Many times I can’t help getting in my own way. I have a project or goal to achieve, and I let myself get so bogged down in baggage and distractions and I can’t find my way. This has happened more than I like to admit. Lately, I’ve been reading quite a few personal development books to help me gain confidence and focus. A friend I trust and respect recommended this book, so I immediately bought it and started reading.
When author Andy Andrews was 19 years old, he suffered a series of devastated losses that left him depressed and confused. He spiraled downward for a while, and then on the advice of a stranger, began reading biographies of successful, happy people. While doing this, he noticed 7 principles these people seemed to follow in their lives. He began to think on those 7 principles and applied them to his own life.
Those seven principles (or decisions) are:
1. The Responsible Decision (the buck stops here…take responsibility for your own life and decisions).
2. The Guided Decision (seeking lifelong learning and wisdom)
3. The Active Decision (become a person of action)
4. The Certain Decision (have a decided heart)
5. The Joyful Decision (choose to be happy every day)
6. The Compassionate Decision (choose to forgive)
7. The Persistent Decision (choose to persist without exception)
There is a chapter devoted to each of these decisions that includes examples and also exercises to help you practice making these decisions a habit. I found many of the exercises helpful, and the examples were very encouraging.
This is not groundbreaking or rocket science. But sometimes the simplest things are the most effective and they are also the things that we overlook. At least, that is my problem. I often over-complicate things by trying to find cumbersome systems to use to complete projects and achieve goals. And while I have a pretty solid grip on a few of these decisions, there were 4 that I definitely did not practice. This book has caused me to focus on those 4 and slowly I am successfully implementing them into my life. I also want to teach them to my boys. These are beneficial to people of all ages.
My only complaint about the book (and the reason I didn’t give it an A) is there is quite a bit of repetition in each chapter. Sometimes I found myself thinking, “Yes, you already said that on the page before.” But otherwise, this is an encouraging book with solid and straight-forward suggestions for achieving your goals and living a happy life.