When I first discovered the literature of personal growth and development, there weren’t many titles to choose from. Today there are thousands. I always have a self-help book or two in my current reading pile because there’s so much to learn.
However, the self-help movement has spawned plenty of dropouts. Why don’t all readers find this genre helpful? Here are some thoughts on that.
° Refuse to abandon skepticism. Hanging onto cherished beliefs is a guaranteed way to prevent growth. “I tried that positive things stuff once. Didn’t work,” is the motto of the self-help dropout. Simply reading a single book […] Continue Reading…

It’s fundraising week at Nevada Public Radio and since I’m an enthusiastic supporter, listener and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me fan, I received a call asking for additional support. The charming volunteer explained all the additional treats I’d receive and I found myself happily giving her my credit card information.

When that was concluded, she said, “We have a matching employer grant. So who’s your employer?”

That’s not a question I get asked very often so I hesitated for a moment before saying, “Barbara J Winter!” I said it with such gusto that it startled her (and me). She laughed, then […] Continue Reading…

There’s no question that we are living in rapidly changing times, but what’s not given much attention in all the emotional conversation is that the outcome will not be the same for everyone. Some people will come through these times bitter while others will end up better. Money has nothing to do with which side we end up on.

Lately I’ve been thinking about something I heard spiritual teacher Terry Cole Whittaker say. When people would come to her for counseling and declare, “My life is falling apart,” Whittaker would ask, “How do you know it’s not falling together?” 

Most of […] Continue Reading…

I don’t have many routines in my life except for my daily trip to the post office. I grew up in a small town without mail delivery so picking up the mail has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father used to drive us to school, but a mail stop came first. As the oldest child, it was my duty to fetch the mail from the box. To make it more fun, I began taping coins to bits of cardboard and sending away for things I saw advertised in comic books, insuring […] Continue Reading…

So what does it take to be a great storyteller? The fundamentals are pretty simple.

° Curiosity. Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, who not only produced innovative ad copy, but also trained many successful copywriters, wrote, “I have never known anyone who bounced out of bed in the morning, delighted and astonished by the world in which he found himself, who was not a success. A vibrantly alive curiosity  will put you right up there with the best of them. This intense interest in people and things—this sense of wonder—can be acquired.” 

Without curiosity, you’ll miss all the good stories happening around […] Continue Reading…

When you read a luscious book, you probably don’t think about the numerous rewrites made by the author. Likewise, we seldom get to peek behind the scenes at the long and winding road that brought us our favorite technology tools or movies. Many of those stories would be tedious, of course, but I often think it’s a shame that we only become aware of new products or works of art or personal excellence after the hard work has been done. Because we don’t see the rehearsal, so to speak, it’s tempting to dismiss stunning achievement by assuming an extraordinarily […] Continue Reading…

° They love innovation and ideas

° They ask “what if” alot

° They drop names of people they admire

° They study success

° They are not satisfied with the status quo

° They understand the power of practice

° They show up at gatherings of other inspired entrepreneurs

° They are tireless relationship builders

° They are relentlessly curious

° They spread encouragement

° They laugh often

° They are enthusiastic problem-solvers

° They consider personal growth a worthwhile hobby

° They are generous and sharing in diverse ways

° They take good care of themselves

° They know that inspiration isn’t vaccination

° They are genuine optimists

° They find change exciting

° They […] Continue Reading…

Right after I sent out my Joyfully Jobless News today where I mentioned Booklovers’ London, the new stop on Inspiration Station, I got this tip from Londoner Ken Titmuss who shared this little treasure. He writes:

A very special bookshop  I can recommend is the one at Old Street Tube station. This is a station with a walkway round that has a few shops. Camden Lock Books is the only branch from the original shop in Camden and is literally a hidden book shop unless you discover it whilst travelling.

It is small and the stock is very much hand picked, […] Continue Reading…

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield like to joke that they became friends because they were the two slowest, fattest kids in their seventh grade gym class. That friendship continued on through high school and was interrupted only by their individual attempts at going to college. Ben dropped out first and became a potter; Jerry ended his college career when he failed to gain admission to medical school. With bleak prospects on both sides, the two got together and decided to start a business.
Since they were both enthusiastic eaters, they decided on a food enterprise. They considered bagels, then pizza, […] Continue Reading…

I’ve been reading some books written by exquisite storytellers and thought you might want to check them out for yourself (if you can stand all the pleasure).
I was completely enchanted by Geri Larkin’s Plant Seed, Pull Weed. Larkin, an ordained Buddhist and gardener, has created a lovely handbook of life lessons gathered from her spiritual practice and her work in a Seattle nursery. In fact, the subtitle is Nurturing the Garden of Your Life. Larkin notices the stories around her and passes them along. Lucky readers!
I’m nearly finished with another stunner which has been gracing the bestseller list for some time–and […] Continue Reading…