Jay Gatsby, Hero or Villain?

Source by Matthew Alexander Jackson

Most people have heard of the book The Great Gatsby. A lot of people have read it although I assume most of them were made to read it on school. Whatever the case if you have read it you must have wondered about the title. Wasn’t Gatsby a materialistic gangster who made millions from selling illegal alcohol then tried to steal someone’s wife. Doesn’t sound very ‘great.’

Its supposed to be all okay because he was only doing it so he could win Daisy’s love back, but Daisy is married with a child and some people, myself included, think he doesn’t even really love her, He just wants her as a status symbol to show off like his new car. Why should we like this guy again?

It because of how pure he is. When he was younger he thought he would never achieve success as James Gatz, so he destroyed that identity and became a new man, free from all the vices that halt everyone else. He became the ideal candidate to achieve the American Dream.

Ever since then he has had one goal in life, to overcome every obstacle that stood between him and his dream. Since he had already created a whole new identity why not go a step further. If he needed to be educated, cultured and rich to impress Daisy then he would. Its like watching a pitcher throw a perfect game, its something you could never do yourself, but you really want the guy to succeed because you want to watch something special. That’s why the reader should be cheering him on, this is a once in a generation chance to prove everybody wrong and show the American Dream is attainable.

Is we look at some Great Gatsby quotes you see all the bad he did was because of the corruption of others. He had to lie about his past because of the upper classes notion that they were the ‘dominant race’ and they had to ‘beat down’ all challengers to their title. ‘Daisy wouldn’t marry’ him if he was poor, but if she wasn’t so shallow he never would have had to start his illegal business. He doesn’t even want his material possessions, the only worth he sees in them comes from ‘the measure of response it drew from [Daisy’s] well-loved eyes.

You feel sorry for him because he had such a clear and noble goal. He thought if he only worked hard enough that he could live the life of his dreams, but everyone else couldn’t accept that, they had to drag him down to their level and down their in the dust and corruption, Gatsby’s dream died, and so did he.

So maybe it he was a gangster, and maybe he lied about his past, but he only did it because it was the only way to survive in the broken and corrupt world that he lived in.

Three Inspiring Books to Read

Source by David Amps

I love inspirational books and I personally have a large collection of them of which I like to read over often depending on whats happening in my life at that moment. Sometimes a few chapters of a specific book and sometimes just a quote that stands out to me and brings some comfort, guidance or just to lift my spirit. There are three books that stand out as a must for anyone's inspirational book collection and I will do my best to explain why.

1) The War of Art.

"The war of the arts" is a great book that every person on this planet should have. It is written by Stephen Pressfield. The book is about resistance and how it promises us from achieving the work we are born to do. Resistance is personified and talked about almost like an evil force which tries to cripple our hopes and dreams by allowing us to be afraid, to procrastinate and run away from that job we all know we want to do deep inside of ourselves. This is definitely an inspiring book and will motivate you to fulfill your dreams.

2) The Alchemist.

"The Alchemist" is about the quest of the young seeker, Santiago, as he searches for knowledge. He has to leave his home and journey to places where his uncertainty about expectations and customs challenge his sense of identity, but he is determined and perseverates through setbacks. Sometimes he meets the Alchemist, who mentors him and helps him to have the courage to follow his dreams. The landscapes and cultures described seem timeless and, although realistic, they are also 'otherworldly'. It is an enchanting and inspiring book. The moral of this book is to not be afraid to follow you dreams and the almost imminent challenges you'll face when trying to do so. "The Alchemist" is written by Paulo Coelho

3) The Prophet.

The Prophet is about a mysterious religious thinker who is about to leave for his native land. Before he goes, many people have just one question to ask him. In a very few words, he tells them his accumulated wisdom primarily in a nondenominational way. The only exceptions come in the references to rebirth. The essence of each brief lesson is that we have to step outside of our own perspective to see things in the way that God does and wants us to. It is a book that will teach you many things about yourself and also give you many answers to a few problems that we face in life. An essential for any book collectors out there the Prophet is a must read. The Prophet is written by Kahlil Gibran

Critical Book Review – You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader by Mark Sanborn

Source by Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Pick up most business cards and after the name you will read a title. Titles are necessary to people especially in business and even more so in sales. Yet in reality, titles are less important.

In this book, You Don’t Need a Title To Be A Leader, Mark Sanborn shows how anyone, anywhere can make a positive difference by the use of six principles of leadership. This book is a fairly quick read under 110 pages and written in a easy to read writing style.

This book is separated into three distinct parts. The first part examines what constitutes a leader. Section two delves into greater detail about the six principles of leadership. Part III talks about making a positive difference specific to leaving a legacy.

So what is a leader? In the first chapter, Sanborn illustrates the answer to this question by sharing part of the life of an average person. He then illustrates how titles can be used to replace rewards and provide an additional incentive.

One great point he makes is “titles are broad brushstrokes.” Another common sense observation is

“people who lead – whether or not they have a title – strive to make things happen.”

The six principle of leadership are:

  1. The Power of Self-Mastery which is best summed up by this quote “The hardest victory is over self.”” Aristotle.
  2. The Power of Focus which includes a much need spiritual reference.
  3. The Power of People understands people make it happen.
  4. The Power of Persuasive Communication which recognizes the real purpose of communication.
  5. The Power of Execution which was probably best said by William Blake “Executi8on is the chariot of genius.”
  6. The Power of Giving which is epitomized in this words of Albert Schweitzer “If you truly desire happiness, seek and learn how to serve.”

Each principle is further explained along with some great examples and complimentary concepts and quotations. One of my favorite is from Principle 5 where the author quotes Henry Ford who said “You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

In the final section of this great read, Sanborn who is also the co-author of The Fred Factor examined how to leave a legacy of leadership or what some now call succession planning. The first two sentences in this section said it all “Everyone matters. Everyone makes a difference.”

He also illustrated the difference between a resume and a legacy that I believe should be read by a lot more people. Another notable fact was from Barna Research that suggested only “one of four Americans have a life philosophy.”

Since philosophy comes from the word philosopher which means wise loving, then this book is full wisdom. Even if you receive only one nugget, then it is indeed a book worth reading.

How to Use the Power of Words to Your Benefit

Source by Colin Dunbar

Someone I know maintains that “motivational words are great coming from philosophers, but that’s because they’re not in the real world.” The power of words can be an incredible aid to helping us remain motivated and focused.

Abraham Lincoln certainly was in the “real world”. So was Henry Ford. Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins, John Kehoe, and so the list goes on.

For most of us, the words we read have little impact on us and our lives, and especially on the setting of our goals. Here I hope to offer another way to look at words, and hopefully give the value of what words can mean with our goals and our lives.

The enormous amount of motivational material available – books, articles, motivational quotes – can (and does) help us to develop a positive attitude. But this does not occur by reading them as a novel or short story, that is, reading it once, and then never returning to the material.

When we use the concept known as spaced repetition, which is the reading of material repeatedly, but with breaks in between, words, and in particular motivational words become a powerful aid. This has an exceptional effect on our subconscious mind (and also works well with learning new material).

How much effort is there in that?

To use an example, consider the following motivational quote: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” Let’s consider how these words can help us to develop a positive attitude, and as result make us more content.

“If you don’t like something, change it.”

Example, are you in a job that absolutely drains you mentally, and emotionally? Have you seriously looked at changing jobs? And here the key word is “seriously”. Do we really investigate all our options? Do we consider dropping in salary (in the short term), but have work that stimulates us? Do we make a concerted effort to look for other positions?

Now for the second part. “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Do we have any control over the petrol price? Do we have any control over getting a flat tyre? There is no way in the world we can change these occurrences by moaning about them.

Too often we throw up our hands in frustration, or drop our head in desperation. And what is the value of that? Does it rectify the problem? Absolutely not! So why do we allow outside influences to affect us detrimentally? Accept that which you have no control over, and your attitude will soar proportionately.

In practice, using spaced repetition, committing these words to memory, when the occasion arises, we almost automatically retrieve these words and the whole situation looks entirely different.

This is where the value of words comes into its own. A while ago, while pulling away from a traffic light, I was too slow for the driver behind me. He hooted and showed me to move. My first reaction was to become annoyed, and I was “talking” to him – in no uncertain terms. Then I asked myself what effect does that have on the situation? And realizing this I relaxed I continued on my journey. By the time I reached my destination, I had all but forgotten the incident.

Words can be of real value to us, if we use them correctly. Give it a try, and see the effect it has on your attitude, and on you as a person.

As Rudyard Kipling said: “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Make it your goal to…

Find a motivational quote and write this down. Give it a read at least twice a day – you’ll be surprised at the results.

A New Earth, Oprah & Eckhart Tolle Quote Jesus – "Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit"

Source by Paul Davis

Eckhart Tolle author of A New Earth reviewed chapter 2 online with Oprah quoting Jesus who said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.”

Tolle and Oprah discussed the illusion of ownership, identification, awakening, facilitating an inner shift, and personal transformation. All powerful truths and concepts worthy of our time and attention.

Oprah said: “You talk about the illusion of ownership on page 42. You say “The ego tends to equate having with being and lives through comparison. And you use a quote from the Bible that Jesus said. …What does poor in spirit mean?”

Tolle replied: “No inner baggage, no identifications.”

Oprah thoughtfully still pondering on the matter inquisitively inquired further, “I never knew that’s what poor in spirit means. How did you come to that interpretation of what poor in spirit means?”

Tolle pulled from his personal spiritual journey and elaborated saying, “There was a time after I went through this inner shift. It must have been three years later, I was visiting my mother and she had a New Testament on her shelf. I picked it up and started reading. I could suddenly see the truths that were hiding there and that in many cases, the conventional interpretation was a superficial one of what Jesus had said. And that was one of the things I immediately saw when He said ‘poor in spirit’. I realized its to do with not carrying stuff inside so that your spirit is very light. It has no burden. He was talking about awakening and living in that free state of consciousness. Wonderful to suddenly be able to read it and suddenly it all makes sense, which before it hadn’t made sense.”

I agree with Tolle that spiritually we must be “ready” and at a time in our life’s journey when we are open to truth and divine revelation. Indeed such divine intervention and encounters can occur whether we are ready or not, after which our hearts surprisingly are suddenly and amazingly opened. For Tolle he was in a state of spiritual pursuit and hungering for divine insight, inquisitively pursuing the mysteries of life.

Assuredly religious and traditional interpretations can sadly many times miss the mark of what Jesus intended to impart by way of truth and revelation. Tolle accurately alluded to this calling some “conventional interpretation” to be “superficial”.

Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees, who to many were excessively religious and rigid, “You make the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such things do you” (Mark 7:13). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for removing the power from the Word of God by burdening the people with lofty traditions to adhere to, which disconnected them from the joyous experience of worshipping and serving the living God.

At one point Jesus got so mad and frustrated with the Pharisees, He sternly told them, “Your father is the devil” (John 8:44). “He that is of God hears God’s Words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God” (8:47).

The scribes and Pharisees often tried to entangle Jesus in religious debates, wherein they sought to enforce their traditions. Jesus did not hesitate to confront them saying, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3) “This people draws near unto Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching the doctrines and commandments of men” (15:8-9).

Often sadly religious teachings are nothing more than traditions and commandments of men, void of the love and life of God. Yet unsuspecting people who don’t take time to read the Bible for themselves are easily seduced and swayed by such self-righteous Pharisees. Clothed in the trappings of religiosity many teachers and venerated dignitaries are engulfed in adhering to traditional ceremony, being more enamored with form than the living God.

Having identified with their religious ideology, affiliation, and tradition they have thereby prevented themselves from wholeheartedly and freely drawing near unto God. Any form or spiritual occurrence that does match their tradition or experience, they demonize and reject. Yet in so doing it is their very own souls they are forsaking as they build for themselves a memorial to the deadness of their own religious tradition.

God however would have humanity to “be established in the present truth” and forever progressing spiritually going from glory to glory (see 2 Peter 1:12).

Most denominations however prefer to build a traditional monument to their founder rather than to Christ the ultimate head of the church and author of life. In so doing they replace Christ as the head and builder of His church universal, deify themselves in exclusivity, alienate spiritual seekers in their community, and cease to look unto the “author and finisher of their faith” preferring form over substance.

Jesus however is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23)and author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); without which our faith is shipwreck and divine influence severed as we seek to exalt ourselves religiously.

Christ alone can and will build His church (Matthew 16:18); by the pattern, protocol, and power of His Spirit, not the leading of a man-made denomination. Whenever a man, ministry, church, or denomination seeks to govern and guide a move of God; rest assured God Himself will leave them. God will never go where He is not acknowledged, neither needed.

Individually I have experienced religion that is cold as ice and not nice. Occasionally I have thought to network and link up with larger religious organizations thinking that collectively together we could have a greater impact. Upon calling some of these “established” organizations however, I have found their secretaries and bureaucracies to be cold and alienating.

One instance in particular, I phoned a very large worldwide ministry based out of Orlando to make an inquiry. Instead of being greeted warmly, I was asked abruptly, “Who are you with?” Sensing the interrogator tone on the other end, I humorously replied, “J E S U S” spelling out each letter by name.

The secretary was no amused or phased in the least and sternly held to her organizational hierarchal disposition, asking the same question again being entirely disinterested in me as a person preferring to label me as an organization.

Thankfully Jesus and the Holy Spirit are bigger and beyond religious labels and forms. Jesus walked through walls and walked on water. The Holy Spirit showed up and moved in numerous forms – like a gentle dove and as wind and fire. God always shocks and surpasses your theology, often violating it entirely.

Hence there is always division when spirituality and religion collide. The “established” religion of the day always feels threatened when spirituality comes with a new awakening for humanity. The initial response therefore is usually to demonize and belittle the new revelation, instead of investigate and examine it further.

This is the knee jerk tendency or proud religiosity, which is entirely self-centered and fixated with me. What’s in it for me? How does it effect “my church”, “my offerings”, “my doctrine”, “my understanding”, “my interpretation”, etc. The ironic and self-righteous tendency however is to go beyond the “my” and “I” with which religion often does what it wants, interprets as it wants; but in the process puts God’s name on it in an attempt to validate and give itself credibility.

This is why when Jesus came His greatest opposition and enemies were from the religious circles. Sinners, prostitutes, conniving businessmen, and foul talking fishermen all loved and liked Jesus. It was the religious crowd full of manipulation and spiritual subtlety that Jesus couldn’t stand and abruptly opposed, immediately exposing their own insecurity.

Had the religious been genuinely spiritual, they would have sat and listened to Jesus to see if what He was saying was true and of spiritual benefit to them. Instead they quantified everything in monetary and self-effacing terms, preferring to protect what was theirs instead of embracing what was coming from God Himself.

Religion sells God, but is void of God’s divine life. Religion is subtly about projecting self-righteous attitudes, instilling fear in followers, enhancing one’s shallow ego with self-exaltation, building its denomination, protecting its affiliation, and disseminating its own ideological persuasion.

I was utterly shocked when I lived in Brooklyn Heights, where the Jehovah Witness kingdom halls are headquartered. I often talked to and discussed spiritual matters with “the witnesses” on Montague Street. When I questioned them about Jesus’ exhortation to take care of the poor from Matthew chapter 25, they said, “We don’t do that. God will take care of the poor. We just preach the Word.”

I in turn questioned the validity of the “Word” they preach, it being a New World translation. I then mentioned “to him who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). “But he who has this world’s goods, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how can the love of God dwell in him?” (1 John 3:17).

It was then the “witnesses” were silenced and walked away in shame. Certainly I myself have often been without and perhaps with a bit but neglected those suffering around me. Nevertheless I don’t embrace creating a religious doctrine that alienates the poor and suffering, which relinquishes the divine and greatest commandment to love and lift a hurting humanity.

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it” (Proverbs 3:27).

Such man-made doctrines are often legalistic and demonic. The apostle Paul mentioned the doctrine advocated by the Vatican which forbids priests to marry and betroth a wife. “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies and hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Jesus is about love, life, and spiritual enjoyment. Religion and the devil are about enslavement, control, and death. Throughout the early church era as evidenced throughout the book of Acts, whenever the religious council and establishment could not control the apostles, they sought to threaten, beat, imprison, and eventually kill them.

Jesus said it well, “The thief [speaking of the devil and religion] comes to steal, kill, and to destroy: but I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Religion deeply entrenched in itself and its own preservation doesn’t mind if its interpretation is entirely useless, outdated, or utterly dead. As long as it exalts someone’s head, they will fight to the bitter end to preserve it. Because for them forms are more important than joyfully and spiritually experience life.

Hence when discarding one’s own inner baggage and identifications, the first place we often must begin is with religiosity and the way we often erroneously relate to our own loving Creator. Remember God will not allow anyone, including a self-righteous denomination, put Him in a box. God is bigger than your ideological, religious, and mental box.

Therefore when cultivating poverty in spirit to attain the riches of heaven, begin by stripping yourself of dead religion and mean, manipulative associations.

Upon discovering your dependence first and foremost on God alone, thereafter you can embrace others in the family of faith and find for yourself a spiritual home.

Concerning remaining poor in spirit, we do well to remember the words of the apostle Paul who said he was both “full” and yet “hungry” (Philippians 4:12). The British revivalist Smith Wigglesworth who raised several people from the dead and ministered healing to countless sick folks said he was content with his own discontentment.

David a man after God’s own heart, though being king and possessing innumerable things, cried: “As the deer panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night” (Psalm 42:1-3).

“Now also when I am old and gray headed, Oh God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come” (Psalm 71:18).

Like Tolle shift inwardly, connect spiritually, and live miraculously.

Matt Bell’s Money Strategies For Tough Times – Book Review

Source by Dr. Steven J. Lynne

By: Matt Bell (2009)

ISBN 978-1-60006-664-1

Book Price: $12.99

Personal finance

Matt Bell is a personal-finance writer and speaker, director of the Willow Creek Association’s Good $ense financial ministry, and author of Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success. He has been quoted in major media such as U.S. News and World Report and Chicago Tribune.

Strategies for wealth in tough times

Matt Bell releases strategies for wealth in tough times, contained in eleven chapters. He addresses issues like; you can get to a better place (Ch. 1), Secured debt solutions (Ch. 5), tapping reserves (Ch. 7), a money plan for any kind of weather (Ch. 9), using your experience to help others (Ch. 11), and much more!

Real solutions for real financial problems

Matt Bell addresses his audience with no-nonsense ideas and integrity! He delivers solutions to money troubles without false promises of quick fix ideas. He states, “First, it’s not about quick-fix solutions… Second… Tough times call for timeless principles, and the principles taught in God’s Word have stood for thousands of years.”

Practical steps will give readers actionable ideas to step out of financial crisis. Matt Bell speaks about finding money to pay down debt, saying, “There are three ways to find extra money to put toward your debts: selling possessions to raise money, increasing your income, or managing your spending more effectively.”

Bell uses powerful quotes to introduce chapters. He opens a chapter about overcoming failure with a quote from Les Brown, “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”

Matt introduces spiritual solutions for readers to achieve miracle results. He asserts, “When spending is your first priority, you never seem to have enough… give, save, and then spend. His Word contains strong cautions against the use of debt… If you orient your finances this way, being generous… you will build a strong financial house…”

Bell sites data to support claims. With budgeting he says, “Just 7 percent of households use a detailed plan with specific monthly spending limits… A plan will give you the knowledge you need to make any needed adjustments.”

Build a strong household

Matt Bell supplies readers with solid strategies to overcome tough financial times, to build a strong household.

"Rommel I Read Your Book" – How Patton’s Preparation Can Help Your Business

Source by Demetrio T Reyes

Thirty years from now, when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, “What did you do in the great World War II,” you won’t have to say, “Well… I shoveled shit in Louisiana.”

Morning,

Man I love this movie. Like Star Wars and Fight Club, I can quote these movies all day and everyday.

Sometimes when I sit back and enjoy a good flick I discover a great subtle nugget or two and when I watched Patton for the um-teeth time there was one that EVERY entrepreneur needs to hear.

The movie Patton. General Patton makes good use of being massively prepared to take on Rommel and the Afrikan Corps. The situation is freaking bleak because Patton has to take over a unit of muskrats and shape them in to a lean mean fighting machine and he only has a short amount of time to do it.

And to add more fuel to the fire, Patton is going up against a cracked seasoned General. A general that top historians say is the greatest General of all time, The Desert Fox himself Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel.

Everybody is tense. Patton has orders to beat Rommel or else they lose Afrika.

The Second Army Tank Corp is full of undisciplined officers, and lazy soldiers who no longer are motivated to fight and win.

AND

The Second Tank Corp took a huge beating leaving them battered, beaten and shaken of their confidence.

Yep. Things ain’t rosy in the dessert and Patton has to shape the unit up in ten days to fight Rommel at El Guettar.

So Patton goes into raging bull mode and begins to break his foot in his officers and soldiers ass to get them to shape up. And the HATE him for it.

The day to finally punch the clock and meet Rommels tanks division on the field of battle and Patton(the underdog) beats him!

As Rommel leaves the battlefield Patton screams, I read your book Rommel.

Why did Patton win? How did he win? What where his keys to victory on the battlefield?

Massive preparation!

Patton didn’t go into battle without knowing who his enemy was. Sun Tzu said knew this better than anyone.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

But before the war even began Patton took another step to prepare for war.

When he got promoted and ever the being the man to never be complacent and be “basic” got his pilots license, flew over his tanks and came up with ways mobilize his tank division quicker and efficient.

Preparation is KEY.

Preparation is key for negotiating, closing sales and even WRITING COPY.

Go fourth and be magnificent.

Men’s Style by Russell Smith – Book Review

Source by Rhonda Miles

Writers on sartorial style tend to have a lovely prose style. This is certainly the case for Russell Smith, author of Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress. His book is full of interesting and entertaining anecdotes, paragraphs and turns of phrase, yet he never comes across as trying too hard. He’s able to explain the technicalities of fine dress while writing in plain English — easier said than done.

The one problem with any style guide is that, at bottom, style is a matter of personal taste, and the rules become more subjective as you gain expertise. Russell does not deny this, but he is also firm about his convictions. I’d personally much rather read a book like this–even if I disagreed with most of the author’s prescriptions and proscriptions–than a book full of wishy-washy relativism (“Leisure suits are not my thing, but wear them if you want to.” How helpful would that be?).

Rules of style are meant to make dressing less confusing, since “it is useful to know the rules, particularly if you are new to this whole game and don’t trust your own taste.” Fred Astaire may be able to pull off an outfit that would leave you or I looking like a dressed-up ape, not because he’s handsome (he isn’t) but because he’s a pro. He can break the rules because he knows them, and he knows the loopholes.

The book is a good introduction to men’s style, especially traditional and somewhat formal style. It shows you how clothes can make you feel sexy and cool. It shows you how to dress for different occasions. It’s also a fun read. But if you’re looking for advice on, say, how to pick the best color shirt for your skin tone, or how to dress for your body type, you might want something more practical and technical.

The book has wide margins, which allow quotes, illustrations and sidebars to frame the page. The illustrations, by the excellently-named Edwin Fotheringham, are a nice addition and help illustrate the author’s point: a chapter about casual dress features a man dressed in a paisley leisure suit with a gold chain. The caption: “Casual dress is probably the contemporary male’s weakest point.” Point made.

This is a great gift for a man who is interested in style, or at least in sleeping with women. (If he’s interested in sleeping with men, he’ll still find it entertaining.) If you have a spouse, brother, or friend who makes abysmal fashion choices, consider giving them this book as an introduction to style. I’ve combined this book with an old picture book of Fred Astaire or Carey Grant, just to point out how important good style can be.

The Skinny on Time Management – How to Maximize Your 24-Hour Gift by Jim Randel

Source by Alain Burrese

“The Skinny On Time Management: How to Maximize Your 24-Hour Gift” by Jim Randel is another of “The Skinny On” series for really busy people. The book is advertised as a one-hour read that will be the best TIME you ever spend. If you are looking for strategies and techniques to help you use your time as effectively as possible, but don’t have time to wade through the much longer time management books out there, this in fact may be the best time you ever spend learning about time management.

This is the second of Randel’s series I’ve read, and I really enjoyed it. Now, if you have read a ton of time management books, you won’t see much new here. Randel states at the beginning that he’d gone through over 100 books and articles on time management and they all basically say the same thing. He claims there are 50 basic principles you need to know, and he addresses them in this book. But he does so in a quick, entertaining manner.

The book’s format is that of stick person Randel giving you a lecture on time management. But don’t worry, it’s not a humdrum boring lecture. Randel includes a lot of quotes and examples as well as interjecting some humor here and there. Quotes and information come from people like, David Allen, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Stephen Covey, Alan Lakein, Tim Ferriss, David Rock, Eckhart Tolle, and others. I especially like the Benjamin Franklin quote on the cover, “Lose no time. Be always employ’d in something useful. Cut of all unnecessary actions.”

The first short part of the book gets you thinking about how you spend your time. How much time we have, time journals, goals, and choices are covered in this section. Part 2 is longer and focuses on time management strategies such as: matching time and energy, gaps, improving memory, overcoming procrastination, clutter, batching, preparation, to do lists, prioritizing, streamlining, the 80-20 rule, focus, and others. Again, if you have read a number of books on time management, you will be familiar with these strategies and concepts. However, even if you are familiar with them, a quick review of the importance of them in this short read is worth it. We all need a booster shot once in a while. The book concludes with Randel’s ten most important points to remember about time management.

The Skinny On books are not meant to be long treatises on topics. They are short, quick, reads that point out the highlights of topics in an entertaining story format. Even though it is a short quick read, the points Randel makes are very important and the strategies are powerful. Of course, you can’t just read the book, you must act and implement the strategies into your daily life. On Randel’s recommendation, I’m going to move “The Power of Full Engagement” up in my reading list. It’s been one of those books I’ve been meaning to read. If you are looking for a fast read on time management, this book is for you. If you need a booster shot to remind you of those time management strategies you’ve studied elsewhere, this book will fit the bill. I’m glad I read it. I needed reminding of some of the strategies. Now it’s TIME to get to implementing them, and being more effective with the limited time we all have.

How to Beautify Your Romantic Relationship Through Romance Novels?

Source by G. J Bajaj

How would a world be without love? You cannot simply imagine your life without love! All the relations and love around you is due to the relationship between man and woman. And romance is the fragrance which keeps this love relationship going on and on. Romance novels are born out of the various complex yet interesting relations and inspire generations together to believe in love and its beauty. Although how much you derive pleasure from romance varies from person to person but every one at some time in life is drawn to the enchanting delights of romance and love.

Romantic novels are mostly read by young people especially those in their teens who are more fantasized by the concept of romance and are yet to get the full glimpse of practical life. But even adults buy a romantic paperback sometimes to revive the dullness in their love life or look out for romantic solutions to the problems in their love relationship. Some of the following tips can indeed help you to beautify your romantic relationship with the help of these romantic novels.

• If your partner is angry at you over some issue, then the best way is to gift him a very passionate romantic paperback. The fun and romance in the book will inspire him to forget his anger and be more loving towards you.

• Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Misunderstandings, ego clashes and over expectations can cause a rift. But if two people are in love, efforts should be made to come together again and revive the dying relationship. Whenever, you feel that no romance is left in your relationship, you should try to read a romantic novel filled with lots of love and romance together. This way you will make a journey of a romantic affair in union and will understand the flaws and issues in your relationships as well which can help resolve all the disputes.

• Make your romantic dinner more romantic by reading out beautiful quotes from famous romantic novels. Address them to each other in a passionate manner so that you touch the right chord with your partner.

• Pick up some of the best scenes from the different available romantic novels and try to imitate them. For example, you can arrange a picnic or vacation just like the couple in the romantic book or even a date. One of the best ways to induce romance in your relationship!

• Search for different surprises from such books and try it with your lover. This will be very much different from the regular surprises of yours and can really bring more romantic moments.

• Whenever you are going out of town, just underline passionate romantic lines from your favorite romantic book and ask your lover to read them whenever he/she misses you.

• SMS slogans and quotes from romantic books to your partner when you are away so that your true feelings are conveyed more appropriately.