Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success by Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske with Liz Neporent

The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success by Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske with Liz Neporent. Da Capo Lifelong Books. March 2010. Hb. 240 pp. ISBN #: 978-0738213606.

It may seem like common sense to figure out what marks the thinking of successful men and women. But that’s not absolutely evident since there are so many books and talks being given on how to create success, whether that be financial, professional, or otherwise. These two authors have here focused on the eight mental and emotional strategies that may not absolutely guarantee but certainly seem to be the “keys” to achievement for those with the spark to begin the process!

The topics are presented with different ideas than most people consider and are backed by neuroscience and biological experiments that literally and repeatedly visualize changes in the brain that accompany creation of something new and unique. This involves laser-like focus, consideration of how much one is willing to risk, a talent meter, an eye and mind for opportunity which arises at just the right moment, and an effort accelerator. How many have become stuck in one of these places and literally paralyzed so that the dream seems deferred forever? This book deals with how to meet such obstacle moments as well.

Other factors include self-awareness of one’s optimistic or pessimistic or somewhere in between (like most people) nature, motivation or drive, emotional balance in the midst of whatever challenges arise in the creative process, the ability to be proactive and resilient through it all, a willingness and ability to adapt to the present circumstances, and so much more.

No, the road to success isn’t something we can all assume we know; and if the reader wants to be a winner of any size, shape, and form, this is a very useful book to use as a guidepost in that wondrous cycle of evolution that might make you into someone who lives with a winner’s brain! Fascinating material, examples and a clearly presented program one would be wise to follow!

Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth J. Cockey and Barton M. Cockey

Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth J. Cockey and Barton M. Cockey. Bridgeway Books. June 2010. Hb. 48 pp. ISBN #:978-1934454404.

Farming is solidly strong, a career and passion cherished by generations of families who exemplify the finest qualities of those who love the land and produce its crops with tender, loving care. The authors here spotlight multiple farms that raise different types of animals and crops throughout the seasons, ranging from sheep, chickens, cows, bees, corn, cider, grapes, wine, maple syrup, organic vegetables, and more.

But what is unique about this book is the deep-seated love of the land, depicted in quaint, beautiful paintings presented with each topic, pictures transformed from photographs to paintings that truly depict the peaceful, colorful landscape with its farms and animals.

The metaphor of growth and renewal is continuously stated and inferred, a process that is as often fraught with difficulties due to weather, prices, taxes, and more but always handled with a realistic and practical equanimity that transcends rather than survives whatever challenges may arise with each year’s unpredictable cycle. These are hardy families who never give up hope.

While many are abandoning farming for more lucrative careers, a whole new generation is returning to the love and “responsible stewardship” of this land in upstate New York.

The authors have presented readers with the history, practices, motivation, confident attention and hard but loved work that has made this entire area a historical, abundantly productive, and aesthetically pleasing landscape celebrated so wonderfully in this very small but oh so significant text. Very nicely done!