Blog – UpJourney For a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life Sat, 13 Oct 2018 16:45:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blog – UpJourney 32 32 How to Become a Better Person in a Relationship Fri, 12 Oct 2018 13:47:13 +0000 We asked 19 experts “How to become a better person in a relationship?” Below are their insights:   Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D., MFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, California If there is one thing that helps people improve themselves and grow in a relationship, it is to become more and more emotionally intelligent. ... Read more

The post How to Become a Better Person in a Relationship appeared first on UpJourney.

We asked 19 experts “How to become a better person in a relationship?

Below are their insights:


Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D., MFT

Hanalei Vierra

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, California

If there is one thing that helps people improve themselves and grow in a relationship, it is to become more and more emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence (aka, emotional maturity) has many benefits to a person as well as to a relationship. It requires a person to identify and understand at a deeper level what he or she is experiencing and feeling rather than just what he or she is thinking.

This individual growth helps the relationship in the following ways:

1) it gives a person a deeper knowledge of their own personal identity,

2) it gives a person the opportunity to share that newly discovered piece of themselves to their partner, and

3) it gives a person the ability to have compassion and empathy for their partner. What I mean by this is that in order to “empathize” with another person’s experience, it is crucial to have one’s own similar experience to relate it to.

For example, if I know what it feels like to feel hurt when someone criticizes my cooking, I will then be more capable of knowing the look on my wife’s face if and when someone (like me!) criticizes her attempt at cooking a new dish.

This ability to empathize with her allows me to not only have compassion for her in her time of need, but it also expands my self-awareness of my own life and allows me to become a bigger and better version of myself.


Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka “Dr. Romance”)

Tina B. Tessina

Begin by reevaluating the purpose of your relationships; use them as a training ground. Assume there will be a lot to learn, and lots of problems to solve which increase in complexity as you gain in knowledge.

So, when problems arise in your relationship, stop a moment and think before you react with outrage and hurt. Say to yourself, “What was I given this problem for? What can I learn from this? What do I need to know to solve it?” View the problem as a homework assignment, and figure out what it has been designed to teach you.

For example, perhaps your partner is not giving you enough attention. Perhaps this situation has happened before, with this partner and with others. You merely want a kind word, a loving touch; it doesn’t seem too much to ask. Yet this partner, and previous partners, too, seem to find it impossible. What could you possibly learn from this problem?

Perhaps you need to learn more about networking; having a circle of friends you can rely on so that your primary relationship is not under the strain and stress of having to meet ALL your needs. When your partner is preoccupied with work problems, illness, or other absorbing facets of life, you can still have many sources of affection and attention.

Often this problem arises because you need to learn the great satisfaction of being able to give attention to YOURSELF.

When you are unable to love yourself satisfactorily, other people feel a sense of despair about loving you. It’s as though you feel like a bottomless pit into which they can pour all their love, and you still will not be filled.

Therefore, they often give up trying. Learning the lesson of self-love eliminates the problem. People suddenly feel successful in loving you, and everyone loves to do whatever he/she does well. Or maybe you need to learn the art of appreciation, noticing the attention you are given, however slight it may seem. That which is appreciated grows and grows.

Again, people quickly tire of giving which goes unnoticed. A little appreciation of what is done gets a lot more response than a lot of complaining about what is not.

These are only a few examples of the growth and knowledge to be gained from problem-solving this one issue. As many possible lessons exist as there are different people. The more carefully and conscientiously you approach your homework, the more you will benefit in increased love and joy.


Dr. Jesse D. Matthews, Psy.D.

Jesse Matthews

I’m a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chester Springs, PA (Philadelphia suburbs). I work with a lot of people on relationships, individually and as couples. Here are some of the ways a relationship can make you a better person.

Being with the right person is a key factor, as not being in just any relationship is important. A good partner is supportive, wants to be a good person themselves, and has goals and aspirations of their own. It’s also helpful to share not just common interests, but goals and values.

First, being in a relationship can be a person out of a selfish mindset. They start thinking in “we” terms, instead of “me”. Thinking of others, whether it’s putting them first or paying attention to how our actions affect them helps us to be better.

Similarly, being with someone else helps us to look at the bigger picture. Even if you’re not thinking marriage or a family, when it’s not only you, you tend to think more long-term or more about the important things in life (saving money, your career, your living situation, etc.). We may be less likely to make impulse purchases and we may be more financially responsible when there is another person in the picture, especially when we feel accountable to them (say you are thinking about moving in, getting engaged, or married).

We may also think more about our behavior when our partner isn’t around. “What would (insert name here) say?” Whether it’s how we drive, how we treat others, whether or not we check out other women or men, and so on. It’s feeling accountable, but also possibly a desire to be better. We want our partner to think well of us, but we also want to feel good about ourselves.

And with the support of a partner, we’re more likely to focus on or persevere toward goals, while cutting down on unhealthy or unhelpful habits. Whether our partner participates, cheers on, or helps in another way, this is a critical part of being the best version of ourselves we can be.


Mark Borg Jr, PhD

The best most counterintuitive answer to that question is: learn to receive.

Learn to let down your guard, receive what it is that your partner is offering, take it in and allow it to impact and influence how you feel about your partner, your relationship and yourself. Too, too often we find ourselves thinking and believing that ‎the only way to make things–especially relationships–better is through coming up with the right contribution.

What we neglect here is that each of us needs to feel that what we are giving to our partner in a relationship is valuable, and the only way to do that is to receive, accept, take in, and make use of what others are giving to us.


Deborah Lucero – Live Your Full Life

Deborah Lucero

Here are a few insights I learned to become a better person in my relationship.

I discovered what the five love languages are according to Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Once I understood how to communicate through the love languages I found hope and purpose in my marriage. It helped me realize that I was not just butting my head up against a brick wall. There is a process involved.

I also took Tony Robbins’ leading energy quiz. It explains how masculine leading energy demonstrates feminine leading energy characteristics as a defense mechanism. The same is true for the feminine energy. It will take on masculine energy traits when that person feels threatened or think they need to be defensive. This will happen when you are not speaking the correct love language.

Another nugget of wisdom came from Tony Robbins‘ book Awaken the Giant Within, “Turn your expectation into appreciations.” It simply means to stop expecting and start appreciating! You do this by being grateful! Gratitude will elevate you to feel appreciation for even the smallest things. Sometimes it is hard to realize what you should be grateful for.

Possibly the greatest insight I uncovered to improve my marriage is, “It is better to improve yourself, don’t work on the other person, work on your thoughts about the other person,” Robert Kiyosaki author of Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom. This book helped me realize you need the RIGHT mindset to release the thoughts that are not serving you and change old programs. It taught me to focus my attention and put all my energy into mastering my goals. It showed me how to see the possibilities!


Grace Wroldson

Author, “So You Love an… Alcoholic?: Lessons for a Codependent

I was in a relationship with an alcoholic for 15 years always blaming HIM for our relationship problems. But, when I reach recovery in Al-Anon (a 12 step program for family and friends of alcoholics), the sister program to AA, I discovered that I TOO needed to become a better person in our relationship.

I was playing mother, martyr, manipulator, all while micromanaging him. Oh, and then I would criticize and complain about his behavior and what he DID and DIDN’T do. Those were not healthy habits and they contributed to our conflict. In the rooms of recovery (weekly meetings for over 20 years in Al-Anon), I learned that I had a relationship sickness called codependency. It is the silent addiction that nobody things of. Nobody was looking at me while I was pointing the finger at him. I learned to take responsibility for myself, heal, and grow into the person I love being today.

Today, I am someone who loves toxic people from a distance and has chosen healthier people to be close with. And when I am in a relationship, I have boundaries and respect that other people are human and will make mistakes. To become a better person in a relationship, I had to become better.

Better at:

  • knowing my truth and who I am
  • telling my truth
  • speaking my truth
  • living my truth
  • sharing my truth
  • affirming my truth in all my relationships

First, before I could be authentic in my relationships, I had to learn who I was and be comfortable with that. I couldn’t rely on my partner fulfilling my life and making me happy. How could a sick and suffering alcoholic make me happy? Why was I putting the responsibility on HIM anyhow?

The relationship with myself had to become better, then I could have better relationships with others!


Tanvi Mathew, MS, LPC – Emerge Counseling

Tanvi Mathew

If you want to become a better person in a relationship, you have to first understand yourself and who you are along with your wants and needs.

Relationships often go downhill when people haven’t dealt with their own insecurities and baggage. When you bring baggage from your past, whether it’s previous relationships or childhood issues, you aren’t able to focus on your relationship with your significant other. The focus on each other in a relationship has to be mutual. If one person continues to take that energy it can be detrimental.

Self-reflection and ACCOUNTABILITY are keys in a relationship. You have to be able to own your faults and be open to feedback. You also have to be able to communicate effectively with your significant other. People have difficulty talking about “difficult things” but that’s what will help a relationship evolve.


Deavin Ross (aka “The Love Author”) – Love the 2nd Time Around

Deavin Ross

In order for us to experience growth in our relationships, we must first get free from fear, humble ourselves, be teachable, seek wise counsel, and most importantly, admit that we don’t have all the answers! Let’s stop making excuses and honor our commitments with one another. What we experience in our relationships reveals our mistakes, which should draw us closer to each other!

Committed mates pay more attention to little things to show their love and concern. Simply saying, “I love you,” when away calling checking in, or going on dates affirms your commitment. Write a love note, rub each other’s feet, pray together, and try to attentively listen well. Conveying commitment isn’t showy, but subtle and common. You have to do the work! Here are five key ingredients to a recipe for a healthy relationship of any kind.

A – Accountability: Know that being in a relationship with someone you will make mistakes. The important thing to remember is to be quick to take accountability and be willing to learn from it. Also, be there for each other, Tell your mate that it’s okay while encouraging each other to get back on track. Don’t condemn or say, “It’s your fault.” Instead say, “It’s okay, things will get better.Be slow to speak when trouble arises. Take time to access the situation without uttering a word. This exemplifies great respect for one another within your conduct.

G – Giving: No matter what is going on despite any shortcomings – Give freely. Refuse to be in unforgiveness. Don’t hold grudges towards each other. Do not let bitterness settle in, overcome it right away and deal with the situation immediately. This exemplifies a great love for one another by allowing transparency in the relationship.

A –Acceptance: Choose to accept them for who they are with all the flaws. Not just in a spouse or mate but with everyone you meet. With that kind of heart for people, you can then be vulnerable with your significant other. You can be who you are without feeling that you must be deceptive or hide things. Be comfortable with being you, and in return, you will be able to accept others as they are regardless of failures and idiosyncrasies.

P – Perfection: There should be no fear in love. But, perfect love should cast out all fear. When you’re in a relationship, you want to be perfect for your mate. Yet, as human beings, we are not perfect. Nonetheless, we need relationships, so we can be perfected. Constantly working toward being a better person. So, when it says,
“Perfect love cast out all fear”, it makes you more vulnerable and transparent about your life. As you mature, trust develops and becomes the foundation of your relationship. When your mate sees your imperfections, it’s like you’re out on a cliff, because we are exposed to each other’s weaknesses. But, be assured that because of you, they too are on that cliff with you being perfected in love.

E – Endurance: Endure life with each other. Each person brings their own set of morals, values, beliefs, challenges and life experiences into the relationship and you can have a difficult time adjusting to the change. You could look at all that each has going on and easily say, “With the challenges that you have, at this point in my life, this is too much.” But choose to endure. We all have our fair share of enormous responsibilities and the things that are going on in our lives. When you look at the packages that each of you came with, you ponder and ask them, “You still in?” Immediately, the response should be a big, “Yes, I’m not going anywhere.” If you can endure whatever challenges you are facing, it gives your mate more confidence to know that you are rooted and grounded with them. You truly have their back no matter what!

In conclusion, now that you have discovered the five ingredients to help your relationships develop and grow, Lets now take the first letter of each ingredient and you get AGAPE – that word means LOVE! It’s an “unconditional” love meaning you are not seeking anything in return and truly loving someone regardless of circumstance.

Understand that being in a relationship is an agreement with someone whom you love. Allow your previous experiences to teach you how to do things differently. I encourage you to become more submissive to one another; humble, obedient, selfless, and sacrificial – in return, you become a better person!


Gabby Beckford – Packs Light

Gabby Beckford

I recently went through a break up with an amazing guy who I thought was The One—except for the fact that we had issues from the very beginning on when he should be texting me, how I was reacting to things, and I just kept saying we “weren’t on the same page“.

In the beginning, I tried to take a step back, meld more with his needs, and blamed myself for not being more independent in the relationship (a little ironic, right?)

After the break up I did a lot of research on attachment styles and realized that I was an anxious attachment style, and he was avoidant. No matter how much we loved each other, we were doomed from the start because we wanted fundamentally different things in terms of intimacy.

From this hard lesson, I learned that for my next relationship and all others forward, to accept my relationship needs and state them early on, and really pay attention to their reaction. I had told this last boyfriend I liked the attention, needed reassurance/validation early on, and needed him to be available for me to talk to. He verbally agreed wholeheartedly, but his actions were the complete opposite.

I now know that to be a better person for the sake of both side of the relationship, I need to stick to my guns and accept my needs. Otherwise, you pretend to be someone you’re not until you hit a breaking point as I did, and it is all for not either way. If I was honest and steadfast in the beginning he could have known “Wow, this is what she wants. I either have to accommodate, or let her know I can’t do that for her“, and at least the break up would have been less messy.


Alexa Amador – Health Labs

Alexa Amador

My first tip is to become less selfish. When you’re in a relationship, the time you spend together is shared. It’s not all about you, and you begin to realize this with the simple question of, “How was your day?

You want to know all about their day. It’s easy for them to share the good, but when it comes to the bad, they’ll feel more open to sharing if your disposition is obvious that you want to help them feel better about whatever happened. But you must let them know you’re there for them too. Especially at the beginning of a relationship, it can be difficult for some couples to give and receive 100% of their time, attention, effort, and energy. But, it is so necessary for a successful and positive relationship.

My second tip is to be better at communication. Oh man, this is huge. In couple relationships and even simple coworker relationships, communication is huge. It helps keep you at an even level (psychologically). You learn to stop keeping things that bothered you all balled up in yourself and start letting the person know that this or that offended you in a gentle, polite manner without becoming combative.

I have learned this first-hand (in a not so pretty way). I used to primarily be a peacemaker that fixed everyone else’s arguments, problems, and discomforts while keeping mine to myself because “everyone has enough going on in their lives.” It’s bad to keep it all in because one way or another, it’s ALL going to come pouring out of you. And, for some, the only way for them to open this security gate is through things that make you emotionally worse like alcohol, drugs, or simply being pushed too far until it all explodes on whichever unlucky soul is nearest.

Ok, I’m gonna break these down into shorter sentences:

1. Be selfless. Ask them questions. Have a genuine interest in how their life is going. What their life goals are and if they’re getting closer to them or if not, what they can do to get there. Be the counselor they need at random points in their day.

2. Communicate. When something happens that bothered you, take a step back and analyze why it bothered you. If it’s something that’s going to bother you, again and again, let the person know. The sooner the better. This goes for your partner and also just general coworkers, friends, family, etc.


Holly Shaftel, MPA, CPC, ELI-MP

Holly Shaftel

It all starts with being a good active listener, acknowledging and validating where your partner is coming from, and using “I” statements (“I feel … when you …”). Communication makes this world go ‘round and is the glue of any relationship.

Also, pull your own weight in a relationship. Someone who’s too much of a “giver” can get “nurture fatigue” and begin to resent his or her partner for not contributing to the relationship. It can be as simple as taking turns cooking dinner and doing the dishes.

Finally, learn how your partner likes to receive love. Does she like acts of service? Does he like quality time together? If you’re going to be a better partner, you need to communicate your needs and compromise where possible.


Ashley Collom – Magical Mind

Ashley Collom

You can become a better person in a relationship by using your partner’s love language. Love languages are:

  • word of affirmation,
  • physical touch,
  • quality time,
  • acts of service,
  • receiving gifts.

We each feel love and affection from different sources. Some gals like flowers, while others will just melt if you do the dishes. That is the first step is determining your partner’s love language. There are loads of quizzes about this online. Once you are aware, actually implement their love language into how you interact with them.

So hypothetically, if your love language is physical touch but your partner’s is acts of service, why don’t you try making her coffee in the morning instead of trying to get some morning sex? As partners, we need to understand our partner’s needs, not just our own, and try to function in a way that is aligned with our wants but also keeping our partner’s needs in mind. By openly communicating about how best you understand love, you and your partner can grow together and make sure no one is left feeling disconnected.


Dave Bowden – Irreverent Gent

Dave Bowden

One thing that can help you be a better person in a relationship is to think of each day of your relationship as your first date. On your first date, you probably did everything you could to be the best version of yourself and put your best face forward: you showed genuine interest in your partner, you asked thoughtful questions to get to know them, responded in ways that made them feel heard, and flirted with them to show them that not only did you see them, but you were attracted to them.

Most of us start out doing these things in relationships but fall out of the habit of making our partners feel appreciated as we become more familiar with them. We stop putting ourselves in their shoes and focus more on ours – our needs, our desires, and what we want to get out of the relationship.

By going back into the mindset you had on your first date, you can sort of reboot your system and see your partner in the same exciting, interesting and sexy light you first saw them in, which will motivate you to make them feel appreciated and loved. In turn, this will make you feel like a better person because you’re giving of yourself to improve your relationship.


Rebecca Cohen – Amen V’Amen

Rebecca Cohen

There are a TON of ways to become a better person in a relationship. Here are some of my favorite principles and methods I learned (many times the hard way) over the years:

1. Value the differences.

We tend to value the things we have in common with our significant others. But we don’t give nearly enough credit to our differences. Every person is different, and it’s often those differences we’re attracted to in the first place.

It would be incredibly boring if everyone was exactly the same, wouldn’t it? There’s no such thing as a one-size fits all partner. Relationships would be incredibly boring if that were the case.

Instead of denying that we have differences (or worse) trying to mold our partners to make them “more like us”, we’re better off finding common ground in the things we value, and celebrating the differences of our significant other.

2. Address conflicts in their infancy

What’s wrong, honey?Nothing! (she said in an angry tone).

Postponing a problem doesn’t make it go away. It only makes them worse because the longer we wait, the more our problem “accumulates interest”, and becomes bigger and bigger. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it… it’s a mistake.

Next time something is bothering you, instead of sweeping it under the rug – tell your partner what’s bothering you. I believe this principle alone would significantly reduce divorce rates in our country.

3. Listen with empathy

Humans have a tendency to listen in order to reply, as opposed to listening in order to understand. And when someone close to us does that, we get doubly frustrated…

“You just don’t get me…”
“Ugh… never mind…”
“Can’t you just listen without jumping in every 2 seconds?!”

Many times, we rush in and voice our opinions… even though our partner isn’t looking for our opinion. They simply want to get something off their chest. And it’s our job as a loving partner to listen empathetically to what they have to say to alleviate their burden.


Vanessa Valiente

Vanessa Valiente

This is an interesting question because I feel it can be taken two ways. One, how to be a better individual while in a relationship. Or two, how to become a better person for your partner. I am happy to answer both questions.

Relationships can often create stagnation and conformity, which can stunt one’s journey to become a better person. To ensure that I stay on my path to be a better person, the number one thing I like to do is continue to meet new people.

Seeing different points of view is the key to being a good person. It breeds compassion and thought. It’s also important that I spend time with close friends as well as new people without my partner. Not only does this keep my individual thought process progressing, but it also makes for great conversation later with my partner. Of course, I also want to involve my partner in my betterment. To keep each other on the same page, we travel to open our minds and volunteer together.

In answer to the question, how to become a better person in my relationship, I check in with myself that I am kind, admit and apologize when I am wrong or hurtful, and communicate my needs so I don’t act out. I find most hurtful actions come when someone’s needs aren’t met so I make sure I ask for what I need and fulfill his needs as well. If he is not telling me what he needs, I ask. If he is not satisfying my needs, I ask – (Almost) always in a nice way. Sometimes I audit what I say or do with my partner by asking these questions, “Would I want someone to say or do this to me?” “Would I want other people to know that I’ve said this or done this?” “Would I want everyone to behave this way?”.


Tara Geraghty – Making Cancer Fun

Tara Geraghty

Creator of the Grateful Connection Course and the Author of “Making Cancer Fun: A Parent’s Guide”

It has been said how you do one thing is how you do everything. So being a better person in a relationship starts with … being a better you. Your relationship first with yourself will impact every other relationship you have.

Are you someone that you like? If not, how would you expect others to like you? Do you have integrity with yourself? If not how can you bring trust and honesty into a relationship? Simple basic foundational needs for any healthy relationship.

The verb “better” comes from the Old English word beterian meaning to “improve.” When we improve ourselves first, we improve our relationships. Take a moment and rate yourself. Where could you better (improve) yourself? Are you a good communicator or do you find it difficult to talk about your feelings? Do you practice good self-care, making sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and take time to slow down and reconnect spiritually so you can be at your best? Do you set healthy boundaries and expectations? Are you judgmental and critical of yourself and everyone around you? Do you find you lose your temper easily or are you a master at the art of patience? If you could improve just one thing about yourself that would move you closer to the best version of you, what would that be?

The great thing is we live in a world where personal development is usually only a click away. Books, blogs, podcasts, and videos are at our fingertips all for the betterment of ourselves. Communication styles, relationship advice, mindfulness and understanding your unique personality are areas of study everyone has access to.

Being better in a relationship simply starts with the decision to be a better you – each day improving yourself will improve the world, and yes the relationships, around you.


Angela Lenhardt

Angela Lenhardt

Spiritual Life Coach, Best-selling Author, and Motivational Speaker

I think a key ingredient in cultivating Self to becoming a “better” and wiser partner in a relationship is to take a good look at your previous relationships and take notes on what didn’t work!

Maybe arguments that stemmed from something that was unconsciously said or a miscommunication that could have been avoided knowing your own personal triggers. It is when we choose to respond differently to challenging situations is when we “find” the answers we are seeking.

Spiritual growth and personal development skills are essential for creating healthy and happy relationships.


Joy Rains

Joy Rains

Author, Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind

Want to become a better person in your relationship? Consider trying meditation.

Meditation has been proven to increase people’s ability to feel compassion for others. Once you realize everything isn’t just about you, it allows you to act in ways that take your partner’s needs into account. It also helps you become more accepting. Rather than trying to change that annoying habit your partner has, you may be able to change your reaction to that habit.

Meditation can be practiced for as little as a few minutes a day, and the benefits can be far-reaching.


Elliott Katz

In my own journey, I’ve come to realize that the purpose of a relationship and the conflict that can occur in a relationship is to teach us to become better people. Too often we blame the other person instead of looking at a relationship as a mirror telling us how we each need to become a better person.

Here’s my story: When I got divorced, like a lot of people, I blamed the other person. Then I asked myself: What do I have to learn from this?

And so began my journey seeking to learn what I needed to learn. I soon realized that the many confusing messages about what it means to be a man were not helping me become a better man. It was only when I turned to the insights that fathers used to teach sons about being a man that I learned how a man becomes a better person in a relationship. The three most important lessons were: Show leadership, make decisions and take responsibility. Applying these lessons made me a better person not only in relationships but in all parts of life — as a parent, at my job, and in the community.

To share what I learned, I wrote a book that has struck a chord around the world. It has been translated into 24 languages by publishers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. I also coach women on how to inspire men to be the kind of man women wants, and coach men on how to become a man that women love and respect.


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38 Best Gifts for New Moms (to buy in 2018) Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:49:35 +0000 What are the Best Gifts for New Moms? 21 experts share their top recommendations. Sharon Linder – Janes If you have ever waited in an examination room to see your doctor while wearing an ill-fitting, thin, scratchy patient gown, you will want to read on. After interviewing nurses, doctors, and patients, Sharon designed Janes! Based ... Read more

The post 38 Best Gifts for New Moms (to buy in 2018) appeared first on UpJourney.


What are the Best Gifts for New Moms?

21 experts share their top recommendations.

Sharon Linder – Janes

If you have ever waited in an examination room to see your doctor while wearing an ill-fitting, thin, scratchy patient gown, you will want to read on.

After interviewing nurses, doctors, and patients, Sharon designed Janes! Based on her own experience, Sharin Linder has come up with a more dignified, warm, gown that fits.

Most women do not know that it is okay to bring your own examination/ hospital gown to a doctor’s appointment or mammogram.

Janes also make the perfect gift to yourself or those you care about who are in treatment, the hospital, or home recovering. Nursing mothers also like Janes!

Janes are made of soft waffle weave knit fabric, wrap open spa-like in the front. It comes in regular, as well as plus sizes. Their tagline “We’ve Got You Covered.”

Janes also make a difference; 2% of its profits help fund free mammograms for under-served women.

Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

The top gift I recommend for any mom is a Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play. Not only are they stylish and portable, but babies love them!

My kids slept in them throughout the day and, sometimes, at night too. Plus, whenever I moved from room to room, I could easily carry the Rock n’ Play with me. I could rock it with just my foot, so it was easy for me to keep my kids from crying whenever I was too busy to hold them (folding clothes, work, etc..).

I also recommend Johnson and Johnson’s Bedtime Baby collection because they always calmed baby down after bath and smelled amazing.

Jennifer Cura – The Patchwork Bear

We turn favorite clothes into a custom memory bear: baby’s first outfit, first holidays, first steps, etc.

The gift kit is designed to be simple: just give the gift and the recipient sends their clothes in the pre-addressed mailing bag to The Patchwork Bear studio. In 3-4 weeks, they will get a custom memory bear to bring back happy memories.

Shanice Bannis – City of Creative Dreams


New moms are going to be on their feet a lot so having comfortable footwear such as slippers are going to come in handy with late nights.

Not to mention all the days on which she is going to spend the daytime taking extra care of the little one.

There are plenty of moments where she will be getting up to pick up the baby or getting to change diapers. She will need slippers to slip on and off for any occasion.

This is a perfect gift and it is a lot better than having her feet on the cold floor.

With late nights come lack of sleep. Not every new mom is blessed with babies that sleep all night so getting a mug that can be the home of their new best friend- coffee (or tea) is fantastic.

What makes this gift stand out is when it says ‘Mom’ on it or a cute saying. By finding a gift like that is truly gives an ordinary mug an extra special touch.


I believe sticking to commonly used items such as PJ sets are great gifts for new moms because it doesn’t have an expiring date.

Pick a set that represents this new mom by colour or types of patterns you see her wearing. To be safe, stick to common colours, they are more likely to be the ones she won’t stop wearing.

Also, consider button down styles easy to adjust for feeding times. The soft material is relaxing for both mom and baby.

Cheri Glick – Fairytale Baby Books

front and back of book

Fairytale Baby Books turns every delivery of a newborn prince or princess into a wonderful tale of how it all came to be and documents it for friends and family to last for centuries.

Each story is created by a fill-in-the-blank form online to share the unique details of how the fairytale first began and comes in versions of multiple shades of skin tones, single parents and same sex couples to debut in mid-October.

The creator and publisher Cheri Glick of Fairytale Baby Books first had the idea to write a story about the courtship of one of her good friend’s daughter and the couple loved it so much she did another version of the fairytale story when the couple had their first child. She and her husband realized this was something everyone can enjoy, and the company got started.

“My dream is for every child who hears the story of how he or she arrived into the world, to feel very special and to learn how excited everyone was when they were born,” said Glick. “Everyone dreams of being a prince or princess and now with a story of how it all happened, everyone can join in on the royal fun.”

One of the definitions of a fairytale is something marked by seemingly unreal beauty, perfection, luck, or happiness. Fairytale Baby Books are just that and are beautifully illustrated and detailed with information about cravings, doctor visits, reactions from Dukes, Duchesses, Knights and the Royal Grandparents.

Each 15-page manuscript is typeset in a beautiful Old English font surrounded by corresponding colorful artwork. Upon approval, the fairytale is printed onto antique parchment-like paper. The pages are bound in an 8” x 9” leather-look, hardcover book featuring ornately designed borders and embossed gold glitter titles—front and back. The end result is a treasured handcrafted keepsake to cherish forever.

The Fairytale Baby Book retails at $59.95 and can be ordered online at and the Etsy store online.

Leisa Papa – Little Kids Business

This maternity pajamas can be worn both during pregnancy and postpartum while still looking stylish and comfortable enough to transition into the day. And the best part? No one will ever know that you’re still in your pajamas!

Bubby Cover

It’s a small, lightweight burp cloth, feeding cover and sweat rash barrier in one. Finally, something that attaches to your Bra to soak up the drips.

Body Oil

Whether you’re growing a lovely baby bump, or you’re a busy mum that’s always on-the-go, this superb organic massage oil will keep your skin smooth and supple all year round.

Shona Gates – Sexy Selfish

Rewashable Breast Pads

Those first few days of motherhood can be a total blur. But one thing I remember distinctly was the moment of relief someone gifted me these little babies.

As a self-proclaimed recycling enthusiast and environmentalist, running to the store every few days to purchase disposable breast pads had me totally cringing every time I put them in my shopping trolly – *cue reusable breast pads*

These were a lifesaver. Use and then just pop in the wash and use again and again and again; mine lasted two kids before they have now become picnic rugs for my daughters’ dolls.

Also great for popping in the fridge with a bit of water and cooling aloe gel, when they are nice and cold, use instead of cabbage leaves for engorged breasts.

Meal Prep

When my daughter was born, she got showered in pink, presents covered every surface in our house, however, there’s only one I truly remember.

My friend Naomi turned up at my door with a family sized dish of homemade spaghetti and meatballs, plus a dessert. I could have cried… I think I actually did cry #hormones.

When you bring a meal or organize some meals to be delivered to a new mum you’re not just giving them a meal, you’re giving them a night off; you’re taking away the cooking, the dishes, the tidying up, the multitasking and the stress. You’re giving them nourishment, love, and care. That is an incredible gift.

If you can’t hand deliver some home cooked goodness, why not try organizing a meal prep service for the new mum of your life, help take some stress off her shoulders. I mean she just popped a baby out her body, she has enough to deal with.

Lisa Alemi – Move Mama Move

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is the best book to give mamas who are planning on breastfeeding.

This is an incredibly thorough resource to help mamas learn how to breastfeed. There are step by step guides, answers to all sorts of problems and questions that may arise, and ideas on what to expect through each stage of breastfeeding. Not everything in the book is about breastfeeding, which is a nice perk.

Nursing Pads

Nursing pads are key to making a new mama comfortable. Avoid excessive leakage and embarrassing moments, while still helping take care of the planet by using reusable pads like these washable and reusable bamboo pads.

Foam Roller

A foam roller! After carrying a baby for 10 months and then sitting and nursing for hours, a foam roller was life saving for my neck and back.

Lying parallel on the foam roller was important to stretch out the muscles in my back and chest. While it is not a common gift for new mamas, it is really important for mamas to feel good. When you have good posture you feel good, that’s why I recommend the foam roller.

Maryna Shkvorets – Mars & Stars Baby

The Breezy Wrap

For the new moms and dads who KNOW they’ll keep adventuring on hikes, travels, and even picnics by the waterfall; the Breezy Wrap by Mars and Stars baby is just the perfect gift.

It’s a baby-carrier that keeps you sweat-free on your hikes and packs away super-tiny for travel. It’s also quick-dry and great around water!

Christopher Robbins – Familius

These books are the perfect gifts for new moms who are looking to take care of themselves and their babies.

Tried-and-true methods can be adapted to fit their needs and preferences. These books will help new moms learn without feeling overwhelmed.

They’re written conversationally, but are well-researched, creating the perfectly balanced voice of text-based advisor, mentor, and fellow mom.

These books are staples to add to any new mom’s bookshelf!

Tangela Walker-Craft – Simply Necessary

Kushies GoPillow

The Kushies GoPillow is a hands-free, wearable breastfeeding pillow that is ideal for moms to use while at home or on-the-go!

This portable nursing pillow is worn on the arm to provide a cushion for a baby’s head and support for a mom while breastfeeding. It also has a built-in privacy cover-up that can be used for public breastfeeding, and double as a pillow and swaddling wrap for babies.

The Kushies GoPillow is perfect on-the-go because it’s lightweight and small enough to transport easily. It even fits inside of most diaper bags.

The Kushies GoPillow is not just a breastfeeding aid; it also moonlights as a travel pillow for toddlers. The blanket is retractable; it can be tucked out of the way when not being used. The pillow also slides onto the armrests of airplanes to make toddlers more comfortable during flights.

There are three Kushies GoPillow styles:

  • Kushies GoPillow
  • Kushies Bamboo GoPillow
  • Kushies GoPillow Lite- without the attached blanket

These are available online from numerous retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, as well as select stores in the United States and Canada.

Reika Shetty – MAYARYA

A new mom will always be able to make use of a multi-way nursing scarf.

Sometimes you’re caught out in public and don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding, so it’s the perfect fashionable solution for when you want to be more discreet. It’s lightweight and breathable for baby, and the stretchy fabric makes it easy to work with for you.

These organic cotton based receiving boxes come with cute essentials such as a blanket, bodysuit, hat or swaddle. The prints are sweet, and the gentle fabrications are perfect for those yet to be diagnosed sensitivities of new baby skin.

After having a baby, your body needs extra self-care, and this product is the most effective.

It’s 100% plant-based skincare product specially formulated for your intimate regions. With Arnica, Aloe, Vitamin E and Chamomile it is perfect to reduce swelling, irritation, and general discomfort that so many women suffer in silence with for months post birth!

I really love this whole line for new moms, but this and their HONOR balm are the standouts.

Amy Haderer – [M]otherboard Birth

Baby Ktan

This was my favorite baby sling ages 1-4 months. It’s soft, womb-like, secure, and since it goes over both shoulders, it didn’t give me a backache like a ring sling did.

It’s also much easier to put on than a wrap because of it’s double-ring design. No more cloth dragging on the floor or elaborate tying patterns!

Tula Baby Carrier

For babies 4+ months, this is a great structured carrier. It sits on your hips like a good backpack and won’t cause your shoulders to ache.


For those leaky, sore, early days, Bamboobies are a great comfort for moms that want extra soft, absorbent bamboo nursing pads.

Melissa Sanabria – Sanabria & Co.

The Boba Wrap can act as a lifesaver for new moms. Sometimes all that can settle a newborn is being held by their mama. But, moms need hands and the ability to move around too! The Boba Wrap is a simple way to appease both mom and baby!

Blowouts are an excellent option to gift to a new mom.

Washing one’s hair becomes a luxury and rare event with a newborn in the house. It’s not only relaxing to have someone else wash your hair, but a new mom will also look and feel great despite their lack of sleep.

If deciding to go with the gift card for a blowout, please know that this is not a stand-alone gift. This gift should be accompanied by the sincere offer to stay with the baby while the new mom in your life is getting pampered.

Even better if you can make the appointment for her. Otherwise, that gift card will sit unused for months or maybe even years.

Avidlove Bathrobe with Pockets

A robe with pockets – POCKETS, folks – is critical. A new mom needs pockets so that all of your stuff is on hand at all times.

New mom pockets carry Advil / pain medication, phone, nipple cream, pacifiers, and chapstick. A new robe can be an easy way for a new mom to pull herself together to answer the door, even though underneath they are probably bra-less or even completely naked.

Jeff Moriarty – Mothers Family Rings

Mothers Family Ring

Our family has been in the jewelry business for over 30 years and one thing we have seen grow each year, especially with younger men and women are mother’s rings. These rings hold the birthstones of the mother’s and child or just children, and are set in gold and platinum metals.

They’re available in natural and/or synthetic birthstones. They can also last a lifetime so they are really heirloom items, which younger parents love. To satisfy these younger new parents, designs now are more modern and contemporary than the mother’s rings of the past.

This change has done quite well, as 70% of our sales are to men/women in their 20’s.

The Ultimate New Mom’s Cookbook

The Ultimate New Mom’s Cookbook winner of a National parenting award and the only cookbook that covers pregnancy food, breastfeeding meals, foods to introduce solids to an infant and family meals (it’s three books for the price of one).

All of the 80+ recipes are vetted by a dietician who specializes in prenatal nutrition. It is the ideal present for any foodie expecting his/her first child.

After giving birth, a mom has been through a lot. A gift card to a spa for a well-deserved massage is an unexpected and highly welcome gift.

Shawn Bercuson – Finnbin

Finnbin Baby Box

Finnbin baby boxes are inspired by the Finnish government’s tradition of providing cardboard bassinets to all families of newborns to ensure they’d have a safe sleep environment for their infants.

The program started in the 1930s and is attributed to dramatically decreasing Finland’s infant mortality rate. Finnbin’s baby boxes are made with cardboard sourced in the U.S. and non-toxic inks.

The gender neutral boxes come with waterproof mattresses and a variety of options can be ordered online that come packed with high-quality baby products all new parents need. Brands include Huggies, Kickee Pants, Chewbeads, Apple Park, and more.

Essentially, the baby boxes double as starter kits for new parents, and make for a very handy gift for those expecting. Boxes can be ordered online at

Nicole Lawson – Supported Soul

Supported Soul Practice + Play mats are the best gift for new moms! They are machine washable, non-toxic and will support little ones all the way through their yoga journey- starting at tummy time!

These combination mats have a soft, microfiber top + natural tree rubber base. They have no odor, are Eco-friendly, can be rolled up for easy storage, and are designed by local artists in Canada.

Candance Patel-Taylor – Supermama Foods

Lactation Tea

Supermamafoods Lactation Tea

More Milk, Please! Tea– This tea improves the quality and quantity of mom’s milk supply. Plus, it actually tastes good!

Sleep and Anxiety Tea

Supermama Foods Sleep and Anxiety Tea

Chillax Tea – All moms need to chill and relax, but new moms especially benefit from this stress and anxiety relieving tea that promotes sleep.

Energy Tea

Supermama Foods Energy Tea

RoyalTea – This is a moringa-based tea for energy. It promotes a clear-headed energy with a minimal amount of caffeine. Our moms swear by it for an afternoon energy boost that doesn’t keep them or their babies (breastfeeding moms) up at night.

Elesha Nelson – Simple Wishes

Super Mom Bra

New moms need all the help they can get!

Lack of sleep alone can make a mom feel like a hot mess – add raging hormones, a crying newborn, and, in many cases, the needs of her other children, and it takes some seriously super-human strength to stay on track.

Simple Wishes makes it easy for moms to switch from breastfeeding to pumping in one, easy-to-use bra designed to be sexy, stylish, comfortable, and convenient.

The Super Mom Bra offers patented nursing and pumping clips; soft, silky fabric; convertible straps for tank or racerback styles; an integrated pumping panel and optional pumping halter for additional support; hook and eye closures that allow for a 2” expansion during pregnancy; and a comfortable, seamless, t-shirt fit.

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Best Nonfiction Books Recommended by 16 Experts Fri, 05 Oct 2018 14:14:58 +0000 We asked 16 experts: “What are the Best Nonfiction Books?“ The most recommended book is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen R. Covey“. Ted Rubin How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie Buy on Amazon An absolute MUST read… by far the best relationship book ever written, and ... Read more

The post Best Nonfiction Books Recommended by 16 Experts appeared first on UpJourney.


We asked 16 experts: “What are the Best Nonfiction Books?

The most recommended book is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen R. Covey“.

Ted Rubin

An absolute MUST read… by far the best relationship book ever written, and in my opinion, the best social media/marketing book ever written. More relevant today than when it was initially written in 1936.

Seth is a MUST read for any aspiring entrepreneur and marketer. All of his books should be in this list but if you are only going to choose one, this is it.

I like to say that how we function every day is all about Attitude, Perspective… Mindset. Carol Dweck teaches the importance of what we think about, how we are positioned by ourselves and others. A MUST read especially if you have children.

Kelli Richards

This book is both inspiring and highly pragmatic with insights on how to live your best life.

Topics include things like doing away with perceived obstacles and people & things you’ve been tolerating that are getting in your way, practical steps for working smarter vs harder (things you can take on today), optimizing both time and money management, and replacing bad habits that aren’t working for you with new ones that will propel you forward. It’s a sort of missing life manual that will benefit readers of all ages & walks of life.

A great reminder that when we embrace what works in our life, we realize that we do have plenty. 

Alan is a master of sharing perspective with good humor and plain language that makes you feel like he’s sitting right next to you sharing wise counsel. He has a gift of sharing stories and insights to illustrate his points. Alan offers a refreshing approach that reminds us of how good our life is, and how much better it can be when we remember that we are enough, do enough and have enough from a stance of sufficiency & grace.

He connects the dots and takes us on a journey back to ourselves in a warmhearted way that lightens the heart and offers fulfillment.

For those who want to live a happier and more fulfilled life, this book is chockful of helpful tools, techniques and empowering exercises that are practical to work with that when put to use all but guarantee a more peaceful and successful existence day-to-day.

It’s filled with powerful reminders of who we really are, how powerful we are as spiritual beings living a human existence, and how the steps we take and our presence have a ripple effect on those around us.

Grace Marshall

How do you have the courage to show up authentically every day, to take bold risks, to live and work wholeheartedly?

The answer is not invulnerability – in fact, it’s the opposite. Brene Brown’s research on shame and vulnerability is encouraging, uplifting and challenging. I’m a fan of all her work, but if you’re new to it, this is where I would start.

Family life can get so busy that all the joy gets squeezed out, as we frantically try to keep up with it all. It’s super easy to read, funny, with plenty of lightbulb moments – I read this when my kids were little and it made a difference to us then and still does today.

Winner of ‘The Commuter’s Read’ category for the 2017 Management Book of the Year award, this book has been described as “the productivity book for real humans” – full of positive, practical thinking and ideas on how to get more done with ease when the rest of the world seems to conspire against it.

Oliver JR Cooper

Although this is a book that came out in 1965, I found that it was still full of powerful insights. The book looks into what can happen when someone is disconnected from their body and why this usually takes place, to begin with.

It’s a great book for someone who feels out of touch with themselves and wants this to change, or for someone who wants to understand what it is like to experience life in this way.

It is so common nowadays for people to talk about how ‘independent’ they are, and this books go into how this is simply an illusion. One of the things it illustrates is that our sense of ourselves and how well we do in life is defined by the people we spend our time with.

So, if someone wants to get a deeper understanding of how reliant they are on other people and how important it is for them to be discerning when it comes to who they spend their time
with, they may find this book useful.

It is easy to believe that what happened in the past is in the past and that’s the end of it, but, this is rarely the case. This book looks into how the emotional wounds of our past can end up having a negative effect on our present relationships. I would say that if someone currently has relationships problems, this book may be exactly what they need to transform this area of their life.

Holly Worton

For the longest time, I thought something was wrong with me: some weeks, I was incredibly productive and got work done in record time. Other times, I struggled with focus. After reading this book, I learned why this happened and, more importantly, how to plan my calendar to take advantage of my easy-focus weeks. This book was life-changing for me, and I recommend it all the time.

Asking for help is not a strong point of mine, however, it’s something that Amanda Palmer is an expert in. In this book, she opens up and tells stories of times when asking has been easy for her, and other times when it’s been incredibly challenging. For me, it was a lesson in asking for help when needed and a reminder that it’s perfectly appropriate to do so.

I love Nature, and I love gardening. I grew up with parents who grew their own fruits and vegetables, and a part of me has always wanted to find my way back to homegrown food. This book is a beautiful tale of one family’s adventure in doing just that: eating homegrown and locally produced food and sharing the experience of their first year.

Corinne Rodrigues – Everyday Gyaan

Corinne Rodrigues

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People came to me (oh yes, I do believe that books are ‘sent’) at a very crucial stage in my life.

It helped me to make a life-changing decision concerning my career. The book set me on the way to doing what I am today – writing.

I was fortunate enough to be part of a group study of this book. We studied one habit at a time, then went back and put it in to practice for a month. We came back together to study another. The study included a lot of exercises, some created for us, and some that we created – a lot of processing took place. It was a time of learning, fun and good fellowship that I will never forget.

Nick’s idea of ‘work’ resonated with my idea of ‘vocation’ – being who you were meant to be. His book challenged me to look at areas in my life that needed to be worked on.

I remember one particularly powerful quote: “The way to win our heart back is to venture again, to risk giving, receiving and trusting again, and of course to risk getting hurt again, but deciding to forgive and to no longer use the hurt or fear to keep ourselves in prison.” So in many ways, Nick’s writings challenged me to dream again and I did!

I ‘found’ The Artist’s Way at the start of 2013 and it has been a life changing experience for me. Writing my ‘morning pages‘ became an exercise in healing and discovering my creativity and silencing my inner critic.

Kelli Cooper – Life Made To Order

As a coach who specializes in the law of attraction and how to change your inner world so you can see changes in your outer, one thing I really like to tell people is no external manifestation can do anything to make that voice in your head that never stops talking shut up, can do anything to ease the suffering that dialogue causes!

If you want to understand why your mind does this, relate to this mental chatter in a different way and free yourself of all the ways it messes up your life, I highly recommend this book. Written in plain, everyday language, it’s a must-read for any personal-growth-oriented person.

This was one of those books I knew I had to read pretty much my whole life but didn’t until a few months ago.

No secret living in the moment can greatly contribute to our happiness, but when we have a better understanding of why this is so, and why our tendency to be completely immersed in the past or future tortures us so, it is a game-changer. Tolle does a really great job of fleshing this all out.

James Doyle – JAMSO

James Doyle

Career path development is interdependent upon personal development. This book is a super start point to assume accountability, standby one’s ethics and principles whilst being mindful of others goals, styles and needs. Set with a more business style focus but equally applicable at home.

Does your body portray your words or does it show you are hiding something else? This is another super book to help spot and develop the skills needed to reveal peoples true intentions, meaning and comfort levels. It holds secrets to help leave positive impressions, spot signals of liars, generate help from others and even grab the love of your life.

From the inventor of Mind-maps brings great tools, systems, and relatability to boost your problem-solving skills and improve creative thinking. The title of the book has sufficient content to live up to its expectations – A great toolkit for personal and business applications. Our copy is full of highlights and worn out pages.

This is more than a book. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the global leader in positive psychology, delivers his pioneering manifesto based on decades of research to show people how they can get the most fulfillment and enjoyment out of life. Read it.

Mesmerizing. It’s hard to pick a favorite on this list, but Robert Greene’s masterpiece — Mastery — might be it. A beautifully researched book with illustrative and inspiring stories that will have you clinging to every word. Your eyes and mind will open.

Pressfield delivers an incredibly powerful message about overcoming your fears and learning how to cultivate your creative side. I’d recommend this book to just about anyone. But, if you’re a writer, entrepreneur, or artist—you’ll love this book.

Takis Athanassiou

One of the best book on personal development and reflection around. It provides a solid base for thinking about life and self without giving ready-made recipes and how-tos, I recommend it for everyone!

Habits shape our beliefs and our behavior and are the cornerstone of what we do and how. And this is the basic thesis of Stephen R. Covey.

That’s why he wrote this book after many years of research and distilling his personal experiences into bite-size directions. It is the absolute best book for personal growth and transformation for intelligent and conscious readers. It is an easy book everyone can read but very difficult one for implementing its suggestions!

This is one of the basic books for principle-based self-leadership and personal development. Ray is a highly successful investor and entrepreneur who shares his experience and the principles he developed over the years and make his a success in business and life. It is a must read for everyone!

Laura Earnest

We have a tendency to see our lives as if they are lived on a big stage with a huge marquee. In truth they are just home movies. This book helps me get a better perspective on what is really important.

A transformative book about how putting yourself first (literally) every morning can yield huge results.

A more accessible and less rigid book on one of the seminal works in personal productivity. Written by an educator, it reaches different learning modes and does away with all the fluff in the original GTD that doesn’t pertain to people without a staff.

Tanya Korobka – Lucky Attitude

Tanya Korobka

This is the book that changed my life. The bible of human psychology, strategy and how to get whatever you want. It instantly taught me how to deal with powerful people. It’s quite controversial, great for those, who want to be unstoppable.

Shaun Boyd – Life Reboot

The best nonfiction book that I recommend to people is frequently “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” by Barbara Sher.

Fifteen years ago I was working help desk support, taking medication for depression, and sleepwalking through a life I felt that I had no control over. I was working help desk at a library, and I happened to come across this book in the self help section. I read it and it changed my life.

“I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” is very methodical in getting you to basically have a conversation with yourself, and do some writing exercises in an effort to figure out the things you like, the things you don’t like, and maybe where you’d like to be. It helped me reduce my fears, quit my job, try to make a career as a writer, leave my hometown, move 600 miles away, start a new life in a new state with only a small support network, reinvent myself as a software tester, which led into a more fulfilling career doing software development.

It was impossible to see those dots connecting looking forward, but it’s easy for me to connect them looking back. The book helped give me the confidence to pursue positive change in my life, and I recommend it to people who seem stuck.

Paul Minors

Start With Why is one of my favorite books and one I recommend to anyone feeling a bit lost. It helps readers discover their sense of purpose or belonging. Great for anyone who is looking for that big picture ‘why; we do the things we do.

This book is an absolute go-to for anyone interested in working for themselves and creating a sustainable work/life balance.

The 4-Hour Work Week is about escaping the 9-5 trap, giving yourself the freedom to work anywhere and still be successful. It’s not about working longer hours, but about working less and still getting the same, if not better, results. Who doesn’t want that?

You need to have an open mind when reading this book, it’s not your average self-help book but if your willing to accept Manson’s philosophy you may walk away with a new perspective on the world.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a really great read, Mark Manson is direct and straight up with his advice and shows you how to suffer more meaningfully, how to let go and enjoy life more.

Marla Martenson

Oh no, here comes another Monday!

The reality is, many people feel trapped and miserable in their J.O.B.’s (just above broke). But isn’t that just the reality of the way things are? Doesn’t every responsible person just bury their dreams and passions in exchange for getting a paycheck? Absolutely not!

No More Mondays will show you that meaningful work really is within your grasp. In 2009, I walked out on my cushy but soul sucking job and took this book to bed with me every evening and read it like a Bible.

It gave me the courage to start my own boutique matchmaking business in 2010, and 9 years later, I can tell you, it was the best thing I ever did!

Donald Latumahina – Life Optimizer

Donald Latumahina

I like this book because it teaches me about something that is rare today: focus. There are many distractions around us, but this book guides you to ask yourself: what is the one thing that would make the most difference in your life?

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Best Feng Shui Gifts Recommended by 7 Experts Wed, 26 Sep 2018 16:28:45 +0000 We asked 7 experts “What are the best Feng Shui gifts?” Below are their top recommendations. Nicolette Vajtay – Inspired Living Feng Shui Youtube Channel Lucky Pyramid Bamboo Buy on Amazon A great Feng Shui gift to enhance our financial abundance and stability is a Lucky Bamboo plant or a money tree. Either of these ... Read more

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We asked 7 experts “What are the best Feng Shui gifts?”

Below are their top recommendations.

Nicolette Vajtay – Inspired Living Feng Shui

A great Feng Shui gift to enhance our financial abundance and stability is a Lucky Bamboo plant or a money tree. Either of these gifts may be placed in the Wealth sector (extra abundance) or Family sector (having our basic needs met) of the home.

According to the Black Sect Tantric Buddhist school of Feng Shui, these sectors are found in the back left and middle left of the home when looking into the house from the front door. The wood element is reflected in both of these sectors so bringing in a wood cure uplifts our abundance and prosperity! Bamboo also lives in water, which is another great elemental cure for both of these sectors as water feeds wood on a constructive cycle in the five elements.

If a friend is experiencing difficulty with a neighbor or feels like their house is in line with some negative chi, they may hang a convex Bagua Mirror to deflect that negative chi.

There are many options on Amazon. Find one you like, and make sure it holds a convex shaped mirror in the middle. That’s the kind of mirror that protrudes out like a pregnant belly. The symbols on the frame of the mirror reflect the perfectly balanced Universe of energy.

You hang this mirror outside and above your front door with the three solid lines at the top. These three solid lines represent heaven. The three broken lines will be at the bottom, which represent earth. In the mirror is our plane of existence, so we exist between heaven and earth. While Bagua Mirrors deflect negative energy, you want to place the mirror with the intention that you “Live in harmony with the universe around you.”

Never push negative energy back at someone, like a neighbor, because more will come back to you. This cure is only be used outside – never inside; the energy is too powerful and may harm the inhabitants of the home.

Another sweet gift could be a ceiling fan pull chain with a crystal.

Ceiling fans are an absolute necessity especially in hot and muggy climates. But as the blades of the fan swirl around above your head, they can cut your energy, depleting you from your life source energy. Especially from a fan over the bed when we are most vulnerable or susceptible.

Crystals in Feng Shui represent the sun, so when you place a crystal between the blades of the fan and your body, the nourishing, life source energy of the sun will protect and feed your chi so that you remain healthy and vibrant. Especially while sleeping (and playing in bed.)

PS -Two things NOT to gift a friend: a set of knives, because you don’t want to sever the friendship. Nor a bonsai. While beautiful, it’s stunted growth can cause stunted growth in your friends life.

Pam Ferderbar

For the feng shui enthusiast who believes we are largely responsible for our own good fortune I suggest the hilarious and uplifting novel Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale by Pam Ferderbar.

The book is fast-paced, full of laughs and…optimism, which to my way of thinking is what feng shui is really about; creating scenarios and circumstances that bring us happiness and good fortune.

If readers are interested in a personalized, signed hard cover first edition copy of the book along with a feng shui kit created by the author, they can order directly from her at The cost of this special package is $40 plus shipping.

The Laughing Buddha represents the element of Wood. There are few feng shui cures as popular – and as universal in their application – as the Laughing Buddha.

The symbol of Laughing Buddha is considered to bring auspicious energy, wealth and joyful blessings anywhere it is placed.

Why is the Buddha laughing? Aren’t Buddhas supposed to be serene and peacefully looking within? Nope. The Laughing Buddha Feng Shui symbol is based on the story of a Buddhist monk who lived in 10th century China. He was a bit too eccentric for a monk, but his heart was loving and open, and in time he came to be loved by many. He added the energy of light-heartedness, joy and laughter to everyday life.

Kim Julen – Finding Your Fiji

Kim Julen

Here are my gift recommendations:

Clutter is not feng shui’s friend and this book is one I recommend to all my clients. The Kon-Mari system allows you to release clutter and keep your space clutter free. I also wrote a blog about this: Clear Clutter Once and For All!

Energetically clearing your space is vitally important in feng shui. Sage bundles are great for this purpose, however these white sage incense sticks are quicker and easier to use with less mess. You can use these to clear your physical body or other objects as well (hint if your computer or phone is acting up – sage it!)

Crystals are used in feng shui for many purposes. They can deflect arrow or door energy, balance the up and down energy of a split level stairway or honor the space. I recommend hanging a large (40-50mm) round crystal in the center of your home to balance and honor the space. The lead within these crystals also has s balancing property. Meditating under a crystal like this can be very powerful too.

Maureen Calamia – Luminous Spaces

Maureen Calamia

Wind chimes are a wonderful addition to the front porch of any home to welcome positive chi. Our front door is where most of the energy enters our home and wind chimes will help direct the chi to your front door. Metal enhances the spiritual quality of our entry as well.

Why is this a good gift idea?

As a global society we are so disconnected from the natural world, which contributes to much of our stress. I have discovered a path to help us reconnect through the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. By integrating these materials and symbols in our homes we can help heal our stress and create more peace in our lives.

“Creating Luminous Spaces is a refreshing new view of ancient ways to enhance your life. Once you understand that by nature you are nature, the world is your playground. Who doesn’t want that?” Karen Rauch Carter, Best-selling author of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life

Amanda Gibby Peters – Simple Shui

Amanda Gibby Peters

I LOVE a soup pot because it suggests nourishment, comfort, and company. It caters well to hospitality always and in all ways – it pulls us into the kitchen to stoke our money maker (the oven!). If you’re going to put a pot o’delish on, invite a few friends to break bread with you and you’ll stir up good vibes in your space. It’s a gift-win-win!

A spot of warm is always a favorite, so consider a teapot. And when I say it is the gift that keeps on giving, hear this: moving water represents prosperity, so when you put water on to boil, you’re speaking the language of abundance. Holla at the dollah!

A water pitcher is both utilitarian and an act of self-expression. Whether used as a vase for fresh blooms; a utensil holder; or a water carafe during meals, it is an unfussy way to instill beauty – a scrumptious life force – in a home. It really is such an unexpected gift! My suggestion? Bring it filled with greenery + a pop of color, and it becomes 2 gifts in 1, smartie!

And for someone wanting a little shui magic in her life (wink, wink), my simple shui workbooks…naturally!

Cara Gallagher

Wind Chimes are one of my favorite Feng Shui gifts. The beautiful sound of the chimes activates the positive Chi (energy) around your home and breaks up the stagnant energy that fills your space.

I recommend placing a wind chime near your front door. This will act as a filter for your home and clean out any unwanted energies from entering into your personal space. I like to give Woodstock wind chimes because of the high quality and beautiful tones that they emit. This is the perfect gift to give to ensure that positive and beneficial energy will surround the entrance of your home.

Bridget Saraka – Feng Shui by Bridget

Bridget Saraka

A heart-shaped rose quartz gemstone is one of “The Best Feng Shui Gifts” you can give someone. Rose Quartz is perfect for healing one’s heart and attracting one’s twin flame. Placed on either side of the bed rose quartz inspires romance and strong heart-centered communication.

Rose Quartz is an exceptional gift for someone who is healing from a broken heart, desires to be in a relationship or feels the need to deepen the connection with their partner.

A heart-shaped selenite crystal is another of “The Best Feng Shui Gifts” to give someone.

A heart-shaped selenite gemstone placed in the center of any room clears the space while bringing balance and harmony to the home. This gemstone is thought to be exceptional at neutralizing harmful electromagnetic frequencies. Selenite is excellent at clearing the auric field while balancing the chakras. It’s a must have for any body, soul, spirit and home.

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19 Best Game Theory Books (to read in 2018) Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:43:41 +0000 Have you ever notice how many games are you playing? If you think ‘not many’, just look into your history and you find countless examples. I’ll give you one example of a game I played without knowing. In my early twenties, I changed my job a lot. In my search for a better job I ... Read more

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Have you ever notice how many games are you playing? If you think ‘not many’, just look into your history and you find countless examples.

I’ll give you one example of a game I played without knowing. In my early twenties, I changed my job a lot. In my search for a better job I never answered others ads, I’ve placed my own ads in the paper. That was my first criterion in the game, I choose and pick, don’t want to be chosen.”

Then, at every interview, I wore the most unattractive and boring clothes possible, no makeup, no fashionable hairdos. I wanted to work with people who don’t care how I look.

In an interview they said yes and “You start on Monday”. On Monday when I went to work, the owner of the company looked at me and said “The job is not available anymore; we hired someone last week” and I replied, “I know; you hired me”. He seemed puzzled “Really? It’s you?! You look so different!” “Does it matter?” “No; here is your desk and […]”

I worked with that company for many years, and I never had any issues with unwanted attention. You know what unwanted attention I mean. (Bear in mind, this was more than 20 years ago… luckily, things have changed.)

To be honest, if I knew then what I know today about the fact that we are playing games with each other all the time in most situations, I would have learned more about the game theory so that I can have more and better criteria for the games I must play.

Be warned! If you start learning about the game theory, you’ll fell in love with it because it has so many applications in your day to day, professional and personal life.

For example, no one can have a happy marriage if they play a finite game with their spouse. The same goes for any other type of relationship. Playing a finite game can help you win a few times but not indefinitely.

Learning the game theory not only helps you become a better player but also improves your mental toughness and negotiation skills, increases your tolerance level, makes you more compassionate, and improves the quality of your life in general (day to day life, professional and personal life.)

Discover in the following 19 of the best game theory books how to:

  • become a better player,
  • what games do you want to play and what you want to stop playing,
  • why you should become a better player,
  • how can, game theory, change your life for the better.

“Strength is paradoxical. I am not strong because I can force others to do what I wish as a result of my play with them, but because I can allow them to do what they wish in the course of my play with them.” James P. Carse

“Creators generate new ideas and original concepts. They prefer unstructured and abstract activities and thrive on innovation and unconventional practices.

Advancers communicate these new ideas and carry them forward. They relish feelings and relationships and manage the human factors. They are excellent at generating enthusiasm for work.

Refiners challenge ideas. They analyze projects for flaws, then refine them with a focus on objectivity and analysis. They love facts and theories and working with a systematic approach.

Executors can also be thought of as Implementers. They ensure that important activities are carried out and goals accomplished; they are focused on details and the bottom line.

Flexors are a combination of all four types. They can adapt their styles to fit certain needs and are able to look at a problem from a variety of perspectives.” Ray Dalio

“My son Aaron, who is a professor of computer science, encountered just such a careless signal when he was on the admissions committee at Carnegie Mellon University. One Ph.D. applicant submitted a passionate letter about why he wanted to study at CMU, writing that he regarded CMU as the best computer science department in the world, that the CMU faculty was best equipped to help him pursue his research interests, and so on.

But the final sentence of the letter gave the game away: I will certainly attend CMU if adCMUted. It was proof that the applicant had merely taken the application letter he had written to MIT and done a search-and-replace with “CMU” . . . and hadn’t even taken the time to reread it! Had he done so, he would have noticed that every occurrence of those three letters had been replaced.” Alvin E. Roth

“Although a large branch of game theory is devoted to the study of expected utility, we generally consider each player’s payoffs as a ranking of his most preferred outcome to his least preferred outcome.” William Spaniel

“If you are a gamer, it’s time to get over any regret you might feel about spending so much time playing games. You have not been wasting your time. You have been building up a wealth of virtual experience that, as the first half of this book will show you, can teach you about your true self: what your core strengths are, what really motivates you, and what make you happiest.” Jane McGonigal

“A general ‘law of least effort’ applies to cognitive as well as physical
exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the
same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course
of action.

In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of
skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.” Daniel Kahneman

“The customer isn’t always right. Employees have rights, too.” Adam M. Brandenburger

“The discrimination of others may be among the most important of abilities because it allows one to handle interactions with many individuals without having to treat them all the same, thus making possible the rewarding of cooperation from one individual and the punishing of defection from another.” Robert Axelrod

“Leaders often have to decide between great outcomes that might backfire and mediocre ones that work for sure.

It is what I call “The Leader’s Dilemma.” The issue stems in large part because the game has a fixed order. Because the leader has to act first, followers have time to observe flaws and make criticisms.

Often, the good outcomes need cooperation so they are risky and less likely to win out. In turn, safer but mediocre outcomes rise to the top.” Presh Talwalkar

“It may not be enough to play a game well – you must also be sure you are playing the right game.” Avinash K. Dixit

“The Cooperation Theory that is presented in this book is based upon an investigation of individuals who pursue their own self-interest without the aid of a central authority to force them to cooperate with each other.” Robert Axelrod

“The principal challenge facing masters of ’metrics is elimination of the selection bias that arises from such unobserved differences.” Joshua D. Angrist

“I define game theory as the study of how rational individuals make choices when the better choice among two possibilities, or the best choice among several possibilities, depends on the choices that others will make or are making.” Thomas C. Schelling

“Cooperation and conflict are two sides of the same coin, neither of which can be understood properly without taking account of the other.” Ken Binmore

“Complexity is self-generating. The diversity of our world is understandable because it is possible to design imaginary self-consistent worlds potentially as complex as our own.

This is no mere restatement of common sense. Everyone daydreams alternate worlds, but the imagination soon tires of filling in details. Ulam, Von Neumann, and Conway showed that a few recursive rules can paint in all the details. Creation can be simple.” William Poundstone

“Game Theory is a study of conflict between thoughtful and potentiality deceitful opponents. This may make it sound like the game theory is a branch of psychology rather than mathematics. Not so: because the players are assumed to be perfectly rational, game theory admits of precise analysis.

Game Theory is therefore a rigorous branch of mathematical logic that underlines real conflict among (not always rational) humans.” William Poundstone

“Game theory usually assumes rationality and common knowledge of rationality. Rationality refers to players understanding the setup of the game and exercising the ability to reason.” Ivan Pastine, Introducing Game Theory: A Graphic Guide

“As we started working on this book, we saw that the game theory problem known as the prisoner’s dilemma has direct implications for the family.

So does the theory of rewards. And what about the Ultimate Game- which deals with the issue of credible and non-credible threats?

That one does, too. How many times have we told our kids that we will cancel a trip to the beach if they don’t eat their breakfast? They know we’re faking, because we want to go to the beach too – and they know we won’t jeopardize our own vacation over a bowl of Froot Loops.” Paul Raeburn, Kevin Zollman

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17 Best Negotiation Books (to read in 2018) Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:50:50 +0000 There are three things we do every day and yet almost never see the importance of educating ourselves about how to master them. These three things are: Influence, Communication, and Negotiation. Most people who don’t have these skills as a requirement for their job might think there is no need to master them. However, improving ... Read more

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There are three things we do every day and yet almost never see the importance of educating ourselves about how to master them.

These three things are:

Most people who don’t have these skills as a requirement for their job might think there is no need to master them.

However, improving these three skills is a safe road to a blissful and happy life (for yourself and those you love).

Willingly or not you are influencing others. Willingly or not you’re communicating something all the time. Willingly or not you must negotiate to get what you want (not only from others but yourself as well “put down that cake!”).

Discover in this article 17 of the best negotiation books and learn how to get what you want without losing your self-respect and appreciation.

How can failing to negotiate could make you lose self-respect? (failing to negotiate not failing to get what you want)

Every time you say “yes” to things your mind screams “say no” you enter the self-punching circle (“I’m weak, I’ll never be enough, I hate myself”).

The same goes if you get a “yes” that you know people don’t feel comfortable with and would do whatever to get out of that agreement (“I’m a bully, a bad person, no one will work with me in the future”).

Yes, there are people that are not apologetic for taking what they want at the expense of others. However, the price they pay for what they get exceeds its value. (If nothing else, no one likes them.)

So, do you want to become a skilled negotiator in your professional or personal life? Check out the following negotiation books.

Almost whenever you’re face to face with someone you have a negotiation with that person:

  • The subject of your conversation
  • Where to take dinner
  • How the meeting should end

Learn from this book how to negotiate (step-by-step) in every situation, business, day to day life, and family environment.

“Emotional intelligence” is not your typical negotiation book. This is a book that can teach you how to negotiate with yourself, deal with your emotions, and use them as your primary force to move forward.

If there is an area in your life that you must be the master of your emotions that’s, certainly, negotiation – from stopping yourself to engage in unhealthy behaviors, to dealing with your spouse, children, and coworkers, you need to know how to put your best emotional foot forward.

How could you negotiate if your emotions are choking you and you can’t even speak? Or allowing your anger to lower your intelligence? Not to mention, your vanity (being) on the driver seat…

Are you a yes person or a no person? Saying “no” to everything can kill your opportunities; saying “yes” to everything can put you in a lot of trouble. So, you must find your balance and learn how to be assertive so that you can say (without fear) a meaningful yes or a confident no.

Would you be surprised to discover that most people struggle to say “no” more than saying yes?

Read this book and find out how to negotiate what you want and say no when you must.

In any negotiation, there is a point where a yes can look to you as bad as a no. That point is one step beyond the lowest you wanted to achieve.

When we talk about negotiation most times we see it as a compromise. Chris Voss tells you in this book why and how compromise is not a real negotiation.

A real negotiation, especially for a happy marriage, is not based on finding the middle ground but finding a path for each party involved to feel satisfied and happy.

Most statistics say that the majority of us are not happy in their workplace. Doesn’t that sound sad? We spend most of our day at work. Therefore, the quality of your work relationships has a substantial impact on your well-being.

If life feels like a tug of war, maybe it’s time for you to discover how you can change that.

You see? Any relationship you have is a constant negotiation.

Sometimes we don’t negotiate because we fear that the quality of what we get will not be the same; that any future complaint can be blocked whit “it was on ‘a discount’ for a reason; you didn’t pay in full, so don’t complain; you didn’t give me [that] either, so don’t complain.

Read this book and discover how to overcome that fear and negotiation your way to success.

Negotiation is like a game of chess; you use a strategy and sometimes that strategy requires to sacrifice the Queen so you can push forward a pon and transform it into another Queen.

We tend to overvalue what we pay attention to the most. If your focus is always on your queen, you might lose all your pons and lose the game.

Focus on your purpose, not the process of getting there. You must sacrifice your queen, a knight or a bishop? So be it!

Are you feeling you’re offending someone if you negotiate a good deal? What about your purpose?

Be more self-disciplined because that almost never allows you to take your eye from the ball.

For most of us, everyday negotiation feels like a difficult conversation. Because of that, knowing how to have difficult conversations is a must for improving your negotiation skills.

However, your negotiation skills are not the only ones that could benefit greatly from finding your courage and speaking your mind; your social skills depend on it as well.

Read this book and discover how you can be courageous/ confident instead of avoiding dealing with others.

Are you prepared emotionally and logistically to communicate with your partners when stakes are high? Or do you feel pushed in a direction or another by others?

Improve your mental toughness so that you can stay true to who you are, take decisions based on your morals and values, feel free to say what you want, and have the courage to say a confident ‘no’ or a meaningful ‘yes’.

Do you negotiate your salary or settle for what is offered to you?

Those who don’t negotiate their salary see it as something that can’t be negotiated. They have this perception that it’s something unchangeable.

Read this book and discover when, how, and why you should negotiate your salary.

“Secrets of Power Negotiating” is the book you might need to improve your negotiation skills. Find out how to negotiate:

  • Over modern technologies (email, messaging, phone)
  • Reading the body language of your partners
  • Translate the hidden meanings in any conversation
  • With partners from a different culture or background
  • Using proven strategies

Does it happen to you to negotiate something, get what you want, and still feel afraid to say yes and seal the deal? You are not alone.

Many of us have this conundrum “why, oh why, didn’t I say yes?”

The answer is quite simple. Yes is a commitment and ‘no’ feels like self-protection. But do you, really protect yourself by not taking a commitment? Sometimes you do and sometimes…

The fear of success is equally petrifying as fear of failure. However, the most significant difference between the two is that you might not even know you’re afraid of success. It doesn’t sound logic; “How could I be afraid of becoming successful when it’s something that I really want?!”

Taking a commitment can be scary. You want to be likable, you want people to see you as a good person, you want to be able to keep your word. Taking a commitment can sometimes feel like you jeopardize all that, but it’s a must for becoming successful.

If you’re a woman and your job description doesn’t say anything about negotiation, most probably you take things as they come.

There are two main reasons why women don’t negotiate in their day to day life. Those reasons are:

  • At the emotional level, you assume no one will ask you a higher price than the value of what you want. So it seems only fair to pay the asking price.
  • If you see negotiation as a fight, a war, most likely feel the need to step down because it is not gracious for a woman to pick up fights and engage in conflicts.

Read this book and discover how to overcome whatever it is that stops you to negotiate, improve your negotiation skills as a woman, and become fearless.

Everything in life is negotiated, under all conditions, at all times. From asking your boss for a raise, to asking your significant other to take out the garbage, to buying or selling a product or service, most of us are involved in negotiations to one degree or another for a good part of any given day.

The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need, Revised and Updated outlines the critical elements you need for a successful negotiation and reveals the 101 tactics to use in any high stakes business deal, or in everyday life occurrences.

No negotiation is about winning (it), but getting closer to what you want.

If you step away from what you want (a house) is painful (emotionally) for a few days. If you give in and pay more than you feel comfortable, it’s painful for years.
Is like leaving behind an abusive relationship “no one will love you” “So be it! I’ll love myself now, and we’ll see what the future brings.”

For most of us, negotiating for the house we buy is the most significant negotiation ever. Therefore, you must know how to negotiate to buy a house so that you can enjoy it as a home.

The Art of Real Estate Negotiating will greatly increase your success in putting deals together and it creating deals that close more gracefully.

You will learn the Principles to follow, the Rules to employ (or break), the Tools you need to succeed and the Tricks to recognize so you will not get fooled.

Want more negotiating power? You will learn how to get it. You will get the training you need to succeed at Win-Win negotiation, and learn how to Win-Lose negotiate when you need to. Create a Great Deal gives you what you need to create more real estate deals that are greater than you can imagine.

If you have children, negotiation is your middle name.

In a family environment, the negotiation sits on “how do you expect me to do […] if I have to […]?” It’s not about compromising, but collaboration. Compromise makes both parties feel resentment, especially if the promised reward doesn’t happen and most times it doesn’t…

Discover how to negotiate with your children, how to listen more, so they listen to you as well. Learn how to deal with your emotions, make to be your choice of how you respond outwards opposite to uncontrolled anger or frustration.

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13 Best Human Resources Books Every HR Professional Should Read Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:36:36 +0000 The world of HR is all about getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more about how you can power through your work take a look at the following books. You are bound to learn plenty of new ideas. 1. Studying Human Resource Management – Stephen Taylor, Carol Woodhams Buy on ... Read more

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The world of HR is all about getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more about how you can power through your work take a look at the following books. You are bound to learn plenty of new ideas.

By taking a studious approach to the world of HR this book allows you to understand how to study new techniques rather than simply reading about them.

Taking onboard new ideas is all about being receptive and making changes that allow the rest of the team to understand. Once you do this you’ll be able to move in the right direction whilst maintaining full buy-in throughout your organization. That, in short, is what you’ll be able to learn from this latest edition.

This book focuses on putting everything into practice so that you can:

  • Effectively align your actions with the core goals of the business
  • Create a culture in which people feel engaged and respected by HR as a department
  • Take steps to test new ideas in a controlled manner so that you can deploy ideas that work the first time around

By taking this three-pronged approach to HR in practice you should be able to create significant value for your organization.

By being able to see how what I was reading about could be put into practice I was able to move forward nice and quick. I’m looking forward to continuing trying out new ideas so that we can get more done” said Lauren Stove, a Change & Implementation manager at ResumesCentre.

Disruption is a hot topic at the moment and it’s all about doing things differently. The status quo is often adequate, but it can always be better. That’s the message that this book gets across whilst also giving you some everyday examples of the philosophy being put into practice.

There are three key things you need to consider when thinking about disruptive approaches to HR:

  • How to get everyone on board with your changes so that you don’t alienate the very people you’re trying to help
  • Understanding that not everything needs to be changed. Change for the sake of it is no good to anyone. It’s all about identifying areas that can and should be improved
  • The idea is to change things for the good, not to create waves and see what happens.

By learning how disruptive ideas are formed and then put into practice you will be able to see a clear path forward. This is quite different to making changes for the sake of it and hoping for the best.

The disruptive ideas are quite interesting. I’ve always looked for ways to varying things up and this could be just what I need to do” said Brian Hampley an HR executive at EssaySupply.

If you want to put theory into practice then the simple everyday approach you’ll find in Armstrong’s book will allow you to do just that. If you’re a fan of back to basics advice that isn’t wrapped up in the language and jargon of the corporate world then this could be just what you need.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because the language is simple and to the point that it misses out the specifics and becomes too general. You’ll still be able to learn plenty about how to handle sensitive issues, change procedures in a structured manner, and how to ensure compliance every step of the way.

No matter what you decide to do with the knowledge that you’ve gained, you’ll certainly be able to put it into practice.

Creating value is the secret to furthering any HR professional’s career. Once you do that you’ll be able to show your superiors and other departments that the changes you’re making have a positive impact on the business.

Looking for new ways to demonstrate how what you are doing has a positive benefit is half the battle with HR. Other departments may be unsure of the day-to-day responsibilities that you have so you will need to inform them. That said, there’s a tricky balancing act between telling the whole world everything you’ve been doing, and educating your organization in a constructive manner.

Get the balance right and you’ll be able to get more people on board with new initiatives as they will trust your judgment and understand what your role is.

No book that calls itself ‘The Big Book…’ can afford to cut out the detail and that’s certainly the case here too. If you want to be able to learn your job inside out then this could be the sort of reference book that you need.

The explanations of the key power structures and techniques for progressing new procedures is essential reading for any aspiring HR professional. As are the following key points from the book by Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell:

  • Why you need an HR department in your organization
  • How you can communicate what you do to other departments without bombarding them
  • The right way to go about making contact with the rest of the organization so that you can ensure quick and easy cooperation

Putting HR into practice can be the real battle for new HR professionals. By taking a look at practical methods that allow you to move your projects forward this book gives you real-world advice that you can easily put into practice step by step.

It’s the ‘in practice’ part that really appealed to me. I’ve never been a fan of books that talk about theories that aren’t practical in the real world. This is something a little different and I would recommend it to my colleagues” said Lucy Watkin, an HR & Staffing Officer at GetGoodGrade.

Employee relations is a major part of the world of HR which means this is one book that you should make the time to read if you can.

By learning how to communicate in an engaging way that breaks down barriers and removes friction you’ll be able to reach out and show every employee that HR is the department that’s always on their side.

Reference books are very useful in the world of HR because they don’t have to be read from cover to cover. This book is a suitable choice for keeping in your desk drawer and dipping into for 5-10 minutes at a time on your lunch breaks. By getting you up to speed on everything from hiring to organizational issues it will allow you to hit the ground running.

When I started my new role I really wanted a resource I could keep in my desk drawer. This is worth a read for anyone who needs a knowledgeable crash course” said Karen Yates, an HR Officer at OnlineWritersRating.

Small businesses often dismiss HR as something that’s only suited to the corporate world. This couldn’t be further from the truth which is why this volume is essential reading for any small business owner looking to put some practically minded policies and structures in place.

When I started my business I was overwhelmed with questions like how to find trustworthy employees, how to track their performance and reward them fairly considering our small income at the start. A lot of these question were answered by Marc Bishop and Sharon Crooks in this book”, Christopher K. Mercer, founder of Citatior shared.

With data protection and regulations such as GDPR very much the hot topics of today it’s never been more important for HR professionals to understand the digital age. By learning how to manage, store, and handle data you’ll be able to add value to your business in an exciting new time of chance.

The idea of a kit is an interesting one because it allows you to see for yourself how the different lessons you learn will link together to create an overarching system.

This holistic approach to HR will allow you to think differently about each of the different facets of your role in the company so that you can put procedures in place that actually benefit the people you’re trying to help.

The final book on this list is called the ‘answer book’ for good reason. The simple Q&A style allows you to use it as a reference book that gives you pressing information without having to roll the dice on Google.

Because it also covers general management it allows you to understand:

  • How management and HR can work together
  • The importance of creating plans that can be actioned, reviewed, and renewed

“The management side of HR is something that I believe you can always learn more about. This book didn’t disappoint in that regard” said Carly Parsons, an HR and General Purpose Administrator at FlashEssay.

Hopefully, this has given you plenty of food for thought so that you’ll be able to find a book that you can use to take your career to exciting new places.

Bio: Sylvia Giltner is an HR manager and freelance writer. She helps people write the perfect resume and land a desirable job. Featured on Forbes and Glassdoor.

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14 Best Books on Overcoming Insecurity (to read in 2018) Wed, 12 Sep 2018 14:47:37 +0000 Living with insecurities can have a negative impact on almost every aspect of your life. It makes you question Who you are What you stand for Doubt your decisions If people love and like you for who you are, or if they have a hidden agenda Your value and being enough Suffering from insecurities can ... Read more

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Living with insecurities can have a negative impact on almost every aspect of your life. It makes you question

  • Who you are
  • What you stand for
  • Doubt your decisions
  • If people love and like you for who you are, or if they have a hidden agenda
  • Your value and being enough

Suffering from insecurities can stop you take advantage of your talents, skills, and potential; preventing you from showing to the world your true self.

Discover in this article, 14 of the best books on how to overcome insecurity so that you can be more courageous, authentic, and live your life to the fullest.

If you feel insecure in your relationships no matter how your loved ones alter their behavior, will not make you feel better.

The road of trusting others starts by trusting yourself first. The key to feeling secure in a relationship (of any kind) is in your mind, not in the actions of others.

Read this book and learn how you can overcome feeling insecure in love.

Allowing yourself to feel insecure is like allowing yourself to be imprisoned by others thoughts and feelings. Break free!

Feeling insecure is self-sabotage. It prevents you from doing what you know can help you reach the best version of yourself. It stops you from taking advantage of your positive points, emphasizing instead your not so positive points.

Can, feeling insecure server a purpose? Sometimes it does, but most times it puts you down.

Momentary insecurity can make you strive to do better. However, prolonged insecurity can make you a slave.

Any creature on this planet has a powerful ability. The ability to adjust. Yet, feeling insecure is diminishing your ability to adapt and face whatever life puts in front of you (creating the perfect ground for manipulators to take advantage of you).

Know yourself better so that you can walk with confidence.

Do you ever wonder why so many people allow themselves to worry? Feel insecure? Be crushed under the weight of worries and insecurity?

It turns out that worrying and feeling insecure gives you a false feeling of control. Awareness is a beautiful thing. Yet, used to make horrible scenarios about the future can drag you down making you unable to move forward.

What do you think you see is not always what’s in front of you. Sometimes we see only what we choose to see, what’s convenient.

Feeling insecure taps into your selective thinking and seeing.

When you feel insecure ask yourself this simple question:

Are you better prepared to face what you believe is true (something negative)? Or adjust to the truth (something positive)?

You might be surprised how stubbornly people try to confirm what they believe. “I’m not good enough, and I can prove it!” “I’m sure my friends will fail me; just wait and see.”

Insecurity can make you feel like a pigeon walking in circles; not flying, not raising its beak from the ground, not ever seeing the sky.

Do you know what you want from life? But your insecurities are stopping you from getting it?

Most people who don’t live a blissful life, don’t know what they want. However, those suffering from insecurities know exactly what they want but are too scared to pursue that something. Because of that, life can seem a never-ending frustration.

Behind every person, there is a story. What is your story?

Your behavior and actions are shaped by the stories you’re telling yourself. Get to live a confident and content life by changing your narrative.

When you feel insecure, are you aware that makes you say “yes” way too often? Have you been hypnotized to believe you are not loved if you’re not perfect?

Change that belief; hypnotize yourself always to see yourself as you are (unique and precious). Those who really love you, don’t love you less if you say no. Those who really love you, love you, even more, when you give them the opportunity to show the best side of themselves.

If you’re reading this article, presumably you feel insecure, and you’re searching for a way to change your mind.

Read this book and do just that in a fun and enjoyable way. You see? Those things we take too seriously, lower our intelligence (momentarily).

Is it fun to feel insecure? Probably never. But also, probably never have you thought of breaking free from the spell of feeling insecure laughing at it.

Imagine how easy your life can be if you change what you’re telling yourself when you feel insecure. “I always plan to do a good job; if you’re not satisfied, it means you have a different plan.”

The person with whom you exchange words most often is yourself. Insecurities are coming from that dialogue, not from who you are or what you can or cannot do.

Feeling insecure is a trick that your mind plays on you. However, have you ever thought about the fact that you’re not the only one absorbed (most of the time) in thoughts about self?

Insecurity makes you believe you’re a wizard “I know what you think about me; you don’t like what you see…” Funny thing though, the person in front of you is thinking about oneself; questioning their own behavior, appearance, and how they seem to you.

You like to read (consciously) others mind and body language, concluding what they think? Not what they think in general, but what they think about you… Oops, they don’t think about you, they think about themselves!

Have you ever felt like, “I’m in over my head and they’re going to find out”? If so, you’re not alone.

Millions of successful people around the world secretly believe that they are not as bright or capable as others think they are and live in fear of being found out.

These feelings have a name — it’s called the impostor syndrome. Fortunately, there is a cure.

This book is a must-read for anyone who suffers from insecurities.

Feeling insecure most likely has its roots in your childhood. Being a parent is the toughest job in the world. One must balance the attention they give to themselves and the attention and love they gave to their children.

Perhaps your parents are good people, but they didn’t know how to manage that balance, and you’ve been left with that petrifying feeling that no one will be in your life for too long.

Plus, your memory of the past might be corrupted by your sensibilities as a child.

Your life, inadvertently or deliberately, is influenced a great deal by what you see around you. How could you not feel insecure (at least sometimes) when the society seems to value only those people who seem polished and flawless? …as if you (or anyone else) ever could be perfect…

Learn how to think positive so that you can choose easily where your attention goes.

What is more relevant to you: How you look or how you feel?

What is more important to you: Leading a blissful and simple life or being admired by others?

We cannot underestimate the power and value of feeling connected, being surrounded by people who love, respect, and appreciate you. However, overvaluing the love of someone who doesn’t love you back, can lead to self-destruction.

A successful marriage doesn’t sit on needing each other, but on completing each other, collaboration, and mutual respect.

The post 14 Best Books on Overcoming Insecurity (to read in 2018) appeared first on UpJourney.

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12 Best Self Love Books (to Read in 2018) Wed, 05 Sep 2018 16:09:25 +0000 We say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. If we take a flower (as an example), it looks completely different in different eyes. Looking at the same flower, humans, insects, dogs, and cats see a different flower; different colors, different vibes, different pleasure. If we go a bit further, each human perceives ... Read more

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We say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. If we take a flower (as an example), it looks completely different in different eyes. Looking at the same flower, humans, insects, dogs, and cats see a different flower; different colors, different vibes, different pleasure. If we go a bit further, each human perceives that flower differently.

Best Books on Self Love

The same goes for whatever else you look at, including yourself. If you’re looking at yourself through the lenses of others only, you’ll never get to see your true self. Then, how can you love what you don’t know?

Give yourself an ‘undivided perspective’ of who and how you are. That means to:

  • Know yourself better
  • Accept and walk beyond your limitations that you cannot change
  • Make YOUR opinion about yourself the most relevant one
  • Applaud your successes
  • Forgive your failures
  • Offer yourself compassion and understanding

We live in a society of extremes. Not that we all became overnight somehow extremist, but what is paraded in front of you are only the extremes.

Take as an example, J.K. Rowling. She’s the epiphany of that extreme. She’s given as an example of how persistence and perseverance can make you (extremely) successful. Yet, no one ever tells you about the other tens of thousands of writers that do their best, persist and persevere, but never succeed… as if their effort doesn’t count…

You only get to see, and hear about, the extremes: good-hearted people (heroes) opposite to the wicked ones. No one seems to be interested in the ordinary. However, most of us are ‘the ordinary’.

Value yourself by your own standards; compare yourself to your former self, not to others; embrace who you are today so you can be better tomorrow (if you want to be).

Most people who try desperately to be perfect, do so because fear they will not be loved if they are not perfect. Do you feel the same? Do you think you must be perfect to love yourself? Or, do you love yourself only when you’re perfect?

Isn’t that a paradox?! To abandon yourself when you need the most your unconditional love and acceptance?

Discover in this article, 12 of the best books on loving yourself and learn how, why, and what determines self-love.

We cannot easily escape comparing ourselves to others. It’s human nature. We make statistics and comparisons to define the value of everything.

However, the cruelest comparison you can do, it’s comparing yourself to what you think you should have become. Life is full of unexpected events, turns of circumstances, and many challenges.

Learn how to forgive yourself for not becoming (precisely) who you wanted to be. Feel that you’re enough as you are right now; that’s your ground level from which you can build a new dream for the future, a new aspiration, the best version of yourself.

Read this book, and discover how to move on from what you believed you must be, and embrace who you are.

Can you count how many times you said: “I hate myself because […]”? What about saying “I love myself because […]”?

We need to have a reason for whatever we do in life. Read this book, and discover what’s the reason why you should/ you can love yourself unconditionally.

What of the two next sentences do you think can have the most positive result?

“I’m worthless” or
“I haven’t done so well today, but I’m learning”?

Punishing and criticizing yourself is not make you more self-disciplined, but the opposite. It’s killing your self-esteem, motivation, and zest for life.

Loving yourself is an act of kindness and acceptance, not selfishness.

If you don’t love yourself, you’ve been hypnotized by you or others. Break the spell by reading this book and know that self-love doesn’t depend and how successful you are or how much you give to others.

Discover a new way of self-hypnosis, a way that allows you to embrace who you are (with the good, and the bad, and the in between).

Self-love is one of the few emotions you should, and you can sustain for a lifetime.

Life is sometimes tough, other times challenging. Sometimes you manage to rise to the bar, other times you don’t. But there is no situation when you should abandon yourself. Lack of self-love can you feel like your best friends left you in the ditch when you needed their support the most.

Stand up and show up for yourself, and life gets easier and more enjoyable.

Your belief system is not based on facts as your fears are not based on facts. You can change fear into courage; you can turn a limiting belief into an empowering one.

Read this book and discover how you can be the hero of your life, love yourself more, and become a self-assured person.

Most women use the verbs must and should more often than any other. No matter the situation, if they allow themselves to use the verbs (I)want and (I)desire, petrifying anxiety kicks in. Then, they lose themselves in caring for others, forgetting being alive.

Read this book, and come back to life. After all, it is yours!

This book is a treasure for anyone who wants to overcome:

  • Negative self-talk,
  • Being too self-conscious,
  • Suffering from the imposter syndrome
  • Self-criticism, self-sabotage, and approval seeker
  • Allowing yourself to be left behind

Do you feel pressured to improve yourself? This book gives you the tools to improve your life because you, you are good enough.

“I was not born for happiness, or I only knew the pain that precedes it and the sadness that follows it?“ (Emil Cioran, philosopher)

That is a quote that could summarise how your soul must be feeling if you allow one past bad experience to shave the way you love.

Discover in this book, how to get free from the loveless prison you made for yourself.

“You are beautiful no matter what they say.”

Funny story, in my early 30s I put on almost 40 pounds in less than six months. No one said anything, no one gave me dirty looks… except one person. That person was a seriously overweight friend. You know the saying “you must be one to know one”?

That story is funny and sad. Funny, because of “a tiny piece of a broken pot, laughs at the broken pot”. Sad, because that friend (most probably) wouldn’t have seen my “uprising” without struggling with the same battle.

Does it make you uncomfortable to say, feel and think “I love myself”? As if that’s an affront to your modesty?

Learn from this book, how to get comfortable loving, appreciating, and accepting yourself.

There is no such thing as a perfect human…that’s fine! If for no other reason, if we were all perfect, the world would be a said, boring, and loveless place.

Do you feel you have lost something you have never had? If you grew up with a loveless mother, most probably, you don’t talk about it. Not because it’s your fault, but because most people judge you for telling the truth, your truth.

Those around you can’t even comprehend how is possible that your mother can be different than theirs.

Among all the relationships people have in life, the relationship between mother and daughter, by definition must be loving, attentive, and caring. That’s supposed to be the first example (for the daughter) of how unconditional love feels.

Can you love yourself if your own mother never loved you? Yes, you can. It can take you a long(er) journey to get there, but when you arrive there, you’ll feel free for the first time in your life.

The post 12 Best Self Love Books (to Read in 2018) appeared first on UpJourney.

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17 Best Books on Finding Your Passion and Purpose in Life Tue, 04 Sep 2018 14:26:50 +0000 Are you there yet? Do you know what your purpose in life is? Have you discovered what you love doing and what are your passions? Purpose and passion, two words that define and influence the most the course of your life. Passion makes you enthusiastic about being alive; purpose shows you the path to take, ... Read more

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Are you there yet? Do you know what your purpose in life is? Have you discovered what you love doing and what are your passions?

Purpose and passion, two words that define and influence the most the course of your life. Passion makes you enthusiastic about being alive; purpose shows you the path to take, fearless and self-assured.

Unfortunately, many of us are searching for our purpose and passion in life endlessly because they are not easily revealing themselves to you. More than that, sometimes they are right in front of your eyes, but you don’t see them.

Discover in this article, 17 of the best books on finding your passion and purpose in life. Read one or more of these books so that you can find (easy and fast) your passion and purpose.

This is one of those few books that anyone must read… at least one time in their life. Read this book when you feel lost; read this book when you feel stuck; read this book when you’re in pain.

The human a pleasure-seeking creature, but you’ll never find your passion and purpose by allowing pleasure to determine the course of your life.

“Man’s Search for Meaning” is not only a book on how to find your life’s purpose but also a book on how to overcome adversity, hardship, and feel free no matter the circumstances of your life.

Do you have the feeling that you never fit in where you are? If that happens to you, perhaps you want to change your mind. Think differently; discover your passion and purpose by reading this book, and find the place that fits you.

Trying to fit in, can kill your zest for life; never finding the environment where your talents and skills are appreciated and welcomed. Plus, life seems a never-ending struggle to satisfy others.

Sir Ken Robinson, shows you in this book how to:

  • Overcome some of your fears,
  • Improve your mental toughness,
  • Find your passion and purpose,
  • Feel better about yourself,
  • Redefine what you want from life.

“What you’re doing now, or have done in the past, need not determine what you can do next and in the future.” – Ken Robinson

What would you do with your life if you’d know when will be the end?

Trivial things surround us; and sometimes, we lose valuable time with those things without realizing that life, no matter how long is, always feels too short.

Make your life count. Find your passion and purpose by reading this book and make your life extraordinary; if for no other reason, just because you can.

Jordan Peterson is a fantastic storyteller, and for that reason, this book can delight you in more than one single way. You’ll find in this book, 12 rules for life that can be an antidote to chaos and the perfect way to find your purpose and passion.

Listen, this book can challenge your beliefs and desires in a somewhat uncomfortable way. Read this book if you’re willing to change your mind and discover a new path for your life. (One that will make you feel fulfilled and concerned about your choice.)