Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Hate "Self-Help" Books...But...

I really despise those "Self-Help" books. Not the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) types where it shows you how to replace your car's front headlights or how to fold a rose from a single ribbon (which is actually pretty cool by the way. I made boutineers!). I'm talking about those other books that try to help you out in your life during a life crisis. These book are either filled with flowery Hippie connotations, or those that give common sense statements that you've already heard before from family and friends, and those statements just weren't working for you.

 Then, there's those other books.... I really, really, really am annoyed and irritated with those books that start off really good, with a list of those questions you happen to be asking yourself, only to fall short with providing a REAL answer to your problem. That's the most upsetting, and I-wanna-bite-and-stab-something kind of feeling, that makes you throw the darn book out the window. This happens when a book seems to promise ANSWERS and give NOTHING to its resolution.

There's been a lot of soul searching I've run into and came across; and I ran into two books that has been quite a fun read. I was very, very reluctant at first to even take a look, but...I don't know...for some reason I took a peak at these and I actually like these books. And I really, really like this one: Beating the Success Trap: Negotiating Your Own Path to Success.

Now grant it, it's been years and years since I've actual sat down and read books back-to-back (I've read only two fantasy/Science Fiction books in the past three years) but these two "Self-Help" books came into my life while I was asking life questions and waiting for signs for answers. I know many don't believe in such things as signs, but I strongly do because I've always experienced getting answers when I seek them out. I wait on the signs to give me some guidance. Now, the signs don't tell me what to DO, but they do give me an idea, and provide situations, that help in making decisions I'm struggling with. And this book came my way right when I needed real answers--my sign.

I've been reading this "Success Trap" book whenever I got some free time (My PC Kindle states I've read about 65% of the book so far). It's pretty big.

It's mainly about how people spend their lives constructing things they don't want, and don't need, only to cut themselves off from their actual personal selves and dreams:

"When people are cut off from a personal connection to what they do in life, from being in alignment with who they really are, they become disenchanted, sometimes even bitter, and they end up seeking solace in drugs, alcohol, food, and sex. In extreme cases of mental anguish, they may often resort to violence."

This author, Ed Brodow, reminds me of those kind of people who just can't make up their minds on what they want to be and what they want to do in life. First he's going to law school (quits), goes into marines (ends), then back in corporate america (quits), and then he's an actor (stops), and then off somewhere else again. He reminds me of that "Rollin' Stone" song: "Wherever he lays his hat is his home". No commitment anywhere, constantly "looking for something," -- a wild and restless spirit. You know the kind, the ones that people keep saying to them that they will NEVER find WHATEVER it is that they seem to be looking for.


This guy gives ANSWERS and is the perfect rolling-stone-type-of-guy to explain himself and why he's acting that way.  He gives example after example of states of unhappiness that keeps you reading, and then explains, YES HE EXPLAINS, the uncomfortable ways you have to get out of it. It is, indeed, a very deep struggle that you have to do in order to do what is written in this book to obtain happiness ... and very scary too.

Why is it scarrrrrry? Well because, what you would have to do goes against, practically, everything you think you understand and what you think you know. Then it just might isolate you from your family and friends once you've completed the steps. That is, if you have family and friends who truly love you and are willing to understand your drastic change of life, and can accept your new or different assertiveness of what you want, then you might not become a Scarlet Letter amongst everyone around you.

But in the end of it all, you're actually fighting for your Happy Ever After and you would be better for it, for you will be at peace, content, and most of all...have your dreams come true.

The other book, which I finished, was "The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman. This book actually explained a lot, not just about marriages, but about relationships of people in general and what people actual NEED in their lives and how they need to have their needs met or their "love tank" will go empty resulting in bitterness and affairs. I say "need" several times in that sentence because it's an actual "need," just like food and water, that individuals must have in order to function and avoid physical and mental anguish. They need someone to communicate with on how they want to be loved.

As each of us are individuals, we require a individual type of love. Not all of us speak the same "love" language, and thus you must learn to speak the language of your special someone, and they have to learn to speak your language in order to communicate. The mistake is that most ASSUME that you want the same type of love, when actually yotu both can be very different.

For example, if you speak German and your significant other speaks Japanese, it will be really hard to express yourself and feel a connection with your languages being so far apart. You have to learn each other's language in order to feel as one, and that's what this book is all about.

Both books give steps or guidance on what you must do in order to achieve happiness, and reading them together this one year, brought about a certain enlightenment.

So, if you're looking for that path to your light of happiness, try reading "the why" on why the darkness happen and then you'll receive the answers to "the how" to achieve your light.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Make Me A Mixed Tape

Back in the day, guys would create mixed tapes for those special girls in their lives.  The tape was filled with words that they couldn't quite express, or found would be express more clearly...in music.

Music can speak volumes!

So, I watched Happy Feet Two, and I fell in LOVE with, what to me was, the pinnacle song of the movie. The original song is E lucevan le stelle (The stars were brightly shining) from the opera "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini. 

And what does Happy Feet have to do with a mix tape, you might say? Well, if I was gonna have a mix tape, I want this song on it.

I know. I'm strange. But this song....

I don't know anything about the opera, but the song of this animated family musical was a delicious explosion to my ears!

The words wrapped up the feeling and story of the road that was being traveled by Mumble, the tapping penguin, sung by his young son Erik. And it went like this:

After all you have done, you really deserved better.Nothing makes sense in this world. It's all a big pile of crazy.
And the kings are all fools.  
Where is the honor, when a solemn promise is just a pretty lie?
And the mighty mock the courage of the humble. 
Although he's just an ordinary penguin...My daddy taught me. 
You don't need to be colossal, 
to be a great heart ♥. 
You don't need to fly, 
to be awesome. 
My hero, my father!

Erik's opera was touching! And the saying where "Action speaks louder than words?" Well, music speaks the words of the heart and the soul.

And you can put THAT, your heart and soul, into a mix tape.

Where we lack in communication, it can be fulfilled with music.

If you hunger for love and affection in the deep, physical kind of way, David Guetta - Turn Me On sung by Nicki Minaj, can express it for you.

If you're really wanting someone to know you care, but you're afraid to let them know about it by speaking the actual words, Bound To You from the film Burlesque, sung by Christina Aguilera, can speak those words for you.

If you want to repeat those "I love you" statements, in a different way, I'm Into You sung by Jennifer Lopez, and rapped by Lil Wayne, can redefine your words for you.

If people are talking about you and you're tired of them "throwing stones" about your short-comings, or they're hating ''cause you're brave to do what is considered by society as "immoral" when they feel they can't, Britney Spears's I Wanna Go and Christina Aguilera's  Dirrty can remind you to stay strong and be proud. 

If you want to make light of the situation of Haters Hating you, have Charlie Puth's Haters Follow Me Like Twitter help you rub it in their faces.

Been cheated on? Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats and Melanie Fiona's 4AM can help you ease your pain by understanding you.

Been dumped? Stacie Orrico's Stuck can relate, and Mariah Carey's We Belong Together can tell that person you made a mistake and that you want them back.

Wanna Blow someone's mind? Do it with Whoa!!

And if you're wishing for those bright lights in a big city; to be famous and rich, then, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys's song Empire State of Mind will empower you; and Travie McCoy's, featuring Bruno Mars, song Billionaire, can wish it out loud and scream it to the world for you.

Yeah. That's right! Make a mixed tape of your life and bring to your heart and soul the strength it needs to lift it up!  Lift up with music.

Music is definitely a gift to help when spirits are down. It definitely lifts you UP!

Until Next time!