This summer has been tough for me. My marketing job at the start up ended. The company failed to raise B round funds and did not have enough money to pay me. So, around mid April I found myself jobless and hunting. Fortunately, I received referrals and freelance opportunities that kept me going. Looking is a frustrating process. About two week ago I had to snap myself out of a depressing rut and I decided that I would have objectives and goals for each week. I refused to drain my brain in front of the TV and lurking the internet (for jobs and on social sites) beyond 2 hours a day, I committed myself to 3-4 workouts a week and I set an objective to start and finish one new book a week. (I also found a new job, but more on that later). From that point on, things drastically took a turn for the better. Scheduling and planning things are tedious, but honestly, I like things better when I have objectives to meet.
My book selections have been based on several factors:
1. My long Amazon cart list of books I’ve added to over the years
2. Personal referrals and online reviews
3. Books that peak my interest
I also have a new Evernote featuring books that I hear about while out, at events or in book stores. Lately, I’ve been drawn to biographies and introspective (self help) type books. I want to throw in some fiction as well. I started off by reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Both were great books. I wanted to see more of the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael. I thought their relationship would evolve much differently than it did. I won’t spoil it The next week, I read Born Standing Up by Steve Martin. I enjoyed reading about his career struggles and this was a fitting choice for this period in my life. On the first page of the book, Steve states:
“I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years. Ten of those were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four were spent in wild success.”
I had to remind myself that a successful career takes years to build. I’m barely 5 years into mine I shouldn’t be so frustrated This past week, I read Enemies of the Heart Breaking Free from the Four Emotions that Control You by Andy Stanley on Kindle. I picked the book based on the title and description. The actual book drew me in more. Seriously. We all have “baggage” and hold on to things from our past. We ALL do. Anyone who says that they do NOT have this baggage is in denial. Like I was. In our minds we think, “I’m so over that”,”I let that go”, “It’s in the back of my mind”, yeah all of those just don’t work. Trust me, they don’t. If you find yourself doing that, I highly recommend this book. The book breaks down the four emotional forces that compel us to act in undesirable ways. Those emotions are:
While reading, I felt forced (in a good way). To analyze my own behavior and behaviors of others in my life. The results were eye opening. So many people suffer from “spirtual heart disease”. That means, these emotions are destroying them and squeezing life out of their most valuable relationships. I highlighted so many amazing points to come back to and the book is perfect for reading groups because of the discussion questions in the back. This book will change your life. I truly believe that. Not only does it help you recognize the emotions that are holding you hostage, but most importantly, it addresses how you can change them. At one point the book asks that you make a list of each person throughout your life that has ever angered you and write down what they stole from you. I did this exercise (my list had 26 people on it, coincidently one for each year of my life – less than I thought) and seeing the names and reasons for anger were eye opening.
I still plan to read one book each week! Do you have any great books you’ve read this summer? I love recommendations Let me know!