Is it possible to be happy all the time? For most of us, happiness comes and goes. Life may bring pleasure one day—and pain the next.
But what if you could love your life no matter what the circumstances? It’s possible—and Life Lessons for Loving the Way You Live tells you how.
In this inspiring yet practical book, the authors share some of their most important lessons to help us adjust our attitudes, feel more balanced, and experience the serenity that comes from doing and being our best—no matter what the outcome. Powerful stories illustrate each lesson, with themes such as:
There is a way to love your life—just by the way you live it. With Life Lessons for Loving the Way You Live as your guide, you have a blueprint for being in the world in a new way and experiencing more fulfillment than you ever imagined!
Read an Excerpt…
From Essential Ingredient #1:
Finding the Place Where You Belong
Life Lesson #4: Let Go of Goals
Getting there isn’t half the fun—it’s all the fun.
Have you ever noticed that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control the circumstances of our lives? Were you born into the family you wanted? Do you love the geography where life has taken you? Are you happy in that job you thought was going to be perfect? Did your children turn out the way you would have liked?
Have you noticed that you’ll do something to produce a certain result, only to find that the outcome is completely different from what you expected or hoped for? It seems that we can plan, set goals, create visions and master plans, and take steps to achieve them, but we never know how the details and the circumstances of our lives will play out. We never know whether the life we envisioned will dissolve or fade away. Or morph into something completely different, even unimaginable—either for better or for worse.
Despite this understanding and observation of my own life, I’ve certainly tried making goals and going for them. I’ve tried setting yearly goals. I’ve set five-year goals too, and I once even attempted a 10-year plan for my life. I dutifully read over my list of goals twice a day, every day, reading them with great intention and sincere reflection.
Some of them came to pass, others didn’t. Some happened quickly, others took thirty years. For some of them I worked hard; they never came to fruition. Others happened almost over night, with seemingly little effort.
What does this say about goal-setting? There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. In fact, goals can provide badly needed structure and direction. But our ability to let go of goals is as important as our effort to fulfill them. For example, when my last book was released, I immediately jumped into action to pursue my goal of getting my book “out there.” I effected the same kind of massive publicity campaign I had undertaken in prior years for my early Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But after five painful months of traveling and early morning television appearances that left me bleary-eyed, I realized that I had failed to adjust to the reality of a changed climate in the world of publishing, one in which 600 books are published in this country every day. Competition, in other words, was brutal.
I next set my sights on the goal of creating websites—not just one, but two—because I thought that’s what was required of a “successful” author in these times. I just kept pouring money and energy I didn’t have into “making it happen.” Until one day I woke up and asked myself what might happen if I let go of these goals.
The thought stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t think of what else I might do with my life. I couldn’t imagine what that might look like. But deep inside, I felt the warmth of a growing seed of “not knowing.” It felt delicious.
That experience reminds me of what my former publicist, Arielle Ford, said about her own life: “The greatest revelation I’ve had is to live without knowing, and have that be okay. I could not have written a five-year plan for my life and have it turn out the way it has, because it is so much vaster than anything I could have imagined.”
The next thing that happened was that I discovered Stephen Shapiro’s book on goal-free living. It changed my life and continues to shape the way I live every day. Read on to get his perspective on what happens when we let go of our goals.
Feedback from readers…
“This book will change the way you think, act, respond, feel and ultimately, how you live. I thought it would be a trite collection of feel-good stories; it is not. It's thought provoking and yet, very accessible. I read the book cover to cover in one day because I could not put it down! I kept thinking, 'Just one more chapter...' And when I was all done, I still wanted more!”
Staci Richmond, teacher & single parent
“…the best Chicken soup book ever!!!!!! I usually don't read them… but this one reads you! You are definitely into something different.”
Ali Najafi, therapist
“It has so much to offer people - hope, inspiration, possibility, motivation, vision. Thank you for bringing it into the world at this time when it is so needed.”
United Nations consultant
Garrison, New York
“I can’t wait to send it to the special women in my life.”
Elinor Hall, life coach
St. George, Utah
“…definitely a page-turner.”
Santa Barbara, California
“I have just finished your book…I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! It came just at the right time, as everything does. I know this will be life changing for me, and I hope all that read this can feel as inspired as I do. I have to make some major changes in my life that I have been denying, which have been affecting my health. So thank you for giving me the courage to be honest…from your written word.”
Phylis Stuart, dance teacher
“I want and long for all the good things within myself and for myself...this book has allowed me to laugh out loud and sob like a baby...which may be the purging I need.”
Brenda Prudhomme Miller
New Orleans, Louisiana
“I love it! I love it! I love it! I love it!”
Paul Lane, producer, NBC News Radio KCAA, San Bernadino, California