July 29, 2013 · 11:40 am
Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life by Garrett Kramer (Atria Books/Beyond Words, $22.00, 191 pages)
This slender book that promises assistance with sports and life seems at first glance to be just another guide to success in life. It is more than that. Author Garret Kramer has been a businessman, sports coach and motivational speaker. His years of experience have been distilled into a credo of sorts that he defines as:
Stillpower n. The clarity of mind to live with freedom and ease; the inner source of excellence; the opposite of willpower.
Kramer uses scenarios and vignettes from his days with sports figures to illustrate the principles of stillpower. His first person narrative delivered in a down-to-earth conversational tone is reassuring. Kramer can be a bit chatty and redundant; however, the message bears repeating. Sports and life are really the same. Games compress time and physical effort, whereas life can move along at a painfully slow pace or rush at you. Having a game plan or, in this case a mindset, increases the chance for a satisfying outcome.
So, the next time you feel the urge to provide guidance or discipline, please understand that what comes out of your mouth is much less significant than the level of mental functioning from which the words are spoken.
The somewhat self-deprecating approach Kramer uses can be slightly off-putting. He means well and has a mighty list of clients and successes. References to Zen and the inspirational quotes that begin each chapter enhance his message. Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a similarly-sized volume. They can be complementary additions to a mindful reader’s book collection.
Ultimately, we have no ability to control the actions of others, but we all possess the potential to understand that these actions have no ability to control us.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Stillpower was released on June 5, 2013.
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May 8, 2010 · 4:07 pm
This Hungry Spirit: Your Need for Basic Goodness by C. Clinton Sidle (Larson Publications)
C. Clinton Sidle is a recognized expert in consulting, leadership training, and human potential development. This Hungry Spirit is a departure from his previously published works that focused on strategic planning and achieving personal and organizational greatness. Instead, Sidle uses his personal journey through difficult times as the structure for sharing the skills needed to make it past the rough spots we all face. (The original subtitle of this book was Seeking Happiness in the Heart of Discontent.)
This book is well-organized. There are exercises within each chapter designed to engage the reader and bring to life the concepts being taught. Key phrases, pearls of wisdom, are highlighted in sidebars that accompany the text. Sidle draws from a wide variety of resources to make his pitch for mindfulness and introspection. His approach seems best suited to a reader who has not yet explored the concepts of meditation, keeping a journal and opening one’s heart.
It’s easy to picture the author leading workshops and drumming up enthusiasm for the topic at hand. He conveys a sense of importance and necessity when describing the steps that can lead the reader to a calmer, more fulfilling, life. However, Sidle’s writing is a bit labored. This reviewer sensed that he would rather conduct an interactive workshop than be restricted to mere words on a page. His message is bold and somewhat aggressive. The feeding of the hungry spirit becomes a mission with goals and objectives, not unlike the leadership skills and human potential topics he is known for in business and military circles.
A counterpoint to This Hungry Spirit can be found in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Many of the concepts are quite similar; however, the tone and mood created in The Power of Now is highly suggestive rather than direct and blunt as is the case with This Hungry Spirit. It will fall to the reader to decide which approach is likely to be the most effective for his/her personal needs.
A review copy was received from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME).
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Tagged as AME, Author Marketing Experts, Basic Goodness, book review, books, Bruce Springsteen, business, C. Clinton Sidle, discontent, Eckhart Tolle, executive training, happiness, human potential, Hungry Heart, individual challenges, introspection, Joseph's Reviews, Larson Publications, leadership skills, leadership training, life's obstacles, meditation, military training, mindfulness, motivational, nonfiction, organizational goals, pearls of wisdom, personal goals, personal journeys, Ruta Arellano, seeking happiness, self improvement, self-esteem, self-examination, self-help, strategic planning, survey books, The Power of Now, This Hungry Spirit