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Patterns Are Inevitable. Growth Is Optional

Matt Norman
Matt Norman Author Interview

Four Patterns of Healthy People helps readers build better behaviors in order to reach their full potential in both life and business. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Seeing people grow beyond unhealthy patterns has been the most rewarding part of my career. As a leadership speaker and coach, it’s clear to me that everyone gets into patterns of thinking or behaving because of their family influences or as a way of adapting to their life circumstances. Every day, those ways of thinking and behaving get repeated until one day they are often no longer helpful. Whether it’s a new relationship, a job, a new phase of life, or a trial we’re facing, we realize our old ways of thinking and behaving don’t serve us well. At that point, we can either self-confront and grow, or remain stuck. That’s why I thought this book was important to write – to help people and organizations thrive by identifying and improving patterns that need to change.

What do you feel is a common misconception people have about success in life?

People often associate success with gratification or comfort. The truth is, success is more about joy, meaning, and purpose. And those things come from doing hard things – like working hard, enduring suffering, having difficult conversations, and thinking critically. This never ends in life. Those who stop growing and doing hard things may achieve a level of pleasure but miss out on true joy, meaning, and purpose.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

Patterns are inevitable. Growth is optional. Growth requires the ability and willingness to self-confront patterns in how you think, relate to others, view yourself, and operate your life. That’s painful work but it leads to the greatest joy and impact.

Do you have plans to write more books on this topic?

Yes, my next book will likely be related to influencing others to grow in positive ways.

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Identify Recurring Patterns to Grow Beyond What Is Holding You Back from Success and Fulfillment!
Your most powerful work is overcoming the mistakes, flaws, and wounds you have internalized throughout your life. Are you ready to harness that?
Recurring themes of conflict, cognition, addiction, time allocation, and situational responses become patterns that affect your decisions, both positively and negatively.
Once you are aware of these recurring patterns, you can use them to place emphasis on the positive impact and minimize the negative.
Understanding these patterns is step one to becoming a healthier version of yourself.
Do you believe that you can change patterns in how you think and relate to others to have a more fulfilling life?
You can.
In 2002, Matt Norman suffered from debilitating panic attacks that sidelined him from business meetings, making it difficult for him to interact with others. Once he learned to recognize the patterns that were causing his anxiety, Matt was able to overcome it. Now, he is a leader in the industry that mentors others on how to do the same.
You have a choice.
You can stay stuck in the same recurring patterns or you can identify and confront those patterns in an effort to grow.
Your brain will remind you of trauma and past experiences to keep you in the same pattern of survival, “Be careful, you got hurt last time!”
It makes you resist change because it might be risky! As a result, you remain in fixed patterns that can limit productivity and be downright debilitating.
This is the brain’s natural reaction, but that does not mean you have to be locked into this limiting behavior. You can create new connections in your brain that encourage new thoughts and actions.
Don’t you think it’s time for you to grow and lead a more fulfilling life?
You’re the reason Matt wrote this book. His passion is to show you how to recognize recurring negative patterns that are holding you back and help you embrace the growth that will carry you to new heights!
Matt Norman is President & CEO of Norman & Associates. Through Norman & Associates, he helps people think and work together more effectively. Matt’s coaching has helped Fortune 100 corporations, non-profits, and entrepreneurs change the way they engage with their employees and clients.
If you’re ready to begin identifying the recurring patterns that are holding you back, confront them, and advance to a healthier and more fulfilling life, then you’re in the right place.

Choose Your Stories, Change Your Life

John Sautelle’s Choose Your Stories, Change Your Life is a book that will help you reflect on your life, the decisions you make, and the path you take. The author writes about basic things that people indulge in daily. As he discusses the various topics, the author created characters and gave them traits that defined their personalities to help the reader understand human behavior. I enjoyed reading about the characters and had a few that I considered favorites at the end of the reading. John Sautelle’s characters appear real in every sense and even had me compare some of them to characters I know in real life.

John Sautelle’s narrates the stories engagingly, making the reader feel like part of the discussion. The conversations among characters are interesting and feel authentic. Looking at the characters, one gets to understand why people around us tend to behave the way they do. Some people are easy to talk with while others have some unique traits that need a little understanding. On working with difficult people, the reader learns that the only way that you can make one change or improve their behavior is by tenderly communicating. There are different ways of communication and the channel one uses can determine the outcome of a conversation.

The reader also gets informed about being responsible for whatever they do. Making plans is one thing but fulfilling them is a different story. Many people get to write down their goals, but how many actually achieve their set targets? The author helps you understand why you do not see through the annual resolutions you make, and how you can change that. As an adult, the author reminds us that to be successful you have to be committed. Fate may have something in store for you but be the one to choose your dreams.

Choose Your Stories, Change Your Life is an invigorating self-help book that will help you on your self-improvement journey. Through the characters George, Lili, Jan, and Stefan, the reader gets to experience real challenges that people face. I appreciate the author’s characters selection as each of them was unique. Some characters teach one about patience, others about having a forgiving heart, while others make one feel confident with themselves. You need to take your time when reading this book as the author has several vital teachings that can help you navigate the challenges you face in life. The book makes you understand that life is a process and you need to take one step at a time.

Pages: 80 | ASIN: B076CKL2NH

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The Most Important Asset

Mari Ryan
Mari Ryan Author Interview

The Thriving Hive provides readers with guidance on creating a work culture that is both satisfied and motivated. Why was this an important book for you to write?

All too often we hear about employee disengagement and high turnover rates. Both of these issues cost employers millions of dollars a year. When employees have an experience at work where they feel connected to the purpose of the organization and feel they are cared for, they are more likely to both be engaged and stay with the organization. In writing this book, I hoped to show leaders and managers that they can create a workplace where both the employees and the business thrive.

What do you find is a common misconception leaders have about employees roles in companies?

In many organizations, employees are treated as assets that are there to be used up and discarded. Without your employees, you can’t achieve your business objectives. Employees are an asset, but need to be viewed as the most important asset of an organization.

You are a workplace well-being strategist and CEO of Advancing Wellness. How has your experience helped you write this book?

I’ve spent my entire career in business, with experiences in organizations from some of the largest, most notable companies in the world to very small businesses. I’ve seen the good, the bad and, yes, even the ugly.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

The one thing I hope readers take away is that they can influence their own organization to create a workplace where well-being is a core value and that caring for their people is a key priority.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Mari Ryan, a workplace well-being strategist, tells a simple, yet insightful story in The Thriving Hive: How People-Centric Workplaces Ignite Engagement and Fuel Results. A first-time CEO realizes her organization is no longer attracting and retaining the kinds of employees they need to remain competitive and keep their customers happy. She seeks help from a mentor, the retired former CEO. With his unconventional insights, he introduces her to two very different beehive workplace cultures and how they deal with adversity.

Replete with interesting characters, the parable takes you on a journey as the bees experience hive-threatening situations. The story looks at the organizational behavior, how leadership and their management teams can create workplace cultures that diminish or support the well-being of their employees. You’ll meet the management teams and worker bees that represent typical employees in any business.

Readers join the CEO in learning about:

o Putting employee wellness first to revitalize a company

o The economic benefits of a people-centric workplace

o Creating a workplace culture with organizational behaviors that encourage organizational well-being

o Implementing structural adjustments that support employee engagement

o Strategic viewpoints and tactical practices for enhancing employee well-being

This is a quick read for anyone who wants guidance for creating a culture of well-being, purpose, vitality, and satisfaction, for an all-encompassing employee experience.

A Symbol Of New Beginnings

Lili Naghdi Author Interview

Lili Naghdi Author Interview

On Loving follows Rose who must deal with a storm of emotional chaos involving family, secrets and another man. What was the source of inspiration for the journey that Rose goes on in this book?

As a family physician, I’ve had a true chance to work with different people, men or women, at different stages of their lives and this gave me a chance to get more familiar with humans’ emotional changes and the way they affect people’s lives. People that I’ve come to know and worked with always inspire me. An important lesson I’ve learned during all these years of practicing was that self-awareness and self-scrutiny are the hardest tasks to get through in life and people who have the chance to achieve them are, indeed, the luckiest people alive. Rose is an accomplished woman, modern and respected. A woman with a good career and education who has a wealthy family with all the possibilities in front of her, but she is still missing something, and she doesn’t feel complete. She needs to know her roots and she needs to go through her personal growth to become satisfied with herself. Falling in love and what comes next gives her this opportunity to know herself, her strengths, her weaknesses and how to overcome her fears and open her heart to embrace her life at every stage of it. She learns that being a woman is a privilege and something to be proud of.

Rose is an intriguing and thoroughly developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character?

“Rose”, a symbol of new beginnings, hope and resilience, was the name I chose for this main female character. The year is 1972 and the world is changing. She is a modern and educated woman with the respect for her fellow human beings. She is a strong-willed character, but weak and fragile at the same time during the challenges she faces while taking many steps of her love-driven life journey. As in real life, being a professional particularly being a physician, doesn’t protect her from the devastating and destroying effects of tragedies she endures in her turbulent life. She is a human being with all the flaws and faults, beauties and capabilities possible. She falls, she breaks into pieces, but she stands up again and moves on in her own ways. The title is chosen in a loving memory of the late, controversial Iranian poet, Forugh Farrokhzad, who was also a modern woman with her modern ideas much ahead of her time in a society that discriminated woman and criticized her for her ideas and the way she expressed her emotions. Just like Rose, she was a free spirit who explored her emotions and as a poet she brought them to life by writing beautiful poetry that showed the delicate soul of a young woman in a modest and pure manner. I intended Rose to represent such a woman, but in another type of setting, a surgeon with a good knowledge about literature who learns how to analyze her emotional journey and connect to her inner being to become a better person.

This novel is emotional and explores the meaning of love in new ways. What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?

“On Loving” is a love story, but more importantly it is a story about love itself: its psychology, its physiology and the research behind it. The concept of conditional versus unconditional love has been explored in depth in this story. Both main male characters were following their own agendas representing these two concepts from the beginning till the end. Valuing and getting to know your emotions (including love, anger, fear, jealousy, etc.) by working to achieve self-awareness was another main point I was intending to explore. Unfortunately, unknown or miscomprehended emotions can make us vulnerable in life and be the main source for depression and anxiety disorders. Rose, on the other hand, explored the real meaning of love (both of the above concepts), depression, bereavement and their inevitable consequences all through this story. Being a physician with the knowledge of these mental health issues never made her immune to these unfortunate consequences. In fact, she was missing the signs for years and this is what we see in real life of many people including health care professionals.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available? ​

I am working on a new story which is also about women’s related issues and the issues I work with as a physician. The title, “Greeting the Sun Again”, has also been chosen to honor Forugh Farrokhzad, the late Iranian poet, and it has been taken from the title of her popular and famous poem called, “I will Greet the Sun Again”. Just like “On Loving”, It is a love story twisted with literature, history and everyday life realities. I’m expecting it to be out by next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | FacebookWebsite

On Loving by [Naghdi, Lili]In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman’s lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

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Toxic Relationships

Diane Pomerantz Author Interview

Diane Pomerantz Author Interview

Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a candid retelling of your life and the many trials you faced throughout. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was an important book for me to write Lost in the Reflecting Pool for several reasons. On a personal level, writing was a way for me to process some very difficult, and traumatic times in my life. The act of writing itself, allowed me to gain enough distance and perspective to gain understanding that I don’t think I would have otherwise gained.

Equally important, my book covers many issues that are of particular relevance to women and men in terms of toxic relationships, narcissism, trusting the red flags that one sees early on in relationships and I think that it is important that these are important issues for the general population to be aware of as they enter into relationships.

You wrote about a relationship with a man that you struggled to break free of; what is one piece of advice you wish you had at the beginning?

Trust what I saw – and to not ignore what I saw.

The book is a memoir about many difficult things in your life, but the story is ultimately uplifting. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

I hope that people will take away from my story that it is possible to change to course of one’s life even when things feel as if there is no way out – things can get better. Developing a support system is essential. When in a toxic relationship make sure that one does not allow oneself to become isolated from all other supports (friends and family).

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

I am currently working on a psychological thriller, Call Me Angel which should be available late 2020 and I am working on two children’s books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website | Twitter

Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoir by [Pomerantz, Diane]

When Diane, a psychologist, falls in love with Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist, there is laughter and flowers—and also darkness. After moving through infertility treatments and the trials of the adoption process as a united front, the couple is ultimately successful in creating a family. As time goes on, however, Charles becomes increasingly critical and controlling, and Diane begins to feel barraged and battered. When she is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Charles is initially there for her, but his attentiveness quickly vanishes and is replaced by withdrawal, anger, and unfathomable sadism. What Diane previously thought were just Charles’ controlling ways are replaced by clear pathologic narcissism and emotional abuse that turns venomous at the very hour of her greatest need.

A memoir and a psychological love story that is at times tender and at times horrifying, Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a chronicle of one woman’s struggle to survive within—and ultimately break free of—a relationship with a man incapable of caring about anyone beyond himself.

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Life of the Sailor: The Psychology of Who We Are

Anyone looking for an in-depth discussion on what it means to be whole and happy would certainly benefit from reading Chester Litvin’s Life of the Sailor: The Psychology of Who We Are. Litvin creates an easily digestible work on an extremely complex topic. The author comes from, as he terms it, “the Soviet Collective,” and has clearly dedicated much of his career to understanding the psychological effects of radicalization of the human psyche.

Litvin goes to great length to help his readers understand why it is that there are always certain specific roles being played out within society, and how those roles are all a part of who we are as human beings. Coming from an oppressive society that fed on reducing individualism, the author sees himself as an adventurer into the psyche where he can begin dialogues between all the different splits in the human psyche in hopes that finding ways to nurture every part of the whole will result in a complete, happy, and satisfied life and self-awareness.

Through the use of characterization, the author makes it possible for readers to quickly grasp the concept of a person’s psyche being split into a variety of parts due to both internal and external traumas. There are characters who represent all the various types of splits that one could experience along the road to finding a completed version of themselves, and Litvin expresses the vital role of these characters to create healthy dialogues in order to mend the splits that exist between them.

More than just showing his readers that it is possible for a psyche to split into sections that become distant from one another, Litvin goes into great detail to show the methods and concepts that are required to close the gaps that exist within us all.

While some may not quite be ready to take on this type of intense personal introspection, the subject matter is still important and interesting in many ways. For example, learning more about the roots of some of our most troubling psychological states, including fear, anger, and others, helps to understand and cope with these types of things whether they are internal or external.

Chester Litvin’s Life of the Sailor: The Psychology of Who We Are is an eye-opening work. Whether the concepts discussed within are new to you or you have studied them before, the author discusses many important aspects of our nature as people, and he does so in a way that can be understood by all.

Pages: 228 | ISBN: 1450219047

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Sailor’s Psychology

Sailor's Psychology:: A Methodology on Self-Discovery Through the Tale of a Semite in the Squall by [Litvin, Chester]

Sailor’s Psychology: A Methodology on Self-Discovery Through the Tale of a Semite in the Squall by Chester Litvin, PhD is a study in the fragmented identities of humans. Litvin uses the metaphor of sailors to equate to anyone on any sort of journey or voyage, either physical, spiritual, or psychological. Litvin examines many psychological splits present in people. He also explores self-awareness, finding completeness and wholeness of the human spirit, and provides navigation to sailors on how to get there.

The book appears to be a companion book to Litvin’s Escape from Kolyma: Aborigin is a Bear Region. It delves deeper into the story of Professor Stepan Kryvoruchko, PhD and the other characters from that book, and uses those characters to teach readers about the human psyche. In Sailor’s Psychology, Litvin refers to Kryvoruchko’s story often, so I think it would be beneficial to have knowledge of the aforementioned book before diving into this one. Without previous knowledge of the characters, readers may find themselves lost.

Litvin writes about a myriad of issues, but one thing that I picked up on in Litvin’s work that felt very poignant and important to our current society was his thoughts on religion. Litvin explained that very religious people felt as if they were the protectors of their own religion. They felt the need to hang onto tradition and preserve and protect the principles and belief system of their religion. In doing so, they ostracize new people and create an us vs. them mentality. This causes a rift between the very religious and those who are on the perimeter questioning whether to join or not. This system leaves out anyone who is forward thinking or looking for spiritual growth beyond the concrete dogma. The walling off of new parishioners by religious leaders was one of many self-contradictory practices that is examined.

Outside forces as well as personal ones are explained as the source of pscyhe fragmentation. Internal elements, both conscious and subconscious contribute to the wholeness, or lack thereof, of a person. Interpersonal relationships, family history, and other contributors are also at play. Litvin explains how Kryvoruchko’s family history of Nazi domination led to his multitudes of fears. He also explains that Kryvoruchko was self-aware enough to recognize and diagnose those issues and face them head-on.

This is a book that I think may be taken best over time, such as in a Psychology class or an extended study. As a study taken a section at a time, the load of the book would seem less daunting. It is heavy, complex and will take some thought to digest.

Pages: 250 | ASIN: B0792Y9K3V

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Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoir

Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoir by [Pomerantz, Diane]

I was truly touched by this memoir by Diane Pomerantz.  Her honesty and candor, as well as her shard recollection of her life’s experiences is truly inspiring and, as a person interested in human relationships, I found this book speaking to my soul. Diane Pomerantz writes as if in conversation. Perhaps this comes from her decades of work as a child psychologist. The writing has a conversational flow and is emotional without being overly flowery or expressive. She states later in the book that writing is very therapeutic for her and this is evident to the reader.

This is a memoir about a life full of challenging experiences to which many people can relate but also moments that are so unique to her story. The author takes us through her years as a married person and into her later years and up to the present. We experience her meeting her husband.  He is a physician and she is a child psychologist. They build a life together, including many issues with fertility and adoption. We experience their early years of marriage, including intense difficulties with fertility and adoption. There are many heartbreaking incidents like when the young couple adopts a baby, names him, and brings him home only to find out that the birth mother has changed her mind. It is inspiring how the author faces these challenges, she is rocked to the core but also finds a way to move forward. It’s beautiful how she got both of her children. I loved this part of the story. It made me laugh when she said her daughter liked her new brother for the first few weeks but was then ready to send him back! My son said similar things about his baby brother in the beginning, so this made me smile.

As the years go on, we watch her husband’s true personality come to forefront. It is truly disturbing to watch this unfold. She sees certain things in the beginning that are red flags but continues raising her children with him and even working together. There is a story about how she and Charles co-treat a young woman for anxiety and Pomerantz is alarmed by his dismissive response to the patient. Through the author’s struggles with illness she discovers more and more truths about her husband. It was alarming to read the breakdown of their partnership and his actions and state of mind. Her descriptions were so alarming at times, yet I believed every detail.

There is a lot of difficulty, trauma, and heartbreak in this book, but it all comes around to a positive ending and left me feeling like I was more aware in my own marriage and relationships. I like that she is able to move forward without anger, even though she doesn’t have to forgive. I really enjoyed this book. The writing style was so comfortable and easy to read. The authors candor about her life are refreshing in a world where people often only want to show the good.

Pages: 337 | ASIN: B07414L8B6

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