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Reviews of what you should be reading next.

Tag: self help

No Limits – Blow The Cap Off Your Capacity

no limits

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell’s latest book will enhance the lives of leaders, professionals, and anyone who wants to achieve success and personal growth. We often treat the word capacity as if it were a natural law of limitation. Unfortunately, most of us are much more comfortable defining what we perceive as off limits rather than what’s really possible. Could it be that many of us have failed to expand our potential because we have allowed what we perceive as capacity to define us? What if our limits are not really our limits? In his newest book, John Maxwell identifies 17 core capacities. Some of these are abilities we all already possess, such as energy, creativity and leadership. Others are aspects of our lives controlled by our choices, like our attitudes, character, and intentionality. Maxwell examines each of these capacities, and provides clear and actionable advice on how you can increase your potential in each. He will guide you on how to identify, grow, and apply your critical capacities. Once you’ve blown the “cap” off your capacities, you’ll find yourself more successful–and fulfilled–in your daily life.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

If you are feeling down, all you need to do is pick up a John C. Maxwell book and you are guaranteed to become empowered fast. To me, there is nothing greater than the mini pep talks on every page.

So many books encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and work on learning new things. In this latest work by the management genius, Maxwell tells you how to increase your capacity by concentrating on things you are good at. I found this refreshing and unique. Most of us take our strengths for granted and concentrate on things we struggle with, hoping to get better at them. Imagine if you worked on things you ARE good at; how much better would you be with practice?

Some of Maxwell’s suggestions are easily implemented, such as always assuming there is a solution to a problem, discussing your ideas with mentors before they are “perfect” and using your gifts to help others who may need a push forward.

I believe you are always learning and growing. Maxwell holds the same view – no matter what you are doing, there are always things you can take away to benefit either yourself or others. His writing style is clear without being preachy, with generous examples thrown in using real people and actual situations.

On every page you can find a phrase or sentence that can be used as a daily affirmation or work focus point – which is the golden part of this book. I fully intend to buy a hard copy and highlight the things I find valuable.

The author’s love of inspiring others shines through loud and clear. He has created an empire of empowerment with his books and lectures, and you can tell he truly loves his fellow man. No one cares more about your personal growth than Maxwell, and that is refreshing.  He’s like a businessman’s Mr Rogers – no judgement, always upbeat and full of confidence.

Simon Sinek is all about the “why”, while John Maxwell is about the “how”. The combined information from these books creates a powerful message for managers, which in turn creates a harmonious and wondrous work message for staff.

This latest book is truly a winner! You can pick up your copy [easyazon_link identifier=”1455548286″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Woman on Fire by Amy Jo Goddard

woman on

Based on her sought-after sexuality workshops, the coauthor of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men shows women how to master the 9 elements of sexual empowerment to reclaim their desire and live the sexually fulfilling lives they want.

The prevalence of low sexual desire ranges from 26.7% among premenopausal women to 52.4% among naturally menopausal women. That is an enormous segment of women who are frustrated about their lack of desire and wonder what’s wrong. But in Woman on Fire, Amy Jo Goddard shows us that the more whole we are as sexual beings, the more fulfilled we are as human beings. In this accessible, prescriptive book, Amy Jo reveals her holistic, inside-out approach to developing Sexual Empowerment. Women from 20 to 70 come to her workshops with issues like these: “What am I missing?” “I don’t like sex the way everyone else seems to.” “How do I maintain desire after having kids?” “How do I build sexual confidence?”

In answer, Amy Jo shows us how to master the 9 Elements of a Sexually Empowered Life and includes stories from the thousands of women she has worked with. She shows us how to get (back) in touch with desire, explore vulnerability and play, and push the boundaries of what we think is acceptable. We will not just have better sex, we will have more pleasure throughout life and more intimate relationships, whether we have many partners or one.

Thanks to  Roshe Anderson at Penguin Random House for gifting me this review copy!

Amy Jo Goddard is a world reknowned sexual empowerment coach. She has done many things to promote sexuality, feminism, and couple’s communication. With those credentials under her belt, I expected a whole lot from this book –and I wasn’t disappointed!

I started highlighting stuff about 20 pages in. Goddard’s vision is refreshing in that, if society would stop sending women sex-negative messages, they would be able to enjoy themselves more. Women are shamed and made to feel guilty on a regular basis. Mothers tell their daughters to be protective of their body and not be a tease. Girlfriends talk about each other behind their backs, using terms like “slut” and whore”, when peer pressure is at its most effective. Men use their strength against women and hurt their psyche with rape or other types of abuse. Goddard’s message is to let go of your “story”, the tale you may tell yourself and live your life around it (I am a victim, I am a slut, I am someone who has strange sexual tastes) and embrace who you really are. People identify so strongly with their own stories that it can keep them from moving forward.

Goddard says that some of your story, while relevant in the past, may be outdated now. Perhaps you are divorced; perhaps you feel attracted to women now instead of men; perhaps there are things going on in your life that has changed you in other ways. No matter what is happening, it’s time for you to find your voice and speak up for yourself. There is no need for any woman to feel powerless in her life. There is no reason for any woman to hold onto beliefs that don’t serve you (sex before marriage is bad, good girls don’t have that type of fantasy).

In WOMAN ON FIRE, the author outlines 9 elements that are essential to sexual empowerment. She also includes an online portal with exercises and resources that will help the reader get the most out of her book.

As I read each chapter, I could feel myself figuratively “catching on fire” and wanting to become the woman that Goddard says is inside all of us.

I was especially moved by the chapter on emotion and showing up emotionally powerful. Goddard says there is a cause and effect for everything, and that YOU are the cause and your life circumstances are the effects. It makes perfect sense to me—and somehow no other book has every conveyed that in such a clarifying way before.

The writing is supportive, empowering, powerful and bold. This is not a burn-your-bra missive; this is a search-within-yourself journey that just happens to have sex at its core. Women that have contented sex lives will benefit from reading this as well, because Goddard forces you to think about things in a new way.

Her theory is acceptance: of yourself, of your needs, of your desires, of your body. Element 4 is all about your body and the media lies that force unobtainable standards upon women. There is also a section that illustrates the sex organs and explains their function.

Goddard is frank about her past abuse and how she freed herself of her own story, lest there be some women who discredit her theories as being too glib for comfort. Healing from past shame/abuse/loss of power is not easily gained, yet the author is open about her situation and the ways she learned to let go and regain self esteem again. To me, this makes her words more real and more empowering.

Women must learn to be whoever THEY want to be, not trying to live up to someone else’s idea. True, the major portion of this book urges you to awaken your erotic core, but it is also helpful for anyone wanting to gain more self love, confidence, and mindfulness. Here’s an example of how much Goddard wants women to make themselves the best they can be: her confidence quiz. Her website is full of information and encouragement for women of all ages.

Today’s world is full of self help books and buzzwords to make women feel empowered–WOMAN ON FIRE is a book that delivers and supports this attitude with real stories, real scenarios, and authentic support. Kudos to Amy Jo for telling it like it is, free of shame or embarrassment. I hope this book takes the world by storm.

Get your own copy [easyazon_link identifier=”1594633762″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Loving Someone With Attention Deficit Disorder by Susan Tschudi

LovingSomeonewithADD-CF.indd

Your partner’s attention deficit disorder (ADD) may not seem like a big deal at first, but eventually, the dynamics surrounding his or her impulsivity, forgetfulness, distractibility, and restlessness can really strain your relationship. You don’t want to act like a parent, yet you may feel like you can’t rely on your partner to get things done. Loving Someone with Attention Deficit Disorder is your guide to navigating a relationship with someone with ADD so you can create healthy boundaries while remaining sympathetic to your partner’s symptoms. An essential resource for every couple affected by ADD, this book will help you:

• Understand medication and other treatments
• Recover quickly when your partner’s symptoms frustrate you
• Establish personal boundaries to avoid excessive caretaking
• Identify and take care of your own needs so you can feel more relaxed

 

Thanks to Cassie Kolias at New Harbinger Publications for providing this review copy!

This book is an addition to my AD/HD  shelf. Having read work by renowned author Gina Pera, I was eager to see what this author had to say.

The first chapter was golden. Tschudi’s style is very simple, easy to understand, and speaks to the reader in an understated tone that seems comforting somehow. I especially was affected by the part where she states that ADD is a neurobiological issue—you cannot change your partner no more than you can expect a paraplegic to walk. Obviously you can assist  your partner in managing his life better, but first and foremost, he must see the issue and want to do something about it.

That is where the book begins to break down. Much of the rest of Tschudi’s advice is partly helpful, but not relevant to some situations. I did feel that this work would be most helpful to couples whose communication skills are either minimal or non existent. Many ways to broach uncomfortable subjects are offered, with scenarios detailing “real” couples and ADD-related problems.

Example: Due to the husband’s procrastination, both Clark and Marilyn were always late to church. Marilyn hated this, and was upset that nothing seemed to work; not nagging, not threats, etc. So they both sat down and tried an exercise that Tschudi puts forth: brainstorm and come up with solutions to the problem, no matter how outrageous. Write them all down and discuss each one.

This couple did just that, and came up with the idea that Marilyn would take her own car to church, thereby arriving on time and avoiding the stress and arguing that inevitably occurred. Both parties were happy.

Now for my problem with this: I’m sure there are a lot of situations where the woman would take herself to church and grow old waiting for her ADD husband to show up. The only thing changing here is the woman’s behavior. No one is helping the ADD’er to manage his issue. And this seems to be the tone of the rest of the book: to save yourself from anguish, realize that the ADD’er is suffering from neurobiology and may never be able to live a “normal” life. You must learn to live with it, and the sooner you realize this, the better.

I showed this to my resident ADD’er, and he was nonplussed. He said that just because the woman made it to the church on time, that didn’t address the man’s procrastination, and possibly even rewarded it. His take on it was this:

“When you tell someone that you no longer expect of them something that you have expected of them in the past, you may be relieving them of a responsibility, but you’re also taking something away from them. That person can feel the respect you lose for him, and he see the chance to repair it vanish when you take away the opportunity for him to get it right. Strong relationships are built upon respect. We fight for that respect when we think we can win it, but when we think that we can’t, the motivation to do anything may be gone. Obviously, both parties have a stake in the husband getting out of the house on time, but if our solution is going to be for nobody to expect anything from anyone, then these people might as well just break up. That would be even better because it would eliminate all of the conflict. Problem solved!”

 

Another scenario was a do it yourselfer leaving his unfinished projects in the garage, forcing the wife to park on the street. The “solution” was to have her say to him, “In 3 days I’m going to move your stuff so I can park in the garage”. (Apparently the man hated anyone touching his stuff.) Then she was to say. “In 2 days I’m going to park in the garage, so please move your stuff.”

If the project was not moved, the “solution” was to have the WOMAN MOVE IT HERSELF. Sure, Mr Fix It was mad that his things were touched, but that seems to be adding insult to injury to his wife. Not only did her request go unheeded–but she had to clean up his mess to boot! Not acceptable in my house. My resident ADD’er said this:

As for the matter of the garage that needed cleaning, the author concludes her tale by describing the worst possible outcome. Spoiler: the wife cleans the garage herself. She solved the problem by telling the husband to clean the garage by such-and-such date, or else “I’ll clean it myself.” What did this solve? This husband is being dealt with as if he were a particularly indolent 5th grader. I personally felt embarrassed when Kyle read this passage to me. I said something to the tune of, “I would like to think that this is not a highly recommended way of dealing with me.” We talked about it, and we decided that this book is probably meant for couples with poor communication skills. However, if this is the case, then the book still commits the crime of teaching couples with poor communication skills to deal with each other by acting in antisocial, dysfunctional ways toward each other.

As I continued to read, it seemed as if the only advice being offered me, the non ADD’er, was to understand that this is how the brain works, and the only solution is for ME to change, by not being bothered by the distractability, the mood swings, the unfinished projects, and the empty promises.

This disturbed me. I felt this was akin to putting earplugs in your ears to avoid hearing your child’s tantrum in a crowded restaurant. Yes, AD/HD is neurobiologic in origin, but that doesn’t mean you can try to make your life the best it can be, by taking your meds,  listening to those around you, making lists to help you remember, and knowing your triggers. Sure, spouses of ADD’ers need to take care of themselves too, but hiding your head in the sand about problems and offering a bandaid solution is kind of no solution at all.

So, a mixed review on this one. The sub title does say “improving communication and strengthening your relationship”, and I agree that it accomplishes this task well. Many ways are offered for partners to talk and get the lines open for a meaningful dialogue. However, I do feel that eventually, after the talking is over, the bottom line is that the non ADD’er is supposed to feel better about the improved communication but will still be dealing with the issues. The non ADD’er will have developed healthy personal boundaries and the ability to forgive, but that (to me) only goes so far.

Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh, considering my communication skills are excellent; but I was also hoping for more advice than “Your partner has ADD–forgive him for what he does, as he cannot help it”.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00DIKV0TY” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

The ADHD Advantage

adhd

 

 

Why ADHD could be the key to your success

For decades physicians delivered the diagnosis of ADHD to patients as bad news and warned them about a lifelong struggle of managing symptoms. But The ADHD Advantage explodes this outlook, showing that some of the most highly successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and entertainers have reached the pinnacle of success not in spite of their ADHD but because of it.

Although the ADHD stereotype is someone who can’t sit still, in reality people with ADHD are endlessly curious, often adventurous, willing to take smart risks, and unusually resilient. They are creative, visionary, and entrepreneurial. Sharing the stories of highly successful people with ADHD, Dr. Archer offers a vitally important and inspiring new way to recognize ADHD traits in oneself or in one’s loved ones, and then leverage them to great advantage—without drugs.

As someone who not only has ADHD himself but also has never used medication to treat it, Dr. Archer understands the condition from a unique standpoint. Armed with new science and research, he hopes to generate public interest and even debate with his positive message as he guides the millions of people with ADHD worldwide toward a whole new appreciation of their many strengths and full innate potential.

 

As a reviewer of multiple ADHD books, I was eager to see what this author had to say.
Unfortunately, I was not impressed. The book seems to be padded with lots of stories about those “lucky” enough to have ADHD and had the ability to spend time traveling around the world and failing at multiple jobs before finding the “right” place for them. Not everyone has the money or the support to do this. That is not how the average person with ADHD lives. Moreover, that solution could have been illustrated with a few stories, not over and over again in each chapter. At some point, it goes from inspiring to overkill.
Archer is a big proponent of no drugs for ADHD’ers. I agree that children should be evaluated carefully and not just have pills thrown at them, but the idea of everyone not needing medication is absurd. The author has a series of questions that determine where you are on the ADHD scale, and  claims that anyone that is an 8 or lower (out of 10) does not need medication. I feel that would make for a lot of frustrated people.
He also postulates that ADHD’ers are resilient and can deal with failure well, because their constant failure makes them stronger. I can also tell you that is patently untrue, as I live with an ADHD’er and his failures just make him depressed.
If you are a person with lots of money and a personal assistant to take care of the minutiae of daily living, then you will agree with what Archer has to say.
Otherwise–pass this one up, take your meds, and get on with your life.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”1594633517″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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