Sunday, December 4, 2011

The first step

Over the past few months I have been re-reading some of the books that have made a difference in my life. Some of these books I read over nearly 30 years ago, yet they still resonate in my life, Some of them are new ones that have caused a change in how I work and live. The range of books is pretty wide. Here are a few of them:
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
  • The Artist's Way bY Julia Cameron
  • The Power of Less by Leo Baauta
  • Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

There are books on business, depression, self improvement, building the life you want, and more.

I originally  read them over thirty years, but the rereading has taken just a few months and in reading them all so close together, I see ideas and concepts they share, but often call by different names, or explain in different ways. My thought is that I want to spend some time over the next few months, kind of collating those ideas, and bringing them together, and seeing where they coincide, letting the accumulated wisdom show itself, hopefully finding a few principles of life that I can apply more effectively than trying to keep a hundred ideas whirling around in my head by reading all these books.

One thing really jumped out at me. The basic premise of all these books is that life can be different, and we make it different, more by changing how we look at things, than any action or excercise. Over and over again these books talk about changing our lens, our paradigm, our view as the first step. We have to believe it is possible, FOR US, to experience change in our lives or all the work in the world won't result in the fundamental improvements we want in our lives.

When we say, "It never worked that way for me,", or 'My situation is different." or anything like that, we are already defeated. There is no need to read any further.

My guess is that that is how many of us approach these books and programs. "Oh, it can help. I can get something from this. But I'll never have the basic, powerful life change I want because..... (Fill in your excuse here.)"

Yet, the world is full of people who did change their thinking, and through changing their thinking, did create the world they wanted for themselves. And nearly every book you read starts with the premise that we can. What do we make of that? Why are we so prideful to believe it can work for everyone else, but not us?

OK, it may not be pride. Maybe it's stubbornness. Or fear. Or comfortableness (Yes, we can be comfortable even with bad situations.).

So maybe the first question we have to ask ourselves, if we want a better life, is do we believe, really believe, that it is possible, and that it's up to us. Not up to life, circumstances, others, the job, the economy, but us.

But that IS the premise of all the books. Change our thinking, change our lens, change our attitude, and God/The Universe, whatever you choose to call it, will reward you with an positively changed life.

Kinda Scary, huh?

But also kind of exciting.


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