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Book Review: The Power of Habit

When people talk about habit, they typically talk about something that is extremely familiar such as brushing their teeth a certain way, waking up at a certain time, or performing certain tasks at the same time each and every day. There are good habits, and there are bad habits. But have you ever thought about a habit in terms of why you have it, how it works in your life, the effects it has whether good or bad, and how to go about changing it? The author of “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg, talks about these very concepts in his new book, and what you are about to read is a review on what he has to say.

The problem with a habit is that they can be extremely powerful. In fact, some habits are so powerful they can actually do us harm. However, before moving forward in this respect, it’s important to understand that there are good habits and bad habits. Some examples of good habits are:

  • Waking up each morning on time
  • Paying your bills on time
  • Completing your work on time
  • Taking care of yourself the proper ways each and every day

Although these are only a few examples of good habits, they give you an idea of what good habits look like. Now let’s take a look at some of the bad habits that people struggle with and those are:

  • Eating certain foods that you know aren’t good for you
  • Not getting to work on time
  • Not paying your bills
  • Procrastinating

So, now that you have a better idea of what good and bad habits are, it’s important to talk about how the book “The Power of Habit” can help you make changes to these habits either way. Duhigg talks about how powerful habits can be. He also talks about why it’s so important to understand how habits work. In his book, he goes on to say that most habits function in the same way. Each habit has a set of properties which will include:

  • A cue or trigger
  • A routine
  • A reward

A cue or trigger, in many cases, will allow the habit behavior to unfold without the person even knowing what has developed. This can include but isn’t limited to other people, a certain situation, the time of day, or a location. The routine is what happens during the habitual behavior, and the reward is the anticipated result. Duhigg says that all habits whether good or bad will all have the same underlying properties. He also says that by understanding these traits, this will be the very key to changing these habits.

In order to change a habit, Duhigg refers to engaging in an experiment. However, before you can try any type of experiment, you will have to spend a little time identifying all the different aspects of the habit itself. The book “The Power of Habit” talks about how to do this in a few short and easy steps. Once identified, you can choose your own experiment which includes doing something different during the routine and reward phases of your particular habit.

All in all, the approach Charles Duhigg uses in the book is pretty amazing because he talks about identifying and diagnosing your habit, changing your routine, introducing a different reward and as a result, breaking or changing a habit that may have held you in psychological and physical bondage. The book is roughly 400 pages and offers a really good read. This one deserves a thumbs up for sure because everyone has a habit but, some habits are not worth keeping.

Book Review: The Happiness Advantage

We all need to work in order to pay the bills and live the life we want, yet very few people are able to find a job that truly makes them happy. The very idea of going out to work is one that is very much counter to the dreams of the average person, so it almost stands to reason that a certain level of unhappiness should be par for the course. It doesn’t have to be that way though, that is if you believe the contents of author Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

The idea that fueled the book is based on the theory that we have all been working in reverse our entire lives. In short, most of us try to find that perfect job, partner, and home that will make us happy for the best part of our lives. Mr. Achor believes that in fact the opposite is true and that it’s not until we are truly happy that everything else will fall into place. To prove this theory the author introduces seven principles based on positive psychology that he believes can turn around the life of the average person once they are put into play.

Before you get to thinking that this is just another boring self-help book that rehashes a number of old methods, you really should take the time to start drinking Achor’s happiness Kool-Aid. The author not only delivers his arguments in a way that perfectly gets his point across, but also in a style that is both entertaining, and at times laugh out loud funny. “The Happiness Advantage” is not simply a collection of ideas put together in a hasty manner, and is in fact the result of over a decade’s worth of research performed by the author during his time lecturing at Harvard.

The book is so well written and almost anti-business that you will find yourself very quickly engrossed and willing to invest in the information being provided. That Achor is able to deliver on what the title promises without leaving the reader bored out of his mind is a testament to the fact that his research may indeed have some real validity. Reading the book makes you feel good, which in turn leads you to want to turn the page to see what’s next. That is the perfect example of what the 7 principles can do for your life, with happiness indeed leading to you wanting to do more.

Reading “The Happiness Advantage” is not likely to change your fortunes overnight, but it does deliver enough solid information to get you on the right path to do so. What you may quickly discover is that there are positive elements of your job and your life that have become mired in the negative. Being able to recognize the good things and focus on those will start you down the path to happiness and success and will truly give you a happiness advantage.

Book Review: What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here

With so many job hunting advice books on the market today, it’s extremely difficult for an author in this field to provide tips that hadn’t been given before. Most of the time, when you see “secrets” included in the title, they usually end up the kind that only those living under a rock still wouldn’t be aware of. However, What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here is that rare gem you would feel absolutely blessed to stumble on.

This book by Cynthia Shapiro delivers exactly what it promises – secrets as well as tips which can truly and immediately boost your chances of getting the perfect job. Granted, not all of the 44 secrets promised may be earth-shattering revelations to you, but rest assured that the oh-so-elusive advice you have always been searching for but was never able to grasp is finally within your reach. It’s within the pages of this book, and it’s just waiting to turn your career around – for good.

Objective to a fault?

Some readers may complain about the somewhat cynical tone that Shapiro employs in this book. While they do have a point, these readers should also take into consideration how cynicism is often rooted in truth while polite niceties are not. Glossing over the reality of today’s employment arena will not help anyone get the job that they want.

As one reader has pointed out, the objective point of view that the author has adapted throughout the book helped her appreciate the truth about all the rejections she had to take when applying for a job. This book will make you realize that when you’re turned down for a job, it truly does not mean you are an idiot or you are more stupid than 99% of the human population. It’s just that certain circumstances continuously force HR managers and supervisors to look for a specific type of employee – which does not happen to be you at the moment.

This book also forces job seekers to stop playing the victim as well as cease pointing fingers every time they get turned down. The secrets they have always wanted to enjoy unqualified success in job hunting are finally theirs to use. But that can only happen if they are willing to take complete control of their careers and do what they must instead of just doing what they think they can.

Beautifully practical!

Perhaps one of the best things about this book is its wondrously pragmatic approach to job hunting. It does not mince words, and it certainly stays far away from terms that would have you hunting for a dictionary. Rather, Shapiro is content to call a spade a spade because she has more important things to talk about than waste her time impressing readers with her vocabulary – or even her work experience, which is admittedly impressive.

The most cited tips found in this book include extremely helpful tips about improving your resume and knowing how to handle yourself in job interviews. The teaser for the book also shows tips that have to do with the importance of negotiation, the pointlessness of using professional references, and how computers are often used to decide on who gets the job – and who doesn’t.

Again – the secrets have been revealed by Cynthia Shapiro in this fantastic book. Now, the ball’s in your court. Do you continue ignoring the secrets to job hunting success or would you finally take action?

Book Review: The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success

Facebook is meant to connect you with the world, but in the corporate arena it’s not the quantity of contacts you have that matters. It’s the quality of those contacts that is essential, and that is what you get when you build your business with LinkedIn, which is basically the professional counterpart of Facebook.

Unfortunately, while most people can easily teach you the mechanics of Facebook, you will find a small number of people able to show you the way of LinkedIn, much less navigate its many helpful features. There’s no denying that LinkedIn has what it takes to improve your business or career. While you may not be able to find a prospective employer on Facebook, you can certainly bet that the country’s majority of managers, executives, headhunters, and recruiters are on LinkedIn.
 
They are using LinkedIn to look for individuals like you; however, if you want them to find you much easier, then you need to do what you can as well to make your profile “searchable”. In a nutshell, that is exactly what The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is all about.

There are a lot of things that you’d learn and benefits you’d enjoy once you get your hands on this book.

Are you feeling out of touch with the social media generation?

It’s not about the age, really. Many other factors could have contributed to your inability to adapt to the needs and features of social media, and those same factors may be preventing you from fully understanding just how powerful LinkedIn is. Thankfully, this book works like a very user-friendly and detailed map that will tell you everything you have to do to make a successful crossing from Point A to Point Z.

When it says it’s beginner-friendly, it really is.

Bookstore shelves are cluttered with supposedly beginner-friendly books for you to take full advantage of LinkedIn, but in the end, they are not really what they portrayed themselves to be. They contain relevant and helpful information, yes, but they’re unfortunately written in such a way that you might as well be reading a new form of Arabic and Mandarin.

The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is different, though. Its author, Wayne Breitbarth, doesn’t make the mistake of assuming that its readers have existing knowledge about LinkedIn. This may be playing it too safe, but it actually works quite well as far as most first-time LinkedIn users are concerned.

You get to understand the fundamentals of LinkedIn, and with that you are able to benefit from having a strong foundation that will allow you to develop more effective strategies for marketing your skills or businesses through the site.

Last but not the least, the best thing about The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success is that it offers practical, easily and immediately applicable advice. You’ll know how to improve your profile page in simple and quick steps, find prospective employers in your field of choice, and learn which features of LinkedIn would best help you with your marketing efforts. And all these are just a few of what you can learn from the book.

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