The Daddy Brain Book Guide: Resources & Reccomendations

 

Picture 7

This resource guide is designed for both dads and moms. As I put together the list, I realized that most of my sources were not “parenting books.” Rather, they’re books and audio books (perfect for people with long commutes) about all facets of life that have either affirmed or influenced me — as a parent, a husband and a spiritual being. Some help me develop philosophies on how to treat my children, while others enlighten me about what to teach them. Everything is linked to Amazon, so you can learn more about each book… 

PARENTING
Books by Dr. Mark Brady, PhD:
– A Little Book of Parenting Skills
– Right Listening (formerly A Father’s Book of Listening)
– The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad,
by Joel Schwartzberg

– – – –

SPIRITUALITY
– Conversations with God, by Neil Donald Walsch
– Good Book, by David Plotz
– Spirit Healing: How to Make Your Life Work, by Mary Dean Atwood
– Eagle Vision: Return of the Hoop, by Ed McGaa, Eagle Man
– The Year of Living Biblically, by A.J. Jacobs
(I highly recommend the unabridged audio book)
– Zen and the Art of Poker, by Larry W. Phillips
(you must understand the game of poker to get the most from this book)
– Zen in the Art of Climbing Mountains, by Neville Shulman
(no mountain climbing experience necessary)

– – – –  

INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, GOALS
– Tribes, by Seth Godin
– Zen in the Art of Climbing Mountains, by Neville Shulman
– Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. 

Books and Audio Books by Zig Ziglar:

Books
– See You at The Top (definitely read this one first)
– Over The Top
– Zig: The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar

Audio Books
– Goals
– Success and the Self Image
– A View From The Top
– How to be a Winner

– – – –  

SELF IMPROVEMENT
(Note: all of Zig Ziglar’s books fall under this category as well)

Books
– The Sedona Method, by Hale Dwoskin

Audio Books
– The Sedona Method,
 by Hale Dwoskin
(The CD’s are expensive, but they can also be life changing) 

– – – –  

THE HUMAN BRAIN, AND OTHER INTERESTING STUFF
– How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer

Books & audio books by Malcolm Gladwell:
(Highly recommended in audio book form, Malcolm is an excellent reader)
– The Tipping Point
– Blink
– Outliers

– – – –  

AWESOME KIDS’ BOOKS
– Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
– Some Dogs Do, by Jez Alborough
– The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson
– The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Goals & Emotions

Goals are important.

Short-term or long-term, they have the ability to define who we are and what we do in our life (as long as we do our part to attain them).

I sure have plenty to work on, and with a 45-minute commute each way to and from work I have ample opportunity to listen to audio books on a variety of topics.

Lately, my CD player has been spinning tracks on leadership, inspiration, motivation and goals.

Although they’re very helpful, there is one aspect of the puzzle that’s missing — emotions.

The question is: how do we clarify our goals, let alone take steps to reach them, if our daily existence feels like such a struggle to survive?

Sure, there are some fantastic ideas on these CDs, many of which I use on a daily basis. Speakers like Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy really believe that each day can be chock-full of productive, goal-reaching actions. And they’re right.

But what about when we’re not feeling right?

I’m not talking about a bad attitude here, I’m talking about depression, exhaustion, anger or an upsetting matter that is weighing heavily on our minds — whether it’s a bad work environment, a sick family member or a personal illness — these are all issues that need addressing. They’re also issues that can very easily become obstacles to setting and acheiving goals.

Sometimes our day is full of coping. Whether it’s chatting with co-workers, surfing the Web, TV or some other distraction to get ourselves through the day (and night). So you could say that the immediate goal is to hold oneself together and survive, plain and simple.

Finally, the day ends. But will your sleep be peaceful? Will you wake up the next day feeling any different? Maybe, if your “problem” was a small matter that needed a day or two for you to let it go. But if the problem still exists, this routine can lead deeper and deeper into feelings of hopelessness.

Not good. It’s also not true — it’s just a feeling (albeit an extremely strong, oppressive one).

Like John Lennon said, “where there’s life, there’s hope.” I believe he’s right. I’ve experienced it. From almost dying of Crohn’s disease, to not being able to find a job, to ectopic pregnancies, I have faced situations that seemed unsolvable. But I was given hope by my lovely wife, and I am eternally grateful.

I know first hand that sometimes making it through the day is such a large goal, it feels like it’s all we can do.

But it’s not.

We have choices. The first of which is getting some positive thoughts into our heads to help us find some hope. Hope will lead to inspiration & motivation (that’s where these fantastic writers, speakers and loved ones come into play), which has the power to carry you out of just about any situation.

Second, if you need help, get help. Whether it’s depression, addiction, illness — whatever is bringing you down — get the help you need. Your life depends on it. Sometimes literally.

Just like I spoke about replacing bad habits with good ones in, The Four H’s of Self Destruction: When Hobby Becomes Habit, we need to do the same thing here. We need to replace a neutral or negative way of coping with a positive one.

Instead of taking 10 minutes to check Facebook or Twitter (which we just checked 20 minutes ago), or to kill time until 5 O’clock arrives, we can make a phone call to a specific person or organization that has the potential to help us move forward. Or we could read a few pages of a book that’s geared towards one of our goals.

If we don’t know exactly who to call or what to read, we can take that time to make a list or search the Web for resources. You get the idea. We’re still giving ourselves a chance to cope, but this option offers significant benefit, at the very least helping  us feel better about ourselves. I’m not encouraging you to avoid doing your work at work. But the law says you get a lunch hour. How you use it is up to you.

In my case, I started with small, manageable steps and then began to determine and place some of my long-term goals alongside this survival goal. When we do this, we move from surviving toward thriving.

Would you rather survive as a troubled person or survive as a triumphant one? I truly believe that if you make enough positive life changes, no matter how small, they will add up. Your life and your attitude will improve.

If we substitute real, focused goals for “water-cooler chit-chat,” then we’re really doing something about the current situation as well as our future. In other words, we can choose to kill time or use it to build a life.

Either way the time will pass, and we’ll accomplish exactly what we set out to do.

(Note: This blog is in no way meant to replace or substitute the help of a professional. I am not a doctor. Although I hope this article proves helpful, I do not have all the answers. But I do have lots of questions…)

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post,Stumble It!

I Need a Break! (but will it help me?)

I want a break. And I deserve a break.

But if I always take a break, I’ll never get a break from the thing I need a break from.

The break is short term, and changes nothing (if we’re lucky, it does help us feel more relaxed). After the break, I often feel the same as I did before I took it. Only now time has passed, so that gets me even more upset because I’ve “wasted” the little time I have to make a difference.

Taking that time to make changes has the potential to give me a permanent break from what I need a break from.

This may sound absurd, or like a line from a Gertrude Stein novel, but it’s true.

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post, Stumble It!

Do Your Kids Know What Goals Are?

Do your kids know what a goal is? Or do they think it’s what occurs when somebody scores in soccer?

Recently, I’ve been listening to a motivational/inspirational speaker named Zig Ziglar. Zig has an amazing audio book called Goals, which I highly recommend.

Listening to the CD’s, I got to thinking about my boys. Have I been teaching them about goals?

For some reason, probably because they’re both so bright, I assumed they already knew what a goal was.

When I asked them about it and got the, “it’s when somebody scores in soccer dad” response, I realized that I had not been teaching them — at least not in a direct way. We work on goals all the time, but I had never given them the language to understand what it was we were doing.

They needed a kid-friendly definition of the word and the concept. And they needed it now so that goal setting (and attainment) could become a core value and a way of life.

Although I’ve been “setting goals” for many years, until recently I have not written them down or defined them clearly  so they were always in a cloudy, “gaseous” state. Since they were not clearly defined, I didn’t have a tangible idea of how I would attain them, which made it impossible to fully commit to them. I just figured they’d manifest eventually if I did a little something for them here and there.

In other words, I didn’t really know how to set a goal. I was never taught.

Without a plan with realistic steps in it, I found that my “a little here and there,” was nowhere to be found. Without a clear intention there is no real goal to work towards. Just a lofty idea. As Zig would say, I was a “wandering generality,” and I needed to become a “meaningful specific.” He goes on to mention that even Howard Hill, the greatest archer in the world could not hit a bulls-eye while blindfolded. “How on earth could anybody hit a target they couldn’t see? …How can you hit a target (goal) you do not have?”

So, what’s the best way to teach these values to our children? Live them ourselves.

I do my best to start each day by asking myself: “what great thing am I going to do today?” This puts me in a good frame of mind to be proactive.

I’ve also started asking myself the following:

– Do I have milestone goals for my kids? To teach them how to ride a bike, be able to read or understand an appropriate level of spirituality by a certain age?

– Do I help my kids set “high-reaching” goals, teaching them to reach high for themselves in the process?

– Am I helping my kids set their own goals, and giving them the space to attain them? Am I supporting them (when necessary) through the process so they can come out of it having completed the goal — developing the values of integrity and perseverance?

I want to make sure that my boys know even if it’s hard, in this family we don’t give up. If this is important to you, you can get it done. I believe in you.

And remember, you are not alone…