Jul 28, 2015

Book Review: Practicing the Power of Now

Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a self help book about being present and not letting the past or future create any pain to you. Eckhart Tolle introduces himself as a spiritual teacher without any specific religion or ideology behind him. His message is quite simple: be present at the moment and feel yourself and you will free yourself of pain that your mind is causing.

I both hated and loved the book. I believe, in the being in the moment and accepting what life offers, kind of thinking. Then on the other hand Mr. Tolle takes his toughs sometimes to the levels that are out of my thinking and my ideology. If I understood him right, he says we should forget the past and the future and only live in the moment. In my thinking, your past defines you, relationships with people always have a past, learning is relies to the past and part of our happiness comes from the past.

What I think is really valuable in the book is the idea of feeling yourself and not letting your own history define you too much. You should always be open to people and really feel what you are feeling and not what you think you should feel.

The book as such isn't long, it's quite short to be exact, but still I believe it could have been even shorter. The idea is such a simple that it could have been told even in bit less pages.

I'm glad I read the book, but I think there are better books about being present and mindfulness. If you've already read couple of similar books, this could be good addition to the group, but if you haven't read one of these before, select something else to start with.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 26, 2015

Book Review: #Workout by Jurgen Appelo

I'm a bit ashamed of myself. I've owned #Workout: Games, Tools & Practices to Engage People, Improve Work, and Delight Clients by Jurgen Appelo for already half a year and now I finally was able to finish the book. Book is a real gem and I will definitely be using it regularly for my work.

I actually had met Jurgen Appelo years ago in Finnish agile event before he had written any books. From those days onward I've been reading his interesting thoughts from his blog and his books. This book I bought directly from him in Dare Festival last fall. So I could say I'm a fan.

I believe he is one the leading management thinkers in the world right now. What I especially like is the realism in his thoughts. There are so many people who are much too idealistic about different practices that they seem to forget the laws of business, that relies behind it all. Jurgen seems to always remember the reality in his thoughts.

The book itself is really valuable from cover to cover. For myself there were quire many things I've either run into in other sources or read from Jurgen himself earlier, but it is always valuable to get good recap on things.

Book is quite long and thick, it is over 500 pages. That made it bit scary to start with. Fortunately it is filled with colorful illustrations and good examples. So it isn't that long to read as it seems to be. And like said earlier, the whole book is full of important topics, so I recommend to give it a try.

There are too many important topics in the book to start raising any special ones tot the actual review. All the subjects concentrate on improving workplaces and organizations. It talks lot about management, but management doesn't mean actually supervisor management, but more managing ourselves, our peers and the full organization.

It is important and enjoyable book and highly recommend everyone to read it. Hearing and understanding these ideas will eventually lead in to better organizations and better work places.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen