Szen ZoneOne goal that I’ve set for myself is to read more books. It’s so common for people my age to stop reading books once they’re done with school, so I’m trying not to fall victim to that. One of my most recent reads was Szen Zone by Gary Szenderski. Szen Zone is a collection of stories which promote happiness and positive change – something I am always looking to incorporate into my life. 

Szen Zone has a lot of different stories throughout, some which were extremely relatable. This is the type of book that you can read a couple pages a day and walk away feeling refreshed and relaxed. Here is a look at a couple of my favorite short stories from Szen Zone.

Mantra Makeover | Though I am one to speak other people’s mantra’s, I’ve never had my own. The Sznippet of this section is “The best mantra is the one that connects your faith to your true desire. Find it, and you’ll never be lost.”

Now, how do you find your mantra? Here are a couple tips directly from Szen Zone:

  • Start with the end in mind. Make your secret goal an integral part of your mantra.
  • Include a strong attribute you possess or want to possess.
  • Make it easy to remember, make it rhyme, or put it to music. Humming a mantra also sends a positive vibration.
  • Repeat as needed until your mojo returns. A successful mantra can create a superstar mojo.
  • Take all of the credit for however its changed your life. After all, it came from you in the first place.

Smoke Break | Smoke break is a story about a father, outside smoking a cigarette on a cold, rainy, February night. Although the father heard his 5 month old son crying inside, he continued to smoke. Once he heard the crying turn to giggling, he decided then and there that he needed to quit – to be there for his son.

What Smoke Break teaches us is that it does only take a second to decide to change your life. The Szenippet states “It just takes a second to change your world,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Assumptive Algorithm | The assumptive algorithm explains why communication disagreements happen every day. Just because something was said, does not mean it was understood clearly. The assumptive algorithm is:

A (message sent) = B (message received), so that B (message received) = C (message understood), therefore A (message sent) = C (message understood)

See the issue there? Message Sent doesn’t mean that it was understood. The real algorithm for this is:

A (message sent) + B (message received) + C (message replayed / understood) = D (message confirmed) 

If we can all keep that in mind, we can all be better communicators, and avoid the conversation of “I told you that, were you not listening to me?!”

Szen Zone is definitely a book I intend to keep close by to read little doses of inspiration when I need it most. To learn more and get your own copy, visit

Emily Riane


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