Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Book Summary: The 5 Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman


•There are different love languages that people speak (5 total)

•If you or your spouse's or significant other's "love tank" is not full, you are probably speaking the wrong love language.

•Once you find and learn to speak the proper "love language" to your spouse/significant other, your relationship should improve.

The five love languages are:
Words of affirmation 
Quality time 
Receiving gifts 
Acts of service 
Physical touch

Love languages are like spoken languages.  They take a while to learn, but once you speak them, your relationship will improve greatly.

Oftentimes, people speak the right love language during the phase in which they are in love, but over time, that love language disappears.

Oftentimes, a spouse will speak one love language, thinking the other spouse will respond, but the other spouse doesn't feel the love that you think they will.

"Seldom do husband and wife have the same primary emotional love language."

The "in love" phase of early dating and marriage has a limited and predictable lifespan.

Being in love is euphoric and all-consuming.  Reality comes later, generally after marriage, and the relationship changes over time.

"We can recognize the in-love experience for what it was—a temporary emotional high—and now pursue 'real love' with our spouse."


•These are compliments, encouraging words, kind words, humble words, etc.

•"One of the deepest human needs is the need to feel appreciated."

"When you read an article or book on love, record the words of affirmation you find. When you hear a lecture on love or you overhear a friend saying something positive about another person, write it down. In time, you will collect quite a list of words to use in communicating love to your spouse."

Find a positive trait about your spouse and share that trait with him/her.

Compliment your spouse in front of their parents, friends, and others.  


•This means giving someone your undivided attention. 

"If your mate’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time."

"When I sit with my wife and give her twenty minutes of my undivided attention and she does the same for me, we are giving each other twenty minutes of life."

•Sitting in the same room isn't enough, it must be focused time without distractions.

"Quality time does not mean that we have to spend our together moments gazing into each other’s eyes. It means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person. The activity in which we are both engaged is incidental."

•Quality conversation is a part of quality time.

•Give eye contact.  
•Don't do something else at the same time.
•Listen for feelings.
•Observe body language.
•Refuse to interrupt.

Quality activities are also important.  These are things that you can both do together and that at least one of you has an interest in.

"The essential ingredients in a quality activity are: (1) at least one of you wants to do it, (2) the other is willing to do it, (3) both of you know why you are doing it—to express love by being together."


•Gifts are a reminder of love, and for people who speak this love language, gifts are often kept for a lifetime.

"A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him a gift."

•"Gifts are visual symbols of love."  Wedding bands are an example.

•Gifts don't have to be expensive to be meaningful.  They can be free, created, or cost very little.  The importance is that they are from the heart and mean something.

•People have different attitudes about money.  Some like to spend, others like to save.  Think of giving gifts as a good investment in your relationship.

•Your presence during an important time in life or a crisis can be a "gift of self."


•Acts of service are "doing things that you know that your spouse would like you to do."

"Such actions as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition, paying the bills, trimming the shrubs, walking the dog, and dealing with landlords and insurance companies are all acts of service."

A particular act of service may not fill up the spouse's love tank, even if their love language is acts of service.  You have to find out what they like.

It may be hard to do acts of service if you grew up in a household where one parent did or did not do certain chores or if you have a bad memory of doing a certain chore/act.

"Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to reexamine our stereotypes of the roles of husbands and wives."


•This is not just sexual touching.
•It includes holding hands, kissing, embracing, and all kinds of physical touches.

•The touch must be welcome and appropriate.

•Touch can either communicate hate or love.

"Since touch receptors are located throughout the body, lovingly touching your spouse almost anywhere can be an expression of love."

•Sitting close together is an important act for someone whose love language is physical touch.

•Physical touch is very important during times of crisis.  


Discovering your love language

•Many people think that their love language is physical touch because they like to have sexual intercourse with their spouse.  It has to include all types of touch.

A spouse's criticism provides a window into their love language.  If your spouse complains that you never touch them, their love language is probably physical touch.

All love languages are vulnerable to insincere manipulation.  

"If your deepest pain is the critical, judgmental words of your spouse, then perhaps your love language is words of affirmation. Sarcastic, hateful, or dismissive words are wounding to anyone, but especially so to the person for whom affirming words is their love language."

Ask, "What have I most often requested of my spouse?"

Examine what you do or say that expresses love to your spouse.

"spend some time writing down what you think is your primary love language. Then list the other four in order of importance. Also write down what you think is the primary love language of your spouse."

Love is a choice.

People never fall in love on the same day. They also rarely fall out of love on the same day.  This is called "the disequilibrium of the 'in love' experience by Chapman.

The love languages can be applied to all types of relationships, including with your children.  It is worth finding out what love languages those close to you speak.  

We reason: If someone loves me, I have significance.  I may not feel significant until someone expresses love to me.  Without the expression of love, that feeling of significance vanishes.

But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  Luke 6:27–28; 31–32.

Take the 5 love languages test at www.5LoveLanguages.com/

Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages. Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Book Summary: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Main Takeaway: 

Get up an hour earlier each day and follow the steps outlined in life S.A.V.E.R.S - Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing (writing). Doing these in the morning jump starts your day and puts you in the mood to succeed.

My thoughts:
I had recently started following a similar plan on my own, so this book came at a great time to guide me. It is one of the best books I have read this year.

Author's Backstory:

The author was a top salesman at Cutco. He had a stellar sales performance record. He came close to death when crashing his car head-on. Later on, he had what he called a “worse” life experience when he lost everything. This book shows how he used motivation to bounce back from two very different but terrible life tragedies.

Summary & Notes:

•It is good to write in your books as you read them (highlight, make notes). They are for you to learn from, not to keep pristine.

“Why is it that when a baby is born, we often refer to him or her as “the miracle of life,” but then go on to accept mediocrity for our own lives? Where along the way did we lose sight of the miracle that we are living?”

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” —Oprah

There is not a big difference between average and mediocre.

You don’t have to settle for less than what you really want in any area of life merely because others do.

Why not achieve great success in every area of life, at once? Happiness, health, money, freedom, success, love, etc. It is possible. (He calls this the level 10 life).

Success starts by how we wake up in the morning (what do you do when you wake up each day?)

Three Arguments Posed by this Book:

1.  “You are just as worthy, deserving, and capable of creating and sustaining extraordinary health, wealth, happiness, love, and success in your life, as any other person on earth.”

2. You must work each day and dedicate time to being the person you want to be.

3. “How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life.”
If you are not a morning person, you should work to try to be. What we tell ourselves holds us back. Anything that is uncomfortable can be overcome in time.

It takes 21 days to build a habit, but 30 days to own that habit. Don’t take a break after 21 days and think you got it.

Over time you will feel like you don’t want to sleep in anymore because the method is so powerful.

“…how you spend the first hour of your day becomes the key to unlocking your full potential and creating the levels of success you desire.”

“Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become,” —Jim Rohn

“Our outer world will always be a reflection of our inner world.” (Your level of success will always parallel your level of personal development).

The big challenge is finding the time. This is why the morning works so well. Get up earlier and do those things you want to do.

“It’s been said that the first hour is the rudder of the day. If I’m lazy or haphazard in my actions during the first hour after I wake up, I tend to have a fairly lazy and unfocused day. But if I strive to make that first hour optimally productive, the rest of the day tends to follow suit.” (www.StevePavlina.com)

“If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first.”

The author chose six activities that would be most impactful and began by doing 10 minutes each (you can change the amounts of time you spend on each activity).

A statistic from the Social Security Administration states that after 40 years of working, for every 100 people, only 1 person will be wealthy, 4 will be financially secure, 5 will have to continue working, 36 will be dead, and 54 will be broke and dependent on others.

Only 5% are successful in creating a life of freedom. You have to work to be in that top 5%.

“We must embrace the fact that if we don’t commit to thinking and living differently than most people now, we are setting ourselves up to endure a life of mediocrity, struggle, failure and regret—just like most people.”

What are the causes of mediocrity?

•Recreating our past (rearview mirror syndrome)

•You have to change your thoughts. We think the same thing each day.

•Your past does not equal your future.

•Lack of purpose. (You have to live a life of purpose).

•”the average person takes life one day at a time, and has no higher purpose beyond merely surviving.”

•Isolating incidents. (Thinking that each choice we make only affects a particular moment or circumstance).

•Lack of accountability (“Accountability is the act of being responsible to someone else for some action or result.”)

•Lack of personal development. (Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development).

•Lack of urgency. (most people don’t have a sense of urgency in improving their lives). “Now matters more than any other time in your life”, because what you are doing today is making you who you will be in the future.
•Mediocre center of influence (We are like the average of the five people we spend the most time with). This is true in every area of life.

How do you have a life of purpose?

Answer: Wake up each day and live life in alignment with your purpose in life (to become the best possible version of yourself).

“Keep in mind that you can change your life purpose at any time. As you grow and evolve, so will your purpose. What’s important is that you choose a purpose—any purpose—and start living by it, now.”

“Every time you choose to do the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are shaping your identity, becoming the type of person who does what’s easy, rather than what’s right.”

“It is often said that “misery loves company”, but so does mediocrity. Don’t let the fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs of others limit what’s possible for you.”

"When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you're doing two negative things to yourself. First, you're fragmenting what little extra sleep you're getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you're starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren't giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.” —Robert S. Rosenberg

Also read: Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success.

Ways to increase your wake-up-motivation level:

•Before bed, set your intentions.

       “Your first thought in the morning is usually the last thought you had before you went to bed.”

•Move your alarm clock across the room.

•Brush your teeth right away when you wake up.

•Drink a full glass of water.

•Put on your workout clothing.

“Our life situation is the set of external circumstances, events, people, and places that surround us. It’s not who we are. We are more than our life situation.

Your life is who you are at the deepest level. Your life is made up of the internal components, attitudes, and mindsets that can give you the power to alter, enhance, or change your life situation at any given moment.”

“Your life is made up of the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual parts that make up every human being—or P.I.E.S. for short. The Physical includes things like your body, health, and energy. The Intellectual incorporates your mind, intelligence, and thoughts. The Emotional takes into account your emotions, feelings, and attitudes. The Spiritual includes intangibles such as your spirit, soul, and the unseen higher power that oversees all.” (This is also discussed in “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher).

Silence: Meditation, Prayer, Reflection, Deep Breathing, Gratitude.

(It is important that you leave your bed for this)


“Those who overcome the temptations of mediocrity and achieve everything they want in life have an extraordinarily compelling why that drives them.”

““The #1 skill of influencers is the sincere effort to make a person feel that he or she is the most important person in the world.” —Marshal Goldsmith, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”


“The greatest gift we can give to the people we love is to live to our full potential.”

(Personal note: As a Christian, this could be said to be a powerful witness.)


Learn from experts

10 pages a day will equal to 3,650 days a year.

Scribing (Writing) 
Write in a journal each day, and look back to see your growth.

“My journaling method ranges from being a very specific, structured process—listing what I’m grateful for, acknowledging my accomplishments, clarifying what areas I want to improve on, and planning which specific actions I’m committed to taking to improve—to being pretty traditional, just a dated entry with a synopsis of my day.”


“Whether it’s our routines or our relationships, it’s our responsibility to actively and continuously make them the way we want them to be. Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything”

Your quality of life is created by the quality of your habits.

“Your life has been and will continue to be created by your habits. If you don’t control your habits, they will control you.”

It takes 21 days to create a new habit. The first part will be unbearable, they will get easier. In the end, you will own that habit and learn to love it and integrate it into your life.

If someone else can do something, so can you.


Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). Miracle Morning Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Buy The Miracle Morning on Amazon.com

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Exercising Your Mind When Traveling

I recently traveled to Sinai.  This was my third time in Sinai and it was a pretty good trip.  Except for the fact that it was also kind of boring.

Yes.  I said it.  It was boring.  I told my students that and they gave me the strangest look.  They could not believe it.  And most of the people who I speak to would not believe it either.  The Sinai Peninsula, where some of the most beautiful dive spots in the world are, where the sea meets the wilderness that Moses walked through, where sky meets sea, was boring to me.

Now, I didn't say it was a boring place.  It's a beautiful place.  But the truth is, I did get bored there.  And I thought a lot about it, because it was strange to me.  Why was I bored?

There are a few reasons.

First, I was bored because I missed being busy.  I wanted to get back to teaching and wrap my time up here.  Part of me is looking forward to the next part of life, and this trip seemed to just drag that out.  I feel that it has become hard to not be busy, to be working, to be doing something (this is probably not a good thing).

Second, I didn't have much to do to keep my mind busy.  The water is beautiful, the beaches are wonderful, but the water was cold and I did not feel like going in.  At the same time, it was getting hot out and uncomfortable to walk a lot.

I had been to Dahab three times previous and had walked that city back and forth more times than I can count.  It's a lovely city, but I wasn't there to shop.  I need to declutter and get rid of things soon.

Sharm El Sheikh was nice, but I would prefer to explore rather than sit at an all-inclusive all day.

Neweiba was pretty, but again, I felt that there wasn't much to go out and do day to day.

So, what could have I done?

Bring a "travel bag" with things to do.  My Kindle.  A physical book.  A notebook and a pen.  Ways to exercise the brain.  I felt that my mind was turning to sludge at times.

The same with my body.  I wanted to just go walk and explore.

What I did enjoy:

•Walking to the lagoon in Dahab for sunset.  It was beautiful.
•The Korean food in Nuweiba
•Playing with my daughter on the beach
•Time with my family
•Looking at the stars
•I loved the sunsets and "golden hour."
•Looking at the sea
•Peace and Quiet
•A break from teaching

Overall, it was a very good trip and I'm very thankful we went.  But, I think that I learned that I need to bring something with me to sometimes exercise my mind a bit more.

Knowing your travel style is important.  I have not given it much thought before.

My travel style is not all-inclusives.

It's more a city with museums, temples, marketplaces, and things to engage the mind.
It's a place where I can go out and explore, and get lost.
It's where I can go deep into nature.

Book Summary: Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Main Idea of Choose Yourself by James Altucher:

You need to choose yourself. This means not depending on others to make you wealthy. Don’t expect your job, publishers, or outside corporations to choose you. They probably won’t. We live in an age where we can do it ourselves.


Does One Person Have Control Of Your Life?

•Who controls your life? Who can “make you or break you?” Your boss? Employer? Family member? Someone else?

•Rejections should teach you to not rely on the whims of one all-powerful individual.

“No matter how hard it tries, a ripple that laps onto the shore will never be as powerful as the ocean that created it. The goal is to be the ocean—the central force in our existence that moves mountains creates all life, shakes continents, and is respected by everyone.”

We should only do the things that we enjoy.

“Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy, that make you happy to be human. Only go to the events that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with the people who love you back, who are winners and want you to win too.”

“Every time you say yes to something you don’t want, your fires starts to go away. You will get burned out.”

The Daily Practice:

You have four bodies - you have to keep all of these healthy.

•A physical body: This is the body we live in.

Care for this by taking walks, exercise, avoiding alcohol, sleep 7-9 hours a night.

•An emotional body.

Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you. Be a beacon for those around you. Avoid engaging or overly dwelling on people who drain your energy.

“You can’t be beautiful unless you get rid of the ugliness inside. People become crappy people not because of who they are, but because they are crapping inside of you. Stop letting that happen.”

•A mental body.

The mind tries to keep you very busy.
Tame your mind through focused use.
Set goals, 10 ways to make your job better. 10 days to have more time for yourself.
Make your mind an idea machine.

•A spiritual body.

Don’t “time travel.” Time traveling is dwelling on past regrets or future anxieties.

Surrender: “By trusting that you’ve done the right preparation. You’ve done all you can do. All that is within your power, your control. Now, give up the results. The right thing will happen.”

You have to stop relying on others, or being ruled by others.

Altucher believes that bosses and superiors actually “hate us.”

“The Simple Daily Practice is the same. All you really need to do to get off the floor is acknowledge that it’s not your external life that needs to change (you have little control over that), but that external changes flow from the inside.”

There are things we can do each day to make our lives better:

examples: sleep 8 hours, eat 2 meals instead of 3, no tv/junk food/gossip, return a 5 year old e-mail, express thanks to a friend, watch a funny movie, read spiritual text, take up a hobby, surprise someone, think of positive things, forgive someone, write down a list of ideas, take the stairs instead of the elevator, spend time with a friend, read a biography, shower, deep breathing…

Sometimes we are in a crisis, if so, “turn it into a moment where you can reflect on the bounty that is your life.”

Do not attach your happiness to external goals.

We could just try to disappear (a big goal for many), but we have things that are in our head that we can’t really disappear from.

Give up clutter in your mind. Give up on future ambitions that are more trouble or anxiety than they are worth.

How to be an entrepreneur: Make your own hours. Help people. Deal with clients/colleagues you like. Be artistic. Make a lot of money. Come up with ideas. Don’t be at the whim of one decision maker. Be around like-minded people. Be an expert. Understand that the economy is changing.

“Don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want—freedom from financial worry. Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.” 

How many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life?

“Are your physical needs, your emotional needs, your mental needs, and your spiritual needs being satisfied” at your current job?

Ways to start a successful business:

•Cut out the middle man.
•Pick a boring business.
•Get a customer.
•Build trust while you sleep.
•Blogging is not about money (James Altucher does not use his blog directly for income gain, ie. advertising).
•Say yes!
•Customer service.

There are an insanely large amount of ways to make money. The beauty in this book is in the ideas that James Altucher gives that you can apply.

“People have lots of ideas, but they are mostly bad ones. The way you get good ideas is to do two things: 1) Read two hours a day. 2) Write ten ideas a day. By the end of a year, you will have read for almost one thousand hours and written down 3,600 ideas. One of these ideas will be a home run.”

•Don’t be jealous of those who succeed. Learn from them.

•Negotiation is worthless. Sales are everything.

Become an Idea Machine

“Every day, read/skim chapters from books on at least four different topics.”

“Write down 10 ideas.”

“Activate another part of your brain”

Write each day, take classes, learn new things.

“Collisions” or compare your old ideas with new ideas, etc.

“Don’t pressure yourself.”

Try a different routine.

“List your childhood passions.”

“Surf the Internet.”

Don’t have opinions. (There is a chapter devoted to this)

Opinions are a way of clinging to the past.

People don’t change their minds

People will die.

Creates an “us versus them” mentality and life.

You could be reading a book or improving yourself instead of arguing with other people

Are you really right?

Most people fight because they are lonely.

Getting rid of opinions is a way to declutter.


“Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.”

Be honest, it will make you more money.

Honesty compounds.

Give credit where credit is due.

Take the blame when needed.

Don’t gossip.

Choose yourself: Want to publish a book or record, do it on your own.

•Pick a social media outlet and master it.
•Be persistent.
•People will say “you can’t.” Don’t listen to them.
•Focus on what you can do for your business/art right now.
•Talk to your big fans.

“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”

Learn from those who reject you. You will be rejected a lot in life. Don’t take it personally. There are things you can learn from it.

Source:  Altucher, James. Choose Yourself! Lioncrest Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Link to James Altucher’s Blog: https://www.jamesaltucher.com

Buy Choose Yourself on Amazon.com

Etsy Shop Product Update: Boho Pinback Buttons, Forest Mushroom Buttons & Asian Architecture Travel Pins

I would like to talk about some of the newest products on my Etsy shop . I recently bought a guide for getting seen on Etsy through www.atte...