#BECOMINGABOOKWORM

Amy Poehler: “Yes Please.”

This month I bring you my thoughts from Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please.”

ON IDENTITY

With this being women’s month I have to start with this one:
“Women are mighty.”

Amy Poehler does a great job at reminding us that womxn, regardless of what they are up to, are extremely powerful. This line spoke to inter-sectional feminism in a beautiful way. Remember that you are might, that the things you do are amazing and that you can always do great things!

With that, there is a reminder of us setting the precedent for who we want to be. It can get easy to go with the motions, existing without fully living and, to that, Amy notes:

“In three short years Chicago had taught me that I could decide who I was.”

Woah…. What if we all learnt this lesson! I was noting this in a journal post this week – the idea of defining who I was that is (watch out for a post in the future). More often than we would like to admit, we can allow situations and circumstances to determine who we are, who we become. Remember that you can always decide who you are and you’re allowed to be a different you 10 minutes from now… Even 1 second from now.

So then Amy says (Yes, please… We’re on first name basis now. Hahaha):
“I had already made a decision early on that I would be a plain girl with tons of personality, and accepting it made everything a lot easier.”

Accept who you are and just move one! Seriously!! I know it’s easier said than done but imagine if we were unapologetic about who we are; about what we stand for; about all of our “selves”.

Finally, on the topic of identity:
“every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon.”

This brings on the value of introspection, thorough introspection at that. It’s important to sit down with self, review self, review your life’s trajectory and see where you are and where you are headed. We often ignore this part of life, leading to poor choices and bad decisions because we don’t realize we’re on a downward spiral. Introspection further allows us to remove the unwanted parts (the sieve analogy here works so well). The bad stuff can be moved and disposed during these times and that’s an important part of introspection.

ON CELEBRATING EVERY MOMENT

“Talk to Yourself Like You’re Ninety”

What would your 90-year old self say to you? I had an assignment from my therapist to write a letter to my future self the other day and this statement here hit hard (read “has” as “have” because that is is hard y’all). This statement reminded me that there’s going to come a time when you look back at the moments you’ve truly lived your life and you”ll have to evaluate your past choices. Enjoy life in a way that would make your 90-year old self regret-less.

It can get easy to fret over every moment. I can attest to the fact that the desire for productivity and “accomplishing” things often stands in the way of experiencing the moment you’re in. Yes, these things are important but, sometimes, the most exciting part of getting to the destination is the journey. To that, Amy says,

“Young and old need to relax in the moment and live where they are. Be Here Now, like the great book says.”
Have you ever felt sad because you didn’t “get the price”? Maybe you were in a competition and got second place – great accomplishment – but feel like because you weren’t first there’s no need to celebrate. Amy calls that first place “the pudding” and says,
“And you don’t always have to win to get the pudding”

Imagine looking over everything with an attitude that finds, and appreciates, the smallest wins. Listen, you’re winning right now! You’re winning in your spaces! You’re winning as you take strides towards your goals. Just because you didn’t “get the pudding” doesn’t mean you’re not winning.

on establishing a strong support system

I was talking to one of my best friends yesterday (Yes, please. I have 2) and we were recounting some of the “fun” things we got up to in high school. I look back on those moments, now, and realize there are so many things I wouldn’t have had the guts to do if she wasn’t doing them with you. Amy agrees, too, because

“It’s easier to be brave when you’re not alone.”

Sometimes we spend so much time trying to prove ourselves to people who are not on our side; who do not see the bigger picture and; who don’t recognise the potential in us to “get things done”. Amy says:

“My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice.”

If you have people who support you (and call you out in love of course), you will be souring and producing the results. I read this twice when I read the book because #facts.

… And, remember:
“Doing something together is often more fun than doing it alone.”

ON CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

First of all,
“Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend”
(Or bad girlfriend). You’ll thank Amy and I later. This next one doesn’t even need my commentary.
“You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.”

ON UNCERTAINTY

I leave you with this last one:
“Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read it again in the future… For now, though, I have an exam in the morning so “so long”

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Stephen Covey: “First Things First”

So I have been slacking on reading this year. It has been a loooooooong year on the personal front and I find that my productivity dwindles when I am going through the most. I started “First Things First” by Stephen Covey possible at the beginning of my year (November.lol). It’s been a hard book to read – but aren’t all Stephen Covey books though? It has been challenging, it made me realize I am a mess (rolls eyes) and that – where I can pin point the mess in others – it is paramount that I acknowledge my imperfections and the contribution that I make to making a situation what it becomes. Y’all, it isn’t child’s play to work toward #becoming but I am grateful that – where I forget – there is something that comes in and kicks in a reminder. So, here we are with my notes from Coveys book. Thank me later.

ON WHAT WE CAN AND CANNOT CONTROL

  • “While we do control our choice of action, we cannot control the consequences of our choices. Universal laws or principles do.”

Freedom comes with a cost…

  • “We need to constantly be asking ourselves, “What is needed out there, and what is my unique strength, my gift?”
  • “The way we see (our paradigm) leads to what we do (our attitudes and behaviors); and what we do leads to the results we get in our lives.”
  • “Principles are the simplicity on the far side of complexity.”
  • “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
  • “The Main Thing Is To Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing”
  • “Balance in our lives isn’t a running between compartments; it’s a dynamic equilibrium.”
  • “one called to exercise responsible care over possessions entrusted to him or her.” We’re stewards over our time, our talents, our resources.
  • “We may pass up daily, weekly, moment-by-moment opportunities to make deposits because we’re too busy blaming circumstances or other people for our own failure to achieve our goals.”

ON PROGRESS AND THE COMFORT ZONE

 “So often, the enemy of the best is the good.”

i.e. the enemy of a great life is a good life!!

  • “What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your personal life?”
  • “Do I really want to do it? Am I willing to pay the price? Do I have enough strength to do it? Do I accept the responsibility for my own growth? Am I settling for mediocrity when I could be achieving excellence? Am I blaming and accusing others for my own inability to set and achieve goals?”

ON MANAGEMENT OF SELF AND OTHERS

  • “Management works within the system. Leadership works on the system… management: “Am I doing the right things?” before “Am I doing things right?””
  • “Do I often find that I’m consumed by one or two roles in my life, and that the others do not receive the time and attention I’d like to give them?”
  • “How many of my “first things” are in roles other than those that receive most of my time and attention?”
  • “What is the most important thing I could do in each role this week to have the greatest positive impact?”
  • “Focus on importance rather than urgency.”
  • “STEPS
    • Preview the day.
    • Prioritize.
    • Use some form of T planning for the day.”
  • “An empowering mission statement deals with both character and competence;”
  • “When our roles grow out of mission, vision, and principles, “balance” is a deeper issue than spending time in compartmentalized boxes of life.”
  • “Make sure that your roles grow out of your mission and that your mission includes all the important roles in your life.”

ON BEING A PERSON OF INTEGRITY

  • “Am I willing to be a person of total integrity? Am I willing to apologize when I make mistakes, to love unconditionally, to value someone else’s happiness as much as I do my own?”
  • “One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole.”
  • “A high balance in [the personal integrity] account is a great source of strength and security. But when we don’t achieve our goals, we make withdrawals”
  • “Conscience Creates Alignment with Mission and Principles”
  • “Self-Awareness Empowers Us to Build Integrity”
  • “Trustworthiness is only as high as the balance in our Personal Integrity Account.”
  • “The situation may change. We may change. And we can’t act with integrity without being open to that change.”
  • “Integrity means more than sticking to a goal, no matter what. It’s integrity of system, an integrated process that creates an open connection between the mission and the moment.”

ON PRIORITIZING THINGS THAT MATTER

  • “What do you feel would make a significant difference in each role?”
  • “Quadrant II organizing empowers you to look at the best use of your time through the paradigm of importance rather than urgency.”
  • “It’s easy to say “no!” when there’s a deeper “yes!” burning inside.”
  • “Good judgment comes when your logical and rational thoughts and ideas are supported by a gut reaction that the decision “feels” right”
  • “Each role in our lives has a physical dimension (it requires or creates resources), a spiritual dimension (it connects to mission and principles), a social dimension (it involves relationships with other people), and a mental dimension (it requires learning).”

ON CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT OF SELF

  • An hour a day spent “sharpening your saw” creates the “private victory” that makes public victories possible.
  • “If change is driven by mission, conscience, and principles, it moves us toward the best.”
  • “What are the one or two most important things I could do in this role this week that would have the greatest positive impact?”
  • “Determinations—things you’re determined to do, no matter what—and concentrations, areas of pursuit you focus your efforts around.”
  • “Personal leadership is cultivating the wisdom to recognize our need for renewal and to ensure that each week provides activities that are genuinely re-creational in nature.”

ON SELF-AWARENESS AND SELF-CARE

  • “Self-awareness prompts us to start where we are—no illusions, no excuses—and helps us to set realistic goals.”
  • “Self-awareness empowers us to ask: Am I allowing the good to take the place of the best?”
  • Balanced Renewal The perspective of the week prompts us to plan for renewal—a time for recreation and reflection—weekly and daily.

ON INTERDEPENDENCE

  • “ Quadrant II activities as: • Building, repairing, or renewing relationships with family and friends • Recommitting to deep values through religious activities • Restoring energy through rest and recreation, Developing talents through special interests and hobbies • Contributing through community service”
  • “Educating the heart is the process of nurturing inner wisdom… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.””
  • “Think win-win (based on principles of see/ do/ get, mutual benefit, and cooperation). Seek first to understand, then to be understood (based on principles of respect, humility, and authenticity).”
  • “Both character and competence are necessary to inspire trust.”
  • “Peace and quality of life come only as we discover and align with the fundamental Laws of Life.”
  • “Frustration is essentially a function of unmet expectations—we expect something to be a certain way or to produce certain results, and it doesn’t.”
  • “Only as we focus more on contributing than consuming can we create the context that makes peace in all aspects of life possible.”
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YEAR OF YES – SHONDA RHIMES

Y’all, it’s women’s month!!! Happy 31 days of KWEN APPRECIATION!!! The fight for womanhood never sleeps so here’s to the start of another year of fighting!! So, we’re doing things a little different this month. *You’re welcome*. I’ll be profiling one of the books in my reading list this year… Shonda Rhyme’s Year of Yes. What better way to mark this month. Really, it’s just vital life lessons that I picked up for myself through my reading. Enjoy!!
  1. Always remember that your happy ending is YOURS and it will, probably, not look the way others think – and expect – it to be.
  2. You are ALWAYS saying YES: To mediocrity, manipulation, unhealthy living, terrible habits, etc. Whenever you say no to one thing, you are automatically saying yes to something else.
    1. So, NOSI, every time you say no to working out you are saying yes to laziness and unhealthy habits, every time you say no to putting in work you are saying yes to procrastination, and every time you say no to saving you are saying yes to poor financial choices … Go figure!!
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Learn to take moments and plan – learn to take moments out to “dance”
    1. Y’all, I felt this one!!!!
  4. It is one thing to “stand” like wonder woman and it is another to “be” like her.
  5. Don’t undermine your accomplishments. Receive praise, in humility, when it is given
  6. KNOW YOUR TRIBE AND INVEST IN IT!!! Invest your time, your love, your presence!!!
  7. Always say “Yes” to the things that scare you the most, that is where you will experience the most/best growth.
  8. Don’t just dream, do. “Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just…Do”
  9. Learn to be a better friend to yourself.
  10. Pay attention to the way you view people. See them as they are, not as what you want them to be – if the two perspectives are the same, you have found a unicorn.
*************************************************************************************** Raise your hand if you enjoy a good book here and there!!!! I love, love reading and I Usually reflect – in writing of course – after every book I read. So here’s to my book reflections. I hope that it’ll give you an idea for your next read or, at least, inspire your #BECOMING journey