Be Obsessed or Be Average Review: “Obsession Is Good.”

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Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone (Amazon) (Goodreads)

 

  • Title: Be Obsessed or Be Average
  • Author: Grant Cardone
  • Publication: Portfolio (October 11, 2016)
  • Genre: General, Business/Finances
  • Pages: 240 pages
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 5/5

Grant Cardone’s notion of obsession as a good quality impressed me. He transmutes the common negative imagery surrounding the term into something positive. For example:

Obsession with drugs? Not cool.

Obsession with positive career goals? Very cool.

Be Obsessed or Be Average is a fast-paced 200+ page read. There were a few repetitive passages in the book but I took them as friendly reminders to stick with your “positive obsessions” or else. Remaining average is like wandering around in the circles in the middle of nowhere. You don’t want to be doing that until you die.

Here are ten tips from Cardone for staying in the “obsessed zone”:

1. “Network”

You’re obsessed with a certain interest? Your next mission is to find people who are just as obsessed as you are. You can find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

Now, don’t network exclusively online. Go out and meet actual living, breathing people. Find local clubs and attend conventions related to your interests too.

2. “Focus on Increasing Income”

How can you use your obsession to increase your income? Discover ways you can get that done asap! You want to do what you love and get paid for it.

3. “Complete Every Task From Start to Finish”

You wouldn’t stop a multi-million dollar movie production only because of one iffy scene (that’s expensive).  Finish it! There will be some days you don’t want to do it but you’ll thank yourself once it’s done.

4. “Never Settle”

Congrats, you’ve accomplished a goal! Now, create a new one and finish that one.

Plan. Achieve. Repeat. Don’t stop.

5. “Always Raise and Refuel Your Obsession”

You love food. You love taking food photography. You attend dozens of cooking classes.

You do all sorts of cool hobbies related to food until one day, you’re not in the “foodie mood”. The thought of food makes you want to puke.

The remedy: the cooking channel. All of those inspiring cooking shows refuel your passion for food. Now you’ve set up an Instagram account for your foodie photos, sell your higher quality food photography, and blog about your favorite foods at your local restaurants. You even have risen to Youtube stardom thanks to the Youtube cooking channel you’ve filmed from the comfort of your own home.

That’s what raising and refueling your passion is all about.

6. “Stick and Stay, It’s Bound to Pay”

You love to play video games so you started an affiliate marketing aside from working full-time at a boring corporation. Problem: you’re only making three dollars a month from your site.

Don’t freak out!

Find out what you’re doing wrong, sort out possible solutions, and get back to work. Months later, after a couple of tweaks with your site, you make enough money to quit your corporate job and deal with video games 24/7.

Persistence is key!

7. “Make Time for Your Obsessions”

If you don’t start out with an hour with your obsession due to your super busy lifestyle, why not start out with fifteen or thirty minutes? That’s still time. Don’t starve your obsessions.

8. “Be Charitable”

It’s good to make loads of money but it’s better to share some of it too.

9. “Avoid Those Who Don’t Talk about Money”

I found this to be a little mean at first but I understood later the context Cardone was pulling. If you’re serious about bringing in more financial success in your life, you have to surround yourself with people who are the same boat.

Stay clear of those who complain about money 24/7 and don’t do anything about it. You’re not about that life.

10. “Don’t Worry about Haters”

Haters hate while you continue to create. It only reveals you’re doing something right. Haters will do anything to slow you down. Don’t let them waste your time.

*~*~*~*~*~*

There are definitely more tips Cardone provided in Be Obsessed or Be Average. I recommend reading this book along with The 10x Review.

Obsession can lead you to amazing abundance. However, the kind of obsession when you’re snorting pounds of cocaine every day or stalking one of the Kardashian sisters is not okay.

Don’t do it. That’s not cool.

Comment below if you’ve read this book or you have any book-related recommendations! 😉

10x Rule Review: “Do It Ten Times More!”

 

The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Title: The 10x Rule
  • Author: Grant Cardone
  • Publication: Wiley (April 26, 2011)
  • Genre: General
  • Pages: 240 Pages
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 5/5

You have no time to do what you truly enjoy because you’re stuck in a boring, life-swallowing job and surrounded by soul-sucking leeches. I’m talking about those people who’re like:

“You have unrealistic goals.” -Naysayer

“Why don’t you slow down? You’re doing too much.” -Lame Dude

“You’re not going to make money doing that.” -Non-Supportive Buttmunch

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You tired of all the naysayers’ BS

After reading and applying The 10x Rule, your old negative reality will fade away. This book will literally kick you out of the couch and make you want to conquer the world! I was reassured it was completely okay to go into the deep end of my interests no matter what. Some people may think you’re crazy or obsessed.  Truly, you’re only dedicated and deeply focused.

The 10x Rule states you must apply ten times the action you’re used to doing in exchange for great results. If you’re a blogger with a tiny blog, why not expand yourself putting 10x the effort? You can spread your blog to various social media platforms, create more content, and network. You’ll never know what your joy of blogging may lead you. It could lead to serious profit and sweet job offers.

The problem most people face is undermined activity. They stick with average results expecting big outcomes. Average action only comes with average results. That’s like a runner expecting to gain a fit runner’s body running three times a month. You have to step up your game! According to Cardone, remaining average can be deadly. The path of mediocrity leads to a dead-end. One with an average mind may end up working for higher minds for 30+ years until retirement.

Might as well be dead.

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Do you really want to live somebody else’s dreams or live your own?

The key to standing out is dominating your passion(s). I love reading. I talk to people who love to read and blog about books. Some goes for writing. I write not only blog posts but scripts for film and theatre. I love being unlimited! There are  infinite opportunities available within your joys. Take those opportunities and smash them!

The best part about dominating your field is gaining attention. Cardone notes attention equals to money and power. The more power to you the more you expand yourself. You know those popular video game Youtubers (PewdiePie, DiamondMinecart, etc.) who have gained million dollar incomes for their video game walkthroughs and commentaries? They gained more subscribers (including major companies) with the growing content they provided for their viewers. These video game Youtubers grew their joy of video games with a popular video platform people’ll notice.

I say the only problem Cardone failed to mention in The 10x Rule is burn-out. Sure, you’re doing what you love on a daily basis but you’re a human being who needs to rest at some point.

When I was in college (undergrad), I used to do cardio every single day! I loved it because I was seeing results but my body wasn’t used to the constant activity. One of my knees gave out after an hour walk/run interval around the school track. Boy, I was not happy! From now on, I make sure I schedule rest days at least once a week.  It’s great to put out ten times the effort but it’s better to know when it’s time to rest before your body completely shuts down.

I recommend Grant Cardone’s 10x Rule if you’re ready to do bigger things and receive bigger results in your life. His book reminds me there’s no limit to success. You’ll miss out BIG TIME if you place limits on your achievements.  Read this book and you will become ten times the person you were before.

Comment below if you’ve read this or any of Grant Cardone’s books. Feel free to submit any success stories you have after reading The 10x Rule.

(Gifs: The Scoop Whoop, Giphy, Popkey)

BOOK REVIEW: “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Hyder

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The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Title: The Zen of Social Media Marketing
  • Author: Shama Hyder
  • Publication: BenBella Books (Aug. 16, 2016)
  • Genre: General, Non-Fiction
  • Pages: 280 pages
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

 

You want tons of followers and bustling activity on your social media site but it’s more barren than the Sahara desert.

Potential followers wandering your barren site (via GIPHY)

Shama Hyder’s The Zen of Social Media Marketing can alleviate your problem with her viable social media tips.  The main purpose of social media is keeping it alive and active. It’s quick and easy to create a social media site but it takes time for it to become a thriving community.

Shama Hyder is a social media entrepreneur (I’d say wizard). The White House and the United Nations have honored Hyder as the top young 100 entrepreneurs in the country. She is the CEO of the Marketing Zen Group. This organization helps companies gain a strong social presence on the internet.

I knew for sure I would learn a good thing or two after reading a brief summary on Hyder’s book. She has presented tons of social media tips on various social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The key to a successful social media site is strategy. Once you have an attainable strategy with a clear goal, you’re on way to the top.

Any social platform has to stay alive in order to gain a high number of followers and activity. If you have a blog for example, make sure it’s blowing up content frequently. It doesn’t have to be EVERYDAY but consistent enough for viewers to keep returning to your site.

A few of my online weaknesses is providing consistent content and keeping an active connection with people with similar interests. I tend to make a site then forget about it for a while. When it comes to following sites, I limit myself in fear of being utterly overwhelmed.

According to Hyder, it’s cool to follow as many people as you want as long they surround your interests. If you’re a book blogger, connect with other book bloggers. If you love to travel, follow the travelers. You get the drift!

Besides, the more people you follow, the more likely they’ll follow you back (results may vary).  Sometimes along the way, you may have to cut out sites/bloggers who aren’t active as they used to or they switch their interests.

Here are a few tips from The Zen of Social Media Marketing you’ll find in this book:

1. “The best time to post content are weekends and off-peak hours.”

This idea made me think of this infographic:

 

 

Timing is Everything (via The SumAll Blog)

It was handy when I started my own personal social media strategy a while back but I’ve switched it up since then.

2. “Photos and statuses bring the most interactions.”

Update every little relevant content to your social media platform as much as possible. The more you “show up”, the more likely followers will respond. Followers “follow” you because they enjoy what you provide and they’re always expecting something new.

3. “Consumption of valuable content + time = client”

Your followers are always hungry. Keep them well-fed with content on a focused schedule. At first, you will have wanderers on your site. They may glimpse at it but not long enough to be converted into followers/subscribers. Keep flowing content and staying interactive then the wanderers will change their minds.

*~*~*~*~*~*

The Zen of Social Media Marketing is a handy gift to social media beginners.  Reading this book was an absolute pleasure! Please keep in mind your site won’t become an overnight success after reading this book. If you follow the social media zen tips, your site will certainly grow into new heights over time.

Comment below if you’ve read this book or recommend any other awesome social media book!

BOOK REVIEW: “Do Less, Get More” by Shaa Wasmund

 

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Do Less, Get More by Shaa Wasmund (Amazon) (Goodreads)

Do Less, Get More is a great match for overwhelmed, busybody readers. You’ll learn how to make room for what’s truly important in your life and map out your goals. Sometimes I feel like twenty-four hours isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish my personal projects. I’ve read Do Less, Get More to expand my limited beliefs. I can’t stand staring at the ceiling at night when I should be sleeping thinking about all the things I wish I’ve done.

First of all, priority is important. What matters the most to you should be first on your to-do list. Shaa Wasmund points out that people tend to mix the important tasks with the trivial. Think watching the latest recorded season of Scandal in the morning is more important than that 5k training? You’ll thank yourself if you start running first.

Your goals should always be your highest priorities. Maintaining focus is key to making your goals come true. Let’s say you want to read more books in a monthly basis. Cut out all the distractions and set your reading goals on paper immediately!

Mind maps come in handy for setting goals. These maps are used to plan step-by-step action towards your goals. Here’s an example of a mind map:

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via Mind Map Art

and other one on time management:

via Mind Map Art

There’s an entire site full of these visual planners on mindmapping.com where you can create your own mind map and gain inspiration from others (with a 30-day free trial).

Without having to pay fancy mindmap software, I’ve created my own with basic Microsoft paint. The topic: “Writing More”.

Mind Map

Here’s how it’s broken down:

Mind Map: “Writing More!”

  • Blogging
    • WordPress
      • 500+ word content: I noticed I’ve been writing blog posts ranging around 250-300 words so I’m changing the habit to writing content at least 500 words. Sure, short content is good but bigger content with more quality is better.
      • Post schedule: Creating a post schedule can be a great for any consistent blogger posting content on time. This habit helps keep me on track of my posts I’ve created like the “Manga Mondays”.
      • Write new content ninety minutes a day: Creating post drafts non-stop for ninety minutes without any distractions has certainly taken me farther than before as a blogger.
  • Scripts
    • Plays
    • TV
    • Movies
    • “Fan-Based”:  Fanfiction in screenwriting form.
  • Time
    • Mornings: As soon as I wake up!
    • Weekends
    • Free time before & after work
  • Journal Time
    • Carry everywhere: To make sure I have done some form of writing, I take my journal with me everywhere just in case I haven’t done so at home.
    • Dream journaling: So far, I’ve written over a thousand dream entries figuring out the dream symbolisms I’ve encountered in my dreamworld.
    • Pour out feels:  Whenever I’m feeling ecstatic or upset about something, pouring these feelings out on paper is best.

Overall, the lesson I’ve picked up from Wassmund’s book is keeping my eyes on the prize. Focus equals tremendous progress! Since reading this book, I’ve made a week trial starting the day with my top three priorities: exercise, writing, and reading. I always do these first before going on Tumblr or checking my e-mail. My habits have changed since I’ve switched my routine.

Thanks, Wasmund!

*~*~*

Have you read this book?

Which productivity books have changed your daily routine?

March 2017 Book Haul: “Star Fever”

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Do you carry these following symptoms: starry eyes, abrupt outbursts of excitement, sudden urges to shop for expensive dresses, and sleepless nights writing your Oscars speech? My friend, I’m afraid you have a case of “Star Fever”.   I tend to catch this every Academy awards season. Here are the books I’ve picked up after watching the Oscars last month:

1. Bringing Up Oscar by Debra Ann Pawlak

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Bringing up Oscar by Debra Ann Pawlak (Amazon) (Goodreads)

I watch the Oscars every year yet I barely have a clue of its origins. All I know about this awards show is that a group of Hollywood folks in the late 1920’s decided to give rewards to people for doing cool movie stuff. Boom, the Oscars were born! Bringing Up Oscar will definitely expand my knowledge on this prestigious ceremony’s history. I have a strong feeling this will be an awesome book!

2. The Hollywood MBA by Tom Reilly

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The Hollywood MBA by Tom Reilly (Amazon) (Goodreads)

Film production manager Tom Reilly shares his wild stories working in the film industry for over thirty years. When I say “wild”, I’m talking about circumstances that involve alligators roaming around the workplace and managing over a hundred people in one day. Reilly promises a dish of motivational business tips in this engaging book.

3. Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant

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Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (Amazon) (Goodreads)

Okay, I read this book before and I’m doing it again so I can write a review about it! Garant and Lennon share their hilarious journey writing movies for Hollywood. They’re widely known for their acting roles in Reno 911! but they were also the writers behind Night at the Museum (2006), Balls of Fury (2007), and Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005). This writing duo managed to have successful careers despite their ups and downs.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Besides having “Star Fever”,  reading these books keep me involved with the entertainment industry. I enjoy watching movies, TV, and I write scripts (went to grad school for it). Indulging myself in this atmosphere keeps me in the flow. I love it!

Have you read any of this books? 

Do you have any Hollywood related books you recommend?

Book Tour + Book Review: “Occult Paris” by Tobias Churton

Tobias Churton

on Tour

December 15-21

with

occult-paris-cover

Occult Paris:
The Lost Magic of the Belle Époque

(nonfiction – history – occult)

Release date: October 30, 2016
at Inner Traditions • Bear & Company

ISBN: 978-1620555453
528 pages

SYNOPSIS

Historian Tobias Churton explores the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque Paris. He brings into full perspective the personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.

MY REVIEW

Writer and educator Tobias Churton presents an original piece of arcane history in the Occult Paris.

He has certainly brought this world to life! You’ll be introduced to the mysterious side of Paris and its unique characters involved like Stanislas De GuaitaJoséphin Péladan, and Papus.

I was satisfied with the new information I’ve gained from Occult Paris, but some chapters simply weren’t engaging to me.The esoteric philosophies and groups were more intriguing than the trivial conflicts between some artists/philosophers. Churton is a precise, academic writer. He’ll carry out all he can muster so his readers are well-informed.  He has done an excellent job doing so.

A couple of subjects from Occult Paris have captured my interests including:

  • Mysticism in Symbolist Art
  • The seeress Anna Kingsford (1846 – 1888)
  • The perspective of God as an androgynous being
  • The revival of Cathar history
  • The influence of Madame Blatvatsky upon Paris
  • Composer Claude Debussy’s connection to the occult

Fun fact: There is more meaning involved behind the Symbolist art of Baphomet (much more than a spooky devil figure).

Churton’s inspiration for Occult Paris came from his discovery of Péladan, a writer
and critic of the arts. Péladan published a few books sparking the interest of the occult within the Parisian community. He hosted art exhibits, the Salon de la Rose + Croix, for Symbolist artists.

Another fun fact: Péladan influenced artist Salvador Dali’s works.

Overall, despite a few tedious chapters, Churton has written a lively portrayal of the secretive, late 19th-century Paris.  I highly recommend being familiar with the western European occult and key figures before taking a dive into this book.

Occult Paris isn’t an easy read but you’ll be rewarded with the knowledge of its veiled history after you’re done.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Format: Hardcover

Source: “Freebie” – I’ve received this book free of charge from the author/publisher.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

occult-paris-tobias-churton

Tobias Churton
is Britain’s leading scholar
of Western Esotericism,
a world authority on Gnosticism,
Hermeticism, and Rosicrucianism.
An Honorary Fellow of Exeter University,
where he is a faculty lecturer,
he holds a master’s degree in Theology
from Brasenose College, Oxford,
and is the author of many books,
including Gnostic Philosophy and
Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin.
He lives in England.

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

Thursday, December 15

Friday, December 16

Review + Giveaway at Words And Peace

Monday, December 19
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway at
Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

Tuesday, December 20

Review at Svetlana’s reads and views

Wednesday, December 21
Review + Giveaway at Turning the Pages

***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all:
3 winners will receive a print copy of the book

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ REVIEWS AND AN EXCERPT

occult-paris-banner

BOOK REVIEW: “Psychedelic Marine” by Alex Seymour

 

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The Psychedelic Marine by Alex Seymour (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Title: Psychedelic Marine
  • Author: Alex Seymour (Amazon Author Bio)
  • Publication: Park Street Press *part of Inner Traditions & Bear* (Aug. 22, 2016)
  • Genre: General Non-Fiction, New Age Spirituality/Metaphysical
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Psychedelic Marine offers readers a vibrant journey of the self. Alex Seymour finally captured the true essence of life he searched for after his mystical adventures in the Amazon jungle. At first, Seymour believed he would find it during his service as a Royal Marine, but he was only dragged into the dark world of military warfare. Stationed in Afghanistan, he had to trek through the merciless Afghan heat daily, constantly lookout for enemy attacks, and stay alert on guard duty after three hours of sleep. Not quite the profound experience Seymour was looking for! He left his comfortable life in England for this? There had to be something more.

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An ayahuasca vine (Singing to the Plants)

Taking  DMT (dimethyltryptamine) awakened Seymour’s curiosity of life beyond normality. This psychedelic compound can be found in small traces in certain plants, animals, and even the human brain (an argued theory). Seymour attended several ayahuasca ceremonies in South America after his rough tour in Afghanistan. Ayahuasca is a tropical vine with psychedelic properties local Amazon shamans use for spiritual purposes. The purpose of an ayahuasca
ceremony is to heal the soul from trauma, fear, and other negative vibes. Shamans offer ayahuasca to ritual participants as a brew. Seymour describes its taste as bitter. Buckets are laid out during the ceremonies just in case somebody needed to puke. Vomiting was considered a step of the soul cleansing process.

 

Seymour has had some amazing visions during his ayahuasca trips. He describes seeing kaleidoscopic dimensions and reptilian creatures. Despite what he has witnessed, he has become a deeply insightful man. The greatest journey is the journey searched within.

It’s tragic whenever I hear suicidal soldiers’ stories (Seymour is alive and well, mind you). These men and women return from war not only physically damaged but mental as well. Alex Seymour is the first former soldier I’ve read about who decided to ingest a hallucinogenic plant to recover from his intense military experience. Why is ayahuasca banned in the United States and the United Kingdom?  I’ll find my answers in other book.

Overall, I felt like I was actively participating in Seymour’s journey reading the Psychedelic Marine. I feared what he was going through in Afghanistan daily. I felt the anxiety creeping up on me every time his target enemies were nearby. During his time down at the Amazon, I saw in my mind’s eye the images Seymour witnessed while he was under the ayahuasca’s spell. This book is appropriate for those who are curious or at least familiar with the psychedelic world.  The Psychedelic Marine is a journey of the physical, mental, and spiritual senses.

misterio-profundo-pablo-amaringo
“Misterio Profundo”-Many of the wonderful ayahuasca vision paintings from Pablo Amaringo (art book)

 

Have you read this book? Please submit your comments below!