April 13, 2020 — Alas, we did not have an Easter Egg hunt yesterday nor did I get my teenaged kids any Easter baskets. How do I feel about that? Certainly, I wish I had, but it did not happen. It’s okay and I’m letting it go! (Thank you, Elsa)
Moving on…ever since the quarantine began, somehow, I have easily made time for reading. (And writing, hence these consistent blog posts). But the reading part has filled me in ways I did not see coming! It’s funny about books, (and movies for that matter): people can suggest them to you, you put them in your library, but it may take years until you pull it off the shelf to read. But when you do, it’s the EXACT time you need to read that particular book and receive that particular message or experience that that book was holding for you.
A perfect example happened to me this past weekend.
Nerd alert: I get up really early and take quiet me-time before the world sets in. I get my coffee, sit in my comfy chair, write in my favorite gratitude journal, and then I read. I recently finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (loved it!) Next up, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson had been sitting on my shelf for a long time so it jumped up and down saying, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Holy mind-blowing experience, Batman. It was speaking exactly what I was seeking. But honestly it wasn’t just that one book alone…and here’s why:
My full-blown eye-opening, transformational reaction to reading The Slight Edge was because of the volume of self-improvement books I have read in my recent life. I’ve been planting a garden with books like The One Thing, the 5 Second Rule, Atomic Habits, Girl Wash Your Face (And Girl Stop Apologizing), and I just started the Power of Positive Thinking. Some of these books were written only a few years ago, and one goes all the way back to the 1950s, but is still relevant. Crazy! I love that.
Think of it like eating at a salad bar. You peruse the line, select several separate ingredients, fill your plate in your particular way, then when you sit down to eat it, you encounter this wonderful combination of flavors and textures: the salad experience. Sometimes one ingredient stands out, other times you find an intriguing combination between, say, the pine nuts and some vegetable that you’d never have dreamed possible. It’s always good, always different! (Eating from a salad bar is always virtuous because likely you’d never have chopped nor stocked all those ingredients at home, right??)
NO ONE BOOK IS THE ONLY BOOK. They combine in your subconscious. It’s about planting that garden, cultivating, and then harvest happens when you don’t force it. Just because a book doesn’t totally blow you over today doesn’t mean it didn’t plant seeds that will not grow until you water it with another book, course, or experience that will fertilize your brain. It is AMAZING.
Friends, if you are not reading anything decent (or listening…I love Audible in every way) at least a little every day..(5-10 pages, come on!!) you might re-evaluate that. Social media is not reading anything good, but you know that already!
Today. Every day. The things you do consistently every single day matter way more than things you do every once in a while. Daily habits to improve your life are so easy to do, and yet equally easy NOT to do. (prime example: flossing! ugh!) This is the main takeaway from The Slight Edge. Compounded actions yield gigantic results. Every time.
Truth bomb: BUT, unless the action/habit is positive, the results won’t be positive. You are either seeking to improve or you are sinking. The truth hurts, I know. But we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it all depends on what you do with those hours, minute by minute.
Think about when you see a tiny ant with some tiny crumb in its tiny clutches, then you follow it to its “mother ship” where a huge mound has been built, crumb by crumb.
Your life is crumb by crumb! What you build is up to you. It’s uniquely yours. The good news is that simple, positive actions are easy, and once you discern yours, you go forth and conquer…it’s all about baby steps.
You learned to walk. You didn’t give up until you were WALKING. Then RUNNING.