Tag Archive | READING

No more wasting valuable time! – or audio-reading..

Ever find yourself thinking – “if only I could make this train/bus/tram/…-ride a time that is spent a bit more beneficially for me…” or “I’m OK with cleaning up the kitchen and organising my stuff, but I feel it’s such a waste of my time, for it never stays clean and organised for more than several hours and has to be done again and again, and again…”

My solution to this problem is listening to books, news and interesting radio shows, while I’m on my way somewhere, cleaning up/organising at home or doing something that doesn’t require much thinking. Then the time is not wasted. 😉

Here are some audio resources I recommend:

Audible UK – my library includes the following titles:

  • The Real Purpose of Parenting
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Law of Success
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Social Animal
  • Start with Why
  • Zen Habits
  • Zen to Done
  • Focus
  • The Power of Less
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • How to Stay Sane

The Economist

Freakonomics / on iTunes

Wired UK


Books I Recommend

Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster: so far (after reading 1/3 of the book), I think this is the best book I’ve read about ‘time-management’… Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Ozon.ru | Market.Yandex.ru

* Getting Things Done by David Allen: the book helps people create an effective system for managing their tasks and todos. I’m working with it now. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: En / Ru

Focus by Leo Babauta: Leo helps us understand what distracts us and how we can overcome those distractions in order to focus on what’s important for us. Get it on Focusmanifesto.com (2 versions are available: free and premium – check it out!) 😉 – check out more books by Leo: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Read a review by The Simple Dollar. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Drive by Daniel Pink. See the promo video. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Caucasus by Thomas de Waal: the book about the history of Caucasus. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman & Rod A. Beckstrom. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferris: there are lots of tips on how to lose, maintain or not to gain weight and how to be a ‘super human’. Tim’s approach to fitness is based on tons of experiments and makes a lot of sense. Some ‘common sense’ things are questioned and argued: for example, jogging for one hour is less effective for weight loss than other types of short exercises combined with a particular diet or just foods or cold showers… Generally there are a lot of approaches to fitness in the book – it might take several months to fully explore them as well as to meet one’s fitness needs. Get it on Amazon.co.uk: Book / eBook / Audiobook | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex.ru

The Art of Systems Thinking by Joseph O’Connor & Ian McDermott: a good book that explains why sometimes something doesn’t go as planned or expected, although logically it should: more hard work should bring more positive results, for instance. But usually it’s not so, for the systems are everywhere, and their logic is  different. When we understand the logic of systems, we can correctly adjust our actions to get desired outcomes or better understand what to expect from our actions. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

* 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey: this is a very good book. I think it is actually the only book that one has to read about family and parenting. It makes so much sense. 🙂 I think I’ll keep it as a reference forever. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson: backed by extensive research of how people get new ideas, the author spells out the following principles to encourage idea-generating environment: go for a walk, cultivate hunches, write everything down, keep folders messy, embrace serendipity, make generative mistakes, take on multiple hobbies, network, follow the links, let others build on your ideas, borrow, recycle, reinvent, build a tangled bank. Once you read this book, you won’t have any problems of coming up with ideas… You’ll need to work on execution though.. See the promo video. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* What’s Your Bright Idea by Paul Humphries & Tim Campbell: this is a guide for a first-time entrepreneur. The steps for starting a new business are all laid out. All one needs to do to succeed is to do all the stuff ‘prescribed’ here. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com: Kindle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner: the authors explain very well how economic laws can be applied in real life. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

Superfreakonomics: Freakonomics 2. Get in on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* How to Eat, Move and be Healthy by Paul Chek: all you need to know about healthy lifestyle. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Clutterfree by Leo Babauta & Courtney Carver: very helpful when you’d like to get rid of clutter not only physical but also electronic and mental – there are a lot of tips and ideas. Get it on Clutterfreecourse.com

* The New Book Of Yoga by Sivananda Yoga Centre: basics of yoga poses, recommended diet and breathing exercises. A good book for yoga beginners. Get it on Amazon.co.uk| Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Beyond Chocolate by Sophie & Aubrey Boss: a new approach to ‘dieting’. Get it on Amazon.co.uk |  Amazon.com

* Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray: read it together with your partner if you’d like to better understand the differences and the reasons behind the behaviour of men or women. There are some things that women and men do fundamentally different just because they are of different gender, so it’s good to be aware of them.. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo: this is a great guide for a woman, it’s packed with tips and ideas on how to remain feminine and real at all times. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers: if you ever had some fear to do something or made excuses not to do something, reading this book might help you go for anything that you set out to go for. I wasn’t too fearful in the first place, but now I’m totally relaxed and not afraid to mess up cause I know that it’s better to try to do something and mess it up than to back off and miss an opportunity. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson: if you only want to read one book on self-improvement, read this one. The concepts presented here are easy to grasp, and it gives a lot of ideas about how to improve oneself. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: Kindle En | Amazon.com

* Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr: beauty and gratitude guide for girls and women. Miranda is very much influenced by Louise L. Hay and advocates the lifestyle of appreciation and self-healing. The book is very inspiring and encouraging. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de: En / De | Amazon.com

* The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. Ever dreamed of being a mobile entrepreneur? Then this book is for you. Lots of ideas of how to start and manage a mobile business, especially useful when you already know what you’d do when you have more time to relax and don’t have to spend that much time on earning money. Review by The Simple Dollar. Get the book on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com | Market.Yandex: EnRu

* The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau: this is a very inspiring book. It makes one think of what one really wants from their life. And it encourages to go for it whatever others may think. Also it led me to rethink my personal values. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

* Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay: Louise believes that one can heal their body or some illness symptoms with the help of affirmations. This book is a list of symptoms and affirmations. Good to have one as an alternative to medicine, sometimes it helps. Get it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.com

BOOK SHOPS – Simply Sophisticated

MY WISH LISTS (not only books) 🙂

We Have the Power! (Susan Jeffers)

* continuation to this article *

Have you ever been stuck in a situation that you could not change, where there was no other choice, but to do what was in front of you (or so you thought)?

I’m sure most of us have had such an experience. However, although we felt or thought that we had no choice, we always had it and could change the situation, but we continued what we were doing… Why didn’t we change anything?

There are two answers:

  1. We CHOSE not to, for we thought of the consequences or the possibilities and decided to remain in the situation willingly, fully accepting it.
  2. We were SCARED to, as we didn’t know what the changes would bring; so we just continued suffering and experiencing the pain of being powerless.

The first answer implies that we have the POWER to do what we want, and we do that; the second answer is based upon PAIN that puts us in FEAR when we are faced with that unsatisfying situation.

Therefore, all we need to do to become satisfied with (accept) or change any situation is to find the power within us. That POWER will fill our lives with excitement, will give us choice and will motivate us to take action.

Being powerful means taking full control and responsibility for our own lives, being present in every moment and even changing the vocabulary.

In fact changing how we express ourselves is a vital point of moving from PAIN to POWER.

Here are the examples of phrases that can help us to move from pain to power (Susan Jeffers):

Pain -> Power

I can’t -> I won’t

I should -> I could

It’s not my fault -> I’m totally responsible

It’s a problem -> It’s and opportunity

I’m never satisfied -> I want to learn and grow

Life’s a struggle -> Life’s an adventure

I hope -> I know

If only -> Next time

What will I do? -> I know I can handle it

It’s terrible -> It’s a learning experience

Susan also gives an example of a situation where the power is taken away or given back with the change of one word a person uses:

“I should visit my mother.” – it is an obligation that implies no choice, brings guilt and upset.

“I could visit my mother, but I’m choosing to go to the movies today.” – it is a choice instead of obligation, as well as this: “I can visit my mother or I can go to the movies. I think I’ll choose my mother today.”

It is not our fault we get sick”, is it?

Well, it is: We are totally responsible for our illness. First of all, we could prevent it. Secondly, now we have to do something about it to prevent it from happening again: we can change the diet, we can reduce stress, stop smoking or get enough sleep.

“The more powerfully we speak, the more we will be a force in the world around us.”


Susan Jeffers: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

I’ve recently read this book, and it made me feel much better about myself and life in general, for I know now that I can handle everything that comes my way.

Basically “fears can be broken down into three levels”:

  • those that “happen” (aging, being alone, natural disasters, illness…)
  • those requiring action (making decisions, using the telephone, losing weight, being interviewed…)
  • those that involve the ego (rejection, failure, success, disapproval…) – the biggest fear of all: “I can’t handle it!” lies at the bottom of every one of our fears.

“ -If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear? -Nothing!”

The main point that Susan insists on is that “as long as we continue to grow, the fear will never go away,” for when we grow we are experiencing new challenges and exploring unfamiliar territories. Therefore, “the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.” This statement leads to another point: we need to have confidence in ourselves and feel good about ourselves in order to do something that we are afraid of. However, “the only way to feel better about ourselves is to go out… and do it.” Therefore, confidence and fear are very much connected, and “the ‘doing it’ comes before the feeling better about ourselves.” So only if we act upon our fears, we can increase our confidence.

The good thing is that everybody has fears: no matter how successful and fearless we are in one area of our lives, we can be absolutely incompetent and scared in the other. To gain confidence in our weak area we “must feel the fear… and do it anyway!”

All in all, “pushing through the fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness” because of not being able to go through a new exciting adventure…

* Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway on Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Amazon.de / Audible.co.uk

Screw It, Let’s Do It

Here is my blog. I have finally got to writing it. Here I will be telling about what is going on in my life as well as what I think about particular issues. In addition, I plan to review the books that I read to share all the new knowledge I gain with you.

I have just finished reading Richard Branson’s book Screw It, Let’s Do It.

Richard is a very successful businessman and entrepreneur who is “driven by new challenges” and “prepared to try anything once.” He does not listen to naysayers and always says “yes” to opportunities in front of him. Of course, later after analysing the project, he might say “no,” for something that is not viable or does not have a potential for success will not end up as a good opportunity. However, one has to be open and consider any suggestions to find the right opportunities that lead to beneficial projects. That is why Richard has started so many successful ventures and his privately owned company is so popular among consumers.

I do believe like him that, as Chinese say, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ It took me a while to start writing my blog. I have been thinking about doing it since last December. But without taking action nothing happens, therefore I had to actually start writing it in order to start my journey of sharing my thoughts with people.

Actually I have so much to say about what I have learnt in the last year that I am really excited about writing a blog and sharing this information.

First, as several authors whose books I have read and several people that I have listened to say, in order to achieve our goals we need to share them with  other people to put the message through to the universe and to make ourselves accountable to those who get this message. Therefore, that is what I am going to do now.

I have several goals that I want to achieve:

  • I am a highly successful property investor, owning large apartment blocks, student accommodation blocks, hotel buildings and commercial property. I provide high quality housing that people are able and willing to pay for. I have good relationship with people that I do business with, for I am an honest, trustworthy and reliable businesswoman.
  • I have honest, trustworthy and reliable people working with me.
  • I have time to practise my singing and dancing and perform on stage, and my audience likes me and appreciates my talents.
  • I attend balls and organise them too.
  • I enjoy helping other people achieve success, sharing my experiences and the ways how I have become successful. Being successful for me means doing something that one likes and enjoys doing every day of one’s life.

I have put my goals in the present tense as it is the best way to make yourself believe that it is possible to achieve them and feel your success already so that it drives and motivates you.

Later I will be adding some more goals as I set them.

Continuing with Richard’s book, his first message is “Just do it!” It is true, without action nothing will be done. Any brilliant idea, if not acted upon, will not be executed and later abandoned or implemented unsuccessfully or not in the right time. Therefore, as Tony Robbins says: “Never leave the sight of setting a goal without taking some form of action towards its attainment. Make a phone call, send an email, book an appointment, enroll in a class, get a mentor or a coach – do what it takes to get that ball rolling.”

Sir Richard’s motto is: ‘Screw it – just do it.’ Writing about his trip on a hot air balloon which was the last trip for his friend, the constructor of the balloon (for he had died that day), experiencing fear, disappointment and almost giving up, Richard had learnt many lessons, for he did not give up and survived: “not only that if you want to do something you should just do it, but also to prepare well, have faith in yourself, help each other and most of all never give up.”

That will be all for today about this book. Later I will extract more useful thoughts from there or many other books.

Lastly though, Richard says: “If something is what you really want to do, just do it. Whatever your goal is you will never succeed unless you let go of you fears and fly.”

Posting this blog entry online scares me a bit. However, I know that in order to become a good writer and express myself clearly, I need to start writing it sometime. This is my first step. I am just doing it, taking action, letting go of my fears.

Thank you for reading!