Monday, September 17, 2012

Non-Fiction: Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar

I once had an idea for a novel where the plot hinged on a choice made in the first chapter. I might still write the thing one day, so I won’t divulge any more than that. But the notion of making choices every day -- every moment, really, of every day -- is something that’s intrigued me for years. Not only as a dramatic device, but as a device we use (even without thinking about it) to build one’s life. 

Tal Ben-Shahar, author of the new book Choose the Life You Want (The Experiment), would agree.

Choose the Life You Want strives to help us face the choices every day with confidence and courage. Subtitled “101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness,” each of this book’s brief chapters offers a quote, a touch of therapy, and a story that links the thoughts to real life.

The three work together to paint a picture about a particular fork in the road. Take Chapter 21. “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness” (Charles Spurgeon). Can you choose happiness? It turns out you can, yes. You can choose to be happy with what you have and what you can do, rather than worrying about what to acquire next. And Chapter 43. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” (Annie Dillard). Are we to choose what we want to do over what we need to do? What are the factors -- and responsibilities -- that can help us make such choices more wisely?

Other topics in this wonderful book are forgiveness, playfulness, being positive, recognizing wonder, being open to criticism, the power of thinking, joy, letting go, relationships, pursuing your passion, venturing beyond your comfort zone, smiling and spirituality. Rather than a bunch of mini-lectures that intimidate more than illuminate, Choose the Life You Want is the kind of book you can flip through at random, letting your fingers do the walking -- and the choosing, if you will. At every stop along the way, you’ll find wisdom and inspiration, two key ingredients in life’s everyday recipe. ◊

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home