Win or Learn: The Naked Truth about Turning Every Rejection Into Your Ultimate Success by Harlan Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a quick read and a great one to get the year started on with a positive outlook. Some of my favorite pages are where the author addresses giving yourself permission to create, change or experience meaning in life, the fact that change is uncomfortable, and of course, the universal rejection truth, which, the earlier we can all wrap our minds around, will serve us well. Most importantly, asking for help isn't a sign of weakness but one of strength. Five concise chapters to take you through the process and some questions and exercises at the end of which - recommend the exercises and the book. I believe the author mostly writes with the student population/college crowd in mind but this one's great for an older audience just as well.
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I’ve long enjoyed reading his work and agree to the principle he puts out that passion alone isn’t enough to see you succeed in your chosen career path. Here are some highlights from his book that stick with me. I had read this a few years ago and a recent blog post by a consultant turned professor friend brought this back up top of mind.
Who knew this existed! Glad to see the initiative though and hope it encourages more folks to read. I consider every day to be reading day for me - have a steady stream of loans from the local library and an even longer wishlist waiting to be requested. Not to mention the really good narrative and feature stories available online these days. Education and literacy are important to me and I have been involved in efforts to encourage reading in organizations I have associated with. Some of my favorite books are childhood reads - books my parents got me so I could read adventure stories and imagine escapades of the Secret Seven and Famous Five. Over time, I developed my own reading tastes - went through a phase where Isaac Asimov was my God and then another where romance novels were above everything else. As I did more writing and editing work, I read books that were related - like the Elements of Style or Bird by Bird. And autobiographies as well as self-help/life improvement books took up much of my reading time. I did go through a slump where reading took a backseat and hated that - took a while to get back into the groove again but so glad my love for reading is now a big part of my life. I hope wherever you are, that you are able to enjoy reading and to encourage other stop read as well.
In a rare case of my two loves - writing and travel - in the same book, I was excited tor receive a review copy of Island Journeys and am happy to share it was well-worth the read. The author has done a great job of sharing his own travels to different island nations while also bringing attention to the issues that concern islanders, being a native of St Kitts and Nevis himself. I loved reading his stories of travel and also his memories of his childhood in his homeland, while throwing light on matters of importance to island nations. Few images in the book give you an idea of the places he is talking about. I realized I really don't know much about islanders, their way of life or have even considered them as countries in and of themselves so I think the author's efforts are in line with what he is trying to achieve. I certainly looked up a bunch of information as I was reading the book so I could learn more about the places he was describing and the experiences narrated. This is a light read but very informative and highly recommended. For a travel-centric version of the book review, please head here.
I love reading. If you've read my blog before, you know I am a huge fan of anything Chris Guillebeau. I was recently at the World Domination Summit 2015 in Portland OR - a conference organized by Chris for 5 years now. Part of the swag bag was a copy of his book "The Happiness of Pursuit" - Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to your Life. Did not realize it at that time but I had already purchased his book so now I have an additional copy to giveaway. So here's the deal - follow this link and sign up for my newsletter which I only send out every other month (and you can unsubscribe from at any time)! Random winner will be announced 1st September 2015. Good luck!
That is one of the sections on Chris Guillebeau's World Domination Report, something I read from time to time to keep me charged and focussed. He is the author of The Art of Non-conformity, one of my all time fave books, I have it on my desk all the time. And clearly I am not what the title of this post is as can be observed below:
1. Accept what people tell you at face value - I am a sceptic, very hard for me to take anything you say at face value.
2. Don't question authority - Another one I have trouble with all the time.
3. Go to college because you are supposed to not because you want to learn something - Ended up having to do that as I lived with my parents at that time and that's what I had to do, but have not studied further since. and in my case, college was a waste of my time.
4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere safe like England - been overseas multiple times with family and it was never England.
5. Don't try to learn another language, everyone else will eventually learn English - Grew up speaking English, Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, now learning French and eventually would like to learn Arabic and American Sign Language.
6. Think about starting your own business but never do it - Been there, done that. Had my business Ideas Are Us selling eco-friendly products from India since 2008, now winding down the operation a bit to focus on my business of writing and editing.
7. Think about writing a book but never do it - Already on this journey so there is no turning back.
8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30 years paying for it - No mortgages to report, whew!
9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work - I work from home for 20-30 hours a week on average and its all good productive work, even if I say so myself.
10. Don't stand out or draw attention to yourself - Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
11. Jump through hoops, check off boxes - Wait...what hoops? What boxes?
Check out his book and website here!
I love reading. I know that has helped in part in my being a writer, editor and proofreader. I have moved away from that hobby in the past few years but this year I decided to read at least two books a month if not more. This is tied to my year-long objective of making this year - 2013 - my year of 'happy'. So all the books I am reading have one pre-requisite - it does not matter what genre they belong to as long as the title has the word 'happy' or some form of that word in it. And so it came to be that The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin was my first book to read. I am not really trying to do a book review here as much as just sharing my thoughts on it and seeing what you think, maybe this would be something you'd like to read. The author has discussed how she decided to take on happiness as a project for a year and divided her year into twelve months of different aspects of her life that she wanted to witness more happiness in. Accordingly, she chose 4-5 conscious steps to carry out every month that she thought would help her achieve that happiness in those aspects. If this is something you want then this is a great read with a very specific way of tackling the issue on hand. Some of the things she talks about, I am already doing like keeping a gratitude journal. I just have a word document on my laptop that I type out what I am grateful for every night before I hit the bed. Some of the things she talks about do not pertain to me, such as parenthood since I do not have children. But the basic understanding of what she is trying to achieve and how should be universally applicable. I enjoyed reading the book and seeing how she was able to practice what she wanted or had to give up on some of those points. If you have read the book then please share your thoughts here.