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At the Jay Shetty Certification School, we agree with Charles W. Eliot that, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends… the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” They are portable magic in every sense, as Stephen King once said. Here is what we have been reading this month.

BOOK CLUB

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As the book title suggests, marketer and author Ryan Holiday draws on wisdom from philosophers like Marcus Aurelius and Zhuang Zhou to show how stillness creates the space for success and happiness to materialize. Great athletes, artists, and leaders, like Churchill and Napoleon, use every-day activities to empty the mind, silence the ego, avoid escapism, and build routines to make their best potential future a reality.

Practicing the skill of being present, thoughtful, and reflective engages us with powerful moments that can change our lives if we are aware. The distractions of modern-day life – the frantic pace and noise of conversations and information, expectations and multiple priorities – can easily overwhelm a person and disrupt the best intentions.

As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, only in stillness can we be full and complete. By muting our inner and outer worlds, and, sometimes, temporarily disengaging from their noise, our intuition truly can come to life. So, in this book, Holiday reminds us to be present and limit the inputs in our lives.

Instead of rushing to take pictures and share beautiful moments on social media, we should savor them and quietly feed our souls. Take a break from your mobile phones, email, social media feeds, live news updates, and other toxic influences.

Use a journal to reflect on your life, values, and priorities. Be grateful for what you have. Moderate your desires and urges. Appreciate the beauty and excellence around you. Embrace a hobby. Sleep. Generate more stillness and focus. According to Ryan Holiday, this is the way to peace, clarity, and happiness.

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

Life’s Golden Ticket
by Brendon Burchard


I was asked to give a book review and though I have read many books, I had to choose this one. It hit my hands at the most important time it possibly could have. I was early in my sobriety and my personal development journey when I opened this book for the first time. There is a letter inside of the book with an envelope glued to the back of the book which contains “Life’s Golden Ticket” inside. It states that you cannot open the envelope until you have finished reading the book or it will ruin the magic inside. Talk about motivation to finish the book! 

It is a fiction novel that takes you through a wild personal development journey through an amusement park. You can feel yourself experiencing the journey that the main character is going through as if it were you.  

I do not know if I have ever felt as amazing as I did reading any other book as I did when I finished Life’s Golden Ticket. I was so inspired and cried for 10-15 minutes with tears of gratitude for life. I loved the book so much that I purchased 40 more copies and gave them away to anyone who wanted a copy in my community. This book is a MUST read.

Reviewed by Jordan Harris,
Jay Shetty Certification School Graduate.

Roses by Moonlight
by Nicola Mar


Nicola Mar’s simple, easy-to-read, yet elegant poems leave the reader reflecting long after taking in the words. Nicola’s portrayals of what life is, but, above all, what it could be, leave us yearning to experience our better selves. In that way, the collection is also cathartic as a bittersweet reminder of the complexities of being human. We have to stop and pause sometimes and open up our hearts and minds to the silence and darkness that contrast to show us the warmth and light of being positive.

As the sub-title Bloom in Your Darkest Hour suggests, these times are an opportunity to choose “what to allow the voice to tell you; if you wish to sleep with nightmares or dreams.” Another poem aptly reminds us not to compare our lives to the picture-perfect lives on social media as many are curated smiles that capture a façade of temporary joy as they desperately pursue the next click-able moment.

When she says, “I’ve woken up so many times ‘here’ and nothing has changed,” I am reminded that each of us is creative, resourceful, and whole enough to follow our dreams and cultivate habits that enable growth.

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

BOOK CLUB

At the Jay Shetty Certification School, we agree with Charles W. Eliot that, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends… the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” They are portable magic in every sense, as Stephen King once said. Here is what we have been reading this month.

Prefer to listen to this article?

As the book title suggests, marketer and author Ryan Holiday draws on wisdom from philosophers like Marcus Aurelius and Zhuang Zhou to show how stillness creates the space for success and happiness to materialize. Great athletes, artists, and leaders, like Churchill and Napoleon, use every-day activities to empty the mind, silence the ego, avoid escapism, and build routines to make their best potential future a reality.

Practicing the skill of being present, thoughtful, and reflective engages us with powerful moments that can change our lives if we are aware. The distractions of modern-day life – the frantic pace and noise of conversations and information, expectations and multiple priorities – can easily overwhelm a person and disrupt the best intentions.

As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, only in stillness can we be full and complete. By muting our inner and outer worlds, and, sometimes, temporarily disengaging from their noise, our intuition truly can come to life. So, in this book, Holiday reminds us to be present and limit the inputs in our lives.

Instead of rushing to take pictures and share beautiful moments on social media, we should savor them and quietly feed our souls. Take a break from your mobile phones, email, social media feeds, live news updates, and other toxic influences.

Use a journal to reflect on your life, values, and priorities. Be grateful for what you have. Moderate your desires and urges. Appreciate the beauty and excellence around you. Embrace a hobby. Sleep. Generate more stillness and focus. According to Ryan Holiday, this is the way to peace, clarity, and happiness.

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

Life’s Golden Ticket
by Brendon Burchard


I was asked to give a book review and though I have read many books, I had to choose this one. It hit my hands at the most important time it possibly could have. I was early in my sobriety and my personal development journey when I opened this book for the first time. There is a letter inside of the book with an envelope glued to the back of the book which contains “Life’s Golden Ticket” inside. It states that you cannot open the envelope until you have finished reading the book or it will ruin the magic inside. Talk about motivation to finish the book! 

It is a fiction novel that takes you through a wild personal development journey through an amusement park. You can feel yourself experiencing the journey that the main character is going through as if it were you.  

I do not know if I have ever felt as amazing as I did reading any other book as I did when I finished Life’s Golden Ticket. I was so inspired and cried for 10-15 minutes with tears of gratitude for life. I loved the book so much that I purchased 40 more copies and gave them away to anyone who wanted a copy in my community. This book is a MUST read.

Reviewed by Jordan Harris,
Jay Shetty Certification School Graduate.

Roses by Moonlight
by Nicola Mar


Nicola Mar’s simple, easy-to-read, yet elegant poems leave the reader reflecting long after taking in the words. Nicola’s portrayals of what life is, but, above all, what it could be, leave us yearning to experience our better selves. In that way, the collection is also cathartic as a bittersweet reminder of the complexities of being human. We have to stop and pause sometimes and open up our hearts and minds to the silence and darkness that contrast to show us the warmth and light of being positive.

As the sub-title Bloom in Your Darkest Hour suggests, these times are an opportunity to choose “what to allow the voice to tell you; if you wish to sleep with nightmares or dreams.” Another poem aptly reminds us not to compare our lives to the picture-perfect lives on social media as many are curated smiles that capture a façade of temporary joy as they desperately pursue the next click-able moment.

When she says, “I’ve woken up so many times ‘here’ and nothing has changed,” I am reminded that each of us is creative, resourceful, and whole enough to follow our dreams and cultivate habits that enable growth.

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

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