Reviewed – End Overwhelm Now: A Proven Process for Taking Control of Your Life

I came across this book as I was researching my own book about entrepreneurial overwhelm and burnout. This is a truly excellent book with lots of great strategies and ideas for ending overwhelm. The author’s premise is that overwhelm is created by our response to stress – and that we can make a different decision than going to the place of “I can’t do this.”

One of the gems was her 4-step process for organizing thoughts in a way that is empowering and encouraging problem solving. These questions are:

  1. What is the specific outcome you want to accomplish?
  2. Why do I want to complete this project?
  3. How will I achieve this outcome?
  4. When should this project be completed?

Answering these questions requires being specific about accomplishments, being willing to find help, reducing projects to small steps, and putting aside non-urgent projects. The author also writes a lot about changing your self-talk from “I’m so overwhelmed that I could die” to “I am empowered and have done difficult tasks in the past.” This is a wonderful empowering read that I’m sure will be of use to anyone experiencing overwhelm.

Reviewed – On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety

At a family reunion last summer, I was shocked to learn that we had anxiety problems on every branch of our family tree. Second cousins who’d never met had lengthy school absences because they were too anxious to attend classes. Nieces and nephews made limiting life choices based on fears of getting a job or perusing higher education. Recognizing the impact of anxiety on my extended family was sad and sobering.

I think that’s why I appreciated On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen. She had her first panic attack as a college student in 1989 and has battled anxiety throughout her life. This book is part memoir, part mental health history, and part science of medication and a cure. Petersen’s grandmother was a 39-year-old Wisconsin housewife when she tried to set fire to her three young children while they slept. She lived most of her remaining life in a mental institution.

Much of the treatment for anxiety uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (essentially changing your thoughts about an anxious situation and forcing yourself to do it anyway). I found it especially interesting that there are now interventions for preschoolers to teach them how to cope with anxiety. This approach encourages bravery and taking small steps toward goals, versus letting the children quit an activity because they are afraid.

This book will be of interest to anyone with anxiety or who has loved ones who suffer.

Reviewed – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

This book was published in 2007 and is still a best-seller. I’ve always found the title unbelievable and had no desire to read the book. When my son got it out of the library recently (using my library card, of course), I decided that it was time to take a look.

The essence of The 4-Hour Workweek is that you streamline your business and outsource what you can, so that you are not stuck in the minutia of running a business. Ferris asks you to reflect on the question: “If you had a heart attack and had to work only two hours a day, what would you do?” He also believes that trying to fill the time between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM with meaningless tasks is a holdover from traditional employment and that the New Rich (as he calls them) should be much more efficient with their time.

I think the title is misleading. Clearly the author spends a lot more than four hours a week working – given that he’s an author, blogger and active learner. The book does give a lot of strategies for focusing on the important parts of your business and relying on an empowered team to make decisions. Ferris is clearly an interesting character and I think most business owners could learn a lot from this book.

Reviewed – Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones, and Learn to Live Again

When people learn that I live on Long Island, they often ask if I know Theresa Caputo (aka the “Long Island Medium”). Although I don’t personally know her, I have friends who do and sometimes I’ll see Facebook posts showing her attending local events. Theresa has a popular TLC show called Long Island Medium and has become famous talking to the dead.

This book shares her view of Spirit and how they want people to grieve. She uses many examples from her readings of loved ones who have passed due to accidents, suicide, illness and unexplained causes. The resounding message is that their souls remain with us and they want their loved ones to forgive, give up self-blame, and be happy.

Another interesting part of the book is Theresa’s story and how she learned to accept her psychic ability. This was not something that was supported by her Catholic faith. She’s also been widely criticized for being a witch and a fake. She need to embrace who she was and her journey was not easy.

I think this book would be incredibly comforting to anyone who has lost a loved one, as well as individuals who are struggling to live their authentic truth.