Being an ardent reader and book lover (of both fiction and inspirational literature) I have recently realized that there are a lot of things I come across while reading that would probably benefit another person if shared. And seeing that I already have a platform here with a considerable number of readers, I have decided to start telling you guys about books that I read and find worth sharing. Because reading is as a learning opportunity as it is about leisure. Films too (if I ever find one worth talking about, I will) So if you like books, (or films) watch this space. (I’ll be sharing opinions, not doing reviews).
I begin this series with one little book that I like to say completely changed my life. Tuesdays with Morrie is a book based on a true story about a professor who learns he has ALS, and spends a lot of his little time left with his former student (Mitch Albom, the author). Their conversations end up being the most valuable documented life lessons in my opinion, that transcend quite a number of generations, regardless of the fact that it was published 17 years ago. There are quite a lot of things to learn from this book so the below are just my favourite. If you can, find this book and read it. No kidding, it could transform you!
Money and happiness, not the same thing
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life.” Says Morrie. ” They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” We hear this often but it is not easy to walk the talk as you may think. Basically, the hustle is important, but there are things that matter more. We all love a little (or a lot of) luxury, but your life cannot be about how much money you make. Don’t be a sell out and compromise your values for money. If your money making channels are compromising your values, there is something wrong with that picture. Also, this book taught me the importance of a healthy work-life balance.
“Sometimes you can’t believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel.” Facing our emotions is not the easiest of tasks, but bottling them up does more harm than good. Morrie describes having bouts of self-pity, despite being such a strong character and it reveals how human we all are. That it is ok to feel all the good things and the bad things, because that’s what makes us human.
Form meaningful relationships, and love, truly
“As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.” “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” I had not thought of relationships like this before. This was such an eye opener. Because it comforts that even when we lose someone, they are not really gone when they live on in our hearts. When we give our all, that’s how we will be remembered.
Forgive yourself and others
How many times do you truly get over your past bad behavior, things you wish you did different, and tell yourself, “Okay, I didn’t know any better, now that I do, I will do better.” Now, how often have you said the same thing about someone who wronged you. I know it is a struggle, but it is worth the try, for the sake of your own sanity.
Accept the things you couldn’t do. And move on
“Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.” “Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.” The only way you can truly move on from failure is by accepting that there are things beyond us, no matter how hard we try, and that’s okay. Being able to know the difference between a lost cause, and cause to push harder. We are not our past; neither are we our failures.
Stop living to impress others
“If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”… “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” Need I say more?
What if today was my last?
“Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?” Morrie alludes to a certain Buddhist practice that gives me a lot of perspective on life. Because if you truly ask yourself these questions everyday, you are more likely to live the life you want instead of waiting for the right time. Because there is never a right time. And stop being so afraid!
Make a difference
Find someone to share your heart, give to your community, be at peace with yourself, try to be as human as you can be. “Don’t assume that it is too late to get involved.” He says. Basically as much as you are working on being a decent human being, remember you are not alone. Get involved with those around you. Share their struggles, their joy and help out where you can. After all as Morrie says, “You’re not a wave, you are part of the ocean.”