What happened Friday night in Paris was about to send me into a severe depression, but I recalled how I’ve decided to take charge of my emotions, by reading optimistic & constructive books. So, Saturday morning I started to read this book again, and, within an hour, it lifted my spirit.
A quote from this book that fits well to the disaster in Paris, and has given me the strength to see the event in a different light:
'Emergencies send sparks to the darkest corners of us. They wake up our hormones and neurotransmitters. They remove the rust from our body and mind, and they show us we can still handle crises with poise.
Emergencies push us to our limits. At those limits, the best inside us comes out. The eyes of our mind open, exceptional vision occurs to us, and we have a chance to become extraordinary.'
That's what is amazing about the eternal and universal wisdoms contained in such constructive books: they fundamentally change our perspective on life, so we become autonomous to take charge of our emotions, and move on by taking proactive actions.
For the last three days, I have been away to my favourite spot by the sea.
After reading “The seeker of well-being” I felt a deep inner silence that told me I needed a break; to unite with myself, to decide how best to handle the conflicts I have now, in my personal and professional lives. Now I am back to town, all renewed. Ready to face the challenges of life.
I find Confucius the best in Chinese Wisdom.
If you don't have the time to read the whole book, read at least the two chapters called "The way of Friendship" and "The way of Ambition".
They radically changed my way of looking at friendship and ambition; I've been a lot happier since. The stuff may sound like common sense, but so easy to set aside, and move on like a bulldozer.
Also, what's great about this book is: it teaches subtly, without putting us down.
To illustrate how this book has helped me, first let me put it into a concrete context.
Around the middle of this September, I have been to a corporate party, where, to my great surprise, the manager of my workgroup started talking about the founder of our company, a great woman who took a lot of care for my development, and then died unexpectedly a few years ago.
This woman had plenty of confidence in me, and always placed me in challenging projects to develop my competences, along with high quality trainings for my professional and personal development. After her death, I suddenly felt a big void inside me, and felt totally lost about how to continue with my evolution. This impasse became particularly frightening to me, after her company was bought by a larger group, and since then I have not had one single training; in this new restructured organization, not a single person cares about my development.
Then in that corporate party, my current manager, who also had worked with that great woman before, made a moving speech about her, which revealed a void similar to mine. This did something to me that I can not describe in words, but, at that very moment, I made this decision: I will never again depend on someone else from the outside for my evolution; rather, from now on, that help has to come from inside me.
And that’s where this book came to me like a gift from god, with a goldmine of wisdom and insights.
But the book did not grab my heart because of that reason. I think, unconsciously, I was looking for someone to understand me, to listen to my feelings rather than giving advice; and the very first chapter of the book fulfilled exactly that need!
I felt understood. I felt I would be understood all along the book. I felt the author did not want to force on me a ton of readymade, general advice; rather, all he really wanted was that I understand myself deeply, and then I develop the solution that fits me the best.
At several points in the book, I could identify myself with the characters and their pains, but what really inspired me is this: these characters faced their challenges with dignity, solved their problems by themselves, and moved forward with deep contentment, without ever leaning upon anyone. These characters and their stories are so alive, so dynamic, so forceful that they transported me. I said: if they could do it, I can too.
And then it occurred to me that, in not even one of those stories, the author has given a single direct advice to these characters. He has always stayed in the background and asked the right questions, which have evoked the solutions from inside these characters. Moreover, I was surprised to see what I have done myself, while reading this book: I have taken notes all over the place!
After I finished the book, I set it aside, and looked at my notes all together. Then I found, all by myself, what I was looking for: what I should do, to continue my evolution.
I have read quite a few authors on personal development, since I began my search for evolution, but this author has one quality that distinguishes him from the rest: it is his unique combination of experience and humility, of his wisdom and modesty. His quiet strength, poise, and compassion kept infusing into me while I read on, and, at the end, I felt I was standing a lot firmer on my feet, on a ground more solid with self-esteem and confidence.
A rare experience occurred to me while reading this book: at three places, I cried!!
Those were not tears of sadness, but of liberation, and of a deep joy from within. Those were tears that cleaned me out from inside, and left me stronger to embrace life with courage and dignity. I have never had this experience with a nonfiction before.
This book made me feel the air circulating in my lungs again, and the blood in my veins. And I saw this book has done as much good to my heart, as it has done to my head.