June 12, 2007

Book O' Mine ~ The Best Year of Your Life

I didn't choose this because it's the best book I've ever read. It is a well-written book that presents a decent plan. I chose it this week because it says a lot about me and where I'm at, if you will.

Where I'm always at. I'm one of those people who is always starting and never finishing. I have many lofty ideas, fabulous even. I like the idea of a well-ordered life. I like the idea of discipline and doing things right and well. I also have quite a few swell ideas that I'd like to see through to completion. And I do get along ... I just don't get there. You know? Wouldn't you just like to get there someday? This book is about getting there. Dreaming it, Planning it, Living it. Sounds good. Worth $13.00, certainly. I bought it. I read it. And I get it. I just don't do it.

Psst. What I am beginning to ascertain is: there isn't a book or groundbreaking concept out there that will actually perform the endeavors, undertakings and enterprises I would like to see happen in my life. Heady, I know.

Debbie Ford did have some helpful, thought-provoking (if not action-provoking) points. Under the section Dream It there are three chapters - Creating a Powerful Intent, Exposing the Fantasy, Stepping into Greatness.

"...Show up at each moment with the commitment to use all of your gifts, talents, and brilliance."

"...You must uncover what it is you are truly chasing and how you think you will feel when you finally catch it."

"...Our only job is to see past our own limitations so that we can return to that which we already are. "

She provides good exercises if you're the type to actually do that...'course if you were, you probably wouldn't need the book.

Plan It - A Clean Slate: "Make a list of the unresolved projects, tasks, and relationships that are keeping you tied to the past and blocking you from expressing your greatest self." Avoiding Your "No-Cookie Zones": "Make a list of the excuses you use to justify the condition of your life.....Make a list of the behaviors, choices, and habits you engage in that are in direct opposition to the fulfillment of becoming the person you desire to be." No-Cookie Zones are those times when your plan gets tripped up and you resort to old habits. Planning Your Year has subheadings like, defining your goals, creating a structure for success, seeing discipline as your ally...

And the final section of Ford's The Best Year of Your Life is the Live It part where you're actually going out and putting these ideas into play. Aaanyhoo.

Sarcasm aside, I did take something wonderful from the final chapters and that is the idea of living with "impeccable integrity." This chapter has really stayed with me. "When we are acting with impeccable integrity, every area of our lives becomes a reflection of our highest vision and our deepest values. Our behaviors, actions, and choices are consistent with who we desire to be in the world." She suggests that this is the foundation of any life plan and I think I'm still learning to put this into action, slowly but surely. It is life-changing, and a little disconcerting, to observe my actions and compare them with "integrity."

What are the things that you are always trying to do? Are you getting there? Do you talk yourself out of them or avoid them for no apparent reason? What is on your short list of things you believe would make your life better lived? Things like eating well, serving people with love, reading the Bible daily are on my list. I do not like to detail the things I want to accomplish for fear that I will not accomplish them. Not only just not accomplish them, but not even give it my best try. Maybe there's a book out there that would tell me why I'm not trying to accomplish the things I think are worthy of doing.

Voila, there is. It's called The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, by the same author. It talks about how we need to acknowledge the side of ourselves that basically sabotages our good plans. I found it in a bargain box and picked it up. I'll tell you about it if I ever read it. I've been trying, but my dark side keeps wrestling it out of my hands.

I'm thinking about fiction for next week.


Mr. Althouse said...

Formalities: Michele sent me.

Ok, now that that's out of the way...

I have been a reader of self-help, inspirational, "get your life working" books for years. Every one of them made a great deal of sense. All left me inspired to get out there and DO IT. In fact, one such book was titled "Just Do It." They all left me filled with good intentions. None worked.

I can say that my life today is much better than it ever was in respect to follow-through and completing goals and tasks. However, I am not by any means perfect. I'm not sure if any or all of the advice in those books (they pretty much all say the same things) made the difference or if it was just finally reaching a point in life where change was the only option.

There is no book that will do it for me. There isn't some B complex vitamin or natural herb that will get my ass in gear. There is no magic - it's just work.


Anita said...

Clearly, Jennie, we are cut from the same cloth. I wouldn't say I do none of the things that I think are worthwhile, but I'm very "all or nothing". So some things get total focus and attention, while I completely ignore all the rest. For example, I workout very religiously. I think I do it because there is both short term gain (feel really good on the day) and long term gain (stay slimmer, perform in an unembarrassing fashion in races).

But, I really want to write a novel. If I spent a fraction of the time I spend working out on writing, I'd probably get it done. I actually have 50 pages of a novel. But instead, I took a part time paying job that I could care less about except for the money. So I don't write pretty much at all.

I think it is the fear of failure. With working out, there really is no way to fail. Every incremental workout is beneficial. With writing, I could totally fail. So I don't do it.

Guess I need this book, huh?

Paul said...

Fiction. Go for it. Some of my best posts are fiction. I love fiction. Best wishes for a good--no, great--book.

I think I'll look for this book. Thanks for putting it out there.

Paul said...

Oops. Maybe I misunderstood. You're going to show us a fiction book next week, aren't you? Well, I'm still looking forward to it. (It wouldn't hurt you to write a nice piece of fiction, though. Jesus did. Parables.)

Jennie said...

No Paul, I don't think I can write fiction! The only fiction I've ever written has come from a short explosion of creativity in my brain that dissipates like fireworks in a noreaster.