Book 8 – No More Excuses

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Title: Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

Date Completed: 11/6/09

Author(s): Wayne Dyer

Copyright: 2009, Hay House, Inc.

# pages: 257

Genre: Self Improvement

 

I’ve read several of Wayne Dyer’s books, and I really like what he has to say.  If you haven’t read his books, you’ve probably seen him on PBS.  He is the tall bald guy who is always telling you that you can achieve your dreams.  It’s right up my alley! 

 The approach that he takes in this book is to look at the most common excuses people make for not pursuing or achieving their dreams – and help you figure out a way to stop using the excuse.   The excuses are ones that I’m sure you’ve used:

  • It will take to long
  • It will be difficult
  • I’m too old
  • It’s going to be risky

 There are 18 in total, so I won’t cover them all here.  But, let me give you an example.  Let’s use ‘it’s going to be risky.’  You may want to do something, but you think it will be risky, so that keeps you from moving forward.  You use ‘risk’ as an excuse for not doing it.  But, I’m guessing that you drive to work, the grocery store, the movies, your kid’s school everyday.  Guess what?  That is risky too.  There are pretty decent odds that at some point in your life you will get into a car wreck.  So, why does the risk stop you from doing something you want, but doesn’t stop you from leaving the house every day?  (Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you become agoraphobic). 

 It is because it is a convenient excuse.  Yes, it may very well be true that there is risk.  But, it is also true that you may get through it with no negative consequences.  So, why do you choose to focus on the negative rather than the positive?

 He does a better job of walking you through this, but I think you get the idea.  I enjoyed the book, and actually have 18 bookmarked pages with stuff that I really liked.  That is a lot – even for me!

Book 6 –Death and Lessons from a Baby

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Title: The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
Date Completed: 10/10/09
Author(s): Deepak Chopra
Copyright: 2004, Harmony Books
# pages: 262
Genre: Spirituality/Self Improvement

Deepak Chopra is a well-known and prolific author who has written extensively on spirituality and self improvement. He has written well over 20 books. This is the first I’ve read. And, I’ve read a lot of these types of books. I figured it was finally time for me to read one of his.

I’ll be honest. I started this book in August and it took me until October to finish it. I had to renew it from the library 3 times. This book is pretty ‘deep’ and has a lot of abstract concepts, which meant I couldn’t just pick it up and breeze through it. Because of the number of self improvement books I’ve read, there are a lot of things in the book that were not new to me. However, the sections on death and potential I found quite interesting.

Secret # 10 is ‘death makes life possible.’ The example that he used that has stuck with me is a comparison of death to tv. If you are watching Letterman, it doesn’t mean that the Tonight Show doesn’t exist. The Tonight Show still exists, and is still streaming through the airwaves – you just aren’t tuned into it. When you turn the channel from Letterman to the Tonight Show, Letterman also does not cease to exist. You know it is out there – you just aren’t accessing it. This is how he explains death. When you die, it is like changing the channel. You still exist, you just aren’t tuned into this channel. Interesting thought, huh?

Secret # 14 is ‘the meaning of life is everything.’ This is a big chapter with a lot of information, but the section on babies is something that really hit home for me. Most of us don’t accomplish all we could because we hold back for one reason or another. Most of these reasons can be traced back to the fear of failure. We may each define failure differently, but it all traces back to the same essence. Chopra brings the stupidity of human fear of failure to the forefront by asking you to imagine a baby who wants to walk, but has these reservations (p. 239):
1. I don’t want to look bad.
2. I don’t want to fall down.
3. I don’t want anyone else to watch me fail.
4. I don’t want to live with the burden of failure.
5. I don’t want to expend all of my energy.
6. I don’t want any pain.

Now, can you imagine looking at a baby who starts to shift from crawling to walking and calling it a failure because it didn’t succeed on the first try? Ridiculous! So, what is different about a baby trying to learn to walk (doing something it has no experience with), and an adult trying something that he has never done before? Why would we consider the adult any more of a failure than the baby? Both are moving forward in the face of the unknown.

Deep stuff, folks!