book review: you are a badass

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a quick little read (or listen) that can give you the push you need to start being a bad-ass. Jen Sincero’s writing is familiar and humorous (not laugh out loud funny but pleasant). There are a lot of good reminders in this book to encourage you to make changes in your perception, your mind, your heart, and your life. Sincero argues that if you want something, you need to believe you can have it. In essence, believing you are worthy of a great life and that you can have whatever life you imagine, is the only way that life will ever truly come to be. Sincero also reminds you that if you aren’t following through, you don’t want it enough.

Here’s what I was reminded:
1. Imagining the life I want to live is something I don’t do enough. For me, just having a clear picture of my life can be difficult because I can imagine multiple lives for myself.
2. I am really guilty of telling myself something is a priority and then not doing it (like exercise).
3. Trusting myself is both more difficult and more important to me than I thought.

I agree with Sincero in that if we believe we can and we follow through, we will achieve our vision, but there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s great to be all good vibes and light, but to go after dreams is work, plain and simple. To make money is work. Sincero’s “real life” examples of how the universe listened to her intentions were weak. Rather than claiming the sky opened up and answered her prayers, I’d much rather have heard the tangible reasons she was able to do the things that she did. She obviously did the groundwork to build her career and connections. There’s very little mention of those though.

As much as I gained from this book, I got caught up by the foundation of her perspective: the idea that the universe and our desires want to be in accordance with each other. Maybe it’s because I’m Catholic, but God – the Universe, the spirit energy, whatever you call it – doesn’t owe us a beautiful, fantastic, amazing life. Worthiness and self-love are crucial to being confident to go to new places and seek new achievements, but trusting that everything you imagine will be handed to you is a slippery slope. What if what you want and what God has planned are different? What if in the midst of striving to build your business, you lose a leg? What if you want a family, but you haven’t met the right person?

I have been struggling with the idea of purpose for the past few years so maybe it’s just me being cynical, but life happens and circumstances change constantly. Being able to identify the beautiful, amazing, fantastic things in the life you have can be even more beneficial than imagining a life you wish you were living. Gratitude and love can transform an average life into a light-filled life without money and without traveling to Bali or Spain or Tokyo to write a book.

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book review: black privilege

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a 26 year old white girl that listens to mostly alternative music and a little bit of country. My knowledge of hip hip and rap is confined to Top 40 radio. Obviously, I didn’t know who Charlamagne tha God was prior to reading this, but I think his story and advice are worth the read. Charlamagne succeeded at giving poignant advice for life with his one of a kind experience.

At one point early in the book, Charlamagne suggests that you need to expand your horizons and read and listen to people who don’t share that much in common with you. From that point, I knew I was going to like the rest . Even though I didn’t know who Charlamagne was, I was really invested in the story of his life.

I have to say, toward the tail end of this book, the feminist in me got sick of hearing how many girls this guys took to bed. Just as I was about ready to turn the book off, he started talking about his wife and the importance of his family. Thank goodness. I could look past it when he was younger, but at some point you have to realize women aren’t accessories to life. The feminist in me almost gave this a 3 on that grounds.

I think everyone can agree that living with purpose, evolving from experience, sharing love, and working hard are key to success and happiness. What’s clear from his journey is that achieving this legally is going to get you a longer and fuller life. He also really made me think about what my dream is. Is it even my dream? Bonus points, he ended with a quote from The Lion King – which is my favorite. I almost got a little weepy. “Remember who you are.” I, without a doubt, needed to hear that.

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