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Here Are 10 Inspirational Biographies That Can Steer You Towards The Right Path

Here Are 10 Inspirational Biographies That Can Steer You Towards The Right Path

Everyone out there has had days when they lose all self confidence and feel like they are going nowhere. All your ideas start sounding stupid and you don’t know why you’re still trying in the first place. This is where these inspirational biographies come into play. People who have held on to their ideas and passions and executed them regardless of how difficult it was to keep going and hopefully by reading some of these, you will know exactly where your passions lie and figure out just what you need to keep doing to make them happen.

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

    The extraordinary and inspiring account of both the professional and personal life of Steve Jobs. Based on three years of exclusive interviews conducted by Isaacson with both Jobs and his family, colleagues and competitors. A great insight into Jobs’s life and thoughts making it a very motivational and inspirational read, one of the best inspirational biographies out there.

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

    2. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

      Richard Branson followed a very interesting ideology that gained him, in slightly more than twenty-five years, successful ventures all around the place from Virgin Atlantic Airways to Virgin Megastores and nearly a hundred other myriad ventures. Reading this tale of someone doing business his way will surely encourage all you closet-entrepreneurs to just “screw it, let’s do it” in the words of Branson himself.

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      “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

      3. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran

        Many of these books happen to be about business successes but that is the key to pushing ourselves to implementing all the ideas we have in mind. This book is Corcoran’s best advice for anybody starting a business but it’s also beyond that because despite failing at 22 jobs by the time she was 23, she borrowed a 1000 bucks form her boyfriend and started a tiny real estate office in NYC. This developed into a $6 billion dollar business. Now that is enough to keep me persistent!

        “Taking chances almost always makes for happy endings.”

        4. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen

          Paul Allen was a world-famous billionaire by his early 30s and Time has named him one of the hundred most influential people in the world as the cofounder of Microsoft. Rushed into sharing his story by a diagnosis of lymphoma, this memoir was created filled with his passion, rigor, thoughts and most importantly his endeavors; both the triumphs and the failures. This will emphasize the importance of ideas in all of our minds and we could all use a little of that.

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          “For the most part, the best opportunities now lie where your competitors have yet to establish themselves, not where they’re already entrenched.”

          5. One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com y Richard L. Brandt

            Richard Brandt has brought us the intel behind the creator of the world’s most popular online shopping site, Amazon.com. With its super easy and convenient layout, Amazon has helped Bezos rise from computer whiz to a world-changing entrepreneur. Through interviews with employees, competitors and observers, we get an insight into how Bezos thinks enabling us to sharpen up our decision making skills and maybe, finding something that gives us a higher meaning to our lives.

            “… working at Amazon was not just a job – it was part of a visionary quest, something to give higher meaning to their lives.”

            6. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

              This one is now sitting on my “Want To Read” shelf on Goodreads because it is a slightly different kind of biography than the ones prior. This literary adventure teaches you to live deliberately without fear or compromise because only when you know what you want and stand for it will you be able to succeed. The book proposes many other conflicts and thought processes but Chris’s desire to live on his own terms and his pursuing of that is the inspirational essence.

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              “Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

              7. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

                This one is a classic, discovered in the attic in which Anne Frank spent the last years of her life during the war and the holocaust. Anne has a remarkable voice that in itself makes you feel guilty for letting some of your hardships – that now might now seem as hard – get in the way of what it is you want to do. Perhaps this might not be lighthearted but it is most definitely positive because that is what Frank intended it to be. She broke the Maslow’s hierarchy theory because she didn’t need a sense of security to write and express herself and reach self-actualization, she just did, and in her strength we can all find ours.

                “Although I’m only fourteen, I know quite well what I want, I know who is right and who is wrong. I have my opinions, my own ideas and principles, and although it may sound pretty mad from an adolescent, I feel more of a person than a child, I feel quite indepedant of anyone.”

                8. Front Row: Anna Wintour – What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief by Jerry Oppenheimer

                  The list would be incomplete without the chic and that is embodied in Vogue’s Queen Bee: Anna Wintour. Behind her trademark sunglasses and bob she essentially controls the fashion world, what’s in and what’s out, and every month millions of women and men are influenced by the pages of the wish-book that she has earned fighting her way to the most prestigious position in fashion journalism. Wintour’s belief in her opinions and voice makes you want to wear whatever you want and even carry through that attitude, ambition and drive into the rest of your endeavours.

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                  9. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

                    The title in itself is the lesson. Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and includes the innovative lessons he has learned from other organisations such as charity: water, TerraCycle and FEED Projects. Blake makes it easier for us by presenting six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business so the first step, is to pick it up and give it a read if you’re ready to make a difference in your world and most importantly, your personal life.

                    “Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.… If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.”

                    10. By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis-Wilson

                      Alexis and Alexandra went to Harvard Business School and while they were learning all they could at the top training ground for future Wall Street titans, they had no idea that 5 years on the line, they’d be famous at the intersection of fashion and technology. Gilt began with one bold idea: to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop. The quintessential lesson is that anything is possible if you have the confidence to embrace your creativity, spontaneity and ability to recognise an opportunity and just go for it.

                      “The reason we wrote our book, By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt And Changed The Way Millions Shop, is to inspire entrepreneurship – especially among women. We want to help increase the chances of success with more startups.”

                      Featured photo credit: Grow via youandsaturation.com

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                      “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                      Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                      You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                      Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                      1. Take a step back and evaluate

                      When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                      1. What is the problem?
                      2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                      3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                      4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                      5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                      Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                      2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                      If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                      At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                      Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                      3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                      Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                      4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                      Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                      1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                      2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                      3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                      4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                      5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                      Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                      By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                      Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                      6. Give yourself a break

                      If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                      7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                      A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                      Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                      After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                      8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                      As Helen Keller once said,

                      “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                      Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                      9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                      In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                      1. What’s the situation?
                      2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                      3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                      4. Take action on your next steps!

                      After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                      10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                      A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                      Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                      For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                      11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                      No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                      12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                      No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                      13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                      There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                      After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                      Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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