Saturday, June 13, 2015

Do you really know who you are? This book can help you answer this question!

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As a certified personal development coach, one of the things that I consistently see in my clients is a total lack of spending any time with themselves.  Often, when given a list of different values and asked to prioritize them, you will see most people will put “Self” at the end.
In the short term, things are fine like this.  Stretched out over time, however, the inevitable end result is disillusionment, lack of energy, and frustration.   

How do I know this?  If you pour everything into everyone and everything (work, kids sports, etc.) you will eventually reach the point where you find that you haven’t done anything for yourself in quite a long time.
People will try to justify this saying that they are giving everything to others, and wrap themselves in a shroud of nobility with the statement. 

Three questions. 

1. What happens when you have nothing else to give?  It is going to happen – you can’t run anything on drained batteries.  You need to recharge yourself to be able to give.  Doing something for yourself is not being selfish – it actually will allow you to be and do even better things for others.

2.  What happens when the people you are giving your all to either no longer need or want your help?  Think empty nest syndrome here.  It is no secret that almost all parents go through this with their teenagers.  You want to help, but they are trying to break away and be independent.  The giver is left alone with no sense of who they really are – their identity has been tied into another instead of their own.

3.  Who are you?  Short question, but how you answer this will play a huge part in your happiness and success.

This is where Antoinetta Vogels’ “Healthy Sense of Self” is going to be a game changer for some people.  This book is both scholarly and readable, which isn’t always the case.  In it, readers will find some of the thoughts that they have are really thoughts that they have allowed others to put there.  Then there are the standard demons of depression, insomnia, and addiction.  Self limiting beliefs are another gremlin that this book can help you conquer.

The end result?

“People with a healthy Sense of themselves know what they want in life; they also know their boundaries.  That enables them to come up with a plan for their living and their lives, and they are unlikely to feel the need to higher authorities to do that for them.  They certainly would not consider giving their lives to people who then use them for their won purposes, just as their self-absorbed, abusive parent used to do.  They are able to manage themselves and let their lives be an expression of their own opinion and preferences.  They do not need to be rewarded for good behavior by a person who is higher in rank for they intrinsically and sincerely know their own value.”

If that one paragraph speaks to you, look into a “Healthy Sense of Self” to help guide you to get to that end result.
 Amazon Link               

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's hard to be humble - especially when your constantly fighting evil armies!

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Delenas Farlong is the elven leader and things are going pretty well.  Delenas has no desire to be remembered for his exploits on the battlefield - in fact, he'd prefer just to lead the Elven race all the way into peace and prosperity.  

But something evil this way comes, and the sound of all those boots hitting the ground are the "Possessors" - Humans, Dwarves, and Elfs who all carry "the mark of evil" on them.  Part of their souls seem to have vanished and they fight with a wild abandon.

Delenas hears of this threat when a band of Dwarves bring the last two living Humans to his peaceful city.  Yes, your eleven ears did not deceive you - the last two Humans.  It is going to take Delenas some time - and the Annual version of the Eleven Olympics seem like a great distraction.  That is - until some Possessors decide to use the crowd as archery practice.  In the confusion, the last two humans are nowhere to be found.

Delenas rounds up a band of misfits and decides to go look for the Humans.  They consist of a refugee elf who is ready to overthrow the leadership in his home town and a band of Dwarves whose leader has his hands constantly full just trying to keep his Dwarves from using the Elves as practice for their meat cleaving axes.

Their epic adventure includes magic stones, magic weapons, a trip on the sea, and some illusions that rival David Copperfield.  Can they rescue the Humans and save their Race?  Whether they do or not, what are they going to do about the horde of Possessors that still inhabit the old Human city?  Delenas' army isn't large enough to do it by themselves.....  and ddesperate times call for desperate measures. 

Can someone tell those Dwarves to quit drinking and quiet down!  I am trying to write a review over here!!!


A Humble Heart (Dark World Novel 1) by Tim Vander Meulen is an epic novel that will be enjoyed by any reader who loves the fantasy genre.  The author did an admirable job with a great plot, good sense of pacing, and set of fully developed characters.

I found myself really drawn in by the author's writing and descriptive style.  I am sure that part of the richness of the descriptions and depth of characters comes from the fact that the author has been mulling this story in his head since he was 12 and worked on it for 10 years.  With that kind of effort, it better be good!  And this book will not disappoint.

Let's just hope that the next two novels are not on the George R. R. Martin timetable of writing.  :).

(This review is part of an ad package that was purchased by the author.  The package just moves the book to the "head of the line" and in no way has an impact upon this review.)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Without Remorse ... without a doubt a good book

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Tom Clancy's book Without Remorse is a good read.  The book is part of the Jack Ryan canon but its focus is on another character in the Ryan universe - John Kelly, a/k/a John Clark.  The novel also introduces us to a younger Admiral Greer (most know as a character played by James Earl Jones in The Hunt for Red October; Patriot Games; and Clear and Present Danger) and Robert Ritter (also seen in Clear and Present Danger). In addition to Greer and Ritter, the avid reader will notice Emmet Ryan, a Baltimore Detective, who is the father of Jack Ryan.

Without Remorse takes place in 1972-73 and has two parallel stories - one in Baltimore and one in Vietnam.  John Kelly/John Clark is involved in both story lines; although, most of the focus in on Baltimore.

The character of Kelly/Clark is well drawn by Clancy with a convincing backstory along with a development of his character through tragedies and his response to them.  The title of the book applies to Kelly/Clark's response to those tragedies.

Having read plenty of thrillers from Vince Flynn to David Baldacci, this story of Clancy is not an old yarn and contains many surprises.  However, the one plot twist in the novel is telegraphed early on.

Overall I recommend this novel as a great summer read.  Although written after several other Jack Ryan novels it is the first in the chronology of the Ryan universe.  If you find the novel in your travels, then grab it and give it a go.