Emotional Health

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr.

Director's Thoughts

In times of crisis, our emotional health can suffer dramatically. We can start to doubt ourselves and our worth. Don't hold the emotions in. Find a crisis buddy, see a therapist, read a self-help book... whatever it takes to keep you emotionally strong.

Pattie S. Christensen, Director


Coping With Loss
Sarah says that this page is helpful. Especially the links at the bottom of the page

Learn about how to deal with common problems like stress, anger, depression, friendships, and more.

When our psychological and emotional well-being is compromised, other parts of our lives suffer as well. Whether you're battling anxiety or some other disorder you'll find information here about common emotional health conditions and how to treat them.

Nourish your mind. Feed your body. Express your soul. Create balance. Take steps to manage depression, cope with stress, and limit anxiety. Emotional health holds no bounds. Your emotional state affects you on a daily basis and impacts the choices you make. Whatever you may be dealing with, your emotions influence who you are now and who you are becoming.

Book Reviews

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, reviewed by Pattie, The basic concept of this book is that you attract that which you desire (whether good or bad). While a little commercial in nature, the principles appear sound and I personally put it to the test. I find that focusing on goals, visualizing your future and taking positive steps are great habits.

The EMyth Manager, by Gerber, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

Power vs. Force, by David R. Hawkins, reviewed by Pattie, This book is not a light read. Skip the introduction. But I highly recommend it because it shows what effect different emptions and attitudes have on your energy. Reminds me of being around people who 'suck the life out of me' because they are at a lower energy level.

The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, by Long et al, reviewed by Pattie, This book shows all different types of medications - what they look like; what they treat, etc.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Lencioni, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

Double Your Energy (on CD), by Bob and Dierdre Griswold, reviewed by Pattie, This CD contains positive affirmations set to music. Bob and Dierdre say quick motivational statements, such as, 'I am calm,' which you then repeat out loud. They recommend that you do the exercises twice a day for thirty days to reprogram your brain. I find myself feeling more energized after doing a session.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high, by Kerry Patterson and others, reviewed by L. Ellis, We all have crucial conversations…daily! These are the conversations between spouses, coworkers, parents and children, friends, and family members that bond us and form our relationships. “They’re the day-to-day conversations that affect your life” (page 1). So, naturally, these are the conversations that we need to work our hardest at. We all long for the relationships in which our differing opinions can be a source of strength ? not its downfall. We all want to be able to articulate our thoughts, feelings, and desires openly ? no matter how unpopular. With the information in this book, complete with chapter summaries and a handy index for quick reference/refreshing, we can learn the skills to do just that. The goal is to be able to EFFECTIVELY hold difficult conversations about any topic with any person. With a little, or a lot, of help and some patience with the process we can all learn how. We can do this! As I read this book and consciously implemented its principles, I found my mind able to think more clearly through discussions while avoiding pitfalls that I regularly fall into. I found Crucial Conversations to be a very meaty book that should be read time and time again. Definitely one for your personal library that should be referred to often!

Feeling Good, by Burns, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

Meditations for Morning and Evening (on CD), by Bernie Siegel, reviewed by Pattie, This CD guides you through mental imagery to help you find peace and to help achieve goals. I recommend listening through the exercise once before doing it. I did find it helped me to focus.

Stumbling In To Happiness, by Gilbert, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

The Voice of Knowledge, by Don Miguel Ruiz, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle, reviewed by Pattie, This book is not a light read. But it is good in that it teaches you to live in the moment. I also listened to it on CD but the author is severely monotone.

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got,, by Abraham, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

Instant Calm, by Paul Wilson, reviewed by Pattie, This book provides a number of quick exercises to release stress and feel calm. I recommend reading the book all of the way through and then highlighting a few techniques that work best for you. I like that the book contains exercises aimed at different parts of the body because people hold stress in different areas.

Inspiration, by Dr Wayne Dyer, reviewed by Pattie, This book teaches how to make the most out of your life and the lives of others by working with the higher power through inspiration.

The Intimacy Paradox, by Williamson, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

It is Called a Breakup Because It is Broken, by Greg Behrendt, reviewed by Pattie, Greg provides funny examples of what not to do during a breakup. His style is a bit unorthodox and the language is not rated G, but he does provide helpful insight for moving past a breakup. He also has a television show.

The Four Agreements Companion Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz, reviewed by Pattie, This book discusses how to be the best person that you can be by abiding by four simple rules: Be Impeccable With Your Word; Don’t Take Anything Personally; Don’t Make Assumptions; and Always Do Your Best. This book is a quick and easy read and contains valuable insight.

Oneness With All Life, by Eckhart Tolle, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

The Five Love Languages, by Chapman, reviewed by Pattie, This book teaches that people show and expect love in different ways. Once you know how someone else expresses love, they are easier to appreciate.

The Power of Intention, by Dr. Wayne Dyer, reviewed by Pattie, This is another book that I strongly recommend for every woman. It discussed how to be a better planner and doer and how to attract the right energy. This is another book that I recommend going back to over time.

Grace Works, by Millet, reviewed by TBD, This is a book that comes highly recommended but has not yet been reviewed by a member of our staff

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra, reviewed by Pattie, This is a very short easy read. Deepak lists seven 'laws' the knowledge of which makes life easier. He also lists some simple exercises for incorporating those laws into your life.

The Peacegiver, by James L. Ferrell, reviewed by Pattie, This book provides insight into a mindset that allows a person to let go of wrongs that people have committed. This book is based on Christian beliefs and so may not be for everyone. I found the book to contain a way of looking at life that helps lighten burdens.

The Courage to be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance, by Suze Orman, reviewed by Pattie, Do you have the courage to be rich? I would have not thought that it took courage to be rich, but after reading this book (and taking lots of notes!), I believe it! Choices, my friends, choices– from the smallest (like upgrading your hand soap) to bigger (a 15-year vs. 30-year home loan and saving well into SIX FIGURES over the life of the loan), it all adds up. In The Courage to be Rich, Suze includes facts and stories that we can easily relate to, including some of her own. The book is conveniently broken up so it could be used as a reference guide if we are questioning something specific, such as funerals or home buying. Does it work?? Well, after I read this book, I talked to my husband and we have refinanced our home to a 15-year loan (ok, ok, I didn't even get through it before we started the process... I couldn't sleep knowing how much money we were losing!). I am also currently researching where the most ideal place is to put a small sum of money to “work” for us, AND I feel much more satisfied with my dollar store hand soap in the bathroom vs. the $3 smell good foaming one most of us know and love. I'm learning and finding my courage!

The Gifts of Imperfection (audiobook, 4 hours: 44 minutes) , by Brené Brown, reviewed by Pattie, In The Gifts of Imperfection, author and researcher Brené Brown begins to explore how to live a wholehearted life by letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are. She sets forth 10 "guide posts" with explanations, definitions, and stories (mostly from her own life) in her efforts to accomplish this. Brown talks about the gifts of imperfection as being COURAGE, COMPASSION, and CONNECTION. She teaches that these are our truest gifts that we find when we learn to embrace our imperfections. In my opinion, The Gifts of Imperfection is an excellent place to begin the journey of looking inward. It is not a " how to" with check off lists and such. Nor is it a really deep book that goes into specific research and hard numbers. What it is (to me!) is an excellent resource for correct definitions of self-help industry terms such as hope, resilience, faith. It is also a spring board for your mind to begin to explore what it is that you are personally searching for. From there, you can follow your own instincts and delve into the specific topics of most personal interest. A short read (or listen!) that will make you think.

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”, by Brené Brown, reviewed by LauraE, Based on seven years of research and interviews, researcher, professor, and social worker Brené Brown has written this book in an effort to help us understand shame, its triggers, why we feel shame, what we feel shame about, what we need to do to overcome its effects, and the fact that we are not alone in our shame. Brown quotes often from her interviewees as well as uses examples from her own life. Full of excellent definitions, identifiable examples, and an effort to promote shame-resilience through courage, compassion, and connection, this is an enlightening book that, if willing to practice, will make a marked impact on your life and those of whom you have influence. As Dr. Brown said, “Change doesn't require heroics. Change begins when we practice ordinary courage.” I listened to this book in audio format. For me, it is better suited for reading—10+ hours of audio contains a lot of information and by the time I got to the end I wondered what was said in the beginning. If I had the physical book in hand I could refer to notes and highlighted material. (Maybe it is just me who has a hard time retaining over a period of time…but it isn’t!) Also, some topics and language is, in my opinion, unsuitable for children. Therefore you need 10+ hours of alone time for this audio.

Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Foregiveness, by Chris Williams, reviewed by LauraE, On a cold Friday night in February 2007, the majority of the Williams’ family had just finished dinner at one of their favorite local Mexican restaurants. They picked up one of their sons from a friends house and headed for ice cream. Not recalling any feelings urging him to just go home or change their route or even pause for a few seconds, Chris continued driving. Moments later, tragedy struck in a big way―their car had been hit by another with so much force that it not only stopped traveling downhill, but was pushed back uphill and towards the opposite side of the roadway. With complete stillness and silence from the passengers of his own vehicle, Chris looked to the car that had just hit his family and heard a straightforward voice filled with power that simply said, “Let it go!” This is a beautiful and completely personal account of perhaps the most tragic thing that any person could pass through. Written in first person, it is as if we get a glimpse into the heart and soul of Chris Williams. A tale of loss, healing, forgiveness, and a power much greater than our own—you will cry. You will hurt inside. You will look to your own life and relationships and cherish the people you love ever so much more. You will be inspired. You will be happy you read this book.

Inner Peace for Busy Women, by Joan Z. Borysenko, reviewed by LauraE, “Women weave the invisible web that holds the world together. If the web weakens, then the chance to turn the world around in these chaotic times will be lost. But if we face the challenges of this transitional time with honesty, open-heartedness, and practical wisdom, we can help birth a new world.” The truth is that women need women. In Inner Peace for Busy Women, Joan Borysenko really lays out life and the difficulties we all face―working outside of the home or not, raising children, and challenges in our marital relationships. She does not hide her own struggles with her mother (perhaps more appropriately, her mother’s generation), her two sons, or her marriage that ultimately ended in divorce. Her ability to find humor, peace, and the lesson within is what is striking in her work. I have to admit that when I started listening to this book, I was afraid that it was another battle of words and justifications surrounding working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. I began to mentally “armor up” to protect my own personal decisions and beliefs. As I continued listening, I felt the armor begin to soften and fall away. What this book is, in actuality, is an examination and discussion of the situations we find ourselves in throughout our lives. It serves to unite us as one compassionate group. I am happy that I chose to hear what Joan Borysenko had to offer, which did offer inner peace for this busy woman.

Grow Younger, Live Longer, by Deepak Chopra and David Simon, reviewed by LauraE, Although reversing our chronological age is impossible, we can reverse our biological and psychological age and thus regain vitality we had in the past. In Grow Younger, Live Longer authors Deepak Chopra and David Simon serve us a reverse aging program as a holistic approach to creating a better quality of life. The promise of this book is that if you practice the ten steps you will reverse your biological age (the measurement of how well you physiological systems are functioning; the most important component of the aging process)—even up to 15 years younger! The principles taught in this book will benefit your life as you practice them. Even if you are young and not interested in reversing the clock, you can gain energy and vitality for living.

Men, Women & Worthiness, by Brené Brown, reviewed by LauraE, An excellent place to begin understanding shame, guilt, worthiness, and empathy, Men, Women & Worthiness researcher Dr. Brené Brown opens this once dark world with conviction, knowledge and her own personal experiences she is willing to share. It seems that shame is one of those taboo topics one should never discuss. It’s as if we have been sworn to secrecy and feel like if anyone knows we have experienced shame we are bad, wrong, lesser-than…you get the idea. But is this the way is should be? Is it healthy? NO! The truth is that we all experience shame, whether we know that is its name or not. We can get out from under its crushing weight with knowledge of what it is and shining a light on it to stop its growth. Men, Women & Worthiness opens the discussion on how men and women experience shame and talks about the four elements of shame resilience. Again, if you are new to Dr. Brown’s research this is the place to begin. Listening to this audiobook, I felt as if I was having a candid conversation (albeit one-sided!) with a friend. Dr. Brown’s passion for her work comes through with honesty and conviction in a very crisp recording. I love this audiobook. As soon as it was over, I started right back with disc one again. NOTE: I do have one caveat—Dr. Brown’s language choice is at times, well, colorful. She uses words that in our home are marked as “swear” words. Although I would like her speech to be more clean, I can also see that she is being her authentic self even in the recording of this audiobook.

The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment, by Deepak Chopra, reviewed by LauraE, (audiobook, 2 hours: 30 minutes) Lasting happiness. Sounds too good to be true? Maybe not! In Deepak Chopra’s The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment, author Deepak Chopra does just what the title promises—sets forth seven ideas to achieve joy and perhaps, ultimately, enlightenment. The seven “keys” are: Be Aware of Your Body, Find True Self-Esteem, Detoxify Your Life, Give up Being Right, Focus on the Present, See the World in Yourself, Live for Enlightenment. At the end of discussion on each key, Mr. Chopra gives daily exercises we can do to cultivate the ideas presented. I listened to the audiobook version of The Ultimate Happiness Prescription. While the content is thought-provoking, it didn’t seem so deep that I was wishing I could highlight passages and take notes for later reference. In other words, this is fine to listen to rather than read. If you are familiar with the self-help genre of books, I believe you will NOT find earth-shattering new information but you WILL find yourself making adjustments we all make when we are reminded of how to return to a more centered happy self. Easy to listen to, not overly-complicated but with enough substance to keep my attention and provoke reflection, I recommend this audiobook.

All Is Well, by Louise L Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz, reviewed by LauraE, Combining medical health, holistic health, nutritional health, and emotional health, All Is Well is “one nice, tidy package that can be followed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.” (page xi)

All Is Well is structured to follow our seven emotional centers and their corresponding organs in the body. In this way, the reader is able to easily look up the part of the body in which they are experiencing illness and go from there. The back of the book includes several pages of a quick reference table where you can look up the problem you are experiencing, see the probable cause, and discover the new thought pattern you should incorporate.

The promise from Hay and Schulz is that as you seek appropriate professional medical advice, repeat the coordinating affirmations multiple times throughout your day, and incorporate the suggested behavioral suggestions, these things will “help you change your thoughts and habits to create health.” (page 8)

If you are at all interested in approaching your overall health with the incorporation of something beyond Western medicine, All Is Well is a great place to begin your journey.

Feeling Good, by David D. Burns, M.D., reviewed by LauraE, It has been understood by people for thousands of years that life is as you perceive it and the messages that you give yourself turn into feelings, and therefore your reality. Put very simply: You feel the way you think. This can often lead to depression, feelings of low self-worth.
Recent studies indicate that cognitive therapy (a form of therapy for depression in which the goal is to diminish symptoms by correcting distorted thinking based on negative self-perceptions and expectations) may actually change brain chemistry. The beauty of this research is that powerful medications do not have to be the ONLY answer, but can be used in place of —or in conjunction with— cognitive therapy (I like to think of cognitive therapy as ‘working on my thought behavior’). Now, you may think, “But I am not depressed so this book isn’t for me.” That is where you are wrong! Have you never experienced anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem or even anger? Have you not had a “down day?” We all have. In identifying the triggers and altering the way these experiences are internalized, we can set ourselves up for a more positive outcome and less depression.
Don’t be intimidated by the page count in Feeling Good. It is an accessible format!

Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert, reviewed by LauraE, First of all, let’s be clear on what this book is, and isn’t, about. Stumbling on Happiness is “not an instruction manual that will tell you anything useful about how to be happy. Instead, this is a book that describes what science has to tell us about how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future, and about how and how well it can predict which of those futures it will most enjoy” (page xvi).
If you are looking for a book on how to improve your happiness or content, this is NOT the book for you. If you are wanting to explore the scientific side of happiness, give it a try.
Author Daniel Gilbert uses his humor and wit to entertain the reader. I found his attempts distracting and this book so word-dense that I just ended up putting it down. My opinion is that the information could be pared down to about 20% of the current book size and put in a more user-friendly format, thus less stumbling all around.

Become Who You Were Born To Be: We All Have a Gift…Have You Discovered Yours?, by Brian Souza, reviewed by LauraE, Success is not simply defined in money earned, promotions given, popularity or fame. Even the greatest achievement can leave a person feeling unfulfilled. If a person is not doing what they love—what fulfills their unique purpose—everything just isn’t enough.

Author Brian Souza found himself in this place. He kept searching, pushing forward, making and spending large amounts of money, feeling unsettled and unfulfilled. Then he quit it all and got back to basics in discovering what his unique purpose is.

There are many, many self-help books out there. Despite the title of this particular book, it is not trying to guide you to your unique purpose. Using examples from people who have found theirs and expanded it to great heights (such as Mother Theresa and Abraham Lincoln) Souza encourages you to do the same…when you find yours.

If you are looking for a book that will help you discover your unique purpose, be informed that this is not that book. If you have even an idea of what that purpose may be and need some encouragement to move in that positive direction, give it a try!

The Color Code: A New Way To See Yourself, Your Relationships, and Life, by Taylor Hartman, reviewed by LauraE, By now, I’m near positive that we all have heard of The Color Code. Does a red, white, blue, or yellow personality type ring a bell? Surely many of us have been told by someone (who thinks they have us pegged), “Ahhh…it’s because you are [fill color in here].” Infuriating, right? Tell me about it.

Because of the above scenario, I have resisted reading this book. I don’t like to be told who I am. I finally read it anyway. Turns out, it’s much better coming from a true professional rather than a —insert desired adjective here!— relative.

Read this book. Don’t skip to the “test” just to find out your personality color(s). Start at the beginning and read. You’ll find it helpful and interesting! When I got to the test, honestly answering the questions, and found my core color I was surprisingly emotional when reading about myself—someone “got” me! Some of my battles are just part of who I am. I can stop trying to erase them, because not possible!, and start finding ways around them and simply accepting myself.

Read this book. And for heaven’s sake…let everyone else discover their own personality color without you telling them who they are, or you will run the risk in becoming that relative.

Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Shiela Heen, reviewed by LauraE, “Asking for a raise. Ending a relationship. Giving a critical performance review. Saying no to someone in need. Confronting disrespectful or hurtful behavior. Disagreeing with the majority in a group. Apologizing.” (page xxvii)

Most of us say, “Ouch, ouch, and ouch!” These are extremely hard conversations to have be it with friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even our own children. A difficult conversation is anything you find it hard to talk about.

Clear and instructional, reading and implementing the strategies outlined in this book can help you navigate through even the toughest of conversations. In particular, I appreciate the checklist found on page 233. It could be used for a quick brush-up before entering a difficult conversation.

The 10th-anniversary edition includes the main text of the original publishing intact, and also includes “Ten Questions People Ask About Difficult Conversations.” This section is a great addition to the book.

Be brave!—and give this book a real, honest try.

Change Your Brain Change Your Body: Your Ultimate Brain-Body Makeover, by Daniel G. Amen, reviewed by LauraE, In this audiobook, Dr. Daniel G. Amen talks about (as the title states!) changing your brain to change your body, or your health and weight. There are six CDs included, each runs approximately one hour. Dr. Amen has a second person with him on most of the CDs, although often times they don’t say all that much. It provides some much needed banter to break up the monotony of hearing just one voice.

While Dr. Amen’s speaking style was hard for me to listen through—the cadence of his voice was a struggle for me—, if you can get past that he does have some great information for us, including information on different types of brains that have an effect on the individuals weight and overall health, how to boost your brain’s health, how to kill the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), and even three hypnosis sessions (weight control, overcoming anxiety, healthy sleep) on the sixth CD.

I enjoyed listening to Change Your Brain Change Your Body. I like the knowledge and enthusiasm that Dr. Amen expresses throughout. As I listened to this book, I decided to make a significant change in my life that will definitely have a lasting positive effect on my body as I age. It was needed for a long time, and this was the final push to make it happen!

The Secret to True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow, by Joyce Meyer, reviewed by LauraE, Joyce Meyer is a Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries. In The Secret to True Happiness, she talks about looking forward to each day, embracing our individual challenges, not comparing ourselves to others, and doing the best we can—realizing that God is always on our side.

While there is nothing new about what Meyers talks about, her enthusiasm for it and the use of personal difficulties and how she prevailed with a positive attitude and her belief in God is uplifting.

With frequent reference to Christian deity, the Bible and heavy usage of several of its passages, The Secret to True Happiness is very much a part of the Christian category in books. If this is not your thing, I’d suggest finding your inspiration in a different book. If it is…then this is most likely a great listen for you.

Entering the Now, by Eckhart Tolle, reviewed by LauraE, In Entering the Now, we hear an excerpt of classes taught by Eckhart Tolle. You hear the intensity of his voice at times, he chuckles at his own jokes, and allows time (sometimes I wondered if the cd stopped working!) and space within it for thought and inspiration. My first experience with Mr. Tolle, I almost turned it off thinking that I didn’t have time for the silence. But, I persisted, and ironically he speaks on this very idea of time and space as it creates an opportunity for an elevated state of consciousness. I’d been nabbed! I kept listening, growing accustomed to the words and silence, and am happy I did. I am starting on a long journey to understanding the power of my own now.

Excerpted from the full-length audio course Realizing the Power of Now, and a newer title in the “Power of Now” teaching series, this audiobook is a good (and short!) place to start listening to Eckhart Tolle as you become accustomed to his unique teaching style.

The Writer’s Little Helper, by James V. Smith, Jr., reviewed by LauraE, Do you have a story to tell? One that you are sure is a great novel? You think you have the characters developed, plot line tightened, dialogue nailed. But…how do you take that story in your head to a best-seller? Perhaps The Writer’s Little Helper can help!

The Writer’s Little Helper covers all aspects of the writing experience, including character, plot,editing, word choice, and many more. Writer’s block?—it’s covered. This book is organized in such a way that you can read it from to cover to cover, or by one area that you may be struggling with at that time. The chapters are short (average 2-6 small pages with lots of space to not look or feel cluttered) and are packed with insight, dos, and don’ts.

I daresay that if you are writing a book, or want to begin writing a book, with The Writer’s Little Helper you’ll quickly be on your way to a published author (oh yah, there’s several chapters on that too).

Learn How To Think Positively, by Glenn Harrold, reviewed by LauraE, Learn How To Think Positively is an audiobook with the intent to help its listeners think more positively in hope of facilitating positive changes as you move throughout the days and weeks to come.

There are two thirty-minute tracks on this CD. Track 1 guides you into deep relaxation to a place where the habit of positivity can be formed. Track 2 is meant to help you use the full power of your imagination.

As always, you should not listen to this in your car! The sounds are meant to penetrate deep into your mind and can become a distraction whilst driving. In fact, it is suggested that you listen using headphones to get the full effect of the hypnotherapy through the sound as it travels.

If you are struggling with positivity, put some headphones on and relax listening to the sounds and positive affirmations! With just 30 minutes to dedicate, you will hopefully begin to see the world and your place in it as brighter and better.

The Marshmallow Test, by Walter Mischel, reviewed by LauraE, Chances are pretty great that you are familiar with, or in the very least have heard of, The Marshmallow Test—the Stanford study by author Walter Mischel that first took place in the early 60s (and then again in the 80s). This is the test that placed preschoolers in a room with their treat of choice and were told that they could either eat the small portion now, or if they waited a time their reward would be doubled. The scientists were observing and studying the idea of delay gratification, or self-control.

Because Mischel’s daughters had friends that were a part of the original test and through casual dinner conversations, Mischel started wondering if there was not a connection between the child’s ability to delay gratification and how their lives were playing out…follow-ups were conducted over many years and new life was breathed into The Marshmallow Test.

Turns out our ability to delay gratification, even if not inherent, can be learned. It can affect our entire life, even the ability to set ourselves up (or not!) for retirement, breaking bad habits, and keeping relationships from falling apart. We CAN change the way we think.

The Grassfire Effect, by Steve Elliott, reviewed by LauraE, Have you ever seen a grassfire, or any fire, burn? Now imagine the way it grows, reaches beyond itself and catches onto everything in its path. To me, fire is mesmerizing and beautiful in its own right. Now, have you considered how that fire began? Yes, from one tiny spark. It just takes one spark and off it goes.

The is the same concept that the book, The Grassfire Effect, was created from. The idea that this book can “help people from all walks of life take the small spark of an idea or dream and turn that spark into a world-changing grassfire.” You may think that your idea is not world changing, but it is…your world.

I like the concept of this book. It seems that if you have an idea and need some encouragement and a little bit of structure this may be the thing that will propel you forward into action. The format includes “Key Effects” and “Fire Starters” that follow the chapters. This is a great way to quickly refresh what you have read and promote thinking and structure for your idea.