Stay at Home?  No Problem.  Quit Complaining.

Currently much of the country is locked down, encouraged to stay at home, or quarantined.  Here in Montana, it has been a little over 1 month since things started to shut down, social distancing was imposed, and gathering in groups was prohibited.  It has been during this time that nearly all of my extroverted friends are chomping at the bit, going stir crazy, and inundating social media every 3 minutes in a fleeting effort to grasp at some sort of social connection.

extroverts can suck it

As an introvert that has worked from home for nearly a decade, my day-to-day is largely unchanged.  In fact, my mental health has actually improved considerably.  As an adult, with a better understanding of who I was when I was younger, I can now smile at my extroverted friends going crazy, and say, “Suck it!”

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Readings and Reflections from the Last Year

Each year I have a goal of reading 12 books.  I set some parameters for what I read to keep myself on track.  For instance, I have to actually read the books: audio books are bonuses.  The books have to have substance or length, preferably both.  So despite having a 7 year old at home, I can’t count Go Dog, Go toward my 12 books.

As a copywriter and content marketer in Billings, this provides a lot of the inspiration behind what I put into words.  I can refer back to what I have heard, quote famous (and not-so-famous) authors, extrapolate, and inspire with the words I have read.

Writer author copywriter in Billings

In January every year, I write down my reflections on the books so that I can be reminded of what I read, and I can inspire others that may be wondering what books they should consume in the coming year.  Without further ado, here are the books I read in 2019.

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A Quick Synopsis of What I Read Last Year

Each year I try to read as many books as possible.  They’re a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, business and personal growth, religious and borderline sacrilegious.  Every book read means I gain a little knowledge, and that knowledge can be applied to life, business, and relationships.

Each year, I do miniature book reviews on what I have read.  It’s a way that you can be inspired to find something that you love, and a way that I can look back and remind myself about all of the knowledge I stuffed into my brain.

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Book Suggestions for 2018

Every year I have a reading goal.  The actual books aren’t as big of a concern (as long as they’re not outrageously short or written for children).  In 2017 the goal was to read 12 books, that’s just one per month and easy for anyone to do.  By the end of the year I finished number 19.  This has inspired me to up that goal to 18 for the year 2018.

Statistically speaking higher earners read more (whether earning more causes more reading or more reading causes earning more is another topic).  Here are the books I read in 2017; perhaps you can choose 18 in ’18 and help grow your mind as well.

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How to Have Your Voice Heard

One of my goals is to learn how to be more persuasive.  This stems from John Maxwell’s book Thinking for a Change, and specifically a little blurb on page 52 where he talks about how he wants to be so influential and be filled with so many good things, that whenever he opens his mouth good stuff flows out.  Being filled with so many good things is a great goal, but in order to get people to stop to listen you have to be persuasive.

10 P's of Persuasion

Recently, while going through some sales training, we talked about the 10 P’s of making a sale.  These are attributes that you have to have, and attributes that you have to think about, in order to be a good salesman or woman.  While going through them I couldn’t help but to think that these are actually the 10 P’s of persuasion.

As your read through them, you will probably think of more attributes (and many that also start with the letter “P”).  Add those to your list, and grab the power of persuasion.

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Get More Done Before the Heaviness of Day

There are two schools of thought out there when it comes to working.  Some people say, “I’m not a morning person, I do better work in the afternoon or evening!”  And other people say, “I do my best work first thing in the morning, productivity drops off as the day goes on.”  Over the years I have found that it doesn’t matter what you say; mornings are better for productivity.

Avoid the heaviness of day

The reasons are numerous, but one shines above the rest.  Mornings are different than the rest of the day.  Not just because it’s early, or because the world is asleep; there are certain biological and natural instances that happen that create a change for the morning hours. More »

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

There is a car commercial that aired recently.  It showed a group of young people, getting out and having fun.  The commercial goes on to say, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”  It’s a good quote and it encourages people to get out of their comfort zone and explore and go do things!

Be strong and courageous

But what about those that are a little nervous to do so?  How do you gain the courage you need in order to get out there and live life to the fullest?  It starts with claiming God’s promise.

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How to Eliminate the Stressors

Every day there are things that cause us stress.  These can range from mild setbacks, to workloads, to family and friends.  Stress is a way of life, and it’s going to happen no matter what stage of life you are in.  The only thing that we can do is manage the stress, and reduce it as soon as it pops up.  We can eliminate almost all of it by carefully monitoring how we react to it.

Now it is important to note that stress and adversity are not the same.  Recently in a Biz to Biz meeting we talked about how we handle adversity.  I commented that I define adversity as something much worse than stress.  Adversity pops up every few months; stress comes daily.

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How You can Become Better

A couple months ago I wrote about being a failure.  We took a sneak peek into Dr. Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.  The idea was that there are two types of people.  Those that see failure as a permanent reflection of their abilities, and those that see it as a growing opportunity.  The sad reality is that a majority of people are in the fixed mindset category.

Adopting the Growth Mindset

That doesn’t have to be the case.  The first step to moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is understanding the two, and then carefully training yourself to make a conscious effort into the growth mindset.  Here’s how you can get started.

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We aren’t All Supposed to do the Same Thing

Years ago I read the book “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.  The basic idea of the book was that we shouldn’t get caught up in material things and forget about our Savior.  Instead we should keep God at the front of our minds, and everything we do should serve to bring about his glory.  On the surface it’s a great message.  But the book wasn’t quite just that.

Use your gifts the right way

While Piper does emphasize that the point isn’t to have everyone pursue a life of missions work, the underlying theme was just that: if you’re not spending your life in full-time mission work, then you’re wasting your life.  It even starts out with the story of a couple that worked hard and enjoyed an early retirement.  Piper talks about how when they’re standing before God, they will have nothing to show except their collection of sea shells.

What Piper fails to realize is that we all have different gifts; and we should be able to enjoy the fruits or our labor without fear of judgment.  In essence, we can feel free to make a bunch of money and spend it lavishly on ourselves.

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