It’s Time To Make A Life Changing Decision…How Can We Know What To Do?

It’s Time To Make A Life Changing Decision…How Can We Know What To Do?

When it comes time to make an important decision, a potentially life altering, game-breaking decision, how are we to know what to do?

Some would say use logic

Some would say use ration

Some would say listen to your emotions (maybe?)

Some would say follow your gut

Some would say call a friend

What many don’t say is…

What to consider when using logic

Logic relies solely on the past. All of its’ reasoning and facts are based upon what lay behind us, not ahead of us. This can surely have some merit, however, facts change, science evolves, and this must be taken into consideration. The past does not equal the future.

There’s a good chance we’re making a decision based on logic when we base our decision primarily around fact and evidence. Therefore, leading us to create a specified sequence that will get us from here to our destination in order to justify our upcoming decision.

Logic has its’ place assisting in the decision making process, but I would argue that it shouldn’t be a crutch.

But above all, logic is really shitty at going beyond the material world of things and involves zero insights gathered from our infinite wisdom.

Use logic wisely.

What to consider when using ration

Like logic, ration also relies on a past to predict the future. In comparison, ration will be based more on concepts of reasoning oppose to evidence or facts.

Sounds ideal right? Well yes, except….

Ration doesn’t take our emotions into consideration. And yes, our emotions are very real to us. They can tell us a lot, or they can tell us very little, if we’re in tune with them.

Making a rational decision that eventually leads to resentment probably wasn’t the wisest decision at the time. Could it have been avoided? Surely.

And similar to logic, ration is based on conceptualizations on the material world.

Use ration wisely.

What to consider when using your gut

The largest issue with this in my experience is that most people don’t even know what the heck it means to follow their gut.

What does that even feel like?

Butterflies in the tummy?

If so, what does that even mean?

Anxiety?

Elation?

Love?

Hunger?

I know most use this figure of speech in a way that refers to our inner knowingness, our internal compass,

In my experience, this is just bad terminology that people could intellectualize into numerous different ways.

Many people I talk to aren’t familiar with what a gut feeling in relation to our inner knowing vs our emotions fluttering in their belly.

If you are familiar with how to separate the two then definitely take your gut feeling into consideration. Our gut can tell us things that have yet formulate in the material world, it hasn’t been proven, we cannot see it, but we just know.

What to consider when listening to your emotions

They are very inaccurate. All our emotions do is give us an accurate indication of our thinking in the moment. Our thoughts could be logical, illogical, rational, or irrational, our emotions do not care.

They are just reflecting back to us what is going on upstairs, nothing more.

Making a decision based on emotion is like trying to find a treasure after buying a compass that states on the package “all directions could be True North”.

It’s the blind leading the blind.

What to consider when calling a friend

At first, I put this one down as a joke and was going to treat it as such. Then, a thought came to mind, calling a friend can actually be quite useful.

What a friend can offer us when we’re consumed by endless choices and one decision to make is… perspective. A single shift in perspective can lead to an insight that changes the entire landscape for us.

Choose this person wisely, use their vision not their opinion.

Tapping into our infinite wisdom

Each and every one of us has an endless well of wisdom waiting to be tapped into. When it comes to making life changing decisions, this would be a great time to drop a bucket into the well and see what wisdom may come out.

Our wisdom doesn’t rely on logic, ration, emotions, our friend. While our wisdom doesn’t rely on any of these, it can tell us how to use them wisely.

Our wisdom does have some relation to a gut feeling, otherwise known as our inner knowing. This is a knowing that cannot be explained in the world of form, there’s no evidence to prove it, it may even seem irrational to some, and maybe even ourselves at first.

Our wisdom will distinguish the gut feeling of inner knowing vs anxiety.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to tap into your infinite wisdom…

Instead of looking into the direction of what you already know (logic, ration), look toward the unknown. Sit quietly with your thoughts, direct your attention toward what you do not yet know. Or, maybe you do know but have yet to acknowledge it due to being so focused on the variables of the known.

Connect with the space between your thoughts, as out of this space of nothing, arises everything.

Be patient, an inner knowing will surely come to you. An answer will come, that can be assured, but it won’t be on your timeline. The more you try to force an answer the further from it you will become.

Sit back and listen for the whispers of your wisdom, allow it to be heard.

Take care,

And learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

7 Best Personal Development Books I Read In 2018

7 Best Personal Development Books I Read In 2018

Editions

2018

2017

My Definition of a personal development book

A personal development book to me is any book that contains information with the purpose of influencing a direct personal transformation within the reader.

This could come in the form of a typical personal development book like Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins or a less typical, more metaphysical approach like The Inside Out Revolution by Michael Neill.

Whether a certain book will resonate with us or not largely depends on what journey we are on and where we are in our journey.

Top Personal Development Books – 2018 Edition

Goal: 40

Read: 46

*I rated the books based on the impact they had on my personal growth.*

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

By Byron Katie

352 Pages

What is this book about?

For reference, I will call her Katie, as apparently that is what she prefers.

The premise of this book is to dissolve our sense of self, our ego, in light of a higher awareness. She teaches us that all suffering is optional and is created by our confusion and resistance to what is. She shows us a path toward love oppose to pain or suffering.

Katie teaches us to do this by way of thought inquiry through a very powerful set of questions she calls “The Work”.

The four questions this book (The Work) revolves around are:

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

4. Who would you be without the thought?

Using the four questions, here’s an example using the statement “My husband should understand me.”

1. Is it true? Is it true that he should understand you? Be still. Wait for the heart’s response.

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

Ultimately, can you really know what he should or shouldn’t
understand? Can you absolutely know what is in his best interest to understand?

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? What happens when you believe “My husband should understand me” and he doesn’t?

Do you experience anger, stress, or frustration? How do you treat your husband? Do you give him “the look”? Do you try to change him in any way? How do these reactions feel? How do you treat yourself? Does that thought bring stress or peace into your life? Be still as you listen.

4. Who would you be without the thought?

Close your eyes. Picture yourself in the presence of your husband in this situation. Now imagine looking at your husband, just for a moment, without the thought “My husband should understand me.” What do you see? What would your life look like without that thought?

Katie takes you on a journey to the depth of your being by discussing the power of her inquiry through love and selflessness.

This discussion is mixed with examples of The Work through transcripts of real inquiries she has done with people. These examples are amazing, as you can truly see the power of The Work in action.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

In my opinion, the goal of most self-improvement and personal development books with a spiritual undertone is to dissolve the ego. To go beyond our sense of self and experience some level of transcendence.

Most appear to fail at doing this for one main reason, they lack simplicity. And that brings me to what I love most about this book…its’ simplicity!

As I went through this book over the course of a couple weeks, and several weeks thereafter, I would constantly catch myself doing The Work in my head when I recognized a thought that wasn’t serving me.

This book really taught me that just the simple act of questioning our thoughts is enough to see through all our made up bull shit.

Who would I recommend this book for?

EVERYONE.

Seriously…everyone. There is not one single human being on this earth that could not benefit from this book.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

A Mind At Home With Itself

By Byron Katie

304 Pages

What is this book about?

This book is an extension of my #1 choice, Loving What Is. It is more or less a series of transcripts from real inquires Katie had with people.

If you are interested in Katies’ work, I recommend you read Loving What Is before you read this book. Loving What Is will give a much deeper understanding of what she calls “The Work”, whereas this book gives plenty of examples of The Work in action.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

 See my answer to the same question under Loving What Is.

Who would I recommend this book for?

Anyone who has read Loving What Is by Byron Katie and has an interest in her work.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide To Satisfying Relationships

By George Pransky

246 Pages

What is this book about?

Relationships! However, this is NOT your typical relationship book. It is original, unique, and like no other. There’s nothing to work on, just a different understanding.

I heard about it from many coaches and facilitators that stem from the Three Principles understanding of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. As the author of this book, Dr. George Pransky is one of the pioneers of this life transforming understanding.

This book points us inward, toward responsibility and the inside-out nature of relationships and relationship problems.

Problems aren’t to be dealt with, they are to be transcended. George shows us exactly how this is done, no matter the problem.

Many of us over analyze our relationship problems and our relationships as a whole. George points us back toward simplicity of relationships and all they en-tale.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

My wife is very analytical, and this analysis is quite typical of our disagreements. Whereas I’m quite simple, however I typically get sucked in to the analysis because I didn’t know how to effectively direct the conversation toward simplicity. More so, I didn’t know how to create enough value in simplicity for her to even entertain the idea!

This book gave me that direction, that missing link between my thoughts and words.

It wasn’t long after I read this book that my wife and I had a bit of a squabble. Our back and forth was going the way it normally would, until I remembered the book. Certain messages throughout the book really stuck with me and I decided to try them on for size.

Without spoiling the contents of the book, all I can say is…WOW! It actually worked! We made a simple shift in our collective focus, the tension started to ease and we could see the dust settling when usually it would remain cloudy and tense, without a resolve for hours. 

Who would I recommend this book for?

Anyone who wants to improve their relationships from the inside-out.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

The Enlightened Gardener

By Sydney Banks

176 Pages

What is this book about?

A fictional story about 4 psychologists from America who travel to England for a conference. During this trip, they come across a gardener, who little did they know would transform their lives forever through a new understanding of the fundamental nature of life.

This understanding is now known as the Three Principles of Universal Mind, Universal Consciousness, and Universal Thought.

There are many great metaphors used to help one deepen their understanding how these principles create our every experience of life. 

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Prior to reading this book, I had already read the sequel and been a student of the Three Principles for a little more than 6 months. Therefore, the understanding this book points toward is not new to me, but it still gave me fresh eyes to see with.

Who would I recommend this book for?

Anyone interested who wants to transform their entire life from the inside-out. This is a great place to start. It will open up a path that is never ending.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

We Consciousness: 33 Profound Truths For Inner And Outer Peace

By Karen Noe

216 Pages

What is this book about?

In short, this book is written by a proclaimed Medium, on the topic of collective consciousness.

She claims to have received communication from the now deceased DR. Wayne Dyer on this topic. This communication has translated into 33 profound truths on how to be an instrument of peace.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Before reading this book, becoming a vegetarian had been in the back of my mind for some time. I am now Vegan, this is the book the put the nail in the coffin for me.

There is a chapter dedicated to our relationship animals within our collective consciousness. I have always been an animal lover and this chapter took my love to a whole new level, a level in which I could not dismiss the act of eating them anymore.

The impact that very chapter had on my life is enormous.

Who would I recommend this book for?

First and foremost, Wayne Dyer fans! 

Otherwise, anyone interested in spirituality.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

Supercoach: 10 Secrets To Transform Anyone’s Like

By Michael Neill

256 Pages

What is this book about?

Michael Neill is my favourite author and coach. His coaching is also influenced by the Three Principles understanding of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.

This is the best book I have come across that connects spirituality with pragmatism, or shall I say transcends pragmatism, through a compartmentalized approach.

This book is a revision of its’ 2010 version, also titles SuperCoach.

 

Michael dedicates entire chapters to each of the 10 secrets. Each chapter begins with clever fables and short stories that really get his point across.

He discusses each of the 10 secrets with humour and clarity, all while pointing us toward the insdie-out nature of each of these secrets.

The 10 secrets he discusses are:

1. The Art of Dreaming

2. You Were Born Happy

3. A Whole New Way of Thinking About Goals

4. The Simple Way To Make Decisions

5. Rainy Days and Mondays

6. How to Get Stuff Done

7. The Magic of Connection

8. How To Ask For Anything From Anyone

9. The Secret to a Lifetime of Financial Security

10. The Power of Hope

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Prior to reading this book, I had been a student of the Three Principle for about 18 months. I had listened to Michael Neill’s podcast twice over, and read two of his other Three Principles based books twice over as well.

This book really helped me link the pragmatic approach to different aspects of life with the spiritual. It really opened my eyes to new ways of looking at the practical side of life.

Who would I recommend this book for?

Everyone, spiritual or not. Michaels’ writing will appeal to the masses with clarity and contemplation.

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

Willpower Doesn’t Work

By Benjamin P. Hardy

256 Pages

What is this book about?

This book can be easily summed up as this: A persuasive argument toward how our environment shapes and influences our entire lives.

 

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

I nearly stopped reading this book after going through the first chapter or so.

Given my inside-out approach to life, and this book being more of an outside-in approach, I nearly chucked it to the side due to my strong bias. However, I decided to give it a shot. I recognized my bias and decided to move forward with an open mind, and I’m glad I did.

Our environment cannot be ignored, its’ influence cannot be ignored. The inside-out understanding says that our thoughts create our feelings, not our external environment. But we are not perfect, we all have blind spots, and our environment has a very real influence on our thoughts.

This book really helped my bridge the gap between the inside-out nature of life with the outside-in nature of life. So I thought, if our environment has influence on us, why not learn to use this knowledge to our advantage? Combine inside-out with outside-in, let them feed off each-other.

Who would I recommend this book for?

Anyone who wants to learn to use their environment to their advantage.

Top 10 Personal Development Books – 2017 Edition

Goal: 23

Read: 35

*I rated the books based on the impact they had on my personal growth.*

The Holding Space Practice

By Carol Webster

128 Pages

I first heard about holding space from Leon Vanderpol’s blog and podcast centered around deep transformational coaching. It is because of this that I wanted to go deeper into learning about holding space. After a search on Amazon I came across this amazing book. The book is very to the point, no fluff, and keeps you engaged through all 128 pages.

One, out of the many, things I LOVE about this book is how practical it is. It has numerous practical exercises within the teachings that will allow you to take several steps toward being able to hold space. I will warn you, the exercises are not for the faint of heart, and you must check your ego at the door. If completed, the exercises are life changing, I speak from personal experience.

What is this book about?

It is all about holding space!

What does it mean to hold space?

  • Honor individual without judgement, first self, then family, then others
  • Suspension of anxiety over expected outcomes
  • Accepting “now” as it really is without undue regret or control
  • Allowing self and others to choose as we avoid inappropriate pressure, collusion, manipulation, and/or exploitation

There is also a workbook available as a companion to the book that I highly recommend you get as the actual book has numerous exercises in it. You can purchase that from Amazon as well. CLICK HERE

How to read The Holding Space Practice for FREE

I gained access to this book through Kindle Unlimited. If you purchase the book outside of Kindle Unlimited it will cost you $9.99 for Kindle format. If you do not have Kindle Unlimited then I recommend to sign up for the 30-day trial and you can read the book for free!

And if you don’t have a Kindle Reader you will need this FREE KINDLE APP:

Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

By Anita Moorjani

191 Pages

What is this book about?

First half of the book:

The first half of the book tells the story behind Anita’s transformation, who she was before her NDE (Near Death Experience) that led to her spontaneous cure from cancer. There were many religious and personal conflicts in her life before her NDE. This sets the stage for the second half of the book, allowing it to be so transformative.

Second half of the book:

The second half of the book is one of the most inspiring and transformational reads I have ever encountered. Anita speaks like a spiritually enlighterned person since her NDE. She recalls her past from a perspective that is so inspiring.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

This is the book that influenced me to start my never ending journey toward personal and spiritual growth just over a year ago. It really rocked my world, all my beliefs, paradigms, and perspectives on life all got pulled into question. I would like to mention, I can relate to her journey more than many people due to my wife (who I have been with for nearly 9 years now) having Chronic Leukemia.

I will always hold a special place on my book shelf for this book because of that. This is proof that Dying To Be Me has the power to take you on a transformational journey.

Who do I recommend this book for?

For anyone who struggles with sacraficing who they truly are and all that they believe in for external forces such as Religion, family, friends, self-image ect. this is the book for you!

Deep Listening: Impact Beyond Words

By Oscar Trimboli

119 Pages (Kindle only)

What is this book about?

This book by Oscar Trimboli truly lives up to its’ title, and it teaches you how to listen beyond the words you hear. It is not your typical book on listening by manipulating the other person to think that you’re listening, whether you’re actually listening or not. So you won’t find techniques such as active listening or mirroring in this book.

What impact did this book have on my personal development and growth?

By far the best information I have ever come across when it comes to listening.

Highlights from this book:

  • We speak between 125 and 175 words per minute, yet we can listen to 400 words per minute, this is the 125/400 rule
  • Why the pause is the most critical moment in your listening, most people get this wrong
  • There are 5 levels of listening
  • Learn about unconscious listening vs conscious listening
  • What it means to listen beyond words and how to do it

Awaken The Giant Within

By Tony Robbins

544 Pages

When the topic of the best personal development books gets discussed, Awaken The Giant Within is typically the most popular personal development book talked about. It is not on my list due to popularity though, it is one of the best books for personal growth out there in my opinion. It is a lengthy book, with quite a bit of fluff, which I have found is typical of Tony as I have read all of his books. Although this book could have been written in under 300 pages it does not take away from its’ power.

What is this book about?

  • Making decisions
  • Understanding your beliefs and how to change them
  • Understanding your values and how to change them
  • Learn Neuro Associative Conditioning (NAC) to create lasting change
  • How the quality of your questions create the quality of your life
  • Transformational vocabulary
  • Numerous practical exerices

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

My biggest take away from Awaken The Giant Within is that everything in life is a pattern., and an awareness of this alone was enough to rock my boat. Because of the practical exercises within this book I learned a lot about myself. This took me through a process of deep self exploration. This was my first introduction to beliefs and values, and what fascinated me at the time was understanding that I can change them! That was a breakthrough for me at the time (7 months ago). This was also my first introduction to how habits are formed by thought and how they can be transformed by thought.

Who would I recommend this book to?

This is a great book for anyone who is fairly new to the concept of developing themselves. What you learn about yourself from doing the exercises in the book will be a great gateway toward what direction you would like to go next.

This book will only help you if… you actually do the exercises! Lucky for you, I have created a 37 page PDF of every single exercise in Awaken The Giant Within to give away for free. Click on the link to be taken there. Awaken The Giant Within Workbook

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

By Miguel Ruiz

168 Pages

This is another popular book for those interested in personal growth, for good reason. This is a short, easy read that kept me engaged from beginning to end.

What is this book about?

How did you know?

What are the four agreements?

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

The Four Agreements goes deeper into what each agreement really means at its’ core and how it can transform your life.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Immediately after reading this book I went and bought a small whiteboard to place on my fridge. On this white board I wrote The Four Agreements so that I will look at them every day. Doing my best to live by The Four Agreements has transformed my life.

Knowing what these four agreements are is not what will transform you. It is understanding them on the deepest level and then applying them to your life that will transform you and that is what the book is for.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

By Eckhart Tolle

229 Pages

I read this book just over a year ago from writing this, right after I read Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani. I thought it was a bit of a dry read when I first read it. Now that I am much further along on my transformational journey I appreciate what I took away from the book much more.

What is this book about?

The Power of Now is about, you guessed it…the NOW. The present moment is all we have and all we ever will have. This book explains the power of being present and mindful towards each and every moment of our lives. Eckhart Tolle uses typical life examples and how being in the present moment effects different circumstances.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

This is the book that got me started on my mindfulness and meditation journey. I did not realize the impact it had until now. For this book alone to inspire me down a path of mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality really says a lot of the impact it had on me. I will be reading this book again this year now that I am at a different point in my journey. I am sure I will take away something different from it the 2nd time around. It is one of those books that is so simple, yet so profound that so much gets missed.

Who would I recommend this book to?

If you would like to become for mindful and present in your life then I highly recommend this book for you.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)

By Hal Elrod

172 Pages

This book was an engaging read and well written. It was written effectively enough to inspire me to create my own morning routine! Considering the topic, I don’t think many people out there could have written in such an inspiring way.

What is this book about?

The Miracle Morning is all about the importance and impact of having a morning ritual. It sites several people who are considered highly successful that always started their day with a morning ritual.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

I was not even finished the book and I had already started adjusting my morning routine. At the point of reading this book I was already waking up an hour before I had to go in for my first personal training client which is an 8 minute drive away so it gave me plenty of time. My routine at this point was meditation for 15 minutes and showering. I don’t have to worry about breakfast because I do intermittent fasting.

After dabbling with different forms of exercise, timing of different aspects of the routine, and trying different things, I wake up 90 minutes before my 1st client and my morning routine now looks like this:

  1. Meditation 10-20 minutes
  2. Yoga 15 minutes
  3. Journal 5 minutes
  4. Read 10-15 minutes

In short, I can tell you that I have never felt better since starting my days like this.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Anyone who wants to feel better from the moment they wake and set their day up for aliveness and fulfillment.

The Enlightened Gardener Revisited

By Sydney Banks

168 Pages

This is the first book I read by Sydney Banks. It is likely you have never heard of him. He is the one to discover the Three Principles understanding in the world of psychology and spirituality.

What is this book about?

A fictional story about a pair of psychologists returning to England to visit an enlightened gardener who taught them this understanding called The Three Principles on their last visit. This story is the sequel to the original book The Enlightened Gardener. The two psychologists pick the gardeners brain to deepen their understanding of the Three Principles throughout their entire visit. They cannot understand how their clients are getting such miraculous results just from facilitating the teaching of the Three Principles to their clients.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

The Enlightened Gardener Revisited is by far the most insightful and profound book I have ever read. It is filled with so much wisdom. I am already familiar with the Three Principles as I have been constantly deepening my understanding of them for the past several months (and it has been the most life changing few months of my life, in large part thanks to this). This allowed me to truly appreciate what is inside this book. If I had read this book 6 months ago it would have been jiberish to me, I would not have comprehended much of it.

This is one of those books I can re-read again and again and take something different away from it every single time. I had to pause several times throughout the book to think about what I just read, and it is not because he uses complex words or sentences, it is because what he teaches is just so profound.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Anyone who wants to understand how they create every experience of their life and how once you understand this it will transform your life forever. If you are not familar with the Three Principles I do not recommend this book for you. I suggest starting with Sydney Bank’s prequal to this book called The Enlightened Gardener or Michael Neill’s Inside-Out Revolution, or both.

The Inside-Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever

By Michael Neill

168 Pages

This is the second book I read by Michael Neill, the first book I read of his was Supercoach, which is also a fantastic book. Prior to reading this book I had listened to every YouTube video I could find on Michael Neill and every single one of his 100+ episodes from his podcast. The Inside-Out Revolution reinforced much of what I had already learned from Michael, and what he teaches is amazing.

What is this book about?

The essence of the book is spiritual in nature. The underlying foundation of the book is built upon the Three Principles understanding that was discovered by Sydney Banks. From all the people I have listened to who talk about this understanding, Michael delivers the information in the simplest way in my opinion. Trying to make sense of anything spiritual can be extremely difficult, and I think he nails it.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

With me already being so familiar with Michael Neill’s work and the three principles, what this book did for me was help create further insights and deepen my understanding. That is all I can really ask for from this book.

Who would I recommend this book to?

If you think the outside world is to blame for your circumstances, thoughts, actions, or feelings than this book is for you. Also, anyone who is new to spirituality or who is familiar with spirituality will take something away from this book.

Man’s Search For Meaning

By Viktor E. Frankl

184 Pages

OK, I have something to confess, I didn’t actually read this book. I know, I know, you can judge me all you want. I listened to the audiobook version instead. I loved the message of the book so much I just could not leave it off the list. I will be ordering a paperback version this year as I do want to read the paperback version.

What is this book about?

Man’s Search For Meaning is a true story about Viktor E. Frankl’s encounter with being a prisoner in the Concentration Camps during World War 2. The basis of the book is Viktor contemplating life. What is his meaning? What is his purpose? How can he find meaning in the midst of such a horrific event? Read the book if you would like to find out how he survived with his mental health intact and thrived in his life once he got out.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Prior to reading this book, I believed that bringing meaning and purpose to our life can completely eradicate many of our life’s “problems”. Every single one of our problems are thought created, and if you tend to create problems chronically you are most likely attempting to fill the empty space that is not being filled by meaning and purpose. This book to me to a deeper understanding of meaning and purpose in my life and inspired me to contemplate the purpose of my own life.

With my wife having Leukemia, I have had some pretty terrible lows in recent years, as you can imagine. I can be thankful she is still here, we both are. I have also had some pretty terrific highs. Man’s Search For Meaning is proof that no matter how bad you think your life is, you always have the opportunity to create meaning and purpose in your life. This story inspired me to start giving back to the world by finding meaning in my suffering the same way Viktor did.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Much of our lives are spent comparing and contrasting. Comparing our low points with someone else’s low points for example. If you are someone who tends to do this a lot, or if you are someone who plays victim a lot, you need to read this book.

Anyone who feels a lack of purpose, meaning, or fulfillment in their life must read this book.

Honourable Mention

BEST PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS

Breakthrough Experience

By John F. Demartini

256 Pages

What is this book about?

The foundation of Breakthrough Experience is the positive/negative polarities of life. This was a challenging read. Dr. Demartini dives deep into the spiritual world and the world of quantum physics.

He then puts it all together into what he calls the Quantum Collapse Process, as he assumes you have an understanding of the material. The basis of this process is to transform any negative feelings you have towards someone into neutrality.

This process is quite daring as you have to have the courage to see the bad with the good, and the good with the bad, in yourself and the person you are trying to collapse. This is very powerful stuff.

What impact did this book have on my personal growth and development?

Even though I have yet to sit down and do the Quantum Collapse Process on anyone I had several insights throughout the book. Just the thought of trying to see the good through the bad in someone I have strong negative feelings towards is life transforming.

This is the book that also transformed the way I look at emotions. That it is OK to feel the so-called “negative emotions”, they are every bit a part of life as the so-called “positive emotions”, and they are both meant to be felt equally throughtout life. Understanding this has allowed to me see emotions as antagonistic instead of “good” or “bad”. Not labeling an emotion as “bad” allows it to be felt full force oppse to resisting or supressing it.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I recommend this to anyone who is familiar with spirituality and quantum physics. Having an open mind is a must while reading this book. If this is you and you want to learn how to completely neutralize your emotions towards yourself and/or others then this book is for you.

Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

Rob Kish

Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work: And What Does

Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work: And What Does

You might be anxiously wondering where this article is going to go, so just in case you’re about to judge me as some negative Nancy that’s going to bash positive thinking, I’d like to clear that up because that’s not what I’m about to do.

I’m going to use a deep dive into The Three Principles understanding of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought to awaken you to the fact that we don’t need to try to think positive in order to enjoy a joyous and fulfilling life. All we need is an understanding, and to not take our thoughts so damn seriously.

What I’m going to touch on is:

  • Positive and negative thoughts don’t exist, you just think they do
  • Judging vs understanding
  • A fear-based mentality
  • How the mind really works
  • Where our thoughts actually come from
  • What control we really have
  • The repercussions to always trying to think positive
  • How positive thinking teaches us to become more judgmental
  • A more peaceful approach to our thoughts and emotions
  • A healthier way to know your thinking is off
  • Where is freedom of mind?

By trying to think positive all the time, you’re attempting to shun the negative and embrace the positive instead of embracing the whole.

The self-help industry is completely flooded with the newest tips and strategies on how to think more positive more often. Oddly enough, attempting to see through a rose coloured lens all the time isn’t the solution to living a more fulfilling and joyful life. On top of that, it doesn’t even work.

My goal by the end of this post is to encourage you to meet your thoughts with understanding and compassion oppose to judgement. True success would be seeing the judgement of your thoughts as laughable.

Positive Thinking Failed Me

Being a caregiver to my wife with Leukemia for the past 9 years has taught me a lot. I’ve been to hell on earth and back, all in one lifetime, and I’m very grateful for this experience. Amongst the blessings in disguise that I’ve uncovered, I’ve learnt not to fear my own thinking.

During my deepest depths of despair, the world was a very, very dark place and I couldn’t see the light for the life of me. I tried so hard to “think positive”, but I wasn’t thrown a single bone to chew on.

I wanted to think positive because I was so afraid of what was going on inside my head. I was more afraid of my own thoughts than I was of cancer. I was constantly on edge, waiting to defend against the next negative thought that popped up.

When I needed positive thoughts the most they weren’t there. Or maybe they were, maybe I was blind to them because I was so distracted by all the attention I was giving to my “negative thinking”? Hmm

Suffice to say, I ground through that stage in my journey, it was not a graceful victory by any stretch.

I know with all my being that I will never go back to that place, or anywhere near it. I know this because I no longer judge my thinking as positive or negative. What’s probably even more important is that I no longer fear my own thoughts.

I now aim to meet each of my thoughts with love and compassion. Love trumps fear every single time. This compassion eliminates any desire for me to judge or change my thinking.

All of my thoughts are now arbitrary until I decide which ones will best serve me and the greater good.

Positive And Negative Thoughts Don’t Exist, You Just Think They Do

We make up what every single one of our thoughts mean. There is no universal meaning to our thoughts. There are universal feelings that we label, but each of those feelings means something different to each of us because we each have different thoughts that lead to those feelings.

Any given thought that you THINK is positive or negative is only that way because you THINK it is. You have labelled it so. Why do thoughts that lead to feeling happy have to be positive and thoughts that lead to feeling sad have to be negative?

Is it really such a negative thing to have thoughts that lead to feeling sad if you lose someone you loved dearly? Would you rather feel happy you lost them? One could argue that being happy in such a circumstance could be labelled as negative. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Judging vs Understanding

Judging leads us towards separating our thoughts into positive or negative compartments.

Understanding points toward the fact that we think. Through a simple understanding that we are thinking creatures and we aren’t in control, regardless of the content of our thinking, we can finally sit back and just watch the movie play out in our head.

Knowing that our thoughts have no life of their own allows us to not have to take them so seriously. None of our thoughts are real, not one. They only appear real because we give certain thoughts our full attention. This attention breathes life into a thought and that’s when they appear REAL.

Well, here’s the best news…

just because you have a thought in your head, this does not mean you have to act on it nor do you have to believe it. After all, it’s just a thought…until you think it’s not.

When we give our thoughts a life of their own, we feel the need to gain some control by attempting to banish the bad and embrace the good. We do this because we fear our thoughts are real, they have a sense of control over us, so we must take back control before they make us act out in ways we forbid.

How Positive Thinking Teaches Us To Become More Judgmental

In order to distinguish the so-called positive and negative thoughts, we must judge them as one or the other. To be on the look-out for the bad guys all day (negative thoughts), this requires us to be judging our thoughts all day.

This teaches us to analyze our thinking, then segmenting each thought into positive or negative categories. I’m exhausted just thinking about doing this each day.

We don’t see the world as our experience, we experience our thoughts as the world we see.

Therefore, the more we judge ourselves, which includes the thoughts in our head, the more we judge the world outside of us, including others. This is not the way of a more peaceful and joyful life.

As soon as we judge a thought as negative we’ve given it life, quite the opposite of our intentions. If we don’t judge the thought, it passes by all on its’ own like a cloud in the sky. Letting the thought go with judgement allows room for the next thought to pass by.

If we hold our attention on a negative thought, it leaves no room for the next thought to come through, not until we let that one go.

Being able to see your thoughts without judgement is ultimately what brings peace. Trying to think positive all the time takes you further away from this and more woven into a neurotic and judgmental world.

A Fear-Based Mentality

When we see our thoughts as real and in control of us, we have a tendency to then fear the thoughts we’ve judged as negative. This fear of a negative thought gives birth to the desire to abolish negative thinking while simultaneously attempting to control our thoughts.

If we take the stance of seeing all of our thoughts as arbitrary, until we give them life through belief and attention, we won’t feel the need to judge our thinking or try and control the uncontrollable. A thought becomes a thought, no more and no less.

In this non-judgmental state, we develop compassion for our thoughts, regardless of the contents. This compassion breeds a whole new level of understanding that makes one wonder why they felt the need to judge, fear, or change their thoughts in the first place.

How The Mind Really Works

The mind works like a projector. It reflects our own thoughts back to us and we call what we see “reality”. We’re watching the movie of our own mind, we’re not the movie, and therefore we’re not our thoughts.

Sure, we can direct the film through editing the speed, colour, and sound, but what we cannot do is create the film. We don’t even have control over which film gets placed into the projector.

Where Our Thoughts Actually Come From

This remains a mystery. This mystery is what religion, mystics, and spiritual leaders try to put into words that which cannot be described with words.

What we do know is that we don’t create our thoughts, we receive them and we observe them. Similarly to how we listen to a radio, and if we don’t control what is on the radio, what control do we have?

What Control We Really Have

You’re driving along, listening to the radio, you’re favourite song has just ended, the next one comes on. It’s a song that has been so overplayed; you’ve heard it way too many times recently. What do you do? Change the station.

The next station plays a song that reminds you of your ex…neeeeext. The station after is playing a song that has always had this negative vibe to it…next.

After flicking through the stations, you find one of your favourite songs, a song that energizes you every time you hear it. Finally! So you decide to stay at this station for the rest of the song, then the cycle repeats itself.

We don’t have the power to decide what plays on the radio, but we do have control over which station we decide to listen to.

This is kind of how our minds work. Our brain is like a radio in the sense that it’s a receiver. It receives thoughts from an unknown source of intelligence.

We don’t have control over the thoughts that we receive in our head, but we do have control over which ones to listen to. Not giving attention to a thought is similar to changing the radio station, whereas giving attention to a thought is similar to remaining on a radio station.

Just as we have zero control over being able to stop thoughts from popping into our head, we have zero control over which thoughts pop into our head.

An even more important distinction to recognize is that we have complete control over which thoughts we choose to believe.

To play devil’s advocate to what I just said, for those who believe in fate, it can even be argued that we don’t even choose our thoughts. Who told us to choose a certain thought? To believe a certain thought? It can be said that it’s part of our destiny and that the script is already written and we’re just playing it out.

It’s estimated that we have 60,000 – 100,000 thoughts swirl around in our head on any given day. Most of these thoughts are regurgitated and go unnoticed, none of these thoughts were placed in our head by choice, wrap your head around that.

Do We Have The Power To Create A Positive Thought?

If I presented you a blue ball in my hand and told you to choose the red one, could you do it?

Similarly, if you were presented with a negative thought and I told you to choose the positive one, could you do it?

Why is it that when we need an empowering thought the most it doesn’t seem to come? If we had the power to create one then we surely would. Instead, we wait until one pops into our head. And, if we’re too distracted or overwhelmed, we’ll completely miss the thought altogether.

Since I’ve pointed to the understanding we don’t create our thinking, this also points towards the understanding that we can’t create a positive thought. We can choose one, but we cannot create one.

If you’ve never made a million dollars before and I asked you to create a thought that will tell you how to make 1 million dollars in 1 week, could you do it? Why not?

I think this is where the distinction between choosing a thought and creating a thought really needs to be distinguished.

Here’s an example I received recently:

“At any time, I can recognize I am being hard on myself and then consciously choose to think, “I deserve a little credit for everything I did right today.” That’s an example of consciously choosing to create an empowering thought, and I’ve actually done this many times!”

I can see many people being confused by this, as it confused the heck out of me at one point as well.

Who placed the thought “I deserve a little credit for everything I did right today.” into their head?

Where did that thought come from? Once again, this remains a mystery.

This person chose to give that thought attention and bring it to life with belief, but only after the thought was created and delivered as an option in the mind’s eye. If we had the power to consciously create “positive” and empowering thoughts then we would do it all the time, but I’m sure based on experience, we can all agree that this is just not true.

As fascinating as the mind is, it is limited to only one thought at a time. One thought that we didn’t create but the one thought that we chose.

I understand that this is a hard concept to grasp, and one that can completely rock your world. Especially for those who want to think they’re in control, it can be earth shattering to even fathom the idea that you’re not in control of which thoughts get created and place into your head. That all you have control of is which thoughts you choose to give attention.

The opposite to control is freedom, free from the need or desire to control. This is when we will experience true freedom of mind.

Where Is Freedom Of Mind?

There’s no freedom in condemnation. Freedom lay not with judgement but with non-judgement. A mind that condemns a thought due to a negative judgement is not a free mind.

This is a mind that is on edge, constantly on the lookout for the enemy. A mind that fears harm upon itself is not a free mind, this is a paranoid mind.

A liberated mind does not judge itself; it accepts what arises and understands that it does not need to attempt to control the uncontrollable.

True freedom of mind lay not without certain thoughts but with all thoughts. True freedom of mind lay not with fear of certain thoughts but with love for all thought.

The Repercussions Of Always Trying To Think Positive

Firstly, if your expectation is that you should always think positive then you will be thoroughly disappointed. You’re setting yourself up for failure, this is one battle you will never, ever win.

Your frustrations during this battle will generate their own negative thoughts by way of continuous judgement of yourself for not gaining control. This will ultimately lead to the creation of an ongoing teeter-totter between positive and negative thinking.

This constant battle is exhausting, it takes up so much mental energy. This is wasted energy that could arguably be better spent on creativity or imagination, among other things.

A More Peaceful Approach To Our Thoughts And Emotions

Typically, negative thoughts are judged as negative due to the feeling they induce. Common feelings such as anger, guilt, frustration and resentment are regularly judged as negative emotions leading us to believe that our thinking is negative.

What if there is no such thing as a negative thought?

I like to view our emotions as indicators sending us messages. An innocent indicator that points us toward our thinking that has led to that emotion. Not to judge the thoughts, but to see the innocence and harmlessness in the thoughts, and to see the thoughts with compassion.

Feelings are a barometer of our thoughts at any given time

– George Pransky, The Relationship Handbook

The messages we receive are always a reflection of our thoughts at the moment since each one of our thoughts gives birth to a corresponding emotion. Therefore, the benefit of any thought, whether we judge it as positive or negative, is that it will generate a feeling which we can use to better understand our thinking at the moment.

If you pay attention to your feelings without judgement, you’ll see that they’re a great indicator to which thoughts you’re giving the most attention.

In my experience, see our thoughts with understanding and compassion are a much more peaceful approach than constantly judging.

Generate Clarity With Just 2 Powerful Questions

Rather than constantly judging our thinking, I propose a much more peaceful and non-judgmental way to explore our thoughts. There are two powerful questions I like to ask myself that help me see with more clarity, they are:

  1. Is this thought really true?
  2. Does this thought serve the greater good?

Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

Rob Kish

This is a slightly modified version of the popular original that was published on PickTheBrain: https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-positive-thinking-doesnt-work-and-what-does/

Ask Yourself This To See If You’re Truly Happy

Ask Yourself This To See If You’re Truly Happy

If your most cherished material possessions were taken away from you, would you still be truly and infinitely happy?

This question humbles me personally, it reminds me that I have yet to own my happiness regardless of what is happening in the outside world and that I’m an infinite student of living from the inside-out.

It’s hard to fathom a world without our most cherished material possessions. I have a difficult time imagining my life without them. Would I still be happy? At first, I don’t think I would. I do have full confidence that I would find inner happiness though.

What I like about this question is how it directs us inward for happiness. To look in the opposite direction of the material world that we have become so reliant upon for chasing our happiness. Gaining happiness from material things is always temporary, keeping us on the search either until we die or until we wake up.

Instead of trying to learn how to be happy, try unlearning your current formula for happiness and you will discover true happiness. Happiness isn’t acquired through the sum of some formula, happiness is acquired through the realization that we have all we need at this moment and not a drop less.

 

Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

Rob Kish

Ever Seen Your Problems As A Mack Truck Coming At You? Read This

Ever Seen Your Problems As A Mack Truck Coming At You? Read This

During a recent conversation with a client, they metaphorically told me they saw their most recent struggles as a mack truck coming at them. That’s some pretty serious shit. It’s no wonder they’ve been making poor decisions out of panic, they see a Mack Truck coming at them, leaving them one of two choices…live or die!

This thought will immediately initiate our fight or flight signals in the brain, telling our bodies to pump out adrenaline like it’s their only job. Seemingly presenting two panic-filled choices, stand in the way and get killed or jump out of the way and live to see another day.

What if there is a third option?

Here is the metaphor I then presented to them. (and yes, I made it up on the spot)

Imagine this…

You are standing in the middle of a long deserted road, in the middle of nowhere. No humanity in sight. Just you and the long empty road ahead.

All of a sudden, appearing right in front of you out of nowhere, you see this giant Mack Truck coming straight at you. At this point, you may as well be wearing horse guides since you don’t acknowledge anything to the left or right of you.

You are now completely blinded by the sight of this Mack Truck coming straight at you, unable to see past it. You are also oblivious to what is behind it.

You’re looking straight into the headlights of this giant Mack Truck. You notice the truck is carrying very familiar cargo. The cargo looks something like this:

  • A to-do list longer than your Christmas list when you were a kid
  • Tax deadlines
  • Bill deadlines
  • School deadlines
  • Paperwork for an upcoming job
  • Tasks you procrastinated for weeks and months
  • Grieving a loss
  • Haunting thoughts about the past
  • Crippling thoughts about the future
  • Anything else you may see as a problem leading to your stress

Now, it appears you have two choices right?

Move out of the way immediately. This represents you dropping nearly all other priorities in life such as sleep, working out, good nutrition, health, family, ME time, and any other aspects of your life that are highly valuable, in order to eliminate these problems.

Leading you to wonder…“how do I complete all these tasks so I can stop seeing this Mack Truck coming at me?”

Or…

You don’t move out of the way and get hit by the Mack Truck (not fun I imagine).

What if…

You wake up and realize that there is no Mack Truck?

That is was all in your head?

That you made the whole thing up?

And when you do wake up to realize this, you notice there is the most beautiful horizon that was hidden beyond the sight of the Mack Truck the entire time. This horizon represents the ultimate beauty of life that is available to see any time you want.

Just in front of the horizon, you notice the road splits into 10 different paths you could take. Each path presenting a different option for you, now giving you 10 choices instead of the 2 that you had when the Mack Truck was in front of you.

Leading you to now wonder…“how can I maintain sight of the beauty of life while completing these tasks?”

 

Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

Rob Kish

Absurd Ironies We Live By

Absurd Ironies We Live By

Our lives are chock-full of illogical idiosyncrasies. Most of us lead lives of confusion and complexity mainly because we over-complicate the simple, and reverse the straightforward.

Here are some absurd ironies we all live by or have lived by at one time or another. Feel free to add your own to the list in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you can come up with 🙂

Enjoy!

Absurd Ironies We Live By:

We fear death yet don’t live like we’re going to die

We mourn death yet don’t celebrate life while it’s happening

We live in the past and wonder why we’re depressed

We live in the future and wonder why we’re anxious

We’re brave to hold up a mirror for others yet fear to look in our own

We spend 1/3 of our day at a job we don’t like and wonder why we aren’t happy

We try to avoid feeling certain emotions and wonder why we feel numb

We neglect to give ourselves love and wonder why we feel nobody loves us

We don’t take care of our bodies and wonder why our bodies break down

We retire from a job we never loved only to realize we wouldn’t have retired if we loved our job

We wait for others to make the first move yet it everyone thought like that there would be nothing to wait for

We believe in Karma yet live like we’re immune to it

We believe in material things yet don’t believe in ourselves

We constantly look for shortcuts and then wonder where the beauty in the journey is

We think we’re separate yet all of our hearts are told to beat by one

We search for our answers outside of us yet we have an infinite well of wisdom within us

We’re quick to judge others yet seldom look in the mirror

We’re always focused on what to do and then wonder why we aren’t who we want to be

We feed ourselves with man-made food and wonder why we have so many man-made diseases

We degrade our health to make money then spend that money on our degrading health

We trust the egos of other people yet don’t trust our own intuition

We hold grudges thinking we’re handing off our pain to the other person yet we’re the only one feeling the pain

We have most of our conversations through messaging and wonder why we don’t feel connected

We’re in a rush to get everywhere and wonder why we feel like we’ve gotten nowhere

 

 

Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

Rob Kish

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