bonnie’s actions: she had an abusive father; the argument simply brought to her mind unwanted and repressed memories.

Everyone who has witnessed the event decides to lie in her favor. Everybody thinks that she doesn’t deserve to suffer for killing a man like Perry.

However, Bonnie turns herself in. Fortunately, she is merely sentenced to two hundred hours of community service.

A year later, Celeste works at a family law firm. She has set a trust fund for Ziggy and found a new meaning in her life. Namely: to share her story.

At a public event, she introduces it with five straightforward words:

This can happen to anyone.

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“Big Little Lies Book Summary Quotes”

They say it's good to let your grudges go, but I don't know, I'm quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet. Click To Tweet All conflict can be traced back to someone’s feelings getting hurt, don’t you think? Click To Tweet Reading a novel was like returning to a once-beloved holiday destination. Click To Tweet Those we love don’t go away, they sit beside us every day. Click To Tweet Nothing and nobody could aggravate you the way your child could aggravate you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Liane Moriarty knows how to tell a story. Especially if it is one about suburbias, secrets, and sex.

And a hurting woman.

This novel – just like The Husband’s Secret – has three.

And they are all carefully and compassionately portrayed, their lives intertwined within a disturbing story told with a lot of style and humor (yes, humor!)

Funny and scary, Big Little Lies is a hell of a good book.

And no – those are not our words.

They are Stephen King’s.

 

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The Power of Your Subconscious Mind PDF Summary

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind PDFHave you ever pondered about your real potential? Are we merely a wave tossed in the endless ocean, or the ocean itself?

In this book, you’ll come across many life-altering theories that will crash your inner world.

Climb aboard!

Who Should Read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”? And Why?

The society has done a “great” job when it comes to shrinking your ability and prowess. You are a prisoner, not aware of its captivity. Locked away in a self-created prison is an everyday reality for most people.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” brings these delusions into the light, and compels you to do the rethinking.

In all sincerity, we believe that this is one of those books written for the sake of the world. So, categorization of the audience will be an unnecessary action.

Joseph MurphyAbout Joseph Murphy

Joseph Murphy was a life-changer whose words contained in inspiring books helped millions. He spent a significant portion of his adulthood in India, learning the secrets of Eastern Philosophy.

He wrote dozens of books, all revolving around the mysterious nature of this existence.

“The Power of Your Subconscious Mind PDF Summary”

You don’t need us telling you that one mind is all we have. Nonetheless, this questionable and mysterious central element consists of:

  • Conscious Mind
  • Subconscious Mind

The first part belongs to what can be best described as the “objective” one. It allows you to make choices, reach agreements, assess predicaments, etc. It’s also labeled as the “surface” mind. The second and somewhat mythical one is the subconscious mind.

It is engraved deep into your “core self” making it the “sleeping mind.” The subconscious entity is the stage, while the conscious body represents the actors on stage. This metaphorical expression should allow you to see the big picture and understand the role of both.

The fundamental elements of the mind

It’s needless to say that you can tip the balance in your favor by learning the ropes of how your mind works. So, the privilege of executing everyday tasks goes to the conscious element, while the subconscious one is in charge of evaluating the actions of it.

It’s like a deep ocean; you’ll never know what’s hiding at the bottom of it but that mustn’t stop you from going deeper and deeper. In addition, being happier is merely the end result of a broad understanding of how your mind operates and its core functions. The thinking, as we said, goes to the conscious, and that’s why if you send positive vibes to the universe, you’ll be on the receiving end of positive affirmations.

It’s like a boomerang throw, as simple as that.

Be obsessed with negative thoughts, and you’ll slowly start to plunge into a deep depression. The universal energies are not as complex as you might have imagined. According to the author, the subconscious mind is like an obedient soldier who follows orders given by the conscious entity.

In other words, your subconscious is open to receive commands and interpret them to your best interest.

These orders or norms arrive in the form of suggestions, which the subconscious mind is entitled to depict them as it feels. How your body reacts, what kind of thoughts do you nurture will all be transmitted into the invisible entity.

After all, you are accorded the privilege of organizing the chatter of various internal phenomena.

This process helps you understand how “negative suggestion” can impact your well-being, affect your temper, and instigate fear. Joseph states that “pessimistic autosuggestions” are insanely powerful and can quickly put you in a phase of jeopardy.

This paradoxical but also a convenient way of operating gives the subconscious mind a new feature – its obedience. It doesn’t question your demands and absorbs “syllogism”- which in layman’s terms indicates that whatever you endorse or consider to be true, your subconscious will do likewise.

In our opinion, the best description for this way of functioning is – You reap what you sow. Fill your head with meaningless concepts, and that’s what you’ll eventually end up with. Marinate on that for a minute.

Let’s get back to the drawing board and puzzle over what separates happy from miserable people? If you want a straightforward answer, you’re going to get one – the way they handle the subconscious entity. They understand its limitless, freedom and ability to get in touch with the infinite source of energy.

The harmonious state exists in the subconscious mind, but only if you allow it to be. If you just go with the flow and don’t fight the life current, you’ll automatically be in that position. Nonetheless, if try to pave your own way, with total disregard of your intrinsic urges, you’ll stimulate negative sensations.

The goal of this book is to teach you how you can blend the conscious and subconscious to the maximum extent. We also like to portray the subconsciousness as a mirror, which reflects your doings on the outside.

As with most things in life, you need to push harder to get to your wanted destination. When it comes to your subconscious mind, sometimes less is best. By believing in your cause, and getting rid of harmful tendencies, you’ll spontaneously reach your goals and satisfy your cravings.

The Myth and Reality of the Subconscious Mind

Aware or not, your subconscious plays a pivotal role in your life, in particular, your well-being. The way you handle everyday issues, emotional outbursts, and psychological setbacks speak about your attitude and understanding of the “hidden self.”

Some people prefer to call this energy God, others Infinity – it doesn’t quite matter how you name it, what does matter is your faith in it. You will be happy for sure, once you abandon the meaningless limitations imposed by the system.

Happiness is a choice, not a God-given gift. If you decide to take firm control of your destiny, happiness will follow. Sometimes we feel indebted to people who showed us the way, but mostly this is the path that your heart has already chosen on your behalf.

Living in the now is perhaps the best advice you’ll ever get. Don’t roam around in the unforeseeable future but remain consistent and allow your mind to cherish the present reality.

Once the pain and the urges for interpreting the past or wishing a better future are gone, you are good to go. A vast majority of the population seeks salvation from the outside. A word of caution – don’t become one of those people who are prepared to sacrifice their blissfulness in order to get attention.

When it comes to love, it’s of utmost importance to realize that in order to have a lovely marriage filled with understanding, and mutual trust, there must be a spiritual connection between the partners.

In a symbolic manner, it’s pretty accurate to say that you’ll attract a partner whose traits are complementary to your subconscious mind.

Furthermore, if you wish to find an intelligent, confident, and caring life-companion, you need to express that desire. Many individuals these days complain due to the lack of synergy between partners, but that’s only a sub-product of the messages conveyed through their subconscious.

Tackle these harmful inclinations by nurturing a positive mindset, through prayer and self-contemplation. In addition, try not to turn your marriage into a business! You don’t need to go after the perfect partner at any cost, but work on your self-expression and give the Universe a room to do its job.  

Try not to take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back by following unclear directions. If you are not sure which road is the right one, stay calm and contemplate through meditation and prayer. The ignorant part of the mind will jump to give its conclusion and force you into negative thinking.

Beware of these tendencies by staying on full alert. A common mistake most people make is complaining about the partner to other people. They are just empowering the negative thoughts to take over and destroy the union.

A good technique you can use is to never, under no circumstances, transfer today’s problems over into the next days. Forgive one another daily, and pray at dinner or before you hit the rack. This doesn’t seem like much, but it is a huge morale boost for the couple.

Doing more things together, and forgiving rather than memorizing everything will definitely help you strengthen the bond. Convey harmony, love, and understanding. If you believe that constructive criticism is useful, then use it, but try not to be too harsh.

Be an advocate for compassion, not judgment.

The Healing Method

A throwback to ancient times and the medieval age, when people reported miracles in various forms. Even these days, this sort of occurrences leave a trace in the society. Mixed with cultural and religious paradigms, most people associate these “wonders” with God.

Upon finishing the healing procedures through God’s disciples on Earth, the person would’ve felt an instant change.

First and foremost, not all people believe in this kind of stories, and that’s okay, but the meaning behind it is that all is possible with the right mindset. The herbs given and rituals conducted by the priests had a placebo effect, which urged the person to believe in the healing.

Tackling the previous state of mind was made possible through the “auto-suggestion mode” which the subconscious interprets and gives its answer to it. By accepting the healing, the person rises and embraces its new reality.

The author emphasizes that this effect can merely take place, once you abandon your negative thoughts and keep them buried! For instance, don’t dream about the future, just incorporate the same vision into the present moment.

In the same fashion, you should direct your efforts toward the final destination. Remain focused during the process, and subdue your impulses to judge the situation. By staying positive through prayer and other methods, you’ll send positive affirmations to the Universe, and enable the spiritual healing to take place.

The same approach can be used when you aspire to achieve some goal. The author implies that with the help of visualization, your subconscious will understand your cravings and provide a response that manifests your deep urges in body and mind.

This will create a mental picture that takes you one step closer to your desired accomplishment.

Rinse and repeat until you master the “universal principles,” and how it affects your well-being. Although our perception of what it is to be sensibly well-off keeps altering, the bar keeps rising to unmeasurable scales.

Expressing gratitude can get the ball rolling, and help you conquer your own mind. Tackle the false reality, and set your agenda that fits your needs.

Sleep deprivation can also turn out to be a big issue. You need at least 6 hours a day to function properly, perhaps even more. Even when your body is in a state of deep relaxation, your subconscious mind remains active.

You should learn how to relax your body, and commit to sleep to have a tenacious grip on your life.

Key Lessons from “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”

1.      Be open-minded
2.      Tackle depression with a single step
3.      Measure your actions

Be open-minded

Control this emotional unrest by trying to talk some sense into your partner, and see who is adding fuel to the fire.

Don’t raise your tone when discussing these matters; try to get into the shoes of the other person to see things from his/her point of view.

Tackle depression with a single step

The best cure for depression is your determination to be happy, without necessarily turning over to the painful past or uncertain future.

The energy around us is giving you a hand to endure in this battle and make heads or tails of how the power of the subconscious works.

Measure your actions

Practice faith, and visualize in the now, because you’ll never be in the future.

According to the Bible, you’ll receive, in accordance with your faith, so when attempting to heal yourself, bear this in mind and act accordingly.

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“The Power of Your Subconscious Mind Quotes”

Just keep your conscious mind busy with expectation of the best. Click To Tweet All of us have our own inner fears, beliefs, opinions. These inner assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself. Its power arises from the fact that you accept it mentally. Click To Tweet Busy your mind with the concepts of harmony, health, peace, and good will, and wonders will happen in your life. Click To Tweet As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment. Click To Tweet He awakened to the simple truth that it is never what a person says or does that affects him, it is his reaction to what is said or done that matters. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The first edition of this classic was originally published back in 1962. Since then, due to the evergreen tips and quotes, the value of the book hasn’t diminished.

It’s still one of the most life-changing books ever written. We enjoyed every bit of it.

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Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary

Kellogg on Branding PDFThe Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management

Taking a glimpse into the selection of well-researched tactics for reaching the zenith of your brand-building process, is not something you stumble upon every day.

Do we dare to say it? – Despite the odds of being exposed to such an impressive collection, you joined the club.

Without further ado, let’s drill down to the core of this book.

Who Should Read “Kellogg on Branding”? And Why?

Not all people aspire to build a sustainable asset in the world. In order to thrive on branding, one must prick up its ears, and embrace an open-minded approach.

In our opinion, “Kellogg on Branding” is an exclusive selection of tactics and tools that an organization should capitalize on, to survive in this age.

About Alice M. Tybout and Tim Calkins

Alice M. TyboutAlice M. Tybout served in the Kellogg School for Marketing as an academic director and professor. Currently, she is the Harold T. Martin Professor of Marketing. Alice runs a research team to investigate how various individuals process information and make up their minds.

Tim Calkins is widely acclaimed for his contribution as a professor, consultant and keynote speaker. Momentarily, he has the role of a Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he presents his insights on Biomedical Marketing.

“Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary”

Design, Build and Understand Branding

The central argument in this eye-opening book encircles around the concept of reforming the market and carrying out the necessary changes. The current global predicament leaves us little choice but to take into account the consumers’ preferences and bring them into line with the organizational goals.

For a business to gain the much-needed edge in this overly crowded marketplace, it must answer the following questions:

  • Who should we target and why?
  • How can the product/service be of use to potential consumers?
  • Why should someone be fixed upon our brand over the competitor’s one?

Prior to showing glimpses of professionalism, and commitment, the organization must pay special heed to many rising aspects of doing business.

The first one that springs to mind is the frame of reference. Neglecting the integration between the frame and the point of difference can turn out to be costly! As a disregarded facet, it allows the business to expand their operations by helping the consumers meet their needs and wants.

Operating as a unit will undoubtedly going to provide support for the brand-building proceedings through fortification or other methods. In other words, by leveraging industry’s best practices, the organization could improve its positioning and impose entry barriers.

Afterward, you can quickly discern why is brand design so essential and move on to the categorization of products. To get a bird’s eye view of the process, you must execute all of the following 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Realize that branding takes the shape of any concept, which lays emphasis on the categorization of products.
  • Step 2: Identify a few categories that will clear up the brand concept when used by consumers.
  • Step 3: Don’t let a single brand-design element slip from your memory. Eclipse your competitors by creating an asset that contains category name, logo, brand name, visual illustrations, symbols, verbal lexicon, etc.
  • Step 4: Conduct an evaluation of your policies and consider other alternatives that might benefit the brand-process.
  • Step 5: Use legit and impartial metrics to assess whether the brand concept is in tune with the product features.

On top of these steps, it vital to become conscious of the uniformity between market behavior and human behavior. For precisely the same reason, the authors assert that only perceptive managers with the right mindset will have no difficulties to integrate social, political and ethical aspects into branding.

How to Build and Leverage Your Brand

For the sake of supporting the previously stated strategies, it’s of unparallel importance for the brands to influence the learning process. This new form of structure, named “the buyer learning” absorb the central role in the brand-building process.

With almost total disregard for the status of the entries, top-notch brands unleash the same strategy from pioneers to late entrants.

It’s crystal clear that the pioneers absorb take the role of masters because they’re allowed to remodel the categories, launch their own brands, or even set up invisible barriers. Nonetheless, these aspects shouldn’t be construed as a full-scale victory for the pioneers, which may face other difficulties further down the road.

Late entrants, for instance, can exploit the inelasticity of pioneers, and take control of the learning process. Thereupon, they can introduce modifications to it, and benefit the changes arising from it. On the other end, being dependent upon one product category can be a formula for disaster.

When a brand opts for expansionism, the buildup of a network is influenced by the same token. With an aerial perspective of the situation, you can easily conclude that “brand evolution” is a complex operation, and as such, it incorporates the following guidelines:

  • It urges you to take one step at the time
  • Help others to understand the reasons for the brand expansion
  • In the aftermath of expansionism on the parent brand, consumers must get the full picture

It may come as a shock to most people, but placing all your energy on one brand is not enough. Indeed, there’s such thing as a brand portfolio, which is the extension of the previous method.

Brand Advertising and Relationship Branding

Evidently, not even the best of the best products can reach its zenith without marketing efforts to support their ascend! Without a shred of doubt into your mind, you should endorse that advertising is composed of carefully selected means transmitted through the right channels.

The perfect copy as the authors have a habit of labeling it, must embody humor to enhance engagement.

This will not only give you a competitive advantage but help you establish an unshakable connection with the other side. Bound with the idea of sharing common interests, the brand and consumers can take the interaction onto the next level. Playing the emotional card is also something you should fully exploit.

If you aspire to put an end to the one-way relationship, you should stimulate feedback by interacting with your customers. The number of brands which are aware of the issue is meager. By soliciting the views from the end-users, you’ll take the driver’s seat and have full control over the situation.

According to the authors, being able to manage the relationships with the target audience proficiently is often depicted as the epitome of mass customization. It’s needless to say that a large bulk of today’s brands are mass-orientated. Steps in, CRM!

Customer Relationships Management is like a medieval fortification that stops the advancement of mass-marketing. It’s main incentive springs from handling the interactions between an official body and the customer. Unlike other processes, it strictly relies on data to prepare for potential twists and turns.   

It can be further broken down into the following subsequent elements:

  1. Find and identify subsegments
  2. Assess the effects of each sub-segment process by associating it with a goal
  3. Design contacts and conceive an actionable strategy
  4. Anticipate the outcome

If a brand doesn’t vouch for its services and turns a blind eye on the inept management, it will soon be overrun by other more user-centric organizations. The idea is to put the cravings of the consumers on top of your priority list.

Brand Driven Organization and Service Branding

Customer expectations must be satisfied by consolidating their input. In doing so, the business becomes a branding-machinery and would stay abreast of their demands by monitoring their reactions regarding the product/service offered.

Prior to conquering the world with your brand-new idea, one must make a decision to build a product or launching a service. The gap between these two separate fundamental features must be considered by understanding the following truths:

  • The services are intangible deliverables
  • Services don’t fall into the category of commodities for disposable use
  • Their heterogeneity nature

It comes as no surprise that internal branding is also a force to be reckoned with, and should receive an equal standing with the other execution strategies. In addition, the organization should enforce a code of conduct in order to speed up the integration, and put all elements together.

The author cannot emphasize enough the importance of conducting strategic employee-assimilation. Hence, it’s pretty straightforward to identify the first-class brand assimilation programs. With the segmentation taken care of, the author presents the three-phase structure:

  • Phase 1: Strategic Development
  • Phase 2: Foundation Building
  • Phase 3: Implementation

In truth, many things can deteriorate the morale of the employees and even put into question the successiveness of the internal branding programs. In this book, you’ll find why embedding the procedure in the broadcast can turn out to be a huge mistake on your part.

When it comes to allocating resources for external and internal branding, you should refrain from stretching too much. Such uncontrollable expansion can aggravate the problem even further and put you in a position of jeopardy. The same logic is applied to seductive ads and messages used on both fronts.

In a nutshell, branding services is a never-ending work, but that mustn’t discourage you to proceed.

How to Build a Megabrand

Reaching the top of the heap is not an overnight thing. Yet, in a race against time, NetZero shocked the world with its innovative way of doing business, which puts adaptation in the center of it. In just 5 short years, NetZero compelled the internet marketing community to shift its core paradigms due to the changes that occurred.

To receive the “rising star” epithet, NetZero focused on the frame of reference. Neglecting and undervaluing its effects can hurt your business. One-of-a-kind marketers are aware of the power emerging from the frame of reference and feel disposed to use it in order to improve the brand positioning.

The authors point out yet another decisive element to achieving brand-dominationName. It may seem like being struck by lightning, but being creative and setting your heart on something that will stand out as being catchy and unique can give you the upper hand.

How to know which name would meet these criteria?

The author claims: A brand name must be able to stand the test of time! Do we need to say more? The more iconic, the better you’ll do. Pay attention to the business as a whole, don’t dissect it in order to choose a suitable name.

A good label may provide the stimulus required for going international. You’ll need all the support you can get in that regard. However, prior to sailing to new shores, you must evaluate the consistency of the brand by examining the pricing, distribution and positioning on the local markets.

In addition, be cognizant of the fact that the pricing strategies must be in accordance with the local competitors and the demand. Creating a global system must be complemented with a broad perspective regarding the price elasticity and other factors.

Generally speaking, every brand must give the impression of earnestness and decisiveness for each market segment.

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“Kellogg on Branding Quotes”

Ultimately, brands are built by people who passionately believe in their brands. Indeed, many of the world’s best brands can be linked to a single person: Howard Schultz created Starbucks, Steve Jobs built Apple, Pleasant Roland formed… Click To Tweet Brands are sets of associations linked to a name or mark associated with a product or service. Click To Tweet Successful companies understand that brands are assets. Click To Tweet Brand positioning refers to the specific intended meaning for a brand in consumers' minds. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you have your perspective broadened, and your mind sharpened, then we did a great job. If not, we firmly advise you to read the book, whenever you find some time.

Don’t forget to implement the tactics to accentuate your professional endeavors.

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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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Ready Player One Summary

Ready Player One SummaryA Novel

You know your book is good when Steven Spielberg decides to adapt it into a movie.

And you know you’re a good writer when Spielberg picks you to co-write the script.

And when that movie is described as “pure magic,” earns half a billion dollars and becomes one of the highest-grossing films of 2018… well, we’re obliged to write a summary of the book.

So –

Ready Player One?

Who Should Read “Ready Player One”? And Why?

“The guests don’t return for the obvious things we do, the garish things,” says Dr. Robert Ford (played by the ever-phenomenal Anthony Hopkins) in HBO’s Westworld. “They come back because of the subtleties, the details. They come back because they discover something they imagine no one had ever noticed before… something they’ve fallen in love with.”

Well, Ready Player One is a book based on this premise. It’s an adventure driven by the pursuit for an Easter Egg planted in a worldwide VR game!

And if you like Westworld – as different as they are – you’ll like this one too: just add some laughs; a lot of laughs. You’ll like Ready Player One if you like Stranger Things as well.

Because just like that TV show, Ernest Cline’s novel is full of references to the nerdy things from the 80s. (You’ll see why in a minute).

So, something like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Only without that much politics. And with much more video games.

In summation, to quote Nicolette Stewart: “if you are geeky or grew up in the 80s or love sci-fi and fantasy or video games, oh man, go read the whole thing right away!”

And you can start with the first two chapters here!

Ernest Cline Biography

Ernest ClineErnest Cline is an American slam poet, novelist, and screenwriter.

He initially rose to fame as a performer at Austin Poetry Slam venues, becoming a champion in both 1998 and 2001 (hear him performing his most famous poem here).

Interestingly, he went on to become a screenwriter before becoming a novelist: after generating much local interest, his screenplay Fanboys was bought by the Weinstein Company and turned into a movie in 2009.

Two years later, he published Ready Player One which is already considered an SF-classic, winning both the Alex and the Prometheus Award in 2012.

In 2015, Cline published Armada, another New York Times bestseller. In March this year, the Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation Ready Player One premiered to wide popular and critical acclaim.

Cline is currently working on an Untitled Ready Player One sequel (and with Steven Spielberg’s input).

Find out more on his magnificently designed website: http://www.ernestcline.com//

Plot

As we hinted above quoting Westworld’s Dr. Robert Ford, Ready Player One is basically a 400-page long search for an Easter Egg inside a VR game.

We know already from the first chapter – that is the prologue: chapter 0000 – how that search escalated.

Namely, on the evening of February 11, 2045, the main protagonist of our book, a poor Oklahoma teenager named Wade Watts, managed to find the Copper Key – the first of the three hidden keys – and the whole world stood flabbergasted at the news.

“Dozens of books, cartoons, movies, and miniseries have attempted to tell the story of everything that happened next,” writes Wade, “but every single one of them got it wrong. So, I want to set the record straight, once and for all.”

Ready Player One is that record-setting account.

And the story begins five years earlier, on a January evening 2040, with the death of James Halliday. We learn on the very first page that James Halliday was the designer of OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game “that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis.”

On a daily basis, you shriek in disgust!

Well, don’t humans have smarter things to do in 2040?

Well, apparently not, for the very simple reason that it’s not exactly a bright future the one Wade Watts is living in.

Due to an energy crisis caused by the depletion of fossil fuels and the consequences of global warming and overpopulation, the world is a sorry sight to behold and living in it is not exactly something you can enjoy.

Well, James Halliday seems to have felt the same way when he jotted down in his collection of undated journal entries called Anorak’s Almanac (Chapter 91, Verses 1-2) thus: “Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.”

Now, if everybody in the world is playing your game, then it’s quite obvious that you are a filthily rich person. However, James Halliday dies a 67-year-old bachelor with no heirs. And the only thing he leaves behind him: a video message labeled Anorak’s Invitation.

In it, he explains that he has planted an Easter Egg inside the OASIS and makes a promise that the first person to find it – will inherit his entire fortune.

Wade Watts is thirteen when James Halliday dies. He is an orphan, living with his aunt in the “stacks” of Oklahoma City. As evidenced by the very word, the “stacks” are not exactly a luxurious place: nothing more but a bunch of trailer homes piled on top of each other.

A smart guy with a “cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish,” Wade Watts is (like most of the world) a dedicated “egg hunter,” or gunter – which means that he spends every free moment of his life searching for Halliday’s egg.

And it’s not the easiest job in the world: Halliday didn’t have time to playtest the game, and he warns in his testamentary video that his Easter Egg may be hidden “a little too well.”

The only thing the players have at their disposal are just a few verses about some three keys and a hint that “familiarity with Halliday’s various obsessions would be essential to finding the egg.”

And since Halliday was a teenager and a geek in the 1980s, suddenly the whole world is fascinated with 1980s pop culture!

This explains why Wade – logged to OASIS as his avatar Parzival – spends most of his time researching 1980s video games and movies. (The geeky girls playing ukulele is something on the side).

During the process, he comes across some fascinating insights:

I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.

One day, Wade realizes that the first of the three keys mentioned in Halliday’s awful poem is located on Ludus, one of OASIS’ virtual worlds.

While exploring the place, he meets Art3mis, a famous blogger and female gunter. It probably goes without saying that he has “a massive cyber-crush” on her. In his words: “her face had the distinctive look of a real person’s, as if her true features had been scanned in and mapped onto her avatar. Big hazel eyes, rounded cheekbones, a pointy chin, and a perpetual smirk. I found her unbearably attractive.”

Anyway, Wade advances further in the game when he defeats Acererak at Joust; as a reward, he gets the Copper Key. And, suddenly, the name Parzival appears on “The Scoreboard” – which is basically the only thing featured on Halliday’s website.

And now we are precisely where the prologue already got us. We move on to unchartered territory from here on.

So, Parzival clears the gate, by playing through the Dungeons of Daggorath video game and role-playing the character of Matthew Broderick in the still-enjoyable film of our (at least, my) childhood, WarGames. Art3mis does the same shortly afterward, and Wade’s friend, Aech, follows.

Since Wade is now pretty famous, his fame, naturally, brings him some money; and he earns enough to make a living by being the face of a few virtual products.

However, it also makes him the man of interest to Nolan Sorrento.

Now, Nolan is not just any guy: he is the head of operations at IOI (Innovative Online Industries), a multinational corporation who spends a lot of dough to take control of OASIS and monetize it.

Of course, finding the Easter Egg is a great way to do it; and finding the guy who’s closest to finding it – is the easiest.

However, Wade refuses to join IOI. Sorrento’s response is brutal: IOI blows up the stacks where Wade lives. Fortunately, our character is not there; unfortunately, his aunt is.

Wade has no option but to move Columbus, Ohio, where he assumes the pseudonym Bryce Lynch. He even lives in an anonymous apartment designed explicitly for OASIS users. And not just any type – the hardcore type.

Speaking of hardcore: Wade thinks about forming an alliance with few gunters such as him. In addition to Aech and Art3mis, the alliance should include Daito and Shoto – because, in the meantime, they have also acquired the Copper Key.

However, when you have a huge cyber-crash on somebody, it’s only reasonable to put her before any kind of alliance. Even if you have the IOI on your heels.

That doesn’t go that well, though, since Art3mis seems more interested in the Hunt than in Wade. Which makes her attractive to IOI as well: at the birthday party of OASIS co-founder, Ogden “Og” Morrow, IOI operatives called Sixers tried to assassinate Wade and Art3mis.

They are stopped by Ogden, who both physically and metaphysically looks like “a cross between Albert Einstein and Santa Claus.”

Five months pass and Art3mis becomes the first player to find the Jade Key.

In the meantime, Wade, aka “Parzival,” plays a perfect game of Pac-Man. However, he receives nothing but a quarter as a prize. Aech gives him a hint, and he heads off to the planet Frobozz. There, he solves Zork, the text adventure game.

Using some unfair methods, Sorrento discovers the Jade Key as well and unlocks the Second Gate. Parzival learns from Shoto that the Sixers have killed off Daito – not his Avatar, but the real guy.

After some time, Parzival unlocks the Jade Gate as well: a Voight-Kampff polygraph-like machine in a Blade Runner universe.

After some time, he completes the arcade game Black Tiger – by the way, Cline’s favorite game – and, as a reward, he receives a virtual mecha.

And then he goes a step further, acquiring the Crystal Key via his knowledge of Rush, the Canadian rock band. After listening to “Discovery,” the third movement from the 20-minute long title track of Rush’s 1976 album 2112, Wade discovers a clue which should help him unlock the final gate.

He messages Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto, but Sorrento places a force field around Castle Anorak, rendering the guys incapable of opening the Crystal Gate.

Ready Player One Epilogue

Wade manipulates his new identity so that he can be arrested and, thus, be able to enter the premises of IOI.

While there, he hacks into the company’s intranet and acquires everything necessary to ruin Sorrento: from the attempts on his life to the murder of Daito.

He then escapes and shares the new-found info with his friends.

An attempt to organize storming of Anorak Castle is interrupted by Ogden, who offers the players some protection at his home in Oregon. There, Wade meets the real-life Ogden, as well as Aech (Art3mis and Shoto are hooked into immersion pods, so he doesn’t meet them).

The day of the battle arrives.

Accompanied by Aech’s Gundam and Art3mis’s Minerva X, Parzival uses his mecha, Leopardon, to fight Sorrento’s Mechagodzilla Kiryu.

Eventually, the merry company manages to open the gate.

But the Sixers use something called the Catalyst to destroy the castle in its entirety, killing all the avatars in its vicinity.

However – Parzival survives.

How?

Because of the quarter, he won after playing the perfect Pac-Man game; remember: that grants an extra life!

Parzival enters the Crystal Gate, promising in advance to share the fortune with his friends. After role-playing quite a few Monty Python and the Holy Grail characters, Parzival eventually manages to retrieve the Easter Egg while playing Adventure.

This gets him a few crucial things from Halliday: full control of the OASIS, killing/resurrecting avatar privileges, and a Big Red Button that can wipe out OASIS altogether. Also, a lesson:

I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world: I didn’t know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

Sorrento is eventually arrested.

And, back in Oregon, Wade and Art3mis finally meet in person.

Her name is Samantha, and she is everything Wade expected and loved all this time.

And, yes – it ends exactly as you would expect:

My heart felt like it was on fire. I took a moment to work up my courage; then I reached out and took her hand. We sat there awhile, holding hands, reveling in the strange new sensation of actually touching one another.

Some time later, she leaned over and kissed me. It felt just like all those songs and poems had promised it would. It felt wonderful. Like being struck by lightning.

It occurred to me then that for the first time in as long as I could remember, I had absolutely no desire to log back into the OASIS.

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“Ready Player One Summary Quotes”

No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful. Click To Tweet You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever. Click To Tweet One person can keep a secret, but not two. Click To Tweet You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out. Click To Tweet A river of words flowed between us. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

An instant New York Times bestseller, Ready Player One is a “ridiculously fun and large-hearted” book with a “deeply felt narrative [which] makes it almost impossible to stop turning the pages.” (NPR)

It is certainly something that everyone who is at least a bit nerdy will enjoy. Because – as Rebecca Serle of HuffPost says – Ready Player One “has it all – nostalgia, trivia, adventure, romance, heart and… some very fascinating social commentary.”

Serle may have given the book its most perfect description: “the grown-up’s Harry Potter.”

That is – if you are still a child.

Maybe a Holden Caulfield-type of child.

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the sun and her flowers pdf summary

the sun and her flowers pdf summaryAs we promised yesterday – in honor of Rupi Kaur’s 26th birthday – we bring to you today a summary of her second collection of poems as well.

Published a year ago – almost to the day – the sun and her flowers is everything that milk and honey was.

And sometimes – even more.

Who Should Read “the sun and her flowers”? And Why?

Once again mainly directed at the young female population, the sun and her flowers is a bit more mature and universal than milk and honey, tackling more immediate and less sex-dependent topics such as immigration and embracing one’s roots.

However, it is once again the girls – teenagers and young adults – who’ll enjoy this book the most.

Rupi Kaur Biography

Rupi KaurRupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, illustrator, and photographer.

She started writing anonymously in high school, but she gained a cult following only when she started publishing her poems on Instagram.

Self-published, her first collection of poetry – milk and honeyis, quite possibly, one of the best-selling poetry books in history.

Even though the sun and her flowers has so far sold in somewhat smaller numbers, it has still sold over a million copies – a fabulously staggering number for a poetry book in the 21st century!

Find out more at https://rupikaur.com

the sun and her flowers summary

To quote Rupi Kaur, “the sun and her flowers is a collection of poetry about grief, self-abandonment, honoring one’s roots, love, and empowering oneself.”

Just like milk and honey, this one too is divided into thematic chapters: wilting. falling. rooting. rising. and blooming.

As is evident from the titles, the framing narrative is the life cycle of a flower which Rupi uses to explore the metaphorical deaths through which we all have to go in order to finally blossom.

Background

After the tremendous success of milk and honey, Rupi Kaur signed a deal with Simon & Schuster for two more books.

And then she started suffering from something which can be tentatively described as writer’s block. She knew that she wanted to write and she knew that she hadn’t lost her talent in the meantime.

However, she felt so much pressure that nothing she ever wrote satisfied her:

For months and months and months I couldn’t write. I would write down a sentence and get so angry at myself because I’d think it was complete garbage. I’d rip it up. You know that typical writer thing everybody thinks we do, well that happened for quite a while. Then I thought this isn’t working and if I keep working like this, I’m not going to get anywhere. I really had to switch around how I was thinking about the second book.

The Cathartic Experience

As Rupi explains in an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the thing that finally did it for her was when she realized she had time; that if she is genuine and honest, she will write another book that matters; and that she’s not writing poetry to earn money, so – there’s no rush, nor pressure.

To purify herself and start all over, she wrote this poem:

they convinced me
i only had a few good years left
before i was replaced by a girl younger than me
as though men yield power with age
but women grow into irrelevance
they can keep their lies
for i have just gotten started
i feel as though i just left the womb
my twenties are the warm-up
for what i’m really about to do
wait till you see me in my thirties
now that will be a proper introduction
to the nasty. wild. woman in me.
how can i leave before the party’s started
rehearsals begin at forty
i ripen with age
i do not come with an expiration date
and now
for the main event
curtains up at fifty
let’s begin the show

In the end, the sun and her flowers bloomed into “a grown-up version of milk and honey. The style is the same but [she goes] deeper. It’s more emotional,” as Rupi Kaur, fully aware, says in a Guardian interview.

The Title

Dedication and Epigraph

Rupi Kaur dedicates the sun and her flowers to her family: her father, mother, brother and sister. They – in the eyes of Rupi – “define love.”

The epigraph is a little gem, wedding the joy of life with the sexual experience, the carnal with the spiritual, the life cycle of the plants with what it means to be human, Rupi’s first book (notice the use of the word “honey”) with her second, the one we’re about to read:

bees came for honey
flowers giggled as they
undressed themselves
for the taking
the sun smiled

– the second birth

wilting

The dictionary defines the word “wilt” as “to become limp or flaccid; droop.” So, this word encompasses in itself two very different states: explicitly, immediate damage but also, implicitly, past greatness.

A great title for a chapter which treats the subjects of heartbreak and loss.

A big part of sun and flowers, says Rupi Kaur herself, is about the grief of losing “what you think is the love of your life – and dealing with its raw aftermath. How do you redefine love when your idea of love is something that’s so violent? When your idea of passion is anger. How do you fix that?”

Well, sometimes you can’t:

i could be anything
in the world
but i wanted to be his

And sometimes everything you can do is pretend that your loss hasn’t happened:

in order to fall asleep
i have to imagine your body
crooked behind mine
spoon ladled into spoon
till i can hear your breath
i have to recite your name
till you answer and
we have a conversation
only then
can my mind
drift off to sleep

And sometimes the pain is so great that it makes you want to annihilate yourself. That way, you can reimagine your own existence. And you can be someone else, someone you are not, but also someone he loves; that way, you can be his again: “what draws you to her/ tell me what you like/ so i can practice.”

As the poetess herself realizes during a therapy session in one of her longest poems yet – this is not the way to go. Because love cannot come from self-hate, it must be “figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve.” In other words, love is not becoming someone else to be chosen – “love is knowing whom to choose.”

So, don’t worry – even though “[he] took the sun with [him] when [he] left,” – “you will make it to the end.”

Just “open the door to the rest of it.”

falling

Oh, only if it were that easy! – that’s the leitmotif of the second chapter of the sun and her flowers. Because after loss comes not only pain, but also numbness:

i hardened under the last loss. it took something human out of me. i used to be so deeply emotional i’d crumble on demand. but now the water has made its exit. of course i care about the ones around me. i’m just struggling to show it. a wall is getting in the way. i used to dream of being so strong nothing could shake me. now. i am. so strong. that nothing shakes me.
and all i dream is to soften.

Robert Sapolsky defines depression as a “genetic/neurochemical disorder requiring a strong environmental trigger whose characteristic manifestation is an inability to appreciate sunsets.” It feels as if Rupi Kaur ruminates upon this definition when she writes thus:

Yesterday
when i woke up
the sun fell to the ground and rolled away
flowers beheaded themselves
all that’s left alive here is me
and i barely feel like living

– depression is a shadow living inside me

It seems as if the poetess underrated the extent of a heartache, which, regardless of whether it is caused by a friend or a lover, is always the same: “a loss is a loss is a loss,” concludes Kaur soon, echoing the best-known Gertrude Stein line.

And the problem with losing someone is not the absence of that someone – it is the absence of yourself from your own body and the things you need to do to become your self again:

it felt like you threw me
so far from myself
i’ve been trying to find my way back ever since

And the only way to transcend this state of loss is by finding уour way back to yourself and becoming full again. And that can only come when we realize that there are different ways in which one can be full:

you were mine
and my life was full
you are no longer mine
and my life
is full

rupi kaur heart flower illustration

Sam Smith liked this illustration so much that he tattooed it on his arm

 

rooting

The poems in the third section, rooting, mostly focus on topics such as borders and the experience of the immigrant:

they have no idea what it is like
to lose home at the risk of
never finding home again
to have your entire life
split between two lands and
become the bridge between two countries

Bathed in her own (“my mouth carries two worlds – accent”; “broken English”) and her family’s experiences as immigrants, Rupi Kaur’s verses in this section exude with both poignancy and power. Because the immigrant is someone who has gone through hell, but also someone who has acquired so much strength through this suffering that he’s become so much more than the tender things we are:

what if we get to their doors
and they slam them shut
i ask
what are doors she says
when we’ve escaped the belly of the beast

There’s also a cry for compassion in rooting, because, in the words of Rupi, “borders/ are man-made/ they only divide us physically/ don’t let them make us/ turn on each other – we are not enemies.

Hear that, Trump?

rising

And then, out of the pain and the suffering – we rise, Maya Angelou style!

True, “the middle place is strange/ the part between them and the next,” but it’s also part of every transformation. So, “never feel guilty for starting again,” especially if you’ve been drained by your previous love.

Find someone who “energizes you” and “wraps you in the word special.

And that someone must be – just like you – full on his own, because:

when you are
full
and i am
full
we are two suns

You’ll know when that happens:

they should feel like home
a place that grounds your life
where you go to take the day off

– the one

blooming

As Kaur says in one of her falling poems, “you do not just wake up and become the butterfly – growth is a process.

And this one ends with the most straightforward discovery of them all: that you are enough.

“look down at your body,” Kaur implores, and “whisper/ there is no home like you/ – thank you.” “their concept of beauty/ is manufactured,” she adds later on. “i am not – human.”

This leads Kaur to an interesting revelation: “it is a trillion-dollar industry that would collapse/ if we believed we were beautiful enough already.”

So, why don’t we?

Why do we feel the need to go under the knife and become something that we are not? We are not each other’s competition – and until we realize that, everybody is losing.

You should not go gently into the good night: you should do your best to meet Death with a smile upon your face; as a winner:

when i go from this place
dress the porch with garlands
as you would for a wedding my dear
pull the people from their homes
and dance in the streets
when death arrives
like a bride at the aisle
send me off in my brightest clothing
serve ice cream with rose petals to our guests
there’s no reason to cry my dear
i have waited my whole life
for such a beauty to take
my breath away
when i go
let it be a celebration
for i have been here
i have lived
i have won at this game called life

– funeral

the sun and her flowers epilogue

Just like milk and honey, the sun and flowers concludes with short prose with a very simple, but potent message. It ends thus:

i find it deeply important to accept that we are not the masters of this place. we are her visitors. and like guests let’s enjoy this place like a garden. let us treat it with a gentle hand. so the ones after us can experience it too. let’s find our own sun. grow our own flowers. the universe delivered us with the light and the seeds. we might not hear it at times but the music is always on. it just needs to be turned louder. for as long as there is breath in our lungs—we must keep dancing.

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the sun and her flowers pdf quotes”

you left/ and i wanted you still/ yet i deserved someone/ who was willing to stay Click To Tweet i notice everything i do not have/ and decide it is beautiful Click To Tweet you are an open wound/ and we are standing/ in a pool of your blood/ – refugee camp Click To Tweet sometimes/ i stop myself from/ saying the words out loud/ as if leaving my mouth too often/ might wear them down/ – i love you Click To Tweet i will no longer/ compare my path to others/ – i refuse to do a disservice to my life Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Rupi Kaur is fully aware that she is not like other poets. And that’s what makes her so special: instead of creating something artificial (you know, as in: art), she has opted to create something immediate and sincere.

And people respond to that.

There’s a reason for that, of course: as David Foster Wallace warned in the wake of the September 11 attacks, we’ve become too insincere. And unless we do something about it, that can destroy us.

So, thanks, Rupi, for doing all that you can to stop that.

you. heal.

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Powerful PDF Summary – Patty McCord

Powerful PDF Patty McCordBuilding a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

At Netflix, Patty revolutionized the concept of efficiency by challenging the conventional methods of doing business.

She should undoubtedly be accorded the status of policy-changer, due to her efforts.

In this summary, we try to share the most critical findings.

Stay with us!

Who Should Read “Powerful”? And Why?

It’s hard to determine, who is fit to read this book and leverage its takeaways. In our humble opinion, anyone working or participating in some organization should consider diving into its mysteries.

These days, it’s impossible to find someone who’s not incorporated into some system. Therefore, we wholeheartedly urge you to scratch the surface of “Powerful” regardless of your position.

Patty McCordAbout Patty McCord

Patty McCord draws on her personal and professional experience to cast doubt on the Silicon Valley concepts of fresh ideas. She yearns for a full-scale modification, in terms of how we behave and think within the business environment.

By putting the best practices on a silver platter, she makes it easier for the reformers to utilize the knowledge and apply the methods. Patty spent more than a decade at Netflix, while continually being on the lookout for better ways of conducting the operations.

She is a frequent keynote speaker and an advocate for challenging the outdated policies. So far, she has appeared on a dozen CEO Forums, and Business Schools.

“Powerful PDF Summary”

Do you have the guts to hear the bitter truth or you prefer to comfort yourself with lies? – We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, one must realize that advocating for changes in the workplace, might not be a straightforward transition. Patty states that hiring adults, meaning persons whose focus is fixated on improving the company, will make your life a lot easier.

The rookies, in need of a babysitter, will often turn out to be costly. Filling up your organization with self-managing people can create the snowball effect. These characters endorse criticism, are prone to learning, and know their boundaries.

Arguably, siding with the reality will give you a leg up in any quarrel.

For instance, a football team requires from its players to showcase their talent in order to achieve victory. A one man’s show would never suffice, and the same analogy can be broken down into details regarding HR and business overall.  

How can we define this phenomenon?

A culture of responsibility is perhaps the most suitable description and stands as a symbol of a prosperous association. Nonetheless, this system should not be sided with “working harder” but linked to the idea of adding greater value.

Although this will eventually crank up the competition, you should not dread the idea of a challenge. Being eclipsed by someone can become the turning point in your life. On the bright side, you should try to outperform yourself on a daily basis.

From a leadership vantage point, these urges must be fueled continuously but monitored in order to balance the scales.

In the early years of the 20th century, an average employee had zero respect and no contribution to decision-making whatsoever. The exploited machinery had to stick to their routine, without even bothering to comprehend the operations.

This ineffective way of management started to crumble when a new form of leadership emerged.

Generally speaking, the new generation tries not to divulge misinformation by integrating all the layers into the system. In doing so, all the parties can get an aerial view of the situation and share their insights.

Nowadays, each applicant, employee, associate, partner, or manager strives to understand the whole ball game. Nobody wants to be a drop in the ocean, but an essential element to the business. Achieving that however, it’s often easier said than done.

Encourage debates, dialogue, freedom of expression, annual reviews, or simply communication – will get you across the threshold.

The Power of a Debate and Radical Honesty

It’s unlikely that you’ll be stunned upon hearing that people are not fond of two-faced leaders. There’s absolutely no need to twist the reality because disclosing the problems in a timely fashion can help the organization to assess its current rankings.

In the light of this discovery, it’s also critical to mention that not all employees, welcome constructive criticism. Nonetheless, if you establish such a corporate culture, they’ll have little choice but to embrace transparency.  

Let’s unveil few benefits, which are a direct result of radical honesty on an organizational level:

  • It minimizes backstabbing
  • It enhances the communication
  • It spots the problems promptly as they rise to the surface
  • It adds to problem-solving
  • It improves the performance of all parties

Indeed, the number of leaders that dare to acknowledge their mistakes is still meager. By breaking the ice, they create a new culture and incite the employees to do likewise. In other words, they will automatically trigger transparency.

Powerful Summary Patty McCordAt Netflix, Patty brought in an all-encompassing feedback system for the employees to share their insights on the team’s efforts and submit their annual analysis.

When it comes to debating or discussing, the leader should set terms in advance, and urge everyone participating in the debate to adhere to them. After all, problems crop up each day, and the organization must put its analytical prowess to the test by encouraging dialogue.

If you find yourself in an argument, give a stamp of approval to anyone who shares facts not personal agenda. In like manner, you should abide by the same set of norms, and refrain yourself from getting emotional when a potential conflict erupts.

In the meantime, you should stick to your broadness, because someone may lay down a series of well-researched theories that oppose your perspective. Be prepared to double-check your methods, and leave your ego aside.

According to Patty, debates among smaller groups bring about a revolution in the organization because of the input. They are not prone to group-thinking, which opens a window of various scenarios and conclusions.

When it’s your turn to present your insights, be on alert for people who adhere to their biases. The information extracted to support their claim is rarely applicable to the matter of contention. Even so, it’s needless to say that formal debates are the epitome of business breakthroughs.

Build the Powerful Future by Finding the Right People

As reported by Patty – today’s actions and behavior shape the future. By being aligned with the fluctuating practices in the digital age, you’ll develop into an energetic leader. For example: you have this great idea of how should your team should perform in a year or so, but you lack the execution methods.

Start by labeling every element that is hampering the enhancement and transition. Next up, lay the groundwork for the future by making the necessary modifications in order to scale the company. Such an attitude has all the earmarks of successful progression.

Being proactive when instigating the complete change, will push you to find the right people who don’t bear a grudge against alteration. The scatterbrained attempt to carry out all of these assignments shouldn’t serve as an excuse in potential failure. Genuine leaders pour their blood, sweat, and tears in order to embolden the organization; and they also blaze a trail for others to follow.

Evidently, without the prowess and craftiness to back them up, they can’t do much. The detailed planning doesn’t incentivize the execution as one might have hoped, and only the team of implementers is duty bound to accentuate the proceedings. Prior to conducting the hiring process, consider the following aspects:  

  • Pay little attention to the resume and observe the body language
  • Try to determine whether the applicant thrives on problem-solving
  • Assess their strong motives for joining the organization
  • Gauge the competence
  • Try to evaluate whether the applicant would be a good fit for the team

You don’t need a big name, but a person whose skillset, character and determination apply to the team’s vision. As simple as that! For the job, you need a set of HR officials who understand the technical side of the business too.

Once you find people whose expertise matches the organization demands, you could expand the operations.

The beginning of the 21st century was turbulent for Netflix. The company merely collapsed due to deep economic malaise within its ranks. Netflix reacted by laying off almost 1/3 of its employees. What came as a shock to the new operational structure, was the fact that, this new policy generated remarkable dividends.

The crafty pool prevailed over the obstacles by embracing more responsibilities in order to fill in the gap. It didn’t take too long for Netflix to get back on track, and restore its former status.

The Art of Managing the Employees

When an organization is crammed with underachievers, it cannot function in a strong fashion. That’s a major blow to the company, and that’s precisely what happened to Netflix. Nonetheless, the line that separates productive employees from bad ones is very slim.

Every so often, people are hired for a position that doesn’t match their expertise, or the officials are not aware of their contribution. Either way, a leader must double-check to see whether the managerial hierarchy with all its sub-elements is well structured.

When it comes to payment, Patty McCord argues that you should at least ponder about paying top of the market for the positions that you believe are the most precious to the organization.  

A common mistake most managers make is taking into account only what the organization can afford in terms of salary. Indeed, being aware of your financial capabilities is critical, but sometimes you should consider the value that the new hire will generate.

To put it differently, consider how will the new employee influence the business, and as a result, perhaps you need to conduct an audit regarding this matter. It’s a topic that should be thought about.

After putting all the elements on the table, you can agree on a salary that reflects the financial worth that the new employee will bring. Meanwhile, don’t forget to execute the following checklist:

  • Embrace transparency
  • Don’t hesitate to increase the salaries of those who deserve it
  • Identify the best value for the business
  • Don’t put a lot of weight on salary surveys

Singing the praises of the employees is a tremendous team-building asset. The same methodology works perfectly fine when constructive criticism is unleashed. This strategy can diminish the chances of getting sued by a former employee who was fired based on its performance.

Goodbyes don’t manifest the end of the world nor speak about the attributes of the individual. Genuine managers understand that some people are not in tune with the particular working atmosphere. They would even recommend them to someone else, only to expose them to an environment that resonates with their skills.

Key Lessons from “Powerful”

1.      Get into the right frame of mind
2.      Less is more
3.      Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

Get into the right frame of mind

Then again, Patty McCord states that openness can help you to balance the scales in favor of the organization, and keep underachievers at a distance.

Don’t hesitate to speak your mind! A good leader can both lavish praise upon someone, and discuss the probability of someone being better off at some other company or team.

Less is more

The conceived plan, must not incorporate people who are pessimistic from the outset. This tells you that only a handful of high-performers can do the job.

Improve the cohesion among them and try to identify any potential twists.

Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

In case you’ve miscalculated the severity of the problem, agree to support the better solution and alter your viewpoints.

As you can see, a productive debate can shore up the company, so don’t be reluctant to solicit as many views as possible, to get a bird’s eye view of the situation.

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“Powerful Quotes”

Trust is based on honest communication, and I find that employees become cynical when they hear half-truths. Cynicism is a cancer. It creates a metastasizing discontent that feeds on itself, leading to smarminess and fueling backstabbing. Click To Tweet Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have? Click To Tweet Instilling belief in the practice gets easier as managers come on board. The greater the density of great team builders you achieve, the more you can spread the practice organically. Click To Tweet When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process. But they don’t mind discipline at all. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Like what you saw or read? We bet you did because this is one of those books that get you all fired up and ready to conduct the necessary changes.

We advise you to read this book, page by page to get a good handle on what Patty is trying to convey.

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milk and honey summary

milk and honey summaryYesterday was Rupi Kaur’s 26th birthday. (Happy birthday, Rupi!)

To honor her – as well as show our appreciation for her work – we decided to make her two books (milk and honey and the sun and her flowers) the first two collections of poetry summarized on our site.

Consider that our gift to you, a way of paying Rupi’s gift of poetry forward.

Do the same: buy her books and gift them to someone you love; preferably a female; especially if she’s hurting.

Trust us: her poems do wonders.

They are understanding and compassionate; they are mystical and healing

We start with milk and honey, “a collection of poetry and prose about survival… about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.”

Who Should Read “milk and honey”? And Why?

Unfortunately, people don’t enjoy poetry nowadays as much as they used to.

Just for an illustration, according to the 2015 National Endowment for the Arts survey of arts participation, only 6.7 percent of the American population has read at least one poem during the past year.

That’s a decline of 45 percent within a decade!

We certainly don’t know all the reasons for this abysmal statistic, but one of them must be the way poems are written in this day and age. It seems that ever since T. S. Eliot’s 1921 dictum that “poets in our civilization, as it exists at present, must be difficult” – poets are difficult.

Which is probably why there was such an uproar when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature: even his most surrealistic songs seem comprehensible when compared to those written by the critically acclaimed poets of today.

Rupi Kaur is not one of these poets. In fact, she’s not even that well regarded by many critics. But does it matter?

milk and honey sold in 2.5 million copies worldwide – thousands and even tens of thousands of times more than the books written by some of these critically acclaimed poets (by the way, white males most of the time).

And what’s the point of writing a book nobody would read? Even if you know the most important thing in the world, what difference does it make if you are not able to relay it in meaningful and comprehensible language? How many lives would an intelligible poem change?

As the ancient prophetess Cassandra knew full well – probably not even one. When nobody understands your prophecies, people will go on living the way they would have in their absence.

So, who should milk and honey?

Everyone. Especially women.

Because Kaur’s poetry is clear, personal and it touches something profound. Because she’s not afraid to talk about things other people don’t want to.

And because reading her has meant falling in love with poetry all over again for millions of people; so, it may mean the very same to you.

Rupi Kaur Biography

Rupi KaurRupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, illustrator, and photographer.

Her family immigrated to Canada when she was four years old; since she didn’t understand the language, her mother encouraged Kaur to star expressing herself with drawings and paintings. And she has – ever since.

She started writing anonymously while in high school. After completing her degree in rhetoric studies and professional writing at the University of Waterloo, Kaur began sharing her work via Tumblr.

In 2014, she began adding simple illustrations to her poems and started publishing them on Instagram. The artworks had a haunting effect: very soon, she gained a large number of followers. By the end of the year, after being rejected by numerous publishers, Rupi Kaur self-published her first collection of poems, milk and honey; an enormous success, the book sold over 2.5 million copies and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for almost 80 weeks!

Last year, one day before her birthday, Kaur published her second collection, the sun and her flowers. The book has already sold over a million copies.

Find out more at https://rupikaur.com

milk and honey summary

Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey (the lowercase is – if you didn’t get that by now – intentional) is an intermedial collection of poetry, prose, and hand-drawn illustrations.

The book is divided into four sections, each of them encompassing poems focusing on a different theme, the one suggested in their titles: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.

Background

“I like to think milk and honey began the day i was born,” writes Rupi Kaur in the FAQ on her website answering the question “where did milk and honey begin?” “The reason for this,” she goes on, “is that i take from my lifelong experiences for this collection. i take from a lot of pain i’ve experienced or my family has experienced. Or my community has experienced.”

The Title

It’s a beautiful title this one – milk and honey – don’t you think?

As Rupi Kaur explains herself, it’s also one which says a lot:

years ago i wrote a poem about the 1984 genocide of sikhs in india. in it there is a line about the women who lived through that terrible time. their resilience is breathtaking. they are the enduring survivors to the murders of their husbands and children. the survivors of betrayal. rape. torture. i write that they come out of that terror as smooth as milk and as thick as honey. i performed that piece around my hometown. but it didn’t feel right in my heart to leave those words right there. in the confines of a single line in a single poem. that day a higher power was at play because i opened up a brand new journal and on the front page wrote those words. something inside me said ‘this will be more one day’. and here we are. this is how the title ‘milk and honey’ is born.

So, you already know what you can expect from the poems inside this book.

They are themselves “smooth as milk and as thick as honey.”

And they are also as sweet and as healing.

Actual “tools to heal wounds, repair the insides.”

Dedication and Epigraph

There’s a sense of urgency permeating through Rupi Kaur’s book. As if she wants to tell you: read these poems; they are everything I am; and they have helped me; they may help you too…

Written “for/ the arms/ that hold me,” milk and honey is a sort of a healing cry, as evidenced by the book’s beautiful epigraph:

my heart woke me crying last night
how can i help i begged
my heart said
write the book

The epigraph explains the therapeutic structure of the collection: hurt juxtaposed with love, heartbreak with healing.

the hurting

The first section of Rupi Kaur’s milk and honeythe hurting – mainly explores two themes: families and sex. As the title of the section implies, neither in a way which will make you smile; rather, in a way which will make you ache and feel the ache; think and understand your thoughts.

The father is usually either absent or uncaring in these poems and the mothers and the daughters are taught to either be silent (“this is how the women in my family/ learned to live with their mouths closed”) or, worse yet, confuse love and anger:

every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
like you

The uncared-for daughters with a fundamentally unsuitable father model (“a daughter should/ not have to/ beg her father/ for a relationship”) turn into girls who fall in love with boys who use their bodies:

i’ve had sex she said
but i don’t know
what making love
feels like

But that’s the only possible outcome. Because, after all, a father “was supposed to be/ the first male love of your life” and “you still search for him/ everywhere.”

the loving

In the next section, the loving, things are turned around by – what else if not her – the power of love! One poem from this section almost reads like a comforting lullaby for the aching ones of the first section:

love will come
and when love comes
love will hold you
love will call your name
and you will melt
sometimes though
love will hurt you but
love will never mean to
love will play no games
cause love knows life
has been hard enough already

However, something that the author stresses over and over again in this chapter is that you can’t love somebody if you don’t learn how to love yourself first: “i am learning/ how to love him/ by loving myself.”

All those faulty relationships of your life are actually an externalization of your repressed hate for yourself, encrusted upon your soul through years of household misunderstandings and patriarchal – but never fatherly – reproaches.

The poem which best encompasses the feeling of this section is probably this one:

i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
and then
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire

the breaking

The first part of the second dark/light diptych of milk and honey is an exploration of the heartbreak: what happens when love gives way to habit, and heaven becomes indistinguishable from hell?

If the hurting demonstrates that hurts can be a direct consequence of the misperception of anger as kindness, the breaking adds that they can also be the result of the confusion between love and need:

he only whispers i love you
as he slips his hands
down the waistband
of your pants

this is where you must
understand the difference
between want and need
you may want that boy
but you certainly
don’t need him

As she warns in another poem, it’s wrong to “whisper/ i love you” when “what you mean is I don’t want you to leave.”

“i didn’t leave because/ i stopped loving you,” elucidates Kaur further in a thought-provoking poem. “i left because the longer/ i stayed the less/ i loved myself.”

the healing

And, more or less, the healing begins – and ends – with the very same feeling:

you must enter a relationship
with yourself
before anyone else.

This is what experience has taught the speaker: that love is love only when it stems from self-love. Otherwise, it’s nothing more but pain, a projection of your innermost fears and expectations.

It’s not true, Kaur says – it’s a cruel trick, in fact – that another person can complete you; “the most they can do is complement.”

You must “fall/ in love/ with your solitude” before falling in love with someone else. The fact that you are a woman so “capable… of feeling” and “unafraid… of breaking” makes you “utterly whole and complete.”

Never forget that if you want to be healed, you need to “accept yourself/ as you were designed.”

Because:

Rupi Kaur illustration

milk and honey epilogue

milk and honey ends with a love letter.

One from Rupi Kaur to her readers.

We feel obliged to quote it in full. But, we also feel that the ones who haven’t read Kaur’s book have not really deserved reading it.

So please don’t – until you read (and reread) each and every page of this book:

you have made it to the end. with my heart in your hands. thank you. for arriving here safely. for being tender with the most delicate part of me. sit down. breathe. you must be tired. let me kiss your hands. your eyes. they must be wanting of something sweet. i am sending you all my sugar. i would be nowhere and nothing if it were not for you. you’ve helped me become the woman i wanted to be. but was too afraid to be. do you have any idea how much of a miracle you are. how lovely it’s been. and how lovely it will always be. i am kneeling before you. saying thank you. i am sending my love to your eyes. may they always see goodness in people. and may you always practice kindness. may we see each other as one. may we be nothing short of in love with everything the universe has to offer. and may we always stay grounded. rooted. our feet planted firmly onto the earth.

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“milk and honey quotes”

it is your blood / in my veins / tell me how i’m / supposed to forget Click To Tweet every revolution/ starts and ends/ with his lips Click To Tweet i want your hands/ to hold/ not my hands/ your lips/ to kiss/ not my lips/ but other places Click To Tweet you were so distant/ i forgot you were there at all Click To Tweet do not bother holding on to/ that thing that does not want you/ – you cannot make it stay Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The most popular Instapoet (and that’s in the company of, say, Amanda Lovelace, Tyler Knott Gregson, Atticus, Lang Leav, etc.), Rupi Kaur is, in a way, the female counterpart of Khalil Gibran.

And her poetry has already reached as many readers – who have hurt and healed through them.

And that’s the most one can ask from a poet.

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Turtles All the Way Down Summary

Turtles All the Way Down Summary

About two years ago, on September 20, 2016, in a video on his (and his brother Hank’s) YouTube channel VlogBrothers, John Green said something millions of people around the world didn’t want to hear:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever publish another book. And even if I do, I don’t know whether people will like it.”

It was, apparently, The Fault in Our Stars’ fault, which had turned Green from a Person Who Writes Books into a Person Who Wrote That One (Highly Successful) Book.

Fortunately, on October 10, 2017, “Turtles All the Way Down” was published.

And people liked it.

And there’s going to be a movie.

So – what are you waiting for?

Who Should Read “Turtles All the Way Down”? And Why?

Needless to say, “Turtles All the Way Down” will be a treat for all John Green fans out there.

People who enjoy watching “Monk” or suffer from OCD will probably enjoy reading the book as well; for one, they will have no problem identifying with the book’s narrator.

But as “The New York Times” said in a lovely review, “one needn’t be suffering like Aza to identify with it. One need only be human.”

John Green Biography

John GreenJohn Green is a bestselling American writer, the author of five hugely successful novels.

His debut novel, “Looking for Alaska” won the Printz Award in 2006, the year his second novel, “An Abundance of Katherines” came out.

“Paper Towns” was published in 2008 and adapted into a Cara Delevingne-starring film adaptation seven years later.

In 2012, Green published his most successful novel so far, “The Fault in Our Stars.” The movie came out two years later and was even more successful, earning more than $300 million against a budget thirty times smaller.

John Green is also a famous vlogger.

And – this is relevant – he takes medications for his OCD.

Plot

If you ever want to start writing a book, here’s a great way to start it:

At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time – between 12:37 P.M. and 1:14 P.M. – by forces so much larger than myself that I couldn’t even begin to identify them.

These words, uttered by sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes, instantly reveal to us that the narrator of “Turtles All the Way Down” is a bit of an OCD type of person (not to mention fictional).

Soon enough, we realize that she’s OCD all the way: sitting in the school cafeteria, it seems that all she thinks about is how the food she eats is then eaten by the bacteria inside her.

Because, after all – no need reminding us, Aza! – the human body is made up of about fifty percent bacteria. And, as far as she is concerned, some of these ugly little creatures will most probably kill her. Sooner or later.

Her strange defense mechanism?

Repeatedly opening a callus on her finger, draining out what she thinks are pathogens, and bandaging the spot once again.

Yeah, like that could ever work!

But, then again, someone who has to eat lunch at 12:37 P.M. afraid, on a daily basis, of getting a deadly Clostridium difficile (C-dif) infection – may not be able to think that straight.

And Aza doesn’t.

At the moment, she is so deep into her own thoughts that she has troubles following the quite exciting discussion her best friend Daisy has with another friend, an art student named Mychal.

Apparently, Russell Pickett, a construction magnate and a billionaire, has disappeared in the wake of bribery and fraud investigations. And his company, Pickett Engineering, is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with any information regarding Russell’s disappearance.

Daisy reminds Aza that the missing person is actually the father of Davis Pickett, an old friend of hers; this brings in Aza’s mind a memory of her looking at the sky with Davis at a camp about five years ago; but, then again, the sentence in which she relives the memory is just too beautiful; so, we’ll leave it for later.

Anyway, before you can say “but, wait a minute – it can be dangerous” – adventure is on the way!

Daisy and Aza canoe across the White River and at sneak onto the Pickett residence. There, Aza downloads a photograph of Mr. Pickett from a motion-activated camera, but very soon the girls are caught by the security guard.

Aza and Daisy tell him that their canoe has holes in it and that they know Davis; so as to check their story, the security guard takes them to him. Fortunately for them, Davis does remember Aza and, after a brief chat, he takes the girls home.

Back there, Daisy shows Aza an article which says that the Pickett estate should be inherited by Tua in case Mr. Pickett dies.

Strangely enough, Tua is not the name of a brother or a relative of Davis, but the name of Mr. Pickett’s tuatara. And no – that’s not some Spanish word for “girlfriend,” but the Maori designation for a very interesting type of a reptile.

A reptile!

Some weird guy that Mr. Pickett, isn’t he?

One can hardly blame Aza and Daisy for continuing their investigation the day after – despite the scare from the previous evening. Especially after realizing – via some sketchy work by Daisy – that the police know less than them!

But, then again, the police always know less than at least somebody, right?

And they are not exactly flawless.

Anyway, Aza insists that, before they do anything else, she updates Davis with the missing info first (the photograph from the security camera) and the two start texting that evening.

The next day… well, the next day it’s time for a double date: Daisy has apparently made some arrangements with Mychal, but their date will go through only on the premise that Aza is to be there with Davis as well.

So, naturally, Aza invites Davis.

And, expectedly, he agrees to come.

Aza’s mom, however, is not that thrilled when she finds out who her date is, warning Aza on date night that wealthy people are often somewhat inconsiderate and insensitive. If you’ve ever been – or even seen – a teenager, you already know how this one ends: Aza snubs her mom and heads off to Applebee’s.

The discussion there is mostly about Daisy’s “Star Wars” fanfiction stories – Chewbacca’s love life… really? – and maybe even about some other things; however, our narrator is too disinterested and defocused to hear them, so we don’t hear them as well.

Be that as it may, after they finish their meals, the four agree to go to the Pickett mansion to watch a movie.

Obviously, we’re not talking about watching it on a laptop or even a big-size TV; nope – the Picketts have their own home cinema.

But before they go there – and while Mychal and Daisy are busy browsing through the invaluable art in the house – Aza and Davis go outside and take a stroll on the golf course.

Too romantic opportunity (remember camp, five years ago?) for Davis not to take Aza by her hand and for Aza to not open up about her anxieties and fears – as well as about her never-fully-healed wound on her finger.

Aza tells Davis that she is continually falling into a spiral. “The thing about a spiral is,” she informs us at the beginning of the book, “if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.” The catch: “Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.”

Somehow, the cheerlessness of the discussions leads to a mentioning of Davis’ father.

Insisting that he cannot trust Daisy and Aza to keep quiet about their investigation. Davis gives her $100,000 – which he pulls out of cereal boxes!

(A quick question: why is there absolutely nothing of that sort in any of my cereal boxes, John Green?)

With the hush money in her pocket – it is literally that – Aza runs back to the house where – surprise, surprise! – Daisy and Mychal are kissing. Soon the girls leave – but not before being offered – and getting – the notes from Russell Pickett’s phone by Noah, Davis’ little brother.

Next morning, at Applebee’s, Aza goes through the notes and notices a strange phrase among these notes: “the jogger’s mouth.” Daisy arrives, and Aza gives her her share of the money.

Since it’s quite a lot of money, Daisy nearly starts crying and immediately goes on a daydream-tour of her future: she is finally able to quit working at Chuck E. Cheese’s and go to the college she wants.

Fast forward a few days, and you can see Daisy parking her new VW Beetle in the school’s parking lot; and at her house with Aza, just after the classes, she proudly pulls out her new laptop.

Aza – channeling her mother – scolds Daisy for being inconsiderate with her money; but Daisy replies that Aza knows nothing about what it means to be poor.

Speaking of someone who knows even less –

That very same night, Davis picks Aza up and takes her to dinner and then outside so that they can watch that evening’s meteor shower. It’s cloudy and it’s difficult to see anything.

But, just like when they were 11 years old doing the exact same thing, it matters not the least to either of them.

And that’s our cue for a sentence from the first chapter we promised you earlier:

We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Before too long, Davis opens up to Aza: apparently, don’t you know it – he’s a poet! And since poets are what girls usually dream about since the dawn of times – well, not exactly – Aza kisses him on the lips.

If you know someone with an OCD (or have ever watched an episode of “Monk”), you are probably aware of what follows next:

Aza immediately realizes that she has enough bacteria in her own body even without taking in some more, so she nervously interrupts the kiss.

(Fun fact: she has 80 million new bacteria)!

Time for a therapy session with Dr. Singh.

You’d think that he would be able to help, but, a few days later, the same thing happens all over again. Aza and Davis go to the movies (or in their case, Davis’ house) to watch “Jupiter Ascending” and, possibly disinterested (who can blame them?), they start kissing once again.

Once again, Aza breaks off the kiss and rushes off to the bathroom to clean herself from the kiss. And, naturally, she ends up drinking hand sanitizer.

Wait a second!

That’s not natural at all…

Well, this book is getting darker and darker by the page.

Aa is evident by now, if Aza and Davis go on dating they’ll have to find a way to date without holding hands, hugging, kissing and stuff.

The solution writes itself: FaceTime; aka – they use Macs.

In the meantime, Aza discovers two things: 1) that Davis has a secret blog; and 2) that Daisy holds a secret grudge with her… or, about a million of them.

How does she find out about the latter?

Well, one night, she decides to spend some time reading Daisy’s fan fiction. One of the characters, Ayala, is especially horrible: anxious, panicky, exhausting, spoiled, ruing everything for everybody… You know, just like… her?

That’s right: Daisy’s “Star Wars” fanfiction is actually a vent for her frustrations with Aza!

As a result, their friendship briefly deteriorates, leading up to a car accident during a heated argument between the two while Aza is driving.

Aza wakes up in the hospital, overhearing that her liver is lacerated and worrying that she’ll get C-dif infection anytime now.

The solution is in the bathroom: hand sanitizer!

Fortunately, Aza’s mom sees her.

And Aza, for the first time in her life, realizes that she is her own worst nightmare.

Turtles All the Way Down Epilogue

“The problem with happy endings,” notes John Green through Aza at one place in “Turtles All the Way Down,” “is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”

Bleak. So bleak.

But a nice way to unravel the epilogue of this novel’s plot.

Not accepting any visitors, Aza spends two weeks in the hospital and returns to school in December. There, she comes across Daisy, and, catches up with everything happening in her absence.

One of these things is Mychal’s photographic work Prisoner 101 being accepted to an art show happening in an unfinished part of the Indianapolis sewer system.

So, Daisy and Aza go there the next day and, when Aza starts feeling anxious, the two take a walk and begin exploring the drainage tunnel system off of Pogue’s Run (built by Pickett’s company).

Soon enough, they realize that they are in “the jogger’s mouth”! The stench reveals one more thing: there’s probably a dead body near them.

So, the next day Aza tells Davis of her and Daisy’s discovery. Davis cries – and that’s the last time the two see each other in quite some time.

It is a few months later that Aza hears that the police have discovered Russell Pickett’s body. She texts Davis and some time later he knocks on her door.

He gives her a gift: a painting by Raymond Pettibon.

This painting:

Turtles All the Way Down picture

Then, he tells her that he’s moving to Colorado with Noah.

And then the twist: Aza tells us that the novel we’ve been reading all this time is, in fact, a product of her third mental breakdown, which has happened many years after the above-described events.

Apparently, Aza is now married with children.

And writing helps her feel healthier and more stable.

OK, somewhat less bleak.

But still bleak, nevertheless.

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“Turtles All the Way Down Summary Quotes”

Your now is not your forever. Click To Tweet True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter. Click To Tweet The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company. Click To Tweet I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell. Click To Tweet You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person and why. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Turtles All the Way Down” (just like all other books by Green) is beautiful and moving, intriguing and humane.

In the words of Guardian’s Matt Haig: “It might just be a new modern classic.”

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