Rajo is for the rajoless?

In high school we were taught that hope is for the hopeless by a somewhat arrogant, but oddly popular, philosophy teacher.

How often do any of us use the word hope? When you’re hoping the waiter didn’t screw up your order? When you’re hoping that the homeless guy ate something today? When you hear politicians hoping for peace?

Every day since hearing the words, “Hope is for the hopeless” I believe it less and less. Hope is as prevalent in our lives, just as much as the air we breathe.

Hope was the major theme around Amanda Lindhout’s A House in the Sky. The story of a woman who grew up in tough times and eventually grows up to live to travel fueled by the articles she loved to read in Readers Digest as a child . As she traveled she ended up working in the media, which lead her to Somalia where she and her travel partner, Nigel, are kidnapped and are held at ranson for a grueling 15 months. Amanda’s retelling of the horrors she went through was brutally honest, from the physical abuse she suffered to the swings in her mental and emotional state.

This book is one for any one who needs to truly understand what it is to hope.

Rajo. That is the Somalian term for hope.

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Amanda Lindhout has created a foundation to help the woman of Somalia , if you’d like to help visit
http://www.globalenrichmentfoundation.org/

The 3 stages to your next great idea

Creativity. Is it just for the artists, singers and clever marketing agencies?

Not at all. Even the most drab of accountants can have a burst of creative ideas. No offense to any accountants out there.

Your next great idea dose not require a liberal arts degree or a real existing problem to solve. Follow these three steps and see where your amazing, creative mind takes you.

  1. Not all who wander are lost.
    • Let your mind wonder and write down any idea that comes to mind. Forget money, physical limitations, whether there is an existing need or even if its actually a good idea. Let your mind go crazy with visions and see how many ideas you get. Don’t put an actual time limit on this stage. Any limitations can hinder your thought process and limit your creative process. If any thing let yourself get to the point where you start daydreaming!
  2. Filter out what is do-able
    • Now we take reality into account. Go through all the ideas you created and figure out the steps you need to take to make the ideas you thought of happen. Resources, information, existing infrastructure. At this point its good to take inventory on fields that you know inside-out and how you can associate your knowledge with your idea.
  3. Take that first step
    • Now that you know what you can do, what what you have available to you, it’s time to start making that vision a reality! Taking the first step may be as simple as buying a website domain or more demanding like hiring a team, but either way ,one thing to keep in mind is that your vision will not become reality overnight. Patience is a virtue. Its important to surround yourself with positive ,like-minded people to help keep you motivated and focused.

Regardless of who you are, what you do and how old you are, creativity is something that can be learned and become an extremely valuable weapon.

Santa was real, Adults were giants and everything was edible

We did a lot of stupid things when we were kids. Ate things we shouldn’t have, wore raincoats on sunny days, destroyed perfectly good toys to try a make something else. Growing up I legitimately believed that we had a magic drawer because every time we opened this one drawer we found new flyers in it. We discovered months later that the flyers from the shelf above were just sliding down into the lower shelf.

The Lion ,The Witch and the %40 off all appliances sale.

Its surprising how much of an impact our childhood has on us. Some of histories greatest minds have found their life callings because of random events in their childhood. Marie Curie, the founder of Radium became obsessed with science when she wandered into her fathers room and saw all of his laboratory equipment.

Charles Darwin found himself obsessed with anything nature against the wishes of his father. This obsession, this otaku ,led to the publishing of The Origin of Species, which rocked the world at its release.

Sooner or later something seems to call out to us onto a particular path. You may remember this “something” as a signal calling in childhood when an urge out of nowhere, a fascination, a peculiar turn of events struck like annunciation: This is what I must do, this is what I’ve got to have.

-James Hillman

-Mastery, Robert Greene

We’re asked what we want to be or do in our teenage years, the worst possible time to ask if you ask me. Instead of asking what we want to be, maybe instead we should ,”How do you want to change the world?”

Rewind back to your childhood. What consumed you back then? Any link to what you do or what still fascinates you today?

Personally I was a space nut. I had books on space, I was on the internet reading about planets and the solar system, and watching movies and shows that involved space. Today I still watch movies and documentaries on space travel and I pray that commercial space travel someday becomes a reality.

To those of you who are lost and don’t know where to go with your lives, I say this.

Close your eyes (….well read this list first)

Rewind back to your childhood

What fascinated you back then?

Dose it still fascinate you?

Is this fascination something you could use to help the world?

Habits and Lightsabers

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a great book to help understand the inner workings of our minds and how we create and figure out habits.

We all have habits that we wish we could adopt and get rid of. Some want the power to be able to consistently go to the gym. Others want to understand why they need to drink. Habits are like lightsabers. Point it the wrong way and bam! There goes your arm.  Point it the right way and now you can defend the galaxy. Or least yourself.

The Power of Habit basically breaks down the habitual process into a 4 part system called The Habit Loop

  1. The Cue
    • This is what triggers a habitual process. This could be something as simple as making a cup of coffee because its the morning or needing a snack whenever you’re watching something on t.v.
    • It could even be something that’s marketed onto you. McDonalds uses this approach by standardizing the appearance of all their restaurants. You see the usual colors and the golden arches and suddenly you have a craving for some fries.
    • A cue came be something that can be trained into you as well. If you’ve ever worked…well anywhere, you were probably trained to respond to a certain cue. A bell dinging could mean a customer entered the store or a co-worker needs assistance or that the burgers are done. Depending on the situation you were trained to respond to the signal and perform the duty required.
  2. The Routine
    • This is what the habit consists of. The drinking if the coffee, the snacking of the snacks. These come out of repetition and practice. A routine is really a ritual of certain activities set to fulfill a certain need or want.
    • Following our McDonald’s example, your usual routine when you saw the McDonald’s restaurant would be to go it, wait in line, order your fries and receive them. When you heard the bell ring and see a customer enter the store your usual routine might be welcoming them and asking them how you can help them. Tasks like these are engraved into our minds and become habitual.
  3. The Reward
    • The reward is the outcome you want the routine to achieve. The reward doesn’t have to be ensured, it may just be a desired reward.
    • The reward for you morning coffee is the burst energy you want from the caffeine. The reward you want from that order of fries is the salty, crunchy flavor of the fries. The reward you want from greeting customers is a sale. A reward can come in many forms, but what they all have in common is that the reward is the desired outcome of a habit.
  4. The Craving
    1. The final component of the Habit Loop is the craving. This is the need that sets off a habit. This can be the need for energy, money, happiness, relief, ect
    2. How a craving is fulfilled can vary. This can lead you towards a good habit or a bad habit. Lets say you have a craving for some sugar or something sweet. There’s a couple ways you can satisfy this craving. You could grab something that’s sweet but also healthy like a piece of fruit or you could get yourself a candy bar. The final reward is the same ,but the long term effects of going for fruit vs candy are very different.
    3. The Habit Loop

       Habits can lead you down very different paths. Most people associate habits as negative, as something that needs to be removed. Charles Duhigg argues differently. Habits are not in charge, you are. As illustrated above habits can be altered. Once you realize what you are really craving from a negative habit and become aware of it, it’s completely possible to make the necessary changes.

 Cue.Routine.Reward.Craving.

Remember this process, consistently ask yourself what you are craving and chasing, and start using the true power of habits. Or the force.

Read Charles Duhiggs The Power of Habit for more.

Dark Places (Not the one in your pants)

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows and everything that’s wonderful -is not what this book is about, seriously, I don’t think anyone in this book has even heard that song.

Gillian Flynn, please promise me that you’ll never get the help you may need, because the quality of your thrillers may suffer.

Gone Girl was amazing (Saw the movie, didn’t read it, biggest life regret so far) but ,god damn, Dark Places was just next level twisted!

The story focuses around one fateful night in which the Libby Days mother and  two sisters are brutally murdered. Her brother ,Ben, is blamed and is locked up. The story picks up 25 years after the murder in which Libby meets a group call led The Kill Club, who claim that Libby’s brother is innocent!

I don’t want to give too much away, but if you ever feel like staying up until 4 am with something that could possibly give you nightmares (I think I had a dream (or nightmare?) where I was in high school again the night I read this) Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is a must read!

Confomos are so lame, Read Originals and be a game changer

Ok first post that’s about a book ,here we go!

So last night I finished reading an advanced reading copy of Adam Grant I received from Penguin Random House (Why they never named their merged company The Random Penguin is beyond me, I think it would have been awesome)  and I loved it!

So Originals basic concept is to show anyone how they can be Originals and not be a conformo, cause they suck. Rebellion is not a phase ,its a lifestyle mom!

This book is a great balancing act of story, psychological theory , and business theory. Using stories focused around the suffrage movement, Martin Luther Kings famous, “I Have a Dream” speech , the story of how Steve Jobs was one of the biggest supporters of the Segway (yeah you read that right), a woman named Donna Dubinsky who was indirectly responsible for the creation of the Iphone thanks to her gutsy decision to argue against a corporate decision, the creation of a wikki for the CIA and many many more amazing stories of people who swam against the stream.

Some of the major takeaways from this book?

Procrastination is good for the creative process! Rejoice students everywhere!

When introducing an extreme idea, something that really deviates from the norm, its best to tone down the message or wrap it in something familiar before you try and get the  more conservative crowd on your side.

Instead of assigning a devils advocate ,try to get them to come out organically. This way you and your team can look at other options with open minds.

Never take the status-quo as it is. Ask yourself why it exists and the human minds behind it and soon you’ll see it as something that can be changed.

Seek feedback from the the proper audiences. Look for people that share your non-conformist ideals!

Ever been so scared that you feel paralyzed? Don’t tell yourself to calm down. That’s like trying to stop a truck doing 200 km/hr. Instead turn that pulse pounding fear into excitement! Next time you’re afraid ,say to yourself “I am excited!” Turn that fear into excitement!

There’s so much more to learn from this book, and it’s alotta fun to read, highly recommend this one!

And conforming sucks, just ask the Goth Kids

“I’m such a nonconformist that I’m not going to conform with the rest of you”

-Micheal, The Goth Kids

-South Park

@BoysThatRead

So I noticed a lot of popular blogs today are run by girls and are made more or less for girls ,so I figured a book blog for guys would be an awesome idea! But only time will tell….

Anyways personally I prefer non-fiction as I’m just a curious person so you’ll see alot of Non-fiction focused posts from me ,but I got plently of friends that are into a wide variety of genres so you all definitely hear from them!

This ones for the boys, by the boys so stay tuned bro!