One of the cool things I’ve awakened to in life is the ability to find the right messages.
They tend to reach me, because I’m looking for them.
One of the ways they manifest themselves to me, is through the power of books.
And I tend to come across books in a very serendipitous manner.
I don’t check best-seller lists. I don’t fall for the folly of the latest ‘it’ book.
I wait for the book to find me.
It might be through word of mouth, or out and about – where I see someone reading a book and it turns into a conversation.
As was the case recently with Live a Thousand Years: Have The Time of Your Life.
I happened to sit near someone reading it, and I was intrigued by the book’s title and it’s colorful, imaginative cover. I quickly struck up a friendly conversation with the fellow reading it and I ordered the book when I got home.
From Live a Thousand Years, I was granted a perfect lesson on happiness: That moments – not time – are the best way to measure success and happiness. It was the exact message I needed, and I carry it with me today as another lens through which I see the world. I highly suggest giving it a read, as it’s full of lessons – and who knows what you might gain from it.
But I didn’t watch the podcast, or even read the entire blog post, because I was struck by something halfway through.
The last book he wrote, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It” has become a motto for me.
Despite being intrigued by Live Your Truth, I immediately knew I had to read Kamal’s first book, because that’s what I’m looking for in books. Mottos. Paradigms. Lessons. Lenses.
So this evening, I picked up the Kindle Edition for $2.99, which I began to read on my computer aloud to my girlfriend – and ended up finishing the entire book in one sitting.
Unlike, Live a Thousand Years, which contains essentially 12 different messages for readers – Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on it has one powerful and simple message for readers, which can be easily surmised through the title.
Kamal tells the story of a transformative shift he underwent at a time when he was:
“..in a bad way. Miserable out of my mind. There were days when I’d lie in bed, the drapes closed, day outside sliding into night and back to day, and I just didn’t want to deal. Deal with my thoughts. Deal with being sick. Deal with heartache. Deal with my company tanking. Deal…with…life”
And the next paragraph opens the book with a simple sentence:
“Here is what saved me.”
And the book is nothing short of exceptional. It’s message might be the purest, most powerful lesson that life could teach us; It’s to love oneself. Not just why, but how – in a simple practice.
And of course, it’s the exact message I’ve been searching for. That’s just how life works for me. I’ve said it a thousand times:
I am passionate about the serendipitous nature of life; the right interactions, people, messages, signs and lessons always have a way of finding you if you are looking for them.
And boy, am I looking right now. At one point or another, we’ve all been where Kamal was.
Being honest with myself, I can admit that it’s all too easy for me to get back to that dark place; even when things are good.
In the chapter aptly titled Coasting, Kamal writes “Don’t let yourself coast when things are going great.”
He writes about the importance of vigilance when things are good and he also discusses the need to accept that if we loved ourselves, truly and deeply, we would only fly higher – rather than question if we could even handle it or if we even deserved it.
Because for me, the mental loops and patterns that Kamal addresses have defined my life to the point that I have returned to that dark place – even from the highest of highs.
And the book’s message and practice is about channeling our thinking into a new groove – creating a new loop – one that overrides the mental rivers that have controlled us, often since childhood.
“Forget demolishing the grooves of the past. What you’re creating is a new groove so deep, so powerful, that your thoughts will automatically flow down this one.”
Who doesn’t want to escape the patterns that have confined us? Who doesn’t want to change their world by creating stronger, healthier beliefs than those that have thus far defined the path of our lives?
Sounds intriguing right? It is. It’s magical. And that’s what I’m interested in life. I’m not interested in limiting my life to what I’ve only previously thought possible. I’m interested in the magic.
Because, as the book says:
“After all, if you loved yourself truly and deeply, would you limit your life to what you’d previously thought possible? Nope. You’d blow your own socks off.”
And I want to blow my own socks off, because the truth is, I love myself. And you should too – like your life depends on it.