BOOK: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi


First of all, it’s so good to be back! I apologize for the sudden MIA. But I’ve been having an ‘everything block’. Like all of a sudden, I didn’t know what to do, what to read, what to write. It’s like I’ve lost all motivation. But anyway, here’s to hoping I can get back on track one post at a time. 😀

Okay! To be honest, I only stumbled upon this book on the IG Story of Martine, one of the influencers here. So I did a bit of research on what it was about. Anddddd, BAM!

The book intrigued me! Why? I need this is my life. It’s about Networking and Relationship Building that will help you succeed in life. (that’s the goal)

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Personally, I hate small talks. I am awkward during first meetings and I’m usually aloof on gatherings. I’m quiet when speaking to a new acquaintance but extremely playful and talkative towards people I trust and are close with.

BUT, I am aware that I do need to change. Or, probably, not change but to compromise enough to build a trusted network that will benefit both parties. – this is the reason why I decided to read the book.

Lo and behold, I did pick up a few strategies here and there. I know how much I needed to be more outgoing and that is also the reason why I decided to finish the book. However, I find the other chapters not helpful and a bit dragging. There’s so much stories that in my opinion, serves no purpose while some are a given already. Again, Don’t get me wrong. I learned a handful of tricks and strategies which I would like to share with you guys here. ❤

  • The individual who knows the right people for the right reasons and utilizes the power of these relationships can become a member of the club.
  • When you help others, they often help you. Success is any field is about working with people, not against them.
  • Connecting – sharing my knowledge and resources, time and energy, friends and associates, and empathy and compassion in a continual effort to provide value to others, while coincidentally increasing my own.
  • Real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful. It was about working hard to give more than you get.
  • Don’t keep score: You’ve got to be more than willing to accept generosity. Until you become as willing to ask for help as you are to give it, you are only working half of the equation. The more people you help, the more help you’ll have. The currency of networking is not greed but generosity.
  • Find your Passion: Think of what you want to do without the constraints, without the doubts, fears and expectation of what you ‘should’ be doing. You have to be able to set aside the obstacles of time money and obligation.
  • Build it before you need it: You must reach out to others long before you need anything at all. The most important thing is to get to know people as friends, not as potential customers. Eventually, you’ll have a group of people who have seen your work and who believes in you. Friends and people around you are far more likely to help you if they already like you.
  • Genius of Audacity: People with a low tolerance for risk, whose behavior is guided by fear have a low propensity for success. When trying to befriend anyone or in anything, the worse anyone can say is no. The choice isn’t between success and failure. It’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity. Once you realize there’s no benefit to holding back, every situation and person – no matter how seemingly beyond your reach – becomes an opportunity to succeed.
  • Never eat alone: You should always be reaching out to others over breakfast, lunch, whatever. Never ever disappear. You must work hard to remain active and visible. Behind any successful person stands a long string of failure.
  • Seek ideas from people you don’t ordinarily talk to.

There are a number of valuable lessons in the book but I feel like I could have read them from an article, not a book instead. Did you like this book? 

Spread some love! If you can like, comment and follow me, I’ll appreciate it. ❤ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid


OMG YOU GUYS! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! (Yes, I need that much exclamation point)

I am ABSOLUTELY INVESTED and DEFINITELY ATTACHED to the CHARACTERS and the STORY! ❤ ❤ ❤ 

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I don’t know how and where to begin! There’s so much I want to discuss! But if there’s anything that I picked up from the life of Evelyn Hugo? It’s this:

Life is Short. Don’t hide what and who you are and never be ashamed of telling the whole world how much a person means to you and if you want something, do everything it takes to get there. 

But if you will just base the book from what I have written above, I am falling short. The book offers SO MUCH MORE that I can ever explain in just words. Know that whatever Reid releases next, I promise to read them – that ‘s how much I love the book.

It tackles the darkest secrets of Hollywood, what happens behind closed doors, sexuality, race, talent, misogyny, motherhood, abusive relationships and romance.

It feels like entering the the very private and exclusive world of A-listers. The characters feels so real. The very first thing that pulled me in the the character of Evelyn and one of the first things that admired her character is how SHE DOES EVERYTHING IN HER POWER TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS and it was seen in several instances:

  • Learn to grab life by the balls, dear. Don’t be so tied up trying to do the right thing when the smart things is so painfully clear.
  • When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give you things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.
  • You know what you want and you go after it.
  • Everything you have, you went out and got for yourself.
  • First, you have to push people’s boundaries and not feel bad about it. No one is going to give you anything if you don’t ask for it.

I also admire her for being so resilient. She has been hated and reputation and character has been tainted a couple of episodes in her life but that never wavered her. She does what she needs to, to be able to rise again.

Her relationship with Harry Cameron is one of the things I treasure most. ❤ I think it is highly difficult to actually find someone that you can trust in the world of Hollywood. I love how they grew to be each other’s best supporter, best friend, confidant, cheerer and critic. I love how they treated each other as family and actually lived a life as husband and wife and how until the very end of Harry’s life, Evelyn still protected the image of Harry, her soulmate and best friend. ❤

  • I have never doubted that you could do a single thing you put your mind to.
  • I think you’re brilliant and I think you’re tough.
  • I like the Evelyn Hugo who sees the world for what is is and then goes out there and wrestles what she wants out of it. Just don’t change. That would be the real tragedy.
  • You don’t know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until someone stands behind you and says, ‘It’s okay, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you’. So I fell down and Harry caught me.
  • I am positive that I need you more than I ever needed another living soul.

And the LOVE OF HER LIFE, CECE! Cecilia St. James. ❤ The struggle to be in each other’s life, the banter, the difficulties that they had to face, the on and off relationship for years and finally ending up in each other’s arms. ❤ Ahhhh! I love them together. ❤ The challenge to let people understand your sexuality and not be put into just one box, a label.

  • I thought you were the most gorgeous woman who had ever been created and we should all stop trying.
  • You are intolerable, let me be the one to tolerate you.
  • You could be a nobody living in a cardboard box and I’d still love you.
  • I only wanted to celebrate with you. Nothing means anything without you. Everything that isn’t you is a pile of dog shit.
  • My Dearest Cece, please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile.
  • I’d give it all up, you know. All of it. The money and the jobs and the fame. I’d give it all up just to be with you, just to be normal with you. We’d have each other and that’s enough for me.
  • There was always something intoxicating about the way Celia looked at me. I felt like a rare steak in front of a tiger. She was as much of a fix o me as any drug.

And let me just talk about the sexual prowess that Evelyn is. 

  • Evelyn always leaves you hoping you’ll get just a little bit more. And she always denies you.
  • The world respects people who think they should be running it.
  • The very definition of power? Watching people kill themselves over something that means nothing to you.
  • I needed him. I needed to be seen. I come alive under his gaze.

I am telling you! There’s so much more to this book!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 

  • People don’t find it very sympathetic or endearing, a woman who puts herself first.
  • People think intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth.
  • I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box.
  • Never tell anyone anything more than you have to.
  • Never let anyone make you fell ordinary.
  • You don’t go throwing your weight around unless you’re sure you’ll win.
  • Sometimes divorce isn’t an earth shattering loss. Sometimes it’s just two people waking up out of a fog.
  • When you dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface, everyone’s love life is original and interesting and nuanced and defies any easy definition.

If I have not said this enough, let me repeat it. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! ❤ Comment below and let’s discuss her seven husbands! or any other part of the book! If you have not read this yet, Please do!

And if you like this post, please leave some love, like, comment and subscribe. ❤ 

BOOK REVIEW: When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi


What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?

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This book is so heavy and profound in so many ways. Paul teaches us that in the face of death, one must choose what matters most in life. In his frail and weak state, Paul chooses to fight for his life.

It may have caused a lot of doubts but Paul enlightened each and everyone that the values and the important things continuously changes. I felt how painful it was for him to lose his identity. The once strong body that he has is now failing him to the point that the mere act of lifting his leg was too tiring for him. I think this is one of the hardest things to accept when you have a terminal or serious illness. — It’s the constant thought that you will never be able to go back to who you are, what you do and how others will perceive you. Your body will fail you, your mind will trick you. Everything will change.

He also mentioned how long and excruciating it is for doctors to deal with the fact that they hold responsibility for judgement calls. You know the famous spiderman line, With great power comes great responsibility? That is exactly the burden each doctor carries. Most of us are in awe of doctors. Some of us puts them in a pedestal. Why? because they have the power, skills and knowledge that can alter someone’s life. But that is also the burden that they carry everyday. It is the same power that saves lives, the same power that ends one, and never intentional.

With this revelation, I loved how he explained his personal commitment to treat each patient as individuals, not just charts. He made it to a point to know the patient, understand his life, his mind, his values and his identity. Why? So he knows how just how important it is for him to do the right thing, the right diagnosis, the right treatment, etc. — ‘In taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes be crushed by its weight’. It’s beautiful.

  • It’s very easy to be number one. Find the guy who is number one and score one point higher than he does.
  • Books became my closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.
  • Brains give rise to our ability to form relationships and make life meaningful.
  • Direct experience of life and death questions was essential to generating substantial moral opinions about them.
  • How could I ever learn to make and live with such judgement calls? I still had a lot of practical medicine to learn, but wold knowledge alone be enough? with life and death hanging in the balance? Surely intelligence wasn’t enough. Moral clarity is needed as well.
  • Some days, this is how it felt when I was in the hospital: trapped in an endless jungle summer, wet with sweat, the rain of tears of families of the dying pouring down.
  • Drowning, even in blood, one adapts, learns to float, to swim, even to enjoy life, bonding with the nurses and doctors who are clinging to the same raft, caught in the same tide.
  • A spoonful at a time. Openness to human relationality does not mean revealing grand truths from the apse, it means meeting patient’s where they are in the narthex or nave, and bringing them as far as you can.
  • The cost of my dedication to succeed is high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible, in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.
  • Good intentions were not enough, not when so much depended on my skills, when the difference between tragedy and triumph was defined by one or two millimetres.
  • Death comes for all of us. Most lives are lived with passivity toward death – it’s something that happens to you and those around you.
  • Even if you are perfect, the world isn’t. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
  • Severe illness wasn’t life-altering, it was life-shattering. It felt less like an epiphany – a piercing burst of light, illuminating what really matters – and more like someone had just firebombed the path forward. Now I would have to work around it.
  • The pain of knowing and not knowing the future, the difficulty in planning, the necessity of being there for each other.
  • If the weight of mortality does not grow lighter, does it at least get more familiar?
  •  The defining characteristic of the organism is striving.
  • The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. Death may be a one-time thing but living with a terminal illness is a process.
  • You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.

Overall, this book is a really good read. It’s scary and honest. 

Have you read this book? I really liked this one. Could you recommend a similar book? If you like this post, can you please like, comment and subscribe to my blog? ❤ I’ll appreciate it. Thank you! 

BOOK REVIEW: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin


I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted a book as much as I did with this one. ❤

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I don’t care about the other reviews that I’ve seen. I honestly learned a lot about the book. More than the everyday solutions and scenarios inside their house, there’s a lot of behaviors or mentality aspect that I find amusing. ❤ When I tell you there’s a lot, I mean there’a huge vault of information!!

Let me break down the the monthly resolutions of Gretchen in the book.

JANUARY (Boost Energy)

  • Sleep earlier
  • Exercise better
  • Organize
  • Act more energetic

To be honest, the first chapter was more common, obvious and repetitive. BUT, just continue reading. Okay?

FEBRUARY (Remember Love)

  • Quit Nagging
  • Don’t expect appreciation
  • Fight Right
  • No Dumping
  • Give proofs of love

Marital satisfaction significantly drops after the first child arrives. Small frequent gestures of thoughtfulness were more important than flowers on Valentine’s. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while. 

Gretchen suggested that to avoid nagging, she found it useful to limit reminders to ONE WORD such as ‘camera’ or like ‘door’ and that chores DIDN’T NEED TO BE DONE ACCORDING TO ONE’S SCHEDULE. To add to that, she also practiced DOING IT HERSELF and to BE APPRECIATIVE of the other person’s efforts.

To avoid expecting appreciation, she needed to remind herself that she didn’t need her husband’s approval and whatever it is that she’s doing, whether it’s washing the dishes or taking out the trash, it’s because SHE’S DOING IT FOR HERSELF. That way, if the other person didn’t notice or said thank you or appreciate the gesture, there’s no need to sulk. ‘If you do it for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and to be grateful and to give you credit. If you do it for yourself, you don’t expect other people to react in a particular way. 

To be able to fight right, it is important to make ‘repair attempts’ by using words or actions to keep ad feelings from escalating and that you ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER PRESSURES IMPOSED ON THE OTHER PERSON such as feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work and keeping the house clean, etc. and to AVOID GENERALIZING PHRASES such as ‘you never’, you always’. How a couple fights matters more than how much they fight.

Here’s a fun fact! Men and women both turn to women for counsel, advice and for talking. Why? MEN AND WOMEN HAVE DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS ON INTIMACY! For women, it’s heart to heart conversations while men feel close when they are sitting beside each other. Get it? You might crave for a long conversation after playing video games with your husband but for him, playing is already your bonding!

Give proofs of love by DOING SMALL TREATS FOR YOUR SPOUSE. Often since we are always with our spouse, we tend to neglect or just take them for granted and one way to do that is to SPEND TIME ALONE TOGETHER and should HAVE AN OUTDOOR AND INDOOR GAME THEY PLAY TOGETHER. 

Also, she shared a marriage mantra — ‘I love ___, just as he is’. When you give up expecting a spouse to change, you lessen anger and resentment and that creates a more loving atmosphere in a marriage.

SEE THAT! I’m still in February and there’s so much insight and advice. ❤ Let me move on to March. KEEP READING.

MARCH (Aim Higher)

  • Launch a blog
  • Enjoy the fun of failure
  • Ask for help
  • Work smart
  • Enjoy now

Enthusiasm is more important to mastery than innate ability because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice. 

We seek to control our lives but the unfamiliar and the unexpected are important sources of happiness. It’s because an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think. 

LEARN NEW SKILLS. Challenges allows you to expand your self definition. The more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened. — which is so true by the way! Right? Imagine if you are a financial banker with a side hustle of being a teacher and running a bakeshop. When one fails, you still have the other two! A new identity brings you new people and new experiences.

In order to be successful, YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO ACCEPT MORE FAILURE. And to be more accustomed to this mindset, she kept telling herself ‘It’s fun to fail. It’s part of being ambitious. It’s part of being creative. IF SOMETHING IS WORTH DOING, IT’S WORTH DOING BADLY.  And in working smart, Gretchen noted that SMALL EFFORTS, MADE CONSISTENTLY, BROUGHT SIGNIFICANT RESULTS. 

APRIL  (Lighten Up)

  • Sing in the morning
  • Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
  • Be a treasure house of happy memories
  • Take time for projects

Lighten up by simply REFRAMING YOUR MIND and DECIDING that YOU ENJOY DOING IT, whatever it may be. Gretchen also dropped this phrase that really struck me and that is THE DAYS ARE LONG, BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT. Such a powerful phrase to remind us what matters.

To be a treasure house of happy memories, she practiced KEEPING PHOTOS and KEEPING FAMILY TRADITIONS. Traditions make occasions feel special and exciting. MAKE TIME FOR LITTLE PROJECTS as they reconnect us with sources of ‘feeling good’ that we’ve outgrown.

MAY (Be serious about Play)

  • Find more fun
  • Take time to be silly
  • Go off the path
  • Start a collection

I think the key work of her first resolution is ACTIVELY FIND MORE FUN. Why? because the absence of feeling bad isn’t enough to make you happy. Also, she stumbled upon this realization which I believe we should all contemplate on and that is just because something was fun for someone else doesn’t mean it’s fun for me. I think it’s more important to stop thinking what other people might think and to start being true to yourself. Gretchen suggested that when you do figure out what you find fun, FIND A GROUP OR A CLUB WHO LIKES THE SAME THINGS AS YOU DO. Why? because it makes people feel closer and brings a significant boost in personal confidence and happiness.

Look at those things that do have a beauty in your life and look at them more and more. 

TAKE TIME TO BE SILLY because there’s this emotional contagion where we unconsciously catch emotions from other people. GO OFF THE PATH by EXPANDING YOUR INTERESTS. Gretchen included a quote from Matthew Arnold, ‘All knowledge is interesting to a wise man’.

JUNE (Make time for Friends)

  • Remember birthdays
  • Be Generous
  • Show up
  • Don’t gossip
  • Make three new friends

The first part of the chapter, GR established that make time for friends is sometimes not literally just time. She imparted resolutions such as BE GENEROUS because according to studies, happiness is often boosted by providing support to other people than receiving one. And to be generous, she further broke it down to HELPING PEOPLE THINK BIG, BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER AND CUTTING PEOPLE SLACK. Words of enthusiasm and confidence from a friend can inspire one to tackle an ambitious goal. In bringing people together, some suggested to have a ‘Bring another friend’ dinner or in parties. To cut people some slack, we need to REMIND OURSELVES THAT PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE FAR MORE COMPLICATED THAN THEY APPEAR FROM THE OUTSIDE. A big part of friendship is  SHOWING UP. Based from her experience, she immediately set up dates to see her friends.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS will expand one’s world by providing an entrance to new interests, opportunities and experiences.  If you are not friendly, GH suggested some resolutions to make it easier such as ACT FRIENDLIER, act the way you want to feel. SMILE FREQUENTLY. A study showed that people tend to like people who they think likes them. This makes sense as I find it true for me. 😛 ACTIVELY INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION, CREATE A POSITIVE MOOD and OPEN A CONVERSATION. How? one suggested to learn something newsworthy on Google so you have something to talk about. LEARN TO SHOW INTEREST and ASK QUESTIONS about the other person.

JULY (Buy some Happiness)

  • Indulge in modest splurge
  • Buy needful things
  • Spend out
  • Give something up

Money, spent wisely, can support happiness goals of strengthening relationships, promoting health, having fun and all the rest. SPEND MONEY WHERE IT MATTERS TO YOU. Some examples of modest splurge are good knives, quality pillows or remodeling a certain part of the house or if you’re really into children lit, a complete set of Wizard of Oz. Also, she expounded that the MORE YOU HAVE, THE HAPPIER YOU’LL BE IS WRONG. Why? because according to GH, a constant stream of luxuries can take away the savor.

In Buying needful things, I learned that there are an underbuyer and overbuyer. I’m always the overbuyer. 😛 in some aspects I think. A research also proved what I thought and that is people think they like variety more than they do but if there are options and asked what they would choose, one always picks the same thing every time. 😛 Exactly me with clothes. 😛 In Spending out, USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Don’t wait for a special occasion to use something.

AUGUST (Contemplate the Heavens)

  • Read memoirs of catastrophe
  • Keep a gratitude notebook
  • Imitate a spiritual master

GH started with Philosopher Boethius saying ‘Contemplate the extent and stability of the heavens, and then at last cease to admire worthless things. THINK ABOUT DEATH, LIVE FULLY AND THANKFULLY IN THE PRESENT. As William Edward Lecky said, ‘There’s a time in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed”. This hits home!! GAHH.

SEPTEMBER (Pursue a passion)

  • Write a blog
  • Make time
  • Forget about results
  • Master a new technology

DO WHAT YOU DO. Whatever you enjoyed doing as a ten year old or something you choose to do on a Saturday Afternoon and MAKE TIME FOR IT and TREAT IT AS A PRIORITY. 

In forgetting about results, GH mentioned that what makes a passion enjoyable is that you don’t have to worry about the results. An atmosphere of growth brings great happiness but it sometimes comes when you’re free from the pressure to see much growth. ENJOY WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO DO.

OCTOBER (Pay Attention)

  • Meditate on koans
  • Examine True Rules
  • Stimulate mind in new ways
  • Keep a food diary

I was AMAZED by the KOANS! I didn’t know such existed!! Okay, to further elaborate, a Koan is a question or statement that can’t be understood logically. Aside from the koan, HEURISTICS! and GH actually shared some very valuable TRUE RULES that she has been observing such as My husband is my priority at all times, Get some work done every day, I know as much as most people, Try to attend a part that I’m invited to. Some people also shared, Always say hello. What would my mother do?, Things have a way of turning out for the best and People succeed in groups.

NOVEMBER (Keep a Contented Heart)

  • Laugh out loud
  • Use good manners
  • Give positive reviews
  • Find an area of refuge

FIND REASONS TO FIND THINGS FUNNY, LAUGH OUT LOUD AND APPRECIATE OTHER PEOPLE’S HUMOR. According to Tolstoy, ‘Nothing can make our life more beautiful than perpetual kindness’. 

DECEMBER (Boot Camp Perfect)

Even when a day was bad, it had bright spots. 

 

 

Who here has read the book? and for those who haven’t Have I convinced you enough? Honestly, we all have the time now and with what is happening in the world, we all need to ACTIVELY FIND AND OR DO WHAT MAKES US HAPPY. Right? So read this book. ❤ 

And if you happen to like this post, please spread some kindness and like this post, leave a comment and subscribe to my blog. ❤  

 

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Heart, I Hate you by J. Sterling


You could meet a thousand people and they’d all mean nothing to you. But then you’d meet that one and they suddenly meant everything.

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GOODREADS: I didn’t plan on him. Or for him. Or anything that had to do with Cal Donovan from Boston. Meeting him had been a complete and utter surprise, taking me one hundred percent off guard. I met new people every single day in my line of work and none of them affected me.

This is going to be brutally honest. – I absolutely did not like the book! There was no depth. I am definitely not a fan of Insta-love and I obviously do not believe in such. Maybe that’s why I hated this. If you’re looking for a growth in character then maybe this one is for you, how two workaholics who did not believe in love suddenly fell in love.

But no. I don’t get it. There’s no build up. No twists. No major setback. It was just an on-going and continuous LDR where the plot is fairly predictable. I did not fell in love with ANY of the characters. I did not feel the love or longing from both Cal and Jules.

Nothing. No emotion.

  • When did making yourself a priority become such a horrible thing?
  • Those lips. They’ll be my ruin.
  • It was heartbreaking when you recognize that moment when pieces of your reality turned into memories.
  • I’m not even all the way in and you already feel like home.
  • Her beauty rivaled her brain. She was a double threat.
  • Who we loved wasn’t always a choice. Sometimes it was an irresistible pull, a gravitational force, something we couldn’t see or control that drew us toward one another.

I’m utterly disappointed. I saw how one of my favorite authors, Coho praised this book. And that is exactly the reason why I gave this book a chance but my oh my… I was wrong.

BOOK REVIEW: Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto


What would you do if you married an immortal? 

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GOODREADS: Three years after her husband Max’s death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max, named Paolo. As outrageous as Paolo’s claims seem; how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he looked her up? Shelley desperately wants to know the truth.

I will not go into details because this book has so much surprises in the beginning, in the middle and a lot in the end. This book is out of this world and I’m not even exaggerating here. What I love about this book is that it has a lot of pocket of information about history and all sorts of everything! And when I mean history, it’s not even boring because it was recounted in a story telling way and that is the absolute secret. ❤ I love how the history is conveyed. Well that, and that Samantha Sotto transports you to Europe.

  • Nothing was lonelier than the limping beat of half a heart
  • It was exactly what she needed – a chance to postpone reality.
  • No one is inconsequential. We change at least one person’s life just by being born.
  • That scene: Whatever you see, Whatever you hear, do not move. You will grow up. You will grow old. And when you do, Remember me.
  • If we accept time for what it is, how it flows and how we flow with it, I doubt very much we would continue wasting loads of it by constantly checking our watches. Where we are now is a lifetime’s worth of steps have taken us.
  • How could coming home make things worse? You can’t return to a place that no longer exists.
  • Jonathan: When you get to be my age, you would hope that there wouldn’t be much left to cross off. Now, Afternoon tea, quiet walks, rainy mornings – nothing I haven’t done before, but everything I need to do now with my Rose as many times as I can, while I can. ❤ ❤ ❤
  • Life is a strong drink served in an extremely short and fragile shot glass.
  • Ghosts are the people who left invisible bruises on you – faces you tried your best to forget and believed you had. But it wasn’t the ghosts themselves that were scary. It was how they haunted you with old secrets.
  • Most mornings bring small miracles. They wash away shadows and chase away ghosts.

Definitely recommending this one. ❤

BOOK REVIEW: Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover


GOODREADS: What is more important? Friendship, loyalty or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge and Sydney.
And Maggie.
And Warren and Bridgette.

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This should be read after Maybe Someday and Maybe Not. I loved love love Maybe Someday although I did not particularly like Maybe Not.

Now, this book Maybe Now did not resonate to me so much. Maybe because I expected more romance (just like Maybe Someday) and other might argue that this book is very cheesy. But in my opinion, the book focuses more on the importance of loyalty, kindness, understanding and friendships.

Although it lacked romance for me, I still applaud the character of Sydney. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever have the decency and maturity to allow my boyfriend take care of his ex girlfriend – in ANY scenario. I don’t care if it seems immature, but no – I won’t allow it.

But I do liked that I get to follow through the story of Ridge and Sydney and how they overcome their history of emotional cheating and communication barrier. And just like Warren and Bridgette, we also see them in this book, following Maybe Not and how their very sexual relationship progress to something more meaningful and ending up in marriage. ❤

This book is more focused on Maggie and her story revolving on her bucket list, her sickness and her new love interest – Jake. And by the way? I love Justice! What a witty, straight forward kid. Haha.

  • People need to put themselves first sometimes. If you aren’t living your best life for yourself, you can’t be your best self for those in your life.
  • Even if the rest of our lives were predictable, I’d never get tired of you. You make routine something I look forward too.
  • But sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing.
  • I forgot how stupefying attraction can be.
  • Sometimes caring about someone means saying things you don’t want to say, but that need to be said.
  • We shouldn’t revolve our lives around their possible endings. We should revolve our lives around the experiences that lead to the endings.
  • No one is the best version of themselves all the time.
  • The Brain and Heart Theory – how they are both detrimental to each other.
  • As a father, I’ve learned to take what I can get while I an get it, because none of the phases a child goes through last forever.
  • It’s the small things people do for others that define the largest parts of them.
  • PROPOSAL: just say WHEN. — When.
  • Our Maybe Someday just became our Absolutely Forever.

BOOK REVIEW: Unwritten Letters to You by T.B Laberge


GOODREADS: Unwritten Letters to You is a collection of writings ranging from heartbreak to longing for love. Within each page comes the words that are often so hard to speak, and with each chapter you will find that blood can be turned to ink.

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WOW. JUST WOW. Everything you may have been feeling? It’s in here. I am happily married but I can also easily relate to the words of a person who has been left behind, cheated on or in the personality of someone who is searching for a person to love.

  • I’m still looking for that smile, that wink, or maybe it’ll just be a sigh that will set my world on fire. Whatever it is, I’m still looking for it.
  • I fear that I will love someone that will always be the wind to my sails, pushing me on but never staying.
  • What if? What if my love and desire for you broke through the doubts that cling to me? What if I chose to love you even in the prospect of the unknown?
  • I wanted to be a forever, but I was only a moment.
  • You were alive before they came around, so don’t let them stop you from living again. Just because they didn’t want you doesn’t mean you are unwanted. Just because they didn’t want forever with you, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a forever. Just because love wasn’t written for you both doesn’t mean your life is written with any less love.
  • You are more than the marks left on your soul, more than the tears of a broken heart, you are a soul that is eternal.
  • You must not reduce yourself to a puddle just because the person you like is afraid to swim and you are a fierce sea to them. Because there will be someone who was born with love of the waves within their blood, and they will look at you with fear and respect.
  • Love is saying I do, even when you feel like you don’t.
  • If you are happy, then I’m happy. If you’re sad, then I’m sad. Because it’s not about whether or not I fix you. It’s about me, being here and sharing the weight of these moments with you. I fight beside you, because that is love. It’s sharing the struggles, the joys and love we have. It’s about walking this life together and I want you there for as long as possible.

Damn, is he good with words! You can feel the passion, love, longing and sadness with every word he’s written. A must read!

BOOK REVIEW: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow


GOODREADS: Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Honestly, it took me longer than I expected. It’s not a light read and to put it out there, this book and the story can be a trigger for those with history of self harm, depressed or any suicidal thoughts.

Spoiler Alert? At seventeen years old, Charlie wakes up in Creeley, a rehab center for women who self-harm. Her father committed suicide by drowning himself, her mother gave up on her, her best friend, a fellow cutter is brain dead, she lived on the street, got sold for sex and her only friend who she likes only wanted to be friends.

I learned that talking really helps and it goes both ways. It’s important to talk to someone. Don’t keep whatever hatred or tension or sadness pent up. Lend an ear. Offer to listen to. People around you may be struggling too. Always be kind, a little kindness goes a long way. We never really know what battles other people are fighting everyday.

This is also the reason why I feel like I need to highlight Michael, Ariel, Linus and Felix. They are such a ray of sunshine in Charlie’s recovery. It’s nice how Mikey offered to help right off the bat, after not being in touch for so long. The lives of Michael and Linus also showed hope that things do get better and people get better. Michael has been sober and is living his best life. He realized he was tired of all the nonsense. Ariel! She’s what everyone needs! A mother figure to knock some sense in all of us. Don’t you think? Linus also told Charlie that she still struggles all the time and that sometimes, she just needs to wait it out. Felix, on the other hand has been helping Charlie on keeping busy and helping her translate all her feelings into paper.

Just one bit about Riley though – I loved his gift. You know how you need not tell the person what you like because he sees you? He watches you and knows what you want, what’s important to you and all? Like how Riley gave her this art book because he saw how her eyes sparkled when she was looking at this particular book.

I’m also happy with the way things ended. It should not always be a happy love story. It’s nice that Charlie is getting her shit together and that she did not llet Riley’s on stage performance affect her progress. And Oh! I also need to discuss Blue’s significant part on Charlie’s recovery. She was consistently there for her, making her feel at home, having someone to come home to, to talk to after work, someone who actually wants to be with you and appreciates your company – and I must say, it’s such a huge impact on Charlie’s confidence and mental health.

It’s not an easy read because it was so raw and honest. The author clearly depicts how the mind of a cutter runs. It’s so sad and I felt so lonely in some parts of the book. It tackles about hope, loneliness, self-harm and belonging – which everyone can relate to. This book opens you to a whole new world of understanding.

It’s such a help. Reading this book tells you that you are not alone and it’s so good to know that other people are experiencing this too, and maybe, just sometimes – that is enough, to know that someone else is feeling those too.

  • I’m so lonely in the world I want to peel all of my flesh off and walk, just bone and gristle.
  • I cut because I cut. It’s as simple as that. I need release. I need to hurt myself more than the world can hurt me, and then I can comfort myself. Hurting yourself makes you feel better. That somehow you can rid yourself of pain by causing yourself pain.
  • You don’t know what it feels like to every day, every fucking day, be so lonely that this black hole inside is going to swallow you down.
  • The moral of the story Charlie is this, don’t let the cereal eat you. It’s only a fucking box of cereal, but it will eat you alive if you let it.
  • You own all of yourself, Charlie. Every last bit.
  • Everything and everybody that’s busted can be fixed.
  • The world hurts enough. Why fucking chase it down?
  • Sometimes you have to let stuff go if you want to move forward, you know?
  • How can you live in fear of your very self?
  • Stuff happens. You just gotta keep on truckin.
  • Everybody you meet is like a little mirror of you.
  • Cutting is a fence you build upon your own body to keep people out but then you cry to be touched. But the fence is barbed. What then?
  • You be you, Charlie. You be you.
  • We have to choose who we want to be, not let the situation choose us.

BOOK REVIEW: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon


GOODREADS: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. My family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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Do not mistake me for being a realist or cold hearted. I’m not. I like reading love stories and happy endings. BUT christ, SPARE ME LOVE AT FIRST SIGHTS or INSTALOVE. Who believes in those shit? You meet a stalker and you let him hold you in the hand, not even an hour after bumping into the guy? Jeez. Call it attraction instead! Now that! – that’s possible! Lust too. You don’t just decide to spend the whole day and let that person tag a long.

But that’s not love! Love is knowing the person inside and out, loving all the flaws, all the horrible things and dark secrets the other person has – something you’ll discover, observe and experience through time. It’s not answering questions all day, having conversations with a stranger and trusting your whole life with that person so quickly!

We all have moments! The feeling of endorphins rising up, the feeling of excitement in getting to know someone, the jitters of ‘new’ love. but moments? moments pass. That’s not love.

How about the character of Natasha? Now her – she’s cold-hearted and so unattached with everything, every emotion and everyone else. She doesn’t believe in anything or anyone except Science. She relies on science to explain everything that’s been happening around her.

And Daniel? Gad. Sure, he is sweet and says all the right things a guy can say at the right time. But don’t you think he’s too much? He’s too emotional and passionate and he practically associates everything with fate and heart and feelings. HAHA. probably exactly how a poet should be characterized. But I wouldn’t want to date someone like him.

And let me just mention the Atty. He actually thinks he met Hannah too late? WHO DOES THAT? If you fuckin love your wife and kids, where would you even find the time to fall in love with someone else? What does he mean by he met hannah too late? Does it mean he regrets his life with his family? WHY? WHY? Stupid men who thinks they have multiple hearts, thinking they can love several women at the same time. just, assholes. Why don’t you just spend the time nurturing your relationship with your family? Make yourself deserving of your family!

What I do liked about this book is that there are snippets of chapters where you learn about trivial things such as Why Korean – American families typically own Black Hair Care stores in New York, Dark Matter, the grandfather paradox, the theory of multiverses and Scientific experiments too.

PLUS, Daniel’s monologue when he finally told Natasha that the Atty couldn’t do anything? It’s the best!

The book also tackles the struggles and the issues of undocumented immigrants, broken dreams, cultural diversions, parent’s expectations, hope, fate and relationships between family members.

  • COPACETIC – in excellent order
  • MUTABLE – liable to change
  • ERUDITE – showing great knowledge
  • Where did all those feelings go? People spend their whole lives looking for love. But how can you trust somethings that can end as suddenly as it begins?
  • All your future histories can be destroyed in a single moment.
  • Are we really supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives?
  • Sometimes the truth can hurt more than you expect.
  • She smiles so big that I know that whatever happens will be worth it.
  • Who are we if not a product of our parents and their histories?
  • It’s not up to you to help other people fit you into a box.
  • Growing up and seeing your parent’s flaws is like losing your religion.
  • You are never out of options.
  • We think we want all the time in the world with the people we love, but maybe what we need is the opposite. Just a finite amount of time, so we still think the other person is interesting.
  • Some people exist in your life to make it better. Some people exist to make it worse.
  • They have a sense that the length of a day is mutable, and you can never see the end from the beginning. They have a sense that love changes all things all the time.

Overall, story narration is ‘kay. I like reading short chapters too. I just didn’t like the wholeness of the story. I would not recommend reading this book but I’d give Nicola Yoon another chance. I’m open to reading Everything, Everything. ❤

BOOK REVIEW : Take the Lead by Betsy Myers


GOODREADS: “Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality certain people have that causes those around them to engage fully and feel connected?”

SEVEN CORE IDEAS

  • We all skin our knees. What count is how we pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes and move forward.

  1. AUTHENTICITY
  • People who are authentic don’t feel the need to exaggerate their story to make themselves look better, or treat others poorly so they come out in top. People begin to be leaders at that moment when decide for themselves how to be.
  • Genuine leadership is what emerges when we are fully and freely ourselves.
  • People trust us when we are genuine – when we show up, not as who we think we should be, not who our parents and teachers, colleagues and bosses say we should be, but as who we really are.
  • We are each born with our own internal compass, an innate sense that tells us if the direction we’re heading feels right. The most important feedback is that which comes from ourselves. Part of living an authentic life is learning to trust that internal compass.
  • It is the duty of a leader to ensure that people are in the right seats – and on the right bus.
  • We continue discovering new things about ourselves throughout our lives and careers, and sometimes a situation that felt right for us at one point starts feeling like it’s no longer a fit. Sometimes we need to be open to a change in plans and give ourselves permission to change direction.
  • We each have the power to determine or change our roles in both our personal and professional lives.

2. CONNECTION

  • Sometimes when people are unhappy at work, it’s because they are in an environment where they don’t feel connected. They don’t feel they belong there, that their contribution matters or that they are valued as part of the team.
  • No matter how good you are at your work, if you don’t have good relationships with your colleagues, it may not have the impact or support it should.
  • Conversations are opportunities to learn more about the person, share something about yourselves and discover things we may have in common.
  • A shared sense of story brings about a shared sense of purpose, and it is from there that the force for a true movement is born.
  • We walk through so many other people’s lives and often don’t know the lasting impact we have.
  • The two keys for genuine conversation are the curiosity to ask questions about the other person and the generosity to share something about yourself.
  • Look for opportunities for people to meet informally, share personal stories and build relationships.

3. RESPECT

  • Making the effort to notice – opening your eyes and seeing the people around you, taking the time to talk with them and become conscious of what’s going on in their lives.
  • People want to feel that their voice matters. Effective leadership takes the time and care to listen and make sure people feel truly heard.
  • Respect means being willing to listen and let others have their voice, even when it might be inconvenient, difficult or painful to do so. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with another’s decision. It simply means being willing to listen & appreciate people for their unique perspective.
  • You have to listen and gain their trust before you can even have a conversation. You can disagree honorably once you have trust in the relationship.
  • Sometimes sharing an observation or a bit of feedback can be tremendously helpful.
  • The way we communicate and frame an issue and our awareness of the timing and context, can make all the difference in how we are heard and what results we get.
  • It’s not about ego and it’s not about who had the idea in the first place, it’s thinking strategically about who is the best person to get the job done.

4. CLARITY

  • Every organization must have a larger purpose and part of any leader’s success is the ability to communicate that purpose with vivid clarity so that it can be passed from person to person within the organization.
  • As important as what we did were the things we chose not to do
  • Less is more: instead of trying to do a bunch of different things everyday, do one thing at a time.
  • What makes a leader effective is the ability to help people become clear about which tasks are essential to the goal.
  • Informed people feel secure. People will pull together, if they all understand what’s going on and what’s at stake.
  • The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right.
  • It is easy to make assumptions about other people’s expectations, about what matters to them or what makes them feel appreciated. The only reliable way to gain that clarity is to ask.
  • Leadership is not about having all the answers, it is about asking the questions. The clarity comes from listening to the people in the field.

5. COLLABORATION

  • Effective leadership is about inclusion. People feel they are integral part of the larger process.
  • An effective leader then clearly communicates that decision is out to the troops, including what the decision is, why it was made, and what it means to the organization and to each individual involved.
  • A key ingredient in creating true collaboration is becoming aware of our assumptions and learning to challenge them.
  • If you aren’t willing to hear another point of view, how do you grow?

6. LEARNING

  • My curiosity fueled my life long learning.
  • The capacity to engage others – which is all about listening. Second, hard work and discipline and determination to keep at it and keep showing up.
  • Leaders learn is to get outside the bubble of their own experience or comfort zone and discover what is happening in the lives of people around them.
  • Effective leaders believe that their people have valuable perspective, insights and information.
  • Every leader should be willing to sit down with his team and ask them, what are we doing right? what are we doing wrong? what behaviors need to change?

7. COURAGE

  • Leaders are not necessarily fearless, but they are people who have learned how to confront and push through their fears.
  • Courage is about pushing through our fears.
  • We gain strength, and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot.
  • It is when we push through our fear t stretch and grow that we gain confidence.
  • The greatest act of courage is to follow your heart and do the right thing even if it isn’t popular.
  • Sometimes you have to make decisions not everyone is going to be comfortable with. You have to focus on what you are trying to accomplish, with as much respect and care as you can for everyone involve. But you can’t let that stop you from what needs to be done. Leadership takes courage – but courage without being reckless.
  • Courage is a matter of speaking up and giving voice to an uncomfortable truth.
  • Often, once you summon the courage to take this step, it turns out to open up wonderful new possibilities that otherwise might have remained closed or hidden.

BOOK REVIEW : The Wives by Tarryn Fisher


GOODREADS: Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him. But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.

HOLY SHIT. If you are looking for something like Gone Girl, this is it. It’s on some next level shit. I couldn’t put it down. Once I’ve decided to take a rest from reading, the end of the chapter just reels you back in.

The plot twists is mind blowing! like, HOW? I started this book with pity for Thursday for being stuck in a polygamist marriage then I moved on to annoyance of how she ever willingly said yes to this agreement and somehow understanding of how it turned her to be a stalker and quite obsessed with the other wives.

But then, here comes Seth with his charming antics and very sweet gestures only to be lured to his other personality as what Thursday believed him to be, – a man living with so much lies with a temper. Throw in a bitter ex-wife with her four inch heels, a successful job and a poise and class to match, a practiced liar and an opportunist, who finds herself in a situation to take revenge on the slut that ruined her marriage.

  • That’s how women are, right? Always wondering about each other – curiosity and spite curdling together in little emotional puddles. If you wonder too hard, you’ll get everything wrong.
  • No one tries that hard to keep their husband unless they’ve already lost him.
  • The truth is that the heart’s desire is a mere current against the tide of nurture and nature. You can spend your whole life swimming against it and eventually you’ll get tired and the current of genes and upbringing will put you under.
  • You don’t have to give up something you love just because other people disapprove.
  • That’s what love is about right? Working with what your partner came with.
  • A relationship can withstand almost any trial if the sex was good.
  • It’s amazing how once you open a door for something, there’s o going back. All you can do is brace yourself as you get sucked in.
  • We’re all just waiting for someone to stand behind us, aren’t we? Even if it’s just one person, it gives you strength.
  • I was overcame with love – pressing, pressing, pressing my feelings down to accommodate him. Isn’t that what we do as women?
  • Women are stuck in a cycle of insecurity perpetuated by the way men treat them and we are constantly fighting to prove to them our value.
  • We see each other often, but no one really knows what’s happening behind everyone’s eyes.
  • We busy ourselves trying not to be lonely, trying to find purpose in careers, and lovers and children, but any moment, those feelings we work so hard to possess could easily be taken from us.

This is all so confusing! There’s way too many plot twist and mind games! I LOVE THE BOOK. This reminds me of Verity by CHoover. ❤ ❤

BOOK REVIEW : Risk to Succeed by Ricky Cohen (Essential Lessons for Discovering your Unique Talents & Finding Success)


GOODREADS: From Ricky Cohen, educator, entrepreneur, and renowned CEO of The Conway Organization, comes an inspiring new business parable for our unprecedented times. It is the story of a young elephant named Bella who is not content to move with the herd. She longs to venture out on her own. Searching. Exploring. Making her way in the world. Soon she forms an unlikely friendship with a colorful butterfly named Cee, who teaches Bella the importance of taking risks and other essential lessons–timeless “laws of the jungle” that you can apply to every aspect of your life:

Absolutely no idea that this book is a parable!! And okay, first I thought it’s going to be boring. I don’t have anything against an elephant but really? An elephant and a butterfly? C’mon! Right? But to my surprise, I finished the book in 2 hours! (But hey, even if it was only 105 pages in total, still!)

  • The power of the mind has replaced physical strength and is quickly replacing natural resources as the world’s currency – the most resilient tool to ensure influence and success.
  • Your will establishes your reality. A will-driven reality will be even greater than the dream within which it was conceived.

THE FOUNDATION

  1. Commitment – The noteworthy things in life demands an ever growing, reative and intense commitment.
  2. ‘I come first’ – Life is about putting yourself first and putting your overwhelming efforts into, and your focus on, your well being and success.. When you have a true love of self and focus primarily on your own needs, you will have greater ability to give to others.
  3. The world was created for me – Empowering yourself wth this perspective each morning will provide you with a competitive advantage over those around you.
  4. I am unconditionally great – Whether you accomplish heroically or minimally, whether you excel as a student or business person or are somewhat average – or even if you fail, you are unconditionally great. I am great, simply because I am. Greatness doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean an unparalleled and extraordinary existence.

THE PARABLE

  • Life begins with courage. The courage to question and the courage to look inside – are the first steps to reveal your unique place in the jungle.
  • Life’s direction comes when you reveal your passion, acknowledge your strengths and understand your needs.
  • We must bring on the new day and all of its opportunities. We don’t wait for the day to come upon us.

REVEALING YOUR PASSION

  1. If you could choose to pursue any career at all, what would it be? If you didn’t have to worry about what anyone expected of you? If you were guaranteed all the food and protection you would ever need? If you could venture to a place no one has before or do what no one has, what would you choose to do?
  2. When you imagine yourself living true to your passion, how does that make you feel? Are you inspired? Do you feel empowered, proud and energized? Are you afraid to fail and at the same time, afraid you may succeed?
  3. The Mirror Test – Describe your desired path in front of a mirror and describe how a day in that life would look and feel. Watch intently on your tone, body and facial expression.
  4. What would make you excited to get up in the morning, have you impatien to begin your day? What would raise your spirit if there was no one to please, no demands, no worries?

ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR STRENGTHS

  1. Identify your natural strengths, the skills that come easily to you and may not come as easily to others.
  2. You’ve been given certain strengths, natural skills, and capabilities to enable your true interests to be realized.

IDENTIFYING YOUR NEEDS

  1. You must listen to the voices inside of you and describe the environment that words best for you.
  2. Are there certain situations you will avoid at all costs and others you look forward to attempting?

SEE AND KNOW

  • Reaching intellectually and emotionally stretching your mind and imagination, allows you to see and understand things that you’ve never envisioned before.
  • Taking risks enables life’s journey and possibilities. At times, you will be afraid at the point of crying. Fairly often, you will doubt all that you had begun to do and be angry at those who encouraged you. When this happens, don’t get discouraged. Know that you are on the right course and that you have begun to build your life. If you fail, If you can’t reach or stretch – if you can’ create the tensions, fear and anxiety of growth in your life – you will shut the door to the best opportunities of your life.
  • Many beings spend their lifetimes all over this planer having never truly succeeded, having never ventured beyond themselves to become themselves.
  • True hell is about watching what was – versus what could have been – with no ability to change it.

EXECUTE

  • Put together a timeline of success – an action plan that lists in detail your immediate goals.
  • Connect with a success partner – someone who understands you well, be your mentor and your conscience.
  • Dedicate at least five hours a week to living what you want most. Life will reward your courage and perseverance an the balance will shift in the direction of what you were truly built to do.

SHED AND SAVE

  • Code of Liberation – When you fail, forgive yourself quickly. Shed the pain and the guilt attached to the failure, shed the experience from your mind, and save the lessons to use in building something greater than before.
  • Fail in front of all whom you love and become free. A public figure forces you to stand unprotected, in front of every creature and to understand that the only thing to be afraid of in life is the failure to try, not the failure of trying.

LEARN TO LEARN

  • Learn to anticipate bumps and shifts in the direction of things. The nly way to do that is to constantly learn and grow through new ideas. You must read things that challenge and expand all that you know.
  • When you learn something new everyday, you’ll be open, wondrous, curious. You’ll be where you need to be when a curve ball comes your way.

JUSTICE

  • A creature must reach out, find other creatures in pain and do something to help remove that pain.
  • It’s essential in life to find a way to give to others and the one who benefits most is the giver. You must be involved in something outside your career that will enrich he lives of others. The more you give to others, the more you give to yourself.

CEE THE BUTTERFLY

  • Believe in life, always. Life is overwhelmingly goood. It is overwhelmingly kind and generous. Be thrilled about what life has given to you and confident about what it has in store for you.
  • Smile. There will be tears in life but try to smile your way through your tears whenever you can.
  • Retire Never. Never stop challenging life in each of the key areas. Life is about living, not retiring. Never stop expressing your uniqueness. Never stop revealing your excellence and chasing it – whatever it is and wherever it takes you. Live fully and intensely – until you die.

 

Basically, cee accompanies bella through her self discovery and teaching her basic life lessons along the way. There’s way too many things we can learn from cee the butterfly and I’m glad I didn’t close the book just yet at the start of the parable.

I just hope I can learn and put this to practice!

BOOK REVIEW : Normal People by Sally Rooney


GOODREADS: At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. 

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Reading the book was quite exhausting. The love story of Marianne and Connell was tiring but the book carefully dissects the character of both. Communication in a world full of judgement and people acting cool and the contest between who can care less and invests no feelings in the relationship is lonely. Both of them obviously have feelings toward another but not being able to tell it directly makes them go in continuous circle.

Both characters have complex personalities but the way they think is so raw and real and exactly what happens every single day. But as you continue to read the book, you’ll watch how the characters develop and learn more about themselves, embrace them and finally be comfortable in their own skin (without having to think about what other people would think)

  • Don’t delude yourself. I have nothing to learn from you.
  • Everyone has to pretend not to notice that their social lives are arranged hierarchically, with certain people at the top, some jostling at mid-level, and others lower down.
  • ‘People in school don’t lie her, do they? So I suppose you were afraid of what they would say about you, if they found out.’
  • It’s easy for them to have opinions, and to express them with confidence. They don’t worry about appearing ignorant or conceited.
  • He knew then that the secret for which he had sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness f another person had been trivial all along, and worthless. He and Marianne could have walked down the school corridors hand in hand, and with what consequence? Nothing really. No one cared.
  • I suppose I didn’t want you to think I was damaged or something.
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
  • Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable?
  • Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head.
  • She feels pleasurably crushed under the weight of his power over her, the vast ecstatic depth of her will to please him.
  • She is an abyss that he can reach into, an empty space for him to fill.
  • I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I cared what people thought of me.

What they have now, they can never have back again.. But for her the pain of  loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks really. People can really change one another.

‘You should go’. she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.

BOOK REVIEW : Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


GOODREADS: Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge. KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend. LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it. MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him. None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

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Three individuals with absolutely different personalities, status, friends and life comes together to plot a revenge. And if you’re in High School and hated the cool crowd wanting revenge, then this is for you. Although revenge is not encouraged, I understand where all the girls are coming from. However, I feel so bad for those on the receiving end. I think, they all just need communication. (well, for Alex). The book gives us 3 POV too. The writing is cohesive unlike what I have expected when there are 2 authors.

 

Honestly, I wasn’t inclined to finish the book. The story did not resonate to me so much that I’d feel the need to follow the lives of these three girls. But of all the three, I think I’m more of a Lilia. I was quite disappointed though. I love her Summer Trilogy and is still one of my favorites so I had pretty high expectation. I think I would have enjoyed this if it were a movie, not a book.