Capital Gaines – Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Things

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Author: Chip Gaines Published: October 2017

Lessons learned, Family and Dreams are the 3 themes that came to my mind after reading “Capital Gaines – Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Thing” by Chip Gains. An insightful story on the journey that Chip Gains took that led him to being a star on the hit television show about fixing up houses in Waco, Texas Fixer Upper.

From a young age Chip had to learn that dreams do not always work out the way that you plan. No matter how much passion and hard work you put into them. That is what happened when his dream of becoming a player in the MLB came to an end, when he was suddenly cut from the Baylor University baseball team in his Sophomore year. He became down on himself believing he did not just disappoint himself but also his parents especially his father. However, one day while sitting in class, he looked out the window at the landscapers cutting the grass and an idea came to him. After a conversation with the landscaper’s owner, her got himself a job and shortly after a new dream of becoming a business owner himself!

Many viewers who have seen Fixer Upper might think that Chip Gaines is just the goofy, lovable contractor. Yes, he is all of those things and so much more. He is hard working business man and a dedicated husband and father. He was the one who had the passion to be a business owner and who actually started several small business at a young age. When his new bride Joanna came to him about opening a small antique shop, he was the one the helped get Magnolia Homes off the ground. Then they both started building and flipping houses.

It was not until the show their businesses started to grow into what they are today, and they make that very know in this book. Chip talks about the struggles that they faced early on in their relationship with his passion for business but lack of planning. The way that mistakes needed to occur in ordered to realize for himself what was right in front of him and what he could lose if he did not try harder. He talks about Joanna and his decision to step away from TV and focus on the important things in life, family and love.

Chip encourages the reader to find their passion and create a plan. He encourages us to work hard for that passion but to never lose sight of yourself and those who is helping you get to your end goal. I say encourage because I felt as if he was never forcing step by step tips to get to your goal but lending encouraging lessons to a happy, healthy, and successful life!

Anxious People

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Author: Fredrik Backman Publishing date:

Life, Mistakes and second changes are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Anxious People” by Fredrick Backman. A story about an ordinary day turning into one of the most unforgettable life changing day for the most ordinary and extraordinary group of people. A tale that will leaving you with a whole new outlook on your life.

Have you ever had a day that was all planned out and the plan never working out? Have you ever thought what you would do if you were held hostage by a bank robber? Well that is exactly what occurred in this book. A group of complete strangers simply went to this apartment open house when a bank robber stormed in and held them hostage all by mistake. Now these complete stranger have to figure out what to do next in order to get everyone out alive!

Fredrik Backman dives right into the struggles that these group of characters are facing. Both currently with the hostage situation and in their personal lives. He has an unbelievable ability to create characters that are relatable to the reader with the many flaws that they carry. The struggles that Backman’s characters face are anything from: financial struggles, fears of becoming a new parent and getting old. All the way to even depression. Backman highlights this groups struggles and then proceed to show the reader the best way for them to get through their own struggles. I learned that if you are in a situation such as these characters are in, you are more likely to open to strangers about your struggles and listen to their own. By doing this you are able to find things in common and offer support to one another rather than criticism. Fredrick has the ability of creating a story with such an important message, all the while having the reader in tears of laughter!!

This book I believe is for anyone that is struggling during this time. To show that you are not alone in your worries whether they are big or small! This book is full of compassion, love, empathy, and lighthearted moments as well. It surely had me having a different outlook on life.

Dreams From My Father

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Race, family and wisdom are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Dreams From My Father” By Former President Barack Obama. A journey through the former president past and how he got to become the man he is today.

 The Former President takes the reader through his journey of finding out about his father’s past and how he became the man he was. Everything from his first and only visit with his father in Hawaii to visiting his father’s family in Kenya after his father’s death. He talks in great lengths about his father’s ambitions and his own ambitions being quite similar. However, the way his father went about achieving those goals verses his own path towards achieving his goals were anything but the same.

He talks about his struggles growing up in a single parent/biracial family. And how that led to him becoming an organizer in Chicago fighting the racial divide. How that eventually led him to other goals such as law school.

The book is full of wisdom on race and family and to never take anything for granted. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been a fan of the Former President and has found him inspiring as much as I have!

Madam Secretary

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Author: Madeleine Albright                                                  Publication Date: 2003, 2013

Political, personal and insightful are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading Former Secretary of States Madeleine Albright Memoir. The story of how a Czechoslovakian immigrant became the 64th and first women Secretary of States in the United States of America.

Madeleine Albright was a young, intelligent women full of ambition, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and her family fled to the United States for a safer and better life 1947. After attending Wellesley College,  Madeleine started her professional career in journalism by working at local newspapers. Her political career kicked off when she worked on The National Security Committee under the Former President Jimmy Carter Administration. She went on to work on several different campaigns such as: Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. Madeleine is most known for being The United States Ambassador to the United Nations and the 64th and first women Secretary of State both under Former President Bill Clinton.

This book covers several prominent events in not just The United States but around the world, particularly during her years as Ambassador and Secretary of State. Madeleine highlights several aspects of her personal life as well. Including her marriage, divorce, becoming a parent to her three daughters Anne, Alice and Katie and finding out about her family’s Jewish heritage. She points out the difficult parts of being a parent and juggling a stressful career. However, stressing trying to pave a pathway for females in Government.

Quote: “I had arrived in that harbor half a century before, an eleven-year old immigrant from Prague staring up at the Statue of Liberty. How astonishing that that girl was about to become the 64th Secretary of State and the highest-ranking women in U.S. History.”

This quote describes in a handful sentences how she hopes that her achievements will inspire young men and women that are in or that are coming into this country to shoot for stars and not let the hurtles get them down. I know that women like Madeleine Albright, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and several more female roles models in Government have inspired me to shoot for my dreams in making not just The United States but the world a better and safer place for all.