Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – A 27-min Summary

big magic

“Big Magic is a celebration of a creative life…Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book…Gilbert doesn’t just call for aspiring artists to speak their truth, however daffy that may appear to others; she is showing them how.”
—Washington Post

“In [Gilbert’s] first foray into full-on self-help [she] shares intimate glimpses into the life of a world-famous creative, complete with bouts of paralyzing fear and frustration, in an attempt to coax the rest of us into walking through the world just a little bit braver.”
—Elle

“Elizabeth Gilbert is my new spirit animal… I have profoundly changed my approach to creating since I read this book.”
—Huffington Post

Book details:

Publisher: Riverhead Books (September 22, 2015)
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Genre: Self-Help, Creativity, Personal Growth, Motivational, Personal Success

Author

Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born July 18, 1969) is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 has spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was also made into a film by the same name in 2010.

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert on her new book “Big Magic” – q on cbc

Also check out this great TED talk: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

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August 16: Charles Bukowski was born in 1920

Charles Bukowski

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
― Charles Bukowski

Wikipedia:

Born Heinrich Karl Bukowski
August 16, 1920
Andernach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Died March 9, 1994 (aged 73)
San Pedro, Los Angeles, U.S.
Occupation Poet, novelist, short story writer, and columnist
Nationality German-American
Literary movement Dirty realism, Transgressive fiction

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.

In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”

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Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example by Steve McClatchy – A 27-min Summary

decide

“Decide delivers: If you’re struggling to lead not just manage, if you’re frustrated that your? very best results are just beyond reach, or if you’re simply at war with your calendar, Steve McClatchy’s new book is for you. Decide is a rare fresh take at some of the thorny problems that block our best work. But don’t just take my word for it. Get your own copy, and you’ll soon be ordering copies for your team as well.”
—Marshall Goldsmith – America’s preeminent executive coach (Fast Company magazine)

“In Decide, Steve McClatchy shows us that we can accomplish amazing things by aligning what we want to achieve with how we spend our time. Regardless of the industry or level of the reader, real benefits will be accomplished from Steve’s advice – an immensely practical guide!
—Valerie Sutton, Director of Career Services, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“If your intention is to gain from your life, and not just prevent the pain that often comes with it, then Decide is the book for you. Steve McClatchy reminds us that in order to achieve something of significance we have to focus on things that matter. His new book is full of the practical wisdom that will enable you to end burnout and bring balance to your life—and to find a path worthy of being followed. I absolutely recommend this book.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Book details:

Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 27, 2014)
Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
Genre: Decision-Making & Problem Solving

Author

Steve McClatchy is the owner and Founder of Alleer Training & Consulting, a firm focused on helping companies and individuals improve performance and achieve outstanding results. Steve has been speaking for over a decade to high-level audiences on the topics of Leadership, Performance, Personal Growth, and Work/Life Engagement. His client list includes Pfizer, Microsoft, Disney, Comcast, Accenture, Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens, DHL Europe, Tiffany’s, Wells Fargo, amongst many others. Steve is a frequent guest lecturer in the graduate programs at Harvard and Wharton and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, WebMD Magazine, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Investor’s Business Daily. Steve’s first book Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead By Example is coming out with Wiley Publishing in February, 2014. Interesting to note, Steve is the eleventh of twelve children – nine boys and three girls. He often laughingly credits his success in Personal Leadership and Time Management to the craziness that surrounded his own childhood! Steve lives with his wife Lynn, and their four children outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Steve McClatchy | Appearance on ABC’s Let’s Talk LIve:

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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor

From amazon.com:

Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Today Shawn travels around the world giving talks on positive psychology to Fortune 500 companies, schools, and non-profit organizations. He has worked with doctors in California, executives in Hong Kong, teachers in South Africa, and bankers in Switzerland. Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he served as Head Teaching Fellow with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar of “Positive Psychology,” a class that enrolled 1 out of every 7 Harvard undergraduates. For seven years, Shawn also served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. Though he now travels extensively for his work with Aspirant, Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on happiness and organizational achievement.

TOC

Part One: Positive Psychology at Work

  • Introduction
  • Discovering the Happiness Advantage
  • The Happiness Advantage at Work
  • Change is Possible

Part Two: Seven Priciples

  • Principle #1: The Happiness Advantage
  • Principle #2: The Fulcrum and The Lever
  • Principle #3: The Tetris Effect
  • Principle #4: Falling Up
  • Principle #5: The Zorro Circle
  • Principle #6: The 20-second Rule
  • Principle #7: Social Investment

Part Three: The Ripple Effect

  • Spreading The Happiness Advantage at Work, at Home, and Beyond

Short Summary

Part1 – Positive Psychology at Work

  •  we now know that happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result. And that happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement
  • in 200 studies on 275,000 people worldwide:  happiness leads to success in nearly every domain, including work, health, friendship, sociability, creativity, and energy.

Part 2: Seven Priciples

Principle #1: The Happiness Advantage
  • When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.
  • Happiness boosters: meditation, looking forward to something, commit conscious acts of kindness, exercise, Spend money (but NOT on Stuff), exercise a Signature Strength, ..
Principle #2: The Fulcrum & The Lever
Changing your Peformance by changing your Mindset
  • Happiness is not about lying to ourselves, or turning a blind eye to the negative, but about adjusting our brain so that we see the ways to rise above our circumstances.
  • The mental construction of our daily activities, more than the activity itself, defines our reality.
  • The heart of the challenge is to stop thinking of the world as fixed when reality is, in truth, relative.
Principle #3 – The Tetris Effect
Training Your Brain to Capitalize on Possibility
  • Train your brain to scan the world for the opportunities and ideas that allow our success rate to grow.
  • The best way to kick-start this is to start making a daily list of the good things in your job, your career, and your life.
Principle #4 – Falling Up
Capitalizing on the downs to build Upward Momentum
  • Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth
  • It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.
Principle #5 – The Zorro Circle
How Limiting Your Focus to Small, Manageable Goals Can Expand Your Sphere of Power
  • Feeling that we are in control, that we are masters of our own fate at work and at home, is one of the strongest drivers of both well-being and performance.
  • Happiness, and health have less to do with how much control we actually have and more with how much control we think we have.
  • No matter what you may have heard from motivational speakers, coaches, and the like, reaching for the stars is a recipe for failure.
  • As Harvard Business School professor Peter Bregman advises, “Don’t write a book, write a page.
Principle #6 – The 20-Second Rule
How to Turn Bad Habits into Good Ones by minimizing Barriers to Change
  • Common sense is not common action….
    That’s why even though doctors know better than anyone the importance of exercise and diet, 44 percent of them are overweight.
  • Our willpower weakens the more we use it.
  • The key to creating these habits is ritual, repeated practice, until the actions become ingrained in your brain’s neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible.
Priciple #7 – Social Investment
Why Social support is your single Greatest asset
  • social relationships are the single greatest investment you can make in the Happiness Advantage.

3. The Ripple effect

  • Each one of us is like that butterfly (re: the butterfly effect). And each tiny move towards a more positive mindset can send ripples of positivity through our organizations, our families, and our communities.
  • Emotions are highly contagious… both negative emotions & positive emotions

 

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Edgar_Allan_Poe

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Wikipedia:

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Born in Boston, Poe was the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. Although they never formally adopted him, Poe was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of secondary education for the young man. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to “a Bostonian”. With the death of Frances Allan in 1829, Poe and Allan reached a temporary rapprochement. Later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, Poe parted ways with John Allan.

Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven“, to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre.

Quotes

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
Edgar Allan Poe

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“We loved with a love that was more than love.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Stories and Poems

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.

Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated. Critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s literary status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” —
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

 

Videos

Edgar Allan Poe Documentary

Edgar Allan Poe’s THE RAVEN

SIX CREEPY TALES by Edgar Allan Poe – FULL AudioBook | Greatest Audio Books

Chapter listing and length:

1 – The Telltale Heart — 00:16:47
2 – The Masque of the Red Death — 00:18:27
3 – The Black Cat — 00:29:54
4 – The Raven — 00:09:28
5 – The Casque of Amontillado — 00:18:28
6 – Berenice — 00:26:52

Total running time: 1:59:56
Read by Phil Chenevert

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