I have always been a reader. Before COVID (BC), I never indulged in Netflix. The only series I watched was Game of Thrones and maybe The Witcher because Henry Cavill is so hot. But After COVID (AC) while we were in quarantine, I saw myself slowly getting immersed in the world of K-drama and used it as an escape.
But you can only escape for so long. There will come a time where you would need to breathe the air of reality. So, what helped me stay on track while I come up for some air?
My husband and I have a morning ritual we learned from Warren Rustand, a successful leadership and entrepreneurship educator in the Business circle, and former White House fellow and former NBA player. He shared the 10/10/10 habit, which consists of ten minutes of reading something motivational; ten minutes of writing on my journal, and ending with ten minutes of meditation.
This is my so-called quiet time, where I get to spend time with myself trying to get to know “me,” especially in these trying times. I reflect on the day that passed, write down my thoughts to afford more headspace, and allowed myself to be present at the moment.
But what really moves me in this session is the learnings that I got from the books I took with me on this journey. Let me share these books with you.
Sometimes our pond gets so muddled up with all business that we think about what we need to do that we forget what is essential. At this time of uncertainty, most people feel that it’s time to get busy to survive the crisis. Maybe it’s the other way around? We were given time to stop so that we can turn focus to ourselves, clear the pond so we can see the future clearly.
This New York Times bestseller teaches you the state of stillness in clear and relatable situations of real people throughout history. It compiles different spiritual paths such as Stoicism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc., and adapted to different stories on leadership, self-awareness, and creativity. The author is a 33-year-old marketing guru that wrote several books, including another one listed below.
At this time, we are all facing a huge obstacle that has changed our lives. In this book, I learned how to accept the challenges and use them as an opportunity to create a better road to the future. It combines the teaching and stories of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and other ancient philosophers, complemented by modern stories from Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and other historical figures.
It sets the path of having a mindset of acceptance of things we can control and those we don’t, and how to turn adversity into advantage. A straightforward read with lots of interesting tidbits on how great men did during times of crisis.
We all have this narrator in our minds, the small voice that tells us what we can and cannot do. This is a book on self-discovery using yourself as an expert.
It requires honesty and open-mindedness.
When I read this book, it taught me to mentally take a step back and look into that internal argument as an observer and objectively look into both sides of the coin. This is the type of book that gives you different insights every time you read it.
One of the things we learned in our journey as entrepreneurs is that you only have seven seconds to get someone to think that you are excited to carry a conversation. They taught us that instead of saying the technicalities of what we do, which is normal, we should say why we are doing it. So, in my case, instead of saying I’m a writer, event organizer, and host, I would say I help people be better versions of themselves by sharing things I learned.
Find Your Why is the follow-up workbook of Start Your Why. Here, you put the soft learnings from the first book to how you can really find your purpose. It gives a step by step on how you can find your personal why and your company’s. This enables you to find the use of your business, which you can hang into during times of crisis.
Finish by John Acuff
As overachievers do, they write so much of their goals that they get overwhelmed and get stuck. Because of the drastic change that we are experiencing, we see ourselves realign or re-vision our future. The most dramatic learnings I got from this book are to cut your goals in half, simplify, and have fun.
Since I have been trying to get back into shape and be healthy, I would deprive myself of cold turkey of meat, dairy, carbs, and sugar, which didn’t work. Using my learnings from this book, I took it one step at a time. For the first week, I wrote two goals: sleep by 10:30 PM and no pork and beef. Gradually, I would add dairy and carbs. These made my journey easier and less taxing to an already anxious self.
The author is a cancer survivor who talks about her journey and gives concrete lessons on being happy. At the end of the day, Happiness is a choice that you need to continually make. We can choose to be a victim or a victor.
While I was reading this, I had many goosebump moments on how people, even faced with adversity, still come out very positive and caring people. It made me think about how blessed I was and that I should be able to give more. I tell my kids that the luckier you are, the more you should be able to give back. God believed that you can do so much more that’s why your blessing was given to you and not the child you see on the street begging.
I’m the type of person that loves to give books as gifts to friends. All of the books above, we have passed on or gifted to some friends hoping they will get the same enlightenment it gave us. The last series I watched on Netflix before writing this article centered on how books are created and its purpose in the world. One book cannot save the world, but reading one brings warmth and joy to individuals that inspire them to become better persons in this crazy world.
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