Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Related image“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” – William James

I learned about this book through an instagram post of a youtuber that I have been watching for a while. She posted a picture of a page of it and it certainly seemed interesting to me. This is one of those books that I would want to have the actual book in reach and whenever I feel negative, I’d turn to this and read the parts relating to what I’m  feeling.

This book is – like the title says – about not sweating the small stuff because they’re just small stuff. It contains strategies on how you can find your peace, balance, acceptance, kindness and happiness in times of internal turmoil. And I believe that the strategies provided are really doable that we can adapt in our own daily lives.  I also found myself a lot of times smiling to learn what the strategy that the author suggested to solve the conflicts/problems that I can relate to. The simplicity of his solutions are kind of mind blowing. Don’t sweat the small stuff indeed.

The thing that I liked the most about this book is how easy it is to read. It doesn’t look or sound like an academic book. I also like the fact that the strategies are concisely written in a conversation kind of way. It’s like a friend giving you advises about the negativities, problems, concerns or worries that you have and what you can do about it. Also the author himself gave personal insights and examples as to how he adapt or utilize these strategies in his own self and life. This book gave me new perspectives about some things and it also is relatable.

Will I recommend this? Totally. Why wouldn’t I? There’s  a ton to learn from this book. If you’re like me who likes to read self-help books from time to time, this is definitely a good book to read. Just like what the author claims,

“Each strategy is simple, yet powerful, and will act as a navigational guide to point you in the direction of greater perspective and more relaxed living. You’ll find that many of these strategies will apply not only to isolated events but to many of life’s most difficult challenges.”

– and I’ve felt that. Really. No kidding. I’m a great worrier, I worry all the time. I worry even on the small things, small things that in minutes snowballs to bigger and more things which then stresses me out and produces negativities. See? This book is perfect for people like me and to everyone of course. This also made me feel like I’m just a normal human being and that I’m not the only one who goes through small and big experiences in life.

Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent

First of all, can we all take a moment and appreciate the cover please because if you can ever have a peek at what my brain would look like, I think that’ll probably be it, an abstract of a mess. So just for the cover itself, it has already won me over, add in the words for the title, oh I feel like I want to do a hundred cartwheels for that – well not really, maybe just ten – because I’m all about that. It just screams the very thing that I’m struggling with right now, okay fine, it sums up my life at the moment. Yep, that’s right. That’s why I know I can totally relate to this book.

Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse is the story of the author, Alida Nugent, about her journey and experiences in transitioning to adulthood. Basically, it’s her story after getting out of college with a degree in hand facing a door into the real world.

“ADULTHOOD was officially here, and I needed to get off my ass and embrace it.”

This book has got me hooked right from the intro. I loved her humor; she definitely made me laugh a lot of times. As I’ve said before, it is very relatable. The first half of the book was nostalgic, at least for me because it brought me back to my college years and a few years after that. It made me picture what I was before, the things I did, imagined and dreamed of. This book has a lot of advices to offer, did I learn something new? Honestly, no. There’s nothing on it that I haven’t read or heard before but it kind of comforted me in a way that what I am going through now is nothing out of the ordinary, that it happens to a lot of people, not just me. I find it fun, inspiring and motivating to know what other people have been through, how they handle and deal with it and also to learn the lessons that they’ve learned.

My favorite part would have to be the advice that she gave in the latter part of the book in the form of a graduation speech. Again, it was nothing out of the ordinary and yet it kind of gave me a breather and realized that my life is perfectly normal even though it is not going the way I’d like it to be.

“Until you start to get your legs moving, you will always feel like you are lost.”

Obviously, I love this book. I love how humorous it is. I love the style, it’s fresh. And I love how relatable and realistic it is. Will I recommend this? Of course, I will. It’s a good read. So, if you are a twenty-something and you would want to read something that can inspire and motivate you in some way or a reminder that you are normal and human, just like what Alida said:

“Life is not a movie. No happy ending is guaranteed. No wound is closed by magic.”

then give this book a go. Read it.

the life-changing magic of tidying by marie kondo

A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.

This book has been a long time coming; I have put off tending to this book for the longest time. Clearly, I’ve discovered this book through social media and the internet because we all know that everyone has  talked about it, add in when the minimalism trend became in then it boomed even more.

At first, I thought it is a book just about tidying and decluttering but obviously, it offers more than that. I came to understand it more and more as I was reading it and I actually have found myself nodding to this and that, muttering to myself that “Yep, that’s me.”, “Yes, I do that too.”, and “I am so guilty of that.” I got interested about it for this very reason that she said “You, on the other hand, have been led to read it, and that means you probably have a strong desire to change your current situation, to reset your life, to gain happiness, to shine.” And also this “…one of the magical effects of tidying is confidence in your decision-making capacity.” because “If we have confidence in our decisions and launch enthusiastically into action without any doubts holding us back, we will be able to achieve much more.

While I was reading, Marie Kondo struck me as someone who is obsessed with cleaning and organizing starting from a very young age. She has like dedicated her entire life to tidying, studying it, teaching it and putting it into practice. Then comes her theories and it actually all made sense, her techniques all has bases and when you really think about it, it all are pretty simple. I got to say she really knows her stuff.

These are the tips that I’ve learned based on KonMari’s method:

1. The major rule is to ask yourself whether your things sparks you joy or not. If it is something that gives you joy then keep it, if it is not then discard it. She said to “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge to discard the rest.

2. Remove everything from the closet, drawer, cupboards or whatever it is that you want to tidy and put them all to the floor. That way you’ll see and touch/hold every item, making the process of deciding what to keep and what to discard easier and more effective.

3. Do not get victimized by the thought that you might need it one day or that you might read or reread it later because she emphasized that that is more likely not going to happen. (This has to be my favourite tip of them all because this is me every time.)

4. I completely agree when she said that it’s better to tidy up in one fell swoop rather than doing it gradually because that way you can instantly see and feel its effects. “If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set. A change so profound that it touches your emotions will irresistibly affect your way of thinking and your lifestyle habits.

See? This book does not only offer you the tips and tricks on how to declutter your space but also gives you the psychology of it. She have went on and on about the positive things and the positive effects that you’ll get in a tidied and organized home not just environmentally but also physically and mentally which is the best thing. Although I got a little weirded out when I got to the part wherein she talks to her house and her things, thanking them for serving her their purpose, for doing their work which I am not completely against to if you do that. I am also really grateful for the stuff that I have that’s why I use them with care as much as possible as my way of showing my gratitude to them for making me feel beautiful and for making my life easier and convenient.

Now, I totally get it why this book has become so handy for the people who support the minimalism lifestyle. Don’t underestimate this book; you’ll get a lot from it. This is another must have as a physical book for me; I really want a copy of it.

…tidying can transform your life.

If you want to organize your place and/or your life as well, then you’ll find a lot of tips and motivation in here because her tips doesn’t only apply to things, it can also be applied to your life too. You’ll feel really inspired at the end of this book because I did. No wonder that this has become a total hit. I, of course, recommend for you read it.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

This is the book that I want to take with me anywhere I go at all times to remind me of the things that I aspire in life. I want to actually have a physical copy of this book and value it like a treasure. I have never read a book before that I have highlights and notes to a lot of its pages.

#GirlBoss is the story of the author herself, Sophia Amoruso, about how, from forgoing education at seventeen, dove into the world of dumpster diving, hitchhiking and shoplifting, she became the founder and CEO of the million dollar company called Nasty Gal.

“No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.”

I admire Sophia’s character because with the way she described herself in the book – very outgoing, a risk taker, giving no damn care to what other people say – never had it occurred to me that she is in fact an introvert. Sophia is everything that I am intimidated about. A total opposite of a very shy me even though I’m a fellow introvert myself. I admire how curious and observant she is and how she doesn’t want to ‘settle’, she’s in constant move to try new things – another opposite of me as I am a creature of habit and even little changes freaks me out.

“Each time you make a good decision or do something nice or take care of yourself; each time you show up to work and work hard and do your best at everything you can do, you’re planting seeds for a life that you can only hope will grow beyond your wildest dreams. Take care of the little things—even the little things that you hate—and treat them as promises to your own future. Soon you’ll see that fortune favors the bold who get shit done.”

#GirlBoss doesn’t only include Sophia’s story but it also offers tips and advises about many things in life especially in being an adult. She touched things about finances, on being a boss and an employee, tips for applying for a job and going for an interview, also things about investment and promoting your business or brand – the part where I was lost a bit.

What I loved about this book is its relatability and I am a witness to that. I remember while reading I’ve muttered to myself, “What have I done with my life?”, “Where have I been?” and “What have I been doing with my life all these time?” Her life stories are surreal; I can even say that it’s like ‘rags to riches’ kind of a story. Maybe the reason why I related so much in this book is that advises in here are applicable to my life right now which in a way affected me greatly.

 

“If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it? If you haven’t, stop complaining. You can’t expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying, “Hey, can I have that?”

When I finished reading the book at 2 in the morning, a quote suddenly popped up in mind “Experience is life’s best teacher.” Indeed. At such a young age, she had experience a lot and those experiences have honed her to become the kind of person that she is now.

“You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create.”

#GirlBoss gave me another huge dose of inspiration.  It is an entertaining and easy read. I recommend it especially to someone like me who is currently stuck in life or even if you just want to read something that can give you some things to ponder about.

“I believe that there is a silver lining in everything, and once you begin to see it, you’ll need sunglasses to combat the glare.”

Life is short and I’ve already used up almost a quarter of it so it’s better to get this butt moving and busy.

Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan & Rachel Kapelke-Dale

18668008I can say that this book is out of my comfort zone since if you know me, I mostly read crime-thriller books  just because I like the thrill and suspense it gives, I also read a number of young adult books. But for the hope of venturing out and exposing myself to some other new genres, I am making this small step of introducing myself to these kinds of novels as I also have an interest on memoir-like, true story, self-help books wherein I’d learn a ton of things.

Graduates in Wonderland is about two best friends, Jessica and Rachel, who have kept in touch with each other through e-mails after they graduated from Brown University and went on their separate ways to pursue their dreams. Jess flew out to Beijing, China and Rach went to New York. Each spent the next few years of their lives figuring out what they want while balancing work, study and love life.  Their e-mails from all other places like Malaysia, Australia, and Paris, composed of their stories about their lives, from finding jobs to dating guys and advises for each other’s dilemmas and everything in between.

I freaking love everything about this book. I LOVED IT! The book was written as an exchanges of e-mails between the two authors which I am a huge fan of. Two thumbs up for that! The authors stories about their lives after college are so relatable and hilarious. I am aware that I’ve had a lot of moments when as I am picturing their stories, I am also picturing mine as well. I must say this book is a MUST-READ for all college graduates and twenty-something people. You’ll really learn a lot. If I have discovered this book before, will I still be living like this now?

Maybe I’m projecting and I’m trying to get them to solve my problems for me.” – Me, every time. Every freaking time. Geez. 😦

I really admire and envy their courage in pursuing the things that they want no matter what the hurdles are. They stumbled down and made mistakes but they also found ways to stand back up on their feet again. No matter how confused they were as to whether they were doing the right things or not, they somehow made it work. Just three years after graduating from university, they have already experienced so much in life like: flying to a country wherein you cannot understand a thing and is unemployed, people laughing at your broken sentences and accents, dating different kinds of guys, working on different jobs, hitting by a car and survived, having panic attacks, falling deep in love to follow the love of your life to Malaysia and Australia. Well, with that I couldn’t help to compare myself, I am officially on my fifth year since I graduated from nursing school and my adventure book is still unmarked, clean, blank. I pity those five long years being wasted for nothing. I have even imagined myself what if I am one of them, will I do the same as they did? Will I have the same decisions as they did?

I can’t believe we’re almost twenty-five. Life moves fast. Don’t be stupid like me.” – Hits me right in the heart, I’m  turning twenty-five this year and I’m so stupid for wasting five years of my life for nothing where in that long time I could’ve gone far.

Nothing was ever accomplished by someone who sits in their apartment alone waiting for life to begin.” – Ouch! Another hundreds of arrows in my heart. So guilty. So me.

Graduates in Wonderland gave me a whirlwind of emotions. I laughed, cried, giggled, worried, disappointed, scared, this book has it all. I am literally typing this up just minutes after finishing the book, so I’m still high from all of the feels. It is very relatable and very easy to read, has a lot of humor and lessons as well. For me there was no dull moment. It was entertaining start to finish. I highly recommend this! Especially if you’re fresh out of college or just someone like me who is struggling or still trying to figure a lot of things out. This just gave me another gigantic dose of inspiration and motivation, so give this a read. 🙂

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

I have read a number of Sarah Dessen’s books, so that makes me no stranger to her stories formula and style and I have to admit that I have loved many of those. After reading The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks last week, I was still in the mood for something that’s light and chill, that’s how Dessen came to mind.

The Moon and More is about Emaline, a small-town 18 year-old girl from Colby, spends her last summer before she’s off to college, trying to figure out a lot of things in her life. She works in their family business, has a great family, has a perfect boyfriend and a full ride to a college just two hours away from her home. Sounds great, right? Then suddenly comes in the picture her biological father, who has been MIA for most of her life, who also wants her to go to Columbia for college. She starts to have issues about her relationship with her boyfriend, Luke. She also has to deal with two New Yorkers who rented one of their beach houses: Ivy, an award-winning filmmaker and Theo, her intern who will make Emaline realize the huge possibilities that outside of Colby can offer.

The book has many elements that made me happy. It portrayed things that happens in  a normal day-to-day life. The characters were believable and very relatable. I found comparing myself to Emaline for a few times. I have also related to her a lot about the family thing and being anxious yet excited for the future. I admired Emaline’s character because she was simple and content of the life she has, in a sense that she wasn’t too eager to get out of that small town and she wasn’t obsessing about the grand things that life can offer although she was still curious as to what’s outside of Colby has. I found Theo’s character frustrating towards the latter half of the novel, maybe because he was overly optimistic that he had the tendency to become overly persistent and pushy. I know it wasn’t bad at all but to me he somehow became too confident and close-minded. Setting wise, of course I loved it, as I’ve said before I love me a story set in a small-town and add in the beach, oh boy will I ever get tired of that. ^^

I enjoyed reading this book and will recommend it if you want to read something to kill time but I will say that this isn’t my favorite out of all the books of Dessen’s, she has better books than this one. I know I wanted something light to read but this is too light to my liking. For me, this is a so-so book, not so great but not so bad either. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite quotes I’ve found in the book:

“As long as you were moving, you were always going somewhere.” – I don’t know what it is but this somehow is inspiring for me.

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” – Another inspiring one isn’t it? Yes? No? 😀

“You can never be sure of anyone until you’re close enough to see them clearly.” – I found this striking because I know for sure that it’s true.

“Life is long. Just because you don’t get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn’t mean it won’t come. Fate doesn’t punch a time clock or consult a schedule.” – For me, this is the most inspiring out of them all.

“The mistakes you make now count. Not for everything, and not forever. But they do matter, and they shape you. If you take nothing else form what I’ve been through, at least remember this: make your choices well. Because you’ll always be accountable for them. That’s what being an adult is all about.” – This has been a constant reminder/nagging for me since I’ve read it,  make your choices well. Being an adult is truly hard.

“The thing is, you can’t always have the best of everything. Because for a life to be real, you need it all: good and bad, beach and concrete, the familiar and the unknown, big talkers and small towns.” – I agree.

That’s all folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this one. Feel free to let me know your thoughts about this folks if you’ve read it. 🙂

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

200009-the-rescue-680x1020Since I have been reading a lot of crime-thriller novels for quite a long while already, after the last book I’ve read it then hit me. I thought it was time to take a break from the detective world and things about murder and serial killings and try something new to read, genre wise I mean. I noticed that the thing that I looked forward to from the last book I’ve read was some cheesy, corny lines and a lot of giggles and feels. So I thought, it was time for some romance novel and when you say romance the author that automatically comes to mind is the ever so great Nicholas Sparks or at least for me.

The Rescue started out when Denise got into a car accident and her four year-old son, Kyle, got out of the car and was lost in the woods. A volunteer firefighter, Taylor McAden, came in the picture as the one who saw Denise’s car and helped out to search for Kyle. And that was the beginning of it all.

I am a fan of a story set in a small town – it’s easier for me to imagine the place – and  of course, mysterious guys with mysterious past, who wouldn’t get curious with that. Add in a simple, yet beautiful and courageous woman which I found so admirable. Someone who was ready to do anything and sacrifice everything just for the betterment of her son. I also liked that the fact that the leading man wasn’t the typical millionaire living in a grand world with perfect looks. I liked it that he was just a simple man, working here, volunteering there and basically just wanted to live a simple, uncomplicated life. Two thumbs up for that.

Though it has a slow start, it was still a fun and smooth read. I did not find it hard to read at all, in fact, I’ve read this only for two nights. At some point, I was concerned if all of my questions will be answered in the end and I was so glad that it all did. If you want to read something light and pass your time then you can give this a try, I have even shed tears in one or two parts. Would I recommend this? Of course, I will. I have enjoyed reading this one. ^^

Let me end this post by sharing some of my favorite quotes I found in the book:

You’re going to come across people in your life who say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.” – I just couldn’t agree more with this. So true. Actions speaks louder than words, indeed.

People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book.  When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start  up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.” – I find myself guilty of this, in the literal sense about the characters.

Even now, not a day goes by when I don;t wish I could turn back the clock and change what happened.” – Who wouldn’t agree with this. This is me, everyday.

Hope you enjoyed. If you have read this book, feel free to share what you thought about it. 🙂