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Friday, April 24, 2015

"The Better Life" (Claire Diaz-Ortiz)

TITLE: The Better Life: Small Things You Can Do Right Where You Are
AUTHOR: Claire Diaz-Ortiz
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2015, (160 pages).

Good things come in small packages. Learn to start where you are rather than to wait for the improbable perfect situation. This is what the popular author and speaker, Claire Diaz-Ortiz says in thirty over vignettes that inspire one toward a better life. Diaz-Ortiz is also known as a "top-level Twitter employee" as well as her humanitarian work, especially through her organization, "Hope Runs" which is a non-profit organization supporting AIDS orphanages in Kenya. This book is an example of why her influence is infectious. With her winsome approach, she puts together a book that truly inspires one to do more with the present resources rather than to wait in vain for more resources that may never appear. Tips like learning to set our intention using the power of one word; to become morning people who usually get more things done; to do the seven most important things each day using the PRESENT acronym; the need to say no and rest; and the need to say no and work; and many more.

The author weaves in her own life stories in the book about how the smallest decisions in life can affect her journey in life. Like the time when she said yes to an invitation to work for Twitter, and 99 ways in which one need to say no to things that really do not matter, and also in order to protect that one focus for the year. Many things she shared appear to be common sense, like learning to accept the hurts and disappointments that come our way; as well as perseverance to accomplish something and the openness to learn. It is really easy reading and the short snippets make this book an easy pick-up and perk-me-up reading material when traveling to work or home on the bus or train. While there could be other ways to nuance her observations and sharing, the moment we over-analyze her memoir, the less beneficial the book is for us. If we were to simply read and watch her reveal her learning in life, it will be a lot more meaningful for us as eavesdroppers instead of judges of what is happening in her life.

Better life or not, we can choose to think and live positively through the ups and downs of life. Not all of the author's chapters may appeal, but if there is just one that does help, it would have worth the price of the book. So, pick up this book and read away.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Moody Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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