Tag Archives: book review

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo

IMG_3027“The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them” written by David Richo outlines the givens in life and how to live more with an “unconditional yes.”  His 5 givens are:

  1. Everything Changes and Ends
  2. Things Do Not Always Go According to Plan
  3. Life is Not Always Fair
  4. Pain is a Part of Life
  5. People are not Loving and Loyal All of the Time

Reread that list.  Wow.  Seems like a glass of cold water was thrown in your face huh?  We all know these things and have experienced them but for someone reason they are hard to accept.  We want the good experiences to last forever, we like to plan and know what is going to happen next, we want fairness, pain hurts, and we expect people to treat us well.  When these things happen, we suffer.  We will suffer less when we accept that these conditions are a part of life and happen to everyone.  No adult or any person of significant age is immune.Richo spends a chapter on each unpacking them.  He then moves into the refuges and gifts from the givens.

“Positive resourceful refuges are relationships, friendships, art, nature, music, creativity, career, entertainment, meditation, and the variety of non-hurtful ways we have of fulfilling our own deepest needs and wishes.”

The last section of the book focuses on the “unconditional yes;” how to become yes, yes to feelings, and a yes to who I am.  He does use spiritual references with a heavy emphasis on nature and Buddhism.Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the simplicity of the givens of life he outlined as well as how to accept them with the least amount of suffering.

Read this book if:

  • You are an adult.

Buy it here

Richo, D. (2008). The five things we cannot change: And the happiness we find by embracing them. Boston: Shambhala.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

blinkBlink by Malcolm Gladwell uses psychology, neuroscience, and storytelling to help the reader determine better decision making skills.  Gladwell begins with an abundance of information and real-world examples of what he calls “rapid cognition” which is basically using your instinct to make decisions.  He moves on to when this can go horribly wrong in decision making.  Fortunately, he ends the book with when to use our instinct and when to spend more time thinking about a decision.

“We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.”

In typical Gladwell fashion, he picks a subject that other authors overlook, digs deep with information, and tops it off with real-world examples to drive home the point.  I enjoyed learning more about rapid cognition and agree with the author on how our thinking mind gets in the way of what our unconscious already knows.  I was interested in his information on “unconscious bias” which is when we make have those knee-jerk reactions based on a deep rooted bias of some sort.

This book is hard to put down and as the reader you will walk away feeling more confident about making decisions.

Read this book if:

  • You love Malcolm Gladwell books
  • Interested in learning more about how decisions are made
  • You want to gain confidence in yourself and your decision making abilities
  • Professional in a field who helps others make decisions

Buy it Here

Gladwell, M. (2007). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. New York: Back Bay Books.