It has been a long time since I have written in the blog. 2017 was a year of stepping back (and personal change) for me. I continue to focus most of my time on my growing family. I have also returned to teaching part-time at the university (NJIT). Interestingly, the course I’m teaching this semester is not a traditional chemical engineering course — it’s actually a “Career Planning” course for chemical engineers!
In terms of my website and my books, I’ve been teaching myself to code (very slowly!). I’ve also spent a lot of time planning out my next books and blog topics. While I had started to plan out one book earlier this year, it was feeling very forced; I decided it was time to take a break and “sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey would say.
During my break, I had time to reflect on the tagline for this site and I have decided to call it “Think Inside the Box” based on the free ebook I wrote a few years ago. That ebook, and the concept of “thinking inside the box” explains the overall optimize approach and therefore is quite applicable to the spirit of the site.
Some additional changes you may notice is that I cleaned up the site (deleted old articles/announcements) and changed email providers. I also added a “Lisa Recommends” page; personal finance is a hobby of mine, so I will keep this page updated in terms of how I “optimize my finances” using various services.
In terms of content going forward, I am keeping in mind the special review I received from author John Schwartz a few years ago. He had entitled his review for my book Optimize for Victory with “Stick to her website with good current advice.” Therefore, I will resume writing in the blog in an effort to create value for you:
Going forward, I will continue to write occasional posts reflecting on how we can optimize our lives in various ways. Further, as I come across helpful resources, I will blog about those as well. For instance, I read a lot (either on my Kindle or via Audible). Some of the books I read may be helpful for my readers, and therefore I will break some of the titles down for you so you can decide if you’d like to read them, too.
Thank you for reading my blog and now on to a recent book I read.
Author: Michael A. Singer
Reviews: 4.7/5 Stars (Amazon)
Why I Recommend: Many people struggle with perspective and self-awareness. This book is written in a way that you can unravel and understand your current awareness and consequently raise your level of self-awareness while improving your perspective. In the past, I have written about the concept of taking the “aerial view” to gain perspective. I’ve also mentioned how critical self-awareness is in self-improvement. If you struggle in these areas, this book may help.
Warnings: For open-minded individuals. It’s not prescriptive or religious; however, the concepts come from various places/sources to increase your level of “consciousness.”
Structure of the Book: The book is divided into 5 parts:
Part 1: Awakening Consciousness
- Helps you recognize “the voice in your head” and relate it to your “inner roommate.”
- First step to stepping back and viewing yourself differently.
Part 2: Empowering Energy
- Introduces the concept of being “closed off” and how you can start opening up.
- Discusses how your energy and how you feel is related to how “closed off” you are.
Part 3: Freeing Yourself
- Discusses “letting go” and how to do that.
Part 4: Going Beyond
- Challenges you to surrender and live freely as a way of life.
Part 5: Living Life
- Brings up death and rounds out your perspective as the book is wrapped up.
Closing Comments: Overall, a good book to broaden your perspective, especially if you are plagued with negative, habitual thoughts. Further, if you have trouble “letting go” I would recommend reading it. I recall someone once asked me how to let go, and this book might help if you struggle with that.
Want to get this book for free? You can get two free books when you start a free trial with Audible.