Saturday, April 10, 2021

Book Review: Play The Rules

It's the weekend and I am HERE for it. Honestly, I need this weekend to be a whole bunch of nothing. It mostly is, Olivia has a dance class on Sunday evening, but other than that- I'm going to read, do some crafts, and literally nothing else. 

Maybe laundry because clean underwear and socks are a luxury I'm not willing to give up, even in the name of relaxation. 

Play the Rules: How to Stop Doubting Yourself 

Be Your Own Superhero/ine! 

Dr. Monica Armillotta

Play the Rules is the self-help book for people who hate self-help books! Offering a colorful mix between the semi-autobiographical, humor and provocative genres and advocating a counter-intuitive approach to life, Play the Rules delivers on its promise by defining its own category. This is a modern success story—an antidote to conventional fairy tales!

Standing by what I preach, this book provides the ultimate tips and tricks from a lawyer (myself—indeed defying the stereotype by example!) who got bored with playing by the book and decided to write one instead.

Through a no-nonsense, yet unfailingly humorous approach to our everyday messy lives, which are always full of surprises and where the only constant is indeed the unexpected, Play the Rules outlines 33 down-to-earth Rules aimed at challenging our most common stereotypes. Each novel turn (of page and of life) offers a unique chance to stop, rethink our next move and reinvent our own story. Each Rule and Charm directly calls upon the superhero/ine that each of us disguises: our true selves, awaiting to rise as our champions and take back control of our own lives. My ultimate goal? To reach those who are looking for inspiration to dare to live (not just think) outside the box, and to chase after their dreams!

Dr. Monica Armillotta is a senior corporate lawyer, passionate writer and owner of a lively blog, daring you with a counterintuitive approach to life.

Born in Italy and currently living in Germany, her travels across Europe, Asia and the US offer unspoiled material for her first semi-autobiographical, highly whimsical and defiant book: Play the Rules.

Challenging conventional stereotypes and humorously defining herself as a "writer at heart, challenger by nature, and lawyer by profession (and chance),” Monica has worked with major multinational companies as a senior legal advisor and negotiator.
I'm going to be that person to say that self-help books are sometimes a struggle for me. I have a thing about excessive positivity and I'm learning that toxic positivity is a thing and there is a reason my eye twitches when people are all, "at least you're alive!". Normally when I read a declared self-help book it is mostly full of that but also that your life might be a mess but Jesus says it's fine so just be happy, dammit. 

I just can't work under those conditions.  

When I did some research on this one, I love that it's not really a self-help book but more of the common sense stuff we already KNOW but it's the push for us to actually do it. Chapters are referred to as "rules" and there are 33 overall. It sounds daunting, but each is rather short and you can get through this book in a weekend easily and go back to work on Monday refreshed and maybe with a completely new game plan. 

I had a few favorites in the book, so I'll share a few of those just so you get the general idea of the book. Rule #24 was "Let Your Present Be Your Present; Live in the Moment" and I know that we all know this, half of us have some kind of wall art telling us to do just that. I am the absolute worst at doing this and I know that I need to be better at removing distractions. It's just not good for me in any way, considering I already have a slower cognitive function level post stroke. I also wrote down a line in the book that really stood out and it said, "Befriend chaos. Darkness is not your enemy, but your ally. Even stars can't shine without darkness." and man.... I need that. I struggle in any kind of chaos and going with the flow is just not my go-to action at all. I know I need to work on that and that takes effort on my part. 

Another rule that really stood out was Rule 16: The More You Do, the Less It Means. Focus on What Matters. I know less is more, and sometimes I disagree on that, but for the most part.... I get it. I always get a bit prickly when people say money doesn't make you happier. I agree it doesn't make you happier, but it does make life more comfortable and comfort makes happiness easier to achieve. I can't feel happiness when I'm stressed about feeding myself of my children, for instance. She also touches on whether having more options would make us happier and I don't necessarily think so. It's kind of like children, if you give them an entire closet to pick from, it will lead to a meltdown every morning. Give them three to pick from and they'll find something they are happy with for the day. 

Also, towards the end of the book there is a line that says, "Trolls die if you don't feed them." and I loved that. It's so applicable in every part of life, right? I've found some real freedom in the last few years deleting friends and family from social media and out of my life in general. I didn't realize how much of their rhetoric and negativity, or even toxic positivity, was affecting me until I erased them completely. I'm making conscious decisions on who I give my time and attention to and it's amazing how much stress you feel come off once you start making some of those moves. 

Overall? I really liked this one. I appreciated her humor throughout and the conversationalist nature of the book. It didn't feel like a textbook but rather sitting down for coffee with someone set to helping you make a plan. I appreciated her personal stories to support some of the rules and showing how they can be practically applied to your own life. I think you'll find yourself tabbing off several pages of this book to come back to and spend more time thinking about them. 

A big thank you to Red Clover Digital for sending me a copy for review! If you're looking for something to spark your motivation, this will be a great place to start. 

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Why Girls Are Weird said...

I really enjoyed this book. I'm usually pretty iffy on self-help books, but this one was a good read.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love the quote about chaos and "trolls die if you don't feed them" which I think a lot of us need to remember more often. Great review, glad you liked it!