Eyes on Him Book Club: Beyond the Masquerade, The Radium Girls, Atomic Habits, & Free to Focus

The Eyes on Him Book Club is back after taking a short recess! This time I am reviewing 4 amazing books!

The topics range from self-reflection, compassion for others, everyday habits, and being free to focus on what matters most in your life.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post, which means I receive a very, very small percentage of the sales made through the link. This helps keep the blog running or buy the next book for the Eyes on Him Book Club 🙂

Beyond the Masquerade: Unveiling the Authentic You

Flawed & Faithful Blog -- Eyes on Him Book Club: Beyond the Masquerade: Unveiling the Authentic You
Beyond the Masquerade:
Unveiling the Authentic You
(Image from Amazon)

This book asks powerful questions such as “Where do you fit in? How have you created your life into an identity? Are you a perfectionist, peacemaker, a know-it-all, a socialite, a beauty queen, an introvert, or a helpless victim?”

There are ‘masks’ that are applauded by society, our families, and even our church.

What we don’t realize is how we become the “golden calf of self” when we wear these masks because we are preventing God’s message to reach others through us (with our honesty in our failures and successes).

Our definition of “success” is also based on these masks we wear and it limits us.

I loved this book because it was a lesson for me. I know I have “masks” I may wear in different situations or when I am with certain people. Instead of wearing a mask, I want to be the true me without fear.

This book was a reminder of two things:

One, God wants our transparency and two, we will live happier lives with ourselves and everyone around us when we are our authentic selves:

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

Flawed & Faithful Blog -- Eyes on Him Book Club: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The Radium Girls
(Image from Amazon)

I couldn’t put this book down! It was a 16-hour read, but well worth it! It was recommended by the AAMC as a great summer read for aspiring physicians.

This is the story of the women who were painting the watches, clocks and military dials here in America during World War I using radium (in powder form), a chemical element on the periodic table. 

The crazy part is that they didn’t know the dangers of radium and back then, it was very popular in commercial use. They were using it on their hair, cheeks, shoulders, essentially all over their body and clothes because the radium glowed. There were even radium massages for those who could afford it.

These girls in the factories, some as young as 13, were ingesting (following their “lip, dip, and paint routine”) and inhaling the radium; they even ate their lunch right where they were working with the radium.

Unfortunately, once they found out about the dangers of radium, it was too late for these girls – their bodies were being consumed and deteriorating due to the radium.

This book offers insight into their lives: their joys, their heartbreaking illnesses, and the struggles they faced as they sought justice. You can’t help, but grow in compassion for those who are suffering.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Flawed & Faithful Blog -- Eyes on Him Book Club: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones
(Image from Amazon)

I love becoming a better version of myself and learn ways to improve at living life – this book had a couple of lessons for me!

Sadly, I had a chunk of notes saved for this book, but I lost it in my phone – the app I used did not allow me to recover those notes so I will do my best to recall the information.

One of the first things I got from this book was how unproductive we can be with our habits. It got me rethinking all of my habits, especially when I have a vision of goals that I need to meet and when I know that certain habits of mine won’t get me there.

Analyzing My Entire Day

For starters, I am now analyzing everything I do in the beginning of my day: am I waking up early or late; am I checking my phone first thing or going into my devotional time?

And I am also analyzing what I do throughout the day as well: What are my typical habits throughout the day? Any that waste time? What are my interruptions? What do I do at the end of my days?

And when it isn’t a positive thing, I have to change it. I can make a change in the environment. For example, move my phone to a different room so it won’t be the first thing I look at when I wake up. If I am having trouble working in my house, find a new location. Also, develop my self-control, or use other strategies the author shares, which I will not mention – don’t want to spoil it for you. 😉

I will give this tip away because it is a basic one. Having someone holding you accountable for something (i.e. study more throughout the day or exercise daily) has the potential to create a new and positive habit in your life. 

I don’t want to ruin the book for you because this book will make you think about ALL your habits (as well as those you want to start) and how you can improve or incorporate them (with minimal effort and without buying extra stuff)!

Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less

Flawed & Faithful Blog -- Eyes on Him Book Club: Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt
Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
(Image from Amazon)

For this book, I’m going to list what I learned in bullet form:

  • Trim my calendar – Remove the unessential activities. Set boundaries with people and work: from this time to this time, I do this so nothing else interrupts that time. Schedule meetings on set days instead of at random (maybe Monday and Wednesday are for meetings only). Decide what I am actually doing and how much time of my attention is needed.
  • Don’t feel bad when I say no to things. Being “free to focus” is a good thing because you have time for innovation! Like the author says, “Your best actions and your best thinking come when you are well rested and have free time.”
  • Automate your activities as much as you can. Do this either by creating templates or computer shortcuts, or teaching someone to do something for you.
  • Mega batching – I won’t go into detail because the author explains it thoroughly, but it’s proven to work! So far, I love it!
  • Plan an ideal week – again, I won’t go into detail, but the author has recommended the ideal week template on his website to make you most productive! I have been using the ideal week template and it has helped!
  • Be precise about what I am doing. Take control of my day: design days that fit into my goals and priorities.
  • Avoid social media interruptions and other distractions that remove my focus from a task. (This one is hard because of the algorithms and engagement that is needed to keep up, but limiting my time through the iPhone’s screen time setting has given me more time to focus on my other projects).
Worth it!

Overall, it was well worth the read. This book gave me strategies I can implement to be able to focus and manage my time. I even went on the book’s site to download a few printable tools: Free to Focus Tools.

Any book recommendations for the Eyes on Him book club?

Last time, I received a lot of suggestions for books to read and I added them to my book list.

If you have any book recommendations for the Eyes on Him Book Club, please leave it in the comments below!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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