Let Me Give You This Book

I just finished reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.  While the subtitle of the book is Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, in my opinion, the book goes far beyond this.  It actually helped me to understand many things about myself that have frustrated me over the years.  And it helped to view many of those frustrations in a new light, so that I can now see them as opportunities to build on.

Using herself as a guinea pig, Mrs. Rubin explores the ways in which we approach habits and the methods that work best for some, but not for others.  I was surprised to see the variety of ways that varying types of people reinforce habits in their lives.  We truly are unique creatures and what works well for one, may in fact ruin the chances of another being successful.

Through the reading of this book, I discovered that I am an Obliger, Lark, Procrastinator, Underbuyer, Finisher, Simplicity Lover, Familiarity Lover, Prevention-Focused, and a Taker of Small Steps.

Utilizing all of this information, I can now see why I am able to do some things (like train for a marathon on my own), but struggle to do other things (like put a box away in the attic).  So much of my behavior is tied to my tendencies and foundational beliefs.  Where this book have aided me the most is in recognizing my need to work within my core to accomplish things, rather than spending all of my energy on trying to change who I am before I do the things that I need to do.

I can’t tell you how highly I recommend this book.  It has been eye-opening to say the least, and is a book that I will refer back to for years to come.

Throughout the book, Gretchen shares how she allows reminds herself to just “BE GRETCHEN”.  I am realizing that while I may not be able to be a very good “Gretchen”, or anyone else for that matter, I can be an amazing “Doug”.

The book has just been released in trade paperback.  And I would love to give you a copy. In face, I am giving away a free copy of the trade paperback.  All that you have to do to enter the drawing is:

-Click the follow button on the left hand side of this page, AND

-Leave a comment below sharing the habit that you would most like to change or add.

I will randomly select a winner on March 25th.

Good Luck!

Avoiding Distractions

I have a folder on the home screen of my phone that is called Social Media.  Sometimes, I think a better label might be “Time Wasters”, “Pointless Distractions”, or “Anger Inducers”.  This harmless little folder holds my access points to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  I am doing my best to not open this folder for a while.

It’s already been almost 48 hours since I last allowed myself to get sucked in to the great black-hole that is commonly referred to as social media.  While I am not exactly on a fast, I have decided that the cons far out-weigh the pros for the time being when it comes to accessing these little apps.

I came to the realization a couple of days ago that I spend way too much time scrolling through every one else’s lives…seeing what you are doing while I am doing nothing but wasting time.  And I also discovered that many times I am at best frustrated or annoyed, and oftentimes actually angry when I close it down, usually over some post, or meme, or comment.

I think that we as a society have become very passive-aggressive.  It is rare that I walk away from an actual face-to-face conversation with a real live human and feel anger towards them.  I can’t remember the last time that I “unfriended” someone after a face-to-face conversation, probably because we weren’t really friends to begin with, and we both knew it.  However on social media, we find the courage to scream things that most of us never say to another person.  And we then walk away from our “friends” who disagree with our rants.

I don’t know how long this is going to last, but the last two days have been quite peaceful.  Scrolling through the internet isn’t quiet.  It isn’t relaxing.  It’s wave after wave of distractions.  Noise.  We think that we are just “vegging”, but that is the big con. We are being stimulated and influenced the whole time.  And real down-time that we are craving is not to be found online.

So if you need me, give me a call, or stop by the house.  I love company and will be happy to see you.

Now back to my book…