The Muscular System Manual: The Skeletal Muscles of the Human Body by Joseph Muscolino

ISBN: 978-0323057233 Read: Daily Rating: 8/10

I originally purchased this book when Joe self-published it many years ago.  Joe ran some of his ideas for the third edition by me prior to its completion.  I liked his ideas for the updated version, but what interested me the most was the new art work.  I especially like how he ghosted in the muscles to show the relationship (depth) of one muscle relative to an adjacent muscle that crosses the same joint(s).

The updated edition also provides you with most of the actions for each muscle.  And that is extremely valuable when you are trying to build a solid foundation.

Many books don’t provide you with every action for each muscle, which limits the lens through which you see the human body.

It does not matter what your title is.  If you are a professional that has dedicated your life to working with the human chain in any capacity; you have to know (own!) your knowledge of anatomy.

And the bottom line is this:  anything worth building has to start with a solid foundation.

Another thing that I appreciate about this text that I feel is worth pointing out:  Muscolino does not provide you with the origin and insertion when he gives you the attachment sites for each muscle.  Why?  Because he knows that both ends of the muscle can play the role of the insertion and/or the origin.

The truth is, both ends of any muscle can play the role of the moving end, i.e., the insertion.

To say it another way, if you are spending your valuable time memorizing the origin and the insertion of a muscle-you are limiting your ability to truly understand how a muscle creates motion at a joint.

If you only have the money to purchase one book on muscle anatomy – get this book!  It will be a valuable resource for many years.

I reference The Muscular System Manual daily, and I recommend it to all of my students on the first day of Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology.

Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Rehabilitation by Donald Neumann

ISBN: 978-0323039895  Read: Often  Rating: 9/10

This is my all time favorite Kinesiology/Biomechanics text book.  If you are looking for a great resource on human motion, this book is indispensable.  I don’t believe the notion that some people are better visual learners, however this book is a visual masterpiece.

The ability to see and recall the axes, planes and motions in a moment’s notice is an extremely important skill as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer etc.  I believe you will find this text book to be an excellent addition to your library. This is the first book I reach for when I have a question about human function.

I Moved Your Cheese: For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze

ISBN: 978-1-60944-065-2 Read: 9/11 Rating: 6/10

This book is a short fun read with many powerful messages. It’s a story about three mice named Max, Zed and Big.  The three main characters are curious, willing to ask better questions and refuse to spend their entire lives chasing cheese like the rest of the mice in the maze.

Unlike the other mice in the maze, they chose not to buy into the central message in Who Moved My Cheese?

The overiding message in I Moved Your Cheese is this: “the problem is not that the mouse is in the maze, but that the maze is in the mouse.” — Zed

All of the other mice in the maze think that the only thing within their control is how fast they run in search of cheese.  To them being more effective and efficient at finding cheese is the goal, and that is all they know.

Max, Zed and Big are different.

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born

ISBN: 978-0-553-80684-7 Read: 12/11 Rating: 7/10

Daniel Coyle noticed a pattern, and asked a very important question:  Why do we have talent hotbeds in certain regions of the world?  Coyle tells us that many of the people who are extremely talented in certain areas did not have the best equipment, playing field or a lot of money.

In fact, it is not about how much money an individual is born into, and Coyle makes that very clear.

Coaches, Teachers and Learners will find this book to be extremely relevant, and loaded with powerful messages throughout.

If you want to be great at something (anything!):  Practice deliberately for short periods of time until you reach 10,000 hours.

“Wooden may not have known about myelin, but like all master coaches, he had a deep understanding of how it worked.  He taught in chunks, using what he called the “whole part method” — he would teach players an entire move, then break it down to work on its elemental actions.  He formulated laws of learning (which might be retitled laws of myelin);  explanation, demonstration, imitation, correction, and repitition.  “Don’t look for the big improvement.  Seek the small improvement one day at a time.” — Excerpt from The Talent Code

Like any great work (art), this book changed me for the better in many areas.

I hope more teachers (coaches) read this groundbreaking book.

LINCHPIN: Are You Indispensable?

ISBN: 978-1-59184-409-9 Reread: 11/12 Rating: 10/10

I read this book when it first hit the shelf in hardcover, and it changed me.  I’m not sure which one impacted me more, the first or second time I read LINCHPIN.

If you want to do more great work (art) that changes people (and you!) everyday for the rest of your life…read this book more than once.

You can be (and should be!) indispensable as a Starter (self-empolyed) or an employee working for an organization.

LINCHPIN is Seth Godin’s most important work.  It is truly a work of art and a gift that he has given to the world.

Start something (anything!) because the future (your future!) depends on it.

If you are not sure where to start or what to do, here is something that everybody has within them:  give (a lot!) more and expect less.

Here are some of my notes from LINCHPIN:

“Do not internalize the industrial model.  You are not one of the myriad of interchangeable pieces, but a unique human being, and if you’ve got something to say, say it, and think well of yourself while you’re learning to say it better.”  – David Mamet (from the introduction)

“Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”  – Seth Godin

“When you were a kid, beautiful art–questions, curiosity, and spontaneity–poured out of you.  The resistance was only starting to figure out how to shout out the art coming from the rest of your brain.  Then, thanks to disorganized hazing by friends, raised eyebrows from the family, and well-meaning, well-organized, but toxic rules at school, the resistance gained in strength.”  – Seth Godin

“Being open is art.  Making a connection when it’s not part of your job is a gift.  You can say your lines and get away with it, or you can touch someone and make a difference in their lives forever.”  – Seth Godin

“If the factories are our minds — if the thing the market values is insight or creativity or engagement — then capital isn’t nearly the factor it used to be.”  – Seth Godin

“Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone else assumes is the truth”.  – Seth Godin

“Don’t listen to the cynics.  They’re cynics for a reason.  For them, the resistance won a long time ago.  When the resistance tells you not to listen to something, read something, or attend something, go.  Do it. It’s not an accident that successful people read more books.”  – Seth Godin

“Emotional labor is the hard work of making art, producing generosity, and exposing creativity.  Working without a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see.”  – Seth Godin

“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo.  And an artist takes it personally.”  –  Seth Godin

“Art is unique, new, and challenging to the status quo.  It’s not decoration, it’s something that causes change.”  – Seth Godin

“Passion is a desire, insistence, and willingness to give a gift.  The artist is relentless.  She says, ‘I will not feel complete until I give a gift.’   This is more than refusing to do lousy work.  It’s an insistence on doing important work.”  – Seth Godin

“Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it.  Your art is the act of taking personal responsability, challenging the status quo, and changing people.”  –  Seth Godin

“The reason the resistance persists in slowing you down and prevents you from putting your heart and soul and art into your work is simple:  you might fail.”  – Seth Godin

“Shipping isn’t focused on producing a masterpiece (but all masterpieces get shipped).”  – Seth Godin

“One way to become creative is to discipline yourself to generate bad ideas.  The worse the better.  Do it a lot and magically you’ll discover that some good ones slip through.”  – Seth Godin

“The voice telling you not to yell is your conscience, not your lizard brain.  You might feel the same feeling before you cheat on your taxes, go off your diet, or double-cross your partner.  Listen to that feeling.  It’s not the resistance.”  – Seth Godin

“The resistance is everywhere, all the time.  It’s goal is to make you safe, which means invisible and unchanged.  Visibility is dangerous.  It leads to the possibility of people laughing at you, or even death.  Change is dangerous because it involves moving from the known to the unknown, and that might be dangerous.”  – Seth Godin

“Do you think it’s an accident that the powers that be wanted the disobedient and creative part of your brain to sit down and shut up?”  – Seth Godin

“The hard part is distinguishing between quitting because the resistance wants you to (bad idea) or because the resistance doesn’t want you to (great idea).  The goal is to quit the tasks you’re doing because you’re hiding on behalf of the lizard brain and to push through the very tasks the lizard fears.”  – Seth Godin

“Anxiety makes it impossible to do art, because it feeds the resistance, giving the lizard brain insane power over us.  It’s impossible to be a Linchpin if you agree to feed your anxiety.”  – Seth Godin

“The resistance will help you find the thing you most need to do because it is the thing the resistance most wants to stop.”  – Seth Godin

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

ISBN: 978-1-4555-0912-6 Read: 11/12 Rating: 7/10

I wish this book was written 18 years ago, when I had just graduated from Massage Therapy School.   It definitely would have saved me a lot of time and energy long-term.

Cal Newport will convince you that following your passion is (very!) bad advice.  Yes, you did read that right.  He had me convinced at the half-way point.   And here I was thinking that I have been following my passion for 18 years.

Think about it.  Following your passion sounds good in theory, but does it really allow for more success and control and/or independence long-term?

The messages in this thought provoking book will surprise you.  Not only that, this book is so powerful, it should be required reading for people just getting out of school.

Or, for people at any age for that matter.  If you are a professional, and you want to change jobs/careers or even go out on your own as a Starter…read this book first.

Cal has done the research.  And he will teach you how to have a sense of control over the direction of  your work life/career in the short-term, in order to gain (much!) more career capital long-term.

He will also teach you how to avoid the pitfalls and headaches that very often have the power to derail an entire career, and a mission.

Trust me, invest in So Good They Can’t Ignore You now.  And more importantly… read it, and apply it.

The Education of Millionaires:  Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How To Be Successful

ISBN:  978-1-59184-561-4  Read:  3/13  Rating:   7/10

I remember making a mental note about The Education of Millionaires when I first heard an interview with Michael Ellsberg on the Mixergy podcast.   And then I completely forgot to put it on my Amazon Wish List.  

Just a few days after I finished So Good They Can’t Ignore You, I came across The Education of Millionaires that is now available in softcover.

The irony is that there are some similarities between both titles, but I did not realize it when I purchased this most recent book.  Looking back on it, I can not say that I enjoyed one more than the other.  For me, both books are equally valuable and stand on their own as good reads.

I did not read this book because I am driven to be a millionaire.  But for most of my adult life, I have always been fascinated by what makes people in any field successful.  And this book definitely delivers on that promise!

If you are interested in what the future holds, I highly recommend reading both books (and of course LINCHPIN by Seth Godin!).  In fact, Michael Ellsberg includes many enlightening excerpts from an interview that he did with Seth while he was doing the research for this book.

At one point, Godin said this to Michael Ellsberg: “If a job truly requires a BA as a credential, then why would you want that job?  If the way they’re deciding that they should hire you is that you have a history of compliance, which is what school is, I’m not sure that’s going to put you on the arc to get you where you want to go.  “We want it both ways”, Godin continued.  “We say, ‘I want to be innovative, artistic, and creative in my career.  But I want a job…”

If you have an interest (not a passion!) and a burning desire to pursue a career that requires a title, then by all means…go spend a small fortune on college.

Ultimately, you don’t have a choice in the matter.  If you want to legally practice as a Lawyer, Doctor, Dentist or Chiropractor you have to spend tons of money, and pile up loads of debt.

But holding a BA is no longer a requirement to be successful and that is the overriding message in The Education of Millionaires:  Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How To Be Successful.

The truth is, all of the classroom education in the world will not give you the essential skills that are required to be in the top 5% of your field.

In this book, Michael Ellsberg unveils what we are all searching for in our work lives.  And when you have obtained that freedom in your work and career, it will make all the other areas of your life that much better.

Michael also shows us that achieving freedom is the one thing that gives us an over- abundance of joy in our careers and our day-to day-lives.

This notion that you have to go to college to reach the freedom that you seek is partly due to conditioning.  In other words, from an early age, most young people are expected to go to college.  Very often, they are not even given any other options.  For many people, it’s chalked up as just one more thing that you do at that particular time in your life.

And very often, the person attending the 4 year college has absolutely no clue what they are interested in studying.  In fact, many (most?!) of the people that attend a 4 year university end up spending the majority of their time partying.

Ellsberg also argues that making the investment of your time and money on a college education is in no way what it used to be.   He also makes the case that a college education does not give you an immediate return on your investment.

And that substantial investment is a huge financial obligation that puts young people at a major disadvantage as far as the choices that they can make long-term.

You could say it is more like gambling than investing now.  It’s certainly not an asset anymore.  (emphasis added)

According to Michael, every hour of class time averages out to approximately $250 (and it is most likely more than that now).

If you want to have what everybody is searching for (but can not see!); you don’t have to invest tons of money on a useless piece of paper only to find yourself without freedom, in major debt and unhappy with your life.

This is the new reality that we find ourselves in.  And we do have better options.  You and I can choose to invest our hard earned money into things that will give us leverage in any position that we find ourselves in.

Unfortunately, all of the skills that made the millionaires Michael interviewed successful were not learned in college.

And that is precisely what makes Michael’s book very interesting:  he purposely turned the spotlight on the millionaires that did not complete a 4 year college degree program.

There was a common thread that ran through all of the millionaires that he interviewed:  they all had achieved career capital in some way shape or form and not only that, along the way, they also gained valuable lessons and knowledge that can be applied everywhere in the real world.

In other words, none of the millionaires spent a good chunk of their life sitting in a classroom studying outdated information that is no longer (if ever!?) applicable to life in the trenches.

The reality is this:  a 4 year education in college no longer guarantees you a high level position or even an entry level position in your desired field.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but let’s be honest…those opportunities are few and far between nowadays.





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