My first impression of the book was...what type of feminist manifesto-stuff did I pick up. In the opening pages it mentions the idea, but it clear that is not the case. I quickly discovered Lean In encourages all readers to become better leaders, employees, and parents.
Here are my Top 10 + 1 Takeaways:
Takeaway 1: Sandberg discusses gender equality…and the concept of imposter syndrome. Early in the book, she acknowledges the things that could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better. The promise of equality is not the same as true equality.
Takeaway 2: I love this concept…. Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder. A survey in 2010 found that the average American had 11 jobs from the time they were 18-46.
Takeaway 3: Success is making the best choices we can…and accepting them. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
Takeaway 4: Done is better than PERFECT.
Takeaway 5: It is impossible to control all the variables when it comes to parenting. Set obtainable goals.
Takeaway 6: Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems like a long shot. Every job will demand a sacrifice. The key is to avoid unnecessary sacrifice. This is extremely hard because our society values complete dedication.
Takeaway 7: In the current business model, we are told to fit in versus disrupting the status quo.
Takeaway 8: The simple act of talking openly about behavioral patterns makes the subconscious conscious.
Takeaway 9: All of us---men and women alike---have to understand and acknowledge how stereotypes and biases cloud our beliefs and perpetuate the status quo. Instead of ignoring our differences, we need to accept and transcend them.
Takeaway 10: Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential.
PLUS 1--- Fear often paralyzes us... What would you like to do if you weren’t afraid? And then go do it.
Listen to the Books Travel Life Podcast discussion the book:
The Flyers: In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright by. Noah Adams traces the Wright Brothers journey to Kitty Hawk, NC and beyond in their quest to conquer human flight.
The Wright Brothers weren't engineers like most of the men attempting to become the first men to fly. The book shares their trials as well as triumphs as they went from bicycle building to aircraft construction. Adams discusses the initial journey to the Outer Banks as Wilbur and Orville were looking for an ideal place to take the first flight. In fact, Adams took the same journey by boat to Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk.
Adams cites historical sources as well as personal letters and telegrams sent between the Wright Brothers with their sister Katherine and their father. After their early flights, Wilbur and Orville consulted throughout the United States and Europe. In fact, Wilbur was flying in Le Mans, France when he received word of Orville's crash at Fort Myer, which killed Tom Selfridge. Selfridge was a West Point graduate.
The brothers continued to win contracts and train other pilots throughout the world. Despite the awards and records, they didn't allow their success to distract them from improving their aircraft and training others.
Adams concludes the book looking at the last few years of Orville's life. He discusses Orville distancing himself from his sister Katherine as she married at age 52. Orville refused to go to the wedding and had nothing to do with his sister after her marriage. He eventually visits her on her death bed.
I found it interesting the Wright Brothers were all about business and not about themselves. They wanted to succeed in teaching others the skills to fly and to make it safer. Their personality and selfless dedication makes them true American heroes.
Author Matti Friedman takes the reader directly into the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. He specifically discusses the Israeli battle against Hezbollah along the border towns with Lebanon, where he was based at an outpost known as "The Pumpkin."
Below are my four takeaways:
1. Peace between the nation of Israel and the Palestinians and most of the Middle East is complex and goes back to Biblical times.
2. When the soldiers returned home, they weren't sure if they were welcome as heroes or victims. The death of several soldiers being transported by helicopter changed the thinking of the family members of some of the soldiers. Meaning their actions and their orders from their leaders were in question by the general public, especially the mother's group protesting. This reminded me of the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq.
3. Life at the Pumpkin and most war zones are a mixture between two extremes: bored and dangerous.
4. Friedman does a wonderful job taking the reader full circle. He discusses what it was like to live at the outpost and in foreign areas hoping one day to revisit in a time of peace. The battle rages on, but he completed a visit back to the Pumpkin as well as the little cafe his fellow soldiers hoped to visit.
I'm missing another writing conference this week in North Carolina. It didn't work with my budget or schedule this year. Seeing so many posts from writing friends has sparked me to scrounge up some cash and register for the upcoming Write to Publish Conference June 14-17th at Wheaton College near Chicago.
This year I've decided not to go with a pitch or a manuscript, but to go with the mindset to learn and network. That's it. Learn and network!
This will be hard for me, but I think it's important. In the past, I've been overwhelmed and stressed about landing a publishing deal that I haven't taken the time to enjoy, learn and network.
Not saying...I don't have a book in mind or a project in progress, but I'm not pitching it. NOT pitching it. Just going to learn and network. Learn and network!
Is anyone going to Write to Publish? I'd like to meet you and hear all about your writing projects. Send me a message, Tweet at me on Twitter or comment below! Hope to see you in June!
Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by. Kelly Starrett and TJ Murphy puts to rest the myth that shoes are the cause for most people's running injuries. They provide a variety of evidence from their experience, interviews from doctors and other researchers to show that weak areas of our body contribute to the running injuries we experience.
Starrett and Murphy provide a framework of 12 standards for runners to test themselves. They also provide a list of exercises to work on and build strength in the weak areas of the body to prevent or recover from a running injury.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways:
1. Enjoy a lifetime of running -- Starrett writes "the key to enjoying running for a lifetime lies within the body itself, and your job is to pave the way." Enjoying running starts with being healthy running. Making sure to stretch and take care of your muscles, connecting tissues and more. Find the root of the pain and correct it through strengthening exercises.
2. Go barefoot as much as possible-- Being barefoot strengthens and mobilizes your feet. If you live near the beach, it's a lot easier going barefoot than if you live where there is rocky soil and clover with bees everywhere. Starrett suggests spending as much time as possible barefoot to strengthen your feet.
3. Bring all pain and problems to the surface-- When you hurt or become injured, don't mask the injury and continue running. If it hurts, STOP! Runners should know their bodies enough to know whether the pain is from pushing yourself or their is an issue causing the pain. Analyze the pain and if it's caused by a possible injury stop. I know this all too well. I continued to run with an injury and I'm just now beginning to build mileage after a few months of short 1 mile runs.
4. Sit as little as possible...find ways to stand--This can be difficult for me at times since I do a lot of computer work. Take time every hour to stand. If possible, raise your computer to a level where it is possible to stand. Lots and lots of research exists and tells us that sitting is killing us.
5. You can improve-- Starrett says it's important to "celebrate the opportunity to improve. It is performance just lying there waiting for you to grab it." It starts with the attitude it is possible to get better. Knowing it's possible to improve is the driving force behind making lifestyle changes. Start today!
Start Something That Matters is a beautiful story about the founding of the company TOMS Shoes. The founder Blake Mycoskie documents the journey on taking an idea and turning it into a business. But, he doesn't stop there...he gives back. For every pair of shoes he sells, he gives a pair to a child in need.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways + 1:
1. Stories are powerful! Mycoskie explains in the book that a "good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. Facts are important, but story matters." To sell products or your view point it is important to tell that story every opportunity you get.
2. Face your fears! Mycoskie reminds us fear will be with us everyday, but it is important to face it and understand what the true fear is. The truth is we will make mistakes and its OK. As hard as it is, don't worry about what your friends, family members or coworkers think.
3. Imagination trumps money! Just because you lack money and resources doesn't mean you don't start. Mycoskie suggests "bootstrapping" and improvising to pull your plan together. Don't be too comfortable. Take a calculated risk.
4. Keep it simple! Think simple. Mycoskie discussed the Apple product line, specifically the iPod. "Simplicity can apply to an idea, a goal, or a mission."
5. Giving is good business! You've probably heard the old adage, "it's better to give than to receive." Mycoskie stresses the importance of giving early not getting overwhelmed and listen to those you give to. Listening will allow you to truly know a person's needs.
BONUS: The timing is never right!
Mycoskie quotes Tim Ferris who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, "For all the most important things, the timing always sucks." If you are waiting for the perfect timing, you'll never take a risk and make things happen.
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.