Category Archives: Other

The Secret to Creative Growth

This afternoon, as I was lying down reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac I had a thought I wanted to share with you.

I saw this news clip earlier today, and the impact of it didn’t hit until now…

You can’t get ahead by hanging on. Clinging to where you are or what you had will never lead to growth, it leads to a slow painful death.

If you want to grow, you need to have faith, you have to let go and trust the bottom won’t kill you, that maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll bounce when you hit.

It’s the same reason drunks have the uncanny knack for surviving car accidents… they are relaxed at impact while sober people tighten up trying to avoid the inevitable and their own desire to survive helps kill them.

It’s like the football team playing the prevent. They aren’t playing to win, they are playing not to lose. The greatest comebacks in history were made against teams that had given up on playing to win and decided to try not to lose.

Clinging to what you have is an act of desperation. It isn’t creative, it isn’t helpful, and you won’t like the results.

The secret to creative growth is the opposite of clinging, it is the act of letting go.

Christine's Books is Giving Away Free Personal Development Books on Twitter

Free Personal Development Books

Christine’s Books is proud to announce our weekly Twitter giveaway.

If you don’t know what Twitter is or how it works, learn about Twitter here, then join twitter and follow @christinesbooks here.

Every Tuesday is Personal Development Tuesday at Christine’s Books where we will give away a book from our Personal Development/Self-Help library. (If it goes well we may add more! We’re thinking about Fitness Fridays and maybe more!)

Here’s how it works:

  • Follow Christine’s Books on Twitter.
  • Every Tuesday we will send out a tweet in the morning that reads, “Personal Development Tuesday @christinesbooks, RT to enter to win a free copy of selected PD books <link here>”
  • Retweet the above tweet to enter. If you don’t know what retweeting is, it’s simple, you can learn about retweeting here.
  • Around 10 PM Central Time each Tuesday we will select a random retweeter as our winner. We will send a tweet naming the winning retweeter.
  • The winner can select one book from the list of books below. We will ship the one selected book, free of all charges to any location worldwide.

The books we are offering this Personal Development Tuesday — 2-10-09 are:

40 Days to Personal Revolution: A Breakthrough Program to Radically Change Your Body and Awaken the Sacred Within Your Soul Baron Baptiste
Fireside 2004-01-06 074322759X / 9780743227599 First Edition Hardcover New Hardcover
In 40 Days to Personal Revolution, Baron Baptiste — one of the world’s most beloved master yoga teachers — inspires us to transform more than body and mind: He gives us the tools we need to set ourselves free to live the healthful life we’ve always imagined. In the next 40 days you will create a whole new way of being and living. Tapping ancient wisdom and his own personal experience, Baron has created a relevant and completely practical program that will lead you to the clarity of mind, body, and spirit that awaits on the other side of your revolution.

Soul to Soul: Communications from the Heart Gary Zukav
Free Press 2007-10-23 0743237005 / 9780743237000 First Edition Hardcover New Hardcover
With the publication of his revolutionary work The Seat of the Soul, Zukav emerged as an important leader in the world of spiritual development, and it became one of the all-time successful books of its kind. Each of Zukav’s subsequent books, all of them bestsellers in their own right, has explored different aspects of that seminal work, offering detailed explanations and practical applications of his original vision.Soul to Soul represents a giant step forward in the expression of his work, providing penetrating insights that illuminate our lives. It is divided into two sections. Part One, “Soul Subjects,” consists of fifty brief, perceptive, and compelling chapters that encourage us to examine our own experiences in new and perhaps life-changing ways. Part Two, “Soul Questions,” is different from anything Zukav has written before. Combining profound spiritual and psychological insights, Zukav answers nearly one hundred important questions about life. Each chapter ends with a challenge to readers to experiment with the insight that has been given and make it their own.

Trust Your Gut: How the Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business Lynn A. Robinson
Kaplan Business 2006-10-31 1419584405 / 9781419584404 Hardcover New Hardcover
In businesses big and small, making decisions comes with the territory. But how do you routinely make decisions that enhance, not diminish, the bottom line? According to major thought leaders like the authors of Blink, Megatrends and Winning, “intuition” is the answer. But those books are all about the “what” of intuition. In Trust Your Gut and Grow Your Business: How to Listen to Your Inner CEO, business consultant Lynn Robinson gives us the “how” part of accessing this incredibly valuable inner resource to make quicker, stronger, better decisions on a regular basis. Offering the same strategies that Robinson’s Fortune 500 and small business clients call upon, Trust Your Gut and Grow Your Business teaches those looking to succeed how to make winning decisions about their work, business and life through the following techniques: -Why enthusiasm is a message from your intuition that can help you nail the sale. (Hint: It’s not as obvious as you think!)-The five questions to ask your intuition when you’re making a decision.-The 90-second activity you must do every day to achieve your goals easily and effortlessly.-How to motivate prospects to take action.-How to recognize the “power hunches” that will direct you to success and add to your bottom line.

Addicted to Hurry (Spiritual Strategies for slowing down) Kirk Byron Jones
Judson Press 2003 0739439499 / 9780739439494 Hardcover New Hardcover
Book Club Edition — Author Kirk Byron Jones has written a much-needed resource that debunks the “need for speed” mentality that so many people have embraced as a part of their everyday lives. This book goes beyond social and psychological analysis to include spiritual perspectives on the dangers of letting hurry become a chronic condition. Jones presents a well developed three-pronged response to the problem of addiction to hurry. Included in each chapter are helpful questions that allow readers to identify their current pace of life and assist them in cultivating their own sacred, savoring pace. Addicted to Hurry is ideal for anyone desiring to lead a more calm and satisfying life and a great gift for those who seem to be burning out from the frantic pace at work or at home.

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything Stephen M.R. Covey; Foreword-Stephen R. Covey; Contributor-Rebecca R. Merrill
Free Press 2006-10-17 074329730X / 9780743297301 First Edition Hardcover Used: Like New Hardcover
From Stephen R. Covey’s eldest son comes a revolutionary new path towards productivity and satisfaction. Trust, says Stephen M.R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction—and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.

Cheating Death—Why Was I So Lucky?

I’ve been to the edge, and there I stood and looked down. I lost a lot friends there baby, I got no time to mess around – Van Halen – 1978

I’m going to give you another glimpse into my soul.

As I’ve written before, there are at least a dozen experiences that should have killed me. Today I’m going to share one.

(FYI, I began writing this a couple of weeks ago)

This has been one of the coldest weeks in 20 years. And here in Minnesota it gets really frickin’ cold. This morning it was -26 F and it’s been below zero every morning for about a week. Life is difficult when it’s this cold. Things break, cars don’t start, the roads are hell, and traffic comes to a stop. Whenever you go outside you’re weighed down with heavy clothing, mittens, boots, hats. Everything takes longer and requires more energy. The cold aggravates Christine’s arthritis. A week or more of this stuff drains you.

But I’m grateful for the cold, and the colder it gets the more grateful I become. Let me explain with a flashback.

Continue reading Cheating Death—Why Was I So Lucky?

Why I Drive a 13 Year Old Car and Other Wonderful Stories

Why I Drive a 13 Year Old Car at Get Rich Slowly: I know this isn’t popular with the auto companies or the UAW, but this post is excellent financial advice for most of you. I drove a $500.00 car from 1988-1992. I drove a $1000 car from 1992-1997. I drove a $2000 car from 1997-2000. I drove a $12,000 car from 2000 until 2007 (That is the most expensive car I’ve ever owned. I bought it used and paid for it in less than 3 years.) And for the last year, I have been driving a 7 yo mini-van with 100K miles on it. Why? I don’t like to throw money away. Over the past 21 years, I have spent less than 20K on my personal transportation.


21 Ways to Write Posts that Will Grow Your Blog – I love simple direct posts. I printed this and taped it to my desk.


If You’re Good at Something – Never Do it for Free – I love this site, Someone Once Told Me, its feed is in my must read daily folder.


Blogging Tips for Bloggers with Full-Time Jobs
– As many of you know, I have a full-time job. I know many of you do too. This post offers some good advice on how to keep a blog going when you’re seriously stretched for time.


5 Twitter Social News Mashups that Kick Diggs Ass – I loved Digg in 2006 and part of 2007, but in my opinion it has “Jumped the Shark.” Reddit has too. Twitter is a much better resource for finding cutting edge information.


Lemonade Stand – Get Back to the Basics – This is a helpful business post from Andy Liu, reminding us that good business is basic and simple. Good businesses are easy to get.


Diversification is a terrible way to create wealth – This is another one from Andy Liu. If you’re interested in money or business, you’ve got to subscribe to Andy’s blog. This is great stuff.


Can a Promise to Yourself Change Your Life? – Liz Strauss makes a concise post we can all learn from.

The Best of the Interweb 12-19-08

Tina Su rocks. I’ve always loved her blog Think Simple Now. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better she writes Overcoming Fear in an Economic Crisis. This is the part that should get your attention:

Suddenly, my hard earned, frugally saved, carefully budgeted savings appeared to have been chopped in half. Given that I don’t have guaranteed income, I am a single woman, and my net worth just declined significantly, conventional wisdom would say that I should be worried. I should be freaking out! But I’m not. I’m pretty happy, actually.


What can I change by becoming upset, anxious, or nervous? Nothing. By complaining or allowing my body to suffer through anxiety, I will accomplish nothing.

Then she goes on to share helpful advice. One point which is…

4. Stop Spreading Fear

Stop complaining about your economic pains, stop forwarding news articles of fear to your friends, stop talking about it, and start doing things within your control. If your immediate basic needs are threatened (ie. loss of job, shelter and food), take action, massive action, to help yourself. The only exception to talking about your economic situation is when you ask for help from others during a time of need.

They should give Tina a show on CNN! I’d watch it.
Continue reading The Best of the Interweb 12-19-08

Do Personal Development Blogs Make You Feel Uneasy? I May Know Why

I have always been uneasy about the personal development industry. Something about it seemed unbalanced. I was never sure why, except to say that I couldn’t see myself consistently writing some of the content I see standard on personal development blogs. The content interests me, but something seems missing. Something seems wrong. Now I think I’ve discovered why I felt this sense of unease.

The Problem

In July I wrote 11 Ways to Build an Extraordinary Life and it did well in social media. I couple of days later I was working with a marketing group showing how list posts are constructed and the amount of traffic they can generate when executed correctly. Then someone asked, “Do you live an extraordinary life?”

I answered, “yes I do. Well… I try.”

I could tell he was skeptical. He’s right, I might think I live an extraordinary life, but to the outsider my life appears ordinary. However, I did point out that few of us live the ’11 Ways’ I listed in my post, and if you did, you certainly would live an extraordinary life.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits touched on this subject in a recent post:

Recently I read an old post about why another blogger doesn’t like
Zen Habits, and it centered around the idea that she thought I was
preaching to readers as if I’m perfect. And I thought to myself, “Boy,
I hope people don’t think I’m perfect!”

Because the truth is, I’m far from it. I have problems like everyone
else. I struggle with productivity and procrastination and losing
weight and losing my patience and everything else, just like you do.

I wrote a post about learning not to fear the economic crisis and got a
similar response. Posting positive news while others are suffering can cause ill will. You can appear to be a boasting know-it-all.

Sometimes when I read personal development blogs I feel the same way. How can this guy live such a perfect and productive life? I struggle with making money, being productive, staying focused, blogging, being a good father and husband.


I don’t want my readers to think I’m some perfectionist pollyanna, I’m not, so I purposely try to let my imperfections show. To me, it is the only way to be authentic and transparent. That’s why I’ve made this blog the way it is, this is a human story, and like me, it is imperfect.

Writing for the Reader

But I know why Leo at Zen Habits writes the way he does. He isn’t perfect, but he is a great writer who writes for you. You don’t want to read about my problems, or Leo’s problems. You need answers to your problems. You don’t want to read complaints. There are plenty of other people telling you how rotten the world is. Leo is an oasis in a desert of negative news and I love and respect him for what he’s done.

Negativity is the way most people’s minds work by default. No one needs to practice negative thinking, it comes natural. We all need to practice re-framing our situation in the most positive light possible, especially when times are tough. Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere, and most of you know that in your hearts. But we all need to be reminded sometimes.

What its Really About

Productivity/personal development writers aren’t saying they are perfect. They are trying to inspire positive change in the world by showing others what is possible. They are trying to inspire people to reach their potential in spite of imperfections.

This isn’t about perfection, it is about improvement.

Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

You spend too much time in front of a screen. We all do. Here are some things you need to know (stolen from Carrie Schmitz at the Ergotron blog). First I am going to give you the list of things you need to know followed by a list of things you can do to prevent damage to your vision.

Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

1. Staring at a computer screen results in nearly 60% reduction in blink rate leading to dry, irritated eyes blurred vision and headaches.

2. Computers are particularly hard on the eyes of contact lens users.

3. Myopic (near-sighted people who can’t see distant objects as clearly as close ones) who spend more than eight hours a day in front of a computer are 82% more likely to develop glaucoma along with symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

4. Increased fluid pressure within the eye can compress optic nerves, which causes glaucoma leading to blindness if not treated. One of the major symptoms of glaucoma is blurred vision.

5. Research shows that computer use increases near-sightedness (myopia).

6. As you age, the ability of your eyes to focus and stay lubricated diminishes, putting you at higher risk for CVS.

7. Children generally tend to be less self-aware than adults and will often ignore feelings of discomfort when using a computer.

Seven Ways to Protect Your Vision (and the vision of the children in your life) While Using a Computer

1. Position your monitor to minimize eye and body strain:

· Distance: at least an arm’s length away from face.

· Height: the middle of the screen should be 20-30 degrees below eye level.

· Angle: tilt the screen to prevent glare from strong light or surrounding surfaces.

· Orientation: monitor should be directly in front you.

2. Practice Dr. Anshel’s 20/20/20 rule: every twenty minutes turn your eyes away from the computer and focus on an object about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.

3. You can install software that regulates blinking and keeps eye muscles fit.

4. Use over-the-counter tear substitutes to lubricate eyes.

5. Get your eyes examined every year.

6. Consider computer glasses – some are tinted to counteract florescent light; some increase the humidity on the ocular surface to increase comfort and prevent long-term damage.

7. Full color monitors are preferable; a display setting with black letters on white background is most comfortable; increase font size on computer screen to fight squinting.