November 15, 2008

Books for mining more out of life

I spent a whole week with my mother and father recently. Studying them that long gave me a lot to think about. In my mind, the three of us are approximately the same age—48 and holding. Of course, I know that’s a ridiculous mental proposition. Now in their 70s, Mom and Dad have covered some ground. Yet things that happened decades ago seem like yesterday to them.

Just last week, Dad said he dreamed about me and my three brothers exactly as we were when the youngest of us was a toddler. In the dream we appeared to him just as we were, in vivid detail. It is almost as though we are etched deeply in his memory at every age we have ever been. It must be an odd feeling, waking up and realizing that your toddler is actually in his forties. Odder still, I can easily put myself in their place, wondering how life could have zoomed by me so quickly. Seventy doesn't seem all that far away.

If this is how it’s to be, why not grab hold of life and live it all-out? Why not ditch all the fears and doubts now? Don’t wait for December 31 to write your New Year’s resolutions. Start planning 2009 today. Make a promise to live a life of few regrets.

Here are four great books to change your attitude, get you off your duff, and inspire your own quest. All four are full of practical exercises, new thinking, and unknown resources that can help you mine what you really want out of life. Beware: they may revise what seems possible to you.

The Passion Test, by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood
(Figure out what’s important to you, get past the excuses, and DO it.)

Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What!, by Martha Beck
(Especially good for people who are stuck somehow and can’t imagine a way out.)

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9 to 5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss. (Talk about throwing out all the rules!)

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. (The wisdom of the ages packed into one book.)