Emotional Advantage: Embracing All Your Feelings to Create a Life You Love | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

Book Review-14

Emotional Advantage by Randy Taran

Summary:

“In recent years, there has been an overwhelming interest in the science of happiness and positive psychology, and many books on the subject. There is a good reason for this: it is a core, universal human drive. And while happiness has opened the door for many to move forward, there is a burgeoning curiosity about the full range of human emotions, all of which factor into the human experience. What do we do when life does not go as planned?

Neuroscience reveals that to understand and utilize any emotion, we need to “name it to tame it.” It turns out that even negative emotions have something to offer if we know how to learn from them. Have you ever woken up in a fog of feelings and felt directionless? Or maybe it was hard to pinpoint exactly what you were feeling, but it wasn’t where you wanted to be? What if we could actually use our feelings as a pathway to guide us back to our inner compass? What if, like alchemists, we had the tools to transform our emotions to take charge of creating our very best life? What if we could comprehend how even the most troublesome emotions are sending messages to alert, protect, and fuel us forward?

Emotional Advantage is that guide. It will show us how a new perspective on fear can move us to courage, how guilt can clarify our values, and how anger can help us create healthy boundaries.”

My Review:

Emotional Advantage is an in-depth look at how feelings, both positive and negative, can help us move forward to be our best possible selves. Many people have deeply challenging life situations that can, at times, feel like huge hurdles or stumbling blocks. This book offers the reader valuable and researched information about how even these tough times can offer us a chance at learning and growing from them.

Negative experiences can feel debilitating and Taran’s advice is wonderful at sharing how much power we can have over our emotions and reactions. How we respond to even to the most challenging situations can let them guide us to be a more informed and empowered person.

As we learn and grow from situations and interactions, we are able to be more proactive in the future, set better boundaries and have the courage to be our best selves. I learned so much from this book and I know I will refer back to it again and again.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Juliet’s School of Possibilities | Laura Vanderkam | Penguin Group Portfolio| Book Review

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“A charming, life-changing fable that will help you rethink your whole approach to time, priorities, and possibilities.

Riley Jenkins is in trouble. An ambitious, hardworking consultant in her late twenties, she’s used to a lifetime of nearly perfect evaluations – until she gets a terrible performance review from her boss. How is that possible when Riley does everything her clients want – including answering emails 24/7 – faster than they expect it?

That’s precisely the problem: she’s spread too thin. Despite her insane hours and attention to detail, Riley can’t produce the thoughtful work her clients expect. Now she’s been given thirty days to close a major deal, or she’s out. Meanwhile, her personal life is also on the edge of disaster, with her boyfriend and close friends losing patience with her chronic unavailability.

The last thing Riley wants, at a stressful time like this, is to attend a women’s leadership retreat with some of her colleagues. But she can’t get out of her commitment: a weekend in New Jersey at some silly-sounding place called Juliet’s School of Possibilities.

Yet before long, Riley is surprised to find herself intrigued by Juliet, the lifestyle maven who hosts the conference. How does a single mother of two run a successful business while acting as if she has all the time in the world? The answer may lie in one of Juliet’s Zen-like comments: “Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”

By the end of this story, you’ll join Riley in rethinking the balance between your present and your future, between the things you have to do and the things you want to do. Like Riley, you can free yourself from feeling overwhelmed and pursue your highest possibilities.”


I have been looking forward to Juliet’s School of Possibilities since I first heard Laura Vanderkam mention it on the Best of Both Worlds Podcast last year. I love Vanderkam’s books about time management and this is her first novella. She incorporates her knowledge and expertise into a short fable about a woman named Riley who is spread too thin. ⁣⁣⁣
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In a society where “busy” reigns supreme, Vanderkam’s books are a wonderful reminder about how we get to choose how we spend our time and energy and this book is such a fun spin-off. We meet Juliet who shares wisdom and helps Riley rethink this balance. “Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”

A big thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Portfolio for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday Randomness | Reflections & Mantras of 2018

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I am not a big New Year goal setter or resolution maker but I am big into reflecting on things. I think we can learn so much from what we go through and often the hardest situations can teach us the biggest and best lessons.

This year was a hard one and one that pushed me in ways I never expected. Mantras are a newer thing for me but something that have helped me so much in times where there was a lot of sadness and unknown. I struggle in times of transition and times when things are out of my control. Having mantra has helped ground me and have been great reminders when my worries and thoughts feel really heavy.  I love Pinterest for inspiration for this stuff and that is where I found all of these…


Some things I have learned in 2018…

I would rather make mistakes than not put myself out there at all. I am not a perfectionist but I certainly struggle with worrying about what other people think of me and what I am doing. Letting go of this is a work in progress but staying true to myself and knowing that that is enough has been very powerful. When you make mistakes it means you are out there doing something. Some of my biggest “failures” and challenges have lead me to some of the most wonderful things in my life.

I have tried to let go of negativity. Putting my energy towards the people and things that are positive has helped create more of that. It sounds simple but you really can choose where your energy goes. It doesn’t mean that hard things won’t happen, but you do have control over how you react and move forward. I have SO many positive people and things in my life and focusing on these has really been a game changer.

As a people pleaser, not overthinking things does not come easily for me. I wish I didn’t care so much but I do. Sometimes when I overthink things I get so stuck in the “what ifs” that I don’t do anything at all…which was one of the reasons it took me so long to start this blog. I was thinking so much about it when I just needed to start! It is really freeing to just make a decision and move forward. If things don’t work out, you make another decision and you move forward again. I am a planner by nature and its hard for me to take things step by step but it makes such a huge difference.

You make time for what you want to fit in and everyone has different priorities for this. I can do a lot of things, but I can’t do everything. I have worked on feeling in control about what I choose to prioritize and not getting stuck in what I don’t. This has also helped me when I see someone else doing something and wonder how they fit it in. We all make choices about how we spend our time. Again, this has been such a empowering mindset and lets me feel like I have authority over my days and weeks instead of them controlling me.

Looking back really helps me realize how much we learn and grow every single day. I don’t know what 2019 will bring but I do know that when you know better you do better. I want to appreciate the wonderful people around me. I want to recognize the good because there really is so much. I want people to feel heard, when they are happy or excited and also when they are scared or worried. I want to say yes to the things that really matter to me and say NO to things that don’t feel good. I want to keep sharing about the things I love, and I also want to be honest about the things that are challenging. Life is so much better when we are all in this together. <3