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Self-Help

do you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset?

There are two types of people in this world: the scarcity type and the plenty type. Do you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset? If you are one of those who are constantly worried that there will not be enough of anything; enough money, enough time, enough food, enough of … well, you fill in the blank, then you belong to the first category, the scarcity type. If you are one of those who think that if there are not enough slices of pie for everyone, then the best thing to do is to make your own pie, then you belong to the second category, the plenty type.

Having a scarcity mindset is pervasive and is literally eating away your energy and mental capacity. In the world of science and psychology, this is called tunneling. We have very limited cognitive space and bandwidth. When you focus heavily on one thing, there is just less mind to devote to other things and as you devote more and more time dealing with scarcity you have less and less for other things in life.

In the world of economics and psychology, having too little means so much

The starting point is to acknowledge the fact that resources are scarce and limited. How much something costs depends on how scarce it is in relation to another resource, and the price will be driven by supply and demand. Sellers will charge you more for a product if they can convince you that this product is scarce or available only for a short period of time. It always baffled me to see how travel tickets and hotel rooms hyper-inflate around Christmas time, Easter, and summer vacation. I understand the concept that a lot of people would want to travel around those vacation times to meet up with family and friends, but I found it reprehensible to see how the service providers are taking advantage of this surge of demand, but I digress.

In the book “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much” economist Sendhil Mullainathan and psychologist Eldar Shafer discuss the effects of scarcity mindset on our ability to think clearly and make informed decisions.

“Scarcity captures the mind… when we experience scarcity of any kind, we become absorbed by it. The mind orients automatically, powerfully towards unfulfilled needs. Scarcity is more than just the displeasure of having very little. It changes how we think. It imposes itself on our minds.”

Scarcity has a good, a bad, and a very ugly side. The good side of scarcity shows its lovely face when you have a limited amount of time to complete a task due to a pressing deadline, this can help you be hyper-focus on the task at hand. The bad side of scarcity shows it preoccupied face when all your energy is wasted away on the feeling of lack, leaving little mental capacity to focus on more important matters. The ugly side of scarcity shows its ugly face when you are creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom because you are unable to make good decisions based on your unhealthy obsession with scarcity.

In the world of self-help and self-development, having a plenty mindset is the way to go

Do you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset? Do you see the glass half-full or half-emplty? Photo by Goonerva via freepik.com

An abundant mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody. People with a plenty mindset see opportunities everywhere instead of limitations. If you have the choice of hanging out with someone who sees the glass half-full or half-empty, for sure you will decide to spend time with the person who is positive, vibrant, who sees life as half-full, and who is feeling grateful for the things that they have.

People with a scarcity mindset believe that if one person wins, another must lose. It is very black & white. It is natural of course to want to be winners and not losers. The good news is that there is something in between losing or winning, it is called win-win scenarios where both parties get something from the transaction. So, instead of staying stuck in the paradigm win-lose all the time, try to create win-win scenarios.

Opportunities are everywhere but some people are blind to them because they have tunnel vision which triggers them to focus too much on one particular aspect of the issue. If you have a propensity to do that, you will not notice other possibilities that are right in front of you. If you keep repeating to yourself that you can’t do something and if impossible is part of your daily vocabulary, your brain will absolutely believe it. What you believe is what you receive.

Do you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset? Go or not go? Photo by Talexey via freepik.com

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

Henry Ford

It is possible to switch from a scarcity mindset to a plenty mindset by following those tips [This list is non-exhaustive, feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment box]

1. Hang out with the right type of people, i.e., people who see the glass half full.

2. Be grateful for what you have and don’t wallow in self-pity if you want a piece of the pie and there are no more slices, go and make your own pie.

3. Create win-win scenarios in your professional and personal life.

4. Train your mind to recognize the possibilities that are all around you.

Given the choice would you rather be a farmer or a nomad?

Before you decide to switch off on me and quit reading the rest of this article, there is a point to this question. Your answer will indicate whether you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset. In the early days of civilization, you had two groups of people: the farmers and the nomads.Young farmers were taught to use resources intelligently in order to create plenty of food. Young nomads were taught to take from a world of limited resources. The nomadic existence was based on a plunder model, placed on top of a clan model. The farmers’ model was based on creativity and collaboration.

Do you have a scarcity mindset or a plenty mindset like the farmers? Photo by Nadya 1971 via freepik.com

The nomads lived in a very rigid structure. At the base was the family clan, in these small groups, there was a great deal of sharing and cooperative decisions making, but the important and final decisions would have been made by the senior, dominant, patriarchal male who had an enormous amount of clout on the rest of the clan. Clans tended to constantly compare themselves to other clans and opposed any change of status between them. The rigidity of these structures led to rivalry, conflicts, and hatred between clans that sometimes endured for centuries.

The farming society operated as a decentralized structure. These farming groups kept alive an old tradition to gather in much larger groups for a few weeks every year. At these gatherings, ceremonies would be conducted, and festivals held, to make marriage arrangements and trade goods. The farmers became prosperous, food was plenty, goods could be accumulated, large communities could be formed, specialist activity could be developed, and innovation could take place. Music appeared, written language, basic mathematics, and sciences developed. The creative capability of men and women could be exchanged within the various groups and they could inspire and teach each other.

The farmers were living happily and peacefully on their land, growing their crops, exchanging resources and ideas with their neighbors, and using their creativity to fill their days with arts, music, and newly acquired knowledge and connections. At some point, the nomads who were roaming around the country bumped into those farmers’ communities. They became jealous of the farmers’ prosperity and their wealth, which made them look like second-rate. So, they mounted numerous looting missions on those farmers. These attacks drove some of the farmers away, pushing them to pack their belongings and leave to find a more peaceful area to settle and start all over again.

The nomads realized that instead of looting the farmers and driving them away, they could instead steal a limited amount from the farmers, so as not to drive them away. Those nomadic groups sustained plunder at a level that was low enough for the productive farmers to accept their rulership and “protection” from other thugs. For the farmers, giving a fifth of his crops to a thug was less bad than facing death or going back to a traveling gardener lifestyle. This way the nomads could work the same ground for life, and this is how the first rulers were born – out of plundering!

The moral of the story: Having a scarcity mindset eats away your energy and mental capacity. Switch towards a plenty mindset. If there are not enough slices of the pie, make your own pie. And if you think that it is easier to steal from the baker instead of making your own, accept the fact that that will make you a thug.

You can find a more detailed analysis of this fascinating subject in Chapter 7 of my book, This Is Your Quest.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

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Uncategorized

Short Life lessons from joanne reed – World Class Performer Interview

I am feeling blessed to have been interviewed by World Class Performer who have been featuring since 2017 stories, tactics and practical advice from authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, investors sharing their short profiles to help their audience answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results and transform life.

You can read the interview on the World Class Performer platform by clicking on the following link Short Life Lessons from Joanne Reed – World Class Performer Interview.

Or you can read the transcript of my interview with World Class Performer below.

Joanne Reed is the author of This Is Your Quest – Your Mission: To Experience Happiness Along the Way. She has not made it yet to the New York Times Bestseller list and is wondering why she is being featured here, but as a storyteller, she has a lot to say. Stories teach us about life, about ourselves, and about others. She discovered the art of blogging a year ago and writes about anything that nourishes and educates the mind with a zest of philosophy, plenty of good vibes, and this little je ne sais quoi. 

Can you tell the audience of World Class Performer where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I was born and raised on a French Island in the Indian Ocean called Réunion. It is like the French version of Hawaii. Life on the island was good and I was truly fortunate to have been born and raised in a loving family environment surrounded by my parents, my sister, lots of uncles and aunties, and tons of cousins with the beach on one side and the mountain on the other side. Those early years taught me two things: 1) family is everything and 2) immerse yourself in nature whenever you can.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Most people play the same game i.e., Follow the Follower. Instead of following everyone else and instead of competing with everyone else: Pause – Create – Innovate.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

You often hear that your work will speak for itself and the only thing you have to do is write a great book and the rest will follow. That is a myth. Writing a great book is not enough. If you don’t put yourself out there, your work will stay in semi-obscurity. It takes great energy and effort for new authors to get visibility. New authors should be relentless in their Quest to make their work visible and accessible to a larger audience. The most surprising thing I learned about writing is that your book is not finished until it has been read.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

Dark periods for me equates to periods of time throughout various stages of my life where I felt out of place, lacking confidence in my ability, not having any clarity, living in a state of anxiety, and worrying about the future. Reading self-help books helped me get out of these periods and those books made me a little bit smarter and wiser.

There are two ways to learn valuable life lessons. The first method is through trial, errors, and personal experience and the second method is through books. The downside of the first method is that it will no doubt bring you a fair amount of pain and suffering, which is something that we all want to avoid as much as possible. Learning life lessons through someone else’s struggle and the ordeal is a much less painful way to go about it whilst still bringing the same benefits. Words have tremendous power and energy. Well-chosen words can breathe hope into you when your spirit is broken and can make you stronger than you know. 

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

It depends on how you define success. It is such a fluid concept. Success means different things to different people. If success means signing a publishing contract with a publisher, I tick that box and the biggest contributor to my success would be the fact that I wrote a book that is unique. The book is written from the perspective of the reader. I act as a tour guide and take my readers with me on an epic journey through time, traveling around the world, and learning valuable lessons from my favorite authors and philosophers along the way. The whole idea of the book is to guide my readers in their Quest to find their own definition of happiness and find their own path. I couldn’t find anywhere a book that dealt with all the subjects I was interested in (i.e., money, love, and health), a book that inspired me but challenged me all the same, a book that could act as a compass when I was feeling lost, a book that could educate, heal and illuminate the mind. So, I decided that I should write such a book myself.

If you define success by being on the New York Times Bestselling list, I don’t tick that box yet! I am Work-In-Progress. I see myself more like a marathon runner and not a sprinter. Let’s do this interview again in a couple of years, shall we?

What is your morning routine?

If I had to write a book to describe my morning routine, the title would be the ‘Art of wearing different hats’.

5:30 am: wake-up and make coffee, dress-up in sports gear and put my baseball hat on ready to take my dog Louis out for a quick toilet-stroll round the block; show-up at my desk for an early morning writing session wearing my favorite author’s hat, blissfully aware about how precious this alone time is.

8:00 am: Cook healthy/high protein English breakfast whilst doing the best I can to resist eating too much carb/bread.

9:00 am: show up to my Muay Thai class wearing my protective fighter hat for some high-intensity hand-to-hand combat activity where I am practicing some kick-ass moves that make me feel like Wonder Woman. 

10 am: Return home for a shower. Put author’s hat back on to do more writing till the time comes for me to swap my author’s hat with my domestic goddess hat, ready to prepare lunch, and do whatever domestic goddesses do nowadays. Wear my chauffeur’s hat a few times during the day to take my youngest daughter to places.

The rest of the day continues with me having to swap hats all the time and attend to whatever requires my undivided attention. 

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

I am curious about the world, about people, I am awake and aware of what’s happening, I read, I listen, I connect the dots, I pause, stay still, reflect and meditate, and when all of this is done, I have the urge to put my thoughts on paper and I write. I like to describe myself as an artist because it is more fluid and more suited to my current state of mind. Charles Bukowski says it best “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way”. 

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

  • Write To-Do-Lists.
  • Have lots of different hats to wear for different occasions.
  • Wake-up, dress up, show up and do the best I can till I know better and when I know better I do better. 
  • Last and not least have a sense of adventure, be an explorer. Explorers are a special type of human beings. They have physical endurance, mental toughness, abundant determination, and willpower, a deep feeling of purpose, they have faith in their pursuit and live every day with the conviction of their Quest!

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because it summarizes very well everything important you need to know to survive in this world. Mainly that a person’s only real obligation is to realize one’s Personal Legend because if you do this with courage, authenticity, and integrity everything else will fall into place. Realizing your own Personal Legend is not a selfish, ego-centric purpose that only benefits you because as Christian D Larson says, “what’s the world needs is people who can do things that are thoroughly worthwhile; people who can think great thoughts and transform such thoughts into great deeds”. 

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often that you would like to share with the audience of World Class Performer?

I live by and think often of one particular quote by Maya Angelou: “Wake-up, dress-up, show-up every day, and do the best you can until you know better, and when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou was such a phenomenal woman; her life was a succession of epic adventures. I named my eldest daughter after her.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

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Self-Help

Insignificant, Yet Important

Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it because you can’t know. You can’t ever really know the meaning of your life. And you don’t need to. Every life has meaning, whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds.”

Mahatma Gandhi.

This quote from Mahatma Gandhi is profound in many ways, it teaches us that the insignificant is important, and who we are and what we do have an impact on people around us and on the world at large; we have more influence than we think.

The insignificant is important because small choices + consistency + time = significant results.

Have you heard about the concept of compound effect? The compound effect is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions. Darren Hardy wrote a whole book on this fascinating subject. Success is doing half dozen things really well, repeated five thousand times. Your life is a result of your moment-to-moment choices and the compound effect is the operating system that has been running your life whether you know it or not.

Compound Effect. Photo from Alfah via freepik.com

Small changes done consistently each day can add up to a big reward further down the line. The doubling penny example illustrates this point quite well. If I offer you $1 million dollars right now or a penny that would double in value each and every day for the next 30 days, which would you choose? Most people would jump at the opportunity to grab $1 million and make a run for it. However, if you spend a little time thinking it through, you would be better off choosing the second option. If you double a penny every day for the next 30 days, you will end up with $5.3 million dollars. Sure, you may be thinking nobody knows where I would be in the next 30 days, I may be dead, so might as well grab $1 million now. The chance is, you will be perfectly fine and alive in the next 30 days and if you opted for the second choice you would be sitting on $5.3 million dollars. Not insignificant!

The insignificant is important because no man is an island

Every life matters because we operate within a chain of existence where everything we do or don’t do affects our environment and the people we interact with. Every person you come in contact with is somehow impacted by your presence.

Today you wake up happy and in a good mood, ready to make the most of the day ahead of you. You go out of your building, cross path with a stranger, and decide to hold the door for that person to let him in the building; that gesture will likely trigger a positive reaction from that person who will smile back, say thank you, and wish you a pleasant day. Good manners go a long way and can create a positive ripple effect. So now we have two happy people out and about with a smile on their faces.

At the end of a stressful day in the office you come back home, you are tired and in a bad mood. You walk towards your building, cross paths with a stranger by the front door, and lash out at that person for being in your way. Your lack of civility will have a ripple effect on that person’s mood and you may have just ruined the rest of their evening. So now we have two unhappy people out and about with a grumpy expression on their faces. Those examples show that you have the power to make someone‘s day a great day or a shitty day.

Insignificant, Yet Important. Photo from Alfah via freepik.com

The majority of people go about their daily life without considering the impact their words or actions could have on someone else. Our impact on others is largely unconscious. We do things without considering the repercussions or even realizing that our actions and words matter. We dish out our opinions on social media without a second thought about the possible ripples effect that our comment may cause to someone. We wrongly believe that our words and/or actions don’t matter that much because who are we to think that we have the power to shape the world around us?

This belief is wrong. Each and every one of us has a great deal of power over our environment, there is no doubt that we can have a positive or a negative impact on this world through the choices we make every day. You do not need to be famous or wealthy or write a book to be influential. Assuming that you don’t live under a rock, you will be surrounded by family, friends, colleagues, random people you come in contact with all the time, and this in itself gives you some kind of influence.

Do not underestimate the impact you have on others. The impression you leave on this life and on others is your legacy, and this in itself is a big deal. Be intentional about the way you live your life, because that is your legacy.

“Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s the little things that count. Way too often, we just stop. We stop trying, stop caring, stop moving. For sure accomplishing great deeds of valor is a worthwhile pursuit, but at the same time, we should not underestimate the power of doing small acts that are just and right, a touch of a hand, a smile, a kind word, and doing them over and over again, no matter what; those are the things that count. Insignificant, yet important!

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

Categories
Self-Help

Why Being Confident Matters

Confidence is difficult to define because it is subjective, elusive, and hard to pin down; but you know it when you see it, and you know what it feels like to be around it. Being confident is an experience. We also know when we don’t feel it when we hide underneath a blanket of self-doubt, anxiety, and insecurity. Confidence and lack of confidence are some of those rare qualities that are infectious. When you act confident you exude good positive vibes, people want to be around you, follow your lead, and be inspired by you. When you feel wary, insecure, and defeated people tend to stay away from you. Being confident matters a great deal. Please read on to find out why.

Why being confident matters?

Being confident matters a great deal because whether we like it or not being successful in our professional and personal life depends to a great extent on what we do and how we do it. On a professional level, what we do is a matter of technical skills, and how we do it is a function of confidence.

“Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.”

George Herbert
Why being confident matters. Photo from @raulmellado via freepik.com

Confidence should not be an end in and of itself, and it will never compensate for good old-fashioned hard work. Even the most confident people need to be confident about something, themselves, their work, their identities, and confidence divorced from content will fall apart sooner rather than later. Confidence isn’t just about style, it’s also about substance; the two are intimately connected.

Rule 1 of Jordan Peterson’s book “The 12 Rules for Life” is to stand up straight with your shoulders back.

“Attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them, at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous.”

Jordan Peterson

Confidence manifests in a number of highly visible ways: our body language, vocal tonality, verbal cues. Confidence matters a great deal because it acts as a protective shield. Bullies and predators’ favorite types of victims are those who are weak, easy to conquer, and less likely to put up a fight. If you are walking in the street with your eyes on your feet and hunched around, you broadcast to the world your vulnerability; but on the other hand, if you stand up straight with your shoulders back, if you walk tall and stare forthrightly ahead you broadcast to the world that you are solid and ready to face whatever life is throwing at you.

Use your body language and your vocal tone like you mean business. Operate in a calm-assertive-mode with the ability to turn into fighting-mode if and when required.True confidence is a process, it is not constant. It comes and goes. It ebbs and flows. It takes a hit and has to recover. It’s always evolving during the course of our lives as we take on new situations, challenges, and goals. So, we have to keep working on it as we go along.

Be confident without trying to fake it

Why being confident matters. Photo from @raulmellado via freepik.com

One of the recipes for success promoted by many self-development gurus and authors is to fake it until you make it. Confidence is a quality that can be projected or faked. Deep insecurity can masquerade as confidence, politicians are experts in the art of faking it. Confidence can be hacked acquired and learned if you spend enough time practicing talking, acting, and looking a certain way.

The question is how long can you fake it? My take on this is that you can fake it for a little while until the entire act of faking confidence will become too exhausting, confusing, and alienating, as keeping up appearances becomes your primary objective. And here starts a vicious circle of faking it, being fearful of being found out and doubling down on the illusion.

Wouldn’t it be easier if instead of faking it you practice the real thing, by being more authentic, more grounded?

“True confidence is a feeling of self-assurance that is grounded in an authentic experience of our own ability, perspective and sufficiency. It is also a sense that we are enough, that we aren’t lacking in some fundamental sense that prevents us from navigating the world in a healthy, positive, and productive way. It is a quality we all inspire to have. With it we feel engaged, purposeful, inspired. Without it, we feel wary, defeated, fearful.”

Jordan Harbinger

A few tips to help you be more confident

  1. Stand up straight with shoulders back. Confidence is expressed most profoundly through our bodies. No matter how well we speak, the way we feel about ourselves will always manifest in our posture, our hand movements, and our facial features.
  2. Dress for success, for the job, and for the life you want. We have to remember that people’s first impressions are made when they see us, not when we first interact with them. This is why you should pay attention to your physical appearance. Wearing the right attire for the right occasion is important. Showing up at a job interview wearing garments that are inappropriate for the job on offer, will for sure not get you that job and will also knock down your confidence level a few notches. This rule doesn’t stop when you are at home, you can wear comfortable clothes, and still look fabulous, ready to have a fabulous day.
  3. Speak as you mean it. After body language, our voice is our most powerful tool to make a good impression. Vocal tonality, which includes not just the physical quality of our voice but also our pitch, articulation, syntax, volume, and intention, expresses and reinforces our innermost sense of self. And remember that our voice tonality could act as a protective shield, if you find yourself in a situation where someone is invading your personal space, taking liberties that make you feel uncomfortable, assert yourself through your words and voice tonality, put some boundaries and make it very clear that you are not to be messed with. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by someone who is taking too much liberty.
  4. Be authentic. Being authentic means being emotionally honest, clear about your experience of the world, and free of pretense. It means responding to every moment of life, the positive and the negative, in your own way, without faking it. True authenticity owns and acknowledges those less than pleasant experiences in our lives in a way that ultimately enhances our sense of self. In other words, we don’t become confident by never feeling insecure. Nobody feels positive, upbeat, and confident at every hour of the day. I got news for you; everybody is as lost as you are. If you respond authentically to your experiences (good or bad) and are able to share those experiences in the appropriate amount (too much self-pity will turn you into a victim – avoid this at all cost), in an appropriate way, in appropriate contexts, you are all set. If you do it right, those moments of vulnerability can turn into an asset and a strength.

Be confident without being arrogant

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and it can be hard to distinguish between the two. Working to boost self-esteem is a good thing but taking it to excess can encourage arrogance and narcissism instead.Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance that comes from an appreciation of our abilities or qualities. Arrogance is characterized by having an exaggerated sense of our importance or abilities, and self-righteousness. Arrogance often masks an insecurity. Confidence on the other hand stems from true self-worth. Ultimately, arrogance repels us. I don’t know a lot of people who like to spend time with arrogant people. Confident people are the opposite: they inspire others. Never underestimate the power of being confident, it matters a great deal. And this, my dear friend, is your Quest!

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

Categories
Self-Help

Transformation and Growth. How Does One Become a Butterfly?

Transformation and growth. How does one become a butterfly?

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”.

If one of your New Year resolutions is to pursue transformation and growth in order to become the best version of yourself, I invite you to study the life of a butterfly and learn from it. But how does one become a butterfly?

Transformation and Growth – How does one become a butterfly? Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

The butterfly has one of the most fascinating life cycles of all creatures. It starts its life as an egg perched on a leaf. When the egg finally hatches, a caterpillar emerges from the egg. The whole raison d’être of the caterpillar is to eat as much as possible in order to reach its desired growth. During this stage, the caterpillar will outgrow and shed its skin as many as four or five times.

As soon as the caterpillar is done growing and it has reached its full length and weight, it takes refuge into a cocoon, also known as the chrysalis, where it can safely rest and digest all the food that has been consumed in the previous stage. Though the chrysalis appears unchanged from the outside, there is a dramatic transformation taking place inside, this process is called metamorphosis, whereby the body of the caterpillar is slowly dissolving to create a brand-new being.

At last, in the final stage of its metamorphosis, the fully developed butterfly is ready to emerge from the chrysalis. The butterfly breaks free from its cocoon with wings that are folded and wet, so more rest time is necessary to allow blood to flow into the wings. Finally, when the wings are fully dry, the butterfly is ready to take flight and share its beauty with the world.

If we look closely at the process of the butterfly transformation from one state to another state, we see it is not an easy process. It takes time and each phase is necessary before the next stage can take place. If your New Year resolution is to transform yourself into the best individual you can possibly be,  I invite you to emulate the transformation process of the butterfly when you are working on your own transformation and growth.

The caterpillar stage

In this stage of the butterfly’s life (which follows right after the hatching from an egg) the main task is consumption. For us, we can assimilate this stage with the stage of growth when we are consuming as much knowledge and training as we can about something new that we want to understand and master.

Transformation and Growth. How does one become a butterfly? The caterpillar stage. Photo by freepik via freepik.com

This is the stage when we learn how to master our craft, and it is also the occasion for us to keep an open-mind about how things are done  and ‘shed’ old ideas, concepts and habits that don’t work anymore. Sometimes we have to unlearn the things we learned and take the path less traveled by. This is often a stage of great excitement and energy as we enjoy the flow of creativity and inspiration it brings; but the learning process can also bring with it its fair share of  hard work and loneliness.

It is important that we do not rush through this stage and have patience to go through the not-so-glamourous part of the learning process. A house built on sand won’t last very long. In the olden days, if you wanted to enter a profession you had to find a master who will be willing to take you under his wings and enter into an apprenticeship to learn the craft.  The normal length of an apprenticeship was 10 years; learning the craft required patience, discipline and dedication. The modern concept of this is the 10, 000 hours required to master a skill as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.

Robert Greene calls this Mastery. He wrote a whole book about it.

Anyone who would spend ten years absorbing the techniques and conventions of their field, trying them out, mastering them, exploring and personalizing them, would inevitably find their authentic voice and give birth to something unique and expressive. Embrace slowness as a virtue in itself”.

Robert Greene

We have a tendency to want to take the quickest, easiest path to our goals, we are impatient and want to see results quickly, but remember “there is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” The best way to cultivate our natural impatience is to cultivate a kind of pleasure in pain – like an athlete, you come to enjoy rigorous practice, pushing past your limits, and resisting the easy way out.

For more on this subject, you can read my article Want Good things to happen to you? Try Patience.

The chrysalis stage

In this stage the caterpillar takes refuge in a protective cocoon where it can safely rest and conduct its metamorphosis quietly and privately.

Human beings tend to skip that stage or confuse it with a period of a downturn or treat it as a failure. In fact, this stage is a necessary stage where you should learn the art of being still. What does stillness mean? Stillness means to be steady while the world spins around you. Socrates tells us that philosophy begins with wonder, and wonder is rooted in stillness. Other philosophers from various schools of thought have come to a similar conclusion, namely that the ultimate destination in our life journey is to master the stillness that is required to become master of our own life.

Transformation and Growth – How does one become a butterfly? The Chrysalis Stage Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Ryan Holiday’s book Stillness is the Key, describes the philosophy of stillness, or the art of being still and how important stillness is for self-mastery, discipline and focus in our modern noisy world. Stillness is an attainable path to enlightenment, excellence, greatness, and happiness, it can inspire new ideas, sharpens perspective and illuminate the mind. Stillness slows the ball down so we can hit it, it generates a vision, helps us resist the passion of the mob, and makes space for gratitude and wonder. Stillness allows us to persevere, to succeed, a key to unlock the insights of genius. Stillness is not some soft, new-age nonsense or the domain of monks or sages but in fact an essential component to peak performance in every domain of life.

A paradox of stillness is that it requires you to think very deeply, but also clear your mind. In fact, this is not a paradox as once our mind is cleared and emptied insights and breakthroughs can occur.

“Muddy waters clear themselves through stillness; if we let them settle the truth will be revealed to us.”

Another paradox is that stillness does not require that you stop moving or even to be somewhere quiet, stillness can be cultivated while chaos swirls around you. Those moments, in a busy shopping mall or airport, when somehow all the external noise is filtered out and you feel a sense of calm and can focus on what is in your control, that, is stillness.

The ability to intentionally find stillness, in a busy environment or just by shutting your eyes and focusing your thoughts and attention on one thing, is important because we have to move and live our lives; intentional stillness takes effort.  Active stillness is effective because we can’t simply think our way to peace or pray our body into better condition.

Stillness is an important tool on your journey to find clarity. The ability to see clearly, not only when you are meditating, but in the midst of conflict when you are frustrated, angry or scared, will help you find a more logical, less emotional response, and give you choices to do things differently, or do nothing at all.

For more on this subject , please read my article  The Art of Being Still.

Transformation and growth – How does one become a butterfly?

At last, in the final stage, the fully developed butterfly is ready to emerge from the chrysalis sharing its beauty with the world. The butterfly is considered a wonder of nature, it symbolizes personal transformation, changes, rebirth and the lightness of being. The butterfly as a spirit animal will remind you that life is a dance. You should not take things so seriously. Transformation and changes don’t have to be traumatic. They can be sweet and gentle, so you can accept them with grace and joy.

Transformation and Growth. How does one become a butterfly? Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

When you are ready to display your new you to the world, move forward with courage, while recognizing the fragility of your ‘new wings’, and when things don’t work out the way you expected, best to let go of your expectations. It is natural for human beings to seek validation; we thrive on being seen and being appreciated for our work and effort. We all want to become a beautiful Monarch butterfly admired by the people around us and for the most ambitious admired by the whole world. But the reality is many of our endeavors will turn into tiny moths instead, and that’s Ok. We have to resist the temptation to be only driven by the desire to create something grandiose and earth-shattering; it is Ok to shoot for the stars but if you don’t get there, it is also Ok to be fully satisfied with whatever emerges from the chrysalis, for nature has a need for moths as well as beautiful butterflies.

Advice from a Butterfly from Ilan Shamir

Transformation and Growth – Advice from a Butterfly? Photo by @freepik via freepik.com
  • Let your true colors show
  • Take yourself lightly
  • Look for the sweetness in life
  • Take time to smell the flowers
  • Catch a breeze
  • Treat yourself like a Monarch
  • And this my dear friend, is your Quest.

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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

Categories
Self-Help

Why You Should Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste

Why you should never let a good crisis go to waste

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to never let a good crisis go to waste. This article is my attempt to offer you some pointers on how to do just that.  Life is a journey, sometimes the road is nice and pleasant and other times it is rocky, arduous, dangerous and most unpleasant. 

No one voluntarily chooses to go down the unpleasant road, except that sometimes there is nowhere to go but down that road. Picture yourself being on Route 2020 (which looks a lot like the year 2020). Route 2020 is one of those roads that gives you the chills when you are on it, danger lurks at every corner, there is no good visibility, it is isolated, rugged, with many up and down hills and unexpected turns. Since the beginning of this year, we have been driving down that road, it has been rough.

A lot of things are happening this year are outside our control. Instead of worrying about things we can’t change, it is better to focus instead on the things that we can control. There is always a silver lining on the horizon, even if we can’t see it yet. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Some roads are rugged, difficult, dangerous – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity” –

John F Kennedy

The whole premise of this article is that you should never let a good crisis go to waste because they could be an opportunity in every crisis. John F Kennedy and the Chinese understood that concept quite well. Once you are aware of the danger, y acknowledge it, calm your nerve and then do something about it preferably that turn things around to your advantage. One way to achieve this is to focus your energy on a purpose, a mission, a passion, something that keeps you in a state of flow. And this is how you find your opportunity, your silver lining.

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Find your passion

Life can be hectic and it always feels like there is so much that needs to be done. Your to-do list is filled with essential items requiring your attention, (thanks for adding check out Joanne Reed’s blog on your list of essential things to do today. I appreciate it very much.) The problem is that non-essential activities rarely make it onto that list, and if they do, these low-priority items will only be completed if there is time left. The problem is that there is never enough time left.

Time is of the essence. Make time. – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Except that this year, it is different. Suddenly all of us find ourselves with a lot of new-found-time because the government has ordered their people to stay at home, to work remotely, to do online schooling, to only go out for essential trips to the grocery store (there is nowhere else to go anyway, everything is shut)? Make the most of it. Never let a good crisis go to waste and don’t spoil it by turning yourself into a couch potato.

Instead of laying on the couch in a state of semi-torpor binge-watching TV, fill your to-do-list with activities you never had time to do before the crisis, such as cooking, getting fit, gardening, singing, painting, writing, becoming a YouTuber… whatever lights-up your spirit and get you in a state of flow.

How do I find my passion?

For some people finding their passion is easy, they were born knowing what it was; what is less easy is to get started and to do it consistently. For others, finding their passion is not so obvious. The problem is that a lot of people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. The truth is that our passion comes first from doing things, and then doing them right.  We should get into the habit of injecting passion into all the things that we do. If we do this consistently, a time will come when something will stand out above all the other things, and that is the very thing that we should devote more time to doing passionately. That’s all there is to it, just do it .

Find your passion . Make your Life a work of art – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

It is possible to have a passion and still feel demotivated and deflated because you can’t see any results. The problem these days is that people are impatient, they expect instantaneous results. That’s not how things work. Being successful at something requires hard work, sweat, tears, discipline, and patience. Don’t focus on the outcome, focus on the work itself. Pursue the things you love doing and devote yourself to hone your craft on a daily basis. Eventually, people will not be able to take their eyes off you.

If you still feel dispassionate and have no passion to create anything, listen to the philosopher Carl Jung who may give you some ideas.

“If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.”

Carl Jung

What about turning yourself into a work of art? Maybe the healthiest person you could be? Or maybe a deep philosophical thinker? And when you got it, flaunt it.

“Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of.” Make your life a work of art!

Richard Taylor

Be an artist, create, innovate

Each creation showcases my own personal journey. My worries, dreams and ambitions. Everything I love and everything I fearPhoto by @freepik via freepik.com
  • I am an artist
  • I am a creator of ideas
  • Swimming in a sparkling see of imagination
  • A magician of sorts, turning thoughts of
  • Wonderment into pieces of originality
  • Each creation showcases
  • My own personal journey
  • My worries, dreams and ambitions,
  • Everything I love and everything I fear
  • All that I was yesterday and all that I’ll be tomorrow
  • Is neatly contained in my glorious creations
  • When you glance over my work, you are catching
  • A glimpse of my soul,
  • For a part of me is each piece I create
  • I march to my own beat, and wildly dance to my own rhythm
  • Passion runs through my veins,
  • As emotions are fuel for my craft
  • Certain pieces I protect and keep to myself
  • While others I’ll share with the world
  • I am a creative beacon shining my light brightly
  • For all the universe to see.

The Artist

And this, my dear companion, is your Quest: think – create – innovate – from dawn till dusk every day.

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The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
About the Book Self-Help

Self-Help Books Can Become Bestsellers, But Do They Actually Work?

Self-help books can become bestsellers, but do they actually work?

The self-help book market is worth over $10 billion dollars per year in the USA alone with twice as many books sold in 2019 than just 7 years earlier. With an ever-growing flock of followers who want clear answers to their questions, clear solutions to their problems and clear paths to follow along the road to a happy and successful life.

Psychologists, life coaches, gurus, and authors are filling up conference rooms, bookstores, social media platforms with their contents.  Consumers of self-help materials are all looking for the same thing, the secret to a happy, healthy and prosperous life.  

The most successful self-help books of all time are: 

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Over 80 million copies sold.
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Over 65 million copies sold.
  3. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Over 50 million copies sold.
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki. Over 25 million copies sold.
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Over 25 million copies sold.

Do self-help books help? Looking at those figures, the answer seems to be a definite yes. But despite those compelling sales figures, some people find the effectiveness of self-help books debatable. Personally, I find them very useful; but I am totally biased on this subject-matter not only because self-help books are my favorite genre as a reader, but I am also the author of a self-help book titled This is Your Quest. Your Mission: To Experience Happiness Along the Way.

Let’s look at both sides of the argument and see where this leads us.

Are self-help books a waste of time and money?

The main argument against self-help books is that they don’t work. Some people argue that reading self-help books is like taking drugs; it makes you feel good for a little while but that feel-good factor doesn’t last very long. Initially, people will enjoy reading those books because they get lost in a sea of wisdom, advice, suggestions, new habits, new affirmations, but  once they have ingurgitated all that advice and new-found wisdom life resumes its normal course and soon they get lost in a sea of daily grind and forget about all those new habits they swore by a week ago. 

It is true that knowing without doing is like not knowing at all, and from this angle I tend to agree with the argument that self-help books don’t work. Most of the advice that is given in those books make perfect sense, but unless the reader decides to apply those advice consistently and diligently, reading those books will not change their lives one inch. Unfortunately, a large majority of people fall trap to this behavior. 

It is common knowledge that to lead a healthy life you need to eat healthy, exercise, practice your daily affirmations by thinking positive, be mindful and present in the moment, get in touch with your inner-child,  love yourself, and practice the art of being grateful. That is about it really. But If everyone already knows all of that why do you need a book to tell you those things that you already know? It is a fair point.

Self-help books; a sea of wisdom, advice, suggestions, new habits, new affirmations

So, why are people still reading those books? It is much easier to keep yourself in a state of preparedness by reading those books, taking notes and visualizing the amazing result you will get at the end, than actually doing the deed. Reciting positive affirmations every morning will not change your life if you are not following up with an action plan.  You have to be more intentional in your approach to self-help.

I am of the opinion that one size doesn’t fit all. We are all different, we all have different issues, different perspectives, different circumstances. I believe that it is not a waste of time and money to read self-help books, because you can learn from the successes and mistakes of others without having to make those same mistakes, giving you a huge advantage. However, at the end of the day, it is up to you to find the answer that applies to your own circumstances; after you have read those self-help books, you will operate from a more informed vantage point, having gained some knowledge, wisdom and clarity in the process. Nobody else can be happy for you, you have to figure it out yourself.

The types of people who read self-help books

There are two types of people who read self-help books.

  1. People who are going through personal, financial or emotional crisis, those who have suffered from traumas, or those who feel unfulfilled and very dissatisfied with their current situation. Their expectation is that reading those self-help books will increase their happiness level from bad to good.
  2. People who haven’t got any major issues with their life, they are curious, they have an open-mind, they want to improve and learn how to be the best version of themselves, they want to turn their life around and increase their happiness level from good to great and for the best students their expectation is to turn their happiness level from great to awesome.

We are constantly in the process of creating ourselves. Reading self-help books is a commitment to yourself; when the person is ready for action, self-help books can be part of a genuine life transformation. For the skeptics, they can also lay the foundations for the change that could happen in the future. The idea is to plant that seed, it will take some time to germinate but eventually it will grow slowly but surely.  It is just a matter of time.

Self-help books; plant a seed

We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.’

Unknown Author

There are many reasons why you should try to develop yourself

Whatever your personal circumstances, there are many reasons why you should read self-help books.

  • Expand your horizon. You don’t know everything, and you haven’t done everything. There is so much that you don’t know and haven’t experienced yet. People tend to live within the comfort of their own echo chamber, doing the things that are familiar to them, connecting with people they know, reading the books that everybody else is reading. There is nothing wrong with living within your comfort zone, but there is so much more out there. Have an explorer mindset, go and explore the world.  This might sound like a big feat, but you don’t even have to leave your house; books can take you anywhere you want to go. Explorers have the ability to leave comfort and certainty behind them. They are in a continual search of new ideas and new ways of thinking. 
  • Build your knowledge. One of the main benefits of reading self-help books is that you learn loads. The Quest for knowledge and clarity is an endless pursuit. The destination is unknown. It is all about the journey. When things get tough and confusing it’s best to  stop rest, reflect, regroup, think, re-think, learn and unlearn some of the things you learned in order to decide which road to take next. Our knowledge of the world is limited, our perception of the world is groomed by the education we receive from our parents, by our culture, by the historical period we live in, by the rigidity of our mind. Have an open mind.
  • Give you access to free mentorship. Reading about people’s successes and failures and what they have learned from them is an excellent short-cut to acquiring wisdom without having to experience those same mistakes yourself. Books are a way to have access to the best minds that have ever lived. Need a mentor? Read the words of your favorite authors and role models.
  •  Give you Inspiration and motivation. Well-chosen words can breathe hope into you when your spirit is broken and revive you when your body is weary. The right words can redeem the wrong you feel, it can redeem the feeling of hopelessness that weighs heavy on your heart and can give you flight after a hard landing.

Why you should add ‘This Is your Quest’ to your reading list.

‘If you only read the books that everyone else is reading you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Marukami

There are a lot of wisdom and hidden truths out there that have been forgotten or hidden away.  I wrote my book because I had a desire to explore the ins and out of what matters, to dig deep on subjects that affect all of us and then bring them to the surface and show its significance to all the curious souls out there who have a desire to become the best version of themselves. You will find in my book a treasure trove of insights and wisdom. Words have tremendous energy and power, they can educate, heal and illuminate the mind.

This is Your Quest

For the skeptics, I refer you to the wise words of  Les Brown who pointed out: “If you want to experience a sense of fulfillment you have to have an open-mind, so that new ideas can take root. Part of having fertile ground is the ability to break up that hard crust first, because if you plant seeds there, the wind will blow them away.” My book is the tool that can help you break that crust, allowing new seeds to take root. 

This Is Your Quest is the story you want to hear. Why? Because it is your story, the one that I wrote for each and every one of you.  People should live the story they want to tell. Your life is your story, and your mission is to write the best story you can and have lots of adventures along the way. 

We wouldn’t need books so much if we knew ourselves and the people around us better. Do you know who you are? Do you know why people do the things they do? Those two questions will dictate pretty much everything that happens in your life and turn it a pleasant experience or on the contrary an unpleasant one. That is where books come in. They explain us to ourselves and to others, and makes us feel less strange, less isolated and less alone.

The Quest for clarity is an endless pursuit. We all seek it. We all want clear answers to our questions. We all want clear solutions to our problems. We all want clear paths to follow along the road to a happy and successful life. We all want to move from a state of confusion, which brings with it a lot of suffering to a state of clarity, which brings joy and happiness. 

I see my book as being a small beam of light that is shining in the distance, and I am hoping that all the curious souls out there will be drawn to it, and once they grab it will open their mind and will bring them some clarity.  

This is my hope, and this is my Quest.  Are you ready to go on your own Quest? 


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
About the Book

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

For a writer, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences; writers know it, readers know it, publishers know it. What people are saying about your book can be a huge factor in its success.

Book reviews make books a known quantity, they save readers time, prepare them for what they will find and offer them a greater chance of connecting with a particular book, even before they read the first page! They also make their authors very happy.

I am grateful for all the curious souls out there who were brave enough to pick up my book, read it and a special thanks to those who took the time to write me a book review. Thank you to Robert, Louis, Floyd, Rahki, Saania, and Catherine for taking the time to read my book and post their book reviews. For those who have not yet picked it up, there is no better time than today to go an epic adventure with me acting as your tour guide; I will take you on a journey through time, across many continents, oceans, mountains, all the way to space and back home to the depth of you own heart.

I am always interested to find out how people react to my book and which section of the book resonates with them in particular. It is my pleasure to share with you some recent reviews that came my way.

Join me on this Epic Journey

Empowering Book – Catherine Germier – Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations – 20 June 2020

“This empowering book will embark you on an exciting and inspiring journey which will challenge or even change the perspective you have on your life and its purpose. In these times of uncertainty, this is the guide we need”.

A historical, philosophical journey through life – Saania Saxena – High School Student – 15 June 2020

This book is truly insightful. Personally, history is a subject I found genuinely boring at school. I was never interested in anything my teachers taught me about the world history. Whereas philosophy is something I enjoyed immensely. This book, This Is Your Quest is the perfect combination of both.

When the author talks about Jessica Watson, I instantly felt a connection and I felt something resonate with me deeply. Not only because I am sixteen too, but because I always want to challenge myself. I have always wanted to inspire people. And through her words of what she explained during the interview for the Los Angeles Times, it’s like she voiced my thoughts. I have always been judged for doing something big because “I’m so young” and “I don’t know much about life”. But age is simply a number. I am writing my own book at the age of sixteen because I feel like I can. So, I heartily agree and loved the statement about the fact that grit and determination can help one achieve their dream.

Or when the author talks about time being the most valuable commodity each one of us have. We are all given the exact same amount of time, it is what we choose to do with it that makes one more successful, satisfied, content and happier than the other. Specially as a teenager, I see time as one of the most salient things in my day to day life. Every time wasted costs me. Writing a book during quarantine has enabled me to utilise my time wisely, at the same time doing something that I love.

What Santiago learned in Tangier, Morocco, with the crystal merchant about fear is also something I felt. As we go through our lives, one of the most important things we learn about the world is how life begins at the end of our comfort zones. Each time I have moved to a different country or a different city, I was thrown into the world of unknowns. I was intimidated by the people who were a part of it, the things I wasn’t ready for, and I didn’t know which direction was the safest. As humans, we tend to like stability and we feel comfortable with familiarity. But it is when we head towards the unknown, that we fight our fears and conquer the real world.

All in all, I enjoyed the order, structure, style, and the language of the book. It’s an easy-read which is very good because young readers like me can feel accommodated too. Not only that, I think it actually should be read by young minds because we are the ones who are raring to take on the world! I want to read this book over and over again to stick to and remember these highly crucial and important life lessons.

In a Category of itself – Floyd Williams- Author of ‘The Book of Self-A Thesis on Energy and How it Interrelates – 11 June 2020

This Is Your Quest is book that is in a category by itself. It is not like the average self-help or motivational book. “This Is Your Quest” is a tangible epiphany of man’s deepest longing of liberation, journey, joy and the pulse of life. The pulse of life that is man’s intuition, which is all too often unfortunately suppressed by man to be fit to scaled to societies norms. Joanne Reed is the author, but when you read the book you feel like you are the one who is writing it (hence the title of the book which really does it justice;) for it truly captures and reflects man’s inner longing. As I read it, I felt like a child with an imagination being expanded.

The examples of history from the past to current events used in this book are very poignant masterfully establishing connection to the reader’s own potential and unveiling of. That is where the power lies in this book.

This Is Your Quest is no mystical self-help book, it is pregnant with information ranging from monetary system, history, mythology, health, vaccination, and symbology, designed to aid the reader in giving birth to whatever their mind can conceive.”

A Unique Book – Rakhi – 10 June 2020

This is Your Quest is the first book written by Joanne Reed and I was just amazed by reading such detailed research on so many subjects, whilst highlighting really interesting snapshots of history and forgotten wisdom; all of this is expressed in an eloquent manner, easy to read and very informative.

The author has shown remarkable work with her research by writing such an epic self-development story. The book also contains topics such as political, social behavior, and psychology which will no doubt help the reader understand human nature in a more holistic way. The pursuit of happiness is the centerpiece of the book and all the stories, fables, wisdom, and quotes you will find in this book will gently guide you to find your own path towards that very special place everyone is seeking that is called ‘Happiness.’

The highlight of the book is the way the author explains everything with a creative description, that caught my attention from the very beginning. The book has a smooth flow to it and will really make you think and go deeper than you have ever been before. If you are not a fan of History, you may become one after reading this book. Joanne Reed demonstrates in her book, how knowing history is important in order to understand our present, and what we do in the present will affect our future. Overall a unique book. ‘This Is Your Quest’ is like no other books you have read before. So if you are a keen reader or even if you are not, this book is for you it will open your eyes and make you see things differently. To all the curious souls out there, I would recommend that you pick this one, it has the potential to change your life.

A Compass to Move Forward – Louis – 20 April 2020

Dear Joanne. The Companion that I have been throughout the reading of your book This Is Your Quest, says to you quite simply and sincerely: Thank you! A compass to move forward in the pursuit of our well-being and treasure chest to signify that there are hidden treasures to be discovered on our life’s path… these two pictures on the cover of your book faithfully translate the words, the story and the message you wanted to and knew how to convey. As you remind us so well, we cannot understand the present without knowing the past and what we do in the present will determine our future… You are right, wisdom teaches is not to ignore what has happened in our lives, but to learn from it. Let us learn from our experiences. Let us understand our mistakes, our failures, but also our successes. Let us know how to invent new perspectives and create the ideal conditions to advance with serenity on the path of our life. It is up to us to stay the course and to not let go. Between knowing and not knowing there is: learning. Between being able and not being able there is: trying. Between loving and not loving there is: tasting. So let’s taste the joy of reading and or re-reading your book … and let’s be ready for our Quest to Find Happiness Along the Way!”

Beautiful Trove of Ideas – Robert Gregory – Author of Down, But Never Out – 16 January 2020

“This book drew me in from the start. The amount of information that’s been seamlessly strung together into a bountiful trove of ideas is staggering. I especially like the chapter on symbols and the fact about how they can be and have been deceptively used. The author, Joanne Reed, by evidenced in the text, absolutely loves to research. As a writer myself, this text will be a go-to reference for future projects.”



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About the Book

A Compass to a Meaningful Life

For a writer, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences; writers know it, readers know it, publishers know it. What people are saying about your book can be a huge factor in its success, and you must know how to spot a good review when you see it. ‘A compass to a meaningful life’ is just such a review.

Author Joanne Reed, Double Take (French and English Versions)

Steve Watkins, a fellow lawyer, blogger (SWatkinLaw’s Blog), and aspiring author was kind enough to read my book and wrote a most impressive review which has just been published on Amazon.com.

A Compass to a Meaningful Life

Author Joanne Reed is a powerful storyteller, and provides cogent perspectives on a myriad of topics; her “pagan trinity” is Money, Health, and Love, and she makes compelling arguments for why we need each, and in the proper balance, in order to lead meaningful lives. She weaves deep philosophical concepts into easily-understood thematic treatments, and her points are well-presented and well-taken.

Her background as a lawyer is vividly displayed by virtue of her rigorous attention to providing all appropriate credits when and where due. Her sources reveal that she is an extraordinarily well-read, highly-intelligent, and deeply insightful thinker whose prowess with the written word is supported by the massive amount of work she has undertaken to craft this book.

If you are looking for significant insights into living a fulfilled, happy life; one with meaning, and brimming with joy; a life full of purpose, then this is the book for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone seeking a deep and valuable perspective into the human condition and wise and passionate views about what truly matters in life.

I have been following Steve’s own writing, his last post on the Four Elements of Self Image was insightful and describes how to create a positive, purpose-filled life, based on joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness to be the best one can be.

Book reviews make books a known quantity, they save readers time, prepare them for what they will find and offer them a greater chance of connecting with a particular book, even before they read the first page!

They also make their authors very happy. Thank you Steve, thank you to everyone else who has read my book and particularly to those who have taken the time to post a review as well.

And this my Dear Readers, is Your Quest!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

#1 Spot! Sweet! Thank you to my French readers for keeping me there!

Thank you to my French readers! The American Poet and writer James Baldwin said, “you don’t decide to become a writer, you discover you are one.” This is exactly what happened to me!

Thank you to all my readers!

Baldwin also said, “the importance of a writer is to describe things which other people are too busy to describe.”

I became an author because I had things to say. Words have tremendous energy and power, they have the ability to educate, to help, to heal, to illuminate minds and I hope that my book will do a little of that.

After my initial surprise success, I would like to thank my French readers for keeping me in the #1 spot in two categories on Amazon France; Self-help and Longevity. For all of those who purchased my book, welcome on board and hope you are enjoying an epic adventure! Please feel free to leave me some reviews when you have finished reading. For those who are wondering which book to read next, can I suggest mine?!

Sales Rankings on Amazon France

Word of caution: “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them for words have the power to change us”. The future belongs to the curious, those who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke it, question it – over to you.

 Version Française

Le poète et écrivain américain James Baldwin a dit : “Tu ne décides pas de devenir écrivain, tu découvres que tu l’es.” C’est exactement ce qui m’est arrivé !

Baldwin a aussi dit, “l’importance d’un écrivain est de décrire des choses que les autres sont trop occupés à décrire.”

Je suis devenu auteur parce que j’avais des choses à dire. Les mots ont une énergie et un pouvoir extraordinaires, ils ont la capacité d’éduquer, d’aider, de guérir, d’illuminer les esprits et j’espère que mon livre en fera autant.

J’aimerais remercier mes lecteurs français de m’avoir maintenu au premier rang dans deux catégories d’Amazon France : Développement Personnel et Longévité. Pour tous ceux qui l’ont acheté , bienvenue à bord, j’espère que vous vivez une aventure épique ! N’hésitez pas à me laisser des commentaires quand vous aurez fini de le lire . Pour ceux qui se demandent quel sera mon prochain livre, puis-je suggérer le mien ?!

Mise en garde : “Il faut toujours faire attention aux livres et à ce qu’ils contiennent, car les mots ont le pouvoir de nous changer“. L’avenir appartient aux curieux, à ceux qui n’ont pas peur d’essayer, d’explorer, de s’interroger . Etes-vous curieux?


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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Self-Help

The Four Stages of Self-Development – Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche (15 October 1844 to 25 August 1900) was a German Philosopher whose writings on truth, morality, cultural theory, history, the meaning of existence has exerted an enormous influence on Western Philosophy. Nietzsche believed that embracing difficulties is essential for a fulfilling life and urged people to consider the journey of self-discovery as one of the greatest and most fertile existential pursuit and described this in his four stages of self-development.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s and his Three Metamorphoses

Knowing oneself is the first step to the meaning of existence; but Nietzsche reminds us that the path to finding ourselves is no light stroll, it is a dark and mysterious business; to dig into oneself, to climb down directly into the tunnel of one’s being is an agonizing and hazardous undertaking.  The journey through that tunnel requires us to ask ourselves questions such as:

  • what has truly uplifted our soul?
  • What has dominated and delighted us?
  • Are we operating within our true potential or just living a life of quiet desperation?

We aren’t born knowing who we are, we have to become it. Personal Development, according to Nietzsche is something inexorably linked to perseverance and transformation. It is only when we endure challenges that we improve. As Marcus Aurelius said: “The obstacle is the way. Hardship isn’t the barrier to growth. It is the source of it.”

Nietzsche’s Three Transformations

In his masterpiece Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche presents a beautiful and profound metaphor for human evolution:

“Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.”

Nietzsche believed that there are 3 transformations in the four stages of Self-Development:

  • Transformation 1: From Sheep to Camel;
  • Transformation 2: From Camel to Lion;
  • Transformation 3: From Lion to Child.

Each of the three metamorphoses is a massive paradigm shift that one has to experience to move on to the next step:

Transformation 1: From Sheep to Camel

We start out as sheep and find comfort being part of a herd, to congregate and get lost in the crowd, trying not to get noticed, being invisible and to follow a path that has already been set out. Sheep have an aversion for taking any kind of risk, for taking any responsibility for themselves or others. For those who excel at being sheepish, wandering off on a different path doesn’t really cross their minds, to do so would put them in danger, it would be foolish and unnecessary.

Some are happy to stay as sheep, but for others, acting sheepish doesn’t do it, being invisible and anonymous does not suit them, it doesn’t feel authentic. For those others, wandering off on a different path is something that brings meaning to their lives and by striving to be more one undergoes the first transformation, leaving the safety and comfort of the herd to become something better, to become a camel.

Transformation 2: From Camel to Lion

The second of the four stages of self-development, being a camel means becoming more visible, less anonymous and finding a more constructive way to live. A camel’s mission in life is to be useful, obedient and hardworking. Camels fill their days with as many obligations and responsibilities as possible and walk through life with a heavy load on their backs. Camels overcome the sheepish way of life to become more productive members of society, but the solution to finding meaning becomes the camels’ new problem. In the pursuit of a meaningful life, the camel makes itself a slave to other people. Camels live for society and the acceptance of others, never for their own self-acceptance or for themselves. Camels believe that a life of labor is just how life is, carrying other people’s burdens and living according to other’s principles and expectations.

Some camels, however, have a feeling they have been misled and if something doesn’t change their body or their spirit will break. They may well be on the fast track to growing bitter, hopeless, submissive or resentful. These camels must overcome themselves again in order to become even more, to strive to become a lion, a fierce creature, a king, with nothing to bow down to.

Just like the sheep lived only to subsist;
Just like the camel lived only to conform;
The lion lives only to fight.
The lion slayed the dragon, but his victory was his defeat.
The lion’s victory leaves him with a profound nothingness. Sitting alone in the dragon’s empty cave.

From Sheep to Camel to Lion to Child

Transformation 3: From Lion to Child

The camel’s struggle in the desert can never lead to a meaningful life, but once the lion realizes that there is also no happiness either in fighting against everything: so, in order to escape a feeling of nothingness, the lion has to become a child. In this final transformation in the four stages of self-development, the child is capable of making its own meaning of living, for living for itself, for being curious about everyone and everything, for being spontaneous.

If we become children, we can live without the lion’s hostility,
 without the camel’s burdens and without the sheep’s uselessness.
 We aren’t fixated on the past or the future.
We are living fully in the moment, solving the problems that come our way and bettering in the process the world for all of humanity.

A child-like spirit is vital to happiness, health, and well-being. As a child, life is no longer a struggle or an eternal battle. Being a child allows us to find contentment, life is a celebration, a precious gift that can be opened every second of the day. The nothingness that tormented the lion, the camel and the sheep is now a blank canvas for our creativity and it is the source of our freedom – real freedom this time. Because as a child, to rediscover how to play, it is possible to completely overcome ourselves, to know what we’re truly capable of and to become who we are.

And this my dear friend is your Quest!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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About the Book

Breaking News! The Second Edition of my book “This Is Your Quest” is out!

By popular demand, the Second Edition of “This Is Your Quest” is out! In this new edition you will find some new analysis on some current events, some points have been refined, and some new wisdom has been added! There is more to it than there was before!

Watch the trailer below:

Second Edition of “This Is Your Quest” is out!

In this new edition you will find some new analysis on some current events, some points have been refined, and some new wisdom has been added! There is more to it than there was before!

Pick up your copy today and follow me on this Epic Adventure!


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.