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10 Must-Reads to Tap Into Your True Potential

10 Must-Reads to Tap Into Your True Potential

    Often, a fancy university degree means jack squat when compared to the titillating knowledge that you can learn from great non-fiction authors. I mean, degrees are sweet and all, but lifelong learning is where it’s at!

    Each one of these books has had a profound impact on my life : on the way I view the world, work in the world, and even eat in the world. It’s a pleasure to share these, my secret weapons to unlock your true potential!

    (Note: Every book title is a non-affiliate link to the Amazon store)

    1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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    So, you think you have control over your own actions? Think again. Well, actually, you can have control over your actions if you accept that most of them are triggered by that dirty little insect called habit.

    2. Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

    This lovely read taught me that blue is optimal for creative genius. So are showers and big cities. Sold! I’ll buy my plane ticket to NYC once I make soul-filling money after reading the next book on this list…

    3. The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

    Holy smokes. Danielle LaPorte’s sermons have become my spiritual Bible. I’ve read it once, and I now read a little passage every night before going to bed. Praise the gods and goddesses above that this book exists!

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    4. Crazy, Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean it! by Kris Carr

    A gal pal of Danielle LaPorte’s, Kris Karr has spent a decade researching the healthiest lifestyle choices. She became motivated to do so after a more-than-scary cancer diagnosis in 2003. This one-time sick chick has stopped her cancer in it’s tracks and wants to help you not only prevent chronic disease, but use your diet to feel truly ALIVE.

    5. Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment, by Dr. Wayne Dyer

    Dr. Dyer has written at least a bajillion books. They’re all amazing, I’m sure. But, I happened to find this one in my mom’s basement one day and read it cover to cover in one sitting. Forget 60 days – you’ll feel enlightened upon opening the front cover! Genius. Genius. Genius.

    6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

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    You might have a good life: a job, a nice family, opportunities to travel. But are you really enjoying this one-time-opportunity that they call life? For Gretchen, the answer was “not enough”. If you haven’t heard of this adorable book, you’re probably living under a rock somewhere.

    7. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

    Life Changing. Mind-blowing. Phenomenal. I mean, unless you want to live like a zombie, this book is required reading for LIFE 101. Stop whatever you’re doing and get on it to reach your true potential.

    8. My Reality Check Bounced by Jason Ryan Dorsey

    For all of you twenty somethings out there, Mr. Dorsey is your man! I stumbled on this book in the library and thought, “funny title!” That was two years ago and I can now say that this book helped me to define the direction of my life.

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    9. A Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson, PhD

    Dr. Chris Peterson is one of the Messiahs of the growing field of positive psychology. I mean, he wrote the book on it, for crying out loud. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Peterson in his office, and he is truly as delightful of a person as a positive psychologist should be!

    10. Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

    Author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano crafted-up this book (her third masterpiece) to inspire women to become classy little vixens in the workplace. She should know, after all. Madame Mireille was C.E.O. of the world-famous champagne company, Veuve Cliquot.

    Are books not your thing? Or do you simply want more? You should certainly check out this list of 11 Bloggers to Follow for Lifestyle and Productivity Tips.

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      Last Updated on August 4, 2020

      The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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      1. Value Your Time

      Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

      2. Know Your Priorities

      Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

      For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

      3. Practice Saying No

      Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

      4. Don’t Apologize

      A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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      5. Stop Being Nice

      Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

      Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

      6. Say No to Your Boss

      Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

      But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

      7. Pre-Empting

      It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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      “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

      8. Get Back to You

      Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

      “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

      At least you gave it some consideration.

      9. Maybe Later

      If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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      “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

      Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

      10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

      This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

      Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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      Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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