Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler | HarperCollins | Book Review

self help and personal growth

Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

Book Summary:

“When we learn, we change what we believe and how we interact with the world. This changes who we are as people and what we can achieve.

Many people grow up being told they are ‘not a maths person’ or perhaps ‘not smart’. They come to believe their potential is limited.

Now, however, the latest science has revealed that our identities are constantly in flux; when we learn new things, we can change our identities, increase our potential and broaden our capacity to receive new information.

Drawing from the latest research, Professor Boaler followed thousands of school students, studied their learning practices and examined the most effective ways to transform pupils from low to high achievers. Throughout her study, Boaler has collaborated with Stanford University neuroscience experts, harnessing their expertise to reinforce her advanced understanding of learning and educational development.

In Limitless Mind, Boaler presents original groundbreaking research that proves that limiting beliefs really do hold us back from fulfilling our potential and that with a few careful life hacks we can transform our potential for good.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help & Personal Growth

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler presents the idea that brains are not fixed from birth. Boaler shares research and studies that back up this message as well as how this can help us move from the fixed brain mindset to the brain growth mindset as learners.

Jo Boaler Ph.D.

Jo Boaler is a professor at Stanford and backs up her book with a plethora of research. She shares this information in an accessible manner that is readable for someone who is not an academic in her fields of work. She breaks down her message into accessible chapters that help us better understand this newer research.

When We Learn We Develop New Pathways In Our Brains…

The crux of her book is the idea that when we learn and push ourselves, we develop new pathways in our brains. We are not born with brains that are made to be good (or not) at certain subjects but we actually develop them, and this ability never stops. Our brains are constantly growing and this happens by stepping outside our comfort zones.

Pushing Through Struggles

We can do this by pushing ourselves in areas that are challenging and pushing through struggles and even mistakes. As we do this, the pathways in our brains are delicate but the more deeply we use these pathways the stronger they become. This message is the push for why struggle and mistakes are actually beneficial and allow our brains to continue to grow.

When we face challenging situations, rather than fear causing us to turn around, forge ahead, knowing these are the situations that help brain growth. Mistakes are a part of our everyday lives but many of us have grown up to think of mistakes as things are “bad” and something we should try and avoid.

Mistakes Are A Good Thing!

Boaler encourages mistakes and strongly feels that facing obstacles is how we can learn and thrive. When we struggle, our brains are more active and are working harder than when we are just in” autopilot” mode. When we are able to change our perspective on failure, we are able to live a more limitless life and continue on the path to improve and grow.

Life gives us endless moments where we can learn, grow and connect. Mistakes can help us be determined, proactive and move forward. Boaler shares that we are often unmotivated in areas where at one time someone or something gave us the idea that we couldn’t be successful. I found this message to be so motivating and inspiring.

Lifelong Learning & Growing

As someone who has spent much of my academic life feeling like I wasn’t “good” at certain subjects, this book is such a wonderful reminder that life long learning and growing can not only help us live fuller lives but the things we can master are, indeed, limitless.

Thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins and Jo Boaler for an advanced copy to review. All opinions are my own.

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia & Emily Nagoski | Book Review

Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski

Burnout, audiobook, book review

Book Summary:

“This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?

Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. In these pages you’ll learn

• what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation
• how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration
• how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it
• why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout

With the help of eye-opening science, prescriptive advice, and helpful worksheets and exercises, all women will find something transformative in these pages—and will be empowered to create positive change. Emily and Amelia aren’t here to preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they tell us that we are enough, just as we are—and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

10 Things to Tell You Podcast

I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.

I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.

They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives. Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors.

There is a big emphasis on “the patriarchy” in this book. I found that it was not the most powerful part for me as a reader but it certainly was beneficial in some ways. I think this book would have been strong enough without that section because the stress cycle parts were so hugely beneficial to me. All that said, there certainly is validity in how patriarchy affects women’s daily stress.

If you are looking for a book either as a refresher on stress management or if you are feeling like you need some new tools for handling daily stressors, I highly recommend checking this one out.

The Lemonade Life by Zack Friedman | HarperCollins Leadership | Book Review

The Lemonade Life by Zack Friedman

The Lemonade Life by Zack Friedman

Book Summary:

“The secret to an extraordinary life starts with five simple changes that anyone can make.
 
No matter who you are, where you come from, what you do for a living, or how much money you have, everyone has a shot at greatness.
 
Zack Friedman has inspired millions with his powerful insights, including more than fourteen million who have read his advice in Forbes.
 
In his groundbreaking new book, The Lemonade Life, Friedman starts with a fundamental question: What drives success? It’s not only hard work, talent, and skill. The most successful people have one thing in common, the power to flip five internal “switches.” We all have these five switches, and when activated, they are the secret to fuel success, create happiness, and conquer anything.
With powerful stories and actionable lessons, this book will profoundly change the way you live, lead, and work. Your path to greatness starts with a simple choice. Every day, you’re choosing to live one of two lives: the Lemon Life or the Lemonade Life. Which life will you lead?”

Publication Date:

August 6th, 2019

Genre:

Motivational Self-Help & personal development

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

The Lemonade Life was the perfect dose of inspiration while also being very relatable. Friedman shares advice and examples of how to live life on your own terms by being more aware of the control we have over our thoughts and emotions. This is what he calls “The Lemonade Life”.

Taking control helps give you the ability to have more positive changes in your own life. You will feel like you are in the driver’s seat instead of everyone and everything around you. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how we respond and move forward.

Friedman introduces the five internal “switches” we can all introduce into our own lives that can help get us to this place. These switches have to do with your perspective, risk, independence, self-awareness, and motion to work and create the life you want. When these switches all work together, you will see your life through a new lens which helps you live The Lemonade Life.

After introducing the 5 switches, he talks about how Lemon Lifers would look at different circumstances and then how a Lemonade Lifer would see and utilize the same situation. Mindset and who you surround yourself everyday are such huge factors in not only who you are a person but who you become. I thought Friedman did an excellent job at presenting how risk and mistakes can help us grow and this was such an inspiring part of the book for me.

I got so much out of this book and I know it is one I will refer back to again and again. While not every section was totally applicable to my own life, there was something I was able to get out of each of them. I loved the idea that The Lemonade Life isn’t a destination but a way of life. When we know ourselves, use the tools we have and work towards our own personal goals, we have the ability to live full and happy lives right where we are and as we grow.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Leadership for an advanced copy of this book.