Where’s my nose been?

I’ve been missing for a while. The last few years have been dedicated to reading dry textbooks and onerous academic articles. Talk about sucking the enjoyment out of print material. 

School is almost over, the degree is almost in the bag, and I’m dying to stick my nose into more interesting material again. Let’s get back to it, shall we?

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The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One

Review coming, but it’s gonna be a glowing one!

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Good Morning!

I started out my day doing something I haven’t done in about 20 years. Before I even got out of bed, I read a chapter of a truly inspiring book. Then, and only then, did I go to the bathroom and make my first cup of tea (not at the same time, mind you!) Wow! I’m so deliriously cheerful and energized!

So, here is my recommendation for a great start to the day, if you are not the type to do yoga or a 5 AM run:

  1. Get 2 or 3 inspiring and well-written books. Absolutely no heavy gloom and doom! You have enough of that during your 16-18 waking hours every day.
  2. Keep them by your bed.
  3. Sandwich your sleep between them.

It’s a very simple and economical way to have a beautiful day. I can recommend some great books if you like.

Later! (If you see someone in the streets singing with the birds today… don’t bother me!)

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Reaching Out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-Actualization

Wow! What a piece of work!
Good intentions notwithstanding, this book is a disaster! It’s in its 10th edition since 1972 and nobody has bothered to edit or proofread it.

First the good stuff:

  • It does cover several topics that are essential for building and maintaining strong healthy relationships.
  • It uses language that is easy for most people to relate to.
  • There are a lot of exercises and comprehension quizzes.

That’s it!

Now for the not-so-good stuff:

  • On one page, the author tells us that fear is something to accept, not fight. On the very next page, he tells us that if we are still suffering from anxiety, it is because we aren’t fighting the fear enough. What??? Doesn’t that sound contradictory to you? It does to me.
  • The sections do not go in-depth enough. I don’t see the point of someone telling me to, “Control your self-esteem through how you see yourself” and then not giving me any idea how to do that.
  • The answer keys for the quizzes are wrong or incomplete. Some of them have answers that directly contradict statements from the chapter, others have the answers from a previous edition, and some are missing the answers to a third of the questions.
  • And most of the exercises are useless unless you are working in a group of at least 30 people.

I place this in the Top 5 most disappointing books I have ever read. If you insist on dropping way too much money on it anyway, I’ll still provide the link.

Catalyst Rating: 1 Seed

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StrengthsQuest

More detailed and in-depth than Strengths Finder. It also comes with an activation code for the online assessment. You will get your results as your Top 5 themes and you can print reports that will help you understand each theme better. This book is focussed more on college students and young adults.

I found this book useful in helping people who are going through the initial stages of self-awareness. It provides theory and explanations on how to value uniqueness, and it does have practical tips for the application of the theory. But it isn’t sufficient for someone who is at a more advanced stage of the self-discovery and transformation process. You really need a guide who has some training to make sense of the information, or you could go horribly wrong in interpreting it.

Catalyst Rating: 8 Seeds

note: As with Strengths Finder 2.0, only buy this book new because the activation code is good for just one use.

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Ecampus
Strengths Quest ~ Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond

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StrengthsFinder 2.0

This book is an excellent starting point to finding your life’s purpose. The book itself, though, is not enough to help guide you through the self-discovery process and the changes that follow. It comes with an activation code that you use to do an online assessment. The assessment results give you 5 categories or “themes” that point you in the direction of where your strengths lie. Then it leaves you to figure out how this works in your life. Good thing there are a few courses available through trained facilitators that will help you apply this new knowledge. (See StrengthsQuest post)

Catalyst Rating: 7 seeds

note: Do NOT buy this book used. You will not be able to use the assessment code.

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