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Curling Up When the Crisp Nights Hit: Best Reads For Fall 2016

in Motivation

There are many good reasons to love books in the fall: It’s a healthier night time activity then television, and it will begin to get darker sooner. Grabbing a book with a good plot can pull you in so fast, that it will suddenly be way past your bedtime, and you’ll once again be pleasantly drowsy! While the leaves begin to stack up in the yard and school activities are seemingly plaguing your family back to back, escaping for a little bit with an addictive read will be the best escape ever. If you happen to be flying through airports during the “dreadfully busy” days of the holiday season, having one of these books with you will undoubtedly make the journey that much easier to bear.

Born To Run, By Bruce Springsteen: The boss was so excited to play the Super Bowl during 2009 that he then devoted the next 7 years to writing the story of his life. Here he mulls over topics like growing up Catholic in New Jersey, and how excited he was to see Elvis perform on TV years ago. It doesn’t matter if you are hardly a fan, or hardly even know of him being from a younger generation: this poignant tale speaks of the amazing drive to become a musician, and rise to the top. His wide appeal to all walks of life made him a true symbol of everything American, and here he describes his road to stardom.

The Mothers, by Britt Bennett: Hailed by many as being as turning-point, hot-blooded, and accessibly wonderful as “The Color Purple”, it is set in a black community in Southern California. A senior in high school who has recently lost her mother to suicide, and she becomes involved with the town pastor’s son. A pregnancy ensues, and the secrets and lies begin to move hot and heavily. An ode to the choices in life that change one completely, strong bonds that can suddenly be ripped apart, and living in servitude to harsh decisions are all present in this work. What is definitely a heavy story will be enjoyed greatly by many who have love for tales that dig deep into topics such as desire, deception, and organized religion.  

Writing to Save a Life: The Lewis Till File, by John Edgar Wideman: This is the gruesome by very timely and necessary tale of Civil Rights martyr Emmett Till. During 1955, Emmett traveled from Chicago to Mississippi to see his family, and was murdered brutally after he allegedly had the gall to whistle at a white woman. It was decided that Emmet’s casket would be left open, so people could see just how badly he was injured. This is a story about a father and son, during which generations of hate and unbridled resentment do a very large amount of damage.  

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith: From the award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty, this is a novel that spans the locations of North-west London to West Africa. In this portrayal of two students that dream daily about being dancers, only one has true talent, and they eventually have an abrupt end to their long-lasting friendship. This novel closely examines the psychological science of nurturing, financial inequality, and the sparks that fly when ambitious people harshly receive doses of reality. Readers have especially loved the portrayal of the lower-class neighborhood where the two meet, and the intricately-woven ways in which a twist of fate deals an intense hand on both characters.

Nicotine: A Novel: by Nell Zink: This is a story about all of the things that happen when a family obsesses over an inheritance. Graduate Penny Baker is the wild card in the family that has chosen year after year to go against the grain, but by being a bit normal. Her parents were hippies, and she was bit more logical and molded. She encounters many different twists and turns when she shows up at the property she inherits. When she arrives, a group of dwellers that lean to the anarchist side of things are taking up the space, and she feels drawn to them in a major way. A battle begins with the sentiments of many old family issues, and the lurch of Penny’s newfound posse, and this is destined to be a modern tale that is read frequently this fall. A very introspective glance at what happens when someone takes on a new set of ideals and sheds their skin, anyone who is interested in social commentary will eat it up.

5 Tips for Getting Wealthy One Day at a Time

in Motivation

Let’s face it – money makes the world go ‘round. You don’t need a million dollars to have a happy life, but you need some cash to make sure you can feed yourself, keep a roof over your head and get any other essentials you need to live a comfortable life. You won’t need to make tons of money to accomplish this, but let’s be honest: it’s nice to have a nest egg and be comfortable.

Having money and being wealthy doesn’t mean living in absolute opulence. It means being secure in your living situation and having enough to retire with when you get up there in age. It means being able to go to the hospital and being able to take care of your medical bills if you need to. Giving some money to your family after you’re gone so they can live well too.

The good news is that you don’t have to work yourself to the bone to make some money if you want to start squirreling it away. It doesn’t take already having 10,000 to invest it and turn it into a million. If you want to start getting wealthy one day at a time, all that it takes is being smart and savvy with where your money is going.

Daily Indulgences

Are you one of those people who thinks “this is only $1, so it’s okay to spend it?” Or “Five dollars every once in a while isn’t a big deal?” While these statements aren’t untrue, they may be what is keeping you from being as wealthy as you can be.

Tally up your daily silly expenses for a week. This can include your Starbucks bill or the mints you buy at the corner store once a week. Once you have a total, imagine investing this kind of money into a savings account every week for a year. If you spend $40 willy-nilly a week, this means you could save up over $2,000 a year just by avoiding daily indulgences.

Get a Better Budget

One reason you might be bleeding extra money is you aren’t budgeting properly. Your budget shouldn’t just be lump sum guestimates, like “I can spend $100 here and there.” Get some concrete numbers and set up a long term budget that can work for you for six months to a year.

Pay Off Debts Quickly

The interest you amass on things like credit cards and loans may be another reason you’re not as wealthy as you could be. If you have loans and debts with high interest rates or annual fees, all that extra money you’ve been saving can disappear in a flash. When you find yourself in debt, set up a system for paying it off and don’t put it off for long.

Stay Organized

Never lose your receipts. If you ever run into a financial discrepancy, you need proof and ammunition to fix the problem or resolve the issue. This can both help you prevent problems like identity theft or wrong transactions, but it can also give you a clearer picture of where your money goes. Start saving up your receipts and comb through them once a month. Where can you edit your finances to save up some more cash?

10 Great Motivational Books You Need to Read this Year

in Motivation

Want a motivational read but don’t want to be intimidated by the “self-help” section in your local bookstore? Look no further than this list. Here’s a breakdown of the best motivational books published last year that you can feel good about adding to your 2016 reading list.

The Achievement Habit

Bernard Roth set out to prove to readers they’re capable of anything by telling them something simple and thoughtful – “your life has no meaning.” Through realism and insight, Roth explains how to change your perception of life to find the quality of living you want and how to achieve this through manipulating your mind piece by piece.

Are You Fully Charged?

This is a great book for those looking for purpose in life that extends beyond the supposedly tried and true pursuit of real happiness. Sometimes less emphasis is put on meaning in life than there should be, though Tom Rath would like to change that one copy of his book at a time.

A Curious Mind

Hollywood producer Brian Grazer knows that sometimes you need a spark of creativity that comes from outside of yourself in order to truly inspirer your inner creative mind. Thus, his and Charles Fishman’s book “A Curious Mind” discusses his hundreds of interviews with so-called “accomplished strangers” in order to jumpstart his own creative ideas and interests.


“Leap” is a book for those who already have the foundation put down in life, but they want something more than just the rat race to look forward to until they’re six feet unde. Here Tess Vigeland uses her own personal examples and anecdotes to help others figure out what actually satisfies them and how to get it.

The Business Romantic

Sick of your dead end job? Tim Leberecht isn’t, and he wants to prove to you that you don’t have to be either. His book “The Business Romantic” gives root to the idea that working for a living can be one of your life’s greatest sources of pleasure if only you thought about it a little differently.

Rejection Proof

Author Jia Jang explores the idea of rejection in this funny read that works as a sort of indepth insight to one woman’s exposure therapy based on being turned down. Jiang planned to get over her fear of rejection through attempting to get turned down as many times as possible, then blogging about her feelings on the experience. The result is light-hearted, insightful and comes with many everyday takeaways.

Rising Strong

If you’ve ever gone through a tumultuous time in life, this is the read for you. Instead of focusing on loss, heartache and hardship, “Rising Strong” is a book all about manifesting your strength and coming out of your struggles with a smile on your face.

Clay Water Brick

Not everyone is born with the tools and bank accounts to be an entrepreneur, and that’s important to remember next time you’re wondering why you weren’t blessed with Wall Street parents and the best resources available. In the book “Clay Water Brick,” Jessica Jackley showcases true stories of making a whole lot of something out of even more nothing.

Big Magic

Sometimes it can feel like that mystical sense of wonder is missing from your adult life, but it’s possible to instill that happiness back into your everyday again. “Big Magic” is a compilation of essays and anecdotal pieces that discuss ideas like happiness, overcoming obstacles and becoming creative even when you didn’t think you had it in you.

Calming the Chaos

Life isn’t about time – after all, time is a concept that hasn’t been around as long as the human consciousness. This book explores breaking out of the constraints of time and focusing more on energy management in order to better relieve stress and lead a happier life.

How to Stay Committed to Your New Meditation Routine

in Motivation

Have you ever started a new routine of some kind and then fell off the wagon rather quickly? It’s hard to stay committed to something when you’re just starting out, and that goes for something as dull to beginners as meditation. We live hectic lives, so the idea of simply letting it all go isn’t something that appeals to us – but that can change.

The solution is simply learning how to give in to your meditation routine and you’ll eventually love it. You’ll need some time, a little bit of effort and an open mind. Before you know it you’ll be a meditation addict.

Start small and work your way up.

First thing is first – you’ve got to crawl before you walk. Don’t schedule in time for a two hour long meditation session when you’re just starting out. Test the waters first. Meditate mindfully for 15 minutes your first week, then increase the time by 15 minutes every week you go.

One thing most people don’t think about before starting a meditation routine is how much effort it does take to meditate. While the idea of sitting and doing nothing seems easy, it’s actually quite difficult. Mindfulness meditation is about letting go of your mind and body and centering your thoughts on yourself and inspiration. Doing this for long periods of time can be quite difficult, so starting small is crucial.

Try other forms of meditation first.

Meditating isn’t exactly like the stereotypical image. You don’t have to sit cross-legged in a forest clearing with your fingers touching, “ohm”-ing to yourself. Meditation is essentially any practice that centers your mind in a tranquil way.

Practice meditative practices by using a writing meditation exercise. This kind of free form, “stream of consciousness” writing helps free your mind of clutter and gets you in the mind frame to let go off all the hectic thoughts you have every day.

Set and visualize your goals.

You aren’t meditating for no reason, right? What exactly IS the reason you’re meditating? Consider the goals you had in mind when you decided to start up a meditation routine and think about them heavily every time you consider flaking on your obligation.

Visualize the you that you want to see after the meditation’s positive effects start to take hold. You’ll be more relaxed, inspired and ready for the day. Isn’t that something worth working towards?

Make sure you schedule.

When you first commit to a routine, sticking to it is important. During this period of a routine, you’re vulnerable. Even missing out on one session in your first few weeks can lead to neglecting your duties and falling off the wagon.

To make sure you make no excuses for settling into your new meditation schedule, plan your meditation times for periods in your day where you’re most likely free. No skipping out on meditating because you’re getting ready for work or you need to make dinner. Pick the time that works best for you and stay committed to it.

How to Achieve Your Goals Through Motivation

in Motivation

If you stick to any goal long enough and show patience, resilience and hard work, you will eventually get there. So motivation is an essential ingredient to success in any work. So what is motivation?

You have heard about ‘motive’. Motive means ‘reason’. So motivation means a reason to keep going. Suppose you want to achieve top marks in an examination. What gives you the motivation? There could be many factors.

Why do you need ‘motivation’ in your life?

First is the feeling of achievement. When you achieve something after a lot of hard work (in this case, a top rank), you feel like you are on top of the world.

Second, is self-confidence. When you achieve something that you’ve worked hard for, it boosts your self-confidence.

Third, it strengthens your will power. When you are gunning for something, you have to make a lot of sacrifices. But these sacrifices don’t go to waste. When you resist something, you get the power of the thing you resisted.

The fourth reason is honor. When you achieve a difficult thing, people change their perception of you. They start to respect you and look at you with adulation. Everyone wants a piece of you.

So there are many reasons to keep you motivated. So the question is, how to achieve your goals through motivation?

The two types of motivation

One of the biggest challenges to pursue your goal is finding the motivation to do so. If you want to achieve fitness, you should be motivated to exercise. If you want to get that promotion, you should be motivated to work extra hard.

Here, we must introduce you to two types of motivation- Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist once said, ‘Those who look outside, dream. Those who look inside, awaken’. The Delphic Oracle also said the same thing- ‘Know thyself’. This ‘looking inside’ and ‘knowing thyself’ is critical to intrinsic motivation.

In intrinsic motivation, you want to achieve a goal because you want to, not because of some external factor. Extrinsic motivation is when you are motivated by an external factor to achieve a goal. This is the classic carrot and stick model.

Intrinsic motivation is always stronger than extrinsic motivation. So to achieve any goal, you should have strong internal motivation. Positive thinking can do wonders for goal achievement.

Why you need to be motivated every day

The irony is motivation waxes and wanes like the moon. It is not permanent. You need to keep giving yourself little doses of motivation everyday.

Remember what Mohammed Ali said, ‘I hated every moment of training. But I said to myself, take this pain today and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ So suffer today because you will certainly reap the fruits tomorrow.

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