I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve fallen in love with a new type of “book feature” – books that allow me to comfortably read them while I’m on the treadmill have a very special place in my heart. When they’re just the right size and pliable, and the font is large enough to read at arm’s length and (come on let’s be honest!) they’re interesting enough to keep me in place for at least 30 minutes, I’ve made a paper friend for life.
I just finished such a book, WOW: A Handbook for Living. I want to share one particularly interesting page from the book that really made me think. I’ve shared it with a few of my daughters and it has tickled their brain cells as well.
The authors, Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono, have filled the book with beautiful, random photography as well as outstanding advice and… well, brain cell ticklers. I’ve gotten a lot out of many of them, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t appreciate me giving everything away in one post! I will, however, share one in particular.
If you want to improve your abilities such as listening, love, enthusiasm, expression, rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. – Page 60
- Rate the ability on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best you’ve been able to perform up to this point in time, one being the worst you’ve ever done. Do this on a daily basis.
- To raise your ability just one point, think of what you have to do to improve.
- Try it. – WOW: A Handbook for Living – Page 62
After reading this particular page, I folded the book and placed it on the front of my treadmill – then I just finished my physical exercise as I thought about this mental exercise. This is really excellent advice. Think of the different areas this advice could be utilized in:
- Personal. Rate your relationships with the people you love. On a scale of 1-10, how close are you? What could YOU do (don’t worry about them right now) to move UP the scale. Do you criticize or “push” them too hard? If so, laying off and offering more support, praise, and back pats would certainly be good for an upward swing.
- Home. Rate your living conditions. Have your closets gotten out of control (Shhh, don’t judge me.), are your bookcases haggard? Do you need more furniture with organization on its mind?! Take an honest assessment and, again, come up with what will get you moving in the right direction.
- How about money? How would you currently rate your finances? Do you have as much money in the bank as you want or need? If not, come up with a plan to either make more or spend less.
- Your Self Image. Without being unnecessarily cruel or chippy, how do you rate your self image right now? Packing around a few extra pounds that you aren’t terribly thrilled with? Maybe your hairstyle has worn out its welcome. Unhappy with your wardrobe? Whatever your pet peeves are, keeping them as pet peeves isn’t going to do anything for you. Rate the different areas, then come up with a plan to move on up to a happier place on the number line.
- Your Self Confidence. Are you comfortable speaking on a number of different subjects? If not, read more. Stretch your mind and stretch your horizons.
Push your limits and push your way up the number line. Don’t stop until you’re rocking a #11 in every category. Think it’s not possible? All I have to say to that is, Gambaru!
In addition to the rating exercise, I highly recommend the following:
- Daily exercise! Not only is it the best thing you can do for your physical health, it’s golden for your mental health. You’ll feel so much better if you simply MAKE time to get at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week. As an added bonus, while you’re walking or working out, you’ll come up with some of your best ideas and will be able to do more creative thinking than ever before. For reasons that a doctor could explain far better than I can, exercising sets the stage for clearer thinking and creative ideas. I’m completely hooked on working out problems and ideas on the treadmill or while walking outdoors (assuming it ever warms up again!)
- WOW: A Handbook for Living. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that will stimulate your thoughts as it inspires and motivates you to live your life out loud. This one’s a real winner, and so are you.