Category Archives: self-help

53. What I Know for Sure (Oprah Winfrey)

1250054052On every trip through Costco, I need to review the piles of books for inspiration as to what to read next.  Oprah’s new book has a small, natural feel to it.  it is a quick read and filled with stories of her past and her present along with inspirations from her own life and learnings from others.  She speaks of her passion of learning, of giving gifts to others and sharing knowledge to help others grow.

The title of her book came from an interview with the late Gene Siskel, when he took her off guard in an interview asking her “what do you know for sure?” She shared that she struggled to answer his question and kept thinking about it, long after the interview.  The book makes inspires the reader to think about living their best life.

“If this were the last day of your life, would you spend it the way you are spending it today?”

Oprah encourages readers to take charge of their own lives, to be the change and to live in the present moment.  She talks about taking time to recharge and the importance of balance.  She shares my love of reading.

“Insight, information, knowledge, inspiration, power:  All that and more can come through a good book.”

Like the Failing Forward book, previously reviewed, she speaks of looking at challenges as a way to guide you to new experiences moving your forward in the “right direction”.  She shares how it takes great strength, courage and determination to work towards your goals for life.  She also takes an appreciative inquiry approach, focusing on strength, sharing that:

“when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it”

Oprah encourages readers to find something they love and do it, treating others the way they would like to be treated and considering their instincts as their compass for moving forward.  This is a quick read but it is interesting to read Oprah’s life lessons as she weaves them with her own life history of challenges (growing up poor, abuse and weight challenges).  She is inspiring through sharing her own path from personal trauma to success in a way that helps and inspires others.

“What you do today, creates every tomorrow”

(211 e-pages)

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24. The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict (The Arbinger Institute)

51wjFcv0ZOL._SL500_AA300_This leadership fable was recommended by a colleague and is an inspiring read that helps the reader reflect about their own relationship as a leader within their family, their workplace, their community and their world.

The fable describes a weekend session that a group of parents experience when they drop their children at a retreat to help them deal with drug abuse.  The families’ learn about themselves, their relationships and the state of their hearts.  They learn that they need to help things “go right” rather than “simply correct the things that are going wrong”.  By spending time helping things go right and building positive relationships, there is less correction required at home and at the office.

This book is a quick read that causes a reader to reflect and reframe situations.  It is easy to navigate the lessons and consider the pyramid model that is described.

“however bleak things look on the outside, the peace that starts it all, the peace within, is merely a choice away.  A choice changes everything.”

(368 pages)

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13. The 100 Thing Challenge (Dave Bruno)

Thinking that it was time to do some spring-cleaning, I thought that this book might just provide the incentive to downsize some of our possessions. As I started reading, it was not what I expected. I had surmised that the book would encourage de-cluttering, donating and getting rid of excess belongings but really, it was about a guy who decided to live with only 100 items – and apparently, this became a bit of a movement with others adopting and following his year long quest. He did not truly live with 100 items – he counted his library of books as one item, multiple pairs of underwear as one thing (probably good not to scrimp on skivvies) and any items that he shared with his family did not make the list. He did combat his consumerism and need to constantly buy things to make himself happy but I was disappointed with this book. While I think we can all decrease the “stuff” in our lives and live with less this was not a page-turner.


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