Friday, October 7, 2011

My take on: Manual for Living

Everyone once in a while a reader must step out of their comfort zone. Sometimes you need a break from all the fiction, and go back to reality. I was connected by Seth David Chernoff about his book Manual for Living: A User's Guide to the Meaning of Life. Chernoff is a two-time cancer survivor, author, and speaker. Each chapter asks a series of questions, asking why we do what we do. How does it impact your life?

There are several questions that rang home for me, specifically the chapter on judgment. Think about it, every day we walk down the street we see people and we judge them. Just yesterday I was in the parking lot at the supermarket and saw a man putting groceries in his trunk. But the thing is, I didn't just see a man putting groceries in his car. I saw a severely overweight man putting cases of soda in his trunk. I am by no means skinny, but I thought he doesn't need all that soda. Why couldn't I just see someone putting groceries in their car? It brought me back to a chapter in this book. Actually, a sentence in particular, "...it's challenging not be judgmental." How right he is. I don't set out to be that way, but it's just soooooooooooooooo hard not to be that way. Perhaps this book will help me with that.

There are several nuggets of wisdom in the book. It's hard to pull yourself away from someone who is toxic. Self-esteem takes a lifetime to create, but it can be destroyed so easily. Why do we always have to be right? Being right all the time doesn't make you wise. This is another character flaw of mine. I have to know I'm right, and drive home the point that I'm right before the conversation can end. Anyone else have this problem? There are some portions of the book that don't apply to me (**yet fingers crossed**). The chapters dealing with children, relationships, and marriage just don't resonate with me. No relationship, no children (yet) for me. But for those of who you are lucky enough to have both, those chapters are for you.

I guess you need an open mind to take this kind of material to heart. I don't know if I was completely open, but the book was helpful in getting me to think differently. With short chapters and real-life scenarios it can help others do the same.

Rating: Superb


Note: I received a copy of the book from the author Seth David Chernoff in exchange for an honest review.

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