Love in Every Season by Debra Fileta

I love being married. It’s seriously the great adventure of my life and it keeps getting better and better. Like all rewarding things in life though it’s not something that just happens; I gotta keep sharpening the axe. In saying that “Love in Every Season” by Debra Fileta is a fantastic (and biblical) exploration into the different phases people can find themselves in from time to time. It’s a quick read that is highly entertaining and provides a great framework to view your relationship through. If you happen to be at a bookstore at least flip through it and read the gray highlights; you’ll find something that speaks to you! Check it out!

No One Else to Blame

Taking advice from @jockowillink tonight.

Managing Leadership Anxiety – Steve Cuss

I sketch noted Managing Leadership Anxiety by @stevecusswords. I’m going to tread lightly here; anxiety is a prickly topic that I’m not qualified to speak about. I did find a lot of great tools and tactics in this book. I found it pretty difficult to sketch note because the topics are sometimes subtle and deeply profound (especially his chapter on Anxiety, Freedom, and How the Gospel Works.) Frankly, most of my topics are pretty light and here I am reading Steve’s journey as a chaplain at a trauma hospital and seeing a side of the world I’m generally not exposed to. All that to say; this one is deep. Steve presents real causes of anxiety in different situations and not only how to deal with them but more importantly he explains where they came from. It’s actually a pretty quick read but to get the most out of it I’d recommend going through it a few times and Steve actually recommends going through it with a group. There’s a lot to unpack here – check it out! Steve has a podcast as well; you can find out more at stevecusswords.com (such a great url 🙌.)

Plugged In by Dr. Daniel Strange

This was a pretty interesting quote from “Plugged In” by Dr. Daniel Strange. The chapter was speaking to what kind of culture we as Christians should allow into our homes. Rather than provide a typical response (“watch this but not that”) he posed this statement which changes the question from “what should I allow” to “what should I create?” Love this!

Master of One – Jordan Raynor

The paragraph on avoiding side paths is worth the price of the book for me. Master on One by @jordanraynor

Finish by Jon Acuff

Here’s a visual summary of the book Finish by @jonacuff ! If you struggle with perfectionism, pick up this book. It’ll read your mind, it’ll give you real tactics to deal with your perfectionistic tendencies, and it’ll make you laugh because there are some ridiculous analogies in there. Seriously; so good!

Finding Your Artistic Voice – Lisa Congdon

Finding Your Artistic Voice by @lisacongdon ! This book was generously given to me by the super awesome @prspctv_cllctv and I tore through it pretty quickly. Letting go of perfectionism keeps coming up over and over again in the books that I’m reading so it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this sort of thing! There were a lot more notes but I had to make room for the tigers so if you want to know more you’ll need to pick up the book. Thanks so much Scotty!!!

Keep Going – Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon wrote Steal Like an Artist which sits prominently on my tiny bookshelf next to The War of Art; it’s so good. Keep Going is a book written in the same vein, it’s easy to read, highly motivational and tactical, and gives you something new and actionable each time you read it. I really have no complaints about it. If you you’re an artist (you are) and you create (you do) I would highly recommend picking this book up TODAY.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Ramit Sethi

I made another book summary; if you want to get your financial house in order read “I Will Teach You to be Rich” by @ramit. It’s hilarious and highly tactical at the same time!

Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book…man, it’s packed full of realistic habit changing fuel that you can apply to your life today. Seriously. It’s almost a reference manual in that there are so many good ideas and tactics that are explained in a simple and clear manner. Here are some of the most salient points that stuck out to me:

Scale down your habits

I’ve heard James mention this on quite a few podcasts but when building a habit it’s important to break it down into the smallest repeatable element to instill the habit. From a Christian perspective; if you’re trying to read your Bible everyday don’t set up a habit like “I’m going to read my Bible every day for 30 MINUTES.” It’s way too big. Make it super tiny so that executing the habit is almost effortless. Just read a page, or a paragraph, or even a sentence. Just make it tiny enough that you won’t fail to do it. Then track it.

Systems not Goals

I loved this point so much because as we’re told many times over to set goals (SMART,BHAG, and other such goals-type acronyms come to mind) if we fail to design the systems to accomplish those goals we are taking a shot in the dark. As James writes; “Winners and Losers have the same goals.” Design your systems to achieve your goals!

Your Habits are your Identity

This one is deep. It’s one of those phrases that appears obvious but when you really look at it; we don’t really believe it on some level. When someone states “I want to be X” our response should be “Are you doing X?” I concede that this falls down a little bit when someone says “I want to perform brain surgery!” But for every person who has ever said that they want to be a writer, or a dancer, or an artist (ahem) they just need to write, dance, and make art. You ARE what you DO. If someone wants to be a better Christian, are they doing the things that a “better Christian” would do?

To summarize, this book is one of the better ones I’ve read on habit change. The tactics that James lays out here are actionable and something that anyone could start doing immediately. Whether we are aware of it or not, habits are a major part of our functioning life; understanding why we do them and learning how to manipulate them can aid us in doing whatever it is we set out to do. Buy this book, don’t wait for a discount, it’ll be the best twenty bucks that you’ll spend today. Thanks James!