In my “Reading 6 books” series, this semester is all about taking time to refocus on your priorities. Although I would say that if summer is a more joyful time and is the perfect season to rethink our goals and interests, I would equally say that winter is calling for indoor time and reading, inner-self time, introversion, whatever “in” you call it.
So, you got me, this post is also useful during the summertime, I’m thinking about my friends living below the equator. Wherever you live, enjoy reading time on a daily basis. It will free your mind for a while, at the very least, but chances are you will undoubtedly learn something new, or maybe even have an epiphany!
“Simply – Refocus – Get Organized”, is my method for everything. If you are reading this blog on a regular basis, you already know that. If you are new, well, you know it too now! So last semester I decided to implement my “Reading 6 Books” series with these pillars of mine. Six months ago, I named my favourite six books to envision simplification. This semester, it’s refocusing on the menu.
It’s time for me to define better what I mean by “Refocus”. Starting from the basis, Thesaurus has several definitions of the word, but this one talks to me: “to direct one’s attention or efforts”. There is also something else that caught my eye, it’s the Latin origin of the word: “fireplace, hearth” and a synonym for “hearth” is “house”. It pretty much sums up my idea of the word: to realign your attention with yourself, your “house”. As a traveller, I like the idea that Refocusing is like coming back home.
Here we are, my six books!
“The One Thing” By Gary Keller
This book could also be named “What is the one thing you need to do?” The idea is as simple as that, and it takes a whole book to integrate the idea completely. Because, believe it or not, we are all multi-tasking unconsciously on a daily and even hourly basis. I loved the explanation of the origin of “multi-tasking.” First, the computers only were said to be “multi-tasking”, explaining the reason why it was slowing down, processing whatever we wanted it to do. Then slowly, the word became part of our busy lives. I am multitasking, is now a synonym for efficiency, or is it?
What really matters here is that, technically, the computers are not multi-tasking in the way we think they are. They are not working on several tasks at the same time. They are constantly switching from one to the other, which slows them down. The myth of multi-tasking is down. Here comes the “One Thing” era!
Focusing on one thing at a time is the best way to boost our efficiency. As I said, this book’s idea looks simple, but it takes the whole book to start scratching the polished enamel of our multi-tasking lives. So, dive in, and focus on each word until the end.
“The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck” By Sarah Knight
This book has a title very similar to another one which is quite famous. However, I’ve read only this one, and not by mistake, after listening to the TED talk the author gave. It was hilarious and also to cry for as what she was telling was so right.
Find the link to her talk here. But first, let’s finish this reading list!
So, to refocus on what really matters, you must first get rid of everything else that doesn’t matter indeed. You may think that something is very important, or maybe, you are just caught in an unspeakable circle of endless routines, at home, at work, all day long.
Just stop, and take time to reconsider every single action, and just be very sparse on the “f*ck” you give as they are limited, a bit like money on your bank account. Make the best use you can of them and focus on what’s good for you, what’s important to you and what’s useful to you.
This book is about the Promotion/Prevention mode our brain is using when processing a situation. It describes why and how we should mindfully force it to use the Promotion mode when it just wants to stay in the very comfortable Prevention mode.
I must admit that the second (short) part of the book was less interesting to me than the first one, so I read it quickly. However, I love the idea of analyzing the reason of our reactions and learning to be more mindful of what we choose to do.
The prevention mode is where we stay safe and reasonable, the promotion mode is more change and risk-oriented. Both of them are useful in life, learning to control how we use them is a huge step toward efficiency.
“Lucky Bitch” By Denise Duffield-Thomas
A new version of this book is now available, I’ve read the old version. I love the way it shows that focusing on one’s goal is a sure way to success. The author story is about how hard she worked to manifest what she wanted.
To me what’s important is to realize that mindset and visualization are essential, but nothing happens by magic. Hard work and dedication are the keys to achieve our goals. And when I say hard work, it doesn’t mean that everything has to be painful. However, knowing that you have to be dedicated to achieving big goals, needs passion somewhere in the process.
Whatever your goal is, go for it, dream about it, live for it, and work to make it happen! Denise knows what she wants, and also worked on that a lot because it’s useless to waste energy if you don’t know where you are going. It is quite motivating to know that anyone could achieve big goals. It’s even more motivating to read that, in the end, nothing happens by magic.
“A Little Bit Of Chakras” By Amy Leigh Mercree And Chad Mercree
This book is a different way to approach the focusing matter. As you can read in the title, it’s about chakras. Chakras are described as various sources of energy we have within us. They control our emotions, or sometimes, our emotions control them. As they are part of the body, they are influencing our body’s health as much as our mental health.
I chose to add this book to my personal reading list, and this reading list, because in the end, there are some pains that can’t be described physically, and, whatever we believe in, is leading the Universe, the Earth and our lives. We can’t deny the fact that energy is what bonds everything.
Whether you already know about chakras, or not, this little book is a short but instructive reading to learn more about how to focus on our emotions. We are either showing or hiding them, but in both cases, they influence the way our body works.
“Rising Strong” By Brene Brown
I kept this book for the end for two reasons. The first one, I must admit, I haven’t quite finished reading it. I know, shame on me! In my defence, I didn’t know it was going to be part of this post in the first place.
Second, I’m not sure it belongs in my “Refocus” series. I know that my two reasons are contradictory but let me explain. This book is about refocusing on the relationships we have in life in a lot of different ways. I found that there are many themes treated in an interesting way.
“Rising Strong” is about how you react to a situation, Brene treats a lot of different situations and reaction along the book. But I truly believe that the inner focus she calls vulnerability is mostly about how to deal in our relationships. At first, it looks more insightful to talk about how to get stronger when we face a problematic situation or relation. But, if you really think about it, the relationship we have with ourselves, our loved ones, colleagues or even strangers are what our whole life is in-depth.
This book is a deep study of how to deal with anyone and not ending up diminished but empowered by any interaction we have with others. So yes, it’s about focusing. But it’s also so much more than that.
Have a good semester filled with reading times!
Remember that reading is both a gift and an exercise for your rain. Whatever you read, enjoy this time because it’s precious! See you in 6 months for my next “Reading 6 Books” post!