For whatever reason, I have recently thought several times of a dinner conversation that we had one night a few months ago at my parents’ house. We were all talking about what books we had recently read, and which ones we would suggest reading. When the question was directed at me, I was immediately animated about what I had been reading lately, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage“ by Mel Robbins, “Awaken the Giant Within“ by Anthony Robbins and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“ by Stephen R. Covey.
After I finished sharing, there was a little bit of silence at the table. And then my brother asked me, “do you feel like you need to change something about yourself?” To which I quickly answered no. “Of course I don’t,” I responded. And then he said something like, “well, do you want to be a life coach or something?” I couldn’t help but laugh. The answer was definitely no to both questions.
And so just as I started my newest book, “Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living” by Shauna Niequist, both this conversation with my family and another came back to me. I don’t feel a desire to change, yet I am very drawn to “self-help” literature.
When we lived in Philadelphia, there was a very sweet elderly woman who lived in our condo building, who I helped from time to time with emails and computer things. Her name was Nash. Well, actually that was her last name. But for whatever reason, I have always very affectionately referred to her as Nash. She was a gentle woman, amazingly brilliant, and quite determined to live a wonderful life.
Although I was often typing emails for her, somehow our conversations turned from technology to life. And one day she shared this piece of advice with me, something that I have always kept close. “Don’t fight the current of life” she said. “Don’t fight upstream when life brings you changes. Just keep moving with the flow of life. Keep moving with life’s transitions. That is the key to a happy life. That is success.”
I think that I often find myself drawn to“self-help” books because I love learning, tweaking, and improving the quality of my life. Because hearing other people’s wisdom feels relaxing to me, uplifting, and invigorating. And because change is a part of life, it is the inevitable. But I want to enjoy life, and I definitely want to live my best life.
So gosh, who knows what is in store for me today or even tomorrow. But somehow I feel just a little more ready knowing that I can tap into all of these little bits of “self-help” wisdom that I have stored up. And that no matter what, I will just keep doing my best to move with the flow of life.