25 books in

At the start of this year, I said I would read a book per week. I’ve read a total of 25 and I’m currently reading 2 at the same time. The goal is to go a little further by finishing at least 55 books before the year ends. And I think I can do it!

When I started this challenge I had so much drive and enthusiasm to learn and rapidly progress. But by week 5 things were already drying up. I looked to Youtube to research the benefits and effects of daily reading and what I found gave me the right impetus to come back stronger.

One Youtuber said that it can be a bit boring at the start of your journey, but if you hold firm, push yourself and do the dull part of taking more time out of your day to read, you’ll begin to experience a wonderful and unprecedented change in behaviour and mindset. You’ll get used to it and even begin to prioritise it. And now, having pushed past that hurdle, I totally agree with them.

I’m very proud of the commitment and dedication I’ve shown over the past few months and I’m excited to experience and enjoy the amazing books I have yet to read. In fact, I just joined a book club the other day and my first meeting is next month. Yaaaas. I’ll be surprised if I don’t burst in all direction from all the joy before then!

My favourite books I’ve experienced – because reading them really was an experience – are: Becoming by Michelle Obama and Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

I’ll continue to predominately read works by POC authors because growing up my range was limited to white writers, unfortunately, as they dominated – and still dominate – the world of literature. For my identity, knowledge of self and for my culture, I’m understanding how necessary it is to connect with stories, facts and language that pertain to and celebrate the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.

 

Next up:

Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinené

Jazz by Toni Morrison

Book review #5: You^2 by Price Pritchett

You^2: A High-Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps by Price Pritchett is centred around the idea that you can increase the results in your life EXPONENTIALLY. In fact, Pritchett believes that our life doesn’t have to follow a step by step plan or a linear direction. Not Ever.

You^2 by Price Pritchett

Price Pritchett has a PhD in psychology and is an expert in the field of breakthrough performances. He is also the founder and CEO of a consulting firm in Dallas. He speaks with great authority on matters of personal growth whilst maintaining an unlimited supply of optimism and hope for his readers.

I came across the idea of quantum leaps through one of my coaches at the start of 2019. But, because it was a very unfamiliar concept, I didn’t think much about applying it to my study of personal development. You^2, despite being only 36 pages long, helped me to understand and explore what it really means to take a quantum leap.

Pritchett says that “Quantum physics is described as the most powerful science ever conceived by human beings. It requires a major rethinking of such concepts as time and space and how human consciousness operates.” (And please don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a theoretical breakdown of the history of this science, so stay with me.)

The author says that “You^2 implies an explosive jump in your personal performance that puts you far beyond the next logical step.” Now, what a minute? “Far beyond the next logical steps”? Tell me more, Pritchett.

Rather than accepting what has already been done, what people typically do or even our present circumstances, we should opt to bypass all of that and go for a breakthrough. But how does that actually happen? Simple. Stop trying harder. Choose the path that is the most efficient, effective and which allows for better alignment.

It’s about giving yourself permission and the opportunity to dream, soar and explore. What is it that you truly what to have, do or be? If you were to visualise your future, without any limits or restraints, what do you see? Who are you? Where are you? Once you’re able to get clear about what you want, you can start the pursuit.

My favourite chapter of You^2 is called ‘Trust in the Power of Pursuit’. For me, what this really means is action, but I like the way Pritchett’s phrasing triggers my imagination. “Dreams begin to crystallize into reality when they are pursued.” Sure, that does sound pretty straightforward and maybe a little idealistic. But, it is the absolute truth.

When we are clear about our vision and pursue it with what I like to call “positive aggression”, we remove the element of safety and of fear, unleashing something within – a little bit of magic, perhaps – that propels us forwards and upwards.

Important aspects of the pursuit are suspending disbelief and seeking failure. When you suspend disbelief, you “act as if your success is for certain”. You find the faith you need and you release the limits you have long attached yourself to. In order words, you strive to break free from what has held you back in the past. On the point of failure, Pritchett underlines that it is part of the journey. In fact, failure shows that change is happening and we must realise that if we don’t experience any problems, pain or difficulties, we are not growing and we’re likely aiming too low.

Just because things aren’t in order right now, it doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. For example, it’s basically impossible to bake something without getting the kitchen in a hot mess. You know that once you’ve finished you’ll have a delicious cake to eat and enjoy. Or halfway through surgery it always looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room. But that’s no reason for any doctor to call it quits. So you, too, shouldn’t give up before you’ve reached the finishing line.

Though You^2 is very, very short, there are many examples and quotes that filled me with inspiration and perspective. I think I’ve read the book at least 40 times already, and I’ll keep coming back to it for extra motivation and guidance, whether I read all 18 chapters or just a mix-and-match selection.

Overall, I would describe You^2 as a no-nonsense, straight-talking, proven guide to expansion in all areas of your life. Highly recommended!

 

 

A sense of urgency

An important thing to consider when pursuing your goals is your level of urgency.

A sense of urgency comes from having the drive and determination to see things through, and I believe it can only come when your goal is: a) challenging enough that you need to take a leap of faith, and b) exciting enough to keep you feeling stimulated along the way.

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Are you committed?

I heard the legendary entrepreneur John Assaraf talk about commitment and so I’m sharing my take on his lesson.

What does commitment mean in relation to a goal? I think of it as total dedication towards achieving a goal and constantly reaffirming your investment in it as well as your belief that you can achieve it. I see it as having an unstoppable desire to get things done and to see through on all of your actions.

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Start with the end in mind

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about this principle and because it is such a powerful one, I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Starting with the end in mind is all about developing and specifying what your destination and your objective look like. The more precise you are with this vision, the easier it is to achieve it.

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Maintaining a higher vibration

Quite recently I’ve made the commitment to keep my vibration high. But what does that really mean? I would define that as maintaining a positive attitude, believing in myself and not allowing negativity to hold me back.

In the mornings I do my visualisations, affirmations and I also write in my journal. However, some days I can’t be bothered and I don’t really want to do it. But my morning routine makes me feel present, positive and excited about the day. And because of the commitment that I made to myself, I know in my heart that I can’t forgo it. Therefore, every day I make sure I get it done, instantly raising my vibration.

Whenever something bad happens or if things don’t go according to plan, I let it go and do not dwell on it.

For example, a few weeks ago I wanted to put some cash into my bank account. But on my way to the bank, the money must have fallen out of my pocket. I can’t lie I was shocked and annoyed. I was like “God, really?! You know I was just about to pay a bit of my rent with that money. What am I gonna do now? Nahhhh, in fact, what are YOU gonna do now?”

I took some deep breaths and reminded myself not to internalise my circumstances; I took that angry energy and threw it away. Far, far, far away. I said to myself someone who needed that money more would find it and put it to good use. I could work a little harder during the week and make double what I lost. Everything will work in my favour in the end.

I flipped the situation and turned it into a positive. I stayed in control of my emotions and the situation by keeping my vibration high.

This technique becomes easier over time because it’s all about habitual thinking.  The more I work at it, the more it becomes my default way of being and perceiving the world around me.

Reading a book per week

It’s week 15 of the year and I’m about to start my 13th book. I’m really proud of myself for taking the time to find new books and for making reading a priority each day.

I started off quite slow in January, completing only 2 books. Well, technically 2.7 but I gave up on the last one as it was thicker than the Bible… Last month I read 5 books and I’m on track to finish 6 by the end of this month.

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Book review #5: You Are A Badass at Making Money (Master the Mindset of Wealth) by Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass at Making Money (Master the Mindset of Wealth) is a funny and engaging rulebook on how to live your best life, make a lot of money and not give a damn about your fears. The book teaches how to shift from a mindset of lack to one gratitude and positive expectation while maintaining a can-do attitude. I like Jen Sincero because she is totally honest, ballsy and is exactly what you’d want from an author with “Badass” in their book title.

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Jen was once broke. Broke af. She was living the struggle and for many, many years there seemed to be no way out. She didn’t begin to understand money until she was well into her forties. And as we know, by that time you’re expected have it all: house, car, home, family. Stress-free. Today, though, because Jen has done it all – not necessarily the way society dictates, but in her own badass way – she speaks with the utmost truth and brutal honesty.

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Book review #4: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

I read Think and Grow Rich once before, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago, but I hadn’t taken much from it. Wherever I turned in the world of personal development people were always talking about the things they’ve gained from reading this book, so I thought I should give it another try. This time around it’s fair to say I feel somewhat transformed.

Napoleon Hill’s book is about cultivating the right mindset and developing the necessary skills for generating wealth, regardless of the size of your desired income. Having studied some of the greatest achievers in modern history, Napoleon collated these key principles for attracting wealth and success across 15 chapters.

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Hill says that the task of sharing these ideas with the world came from Andrew Carnegie who he interviewed in 1908. Carnegie shared with him the secret formula for success and gave him the assignment of studying and interviewing hundreds of accomplished men and women who could attest to this secret formula.

Napoleon Hill interviewed the likes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford while writing Think and Grow Rich.

The first powerful concept is thoughts become things through the application of the correct principles. What is conceived in the spiritual world (in the form of thoughts) will be transmuted into a tangible result in the physical world. A burning desire is a catalyst for this process.

In chapter 2 entitled ‘Desire’, Napoleon Hill teaches that a clear, definite purpose backed by a burning desire will be realised each and every time, no matter the purpose.

Hill’s son, Blair, was born deaf and doctors repeatedly told Napoleon how his son didn’t have the necessary bodily instruments to receive sound. However, despite what the doctors said, he didn’t ever allow Blair to believe that he couldn’t hear. Instead, he transmitted to his son his own burning desire for him to develop his hearing and speech with constant positive reassurance and affirmations, firmly planting a strong belief in Blair’s subconscious mind from very early on.

In short, both parents didn’t treat their son as if he was handicapped. He was encouraged, nurtured and treated like any other child capable of hearing, although he was every bit the opposite. In spite of the unsuccessful operations, they didn’t give up on their desire.

One day the family was sent an electrical hearing device. They didn’t expect it to work because their son didn’t have the natural equipment that enables hearing, as the doctors had informed them many years prior, and they had already tested similar stuff over the years. However, to everyone’s surprise, Blair could hear perfectly well with this new hearing device. His parents’ desire had finally been realised.

Blair went on to work with the company that developed the device, travelling the whole country and teaching deaf-mutes to hear and speak with the same equipment that delivered him his own miracle.

This example is used to support the principle that a clear purpose is the first step in creating riches. More precisely, Napoleon Hill’s instructions for creating riches are:

  1. Fix in your mind the amount of money you want to have.
  2. Identify what you are willing to give in exchange for this money.
  3. Decide on the date you want to receive the money.
  4. Create a clear plan and commence immediately.
  5. Write out the above steps in a concise statement including your plan of action.
  6. Read this statement aloud before going to bed and in the morning AS IF IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

In the subsequent chapters, Napoleon describes the other principles that are attached to the plan and which will, when diligently used in conjunction with the plan, bring about the complete realisation of any definite purpose.

Firstly, the plan has to be carried out with faith. Faith is the key ingredient here because it is the light that leads the way. It gives you the courage and energy to undertake whatever action or surmount any obstacle. It’s about having belief in yourself, your purpose and your plan. Moreover, it is a state a mind that can be cultivated through the principle of auto-suggestion.

Auto-suggestion, like positive affirmations, involves repeatedly impressing ideas on the subconscious mind while using all of the senses. You feed your mind with your ideal(s) and get emotionally involved; you get excited about your purpose, you act as if it’s already come to pass and focus all your concentration on your desire. Engaging the senses in this process is especially significant because “your subconscious mind recognises and acts upon ONLY thoughts which have been well-mixed with emotion and feeling.”

Napoleon empowers by teaching his readers that they have the ability to influence their own subconscious mind by working with the infinite intelligence that is found within us all.

Other principles Hill discusses in Think and Grow Rich are that of persistence and decision. However, the most notable for me were chapters 10 and 11: The Power of the Mastermind and The Mystery of Sex, respectively.

My understanding of the Mastermind is that it’s a group of individuals who come together with similar intentions and values for the sole purpose of empowering and uplifting one another. The group works together to provide solutions to each other’s problems. The joining together of collective brainpower equips all within the Mastermind Group with greater intelligence, experience, knowledge and spiritual strength. This is especially impactful if members come from different fields of work.

I created my own Mastermind Group a few months ago and it’s been highly enriching because I can receive ideas, solutions and encouragement from the other members which allows for more growth and learning. And in return, I get to share my knowledge and experience with people who are always willing to take action. I wrote a post about my experience here: My Mastermind Group

I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion on the Mystery of Sex for many reasons. Napoleon lists the top 10 stimuli and names “the desire of sex expression” as number 1. The list includes fear, auto-suggestion, music, love and narcotics.

The desire for sex expression raises one’s vibration. However, this is only useful for wealth generation when the desire is transmuted into creative expression. For example, sexual energy can be harnessed to elicit creativity in literature, architecture or even industry. Napoleon argues that this is the very reason why some of the most brilliant minds of the past few centuries were A) motivated by the influence of a woman and B) successful after the age of forty.

Men tend to deplete their sexual energy and forces through endless indulgence as they come into adulthood and the subsequent decades. Nevertheless, he who learns to control his sexual desires and channel this energy into something more lasting and productive can eventually acquire success and great fortune. Indeed, noteworthy achievement is typically attained when a man is between 50 and 60 years old because he focusses much less on sexual pursuits. On this matter, Napoleon’s research addresses men only so I cannot confirm or deny if he would affirm the same theory for women.

In conclusion, Think and Grow Rich is a detailed book that can help you to open up your thinking and embrace the idea of attracting and generating riches. The principles have been tried and tested by the brightest and most successful men and women of Napoleon’s time.

Still, underlying each principle is the need for action. It’s not enough to read the book, nod in agreement at key points and expect cash to appear from left, right and centre. Money will not flow to you unless you actively implement the steps outlined within this book. Those who choose to follow Napoleon’s advice and persevere in their endeavours will be met with true abundance.

Well, I guess all that’s left now is to make a start!