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book recommendations for staying positive
Old 10-22-2007, 05:13 PM   #1
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book recommendations for staying positive

Hi,

I just finished watching Oprah's show on death, and it made me think that I'd like to read more inspirational books. Books that would help me be a more positive person overall, appreciative of what I have, live more in the "now"...you get the picture. Not that I am a completely doom and gloom kind of person, but I think there's always room for learning how to appreciate life more.

Any recommendations for books that have really made a difference in your life?

Thanks
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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The Magic Of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

This book truly changed my life. There's no way I'd be where I am today without having read it.
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:30 PM   #3
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I would agree that The Magic of Thinking Big is a great book. I found it 30+ years ago and it got me off my rear and started me making some plans. I think I might pull it back out for a re-read.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:19 PM   #4
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How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) -- more relevant than you'd think from the title.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:21 PM   #5
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For a small daily dose for each day of the year: "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. You could probably buy a used copy online and you can still find it in bookstores.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Hi,

Books that would help me be a more positive person overall, appreciative of what I have, live more in the "now"...
Books don't seem to help me with this, but action does. Play some music you love. Go for a walk in the woods. Call a friend.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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You guys have me curious. I am going to have to see if my library has The Magic of Thinking Big. I would like to read it and see if it would be a book that I could get my son to read. He is a great guy, but he could use a little more of the thinking big and goal setting.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:28 AM   #8
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Anything written by Dave Barry should suffice...
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:13 AM   #9
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In the Meantime, by Iyanla Vanzant....not simply for your love life at all!
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:55 AM   #10
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I have been going to yoga practice for about a year or so. It improves my mood significantly. Then a few months ago, I picked up a book by B.K.S. Iyengar called "Light on Life". While I wouldn't call it a primer solely on "how to be positive", it's definitely a primer on how to be "in the now". There's a lot of yoga-centric stuff that some may not care to wade through, (though it is an excellent primer, too, for anyone wondering "what yoga is about" beyond just stretching and exercise) but there are also a lot of "verities". It is structured, but hard to break down into bites because it is all inter-woven.

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When we are greedy, we are never satisfied and we are never content. We are always afraid that there will not be enough, and we become miserly. Instead of seeing our riches and giving generously to others, we become nothing more than rich beggars, always asking for more. In yoga we consciously minimize our needs. We do not do this to show how holy we are because we can live on a few grains of rice. We minimize our needs so that we can minimize our attachments and maximize our contentment .. The fewer the demands are on our life, the greater is our ability to see its beauty.
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Energy must be enticed within, increased through techniques of generation, contained, distributed, and invested within. But in reality, we leak energy like a sieve. Whenever you are jealous of someone else's happiness and fortune, you leak energy. "It should have been me," you say. "Why did he win the lottery, not me?" Jealousy, envy and resentment impoverish the person who feels them, not just morally but energetically. They literally shrink you. .. When we dip our cup into the infinite, we are enriched, but the infinite is not diminished. When you stare at the sunset, you are filled with its beauty, but the sunset remains as beautiful as ever. When you resent the happiness of others, you lose even the little that you have.

Worse than that, when you are puritanical towards the defects you perceive in others ..
etc., etc. meaning of compassion and sympathy, Mother Teresa, quieting of ego, exhalation as a release of anger, regrets, resentment, envy..not about renunciation of pleasures.. It just spirals on and on.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
I just finished watching Oprah's show on death, and it made me think that I'd like to read more inspirational books. Books that would help me be a more positive person overall, appreciative of what I have, live more in the "now"...you get the picture.
Let me step away from the "Chicken Soup" stuff for a less traditional approach to this type of introspection.

"Chasing Daylight" by Gene O'Kelly. No disrespect intended toward the man or those close to him, but we hated this guy's hypercompetitive philosophy so much that we renamed it "Best... Death... EVER!!!" It takes a powerful subject and forceful writing to evoke that reaction from your readers. The book will also make you appreciate every "life is good" moment, especially the final chapter (written by his spouse).

"Losing My Mind"-- Thomas DeBaggio's first of two books about his journey into early-onset Alzheimer's. You would think it an incredibly depressing subject for a man in his 50s, but again it highlights the importance of appreciating the moment.

"Deep Survival". One of the latest & best in a genre of "what keeps people alive" books. As good as they are, the stories aren't the point-- the author goes into the body's physiology and biochemistry to explain our adaptive behavior at moments of great stress. Again you appreciate every moment and it helps understand why we react to things the way we do... or could react. It's also persuaded me to cross several things off my list-- skydiving, base jumping, white-water rafting, aerobatics, snowmobiling, mountain-climbing, and jungle trekking.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:32 AM   #12
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one of my "go to" books is "teachings on love" by thich naht hanh...you don't have to be into buddhist philosophy, it just helps give life perspective, and how to see and focus on love - appreciate the small things. sometimes our mind can become in the habit of only noticing the negative, and he helps point out how to see the great, wonderful things we sometimes don't notice in our suffering.

especially lately, i've had a lot going on with family, mostly bad, some good and it has really helped me to have had this foundation of perspective - there are 1000 blessings and 1000 sorrows in life- sometimes both at the same time...if you come from that point of view, it won't be as surprising when the sorrows come and you know the blessings are on their way too (or sitting in the same place as the sorrow).

i always recommend to skip the first chapter (the only heavy dose of buddhism 101 in the book) and read the rest of the book first, then go back and read chapter 1 if you are interested. i have given it as gifts and share with friends, along w/ other books by this author.

i grew up without any extended family in the states and didn't have much perspective on aging, until i made friends with someone who is in her 90's. She leads a very engaged and rich life and motivated me to make the most of my time here!
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:31 PM   #13
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John Updike’s short story, "Poker Night" has an interesting twist. Guy discovers he’s terminal, doesn’t tell anyone at work or at the weekly poker game, hides his new meds, then goes home and tells his wife. At that point the she becomes the protagonist, albeit briefly.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:47 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone! I made a list of all the suggestions and look forward to checking some books out of the library
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