Just the other day, we walking some seriously inspirational women on a tour in our building when one proclaimed after seeing the Creative Suite, “Oh, this is going to be my spot. It’s already my favorite room.” And then on the second floor we walked into the Writers Lounge, “Never mind, this is my room, I’m such a writer, this is it.” In the back of my mind I couldn’t help the room I’ve secretly dreamed about…
I’ve always enjoyed reading. I’m not a one-book-a-month-girl, but always have one in hand. I haven’t had television in my apartment for a few months now, and I’m actually okay with that as it’s not been a major outlet for me throughout my life (yes, I will probably get one soon, as I do love The Voice).
Without a television, when I’m not cooking, my time has been filled with reading. Whether it’s online articles, a great novel or a blog, I have found the past few years have been chock-full of more self-development books than usual. Perhaps it’s some mid-career pivotal shift or that I really needed them or I’m just excited to grow in life in general, there has been a draw to them for whatever reason it may be. However, I’ve been careful to not get overwhelmed with the insight you gain, as it’s possible to drive yourself crazy trying to do 432917 things, so I certainly throw in a novel or two in between these reads…but with that said, I’ve come to a realization from what I’ve read.
If it sticks with you, it’s meant to. Imagine you’re a tree. As you read something, perhaps it’s a mantra, an idea, something, and you read it once or twice, put the book down, and you just get it. Now sometimes you won’t, and that okay. But if you do get it, and you continue to put that piece of the puzzle into practice, you’re continuing to grow new limbs, new leaves. In this process you’re shedding old bark. Gaining more wisdom. My point is, we don’t need to strive for perfection with these books.
I recently read The Four Agreements. I even made it the background on my phone, but you know which ones stuck? #3. “Don’t make assumptions.” And #1. “Be impeccable with your word.” I have difficulty trying to remember the other two, #4. “Always do your best,” and #2. “Don’t take anything personally.” Oh, isn’t #2 always easier said than done for us women!? So I remember 2 out of the 4. That’s okay. I think that’s better than okay because I believe that by having a somewhat-continual personal development book on rotation, it’s forcing you to stay super mindful with what sticks and what doesn’t. It’s changing your thought process as you continue to read and grow, whether you identify with being a palm tree in the sun, or a gorgeous shady red oak tree, you’re growing in whatever realm you’d like—personally, professionally, and mentally. I’ll continue to practice these two agreements and add them to the next book’s thoughts. It’s called practice for a reason. And from this, your relationship with others will change. And your relationship with yourself will change. How powerful is that?
- Alexandra, Director of Project Development