Be Amazing

Be Amazing

Book: “Be Amazing: Discover Your Purpose, Conquer Your Fears, and Fulfill Your Potential,” Paul S. Boynton, Skyhorse Publishing, 2020

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

Book available: January 7, 2020

“Be Amazing” was an inspirational concept and experience that Paul S. Boynton received after visiting and receiving outstanding service at a restaurant. From there, he goes on to explain that giving your all is necessary in your endeavours. He writes, “It starts with a desire to be the best we can be in a specific area, followed by a decision to actually make it happen.” That is the essence of the book as Paul outlines a number of other people and situations that were outstanding in his opinion.

He outlines six points for Amazing Qualities. One of the quotes that he writes that I like is when you are doing that one special thing, you don’t have to be the best and as a Zen saying goes, “Flowers don’t compare themselves to other flowers, they just bloom.” That is a very encouraging thought and causes some self-reflection.

Mr. Boynton goes on to say that people know when people are being authentic and when they are with the “real deal.” People can recognize a disingenuous smile and reaction.

He gives out some steps on being amazing. They are as follows:

  1. Find your “Spirit Blueprint”
  2. Making a decision
  3. Discover what amazing will look like
  4. Making it happen

He writes his book from a question and answer process. This is how he engages the reader. I understand why Paul does this although I am not sure I like this process. I would prefer he just wrote the book in a straight-forward manner with the assumption that the reader has had those questions and he would answer them without indicating each time what the question was or is.

I like how the end finishes with a quote such as: “Remember, every book began with a single sentence. And every garden started with just a few seeds.”

This book was rather short. I would have preferred a longer version with more stories and examples of excellence.

For an inspirational short read, I give this book a 3.75 out of 5.

Tags: Paul S. Boynton, Skyhorse Publishing, Amazing, Purpose, Fears, Potential, Self-development, Self-help, Spirit, Spiritual, Power of Yes, Begin with Yes, Spirit Blueprint, Decisions, Action, Motivation, Inspiration, Mary Mikawoz, Mikawoz, Book Review

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

Book: “Believe in Yourself and Do What You Want to Do,” Kate James, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2019

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

Book available: September 24, 2019

Quite literally, “It is far better to be the best version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.” It is better to figure out your values and interests and follow through on what makes you a special “You.”

It is most important to pay attention to your dreams and listen to your intuition. With having said that, simply give yourself a deadline and just choose an activity to pursue. In choosing that activity, do not choose that which you think will impress others that you went to school with or your family members, do it for yourself.

Other good points include mind mapping which is a free flow of ideas based on free thinking without limitations. I, personally, have used this strategy for many years and love its results. Also, start out small with baby steps and try not to climb Mount Everest at the first attempt at mountain climbing.

In all, Kate James, comes up with 50 ideas or strategies on how to do what you want to do. They are good snippets of information and inspiration.

This is a good book to read from cover to cover or by simply picking a page at random and reading that section.

It is a good inspirational book with good practical advice.

I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tags:Kate James, version, personality, self-help, self-development, self-improvement, time, baby steps, Mount Everest, imagination, focus, tasks, reasons, Dreams, Mary Mikawoz, Mikawoz, Book Review

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Leaving a Legacy

Legacy

Book: “Leave a Legacy that Counts: Create One at Any Age,” Terrie Davoll Hudson, BookLogix, 2019.

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

Book available July 26, 2019

Terrie Davoll Hudson has written a short, interesting book about leaving a legacy behind not at some future date when you are facing death but now. It is important to measure what you achieve and the impact you have on your family, community and the world.

The thing is that you leave a legacy behind anyway based on your impact on other people, your environment, your world and the way you live, the way you speak and the actions you take. The question, then is, do you want to leave a legacy behind by default or by design?

Elements of a legacy that count include reputation, actions repeated over time, and character. A good legacy is fuelled by your aspirations, attitude, truthfulness and authenticity.”

Your character is your essential nature that is formed over time or as Terrie says “your virtual business card” which you carry with you every day of your life.

It is most important to be intentional as you pursue your goals and pursuit of your legacy. “You are the author and illustrator of your life.” Your legacy counts so work on it today.

I recommend this book as an inspirational reading. I also recommend you check out her website – https://terriehudson.com.

I give the book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Tags: Terrie Davoll Hudson, BookLogix, Legacy, Actions, default, design, speak, conduct, time, character, aspirations, attitude, truthfulness, authenticity, self-help, self-improvement, spiritual, Mary Mikawoz, Mikawoz, Book Review

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Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology

Book: “Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression– Self-Help Strategies to Build Strength, Resilience and Sustainable Happiness” by Miriam Akhtar

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

This books is relatively short for a self-help book. It is 254 pages on a digital copy. It is full of good information some of which is common sense but others that are the result of research studies. Miriam Akhtar suffered being “visited by the black dog” but no more based on practices she has implemented in her life.

Miriam spends a good portion of the beginning book explaining what “depression” is and is not. It is rather exhaustive and I wonder when you truly deal with depression, do you need such a lengthy explanation. Depression is a lengthy and continuous feeling of being hopeless, helpless and worthless. It is much more than a passing fancy. It is intense. There are psychological, physical and social symptoms to depression but too many to list here. It is the black hole that you simply can not get out of. There are various spirals you can take down with you from psychological, social to physical and pessimistic spirals.

She starts off the book about the ‘Tale of the Two Wolves.’ The grandfather is explaining to his grandson that there is a struggle going inside each person. A wolf that is evil and mean and a wolf that is good and positive. The grandson asks, which wolf wins to which the old man responds “Which ever one you feed?” It is very important then to feed the positive part of yourself and with determination, deny the negative of any feeding to the evil or bad one.

Miriam suggest doing positive things each day even if it is small and for example involves simply walking in the mall. Many approaches involves using your mental capacity to make changes and as this is the case, it will take time and constant repetition to do so.

Some of the arsenal in the positive kit are: Gratitude, Savouring, Acts of Kindness, Connecting with Loved Ones, Using your Strengths, Mindfulness Meditation, Loving-Kindness Meditation, Physical Activities, and Visualizing Your Best Possible Self (seeing your future positively).

Miriam Akhtar highlights many books that offer further insights into the positive parts of the kit. She references these book as places to get more information to deal with depression.

With gratitude, it is dependent upon the senses you relate to most as to what you are most thankful for. With visual, it might be seeing beautiful art and with touch, it might be a massage or hot bath. With smell, it might be smelling flowers and with auditory, it might be listening to good music or a listening to a choir.

French author, Albert Camus, speaks of “In the midst of winter, I found there was inside me an invincible summer.” We all need to see the beauty and positives in the negative and the cold.

With Loving-Kindness meditation, there are three aspects available – a Visualization of imagining a person smiling at you, of Reflection – reflecting upon positive aspects of a person or yourself and Sound – repeating a sound or mantra such as “Loving Kindness.”

Some tactics for dealing on worrying are: distract yourself, write down your fears, avoid the triggers that set you off and taking one small step towards solving the problem in a s positive way.

These are some of the methods that Miriam has used in dealing with her depression and it can help you too. I recommend this book to people who deal with depression. There is more in the latter part of the book.

Tags: Positive Psychology, Depression, Self-help, Strength, Resilience, Happiness, Visited by the Black Dog, Anxiety, Gratitude, Savouring, Acts of Kindness, Connecting with Loved Ones, Using your Strengths, Mindfulness Meditation, Loving-Kindness Meditation, Physical Activities, and Visualizing Your Best Possible Self