Change your mindset to reach your goals.

44547880This is one of the most important books I have ever read.  Based on what I learned from Mindset, I feel equipped to reach some of those goals that have eluded me for years.  And, as a mother, I have some new tools for parenting my boys so they embrace challenges and are prepared for any obstacles that come their way.  Read below for a “taste” of what I learned.

Are you a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?   Maybe you have no idea which mindset you might be, and you wonder why you should care.  But I assure you that the concept of mindset may be a game changer for you in almost anything and everything that you do.

The book, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, was suggested reading from my son’s 2nd grade teacher.  But this is not a book about parenting.   And the concept of “mindset” is just as important for adults as it is children.

The two different types of mindset:

The fixed mindset believes that your qualities are carved in stone.  We are each born with a fixed intelligence, capabilities, a certain type of personality and character.  These things cannot be changed.

A growth mindset believes that your basic qualities are things you cultivate through your efforts.  They believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable) because it is impossible to forsee what years of passion, toil and training will accomplish.

To further the explanation, I will summarize an example that was in the book: One day you go to a class that is really important to you and you really enjoy.  The professor returns midterm papers to the class and you got a C+.  Is your initial reaction that you are stupid or you like the class less?  Or, does this grade motivate you to study harder for the next exam in hopes of getting a better result?

Now take that example and apply it to a situation in your life where your results were less than optimal.  Did you quit that activity or start liking it less?  Or did you rethink the situation and find a way to achieve better results? Continue reading

Rework-Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

62531032The other day I stopped in to see my web designer- Arny Pollack from Dice Media.  I needed to meet with him because he is always a wealth of amazing ideas and he gets me thinking out of the box.  About half way through the meeting, Arny asked if I had read the book “Rework”.  The title itself doesn’t give many clues as to what the book is about, but of course I hadn’t read it.  Arny gives me this surprised look.  Who knows why, I mean, in my free time I am over here reading “chic lit”- something that touches the emotional side of me for goodness sake!  But I took his advice and picked up this book.  I cracked it open late afternoon and couldn’t put it down. Continue reading

Something to read this fall: Shanghai Girls

76147497I might be late to the party on this one, because I recognize that this is a New York Times Bestseller, and many of you may have already read it….but if not, you should pick up Shanhai Girls by Lisa See.  The story is about two Chinese sisters- who initially led a life of privilege.  However, their father gambles away all of their wealth and to repay his debts, he sells the girls to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides.  The story of the girls journey is captivating and realistic.  I loved all the factual references in this book.  Lisa See also wrote Snowflower and the Secret Fan; another favorite book of mine.  Great news: you can buy both of these books at {Pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, that’s where I got mine.

Book Suggestion:

36268588.JPGThe Help by Kathryn Sockett.  This was an amazing read and I found it hard to put this book down.  The story takes the reader back to the early 60′s in the deep south.  It is hard to believe that in such recent history there was still a great deal of prejudice and racial tension in pockets of the world.  The story is told from the perspective of several different women whose lives are intertwined.   This is an intense story of how these different women deal with the issue of racism during the civil rights movement.  I felt myself getting personally involved in pulling for some of the characters while despising others…all as a result of the skillful writing.  I can’t say too much about the book, because I don’t want to spoil the story and outcome.  Pick it up and see if you feel as strongly as I did once I finished.

The race is on!

15331445.JPGThe book:  Is there Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell is an amazing book for children aged 3-10. Each time I read it, I realize that this is a great book for adults as well as children.  I particularly like the following passages:

Is the race like a loop or an obstacle course?  Am I a jockey, am I a horse?  Is there pushing and shoving to get to the lead? If the race is unfair, will I succeed?  Do some of us win?  Do some of us lose?  Is winning or losing something I choose?   Why am I racing ? What am I winning?  Does all of my running keep the world spinning?

It ends with : Sometimes it’s better not to go fast.  There are beautiful sights to be seen when you’re last.  Shouldn’t it be that you just try your best?  And that’s more important than beating the rest? Continue reading

She was inspired by you, now you can be inspired by her!

About once a month I find myself asking the same question,  “Why I am blogging and does anyone care?”. Each time I think about how I will find the inspiration to continue updating my website I hear from a reader. About a month ago, my neighbor and I were walking home from dropping our kids at school and she started talking about my site.  She was reading up on the amazing moms who are featured on my site which, got her to thinking about her own dreams and goals.  When she read the article about writing down goals she picked up a pen and paper.

She read about Jania Fox running a half marathon and Beth Armstrong doing the Ironman- but realized as much as she likes fitness- the desire to run anything more than 3 miles wasn’t creating that fire in her belly.  She wasn’t burning to start her own business or create a charitable organization.  Then she remembered a dream that had occupied her in the past but never quite got off the ground.  Lisa had written a children’s book when her daughter Lauren was just over a year old.  She sent it out to a few publishers- but when those publishers passed on the story she let the project die.

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Book choice: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it.  The main character, Jacob Jankowski, tells the story as an older man looking back at his life as a part of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.  The circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, Jacob was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, Continue reading

There aren’t words strong enough to describe how I loved this book.

10 CONVERSATIONS YOU NEED TO HAVE WITH YOUR CHILDREN was one of my favorite books ever.  I read it in a day- the book is short and sweet.  The first time I read it, I learned so much about myself.  The second time I read it highlighted passages that I know I will refer back to for years to come.  Now I am reviewing it, looking for important points to pass onto my readers.

I found the prologue to be one of the best parts of the book- it focuses on communicating with your child. The premise of the book is that by talking with your children- really talking with them, you create an environment of inspiration and change.  It forced me to start answering and investigating when my children ask, “why?”.

The 10 chapters are:

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