One of my neighbors wrote a book and we are all about supporting each other on our court so snapped up a copy as soon as I heard. This is the book that spurred me to get up off my butt after becoming a couch potato due to breaking my ribs some time ago. I'd put on weight, my blood pressure had crept up to the danger zone and I needed to do something about it.
Filled with anecdotes of his own life, Allan makes you think:
"The only way that true growth occurs in your life is when you do something that you want to do. This is not unique to you, whenever anyone wants to change a belief that they have or action that they’re doing or not doing, it only becomes part of them when they genuinely want to do it."
One, you want to have to do it. Two if you do it often enough it becomes a habit. It's all about thought patterns and perspective. Why you do what you do.
"I am going to ask you to listen to your self-talk. I think self-talk is particularly important. The famous quote “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” says it all. I want you to look at the “results” of your actions and not just the “process” of your actions."
So he encourages the reader to pick two or three things to work on which I did - the most important. My health, specifically my blood pressure and my weight. And I wanted to be able to keep up with my 93 year old father who is still actively involved in his community, still does 10,000 steps a day and has the bones of a forty year old. Which his doctor couldn't believe.
"I didn’t say “do what you enjoy” I said, “enjoy what you’re doing”. Do you see the difference? I’m also not saying only do things that you enjoy. What I am saying is look at the “things you must do” and hate them a little less. If you need to do a task on a regular basis that you really don’t like, does not liking it help you accomplish it? I don’t think so, what’s your thought? Of the many things that you do every day put more things on your “enjoy list”. This might be a great time to put some notes in your notebook, what do you think?"
Instead of reading my phone while making breakfast, I started pretending I was cross county skiing, moving my arms, working off that upper arm flab. I began doing the treadmill every day, twice a day, until I worked up to 3.5 miles a day. Reading a book on my Ipad made the time fly by. I added in yoga and two pound dumbbell weights to exercise my arms.
My weight and my blood pressure began to creep down. I didn't snack as much and my energy crept up.
Okay, back to Allan's book. Section one covers a wide variety of ideas from words and their meaning to health, wealthy, happiness, lifelong learning, and personal actions. Section Two covers family and friends, marriage, and children. Section Three covers the world from racism to government control, to decriminalization of drugs and prostitution, to world population, to family planning.
Section three is where he unfortunately lost me with ideas of reducing 75 percent of the world population, fishing, freshwater use, fossil fuel use among other things.
The first half of the book is really helpful in getting you off your butt and involved in your own life and community. The second half you have to take with a grain of salt.