Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

Go Read This Book. Right Now.

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I’ve been reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. You should too. I’m stunned it’s taken me this long to read it. I’m just glad I finally started. I’m only through the first habit and it’s already made a fantastic impression on me. The craziest part of it is that not one of the ideas are new. They’re similar to my own thoughts and feelings, but that’s what makes the book so enjoyable and profound.

No matter how developed my own thoughts and feelings are, they are no where near what is presented in this book. The eloquence and clarity are above and beyond my already high expectations. Reading it is surreal, things are so similar that they are comfortable but yet so new. It’s like going from playing video games to the real sport. It may just be where I’m at in life, though. I think anybody who wants to better themselves will feel this same way.

Had I read this book earlier in my life I certainly would have benefited. I don’t think I would benefit as much as I do now. In the future I would benefit more. This is the type of book you read many times. I expect to read it next year and the year after. Each time I’ll be rewarded and enlightened.

Sometimes just a few pages will serve as an affirmation, but perhaps in tumultuous times an entire chapter is needed. There is definitely a level in maturity and open mindedness required. He handles this requirement deftly and cleverly, but I don’t know if that would work in all cases. The 20 year old version of myself would not have been open to the depth of consideration requested.

Even though I haven’t finished the book I feel compelled to write this. I feel compelled to urge people to read it. I’m being proactive. That’s habit one, the chapter I just finished. It’s been very beneficial to me right now.

Lately I’ve been struggling with my knee recovery. It’s been nearly 3 months and I still battle every day with the fear I won’t get better. The proactivity and responsibility discussed in the book has helped me a great deal with this.

I am in a lot of discomfort.

That’s not me, though. I choose to be happy. I would prefer to be happy than be sad. I choose to be what I want to be. I set out realistic goals and am working towards them. Because I am making this choice, have reasonable expectations and plans I will be successful. The key to proactivity is to be what I want to be, plan and execute. Writing this is a reminder, it’s easy to forget. I catch myself slipping.

I am grumpy.

I am grumpy because I am not choosing to be happy. Without a choice and action, I will descend into a state of irresponsibility. I will feel helpless because I am not helping myself.

I was never able to put this into words until I started reading this book. Now I can, and it’s making all the difference right now.