Happy 2nd post of the day Friday! Yep this is what I am doing on my Friday night. I am a wild one aren’t I. In case you are wondering I have also have a very thought provoking show on Netflix. The Vampire Diaries to be exact. Season 7. This is no joke.
Now back to books! Of all of the non-fiction books I read in 2016 there were a handful that I actually didn’t finish as I was not really finding them beneficial, overly insightful or interesting. I made sure to make note of these and write out why I did not love the book.
This is not to say that these books do not speak to others, as many of them are very popular with fabulous reviews, they just did not resonate with me. You may still want to pick these up or maybe you have read them and loved every word! That is okay too. These are just my thoughts.
I would love to hear from you if you have read any of these and what your thoughts are! Regardless of whether you agree with me or think I am crazy and totally wrong 🙂
1) The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra I give this book a 2/10
I didn’t make any real notes about this book, just that I did not really enjoy it. I read it in the beginning of 2016 and noted that it was an easy read but that I skimmed the 2nd half…Sorry I cannot provide more details on why I didn’t finish it!
2) Life Choices Passion – Civillico, Humble, Moreo, et. al. 3/10
This book is short, mini life stories from 26 different authors. It is about varied topics from their lives. My mum had this book and gave it to me because she knew I was starting to read non-fiction. I didn’t care for it much. I read a handful of the stories but did not find any of them were particularly insightful. Maybe I would have if I had continued…but I didn’t…
3) Curious – Todd Kashdan 3/10
Page 1 tells you to stop trying to be happy…totally opposite The Happiness Project! Instead of trying to be happy we should focus on building a rich, meaningful life guided by core values and interests. While this makes sense to me, I do think this is in line with happiness and is something that could lead to happiness…
He says that when we focus on happiness we lose out on the complexity of being human and ignore meaning in life, maturity, wisdom, compassion. I am not sure I agree with this.
According to Kashdan, curiosity is the central ingredient to creating a fulfilling life and thus happiness, but it is often neglected because once things become daily routine we stop being curious about them and wanting to learn more. Curiosity operates below the surface of our desires – it is about how we relate to our thoughts and feelings (how we pay attention to what is happening in the moment)
So why is curiosity important? It motivates us – makes us willing to leave the familiar/routine and take risks (curious explorers are comfortable with risk/challenge) and it helps us extract and integrate experiences and meaning from new experiences.
Each person has a well-being “set point”. We all have the ability to rapidly readjust our moods in the face of both positive and negative circumstances. Major changes may disrupt our mood for the moment, but we quickly become familiar with these changes and our mood drifts back to where it was prior to the positive/negative experience (regardless of the magnitude of the event). This is our typical mood.
People think that certainty will bring pleasure and meaning but it is often the opposite – people actually get more joy out of not always knowing (curiosity).
- Certainty vs. Curiosity:
- Certainty – narrows possibilities, depletes energy, creates closure, being right
- Curiosity – creates possibilities, creates energy, exploration, discovery
Mindfulness incorporates curiosity – being aware and fully present in the moment, nonjudgmental, accepting and open (curious).
- Characteristics of the highly curious person:
- Intensity – strong preference for novelty, variety and complexity
- Frequency – curious many times a day and urge to explore easily triggered
- Durability – endures for lengths of time
- Breadth – interested/curious about a large number of events i.e. work, relationships, hobbies, private thoughts/feelings/values in past/present/future
- Depth – hold on to interest and integrate new experiences into identity (new experiences lead to long-lasting hobbies/passions therefore renewable excitement/meaning)
While I have actually written out quite a few points, I was not really that into the book. I think I was writing more for the sake of taking notes. I felt the book was getting quite repetitive and a little boring and I only got to chapter 4. Maybe it got better…but I didn’t finish it.
4) Remembering Wholeness – Carol Tuttle 5/10
This is another book that my mum gave me to read. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t love it and found it very religious at parts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with religion and faith, I am just not particularly religious and I did not find I was relating to it very well. I skimmed many of the chapters.
Once you get to chapter 16 it Tuttle starts talking a lot about God and Christ doing the healing and the Earth’s cosmic shifts affecting our day/feelings, etc. I am not sure if I really believe in all of what she talks about personally but I did make note of quite a few things that I will share!
EDIT (Feb 12/17): I have been doing a lot of thinking recently and I take back my comment about not believing in the God/Christ doing the healing and Earth’s cosmic shifts. I am not sure what I really believe in but I know I definitely DO believe in a higher power. I DO believe in energy and the law of attraction. I DO believe that everything happens for a reason and you are where you are meant to be right now. Is this God? Is this Christ? Is this a result of Earth’s cosmic shifts? Is this fate? That I don’t fully know. But what I DO know is that I DO believe in something higher/greater. So I might return to this book this year and try it again.
Tuttle states that we are completely in charge of our minds – take charge of your life by taking charge of your thoughts – Change your life by changing your thoughts. This I do completely believe in and have read many books since this one that talk about this very skill and how to take control of our minds. Creating a strong intention is the most powerful way to use thoughts. Intentions = decisions, goals, wants, ideas, desires, choices, faith. The more specific you are about what you want the more specifically you will receive it. We should all take time each day to identify your dominant intentions for that day.
Everyone has a unique perception of the world – we create our own world with our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions. Fear causes us to see the world as hostile/threatening v. joy causes us to see it as safe and beautiful. We are responsible for what we see (our perception).
The Law of Attraction: whatever we put our attention on, in belief, thought, and feeling, will come into our life multiplied. If you think about what you do not want, then you will get a lot of that. We always receive what we believe and we need to change our beliefs to change our life. We need to put our attention on what we want rather than how we need to protect yourself from what is happening/the negative. We each have our own reality and it is created by whatever we have out attention on – we can make the conscious choice to be a positive thinker, etc.
She mentions that if you want to know your most powerful beliefs about yourself you just need to look at your life. This really makes me think because I am currently struggling with some personal issues in my life and this sentence makes me stop and think. Do I truly value myself so little? Do I actually have such little confidence? Something to work on…
We choose our emotions. Try to choose to feel good more of the time. How do you start your day? I am grateful, I am choosing to feel good today. “I am” creates our present reality – if we focus on “I am” negatives we evoke negative feelings that send out a signal that attracts back more of what we are giving attention to. I am grateful for my healthy body, I am a positive person, I am creating feelings of joy, etc. Your thoughts are always creating your reality. Expressing gratitude is important to do daily – I actually start every day with 3 gratitudes and I have found that it puts me in a more positive mood to start my day!
Tuttle speaks a lot about energy in this book. She discusses how energy follows thought and thoughts create. Therefore if you create thoughts of wellness you will create an energy of wellness that will be fed into your being.
Personally, I have a lot of money insecurities and she talks about changing your beliefs to bring money into your life. Create beliefs of: I recognize prosperity everywhere and there is plenty for me. I attract money easily, there is always more money coming in then going out. I spend money wisely and comfortably. I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. I am using money to bless my life and others. When you spend money, create a positive, peaceful feeling – create a vibration of prosperity to create more money coming in in the future. If you reference your state of abundance with money you will create and attract new avenues and opportunities for more money to come into your life.
I like these concepts – this is something I do need to work on! I do believe in energies and the law of attraction so a lot of this book and these points do really speak to me.
5. Fear and Other Uninvited Guests – Harriet Lerner 2/10
I only read until chapter 6 of this book. I did not find it overly interesting and found that there were a lot of stories about specific people and their work with Lerner. I am trying to make some life changes and know that something holding me back/keeping me stagnant is probably fear. Fear of what I am not 100% sure…but I know that a lot of resistance to change of any sort is because of fear (of the unknown, of making a mistake, of someone not liking you, of being judged, etc.) So I thought this book might prove insightful and provide tips/suggestions for overcoming various fears.
For those who these various fears do apply this might be a very interesting read!
The fear of Rejection: I don’t really feel like this chapter applies to me much, it gives examples of people who have been rejected/dumped by their significant other and then unable to move on. I can’t even find a date let alone have enough of a relationship to be badly rejected. I mean I have been dumped before but I was okay afterwards.
Fears vs. phobias – again I don’t really feel like this applies to me too much – talks a lot of about the fear of public speaking and overcoming that.
In Praise of Anxiety? This chapter talks about how you need to pay attention to your anxiety/fears because at certain times they are valid and serve an important purpose i.e. gut feeling something is wrong – Anxiety as a useful emotion but how it can also be bad. Fear can be positive if it occurs at the right time, in the correct does, if it serves a positive motivating force, etc. But these are all ifs
Anxiety can make you lose sight of the ‘now’ and obsess about regretting the past or stress about the possible future. We fear change because it requires us to anticipate resistance from within ourselves and from the outside world and thus we need to manage this anxiety.
Other chapters are are Fear at Work, the Power of Shame, the Fear of the Mirror, etc. but I did not feel these applied to me and I did not read them…
These books may be favourites of yours and probably resonate deeply with a lot of people, they were just not my favourites. I will admit that I did make some valuable notes, but I was not totally enraptured by these books and did not finish them (which is a struggle in and of itself for me – I always feel like I should finish a book just because…when in reality if I am not enjoying it, why read it?!)
I hope this provides some insight for someone. Again, I would love to hear if anyone has read any of these and what their thoughts are 🙂