4 recommended reads from my 2021 reading list

The ever-growing collection: if you can’t see the title I haven’t read it yet. With only one left, I’m gonna need some more books soon.

If you happened to read my last post (shame on you if you have not), you’ll remember me referencing reading quite a bit. This cannibalizes my writing time, but to hone your craft of combining words, reading is the tried and true practice. Read all sorts of different books. Read all sorts of writing styles. Fiction. Non-fiction. First person. Third person. You get the idea. 

I like to think I might have some books on the shelf that those who read this blog might enjoy. Some recommendations from friends. Some I found on my own. All sorts of literature crammed together spine to spine. I decided to tee up a couple books you might want to consider opening: 

RAW by LAMONT HAWKINS

(https://www.amazon.com/Raw-My-Journey-into-Wu-Tang/dp/1250191173/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=raw+lamont&qid=1628609529&sr=8-1)

For my rap fans and biography junkies. This tells the tale of Lamont “U God” Hawkins, a kid growing up in Staten Island that would help create one of the most famous rap groups in history: the Wu Tang Clan. It’s just one of those books once you pick it up it is hard to put down. Also, you might feel a little extra fortunate about your upbringing-not having to deal with some of the same struggles Lamont dealt with.

(ALSO READ: LENNY KRAVITZ LET LOVE RULE– A similar tale of a star’s rise to success.)

THE ART OF RESILIENCE by ROSS EDGLEY

(https://www.amazon.com/Art-Resilience-Strategies-Unbreakable-Mind/dp/0008356939/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ross+edgley&qid=1628609711&sr=8-2)

I picked this book up after hearing Ross talk on a podcast during one of my workdays. Here’s the skinny- the guy swam around Great Britain. You can only imagine the amount of problems one can run into while swimming 1780 miles at sea. A great story about never giving up and doing the unthinkable.

(ALSO READ: DAVID GOGGINS CAN’T HURT ME– Another strong minded individual [and much more known than Edgley].)

EGO IS THE ENEMY by RYAN HOLIDAY

(https://www.amazon.com/Ego-Enemy-Ryan-Holiday/dp/1591847818/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ego+is+the+enemy&qid=1628609782&sr=8-1)

Everyone’s head inflates a little at some point in their life. Ryan explains the many benefits of putting hard-headedness to the side and embracing the underdog role. There’s a big difference between ego and confidence-and this book helps draw the line. 

(ALSO READ: RYAN HOLIDAY THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY– Kinda the sequel to ego is the enemy, it again hones in on perspective and the best way to embrace challenges.)

7 SPIRITUAL LAWS by DEEPAK CHOPRA

(https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Spiritual-Laws-Success-Fulfillment/dp/1878424114/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=7+spiritual+laws+deepak&qid=1628609841&sr=8-3)

One of my favorite books on my bookshelf. A quick, easy read that you can tailor to whatever situation in life you may find yourself. Read it quickly-read it often.

(ALSO READ: DEEPAK CHOPRA 7 SPIRITUAL LAWS AGAIN- It’s one of those books worth revisiting after a little time has gone by.)

Back to sharpening the blade

Hey-it’s been a little while. Personally, it feels like it’s been a really long time. But if you scroll down to the next chronological post after this one, you’ll see it’s only been a handful of months. Nonetheless, the frequency in which my writing passages were being created started dwindling exponentially since my last post (damn that sentence sounds exquisite). Prior to writing this one on July twentieth, they had actually been non-existent. 

It’s not because I stopped writing in my career-I still definitely did that rather often. And it hasn’t stopped. I probably write close to everyday, but for a paycheck rather than personal growth or enjoyment. It was a pretty rigid routine-work Monday through Friday and then be as far away from the laptop (and especially writing) for the duration of the weekend. This sounds a little concerning, but it’s not like I gave up on knowledge gaining pursuits as a whole. They say to be a good writer you have to read, and I had been reading a shit ton. My bookshelf is within arm’s distance of my desk, so let’s see if I can get a rough estimate of books read…turns out my memory isn’t that sharp and with the amount of books on the shelf I got confused as to the time I read some. Upon referencing my amazon purchase history, it looks like the number is fifteen. So around 2 books a month. Some long, some short. But you get the picture.

So it’s a Tuesday morning (now Thursday) before I plug into work-I chose not to surf as we have been on a swell bender and the waves looked average at best (there probably were a couple fun ones). But nonetheless, here we are. Back to tapping the keys for enjoyment. And it’s not that I do not enjoy writing for work-it’s awesome. But for me, it is much harder. Right now I am literally just taking the shotgun blast of ideas in my head about this post and putting them into the google doc. Much less thought goes into these posts, and I write them in my character and tone, which isn’t too hard to create as it’s me. 

Alright time to wrap this up (as I could ramble on for paragraphs)-I’m back. Keep your eyes peeled for new word spewings from me, all in due time. 

4 New Year’s Resolutions to improve your 2019

Every New Year, millions of Americans and people all over the earth pledge allegiance to a set of goals or standards for the New Year. While people shouldn’t wait for the calendar to change to adopt better lifestyle choices, I too am found guilty of every new year setting up some aspirations and ways to switch up or spice up the regularity of routine living. Here are 4 things everyone should do this new year to throw a curve ball in your usual daily tasks.

Read more books

Every day we find ourselves more and more enthralled in the immense amount of technology and digital distractions in front of us. From content on YouTube and Instagram to online articles and everything in between, it seems as though ¾ of the day I am tuned into to either my phone or laptop. The holding of a physical book seems dated, but feels great when actually done and also provides a good way to slow down your brain before bedtime rather than watching something. One of the few ways to improve your IQ is an hour of reading a day. With the amount of books out there in the world, there is a piece of literature for virtually anyone. Step away from the screen and turn some pages in 2019.

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My current but hopefully expanding selection of literature.

Move at least once a day

Getting the body in motion and being able to get a mind body connection at least once a day is a great way to spice up your daily routine. Just adding something in between that is unlike everything else being done in the day because you are moving makes the mind feel rejuvenated. As an avid surfer and just as avid gym goer, this is essential to every day of my life. I find just as much joy in both and sometimes do both in one day. While everyone doesn’t have time in their day for an hour gym session or 2-hour surf, everyone can carve out at least 30 minutes in the day to get up and shake those limbs. Walking, going on a bike ride, and just about any other outdoor activity will make you feel refreshed and also lets you take in your surroundings distraction free.

Pick up a new hobby

Most people have at least one or two things they are passionate about. It could be a sport, an instrument, a TV series, writing, drawing, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes we find ourselves so stuck to the normal and forget to broaden our interests with things that can take you out of your comfort zone. Switch it up. Become a novice at something this year and become more and more accustomed to it as the year goes on, gaining skill as well. You will most likely meet more people with the same interests that you can bond over, and also can give you a moment of clarity and a fun learning curve.

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Hobbies queued up for 2019.

Expand your music taste

The soundtrack of my 2018 was definitely hip-hop. With the large amounts of music released every Friday, it definitely consumed my playlists and listening time. In 2019, I aim to switch it up and dive into some different genres. I’ve curated some playlists for reggae, slow/alt rock, and music that brings me back to my younger years. If you don’t listen to music as often, start 2019 listening to critically acclaimed albums of 2018 and try and add music to activities where it can be applied. With festival season approaching and the Coachella lineup released, it is a good time to get familiar with artists you might not have ever listened to.