People sense whether our hearts are at war or at peace towards them. Our behaviors, no matter what they are, will be ineffective, if our hears are atPeople sense whether our hearts are at war or at peace towards them. Our behaviors, no matter what they are, will be ineffective, if our hears are at war, if we harbor resentment toward another. People sense our true intentions and feelings and respond in kind. This book helps us to get out of the boxes that limit our understanding and perspective of other people. It shows us how to find peace within ourselves so that we can build peaceful relationships at home and abroad.
The philosophy of this book is one I was exposed to many years ago, in the form a seminar and manuscript. I later read the companion volume to Anatomy of Peace, Leadership and Self-Deception and will be forever grateful for what I learned from these books and seminar. It was paradigm changing for me, and I feel my life has been different as a result. My marriage was changed. My heart was changed. I’m so grateful I understood these concepts as a mother and have tried to teach them to my children through conversation and example, but I would like to find a way to teach them in a more straightforward, comprehensive way. I think I will give each of them a copy of this book at some point.
I appreciate the way these principles are taught in the form of a story, with characters who are learning the principles and applying them to their circumstances. It makes the material easier to understand and remember and apply. This is a book well worth reading!
It took me a while to get into this book; at first it seemed like one of those books that is mostly comprised of a bunch of quotes strung together. BuIt took me a while to get into this book; at first it seemed like one of those books that is mostly comprised of a bunch of quotes strung together. But in the end I had gained so much insight and thought about the atonement in so many new and heart-stirring ways that I wanted to give this book as a gift to others and reread it myself later. ...more
Even though I’m not a business-minded person, I appreciate this book. I sometimes like reading about business, at least in this context, where the busEven though I’m not a business-minded person, I appreciate this book. I sometimes like reading about business, at least in this context, where the business paradigms are applied to personal life. I find the stories about business successes and failures interesting, and my engagement deepens when Christensen turns his analytical mind and “robust theories” to relationships, career planning, family life, and moral decisions....more
I liked this book even better than Gretchen Rubin's first book--and I really liked the first book. She seems more relaxed in her writing here, with leI liked this book even better than Gretchen Rubin's first book--and I really liked the first book. She seems more relaxed in her writing here, with less to prove. She knows she has an audience now, waiting to hear her ideas about how we can be happier. In the first book she had to convince her audience she had something valuable to offer, so there was a lot of explaining about why it's not selfish to want to be happy and reports on her happiness research. She still includes a significant amount of research, but it isn't as heavy as in the first book. The emphasis is on her personal experience. Some of the reviews call this self-indulgent. It doesn't strike me that way. A number of her goals benefit her family, friends, and larger community as well as boosting her own happiness.
Gretchen Rubin is highly goal-oriented and holds herself accountable for her resolutions. I love reading about someone improving her life. I find it invigorating! A couple of Gretchen's goals are brave and out of her comfort zone—try acupuncture. Some are outward directed—going on an adventure with one of her daughters every week and finding her Calcutta. Some are just plain smart—abandon self-control (make it easier for yourself to eat right). Most are simple—like giving a little jump each day, creating a thresh-hold ritual for every time she returns home, or creating personal little shrines at home to commemorate what she loves. My main criticism is that two areas of life are conspicuously missing in this book. There aren't any overtly spiritual goals or financial goals here.
I've always had goals that I'm currently working on, but Gretchen has inspired me to be 1) More systematic about my goals. I'm now keeping records and charts. I know this sounds obsessive to some, but I like it. This self-accountability really does help me. 2) More poetic about it. I've observed in this book that the way you phrase a goal to yourself matters. The goal statement should have some poetry about it to make it sing in your heart. The quotes for each month help create the poetry too. 3) More focused about it. I like Gretchen's themes for each month. I've used this approach myself with a goal-setting group I started, but lately I've been trying to push forward every area of my life at once. It's far easier to keep one focus in mind, doing projects and developing habits in that one area before moving on to another focus next month. You can keep the habits you developed and go forward, adding other good practices into your life. ...more
We read this book aloud to our children and then met to discuss it with other families. It was interesting to sit in a room with four families, sharinWe read this book aloud to our children and then met to discuss it with other families. It was interesting to sit in a room with four families, sharing the dreams we have pursued or would like to pursue, the dreams we have witnessed others pursue, the dreams that have failed, and those that have succeeded. That is the kind of thinking this book leads to. You start thinking about your dreams.
The first half of the book is an allegory. It’s pretty didactic and obvious, in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress. So at first it comes across as corny to modern ears, especially teenage-boy ears. But pretty soon we all settled into the writer's style and appreciated the fact that he was trying to teach us something through story instead of lecture. Once we let go of our expectations for edge-of-your seat entertainment, we began to let the message penetrate our hearts. We began to ask ourselves if we had ever been a “border bully.” We began to think about times we have been called to surrender our dreams to God. We began to wonder if we had ever had the courage to leave the town of Familiar or if we would have the courage to leave it again. We thought about how much we can help each other with our dreams, even though each dreamer must fight his own Giants. We found little nuggets like this one: “To do what he most loved, he would have to do what he most feared.” And we began to see that Ordinary’s journey has a lot to do with our own journeys.
Even though this is not great literature, it is simply told, which is harder to do than it looks. It generated good discussions in my home. And it does what it sets out to do--it teaches principles in a memorable, engaging way. ...more
This was a serendipitous find at the library and I ended up really liking it. Short chapters. A warm, wise, motherly voice. Nuggets of truth to inspirThis was a serendipitous find at the library and I ended up really liking it. Short chapters. A warm, wise, motherly voice. Nuggets of truth to inspire me. What could be nicer on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, while I'm waiting in the car rider lane at the middle school?
Here are the titles of my favorite chapters, to give you a flavor of the contents: Generations of Bodies, Our Many Mothers, When Someone Deeply Listens to You, Mouth Yoga (about smiling), Framing the Day, the Holy Family Commutes, Walking the Night Hallways. Each is a little essay really, with an idea for a meditation at the end of the chapter. I've tried a couple of the meditations, but mostly I just like picking up the book, reading a couple of pages, and slipping into Denise Roy's peaceful way of seeing her world.
I like this book. The writing was not exceptional. The ideas were not startling or new. But the author herself is inspiring. I am amazed at her levelI like this book. The writing was not exceptional. The ideas were not startling or new. But the author herself is inspiring. I am amazed at her level of service and involvement in her community. I am impressed by her life-long quest for self-improvement and mastery over her weaknesses, such as her debilitating fears. I am tickled by her quirky sense of humor. I want to be more like Merrilee Boyack.
This book inspired me to think about what I could be perfectly obedient in for one year and thus make a good habit. I reminded me of the powerful “act as if” principle. It caused me to think about my fears and analyze how I could overcome them. It gave me concrete strategies for dealing with worries, such as letting go or saying “oh well,” “no biggie,” or “hang loose.” It taught me a question to ask my children and myself when we are tempted to judge: “I wonder what their story is?” I’m glad I read this book. I read a little each day, after I read my scriptures, and it was just what I needed at this moment in my life. I think I will read it again and refer to it as needed, and that is certainly one test of a good book. ...more
This book, a gift from a dear friend, inspires me to think about what will make me happier and challenges some of the notions I’ve had about my own haThis book, a gift from a dear friend, inspires me to think about what will make me happier and challenges some of the notions I’ve had about my own happiness. For example, the author reports that happiness studies show that everyone, whether introvert or extrovert, is happier after spending time with other people. I’ve always felt that I needed more solitude to find happiness, but this book asserts the opposite. She also says that getting anger and annoyance off your chest by expressing them actually makes them more intense rather than dissipating them. She says that people think they like variety more than they actually do. When confronted by a lot of choices, they will walk away rather than take the time to make a reasoned choice. She reports on research that shows the best indicator for how lonely a person is, whether man or woman, is how much time the person spend with women. Spending time with men does not alleviate loneliness.
Rubin’s very first resolution, “Go to sleep earlier” is one I’ve been trying to work on and need to work on some more. Teenagers in the house put a real kink in this resolution, but I know that it is so important to get adequate sleep and something I need to make a higher priority. Rubin’s greatest insight into going to bed earlier was very simple: Turn out the light. Her second strategy was to get ready for bed early—she found that she sometimes stayed up too late because she was too tired to get ready for bed.
Samuel Johnson wrote, “It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.” This book is a study of the little things. ...more
Each page layout contains a photo of an influential person, alongside a brief tribute. A quote from each featured hero is also included. In such a forEach page layout contains a photo of an influential person, alongside a brief tribute. A quote from each featured hero is also included. In such a format, there isn’t room for much detail about the person’s life, but what detail is included is well-chosen and telling.
What drew me to this book was the the concept of choosing real-life heroes for our children. Kids have enough superheroes. Here are real men and women, imperfect, but shinning examples of one or more qualities that make them great. I liked most of the selected heroes—some were as famous as George Washington and Ghandi—others were more obscure, like the man who has done more to end world hunger than any other human being who has ever lived, by increasing harvest yields around the world. There were athletes, politicians and presidents, writers, civil rights advocates, actors, scientists, musicians, and more.
This would make a good coffee table book because you can pick it up, flip through the pages, and read one tribute in about one and a half minutes, then shut the book feeling inspired. I left it out and my kids picked it up several times. ...more