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A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.― Edgar Allan Poe

I subscribed for the free version of Grammarly earlier in 2020 as a way to improve my writing. After using the trial version for like two months, I had to upgrade to the premium version as the service has helped with my writing, spelling, and grammar, which are all needed for coherent content, especially online. Grammarly’s core product offering include grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services

 Don’t obsess over perfect grammar. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story. – Stephen King

Here are some of the reasons you should consider getting Grammarly at least the free version, If you like the service, you can then upgrade to the paid version.

I’ve never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education.- Mark Twain

Dr. Rick Rigsby gave a very inspiring commencement speech at the California State University Maritime Academy in 2017. The lecture was titled: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout. Rick wrote a book inspired by his dad: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout: How the Timeless Wisdom of One Man Can Impact an Entire Generation.

Rigsby’s father, Roger Marion Rigsby, was the inspiration for his book, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout. The senior Rigsby left school in the third grade to help out on the family farm and taught himself to read and write. Later, worked as a cook at Cal Maritime. 

Full Transcript of Dr. Rick Rigsby’s The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Speech:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. – Friedrich Nietzsche

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Wayne Dyer, in this book, takes the reader on an adventure of his life experiences, the aha moments, his growing up days, the insights gained, and all the things he wished knew, but he sees it clearly now. He shares significant events from his life and note lessons he ultimately learned and wisdom he garnered through introspection.

Wayne Dyer was an American self-help author and a motivational speaker. His first book, Your Erroneous Zones (1976), is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 100 million copies sold to date.

If we stop for a moment, it is possible to perceive a pattern in our lives; the motivators that have influenced us become more obvious. We are able to see life unfolding from both ends at once , coming into the present moment. But until we have got to a certain point of realization, this is not possible, because everything is still seen as a series of  apparent causes and effects— RESHAD FEILD

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer:

One of the most inspiring commencement speeches of all time on June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, Late CEO of Apple and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered a very compelling speech to the graduating Stanford University students.

Full Transcript of Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.- Thomas Sowell

Life is a fight for territory; we are always trading off something for yet another thing: your Work or Your Marriage, Your Mental Health, or Mindless scrolling on social media. Unfortunately, there is always a trade-off. The question is not if you are trading off something; instead, the question is, what are you trading off?

Take, for instance, you run a not-for-profit organization, but you are attending conferences all year round, all over the world. The trade-off would probably be less time working on your project. Another example is social media/instant messaging, picking up your phone every 15 minutes to check the latest updates for the dopamine rush. Still, the trade-off is either having less face to face conversations or having less time to work on your goals. You get the drift, most times you cannot have it all.

trade-off /ˈtrād ˌôf/ noun : a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise.

In her 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech, Shonda Rhimes delivers a very compelling speech on trade-offs:

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a memoir by American author Stephen King that describes his experiences as a writer and his advice for aspiring writers. Stephen’s books have sold more than 350 million, he writes horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels.

The On Writing book contains a lot of nuggets, insights, and strategies for becoming a great writer. In typical Stephen King fashion, the book is a straight to the point, no BS take on getting things done by writing great stories and using your imagination effectively.

Here are my favourite take ways from reading On Writing by Stephen King:

Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

Title: Our Deepest Fear
Author: Marianne Williamson
Source: A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson
Movies Cited: Akeelah and the Bee, Coach Carter
Our Deepest fear quote is often misattributed to Nelson Mandela

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

According to Psychology Today, Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.

Resilience is one of those skill sets that we all need to master in order to navigate the vicissitudes of life because you are either in a storm, going through a storm, or entering the next storm. It is not a matter of IF but a matter of when. Been resilient is what would take you through the trying times, remember thought times don’t last but tough people do.

 In the Book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, shares the following: on resilience: We plant the seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery:

 (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault;

 (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and

(3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever”

Here are some thoughful quotes on resiliene:

Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else

Distrust is what I have shared with you that is important to me is not safe with you.

– Charles Feldman

Oprah Winfrey hosts “Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations,” a live event featuring inspiring thought leaders, modern-day influencers, and social game-changers as they discuss the current climate in our culture. Social Scientist and Author Brené Brown shares an anecdote about her third-grade daughter’s struggle with a betrayal of trust. This Super Soul Conversation was originally delivered at the UCLA’s Royce Hall in 2015.

Brené Brown’s Book, Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone, expands on the concept of BRAVING, She also mentions BRAVING in her 2015 Book, Rising Stong.

Anatomy of Trust Transcript

Oh, it just feels like an incredible understatement to say how grateful I am to be here with all of you. I feel like I have a relationship with many of you on social media, and you were like, “T-minus two days.” I’m like, “It’s coming! We’re going to be together.” So I’m so grateful to be here with you.

If you’re going to write… you have to be willing to do the equivalent of walking down a street naked. You have to be able to show too much of yourself. You have to be just a little bit more honest than you’re comfortable with…”

The Dictionary of Literary Biography lists him as one of the top ten living postmodern writers. Born in England, Neil lives in the United States and taught for five years at Bard College, where he is a Professor of the Arts. He is married to artist/musician Amanda Palmer.

Today, as one of the most celebrated writers of our time, his popular and critically-acclaimed works bend genres while reaching audiences of all ages and winning awards of all kinds. The Graveyard Book is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medals, awarded by librarians for the most prestigious contribution to children’s literature, and Neil’s bestselling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, took the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Locus awards, as did his young adult novel Coraline.

The Emmy-nominated adaptation of American Gods renewed for a 3rd season on Starz and most recently, Neil scripted an Amazon/BBC six-part series based on the novel Good Omens, which he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett.

Here are my favourite take aways from watching Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass Session on Storytelling:

What you’re doing is lying, but you’re using the truth in order to make your lies convincing and true. You’re using them as seasoning. You’re using the truth as a condiment to make an otherwise unconvincing narrative absolutely credible

The Johari window was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 as a way to better understand yourself and the communication between you and others. It is a model for soliciting and giving feedback. It is a communication model that has four quadrants and two dimensions (Myself and Others)

The model is a 2x 2 grid which represents things that a person knows about themselves on one axis and things that others know about them on the other axis. By plotting the levels of self-knowledge and the knowledge held by others the person can develop a greater understanding of their personality and how they are perceived by others.

Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.—John Carmac

Learning to say NO to our friends, colleagues, and family is one of the hardest decisions we are faced with on an ongoing basis. It is usually extremely hard for a lot of us to say NO because of our upbringing, it is kind of not culturally accepted to say NO, you hear words like you are been selfish. We are trained to be courteous and polite.

Anytime you say: “yes” to one request you might have to defend it over time with 100 NOs, there is always a trade-off. If you say yes to mindless social media scrolling or picking up your phone to check WhatsApp messages every 15 minutes, you are saying NO invariably to your dream of writing a book or a blog post article. A lot of us find it hard to say NO to peoples requests because we do not have clear goals, values, priorities, and boundaries.

The key to saying NO is to say it graciously and with utmost sincerity. You can say something like: Thank you for the offer/invitation but due to my other commitments, I can not do this right now. Honesty is the best policy, mean what you say and say what you mean. No need to promise people what you know you are not going to do, this eventually leads to resentment and loss of trust in the relationship.

The bottom line is that we think we work to pay the bills—but we spend more than we make on more than we need, which sends us back to work to get the money to spend to get more stuff to . . .

Title: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
Author(s): Vicki Robin (Author), Joe Dominguez (Author), Mr. Money Mustache (Foreword)

Print | eBook (Kindle) | Audiobook

I have recently been fascinated by the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement. I am on a quest to read and execute as much of the teachings as I can and in turn become financially independent and retire early. The Book: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, is a very great resource with lots of insights and action steps on becoming more Financial Intelligent.

Here are my Favourite Takeaways from reading Your money or Your Life:

One of the hallmarks of leadership is the ability to be courageous in times of crisis as Martin Luther once quipped the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Bronnie Ware, former palliative caregiver and author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, she recorded the top regrets of the dying, On top of the list is:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein started Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) with Andy Berlin in 1983 and won their first award from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the Mill Valley Film Festival. Jeff and Rich went on to win Lions across every award and brand category, bridging an unprecedented variety of styles. Their work has included advertising campaigns like “got milk?,” the Budweiser lizards, Hewlett-Packard’s “Invent,” the E*Trade chimpanzee, Polaroid’s “See what develops,” the NBA’s “I love this game,” Nike’s “Skateboarding,” and SEGA’s “SEGA!

Since 2000, GS&P has excelled at creating work that transcends media. In 2019, Jeff and Rich were honored with the Cannes Lion of St. Mark—the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently the agency received Cannes Lions for “Lessons in Herstory” (an AR project that rewrites history to include women), “Dalí Lives” (a deepfake experience that brings Salvador Dalí back to life), “I Am a Witness” (the first emoji for a social cause), the “Dreams of Dalí” VR experience, Chevrolet’s Chevy Sonic launch with the rock band OK Go, and the Cheetos Museum.

Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad. – Howard Gossage