January’s recommendations

January’s recommendations

My propositions for reading and watching from the last month
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January has already passed so this is the right time to review what I read and watched this month. I hope that these recommendations will be useful for some of you as well.

#1 Big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was recommended to me many times so I decided finally to read it. One of Elizabeth’s books “Eat, Pray, Love” has also a film adaptation. However “Big Magic” is not another love story but the source of inspiration. It is a kind of invitation to create a life full of creativity. It’s a must-read for anyone who would like to have more courage and understand how creativity works.

Key takeaways:

  • Don’t wait for inspiration – ideas floating around us and waiting for someone who will catch them. Instead of waiting for the “right inspiration” look for opportunity in everything that comes to your mind.
  • Perfectionism is a creativity killer – there is no way to be perfect, and there is a huge chance that you will never be that one. With this in mind, it’s easier to take another try and work on 100%. It’s connected with the art of trying about which I wrote here.
  • You don’t need permission – the reason why we feel fear is because we feel not allowed or not enough good to do something. The truth is everything that you will produce will be unique and you are totally allowed to do everything that you want. Everyone is a creative person.
  • Be curious – curiosity will lead you to new opportunities, will keep you on track, and will allow you to be more creative. More about curiosity you can read in my previous article here.
  • Let it go – if something won’t work or you feel that you don’t feel “chemistry” with the work that you produced, let it go, forget and move forward and be open for something next.

#2 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

It was a book when I would like to highlight most of the pages. Tim Ferris released this book in 2007 and I wish it had come to me sooner. I would say that the book is about many topics around how and where we work. Everyone (ok, most of us) has to work is worth reading because everyone will find something useful.

Key takeaways:

  • Pareto’s Law – this rule says that 80% of outputs result from 20% of the inputs. It was very clearly presented in this book. Understanding this principle is crucial if we would like to have more time and remove unnecessary work.
  • If you are working less it doesn’t mean that you are lazy – we are living in a workaholic world. If you apply Pareto’s Law you realize that you don’t have to work so long. Concrete on this to be productive instead of busy.
  • Apply The Low-Information Diet – the author talks also about consuming less and encourages readers to “cultivate selective ignorance”. By this I mean to stop being up to date with social media, emails, news and consume everything that might be useful and valuable.
  • Delegate and automate – where possible. Some tasks can be done by others which will give you additional time to work on the more creative and strategic projects.
  • Parkinson’s Law – states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. In other words – if you have a 2 hours task but you have 8 hours for this there is a huge chance that it will take you 8 hours. The key here is to shorten our time for each of your tasks.

#3 Mindshift by Barbara Oakley

Because everything is rapidly changing around us we have to constantly learn, gain new skills, and adapt to the new environment. Barbara Oakley wrote about this in her book – how to explore hidden talents in us and develop them. Also, the book is full of inspirational stories of people who changed their lives and how they did their transformations.

Key takeaways:

  • A significant change is always possible -it’s easy to think that you are able to do only what you are currently doing. However, everyone is capable of changing their career/life. It’s all about opening your mind to new possibilities and taking the first step.
  • Find a mentor – mentorship can be a powerful tool in your career development. Finding a good person can take time but don’t be afraid to ask someone to become your mentor.
  • You can learn everything for free – in the era of the Internet, you can be a student of every area without leaving home. In most of the cases that knowledge you can gain for free, just find the right course and start learning.
  • Have an alternative – to be more flexible and expand your portfolio of skills it’s good to have alternative specialization – in case that you will find yourself that you have to look for another job.
  • The power of positive thinking – in any difficult situation your inner speech is crucial – this is why people with a positive attitude have less problem with any changes.

#4 Headspace by Netflix

In a world, with many distractions, we need moments of peace and silence. This is where meditation can help. I think that this was the most popular topic in personal development last year. Due to growing popularity, we can find many useful guides. One of them – series produced by Netflix called “Headspace” is a simple journey to go deeper into meditation.

Key takeaways:

  • It doesn’t take a long time – you can start with a few minutes per day and with small increments extend this time.
  • Meditation is for everyone – you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to practice and get the most from it.
  • It’s hard at the beginning – Because we are not used to sitting in silence for a few minutes. But everyone is facing that experience. Keep practicing and it will be much easier with time.
  • Preparation is not required – you just have to click “play” and follow the author’s instructions.
  • Many benefits – with regular practice you will be more aware of your thoughts and emotions and you will look from a different perspective for your problems.

Thank you for reading till the end. If you would like to be informed about new articles and receive information about interesting articles you can sign up for my newsletter.

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