Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall season can be a time for harvest, new growth

Now that it’s dark so early, consider curling up with a stack of new self-improvement books that can help you deal with everything from offensive coworkers to the pushy relatives you’re about to see at Thanksgiving dinner. Get cozy with these:

“Ordinary Greatness”
By Pamela Bilbrey and Brian Jones
When an internationally-recognized violinist dressed down and set up a concert in a Washington, D.C. metro station, virtually no one noticed. Rushing people weren’t expecting greatness in their busy day. Anecdotes, including how ordinary Mother Teresa seemed to a woman in line to meet her and how Steven Spielberg sneaked of a studio tour tram to meet movie makers, authors share how business leaders can make small changes to help employees unite and grow. It seems too few people realize how much praise is worth.

“Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat”
By Michelle May, M.D.
Doc May says the latest trend in diets is not being on a diet, and eating healthy food when … drumroll … you are hungry. There’s a lot about determining when you are hungry, as opposed to just bored, and how to truly enjoy your food. Minimize distractions and concentrate on ambiance, flavors and textures are some tips. You will thank her for including recipes such as cinnamon apple pockets and basil pesto. Here’s an easy one for fruit kabobs:
Ginger Yogurt Dip
1 cup nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Stir ingredients together and chill or serve immediately.

“The Upward Spiral: Breakthroughs to Joy”
By Janet Cunningham
You may feel like you’ve been on retreat — speakers, snack table and after-presentation chatter included — when you finish this book. The meet-up, attendance and follow-up is told from three perspectives. Overweight Sally is a please-all mom with an unsupportive husband who gets fired up about making her craft hobby into a business. Pat and Nora get their say in three-separate stories that involve everything from tarot cards to cheating spouses. It’s part novel and part inspiration.

“Fulfillment Using Real Conscience: Practical Guide for Psychological and Spiritual Wellness”
By N.S. Xavier, M.D.
Jesus enjoyed several feasts and avoided arguments, and some good humor alleviates stress, the author points out. Anecdotes from the Bible, Zen masters and other cultures put life into perspective in this book. I like the one about an overflowing tea cup. It seems you have to let some (knowledge) out before you can allow more in.

“Make it Rain 101: How to Grow Your Client Base & Maximize Your Income”
By Patrick D. Kelly
It’s not all about the networking, but if you’re good at it, it pays off. Kelly explains how in easy, digestible short chapters that suit workers of any age range.

“Yes You Can”
By Stacey Hanke and Mary Steinberg
“What’s wrong?” When I get this, it’s a clue I could be sending a different body language message than I’m feeling. It’s a friendly reminder in this book, subtitled “Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others and Take Action.” Don’t fear, try little humor and remember to make eye contact are other reminders in this handy guide to speaking and presentation.

“The Power of Thinking Differently”
By Javy W. Galindo
Edgar Allan Poe paired words from a dictionary into ideas for stories and choreographer Twyla Tharp tossed coins into the air to imagine how dancers could interact. These anecdotes, along with the saga of an island where people had only pickles and doughnuts to eat and use as building materials, are designed to help readers get a new perspective on just about anything. Readers should be warned to be ready for change.

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