I realised as I am posting this that I kept my posting pace up to July and then it all went down the drain. I am not promising anything for the rest of the year but I will try.
I guess that’s what happens when work takes over everything, which is probably not a good sign of work-life balance of sort.
And dancing with demons has been taking a lot of my energy over the last few months, demons have been leading the dance lately, the little bastards.
So for the second part of last year, work happened. For the first time in years I have work-related stress to deal with and I am not liking it one bit, let me tell you. I forgot a little bit how that was but my body and my brain are here to remind me.
So there has been stress, busy courses, some really good times and some really stressful ones. Overall, a good work year as numbers were good, I made it to the fancy Platinum Course Director club and I have the best team in the world to work with.
Also, holidays happened. I went back to France for the first time in 18 months and of course I didn’t like the cold one bit. However, I loved the wine and cheese, time spent with friends and family, going to the movies and all these other things that I like doing when I go back. I have to say, I still do not miss Paris at all. It’s nice to be back for a couple of week, but after that I start to get itchy to get back to the water, the beach life and the sun.
While I was busy not writing here, I was also busy reading quite a lot when I get the chance. Somehow about 18 months ago I read a “self-help” book and then proceeded to read quite a few of those (and I am not going to go either into the “why” I ended up reading self-help books because that would make for a very long post, so we’ll save this for another time).
Some of them were a waste of my time, I won’t lie. However there are a handful that were totally worth my time. So far I found out that a lot of these books are a lot of empty talk and not very useful, but I actually also got my hands onto that a few were really valuable. Either because I found them useful, important, they shed a light on something, or either because I learnt valuable stuff through them.
So let’s have a look at a few of these (which I read all in English so I have no idea if they are available in French or not, sorry).
Tim Ferriss- Tool of Titans
This man had such a big impact on me over the last 2 years and I didn’t realise how popular he was until I started digging about him. I started by reading randomly “The 4 hour Workweek” that someone left behind at the dive shop a couple of years ago and thought some of it was interesting, even though I did not really use it in any way up to this point I think.
A year later, I eventually read “The 4 hour body” which was in a way a wakeup call: I ended up losing a bunch of weight over the last year thanks to this book which helped me go on a diet, change some food habits, while finding out in the process that I am gluten intolerant and not perpetually afflicted with a “weak stomach” (that part wasn’t so good for my taste buds nor my non-hippiness but much better for my stomach). So well, it had quite some impact.
BUT neither were as good as “Tool of Titans”, which is condensed interviews from the podcast that Ferriss has been running for a while that is uber popular. I enjoyed the podcast itself but it requires time, most of the interviews are quite long. So he brings the essence of some of the interviews in a book. Some of these I found merely interesting but some of them really were. Most people featured in it also gives book advice, insight on their morning routines and a bunch of other topics. Depending on their field of expertise they discuss wealth, health, decision-making process, creativity, etc. So there is some topics or advice or ideas that will speak to different people depending on your interests.
As a direct consequence of this book I started a more or less regular meditation practice and bought a bunch of other books to read.
Mark Manson – The subtle art of not giving a f*ck
The title is quite blunt, the rest of the book is too. The writing is direct and honest and it spoke to me partly because of that.
This guy takes a different approach to a lot of issues discussed in this type of book. Not everything is rainbows and unicorns. Pretending it is isn’t helping. Taking responsibility for everything is your life is crucial. Etc. It might sound harsh while you are reading it, but I found it was really really worth my time. I probably will get back to it as well as my first read was quite “wow OK that makes sense” but now I have to dig back into it and see how I actually work with it. And the website mentioned above also have a lot of resources.
That’s it. I am on my way to Alor, the end of Indonesia, to dive my ass off for a week with no phone or wifi and I am super super excited about being cut off from the world for a while. Until next time!