This will be Part 1 of my review for the book I finished recently — Alexander den Heijer’s - ‘Nothing You Don’t Already Know”.
I first heard of this book maybe one year ago but it was only a few days ago I decided to actually buy and read it after seeing Ruben Chavez recommend it via his ThinkGrowProsper Instagram account. So thank you Ruben!
My Favourites Parts Of The Book
“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you”.
I like this idea. It has become more apparent to me that the more value I can provide, in any small way possible, makes me feel a lot better than just always seeking to maximise the potential outcome of a given situation in my favour. This is not the case for everybody, or maybe it is, but we all handle it differently and at different stages of our lives. There may be a moment of realisation which suddenly strikes or perhaps it’s a more gradual realisation in which you can begin to acknowledge the fact and change the way you do things.
If I could change one word on here it would be ‘Tired’ & I’d change it to ‘Uninspired’ I think. Just what I’ve been feeling a little bit lately. I need to mix up my work with creative things and not get into a rut of mundane stuff but it’s often the more boring aspects that are most important. Just finding a good balance. I am also always thinking of the longevity of things I’m working on and like I mentioned in the previous post, sometimes if I don’t feel like doing something then I can’t fight it — I can, but I generally listen to how I feel more than what I think. Is it laziness? Could be, but I think there’s other things going on in the background which help direct behaviour for reasons unknown, at least for now.
One of the great things about keeping a diary is that you are planning the future, by taking the relevant steps in the present (using tasks/goals/targets) and by recording these daily steps you can analyse, assess and learn from your actions in the past. What worked? What didn’t? How were you feeling when you were able to be more productive? You can see and take note on things that directly contribute to how you feel when you’re either in a great space to get things done or whether you’re struggling. This, I feel, is an important thing to keep in check.
“Life is not a race to be finished, it’s a dance to be danced”.
Perhaps one of my favourite parts in the book. I
loved the analogy so much, partly because it reinforces a thought I’ve been trying to validate lately and this is a way in which I have never heard it expressed but sums it up perfectly. The idea of happiness is a strange one because to say that happiness is not found in the acquisition of material things would not be 100 percent true. However, the way I would describe it is: ‘An Artificial Happiness’ — It’s real but it’s been manufactured. It’s externalised. My view on this is that yes, of course the happiness felt by materialistic things is ‘real’ but it is also a game which you are left losing the majority of the time. Casinos have a house advantage of 1–3% and while it may not seem much, the odds are always in their favour. In the same way, this is how our culture is set up, it always has the upper-hand in regards to our emotions and feelings. They capitalise on our impulsiveness through the ‘Artificial Happiness’ placed in attaining material things. When we attain one thing, the happiness is short lived, like a hit of dopamine, we are left chasing more and so we choose our next thing to aim at to get our next hit of happiness. Those who are successful in this are chasing their tail. It’s a never ending cycle. But we must also remember that those who fail are also stuck in this loop of an illusive happiness hit.
Why do people dance? Why do people play instruments? Why is sports so captivating? Do you really think that when somebody is performing salsa they want it to end? Does a pianist rush to the end of a performance? Do football players play 90 minutes just so they can finish up and head home?
True happiness is found in the process of the things we do and not in the end results of the things that we do. True happiness is found in a state of progression. True happiness is felt when we work towards a goal that is larger than ourselves.
If we fall in love with the things we work on, the growth of our person when tackling new things, the overcoming of barriers, the constant learning, only then will we begin to acknowledge true appreciation for the process; In turn, finding a more pure form of happiness. I truly believe this because it’s happening right now while I write this. I obviously want to share this wider and see if it holds value and maybe it can help somebody but I am also writing and editing my thoughts in real-time. It’s helping me forge my ideas and leaving them open to be changed, criticised and improved upon.
“Whatever we postpone, we some day have to face”.
Jordan speaks on the idea of facing our problems head on; Killing the Dragon in it’s lair before it comes to the village. The Dragon hoards gold — The Dragon represents a problem, barrier, a fear. The gold represents the reward. Perhaps it’s something materialistic, perhaps it’s peace of mind or maybe it’s growth. In-fact it may be all three of those things in one because we undoubtably become stronger each time we decide to face something we have been hiding from or from something which we fear. Ignore the problem however and it not only gains strength but it also grows bigger in your mind. Like a piece of moulding bread, it just gets worse and worse the longer you leave it. The problem becomes a bigger plot of real estate in your mind.
Have we developed into a culture now where it is easier to indulge our instant impulsiveness and accept instant gratification? Do we find it more comforting to bathe in instant gratification and delay problems and fears? I am not preaching here by the way. This has been a little problem I have encountered over the past 4–6 weeks so I know first hand just how hard it can be, or maybe it’s not so hard. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t yet sharpened the tools necessary to manage it properly, given the circumstances. An important point to make.
This whole idea is one I am quite interested in and I think this is where a diary can come in very useful, once again. I like to keep track of my daily goals and happenings in the diary. They contribute to a (bi)weekly list I set up on a separate sheet of paper. This weekly list then contributes to a monthly (longer term) list I want to work towards. The point here is to always have different time frames for your goals and behaviours so that they are easily manageable. This helps you to stop and think about what you’re doing if you’re about to make a decision you feel may be impulsive or that you may regret later.
If you keep track of what you should be doing at this very given moment — the now, which you may argue only ever exists, then you can see if it aligns with what you have set up for yourself (your goals/targets) you shouldn’t worry about whether or not the ‘What If’ might be. You know you are heading in the right direction.
This is Part 1 of my review of this book. I have Part 2 & Part 3 planned which I hope to finish this week.
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The book can be bought by clicking here: Amazon
Find the author here: https://www.alexanderdenheijer.com/
Follow Ruben by clicking here: ThinkGrowProsper