#UpbeatAuthors: Self-Help Books

I’ve read a lot of self-help books in my time. Most of them haven’t stuck. Oh, there was one–I can’t remember the title or the author–where the author said if one more person/article/guru suggested getting up an hour earlier in order to accomplish whatever it was they were selling, she was going to do damage to someone.  I happen to agree.

I do like SARK’s books. I own several. I’m as attracted to the bright colors as I am to the contents. It was through one of her books that I learned about my favorite self-help book:  Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace  by Gordon MacKenzie. Unfortunately, it’s out of print. My local library has a copy.

Here is one of the most important things I learned from this book. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.”








It’s baseball season. I like to accompany my husband to the local Triple A team’s games.  But I always feel like a pack mule. We need to take this, need to shlep that. So, even though there are probably a hundred tote bags in our house, I finally broke down and bought one just to take to baseball games.

I bought a team blanket on opening day, when it was so dang cold. My hat. Our drink holder that clamps on to the railing in front of our seats. There are pocket for my phone, keys, an umbrella and bottles of water. Fingerless gloves are also a must-have this time of year. Now I have everything together in one spot.

#UpbeatAuthors: Next Step on the Ladder

I am currently in a strange state of waiting. Or maybe it’s a holding pattern.

I’m facing retirement from my day job within the next five to ten years. Hard to believe the time has come to start thinking about that, but there you have it. Another rung on the ladder of my life. I have taken steps–many–to make this happen comfortably. But I like my day job. I like my co-workers. So I’ll hold out until I’m truly ready to retire.  Or the job is no longer there. That happens, you know. I’ve survived vanishing jobs before. If it should happen again, I’m in better shape. I’m ready for that next rung.

One of my publishers just closed its doors. I had five titles with them. I want to self-publish those books.  Self-publishing is the next rung on my author career ladder. There are steps I need to take to make this happen. More treads to climb. But the outcome will be worth the effort. 

It’s a good feeling to have career plans in place, along with the knowledge that I’m flexible enough to handle whatever comes my way. Too bad the rest of life isn’t as secure.

Pet Peeve

I tend to spend a lot of time on line at the local fast-food franchise’s drive thru. It’s close to my Day Job; it’s easy to grab breakfast on the way in in the morning, and it’s convenient for lunch when I’m in a hurry. Over the years, I’ve observed a lot of different behaviors, and there is one that really irks me.

The line is long. We patiently wait our turn to reach the speaker and place our order. The vehicle in front of us has been on line a long time, too. So why does the driver wait until s/he is at the speaker to find out what everyone else in the vehicle wants to order? Seriously? You couldn’t have had this conversation in the five minutes you were on line before you arrived at the speaker?

#UpbeatAuthors: Self Esteem

I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. In the chapter on self-esteem, the author examines the late 20th century trend to make everyone feel better about themselves about everything: participation awards, trophies, grade inflation, etc.  The mantra was “every single one of us can be exceptional and massively successful.” A whole industry grew up around this theory.

Common sense tells us, “maybe not.” The author observed: “adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults.” He also posits, “A true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.” If you feel good about yourself, even when you’re messing up everything, you develop a false sense of competency. That is not self-esteem; it’s entitlement.

Not one of us is entitled to anything. We all have room for self-improvement.

Besides: who gets to define success for me? For you?

We can’t all be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. I do not have the skills or inclination to be a brain surgeon, an auto mechanic, or a plumber. Nor am I suited to be an executive. I don’t need the current definition of success. Every day I see people stressed because their self-esteem can’t take not being “the best”,  being on the fast track to…somewhere.  Why? So they can eventually relax and retire? I’m all for relaxing right now, while I can still enjoy it. My self-esteem doesn’t need the false glorification of other people’s opinions and decisions.

My goal at this point in my life is to be content.

  • I don’t want a corporate career. I had one. I had a very cool one. It went away; I moved on.
  • I’ve always wanted to be a published author. Now I am one. While best seller status would be wonderful, it isn’t necessary to make me content.
  • I like my day job. Yes, there are frustrations. Yes, there are things I can do better in it. Each time I master a new aspect of my job, I feel positive about my ability to adapt. Frustrations simply mean I’m human, with human responses.

Self esteem shouldn’t be wrapped up in what you are. There’s an update to an old (offensive) saying: “Too many coaches, not enough players.” To which my self-esteem responds: “Hey! I’ll warm the bench.” That’s not low self-esteem talking. It’s the voice of a woman who’s comfortable with herself and has nothing to prove to anyone.