Sunday, April 6, 2014

A few books to recommend...

Some of my recent reading with a few comments.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is an telling of a German concentration experience and the lessons learned, or sharpened, by the experience and the resulting understanding of meaning in a person's life. The interesting thing about this book was that it was recommended to me the same week the Storyline Blog had a post about Frankl and the book. Frankl writes about finding meaning vs. finding pleasure.
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
His ideas on how to find meaning are excellent and in the context of the concentration experience are powerful.

After reading the Frankl meeting, I already had on my Kindle another book on meaning. This one was Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott. I already had this book when the prior one was recommended to me. A few quotes:
I have always given everyone in the world lots of help and hope and my own supplies of life force, but the sober people taught me it was okay to ask for help, even a lot of help. This was stunning. And it turned out that there was always someone around who could help me with almost everything that came up, and that some people seem to have been assigned to me, as I had been assigned to other people.
This is who I want to be in the world. This is who I think we are supposed to be, people who help call forth human beings from deep inside hopelessness.
and the funny:
I know God enjoys hearing my take on how best we should all proceed...
The book was wonderful and I've started another one of her books.

I'm currently reading Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington and I'll give you an update on it shortly. And I just downloaded Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them by Greene. More on these too soon.


And, I appreciate friends who give me book recommendations!

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