I am reading a very interesting book.

Quitter. by Jon Acuff

Now my husband likes to tease me because I have the tendency to “weave” any book that I am currently reading into whatever conversation we are having.  For example:

Him: “Hey Sweetie, next time you go to the commissary, could you pick up some razors for me?”

Me:  “You know, that reminds me…I am reading a book about time management.  According to Dr. So-and-So, I need to free up more time for the things that are important to me by having you and the kids take more ownership in the areas of your lives that you ask me to handle.  Therefore, I have posted the commissary list on the refrigerator.  If you need something, it is up to you to write it on the list.  When you simply mention things to me in passing, you abdicate responsibility for the task and it somehow becomes my responsibility.  This makes me feel undervalued, because I am running around trying to meet all of your needs, the kids’ needs, and my own needs.  I simply can’t do it all, and I really need you to step up and take responsibility.”

I think he was expecting me to say, “Oh sure, no problem.”

So, every time I start a sentence with “Hey honey, I am reading a great book…” hubby gets that glazed-over, deer-in-headlights look, and I know that he has retreated into his mental man-cave until the danger of amateur spousal psychoanalysis has passed.

However, I really am enjoying this book, so rather than torture my husband with my thoughts on it, I decided to discuss it here.

No one wants to be a “quitter.”  In American society, it is considered an act of cowardice or failure to “quit” something.  We are brought up to believe that “winners never quit, and quitters never win.”  What a load of crap!

Now, it is true that we cannot expect to hop around from thing to thing, or idea to idea, constantly giving up when obstacles present themselves.

But, when it is obvious that something is not a “fit” for you, are you expected to stay with it, indefinitely?  Of course not.

And this is the main crux of this book.  We all have dreams, passions, interests, and goals that we would like to pursue.  And somehow, our society has romanticized those people who give up everything to follow said dreams, etc.  But that is not the way it should be.

There has to be a bridge between living your life as it is right now, and living the life you desire to live in the land of “someday.”

The best way to do this is not to hate your current situation and daydream about a better life (although yours truly is quite guilty of this from time to time).  Rather, you should embrace your current state and begin to perform with excellence, looking for opportunities to incorporate the skills necessary to accomplish your long-term goals.

Become intentional about how you perform in life.  Don’t see your current job or situation as an obstacle.  Rather, use it as a stepping stone or a building block to where you want to go.

Even if your current job has nothing to do with your passion, you can figure out ways to become “excellent.”

Now I am only about a third of the way through this book, but I gather that part of Acuff’s message is that excellence is a habit.  It must be cultivated and developed intentionally.  It does not happen by accident.

Let me repeat that:

Excellence does not happen by accident.

You can’t go through your daily life being lazy, sloppy, and uncommitted and expect to turn into a creative, energetic ball of excellence on the weekend when you are working on your passion.  No…you must make excellence a habit.  Not perfection…excellence.

OK, so in order to be an excellent mother, I need to get up out of this chair and get my day started, otherwise I will be sending my kids off to school in questionable clothing choices and lunches consisting primarily of chemicals I cannot spell not pronounce.  (Which does not really jive with the whole “Healthy Mom” part of this blog’s title.)

Have an excellent day, and don’t quit your day job! (just yet)



7 Habits

Why haven’t I read this book before?  I just started reading (actually, listening to) the famous book The 7Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.  This iconic book has been touted as a must-read for anyone caring to improve his interaction with himself, his family, and his environment.  I think that pretty much means all of us.

So, what is it about this book that has made it a continuous best-seller and an oft-used reference in self-help seminars, business training courses, and relationship  guides?

Basically, it breaks down 7 Principles (not tasks or exercises, etc.) that are vital for those who wish to live an authentic, influential, and meaningful lives.  So many other self-help type books on the market ask the reader to perform specific tasks or exercises.  But The 7 Habits asks the reader to dig deeper and work from the “inside out.”

Essentially, other books put a band-aid on problems…this works temporarily, but does not “heal the wound.”  The “wound” may be personal relationships, functionality in the workplace, or any other “way” of interacting with those around us.  To heal this wound, the reader must look within and experience a “paradigm shift.”  This requires a great deal of humility, and I believe it is a lifelong process.  We are, in fact, flawed beings, but that does not mean that we should accept our flaws and just be content to live without attempting to change them.

I think this is going to be a challenge for me.  I find myself saying “So-and-so should read this book!”  But that is contrary to the message of the book.  I need to internalize the message and start living by the principles…and then I may see some of the changes I hope to see.

If you have read this book, I would love to hear your opinion and/or any experiences you have had after applying the principles/habits.  Please leave a comment below 🙂