Quotes to Live By

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

It takes ten years to build up a reputation, but only five minutes to ruin one. (Anonymous)

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Baby Bump

It's always an exciting time when couples are trying to have their first baby - that first discovery by a doctor or just someone in the family that knows what the first symptoms are. I would be super excited to find if I was pregnant, of course after I get married to my best friend (which God will provide in the future).

But I have seen various shows that present a couple going to buy a pregnancy test and then testing it to see if they are expecting. I have also seen the heartwarming video that a girl did to surprise her husband about the baby's arrival.

I would probably be the person that surprises my husband and do all these little memorable things. I love surprising people so I think my marriage would be full of surprises.

This book helps those who find themselves expecting a baby for the first time. It provides checklists for the whole 9 months of pregnancy, what to expect and what to prepare for.  It's surprisingly detailed.

The Bump Book of Baby Lists covers the practical and fun details of every month of pregnancy, including the questions to ask your doctor, what you need for the nursery, how to set up a birth plan, and more. With lines for jotting notes on the go, this portable paperback travels everywhere with the parents-to-be, making the what-to-do, how, and when of pregnancy planning much less stressful.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mentored by Coach Dru

Beyond Championships focuses on the nine principles Dru promotes to his players and lives as well. While these principles act as the foundation on which Coach Dru has built so many successful basketball teams, their universality ensures that they can be applied to any situation.

The influential coach who helped LeBron James become all that he is shares inspirational principles for winning at life…it’s bigger than the game…and winning isn’t everything.

In less than ten years, Dru Joyce went from someone resigned to a dull yet stable existence to one of the highest profile basketball coaches in the country. Despite having virtually no background in the sport, Coach Dru became mentor and coach to one of basketball’s biggest names, superstar LeBron James, and learned that the right combination of faith and hard work can change the course of your life forever.

As I read this book, I realized that much of Coach Dru's principles are solutions to modern problems today. Even though I didn't get most of the sport analogies and metaphors, I still think the principles are all there. 

Much more than a sports book, Beyond Championships is a blueprint for anyone looking to make better choices and reach their full potential. I have even decided to do an experiment. Since I have already read this book, I will look for a special drop off place. I want this book to change some one's life, instead of being at my house sitting on a book shelf collecting dust.

There are die-heart fans out there who needs Coach Dru in their lives and this book might help them in their own lives. I haven't yet thought of a place yet, but I hope to drop it off on the metro or at the doctor's office with a little note tucked inside. Hopefully, someone's life will be better because of this book. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

I was pretty excited to receive this book in the mail, but I didn't get too much insight about this book. Maybe my expectations were too high? I really wanted a book that told you how not to reinvent the wheel, but still give you motivational insight to doing things better and faster.

I didn't get very far in this book, but I read at least 3/4 of it. I couldn't even bring myself to finish the book. The summary in the back makes the book thrilling, but it didn't seem to spark my interest when I read it.

This book is about making you BETTER by teaching you how to overcome the neurological traps that block smart teams and successful people, like you, from realizing full potential. Then, it will make you FASTER by teaching you  6 patterns of opportunity. Shortcuts we've learned from advising 300 of the world's most innovative companies and from our study of 250,000 ideas and 100,000,000 people.

Each pattern you’ll learn is a repeatable shortcut that has created fortunes for ex-criminals, reclusive billionaires, disruptive CEOs and ordinary people who unexpectedly made it big.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Using Your Brain

If you have not watched Ben Carson's movie, Gifted Hands, I highly recommend it. It's a movie that is about how he grew up and became a neurosurgeon. It is as inspiring as this book.

Even though I knew much of where Ben Carson came from, the words from this book inspired me to have a different perspective on my students. I know their personalities and also their strengths and weaknesses. If I know what motivates them to be better, then their life will become as affluent as Ben Carson's life has been.

Throughout his life, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson has needed to overcome many obstacles: His father leaving the family; being considered stupid by his classmates in grade school; growing up in inner-city Detroit; and having a violent temper. But Dr. Carson didn't let his circumstances control him, and instead discovered eight principles that helped shape his future.

In You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Think Big, Dr. Carson unpacks the eight important parts of Thinking Big—Talent, Honesty, Integrity, Niceness, Knowledge, Books, In-Depth learning, and God—and presents the stories of people who demonstrated those things in his life. By applying the idea of T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. to your life, and by looking at those around you as well, you too can overcome obstacles and work toward achieving your dreams.

About the Author

Dr. Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 1984, he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he retired from in 2013. In 2008, he was named the inaugural recipient of a professorship in his name, the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N., Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Also in 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land. He was the keynote speaker for the President’s National Prayer Breakfasts in 1997 and 2013. Through his philanthropic foundation, the Carson Scholars Fund, he strives to maximize the intellectual potential of every child. An internationally renowned physician, Dr. Carson has authored over a hundred neurosurgical publications and has been awarded more than sixty honorary doctorate degrees and dozens of national merit citations. Dr. Carson has written six best-selling books, and his fifth book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, released in early 2012, made the New York Times Bestseller List. His sixth book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, was released in 2014, and became a number one New York Times bestseller. He is a syndicated columnist and a highly sought-after, world-renowned inspirational and motivational speaker.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Just a Minute

Did you know that just 1 minute can make a difference in a child's life? Whether it's a smile or being positively affirming can make a difference of a lifetime. As an educator, I have seen a lot of that, whether it's in the upper grades or the lower grades. 

A kind word or just being encouraging during the day will help that student a lot and make him more motivated to do things. 

A hug, a compliment, a word of praise . . . such things may seem inconsequential, but to a child they can make a difference! Whether you want to reach out to kids across the globe or in your own backyard, Stafford shows how building self-worth, discovering latent talent, breaking emotional barriers, and more can transform little ones' lives.

How long does it take to make a difference in the life of a child?

For good or for ill, individual moments in a young person's life can make all the difference in their future. It may be something said or done by an adult who hardly thinks about it: a hug, a compliment, an intriguing question, a sincere applause. But in that moment, the child discovers who they are, what is important to them, why they matter, and sometimes even what their destiny will be. Most of us want to help encourage and build into this next generation, most of us see the need all around, but we just have no idea where to begin.

Now, with this book, you know where to begin and you know that it only takes Just a Minute. Follow along as Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International, shares stories and experiences to introduce you to the difference you can actually make anywhere on the spectrum of child

Stafford shares the stories of well-recognized and unknown people alike to refute the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” especially for the young minds of children. He gives simple tips and examples of how anyone can positively impact a child in just a moment and how all of us are equipped to do it.

Dr. Wess Stafford is an internationally recognized advocate for children. Since 1977 he has worked with Compassion International and has served as President since 1993. He hosts a national radio program, Speak Up with Compassion®. Wess lives on a small ranch near Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife Donna. They are the parents of two daughters, Jenny and Katie. Wess' own life experiences have uniquely prepared him for his role. He often says, “Everything I really need to know to lead a multinational organization I learned from the poor, growing up in an African Village.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's not who you know, it's who you are

In this society, everyone is talking about networking. I mean that's what social media is nowadays with LinkedIn and Twitter. Apparently, a person is popular with a lot of connections.

In this inspiring book, Pat Williams draws from over fifty years of brushing shoulders with the greats to help you discover what it really means to be a winner. Through his short meditations on success, leadership, family and friends, impact and influence, and becoming a person of excellence, you'll meet

· a young singer who messed up the national anthem and shot to stardom anyway
· a coach who sacrificed his time to give his players the edge
· a marathon runner who knew the secret to pacing yourself
· a political outsider who confidently reached for an impossible goal
· a football player who wouldn't let a broken leg stop him from getting to the Super Bowl
· and many more ordinary people with extraordinary character

I got so much from this book and it's so insightful. Even though my parents have said these things over the years, but it was just different when I read this book.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Performing Under Pressure

Do you perform better under pressure? Do you like procrastinating until the last minute? I had my fair share of "working under pressure" when it came to big essay deadlines. I would totally put off that paper until it was due the next day, then spend all night writing it.

Let me just tell you a little secret: Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision-making, attention, dexterity, and performance in every professional and personal arena.

Performing Under Pressure tackles the greatest obstacle to personal success, whether in a sales presentation, at home, on the golf course, interviewing for a job, or performing onstage at Carnegie Hall. Despite sports mythology, no one "rises to the occasion" under pressure and does better than they do in practice. The reality is pressure makes us do worse, and sometimes leads us to fail utterly. But there are things we can do to diminish its effects on our performance.

Performing Under Pressure draws on research from over 12,000 people, and features the latest research from neuroscience and from the frontline experiences of Fortune 500 employees and managers, Navy SEALS, Olympic and other elite athletes, and others. It offers 22 specific strategies each of us can use to reduce pressure in our personal and professional lives and allow us to better excel in whatever we do.

Whether you’re a corporate manager, a basketball player, or a student preparing for the SAT, Performing Under Pressure will help you to do your best when it matters most.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Words to Dream On

When I looked at the cover, I felt such peace and comfort. Even reading the parent's letter in the first pages had such a calming effect. The colors in the book would lull any small child to sleep just by looking at the pictures.

I love the smell of a new book and I love the colors in the illustrations. The stories are short enough to keep the attention of a small child and there is a cute little verse to remember and a little prayer at the end.

Start a bedtime Bible story tradition with your little ones tonight!

Young children thrive on routine and rituals, and a Bible story at bedtime is one of the best routines to establish! A combination Bible storybook and book of prayers, Words to Dream On is the perfect bedtime storybook for young children, with a “once upon a time” voice that is also true to God’s Word. Over 50 stories—from the Old and New Testaments—create an overview of the entire story arc of the Bible. Stories are selected and retold for young children with a focus on God’s love, care, protection, trustworthiness, and power.

Each story includes an engaging title, a Bedtime Blessing (a short summary thought), Words to Dream On (a brief Bible verse), and a Sleepy-Time Prayer (a good-night prayer tied to the theme of the story). The book also includes a short letter to parents that includes tested ideas for establishing a good bedtime routine with young children and tips for reading aloud to children at bedtime.