Thursday, October 21, 2010

Really Happy I Read This Book.

So a couple of days ago a friend of mine was walking by and he was holding a copy of this book. I am always on the lookout for recommended reads, so I asked him, hey what book is that and do you like it? Wrote down the name, and checked it out at the El Toro library (a favorite lunchtime haunt of mine).

Loved it! I highly recommend it. It's definitely one of those make-you-want-to-do-something-with-your-life books, which are always a good kick in the pants for me. He's also a pretty strong Christian, and finds ways to thank God for the blessings in his life. I found a lot in common with what he said. A couple of thoughts that came to mind while I read it:
  • I need to work more on following what the Holy Ghost prompts me to do. He talked a lot about how essentially God is the writer of our "story" (read: life), and in order to have a better story, we need to trust that he knows what composes a better story, i.e. trials, being nicer, etc. (I'm butchering it, but that's why you read books written by other people, not me.)
  • A good story consists of meaningful scenes. Relationships, adventures, growing through hard times, etc. Human beings are content with, well, being content. In staying comfortable, we stay stagnant and stop growing, become unhappy, yet unwilling to find what we essentially need to feel better about our lives.
  • Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. One cannot expect the significant other in our life to be perfect, or even at all to "complete" us. One thought is that there is no such thing as a soul mate, because no such person exists that can complete us. Here's an excerpt: 
    • "I was interviewing my friend Susan Isaacs ... she said she and her husband believed they were a cherished prize for each other, and they would probably drive any other people mad. But then she said something I thought was wise. She said she had married a guy, and he was just a guy. He wasn't going to make all her problems go away, because he was just a guy. And that freed her to really love him as a guy, not as an ultimate problem solver...neither needed the other to make everything okay. They were simply content to have good company through life's conflicts."
  • Oh, and I feel strongly about this: marketing essentially tells us that we would be happy if we had the next best thing. Which I'm sure we all are aware of, or at least have heard that. But it truly does that. In thinking that a material possession can make us instantly and completely happy, we never are satisfied with what we have, since there is always something new to take its place. So sad.
    • "If you want to know what a person's story is about, just ask them what they want. If we don't want anything, we are living boring stories, and if we want a Roomba vacuum cleaner, we are living stupid stories. If it won't work in a story, it won't work in life."
  • Last thought: life has no climax, and certainly no "happily ever after" in the story sense. When we sacrifice something, we think it will be worth it, right? We translate that to meaning that what happens after that will be great and easy and then when it's not we are disappointed. Life is the story. It's the struggle, and means more when you sacrifice, even if it doesn't get easier after that.
Like I said, read it.

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