I love books – even the weird ones

screenshot_955.pngI am a fan of Abe Books. If you aren’t familiar with it, it can be a great alternative to Amazon, especially if you are looking for something older and don’t care if it’s brand new.  I have found you can find everything there and I have bought some old first aid and safety books from the 20’s to use in presentations and as gifts.

Abe Books published a list of some of their most unusual books which I am currently fascinated with. Who would have known there would be entire books on the History of Concrete Roofing Tiles ? or Favorite Flies? or Stray Shopping Carts?  Check out the books highlighted here and if you have some time, search around and I bet you’ll find some safety books you just can’t live without.

Language Learning


I’m always jealous when I hear someone speaking something other than English and living where I live, that seems to be just about everyone. I would LOVE to speak more than one language fluently and I am so impressed when I meet people who do. I have studied Spanish for about 7 years and I would still classify myself as a beginner. I lived in Amsterdam for 3 years and studied Dutch almost every day and although I can understand most things, speaking is a different story. I also lived in Munich and found German to be really, really hard and according to this chart created by the Foreign Service German is harder than the other two languages I pretend to speak.  If you had to learn a new language, what method would you use? Would you approach this self-training the same way as you would train other people?

Note: I should add that I was asked in June of 2016 if I would deliver a presentation in Spanish the following year so I said yes thinking that would give me the motivation to finally improve. I was able to get through the presentation after a lot of stress and tons of prep but I also would not have been able to do it without a native speaker as co-presenter. If you are interested in that presentation, let me know.

DNA of Top Achievers

dnaIn an article written by Chris Widener titled the DNA of Top Achievers,  Chris says that Top Achievers would have several important genes including:

  • A predisposition to setting high, lofty goals
  • An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination
  • An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination
  • The willingness to personally sacrifice in order to get to their goal
  • A predisposition to tenacity
  • The ability to see available resources and to use them accordingly
  • A desire to help others achieve more for themselves as well

It’s a great article to check out to see if you are on the right track and if not, it can give you some things to work on. I am particularly interested in the third bulleted item, the ability to focus intently. I have been reading a lot of Cal Newport’s work lately and I have learned a lot about eliminating distractions and it is one of the areas I am working on personally in 2018.  What about you? What’s in your DNA?