LTI Recommends: Eat, Pray, Love

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

I recently finished reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know there are numerous reviews out there on this book (the book only remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for 158 weeks), but I thought I would share with you my thoughts on it. Most simply, I would have to say it was one of the best books I have read. Elizabeth Gilbert, in this creation of genius, was so easy to read and relate to that I was able to finish this book in just a couple weeks (I’m a slow reader, and don’t get oodles of time to read, so that’s a good pace). It was funny, encouraging, and inspiring. I’m not sure how the male readers feel (so please weigh in if you are reading), but as a woman I loved how it showed the journey of one woman who was able to discover who she was by realizing who she didn’t want to be. It’s a story of love, in learning to love another, but most importantly in learning to love yourself. It’s a story of new beginnings, in fighting through despair and finding happiness on the other side. It’s a story of finding your spirit, in being able to be still and find your god, while allowing others to find theirs without judgment. It is a magnificent story, and I recommend you read it.

In order to emphasize how good this book really is I want to share with you 12 quotes from the book itself. I hope they resonate with you as much as they did with me.

“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.”

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”

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What Can You Do Better Than Anyone Else?

“There is some one thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world.” ~ Napoleon Hill

One of the greatest teachers of all time for personal development is Napoleon Hill. The author of the classic book “Think and Grow Rich” studied the habits of the world’s most successful people for over 20 years, notably Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Charles Schwab, just to name a few. Napoleon Hill, through his years of research and writing, inspired a nation, and he has become one of my greatest teachers.

Napoleon Hill wrote two books that were fairly similar in nature – “The Laws of Success” and “Think and Grow Rich”. The former was the result of Mr. Hill’s twenty-plus years of researching successful men and women. The latter was the condensed, less intimidating version. In both books, chapter one introduces us to the benefits of choosing a definite purpose for our lives. Mr. Hill also calls this a ‘burning desire’ or ‘definite chief aim’. Whichever way you put it, it’s obvious that he feels the first step in achieving success in life is by choosing that one thing that we can concentrate all of our unique and individual efforts on. I know in this day and age it is difficult to choose just one thing, but take a moment to think about how many tasks you have on the go right now. Do you feel scattered or do you feel like you are making headway on the right path? Too many ideas, too many paths, too many commitments will leave you spinning your wheels. Choosing a definite purpose in life, a definite path, a definite vision, will keep you focused and allow you to draw boundaries around your time and commitments.

While no one but yourself can choose your definite purpose, there are a few key steps to consider while choosing that purpose and taking the next steps:

Burning Desire / Definite Purpose

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”

What do you love to do? What do you love to think about? Now, have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction? The Law of Attraction refers to the idea that thoughts influence chance. Napoleon Hill argues that once you find your definite purpose and make that your dominating thought as you move about this earth, it will saturate into your subconscious and become a magnet for attracting all things associated. Sound intense? It should. The good news is that this burning desire will be what YOU want more than anything in the world. It will be your passion, and because of that, focusing on it won’t be so difficult. So think about what you love to do, then start thinking about all the ways that you can integrate that into your daily life. Pretty soon, thanks to the law of attraction, the world around you will start giving you more of what you want most.

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Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hobo_pd

Gratitude – a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. How can exercising gratitude help in living a happy life? Well, from first-hand experience, I can tell you that it helps take the focus off the negative emotions you might be having. Instead of thinking ‘I wish I had this’ or ‘I wish this would happen’, it brings you back to the present moment and helps you say ‘wow, I am grateful for my feet today. I can use them to walk or to run. It’s pretty cool.’ That may seem hokey to some people, but why not be grateful for your feet, or your hands, or even the breath moving in and out of you?

Leo Babauta, the author of one of my favourite blogs Zen Habits, wrote a post on gratitude that I would like to share with you today. I take absolutely no credit for the writing that follows. All credit goes to Mr. Babauta. To read more from Zen Habits (which I recommend you do), click here.

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Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy
by Leo Babauta

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Many days, I try to humble myself and hold a 2-minute gratitude session. I simply sit or kneel, with no distractions, close my eyes, and think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful for.

I don’t do it every day, but let me tell you, on the days I do it, it makes me very happy.

Why should that be? Why should the simple act of thinking about who and what I’m grateful for make such a big difference in my life?

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