“So here is my personal view of how the mountains of sh!t can be used to fertilize your orchard of success” if that line didn’t hook you then don’t even bother. This Review Request was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Ready to get your lives in order? Keep reading amigos!
Title: Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Hell
Author: Dan Balestrero
Goodreads Synopsis: This book is about ideas that have helped myself and others escape our private hells and achieve unlimited Success. We all have our own self-doubts and small hells that we have to escape from in order to succeed. Over the years, I’ve seen different people succeed and fail, and I’ve made notes about the causes and traits that seem to create those two outcomes.
I’ve laughed and cried with many in an effort to discover how to escape personal demons and model the success of others. Other people’s success can be inspiring, and sometimes totally annoying, as we try to figure out, “Why not me?”
So here is my personal view of how the mountains of shit can be used to fertilize your orchard of success.
My Thoughts: First off, this is another book where you should read it with a notepad handy. Secondly, here are some of the cool things talked about in the first handful of chapters:
- “Be the type of person you want to attract”
- Get out of your comfort zone, don’t make the wrong choice because it is familiar
- Use your own choices to control your surroundings, thoughts
- Increased knowledge/information allows you to make changes
- Expose yourself to new things
- Imagine change to create change
- “Freedom and bliss come from awareness, not ignorance”
- Don’t forget about living today because of worries over tomorrow
- Don’t make mountains out of mole hills
- “There are no victims, just participants”
- Make time to be quiet/still/relaxed everyday
That last bullet is probably the greatest one I struggle with, though lets be honest I struggle with most of these especially lately… Story time! I get my eyebrows threaded normally. This should be a pretty relaxing thing, I don’t find it painful so why not just take a nap right? Laying back in the chair I have to constantly remind myself to relax. Great, I’m relaxed. Thirty seconds later I have lifted off of the bloody chair again a few inches and am tense down to my toes. It’s a long fifteen minutes to get my eyebrows done, not to mention my neck is usually sore from all the tension afterwards…
The same thing happens when I go out for a walk. I can’t shut the voice off in my head. Something that should be relaxing and enjoyable is now torture time and no one is enjoying it… I think practicing being still and silent is something that people need to do, and would actually help make the world a better place. Chillax, and suddenly things aren’t so dire (for those who haven’t figured it out Neko is a bit of a drama queen…). There is a whole section of the book about just shutting up and chilling and how freeing it is.
Maybe I have made the book sound strange now, always possible with Neko. But at eighty odd pages I think you could make it through a bit of strangeness. Balestrero builds on living a better life with each chapter, start by chilling, take responsibility, educate yourself, etc. It is actually done beautifully and seems to encourage readers to read each chapter one day at a time, let it soak in so you can make small changes that will build over time. Now it sounds like everything other Self-Improvement title out there. It’s not.
From teaching and directing, Balestrero has learned to watch and analyze people, those who have succeeded and those who have failed. He has taken the time to shut up, and watch, and through watching learned the traits of both kinds of people. The title covers a lot more than just what I have talked about but, Neko has to start back at the beginning for awhile, way too many “oh yeahs” to skip to the end with this one ^_^
Another piece of advice that is in the book, that I hear often enough, though no one seems to really do it, is that you have to take care of yourself before you can care for others. Whenever I read success stories, this seems to be a big component of them. “By taking the twenty minutes in the morning for myself, I am able to be a better mom” or what have you. This is important, you can’t help others when you are running on empty but so often in life that is exactly what people do. I moved in with my folks to help take care of them with all the medical issues they have, remember on Monday when I said I have been depressed? I let too much stuff get to me and stopped taking care of myself, now that I have a plan for me Bam! the apocalypse is no longer looming on the horizon. Good advice, old advice, but still not said enough and heeded even less.
Balestrero even talks about how to be good as a company; to take care of employees, the environment, the whole shebang. Seriously there is something in this book for everyone not just those who need a personality overhaul. There is even a chapter on nervousness and how to deal with it!
My favorite thing about this book though, besides all of the good advice ^_^ is Balestrero’s voice. So many times you try to read something in this genre and there is no personality to the writing, it was probably thought up by a machine. This book doesn’t come off that way. Remember that bit up before the break? Balestrero is sitting here having this conversation with you, holding your metaphorical hand at times, and even telling you it is okay to fail or even cut your losses, some things just aren’t meant to be. How often do you get told that in today’s society? Me, I am a perfectionist and it is dang hard to live a life with any sort of fulfillment when you are constantly berating yourself for not being perfect. Neutrality is a big topic in this book, understand that something didn’t go right, acknowledge that this time was better than the last time, etc. Man, this brings back a whole flood of memories of being a musician… Neko really needs to chillax more…
Honestly, what have you got to lose? Give the book a shot and see if your life doesn’t improve in the least. A lot of the stuff talked about is reasonably old hat, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a reminder now and again on how to live better.
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