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Capable of Happiness: Reading Just Got Interesting

By Gillian Pietrowski
Staff Writer

If you are looking for a better understanding of why people act the way they do and why you do things a certain way, reading the right books can help.

Although reading doesn’t seem to be a “go to” hobby for some people, there are a few books that I want to recommend. For some of us, taking time to read might seem unappealing. Yet, whether you hate it or love it, these three books will give you so much knowledge that they are worth the effort.

Photo By Gillian Pietrowski

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer, teaches us that our thoughts and the voice we have in our head is not who we are. We have to learn to let the negative thoughts pass through our minds instead of giving in or trying to block them out. “Being able to acknowledge is knowing the difference between yourself and your personal self,” Singer explains. “We are constantly trying to hold it all together. If you really want to see why you do things, then don’t do them and see what happens.”

Another book I’d like to recommend is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. brings to our attention that there are two mindsets with which we can face every day situations, fixed or growth mindsets. A person who has a fixed mindset avoids challenges, which leads to giving up, not putting in the effort, not taking criticism well and this leads to no success and negativity. But, someone with a growth mindset takes on challenges as an opportunity to learn, putting in every bit of effort, and appreciating criticism. This leads to great success and a healthy mindset. “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life,” Dweck writes.

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, can be a guide to your life. Ruiz gives four agreements that if followed correctly and consistently can better your life.

Agreement one is to be impeccable with your word, second is not to take anything personally, third is not to make assumptions and the fourth is to always do your best. They might seem simple at first glance, but once you apply them to your life, you can see just how hard it might be to follow them. This book will teach you how to apply them effectively. “It is when we lose control that we repress the emotions, not when we are in control,”Ruiz states..

Applying the lessons from each of these books has made such a difference in my life. I am now able to understand that I can control whether or not I choose to give into doubts and worries. I choose to acknowledge them but I try everyday to let them pass by.

Acknowledging that I have both fixed and growth mindsets and working on how to change the fixed views and strengthen the growth views is a goal that I am working hard at. Also applying the four agreements in my life has positively affected how I face obstacles. These lessons require hard work and dedication, but are worth every step.



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