By Lynnie Stein / December 4, 2022

7 books I wish I had read early in my life

Books to read on our miracle morning path. Try to read at least 10 pages per day. I like to read at night. It fits into my daily schedule. A mediation book is great for quick verses. The following are books I have read and enjoyed. These are the keepers. I shared with my 18 year old son…wise mum words – I wish I had read these early in my life. What books do you wish you had read earlier in your life?

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
By: Dale Carnegie

This book will help you solve one of the biggest problems you face: how to get along with and influence people in your daily business and social contacts.

Since it was first published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s all-time classic has been translated into almost every known language and continues to help millions of readers around the world.

  • How to Win Friends & Influence People can help you achieve these important goals:
  • Get out of a mental rut
  • think new thoughts
  • acquire new visions
  • discover new ambitions
  • Make friends easily and quickly
  • Increase your popularity
  • Win people to your way of thinking
  • Increase your influence
  • your prestige
  • your ability to get things done
  • Handle complaints
  • avoid arguments
  • Become a better speaker and more entertaining conversationalist.

The take away:

Do Not Criticize, Condemn or Complain.

Smile

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language

Be a good listener

Be Generous With Praise

Be Genuinely Interested In Other People

Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

Be Quick To Acknowledge Your Own Mistakes

2. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now shows you that every minute you spend worrying about the future or regretting the past is a minute lost, because really all you have to live in is the present, the now, and gives you actionable strategies to start living every minute as it occurs.

  • The take away

Disconnect From The Mind. You are not your mind. …

Listen to the Mind. Once you’re free from the mind, you can observe and listen to the mind as a third party. …

Rise Above Chatter. The brain should be rested. …

The Past Has No Power.

Be Free From Ego. …

Let Thoughts Go. …

No Judgement.

3. The Miracle Morning

The 6-steps of a Miracle Morning routine: Life SAVERS

Silence.

Affirmations.

Visualization.

Exercise.

Reading.

Scribing.

Special Gift ….The Lord of the Rings

The way Tolkien writes;

It feels like growing old and eventually leaving this world is a gift

Marking a journey – some universal purpose that we are all going toward some point.

This is in contrast to the Elves, who are reincarnated as themselves over and over – ageless and immortal – and must face their awful fate of dying from “dread” (being too saddened by the world and seeing non-elves die).

As the high Legends of the beginning are supposed to look at things through Elvish minds, so the middle tale of the Hobbit takes a virtually human point of view – and the last tale (The Lord of the Rings) blends them.

Tolkien on The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings respectively

Ultimately, we as humans spend a lot of time wanting to be someone that we’re not, whether in age, appearance, occupation, wealth, success etc.

If we can somehow overcome our own psychological vices and be comfortable in our own skins, I think we can finally liberate ourselves from a life of regret.

We create inequality among ourselves, we start wars, we create hate for race, religion, creed, sex, class, opinions etc.

At the end of it all, and at the risk of sounding clichéd if I haven’t already;

Life is what we make it

We can choose to do good things, to serve others, and fulfil our lives that way, or we can live a selfish one and satisfy ourselves to the bitter end.

The Hobbit Thorin quote

However, at the end of the day I urge all of us to consider how we can live without harming the lives of others;

Because they all deserve a chance at happiness. This is probably more relevant to the human power & greed politicians, the leaders, and less so our current 2-3 generations that have to deal with what we inherited from the past, as well as what we will inherit from today.

Because the act of giving can be a beautiful expression. ⁣

‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ – Gandalf the Grey

One of the most sage pieces of wisdom from J.R.R. Tolkien, this quote tells us everything we need to know about life.
Everything, from when and where we are born to when and how we eventually die, is out of our hands.
What we can decide is what we dedicate our lives to.
When we are old and grey, what will we look back on and wish we did differently?
What memories will we cherish, what choices (or lack thereof) will we regret?
These are the questions Tolkien reminded us to ask ourselves every day, to make sure we make the most of the time we have.

‘Even the smallest person can change the course of history.’ – Lady Galadriel

  • Because we are all hobbits; all average, normal, comfy people who prefer the safety of our own homes but are secretly itching for some kind of adventure (okay, maybe not all hobbits are like this).
  • But we might be afraid that we are not good enough, or smart enough, or beautiful or strong or funny enough to make our dreams come true.
  • Better leave the success to the successful; it seems unreachable from here.
  • But what Galadriel says – what Tolkien’s entire trilogy proves – is that anyone can do anything if they set their mind to it.
  • If their courage holds and their spirit does not fail, then they are strong, and they can succeed.

And so can you.

4. A Calendar of Wisdom

To be kind alone it already a difficult task, what more to maintain perpetual kindness! It seems to me to be a daunting task. Is it possible for us to be perpetually kind?

“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

Tolstoy

This collection of daily thoughts to nourish the soul from the world’s sacred texts by Leo Tolstoy feature gems of inspiration and wisdom—author Thomas Keneally calls this book “transcendent, and that we are grateful he lived long enough to endow us with his grand inheritance.”
This is the first-ever English-language edition of the book Leo Tolstoy considered to be his most important contribution to humanity, the work of his life’s last years.

Kind And Compassionate People Are The Happiest

• How did Tolstoy manage to maintain his perpetual kindness?

• Was his kindness a feeling or was it an action?

• How was he able to prevent the persistent, conflicting emotions derailing him from his path of perpetual kindness?

• Would he have given us a pass, or would he have failed us if we were kind than unkind most of the time?

• Tolstoy, a perpetual teacher that he was, was he telling us to be aware of our responsibility?

• Was he teaching us values here?

• Was he telling us to moderate our behaviour?

• A master observer of human nature that he was, was he telling us that to be kind or unkind is a choice we can make?

• All religions instruct us to develop kindness, to be kind to ourselves and to extend kindness to others.

Does anyone has any idea how to develop “perpetual kindness”? The world is in dire need of it!

• With “put yourself in other people’s shoes” and “see your face in others” meditative mindset, how much positive change can you spark in the world?

5. The Happiest man on earth

The Happiest Man on Earth book cover

The Happiest Man on Earth was published as Eddie turned 100, this is a powerful, heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

  • Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second.
  • He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
  • Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country.
  • Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day.
  • He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life.
  • He believed he was the ‘happiest man on earth’.

6. milk and honey

  • milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache.
  • It’s a book filled with poetry and prose about some of life’s most challenging moments and what can be learned from them.
  • I love to use poetry and affirmations as part of my self care.
  • As I read through “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”, it is easy to find a focus on appreciating the little incredible moments and beauty in life. 

The title ‘milk and honey’ was inspired by a poem Rupi wrote in 2012, where she used ‘milk and honey’ as a metaphor to describe the strength and resilience of Sikh widows who survived the Sikh genocide of 1984.

It’s divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.

Will you live your one life loving and respecting yourself or will you live trying to receive the acceptance of others?

7. The Subtle art of not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle art of not Giving a F*ck cover

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck argues that individuals should seek to find meaning through what they find to be important and only engage in values that they can control. Values (such as popularity) that are not under a person’s control, are, according to the book, ‘bad values’.

Whatever your problems are, the concept is the same: solve problems; be happy.

  • In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
  • For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugar-coat or equivocate. He tells it like it is–a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. 
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
  • Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.
  • Human beings are flawed and limited–“not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Victims seek to blame others for their problems or blame outside circumstances. This may make them feel better in the short term, but it leads to a life of anger, helplessness, and despair.
  • Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them.
  • Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
  • There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear.
  • While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience.
  • A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Take away…

Don’t follow your emotions

Decision-making based on emotional intuition, without the aid of reason to keep it in line, pretty much always sucks. You know who bases their entire lives on their emotions? three year-old kids. And dogs. You know what else three-year olds and dogs do? Poop on the carpet.

Choose your struggle

It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the summit

It’s a never-ending upward spiral. If you think at any point you’re allowed to stop climbing, I’m afraid you-remising the pint: THE JOY IS IN THE CLIMB ITSELF

1st Layer: Simply understanding one’s emotions

2nd Layer: Ability to ask WHY we feel certain emotions

3rd Layer: Personal Values – WHY do I consider this to be a success/failure? – How am I choosing to measure myself? – By what standard am I judging myself and everyone around me?

Value = the thing you hold dear

Metric = how you measure your progress toward that value

eg: Value = being close to your family, Metric = calling/texting/emailing each other every day If you don’t get a text one day, you feel like you’re failing at your value.

But YOU MIGHT NOT BE USING THE RIGHT METRIC – it might be better to instead measure the number of dinners you have together in a year – or that you’re fully together when you’re together (not dealing with work issues or checking the footy scores) – or going on a family trip once a year Same value, different metric.

1) assess your values, make sure you’re choosing what you truly value

2) assess the metrics. are your current metrics the best way to measure your progress toward the value? what might be a better, more realistic/accurate metric?

Shitty Values 

  1. Pleasure 
  2. Material Success 
  3. Always being right 
  4. Staying positive

VALUES ARE ABOUT PRIORITISATION

We have poor values—that is, poor standards we set for ourselves and others—we are essentially giving F**k to the things that don’t matter, things that in fact make our life worse. But when we choose better values, we are able to divert F**k to something better—toward things that matter, things that improve the state of our well-being that generate happiness, pleasure, and success as side effects

This, in a nutshell, is what “self-improvement” is really about: prioritizing better values, choosing better things to F**k about

Everyone wants to drink cocktails in the Bahamas… but the question is priorities.

What are the values you prioritize above everything else, and that therefore influence your decision-making more than anything else?

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© 2023 Lynnie Stein