In this episode of the Unabridged Podcast, Ashley, Jen, and Sara chat with Adam Schaeuble, host of the Million Pound Mission podcast (now called the Low Carb Hustle podcast) and the Podcasting Business School podcast. After our Bookish Check-in, Adam joins in recommending behavioral science books that can help everyone reach their life goals in 2021. If you have resolutions that you'd like to reach, be sure to check out the episode, and if you have your own self-help books to share, let us know @unabridgedpod!
Ashley - Jason Reynolds’s For Every One
Jen - Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Sara - Gina Homolka's Skinnytaste Meal Prep: Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Freezer Recipes to Simplify Your Life: A Cookbook with Heather K. Jones, R.D.
Adam - Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People
Our Book Recs for Reaching Your Goals in 2021
Jen - Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Sara - James Clear’s Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Adam - Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan's The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Mentioned in Episode
Michael Hyatt's books and work
Give Me One - Food You Could Eat Every Day for the Rest of Your Life
We reveal our picks (which might surprise you!)—listen in so you don't miss it!
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Ashley said, "So I had one that I was planning to talk about, and then this one snuck up on to my TBR last night, and I was so glad to pick it up. I wanted to share it: I finally read Jason Reynolds's For Every One. This is actually a long-form poem in a book, and it's essentially a letter that Reynolds is writing to himself. It is a rallying call for people. I'm so grateful that I made time for that. It moved really quickly and was such a joy to read. I just really admire him as a writer, and I actually felt like it came along at a great time for me; it goes really nicely with the books that we're talking about today. Actually, The Power of Moments that I read that I'm going to be talking about just spoke to how to kind of elevate the every day, and I felt like that was what this book celebrates, as well.
"So again, the whole book is one long-form poem, and it is cheering on people's desires to be their best self and to do the hard work of creativity and of taking the risk instead of just kind of staying in the comfort but dissatisfaction of the every day. Like I said it just really spoke to me: I felt like it was something that meant a lot and also that could be accessed in such a quick way. It's funny because it's been sitting on my shelf for such a very long time, and I had never taken the short amount of time it took to read it from cover to cover. I'm so glad I did. So again, that's Jason Reynolds's For Every One, and I think it is a great book to read and also a great book to give to other people.
Adam said, "I have a few books that I read every year like just as brainfood. So one of my books I like to read this time of year is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I love that book just because dealing with other people and looking at things from their perspective and how we can benefit them and first add value, first talk about what they're interested in so that they will be interested in speaking to us. I just feel like that's just a rhythm of life I need to revisit every single year, and so this is the first time I've actually listened to it on audio—normally I read the physical book—but I'm doing the audio book right now. I try to compartmentalize: we talked about this when you guys came on my show where, like I said certain types of books I like to do audio, certain types of books, I need the physical book. But it's such a good book. It's a classic, and that's that's definitely on my my list that I read every single year."
Jen said, "So I am in the middle of Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, which I would not call a light read right now. This is one that has been on my TBR for a really long time, and as so often happens, I was pushed to pick it up by a buddy read. I knew I wanted to read it, but sometimes I have that barrier of books that I know are important, but that are dense, and it's tough to get started because I know it's going to take a while and it's going to be some work. But it is so good. She is such a great storyteller.
"So she is focusing on the migration of Black Americans from the South to the North and to the West. She is focusing on three people: one left in 1931, one in the 1940s, and one in the 1950s. The way she focuses on each of their stories and the things that propelled them to move and then uses that as an example of what led to this whole-scale migration in the United States, I think makes it makes it feel more like a story. It makes it feel more like fiction because you're focused on these characters' lives and the suffering they faced and the things that they went through that finally made them make the choice, the really difficult choice to leave their homes and their families and to take a risk and go somewhere different in the hopes that life would be better. So I'm blown away. I'm almost exactly halfway through, so I still have a ways to go. But it is it is as impressive and as amazing as I hoped it would be."
Sara shared, "I was gifted an early Christmas gift that was on my Christmas list, and it is actually a little different than I normally talk about. But it is a cookbook. I'm trying—as we end 2020 and get into 2021—I'm trying to be more intentional in my meal prep because that is someplace that I never can seem to get myself together. So the book that I'm reading is Gina Homolka—and she is also writing this with Heather K. Jones, who's a registered dietitian—and it's called Skinnytaste Meal Prep. I don't love that name, but what it is is just really healthy, wholesome food that you can prepare ahead of time, and it also freezes. So sometimes that's what I struggle with, with when I'm trying to meal prep is I like stuff that I can also freeze and put in my fridge for later, and she has those recipes. So she has a ton of information on just the prepping in general. There is a considerable amount of reading and then also the recipes, and all the listeners know that I like to read cookbooks anyway, I just love to look through them, and I like to collect them. So I'm really enjoying it. I am really interested in healthy eating. She does a really good job of breaking down everything that is in the food. I'm just trying to get myself for 2021: I just want to be a little bit more on track with being organized and not being so frantic every second of the day."
Main Segment - Book Recs for Reaching Your Goals in 2021
Jen recommended Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Adam said, "I love this book. This is one of my most recommended books for somebody that's trying to lose weight."
Jen said, "Yes, I really love this one. So I read it a few years ago in print, and then I just reread it via audio, and it works in both formats, I thought the narrator was great. This one is really interesting first because I think it illuminates something that we don't think about all the time, which is just the habits that run our lives, and so Duhigg does a great job just establishing how important habits are and the way that this thing that we don't think about—that's the definition of habit: things that we do that we don't think about,—really can shape every day and, you know, longer term can shape our whole paths forward. Then he talks about—his tagline is "habits are not destiny"—and so he talks about ways that we can deliberately reshape those habits, and make them work for us.
"I just think it's brilliant. First of all, he's a great storyteller, ao he has these great examples. He talks about Tony Dungy and the way he helped, that he took a team to win the Super Bowl; he talks about the way advertising executives figured out how to make people want to use Febreeze; he talks about how people started brushing their teeth. So he's just talking about all of these great examples that make it easy to understand his approach to all of these different types of habits. Then he talks about the ways that we can use them. So if someone is doing rehab, which is really challenging, what do you need to do? How do you make a habit of taking that first step that gets you on the path to rehab? If you have an addiction that you are trying to overcome, how do you analyze the cues that make you go to the addiction and then switch them so you replace them with something that can be helpful instead of harmful? I don't want to give away everything in the book (I couldn't possibly it's it's a 10-hour audiobook, and we don't have that much time). But I just think it's great because it is both inspirational and very, very practical, and both times that I've read it, I've come away thinking, Oh, my goodness, so tomorrow, I need to do this, and I need to take this first step toward making this change just to make my life a little bit better. So that is Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business."
Adam recommended The One Thing by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller. He said, "Okay, this is great for the year 2021 because I feel like 2020 just filled up our mind full of mess, and we have so many things to try to take care of on the table. The One Thing is about finding the one thing currently in your life that, if you accomplish this, it has the greatest impact over all the other things in your life. It is a system to help you figure out what all the things are, and then we start to rearrange them to where there's this, this pecking order where you say, 'Okay, this thing is the most important focus point in my life, and if I drive towards that a little bit each day, it's going to have a trickle effect on everything else that I'm trying to accomplish.' So for example, if somebody is struggling with the relationship with their spouse, maybe, and like they're not talking or whatever, and that's impacting their health, that's impacting their finances, and that's impacting their relationship with their children, that would be the one thing; you have to work on that top edge thing, and then everything else is going to start to get better. Once you figure that out, there's a great story, and when it talks about if you have a domino and push it over, it can knock over a domino twice its size, and then that one can knock over a domino twice its size to where it's not that many dominoes until it gets to like Empire State Building size or whatever. So that's their philosophy is okay, now, that Empire State Building domino, that's the one thing, let's work backwards. What's the first domino we have to flick over today to create momentum towards the one thing, and so it's really cool. It's simple. We got to get things down into very simple steps to start rebuilding our routines and our habits and the life that we were kind of on track, you know, in 2019, and so I think it'll be super helpful, and it'll be very inspirational. So that's by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller: The One Thing.
Ashley said, "When you were saying, how about stumping us like I read very few of these books, this is definitely the area that I read the least, but every time I do, I'm so glad that I did. So I think I will be interested this year, especially as we're looking toward kind of setting some new habits and kind of getting back into a groove that's different than where we've been for the last long period of time, it'll be helpful to look at some of that. . . . So anyway, I wanted to share Chip and Dan Heath's The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, and, as is often true, when I'm looking for a book or genre that is unfamiliar to me, I look to Jen, and she recommended this one, and I'm so glad she did. I loved what they had to say, and I think that what really stood out to me is they are focused on the way that we remember and experience things, and that that is actually determined by moments instead of by duration, or all these other measures of experience. Because of that, the premise is that moments are what matter. So, if that if that's what matters. . . . they use the example of going to Disney World, and they talk about ratings and how, even though if you look at minute by minute, and you try to average out people's experience and what their average number would be, that number is much lower than when they personally rate themselves. It's because the length of the suffering doesn't matter. It's basically like what our brains retain is the moment, and because something like a Disney World experience has these high-impact moments, it lets you let go of all these other things.
"For one thing, I think that's really freeing to think about that that alone, that concept really was something I haven't spent much time thinking about: how you can do a lot, as long as the peak of that thing is really good. But then the crux of the book is about how to create more moments. So if moments are what matter, then how do we create more of them? It's really a practical application: they have four basic criteria, and they say it needs to be elevated, there needs to be a component of pride, there needs to be a connection, and it needs to have an insight. If it has those four things, that is going to create or enhance a moment that might otherwise go unnoticed. I thought that was really great. I love that idea of just looking at your every day and thinking, what is something that I can do for my children or for my class or for my partner in order to elevate or for myself in order to elevate this experience and make it a moment instead of just a daily grind situation?
"It was really enjoyable as a listening experience. I think I could listen to more of these kinds of books on audio because, again, I think I picked up a lot of things from it and might not have have time to read a print copy of a lot of them, but that's something I could consume on audio more easily. I felt like it was a really rich reading experience. I thought that there were a lot of really great tips that I got out of it that I can put to practice in my own personal life and for the podcast, and for my other jobs. So, you know, all that felt really good. So again, that was Chip and Dan Heath's The Power of Moments.
Sara said, "This is a genre that I don't read a lot because I find sometimes that these are panic inducing in me because, especially when I'm listening—I listen to a lot of audiobooks, like when I'm exercising or cooking, and when I'm listening to these types of books, sometimes I just get overwhelmed with what I'm not doing, and I feel like I'm failing, and especially I find when people are giving tips on parenting, then I'm like, Oh, no, I think things are going bad here in the in the Voigt household. I actually really tried to be intentional about the book that I chose. It's a book that has had a lot of buzz. So my book is James Clear's Atomic Habits. First of all, the reason I chose this book is for the 'atomic' part, so like small little changes that make a big difference. That's a lot of what this book is about is about making sure that when you are making a change that you're doing it in a way that is sustainable, and I really like the way that he talks about goals versus process because he says that we should be focusing on the process because a lot of times . . . I mean, I think about like in weight loss or like I'm trying to be come a better runner, if I don't focus on the process, and I'm only focused on the goal, once I get to that goal, then where am I going from there? I like that the fundamentals he kind of lays out in this book, he basically goes by Four Laws, and they're cue, craving, response, and reward. Like I said, he focuses on the process of getting to where you want to go, but also continuing past that point.
"I thought it really spoke to me, and it kind of reminded me of when I was working with Adam because he made a lot of small changes so that it wasn't overwhelming, and I felt like that was really sustainable for me. I'm trying to do this running thing, so I started off with one mile every day, like that's nothing! I can do that. That's easy. And I just keep and just trying to keep adding on, and I like to exercise and all of that, but for me running is that exercise that I dread. But once I do it, I really like it, so this book has helped me kind of create a plan for myself to get to where I want to go or just become a runner. He talks about that in here. He says you are not going to run a marathon, the way that you look at your goal shouldn't be you're going to be running a marathon. Your intention should be you're wanting to become a runner, and that is a habit change. That's a life change. That's something that can be sustained for however long. . . . The way that he discusses making small changes makes it seem very manageable. It seems very actionable, so I really really liked it. I think that he took a hard topic and made it really digestible for someone who doesn't have a degree in behavioral science. I really recommend it. It was great. So that is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
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