Thursday Thought-Self Help: Discover Your Genius

Several years ago, I spent a year doing a self-awareness/improvement project, using a book called Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK as a guide.  She had quite a reading list in the book, and I read every single title that was available from my local public library. I ended up purchasing at least three of the ones I read. The book I reviewed last month, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, was one. Today’s review is another: Discover Your Genius by Michael J. Gelb. The subtitle is “How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds.

Gelb himself admits his choice of subjects was arbitrary, but he presents good reasons for picking the ten people he did:

  • Plato (Deepening Your Love of Wisdom)
  • Brunelleschi (Expanding Your Perspective)
  • Columbus (Going Perpendicular: Strengthening Your Optimism, Vision, and Courage)
  • Copernicus (Revolutionizing Your Worldview)
  • Elizabeth I (Wielding Your Power with Balance and Effectiveness)
  • Shakespeare (Cultivating Your Emotional Intelligence)
  • Jefferson (Celebrating Your Freedom in the Pursuit of Happiness)
  • Darwin (Developing Your Power of Observation and Opening Your Mind)
  • Gandhi (Applying the Principles of Spiritual Genius to Harmonize Spirit, Mind, and Body)
  • Einstein (Unleashing Your Imagination and Combinatory Play)

The book includes biographical and historical information. He examines the commonalities and the unique aspects of each of his subjects. There are little quizzes. Suggestions of simple things to incorporate into your own life. In short, there was so much good in this book that I found trying to copy it all was a waste of time when I could simple purchase the book for myself. So I did.

I know there is only one woman included, but many genius women are lost to us simply because they were female.

I know both Christopher Columbus and Thomas Jefferson are politically incorrect these days. No excuses.

I still like the book a lot.

 

Thursday Thought: Book Cover Heroes

One thing I’ve noticed when reading (older) series/category romance is the cover models frequently resemble actors. Now, this may be true of new issues, but I don’t know newer actors.

Here are a few examples (from the late 1990s/early 2000s:

Probably the least well-known, this guy looks like John Shea. I know John Shea from the TV show: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in which he played villain Lex Luthor.

Alec Baldwin, anyone?

Richard Gere?

And the most recent (in my personal collection):

Will Ferrell.

What do you think? Have you spotted actors on the covers of anything you’ve read?

Thursday Thoughts: Polka Dots

Are polka dots a summer thing? I wondered this as I pulled on a fuchsia and white polka dog shirt the other day. I remembered with great fondness other polka dotted summer clothes: a red and white dress that flirted with my legs when I danced; a navy and white dress I always wore with pearls. Even one of my maternity outfits was polka dotted.

Could this be the reason why I associate polka dots with summer?

 

Thursday Thought-Self-Help: Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving With Grace by Gordon MacKenzie is one of the easiest self-help books I’ve ever devoured. There’s no jargon, no quoted sources or case studies (or if there is, they are a minor mention at best).

MacKenzie writes about his time working for Hallmark and the frustrations of a creative thinker trying to be productive in a corporate one-size-fits-all structure. He shares his methods for coping. Most of his ideas wouldn’t work in the majority of businesses. These days, they wouldn’t even work in “creative” business, such as broadcasting. They’d be great for advertising and marketing.

One of the most important lessons I learned is from Chapter 19. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.” (I once quoted this, then had to explain the meaning, which shocked me.) This may be the best advice I’ve ever read.

This is an older book (1998); technology has changed many things in our world. But the human brain, if properly treated, can triumph.

Thursday Thought: Holidays Aren’t a Day Off

Happy Memorial Day. My grandmother always called today Decoration Day, because one is supposed to decorate the graves of  deceased soldiers. When I was in high school marching band, we marched in three Memorial Day Parades. Then it was off for a family picnic.

We still have an annual family picnic. I love my family. I have wonderful nieces and nephews, and even young ones from the next generation. My sibs are great, and I’m lucky to still have both of my parents.

But now that I’m a working adult, I have concluded that just because a person doesn’t have to report to a day job on the holiday, doesn’t make it a day off. The work is just a different kind of work.

When my children were younger, I had to get them ready to travel, pack a change or two of clothing, and prepare a pot luck contribution. They’re responsible for themselves now, but I still have to prepare food to share. I like to cook, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoy the challenge of finding dishes that take everyone’s food foibles into consideration. It’s still work, though. I have to make certain I have enough meat for my gang (our picnics are bring your own meat and a dish to pass). I have to do the shopping.

Where is my day off?