August 16, 2011

Monday Morning Choices: 12 Powerful Ways to go from Everyday to Extraordinary by David Cottrell

This is a pretty disturbing book in a lot of ways. The author is one of those motivational speakers that corporations hire to get their sales people revved up. I was amazed to find hardly a single example in the whole book of how a woman might apply these principles or of any woman succeeding. All but one or two of the illustrations are about men. Not sure why I kept reading, but it was an easy read and there was some challenge in it.

The premise is that you should study one of the 12 principles with a group of like-minded people for about an hour for 12 Monday mornings in a row to get yourself motivated and change your life. The principles are very good, e.g. “the no victim choice – don’t let your past eat your future” and “the do-something choice – don’t vacation on ‘Someday Isle.’” As you can tell from just those two examples, the book is filled with clich├ęs and we know most of the principles quite well. And although almost all the application is to financial success, which interests me only slightly, the principles do apply to any area of life.

The best thing I got out of the book is a saying that sounds negative, but at least attempts to nail down something about (self) discipline that I’ve been kicking around for some time. It is this: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” I take this as a challenge for some of the things about which I would say “I always wanted to do that.” As I found out with my cartooning this past year and a half, applying discipline to even a (for me) far-out goal of drawing cartoons does yield results. Had I compromised and done something a lot easier for Ezra, I think I would have been sorry. The same principle applies to things in my life, like prayer and meditation, to which I haven’t applied discipline and I feel the regret of it every day, although not like a weight of tons but just as a vague sense of failure and of missing out on something that could make a significant and positive difference.

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