Exceptional Every Day

My good friend Dr. Jason M. Valadao just published his book Exceptional Every Day: An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform Your Life. I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book before publication and wrote a testimonial (which appears on the back cover!).

Dr. Valadao shares the power of what he calls The Process. I’m a process-oriented person and found the book fascinating and insightful. It’s worth the read, especially if you’re looking to improve your every day habits. Dr. Valadao has an incredible story and mentored many of my teammates. You can learn more about him on his website: jasonvaladao.com.

I have some exciting news that I will be able to announce next week in regards to the Summer Reading Challenge. I look forward to sharing it!

By Jason M. Valadão M.D.

The Underground Railroad

Last week I finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It’s one of those books that when you finish, you want to recommend to everyone. It’s been on my list for a while and I’m sure many of you have read it. Whitehead uses a cool device where he will introduce an impending event at the beginning of a chapter. While you know something is coming, you get lost in the story and the alluded event still comes as a surprise.

I believe this would be a great book for high schoolers to read. While it has graphic scenes describing the experience of slaves, the personification of their experience through fiction is valuable. Whitehead makes you empathize. For those that have read it, do you think high school juniors or seniors could read this book? I know there would be pushback because of the graphic details but I think tough conversations are important.

What do you think?

By Colson Whitehead

Is everyone creative?

Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author (and UC Berkeley grad), thinks everyone is creative. I recently stumbled upon his How to Be Creative article and it’s worth checking out, even if you don’t think of yourself as a traditionally “creative” person.

His advice is for kids and adults. Whether you’re a teacher, business owner, coach or parent, it’s likely you utilize your inner creativity.

His advice that I’m working on: Let your brain rest.

Which of his suggestions could you use?

A lesson from Teddy

I recently finished Edmund Morris’s The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. There are plenty of lessons to learn from Roosevelt’s life but one struck me in particular. He was extremely curious. He was a sickly child and his curiosity for the natural world must have, in part, stemmed from his inability to explore it. When he wasn’t sick, he was outside studying nature. When he was nine years old, he titled a notebook "Natural History on Insects” and filled it with his observations on ants, beetles, flies and other insects.

This curiosity coupled with journaling reminded me of Jack from The Magic Treehouse series. This was my favorite series when I was nine years old. Reflecting on it now, Jack inspired me to be curious. He always takes a notepad on his journeys. Whenever he observes something interesting, he writes it down. I carry a Moleskine journal and do the same thing today.

Every kid is curious about something. Facilitating their curiosities can go a long way and reading fostered mine. What else works?