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Too Much Clutter? This Book Will Help You Get Organized!

When there is a clean surface, it is easy to make it become cluttered. “I’ll just put this away later,” you’ll think to yourself, but then later never comes. Clutter is like misery, it enjoys company, and pretty soon that clean surface has suddenly become a huge mess. Clutter is ultimately a sign of disorder. It robs everyone of time, cleanliness, and ultimately happiness.

Marie Kondo has written a book entitled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that offers a profound message. By simplifying, organizing, and storing proactively, you can eliminate clutter very effectively.

Much of the advice to avoid clutter involves one of three basic commitments. Have you been told to de-clutter your life by one of these methods in the past?

  1. Every time you enter a room, make sure to put one thing away.
  2. Always remove the clutter from a surface you have cleaned to avoid more clutter.
  3. Throw things away that do not have any value to them.

The problem is that these methods might help to remove the clutter from one room, but you’ll only have one room clean. The clutter will cycle from room to room, leaving you in an endless cycle of misery. Kondo changes the dynamic with this book by adjusting the perspective. Instead of looking at each room of the home, look at each category of clutter.

Your job isn’t to keep picking away at the piles of clutter that you have in an endless loop of time. Your job is to focus on one type of clutter, organize it, and then keep it organized. If you have paperwork for your business strewn about, take the time to file it and then file each additional bit of paperwork that comes your way. Once you’ve organized one category, you move onto the next category.

What Kondo suggests in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really does work. Every client she has taken on is improving the clutter in their life. She claims a 0% lapse rate. In this book, she’s also ready to help you.

This book is ultimately about finding joy in the simple things of life. It’s all about the perspective of things. Are you keeping your socks all bundled up and tight, afraid of what lies ahead? Or are you keeping your socks folded and free, ready to happily embrace the changes that may be headed your way? When you care for your things, they’ll last longer and this will have more meaning to you.

The only problem is that we often care for things that have no meaning to us. There are things that we keep that don’t make us happy. These are the things that we must discard in order to choose happiness. Money won’t buy this happiness for us. It is a focus on real joy that can only come from being able to care for those things that hold the most meaning.

Initially intended for a Japanese audience, the zen of being free of clutter can apply to us all. There is a lot of good to take out of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Grab your copy today and choose happiness.

Book Review: The Slight Edge

 

Have you ever noticed how some people tend to always succeed and some tend to always fail? In the new book by Jeff Olson called The Slight Edge, the author puts forth one simple concept: being disciplined is all it takes to generate happiness and success. Instead of focusing on boosting self-confidence or trying to find a shortcut to happiness, the author encourages readers to utilize the tools they already have at home to embrace the simple disciplines that can lead to success.

It’s really about finding a new way to think about life, but it really doesn’t seem like a new perspective once you add a slight edge to the process.

The 8th Edition of The Slight Edge Is Just As Profound As the First

Besides the time you spend sleeping, what is the one thing that you generally do almost every day? For many workers, the answer to that question is commuting. The average worker in the United States spends up to 350 hours in their vehicle, driving to or from work. If you aren’t going to work, then you could be driving to the store, taking a day trip, or going to a favorite restaurant.

What do you listen to when you’re driving? Music? Talk radio?

As Olson says, if you spent that time listening to self-help topics, educational discussions, or instructional audio books, you’d have the equivalent of a PhD in your preferred subject in just a few years with just one simple tweak to your daily routine. That’s the epitome of achieving the slight edge in life: you might not get a paper degree from this effort, but you’ll get practical knowledge that can help you visualize greater life success.

Being Productive and Being Busy Are Not Equal

The greatest trap there is in life today is the equation that being busy means that one is also being productive. According to the author, that simply isn’t true. It’s so untrue, in fact, that most people spend more time being busy instead of being productive and never even realize it! Every task you take on should be something that helps you to achieve one of your overall goals. Even if it is just doing some laundry or you need to clean your home, you can make that time productive by putting on some headphones to listen to some educational materials.

The second greatest trap in life is that good things only come from immediate results. More success comes from hard work and patience rather than from good luck, which means it is important to create an environment around yourself that allows you to be consistently working toward your goals. An expectation of immediate gratification creates a high probability of failure and that’s why so many people just give up.

You don’t have to give up. You’ve got the tools around you that can help you make the smallest of changes. When you get your hands on these tools and use them, you can find the largest successes! That’s what The Slight Edge will help you do and that’s why it is consistently and highly recommended!

 

If you read one book this year, make sure it is this one.

Book Review: 4-Hour Work Week

Most people in civilized society follow the same typical path of graduating college, finding a job, and keeping that job while working the usual nine-to-five shift until retirement in old age. This lifestyle causes stress in a lot of people and prevents many of those workers from fulfilling themselves in life. However, because to most it is the only way to make a living and contribute to society, many choose this past because they see no other. But one author has found the way to get out of that monotonous routine and has found a way to make the same amount of money working a four hour week as he would working a forty hour week. The book entitled “The 4-hour Work Week” details Timothy Ferriss’ strategy for escaping the same cyclic lifestyle that society molds and thriving in a care-free lifestyle in which you can make your own choices and make money at the same time.

Timothy Ferris is an entrepreneur, author, and a master of many skills. He has been featured in various magazines and media outlets, and has written several best selling books. He holds a Guinness World Record, runs a multi-national firm, and speaks six languages. He has written “The 4-Hour Work Week” to describe his secrets to success and to share his secrets with anyone who wishes to break away from the cycle of life laid before them. The book is over four hundred pages and provides a guide to a life of luxury without the stress of having a job that you don’t want to have. The book encourages readers to follow their dreams and to seek what will make them fulfilled in life, all without having to lose the means to financially support themselves. In essence, it teaches how to work only four hours a week and make as much money as people working ten times more.

The book details how the author when from earning $40,000 a year working eighty hours a week to making the same amount of money working only four hours a week. Ferris includes tips on how to “outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want,” “how blue chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs,” and “how to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist,” among many other things. The book has earned rave reviews and has appeared on several best sellers lists. Many have read the book and experienced a great change in their lives.

In a way, the book relies mainly on the appeal of what it promises, which is a fun life free of worries, and a way to make money. The author encourages morally ambiguous practices to achieve this goal. Ultimately, a lot of what is described in the book isn’t new or life changing information, but it does provide the boost that many people need to take the next step forward in life. The philosophy of the book focuses mainly on how to reap the most benefits while putting in the least work. Those who believe in this philosophy will benefit the most from this book.

Book Review: Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose is part candid memoir and part fascinating business book written by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh describing his remarkable journey in the business world and the lessons that he learned along the way. He writes about his rapid and unorthodox ascent from Harvard grad to becoming the CEO of a very successful online shoe and apparel company. The first half of the book reads like an autobiography while the second half of the book discusses his unusual business practices and his philosophy to customer service and company culture. Here is what I like about this book.

1. This book is funny, and easy to read.

I found myself laughing out loud many times when I was reading the first section of the book, which gives details on Tony’s entrepreneur adventures from his childhood, college years, to his association with Zappos. His writing style is informal, down to earth, and entertaining. It almost felt like he is in the room telling me his stories in person.

2. This book is filled with useful business tips.

The second section of the book is about what Zappos is and how they became the largest online shoe store. Tony and his team did a good job collaborating this section by using past company e-mail, personal narratives, and real life examples to illustrate how they came to focus on: customer service, culture/core values, and employee training and development. Check out Zappos’s core values (page 155-190). My favorite one is: Deliver WOW Through Service.

3. This book has a thought provoking take-home message.

The third section of the book details how Zappos got acquired by Amazon in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion in 2009 and how they came to this vision statement: Zappos is about delivering happiness to the world (page 230). The take-home message for me is: the lasting happiness is closely linked with a higher purpose. In pursuing a higher purpose, we will bring happiness to ourselves and to others.

Delivering Happiness is one of those books that challenges conventional wisdom about business and life. I highly recommend this insightful book to anyone who wants to make a profit while living their purpose.

Book Review: Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Most of us wake up every day with a definite plan in mind about what we need to accomplish before we head back to bed at night. For most, that means heading off to a job that we may not necessarily love, but which we need for a variety of different reasons. We basically become driven by a daily routine that is developed in order to achieve our goals. If you asked the average person what it was that made them follow their routine in such a devoted manner, most would point to the quest for money and the pursuit of happiness in general, but is that the real reason so many of us are driven to get out and work every day?

That is the question that Daniel H. Pink tackles in his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Mr. Pink takes the results of more than four decades of research into human behavior to argue that perhaps it’s a little too easy to suggest that everyone is simply in it for the money. Before getting to the meat of the book, it’s important to understand that just because Pink has drawn from that research that he has created a hefty tome that will be impossible to wade through. Drive comes in at a trim 250 pages, but at no point does it feel that the author skimped on the information in order to make the book a “light read.”

The basic premise of Drive is that the average human is not as driven by money and the quest for success as many would have you think. Pink believes that, deep down, people are more driven by the need to be in control of your own life, which includes having the freedom to continually learn and create new things that show off what we have to offer. The author feels that the way in which the business world works tend to run counter to those feelings, which is why we may have adopted the race for money as the ultimate driving force.

Pink sets out to show that the business world may actually be coming round to the other way of thinking. In the book, he cites Google as an example of one company that encourages its people to be creative, even if that means them doing something other than what they were specifically hired to do. The results seem to speak for themselves, with the people at those types of companies generally happier than most and feeling as though they have a purpose in life.

Drive doesn’t just take the time to explain where our true motivation may lie, but also shows the steps that we can take to get off the money carousel and jump on a ride that will make each of our lives more fulfilling. Taking the time to read Drive might not necessarily change your life forever, but it will certainly make you question what it is that makes you get out of bed every day.

Book Review: Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

In her new book “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking“, Susan Cain, a distinguished author, talks about introversion and extroversion and why they are both unique in themselves. In this book you will discover that society has made people think that there is something extremely wrong with being an introvert. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth according to Ms. Cain. In the information that follows, we will take a closer look at this new book and try to provide some insight that will help the reader understand why being an introvert is also part of the overall human makeup.

To begin with, you will get a whole lot more out of this book if you understand the basic meaning behind being an introvert versus being an extrovert. After all, the main purpose behind the book, “Quiet” is to provide you with a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live as an introvert in an overly celebrated extroversion society.

Being an Extrovert: Qualities

  • Obtaining and being concerned with gratification that comes outside of one’s self
  • Comfortable in large groups
  • Always involved or engaged in public or community activities
  • Gregarious
  • Assertive
  • Talkative
  • Extremely enthusiastic

Being an Extrovert: Work Environment

  • Sales
  • Managing large groups
  • Teaching
  • Political aspirations

Being an Introvert: Qualities

  • Predominately interested and concerned with one’s own mind
  • More energy during self reflection
  • Much more reserved
  • Less talkative
  • Much more independent
  • Much more solitary

Being an Introvert: Work Environment

  • Inventor
  • Writer
  • Computer programmer
  • Sculptor
  • Painter

Although the information listed above will show only some differences between introversion and extroversion, the idea is to give you an understanding of what it means to be either one, and how this book talks about being an introvert living in a society that promotes extroversion.

This book touches on a variety of different issues which begins with the ideal of being an extrovert. This is something that has been instilled in almost every one since their first day of school. Because of this cultural ideal, school systems combine 20 to 30 students in a single classroom based on the ideology that everyone is an extrovert, therefore everyone learns the same way. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ms. Cain goes on to talk about charisma and leadership and how collaboration can sometimes be the main killer behind creativity. This is talked about in great length because there are introverts who are forced to collaborate with others and move away what comes natural to them and that is their creativity that comes from living and being within themselves. She also talks about how the extrovert ideal creates individuals that are not all that individual. Most people, over time begin to mirror each other which ultimately will limit the production of individuality.

In this book, Ms. Cain also talks about the historical roots of the extrovert ideal, the pitfalls, defining both introversion and extroversion, distinguishing what introversion is, and differentiating the core of both identities. She also talks about those that have both personality traits whereas sometimes a person may act as though they are an introvert, and at other times act as though they are extroverts.

Towards the end of the book, Ms. Cain also talks about the psychology of temperament, what it’s like to be an introvert in the workplace, child and education development, finding a balance in a person’s life in terms of trying to dominate one ideal or another, and what the future holds for the extroversion idealism and what it will be like to be an introvert in the future.

Quite frankly, this is one book that will have you riveted to the pages simply because of the information provided on both aspects of a person’s personality. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is a book that will help you understand that you have been created the way you are for a purpose. And as an introvert, you may feel that extroverts have it good right now; however, it’s important for you to know that you have a place – because when all of the noise dies down, people tend to look towards the thinker because for the most part an introvert really does have superior characteristics.

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