I checked this out of the library because I was looking for interesting audiobooks and the name caught my eye. It wasn't until I started listening thaI checked this out of the library because I was looking for interesting audiobooks and the name caught my eye. It wasn't until I started listening that I recognized the author from a TED talk he had given a few years back- (If you haven't seen it, look it up. It is absolutely worth the 20 minutes.)
I found this book to be inspirational, entertaining, and intimidating- all at the same time. Robinson is a good storyteller, and the book is chock full of interesting anecdotes of both famous and not-so-famous people who lived happy lives because they found their element.
What is the element? Robinson says: "The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion." By finding and nurturing this quality, we can ignite our creativity, and bring more vitality and passion to our lives and to the world.
Robinson tells many stories of famous folk who are famous mostly because they found their passion early and were able to follow where that passion led. I found this part intimidating; how could I ever be like John Lennon, or Ray Charles, or Richard Feynman? He answered this question by many tales of not-so-famous folk, folk who discovered the element late in life, or who do work other than their passion to pay the bills. These people were particularly interesting, as it was very clear that the fact that they invested energy into their passion helped them with the other work in their lives that they were not quite so passionate about.
As an educator, he really stressed the importance of discovering and nurturing these passions in our youth. He points out that the jobs of the future may not have even been invented yet, and that teaching kids a set of facts will not necessarily prepare them for this unknown future. Rather, fostering innovation, creativity, and collaboration can help them be ready for whatever the future brings.
I enjoyed this book as an audiobook. Robinson reads it himself, and his British accent made the stories all the more enjoyable....more
This book is a fabulous introduction to the notion that we can help create a more peaceful world by improving our ability to communicate effectively aThis book is a fabulous introduction to the notion that we can help create a more peaceful world by improving our ability to communicate effectively and compassionately. Rosenberg points out a disturbing fact: we have more words in our language with which to judge each other (and ourselves) than we do to express our emotions. By learning to feel and express our emotions with words, we become less likely to act aggressively from these same emotions. When we can honestly say, "I feel angry when you speak to me like that," we become more able to own our feelings and less likely to escalate the conflict through assumptions, accusations, and violence.
Like many other books I have read recently, this book helps us to understand that by really being present in the moment, we gain access to the ability to steer the course of the future. Typically, we are barely listening to the other, especially in conflict. Instead, we are preparing our rebuttal, mentally judging the other, chewing on the past, or worrying about the future. This impedes our ability to be truly present for what is going on. The ironic thing is that once we get in the moment, our presence and attention is often all that is needed to de-escalate the conflict.
Rosenberg provides many entertaining and inspiring anecdotes to demonstrate the many ways one can use Non-Violent Communication. From conflicts in the Middle East and Central Africa to the classroom, from parenting to prisons to self-defense, NVC proves over and over that violence comes from lack of connection. Learning to facilitate that connection can decrease violence, increase compassion, and help people grow into more compassionate and community oriented lives.
I found this book inspiring and educational. Rosenberg helps me to see that we can help others heal just by how we move and communicate in the world. By modeling effective and compassionate communication, we can create more peace in our own lives, and help to create a less violent future for us all.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in connecting more deeply with the people in their lives. It is especially useful for people in positions of power, who can learn to act in a way that empowers and inspires others. Parents, educators, health care professionals, managers, mediators... really everyone could use a little help in communicating in a way that enriches life for us all....more
This audiobook is delivered as a series of lectures which covers and reinforces some of the material from Biology of Belief. We are shown the fallacyThis audiobook is delivered as a series of lectures which covers and reinforces some of the material from Biology of Belief. We are shown the fallacy in our thinking which portrays as victims of circumstance and products of random chance. Lipton goes further in this book, discussing evolution on a species and planet wide scale, and the ability we have, right now, to pick a new trajectory and get ourselves out of this mess we are in. He offers ideas on improving health, on a physical, relational, and community level, encouraging the reader to engage the power of their own attention to envision a brighter future.
If you have always suspected that quantum physics implies much about the nature of biology, neurology, and sociology, this book will give you much to ponder. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in taking the helm of their own healing voyage and improving this world we live in together....more
I listened to this audiobook years ago with my eldest child; now it is my youngest's turn. This book does a decent job of sketching out history of theI listened to this audiobook years ago with my eldest child; now it is my youngest's turn. This book does a decent job of sketching out history of the ancient world as it is usually covered in school. I found it to be a great refresher for me, and helped me to get a better picture of what happened when in the distant past.
I was disappointed somewhat, however, by the strong Judeo-Christian slant of the book. Wise does discuss the ancient histories of the Americas, of Africa, and of Asia. However, there is a distinct focus on Western Civilization, and the whole story of Jesus is taught as historical fact. Even if there was such a person who taught a wonderful doctrine of love, compassion, and forgiveness, I think that treating miracles as history hard to swallow. I found myself having to translate for my youngster- that the stories of the Bible are very similar to the stories of Osiris or Raven or Zeus. These stories tell us a lot about what a culture finds important, and how they understood the world to work. These stories are true in a mythic sense, but they are a different kind of story than the story of Julius Caeser, or Sargon, or Emperor Qin. This is a tricky distinction for a young person, and I was disappointed that the Biblical stories were treated as true whereas those from other cultures where described as myth.
This book is a good introduction to the general outline of ancient history. It is written for 1st graders, although my 5.5yo enjoyed it a lot. I think it is good to know of the bias in this book before delving in, however, so that a parent can help their children to think critically about history and the stories we tell ourselves about it....more
I listened to this audiobook with great interest. I feel that the practice of mindfulness has great healing implications in the modern world, and am iI listened to this audiobook with great interest. I feel that the practice of mindfulness has great healing implications in the modern world, and am intrigued by the idea of this practice being used in the business world. Our world is so out of balance these days, and the corporations have such a huge impact on our global reality. This book discusses how those who have all the material trappings of success in our culture often are still feeling that something important is missing from their lives. The practice of mindfulness gives them that important piece; showing up is really the most important work we can do in our lives. Taking the time to sit in silence can teach all of us how powerful the practice of presencing can be. When CEOs learn this, it can become a new way of organizing a business that can have a positive effect on all those lives touched by that business. Learning to presence ourselves teaches us that the most important things in life are not things at all, but relationships.
I recommend this book to anyone who works with other people, and wants to learn how to find more flow in their experience of work....more
I first read this in 2013, and revisited it this year in preparation for watching the series. This time, I chose to listen to the audiobook, which wasI first read this in 2013, and revisited it this year in preparation for watching the series. This time, I chose to listen to the audiobook, which was delightful. I enjoyed it better perhaps, not only because the reader does a wonderful job of keeping the cast speaking uniquely, but also because the familiarity with the characters helped me keep track of the storyline in a way that was challenging the first time around. This time, I appreciated the magnificent complexity of his tale in greater fullness and plan to read the rest of the series as well.
I have since watched season 1 of the movie, and have to say that I am really glad I read the book first, because there was just so much more to it. I am, however, diving into the rest of the show before I finish the series, for which my husband is rather grateful. ...more
Card brings his broad knowledge of archetypes and human behavior into this surprising coming of age story that takes a new look at the history of civiCard brings his broad knowledge of archetypes and human behavior into this surprising coming of age story that takes a new look at the history of civilization. Set in modern times within ancient families, a boy on the edge of growing up discovers a surprising secret about who he is and what he could become. Somewhere between Percy Jackson and American Gods, Card explores some of the difficult issues that face teens today as they work to navigate a healthy path into adulthood.
This book sets up a worldview that overlays myth and magic with history and religion and the movement of power. The ways that Card works reality into his story are believable and fun. I look forward to more books in the series, which I hope keep coming out until I my son is old enough to enjoy them too. I would recommend this book to all lovers of mythopoetic writing, but I would definitely advise parents to read it for themselves before giving to their children to read. Card's characters act with characteristic integrity and strength of will, but situations arise in the book that might bear further discussion.
Update 2013: I first read & reviewed this book in the summer of 2011. I just finished listening to the audiobook with my 13yo. He enjoyed it as much as I anticipated....more
Carolyn Myss doesn't pull any punches when she describes how the ways we invest our energy affect our emotional and spiritual health. Blending symboliCarolyn Myss doesn't pull any punches when she describes how the ways we invest our energy affect our emotional and spiritual health. Blending symbolism that draws from her childhood in the Catholic Church, the Chakras of Indian tradition and the Qaballah gives her a framework with which to describe the various ways we disengage from our own power. This framework also gives useful clues toward reengaging with this power and developing a congruence that nurtures our further growth and healing.
She spends a good deal of time delving into the ways we waste our energy and power, and how to recognize when we do this. She uses the language of economics, describing how we finance thoughtforms with our energy- even things we'd rather not be contributing to. When we really take a look at where our energy is going, we can get a sense of how much more energy we could have if we stop financing thoughts that don't serve us.
If you don't mind challenging questions and uncomfortable answers that are simultaneously liberating, this book may invite you to a new perspective on your situation. I listened to this as an audiobook, and found that listening to Carolyn Myss speak her own truth was an experience worth taking the time for. ...more