The Story Behind The Books...

I need to set myself a challenge to finish a few books I started reading but haven’t quite finished because well... I’ve been having an affair with Netflix and trying to discover new passions (don’t judge me). When you live alone you literally have so much time to yourself, so if you aren’t at work or out with friends, you’ve got to entertain yourself somehow.

It’s my first year living by myself (as in without housemates) by now you’d think I would have a solid routine but turns out I don’t. I sort of just go with the flow when I get home from work and sometimes get sucked into being very lazy when I’m just chilling at home.

This has not been the best thing for me lately because I LOVE reading books but I haven’t been as aggressive as I know I can be. I have started reading books that I haven’t finished yet. It currently feels like I have commitment issues finishing these books and that I am cheating on all the books 😂 but hey justice will prevail and I will finish them.

The following books I am about to share with you have a bit of a back story which has made these books even more special to me. I am sharing this with you all because (even though I’m currently a hypocrite who can’t finish a book that she starts) I would like to encourage everyone to read to some capacity, it could be a blog (which you are doing now) or a news article, a magazine or good old books, just READ!

Getting To Yes; Negotiating an agreement without giving in

How I got this book will forever set the tone of how I treat people no matter how far I go in life or who I become. Sometime last year, I sat in the same room as the CEO of AccorHotels. I asked him what his best piece of advice was in order for one to excel within their career… his response was simple, the ability to negotiate. I suppose given that he is a CEO, negotiation is something I figured mans would be doing on a regular. But given I am no where near CEO level, I thought to myself what does negotiation have to do with me right now? As he shared his experience on how he has worked his way up the corporate ladder, a light bulb switched and I realized we all negotiate to some degree every single day. If we figured out how to use this wonderful tool called negotiation properly -we’d probably achieve some of the things we really want out of life rather than settling.

He told me I should take a negotiation course but he also suggested I read a book. He told me he would send me a book that would help me understand how this skill works and how to use it. I thought to myself...yeah right you are a CEO with a million in one things to remember, HOW are you going to remember to send me a book (mind you he didn’t even write anything down on a piece of paper, his phone or diary as a reminder to send this so called book) he just verbally made this agreement.

Less than two weeks, I walked into work and there was a parcel on my desk, I opened it and (yep you guessed it) it was the negotiation book!

While this might seem like a trivial thing to get excited about, this simple gesture touched and made a positive impact on me. It made me realize that if you are ever in a position of influence –it’s so important to pass whatever little knowledge you have down, as you never really know just how valuable what you take for granted could do or mean to someone else.

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The Courage to be disliked

Karen Civil is a media maven that I follow religiously because she has worked with so many cool artists and brands (in my eyes she is career goals). She posted a book titled The Courage To Be Disliked and the title of the book alone spoke to me because I have this automatic habit of not wanting to step on anyone’s toes or having hard conversations with people out of the fear of being viewed as difficult or (a bxtch) aka being disliked. It’s a crippling trait I tell ya.

Fast forward a few days or weeks later my aunt came back from the US and she had THE book. Now listen... I wasn’t trying to drop any coin on the book (I already have heaps I need to finish) so to find it for free was like a gift from God himself #winning.

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Good Self Bad Self: how to bounce back from a personal crisis

A book I will forever refer to over and over throughout my life and career is Good Self Bad Self by the one and only PR goddess Judy Smith (aka the woman who’s character Olivia Pope in the TV hit series Scandal was based on).

Scandal was my favorite TV show for the longest of time when it had it’s little stint and when I found out Olivia Popes character was based on a real person, I did a little more digging on this Judy Smith lady and loved everything about her. She is basically the woman you go to when you need something handled. She’s worked on some of the world’s most jaw dropping scandals and helped individuals navigate through the not so pretty times of their lives. Clients she has worked with include Monica Lewinsky, Kobe Bryant and Paula Deen.

The book explores how we are all essentially good people or have our good side, but illustrates how our own personal agendas or goals (which may mean well to begin with) can lead us into making some questionable choices (sometimes out of desperation or plain stupidity). It goes on to explore how if we don’t recognize these patterns early and fail to address them, we may go down a rabbit hole that is impossible to recover from.

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Becoming

Well there isn’t much of a story to this book -it was a gift to myself because she is Michelle Obama and who wouldn’t want to read anything she writes or learn a thing or two from her? Especially women of colour, she really put us on the map and carried herself with elegance and grace. I’m not going to pretend I’ve finished reading the book because I haven’t, so on this particular book there isn’t much insight I can share because it would be a disservice to not only the author but those that have taken the time to read it. It’s been a process and I am yet to get back in the swing of things when it comes to completing the book so far along in the book, I like what she said about her career and how she surprisingly hated being a lawyer. I don’t hate my career per say but I am not about this whole 9-5 life thing. I think 8 hours a day (and sometimes more) 5 days a week is just a bit much but bills have to be paid so we solider on.

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On one final note I just wanted to add that after I finish these books, I think I’ll give audio books a go as someone suggested to me a while ago. Maybe that will speed up the reading process but I am interested to see how it compares to actual reading because I enjoy highlighting sentences and having little page book marks that I can easily go back to at any point.

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