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What's in the Words

What's in the Words

By AJ Joiner, Steve Canal
Before you go spend your hard-earned money on a book - listen to the 'What's In The Words" podcast. Steve Canal & AJ Joiner dissect one book at a time, talk about the author, share ideas on how the book might (or might not) be helpful, and even break down the stories so you will know if the book is a good fit for you.
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The Self Assured Heroine

What's in the Words

Attachments: Good & Bad
Building on the principles found in his father’s best-selling book (The Four Agreements) Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. invites us to gauge how attached we are to our own viewpoint.  In The Five Levels of Attachment, we gain awareness of agreements implicitly made across the years – agreements that shape our reality and affect our future.  We are further shown how to release those which no longer reflect who we really are.
June 17, 2021
The KKK Cash Cow
There are few topics that can get AJ and Steve riled up a bit... but the marketing of the KKK and the selling of hate - at the expense of millions of black and brown people being killed... is a surefire way to ruffle feathers. In this episode, we pull the covers back on the KKK, their stronghold in Atlanta (which was KKK Ground Zero) and how PR and publicity along with the racist fabrics woven into America was the perfect combination for what has been a thorn in the sides of black and brown people for over a century. This controversial book shed light in ways we never imagined. It's definitely worth the read, especially in today's politically charged climate where the GOP has openly embraced hate as a tactic. Selling Hate by Dale Laackman is definitely intriguing - to put it lightly.
May 5, 2021
Find the Yes
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury is a practical guide to negotiating more effectively whether you’re haggling over a price, negotiating for a pay increase, or debating how to divide the housework. The authors propose an alternative to traditional adversarial bargaining, which often results in unfair agreements and strained relationships. Principled negotiation, by contrast, aims to reach wise and fair agreements efficiently and civilly. In addition to walking you through their method, the authors offer numerous tips and techniques for handling challenging negotiations. Anyone can use their method, under any circumstances.
April 7, 2021
The Myth of America
On the last episode of 2020, @stevecanal and @ajjoiner unpack American Rule by @JYSexton, and it's a banger. Jared puts America on blast and deconstructs the myth of the God-ordained America - which supposedly brings democracy to every nation it touched. We all know this is far from the truth of America but he does a fantastic job of showing us how America became who she is today and how the country was perfectly teed up for one Donald J. Trump. Take a listen and as usual, leave your feedback on this episode and share with friends.
December 29, 2020
Becoming a Superior Man
Listen to today's episode as @stevecanal & @ajjoiner break down The Way of the Superior Man by This book presents the ultimate challenge—and reward—for today’s man: to “unify heart and spine” through the full expression of consciousness and love in the infinite openness of the present moment.   Are you up to the challenge?
November 25, 2020
The Self Assured Heroine
Author Anna Nyakana takes you on a journey with Niya Zuri as she leads her friends on a breathtaking and exciting trek through time as they take on dinosaurs, help ancient princes, and evade suspicious royal guards. The children learn to problem solve, lean on each other and deal with adversity  - all skills every child needs in our world today. Check out this engaging conversation between @stevecanal, @ajjoiner and the author @niya_zuri - on today's episode!
October 29, 2020
Drifting without Intention
First, the book is structured as a dialogue between the Napoleon HIll and the devil — that’s a unique conversation without a doubt! Hill gets the devil to agree to share with him all the various ways that people allow themselves to go astray. The book was written in 1938, it was not published until 2011, because it was deemed too controversial for his family. It’s an incredibly easy, incredibly fast, and incredibly captivating read. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner as they peel back the layers of the amazing read.
October 8, 2020
Calm in the Midst of Chaos
HOW TO WIN WHEN SH*T HAPPENS is brilliantly organized in a flow that over the course of 30 days moves the reader from the core of self-doubt through layer after layer of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, to emerge as a stronger, more self-assured individual.  In this work, Christal Jordan has penned a transparently captivating tome that will touch your soul and regenerate your spirit to embrace each new day with energy, confidence, and most importantly, a renewed sense of worthiness.  The book is based on affirmations that Jordan has pulled from some of society’s most notable inspirational leaders and used to guide her personal journey to rich and rewarding life experience. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner's interview with @enchantedpr!
September 23, 2020
You Get to Choose
Your personality is merely a by-product or a reflection of where you are emotionally. If you maintain suppressed emotions, you’ll develop a personality to either cope with or avoid them. That quote pretty much sums up todays. book review, but there are so many layers to the story. Check out @stevecanal and @ajjoiner's review and tag your favorite reading partner.
September 10, 2020
Creating from Chaos
In 'Messy', Tim Harford explores how the human qualities that we value—creativity, collaboration, resilience—can benefit from disorder and confusion as soon as we decide to embrace the constraint instead of resisting it. Listen up to @stevecanal & @ajjoiner as they break down how chaos can create a work of art if given the chance.
September 10, 2020
Generational Trauma
​In My Grandmother's Hands, Resmaa Menakem touches on centuries of white body inflicted trauma on white bodies in Europe before colonization of the Americas. He talks about white inflicted trauma on black bodies during slavery and to the present day. He talks about intergenerational trauma and about intergenerational resilience.​ This book is a MUST READ if you want to understand how we are at this critical juncture from a human perspective. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner as they break down this incredible read - and share the best jewels from this book.
August 6, 2020
The Great Migration
The Warmth of Other Suns is the story of America. A nation built on immigration. @isabelwilkerson gives us a birds-eye view of the mass exodus of African-Americans from the South to Northern and Western US cities dating from approximately 1914-1970. The book traces the history of racism in the Jim Crow South as well as the reasons, successes, and failures of those African-Americans who left the place of their birth in order to seek better economic and social opportunities elsewhere in the United States. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner as they share their review.
August 6, 2020
Creation Through Habit Change
This week @stevecanal & @ajjoiner review The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The Power of Habit explains what important role habits play in our lives, whether they’re good ones, like brushing our teeth and exercising, or bad ones, like smoking. Filled with research-based findings and engaging anecdotes, The Power of Habit not only explains exactly how habits are formed, it provides easy tips for changing habits, both on an individual and an organizational level.
July 23, 2020
Thoughts Become Things
Think And Grow Rich is the bible for successful people in general. Napoleon Hill spent the majority of his life studying successful people and their habits, and the 13 most prevalent ones are the ones he shares in this book. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner as they unpack the successful habits of brilliance shared in this book.
July 16, 2020
100 Ways to Get It
Everyone should have a side hustle – a part-time business you run to generate additional income without giving up your day job. Why? A side hustle gives you job security. You can use the skills you already have to generate more income with a side hustle. No additional training is required. Having more than one source of income will give you more freedom and more options. A side hustle can allow you to do more of what you love to do with no added financial pressure. Check out @stevecanal & @ajjoiner's review of 100 Side Hustles on this weeks episode!
June 26, 2020
Long Term Thinking
In today's podcast Steve & AJ unpack Simon Sinek's book - "The Infinite Game." Simone has one resounding message in the book: The biggest implication is that business people need to play a very long game, and pretty much ignore the “next quarter is all that matters” game plan that way too many leaders follow. Check out this episode and get a breakdown of exactly why this book is important to anyone in business.
June 11, 2020
Letting Go
In today's podcast, @stevecanal & @ajjoiner review - When Things Fall Apart - by Pema Chodron. Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chodron provides a guide to thriving in the face of a fundamentally painful world... We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. Just like that.
June 4, 2020
Started from the Bottom
This week @stevecanal & @ajjoiner review - BORN A CRIME - by Trevor Noah. You’ve seen him behind the desk of The Daily Show. But you might not know that talented comedian Trevor Noah has an inspiring back story. Trevor was born in apartheid South Africa. As if that wasn’t hard enough, his very existence was a crime because he was the child of a white father and a black mother. His mother had to go to extraordinary measures to protect him. Trevor Noah’s funny and heartfelt stories of a his life in a dangerous time only equipped with humor and wit will give you a whole new appreciation for him.
May 19, 2020
The Truth About Black History
This week @stevecanal & @ajjoiner review: Defining Moments in Black History - by Dick Gregory.  In “Defining Moments,” Gregory in effect tells black readers that he knows what their lives are like — and tells white readers what they don’t know. In sketching out the civil rights movement of the ’60s, he notes that although dinosaurs are long gone, equally ancient turtles remain with us. The moral: “The turtle just makes his way along, real slow. And that’s how we won the civil rights movement — we took on the mightiest nation in the history of the planet with no guns, and we did it by becoming turtles: hard on the outside, soft on the inside, and willing to stick our necks out.” Tune in and leave us a review on iTunes.
May 18, 2020
The Performance of Your Life
This episode of The What's in the Words Podcast is special. It's special for two reasons. One, it's featuring a face that's similar to @SteveCanal & AJJoiner, but MORESO because we have our first live guest - KJ Rose! KJ's energy pulsates throughout the interview and one of the best quotes to date, don't focus on the energy in the room, BRING YOUR OWN ENERGY to the room... completely encompasses everything about her. Her new book - The Rose Effect - shares her journey through college, her rise to fame - working with some of the top entertainers in the game, and the big wins, and heart-stopping pitfalls that come with being in the entertainment industry. Listen to the episode and SHARE with anyone who needs a dose of energy.
May 5, 2020
Tim Grover helped Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and other Basketball champions get to the top – and most importantly, stay at the top. He’s worked with hundreds of top athletes and is an international authority when it comes to sports performance and motivation. As Kobe says, he knows more about the mental side of sports than anyone else. In his book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, he shares his insights into the mindsets of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time. He shows us what it takes to go from good to great to unstoppable. Check out @stevecanal and @ajjoiner's review of RELENTLESS in this episode.
April 21, 2020
Strategic Power
48 Laws of Power details the laws for gaining power in life, business, and more, and gives historical examples of each law as well as examples of those who do not respect these laws. On first read, you can perceive the laws as manipulative, and some are. That said, they are all grounded in the reality of human nature, and it's more important to understand them, and then choose how, when, and which to apply, than to just remain ignorant of them and refuse to acknowledge they exist. Check out @stevecanal and @ajjoiner as we break down this amazing, must-have book... well, we see it as more of a reference manual, but either way, let us know your thoughts.
April 16, 2020
[Rebroadcast] Hell Came From A Good Neighborhood
“We found hell in a beautiful neighborhood,” – that’s how David Goggins begins his autobiography. And you already know that he didn’t have a happy childhood. Check out our chat and review of this incredible book. Something tells us there's a movie on the way.  However, this book MIGHT NOT BE for everyone.  Please let us know your thoughts, and follow us: @ajjoiner & @stevecanal
April 7, 2020
Go Harder
The 10X Rule breaks down the anatomy of extraordinary success by first pointing out what’s wrong with shooting for average, why you should for ten times more when tackling your goals and how to back up your new, bold targets with the right actions. Check out this episode with Steve and AJ dissecting it in 15 minutes - so that you know exactly why you need this book... or even IF you need this book.
April 1, 2020
Looking Past Obstacles
When faced with an obstacle, most of us get angry, fearful and frustrated. We think it will derail our plans and hinder our progress. But obstacles can actually become advantages, and far from limiting us, they can lead us to success. Check out Steve & AJ as they break down "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday.
March 24, 2020
Smarter Not Harder
After college, Tim Ferriss took a soul-sucking sales job at a tech firm. Then, he left to start his own business. He went from working 40 hours a week for somebody else to working 80 hours a week for himself. He hated it. The pay was good, but the business left him drained. After learning about the Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80-20 Principle), Ferriss had a revelation: he streamlined his business, eliminating distractions and automating systems until it was not only more profitable but also took less of his time. Much less. He took a “mini-retirement”, and then decided to write a book about “lifestyle design”, about creating a life that balances work and play, while maximizing the positives of both. The 4-Hour Workweek describes the specific actions Ferriss took to implement these steps.
March 17, 2020
Network = Net Worth
Check out this synopsis of Never Eat Alone by AJ & Steve Canal. This book is TOTALLY is a guide to establishing and managing some of the most important relationships in your business life.  These relationships can be used to open up new doors and opportunities, achieve great success and reach your goals.  Ferrazzi emphasizes the importance of networking, meeting new people and reaching out to people beyond your usual social circle.
March 11, 2020
Becoming a Craftsman
Check out the new episode of the "What's In the Words Podcast" where we share all the success nuggets in Jon Gordon's perennial bestseller, The Carpenter. In The Carpenter, Gordon shares an entertaining and enlightening story of Michael and a carpenter who changes Michael’s life.  Michael’s business is failing, and so is his health.  He’s in danger of losing everything he has and everything he’s worked for. What Michael learns from the carpenter is goes well beyond woodwork.  It’s deep wisdom and some of the greatest strategies to build a better life, a better career, and make each moment his masterpiece.
February 26, 2020
Just Do It
In the final episode of 2019 - @stevecanal & @ajjoiner review: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Shoe Dog is a memoir by Phil Knight, the founder and board chairman of the athletic company Nike. Unlike most books that paint the picture of 'successful genius', Knight tells his story of great struggle and frequent failures which took a very long time to eventuate in a successful story. The biggest takeaway in this highly inspirational story of overcoming failure after failure on the road to eventual success is the importance of a growth mindset in business and self-development. Take a listen to the summary, and do yourself a favor - get the book.
December 31, 2019
The Complex Stranger You Just Met
This episode of What's In the Words Podcast is a deep dive into Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell. In this awesome book, he assures us of a few things. We think we can understand people. We think that by meeting someone, shaking their hand, looking into their eyes, we can get a grasp on who they are, how they feel, and what their motives or intentions are. We think that a little bit of personal knowledge gives us a big insight into their character – a job interview shows us if they’ll be a good employee, a first date can indicate the likelihood of compatibility. We’re wrong. Strangers are complex. In summary, Malcolm highlights just a few of the things that make strangers particularly hard to understand: Truth Default Theory, Transparency, Coupling. @stevecanal & @ajjoiner break down this awesome read - and recommend you get a copy so that you can dig even deeper.
November 28, 2019
Two Different Worlds
This week, Steve Canal & AJ review, Between the World & Me - by Ta-Nahesi Coates. Between the World and Me is a book-length letter from author Ta-Nehisi Coates to his fifteen-year-old son, Samori. It was written shortly after his son learned that Michael Brown's killers would go free—the same year that Tamir Rice and Eric Garner were killed by police officers. Coates wanted to explain to his son what it means to be a black man in America.
November 7, 2019
The Rules
12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson lays out a set of simple principles, which can help us become more disciplined, behave better, act with integrity, and balance our lives while enjoying them as much as we can. Check out @stevecanal and @ajjoiner's review on this weeks episode of the What's In the Word's Podcast.
September 26, 2019
The Meaning of Life
In this episode Steve Canal and AJ discuss Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl. Originally published in 1946, Man’s Search for Meaning details the harrowing experiences of author and psychologist Viktor Frankl during his internment in Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War.  It offers insights into how human beings can survive unsurvivable situations, come to terms with trauma, and ultimately find meaning.
September 12, 2019
10 Years in 1 Hour
In one hour, Derek Sivers summarizes a decade of lessons learned, wins, losses and triumphs. Too many people spend their life pursuing things that don't actually make them happy. When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you create all the laws. Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers. Check out Steve & AJ's review of Anything You Want, by Derek Sivers.
August 27, 2019
180 Days
This week - @stevecanal and @ajjoiner review - 6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd. In this quick and insightful book - Peter seems to be on a mission of truth. He shares almost a step by step guide to financial stability and success that one should be able to attain in 6 months if they follow the blueprint. If you want a no holds barred way to maximize your income as quickly as possible - this is your book - and this podcast is perfect for you.
August 6, 2019
You Are Enough
This episode - Steve & AJ review Becoming - by our favorite first lady - Michelle Obama. She's a lawyer. She's a businesswoman. She's an educator. She's a wife. She's a mother. She's the former first lady. This is an intimate snapshot into her life. She walks us through each phase of her life, leading up to her meeting President Obama. But... to be clear, this is a book about Michelle Obama - with Obama sprinkled throughout. It feels like we're literally on a ride across country and she's taking us through each phase of her life. Listen to the podcast, buy the book and leave us a comment.
July 23, 2019
No F*cks Given
This week - @stevecanal and @ajjoiner review "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" by Mark Manson. The book lives up to the pattern interrupt that is the title. Counter-intuitive.  Smart.  Inspiring.  All achieved through storytelling that sucks you in at times, but more importantly brings you to a familiar place - a mirror... so that you ask a question to a familiar face... YOURS. The message is the same or similar to other self-help books, but cleverly written using f*bombs and reverse psychology. It does not stop you from giving a fuck, but it helps you understand the process for deciding what fucks you want to give. The one confronting question you should ask every time you look in the mirror. "What should I give a fuck about. That, ladies and gentlemen, is always the question. Listen to this episode and leave feedback. Furthermore -- go get the book, share the show with a friend and leave a review. Because sharing is caring. And you should always give a fuck about caring.
July 11, 2019
A Big Ego
 ​In this pocast episode, Steve and AJ reviewed: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. This boo​​k is packed full of jewels that will teach you about how to manage your EGO So take out your notebook and let’s get to it! Please leave a review on iTunes and leave a comment on this episode on  IGTV - for AJ (@ajjoiner) and Steve (@stevecanal).  
June 24, 2019
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
When you countdown - something magical happens psychologically. Mel Robbins shows the importance of listening to your instincts.  Sometimes you have these hunches - moments when you have a sudden urge to do something that may be uncomfortable for you.  Let's say you know you need to become fitter and you're walking past a gym. You suddenly get an urge to walk in and workout, but right away you come up with 10 reasons why this is a bad idea and dismiss it.  This was your subconscious mind giving you a hint of what will get you closer to your goals.  Mel introduces the 5-second rule as an instrument to help you take advantage of these hunches and achieve all your goals.  Today @Stevecanal & @ajjoiner outlined the main points that we took from this action inspiring book - The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1. 
June 10, 2019
Push. Reach. Grind. Every Day.
You could be a 36-year-old career woman trying to find inspiration to walk away from your job and go for your dream, or you could be a recent college grad ready to throw caution to the wind to pursue whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do ... or somewhere in between... but you need this book.   Daymond tells you his secrets to what makes him so damn successful and how you can do the same.  He shares the journeys of 15 other successful people in this book, all with a chapter of their own, relaying how they rise and grind.  When you put this book down, you will want to get up, push, reach, and grind. Every day.   This episode @stevecanal and @ajjoiner share the good, the bad, and the grind of Daymond John's best selling book Rise and Grind.
May 28, 2019
Satisfy Every Need
Every human has needs.  Today, four companies – the author Scott Galloway refers to them as the Four Horsemen – seek to satisfy them all. Google has supplanted God. Instead of directing questions to an ever-silent deity on high, we now type them into Google’s search engine and receive answers instantaneously. Facebook provides the love and connection that were once only to be found at home or among friends. Apple shores up our sex appeal. The iPhone and the MacBook aren’t technically superior to other smartphones or laptops. But they’re undeniably sexier. And Amazon, the temple of consumption, is there to bring us everything our heart may desire, be it fiction, food or fashion.
May 11, 2019
Hell Came From a Beautiful Neighborhood
 “We found hell in a beautiful neighborhood,” – that’s how David Goggins begins his autobiography. And you already know that he didn’t have a happy childhood.  Check out our chat and review of this incredible book. Something tells us there's a movie on the way. However, this book MIGHT NOT BE for everyone. Please let us know your thoughts, and follow us: @ajjoiner & @stevecanal
April 18, 2019