(Not) Just another Self-Help Book?

On January 6th, 2015 – 294 days ago – I published a post “Slip Sliding Away” and it was all about not living life to the fullest and challenging myself to be in over my head. Based on the number of posts since then (or rather the lack thereof) you know where this is going. I have not completely regained a grip on my life and things are still sliding away but recently I’ve had some small wins. I went to the dentist; participated in my friend’s boot-camp style workout challenge; took care of annoying newly-wed paperwork; started the process of obtaining a New York State driver license; read a wonderful, relevant, and thought provoking novel (Americanah); and attended my monthly Buddhist meeting two months in a row. Impressed? Me neither. But mildly proud of small victories against procrastination, routine, the onset of a depression, and smartphone addiction. Although still chronically tired, I can feel a spark once in a while and I’m hopeful that soon there will be a steady flame and maybe even a flickering fire. As a fire starter, I am currently reading “The Charge” by Brendon Burchard, as per a recommendation by a life-long friend. Brendon is one of those life-coach gurus that somehow write/produce stuff that 99% of the population will likely draw some inspiration from. I like his style and I am sincerely hoping that this one won’t be just another self-help book that ends up dusty on a book shelf. What I learned from it today is that, for the past few years (post basketball career ending injury and post grad school), I have been lacking a clear sense of identity. I haven’t been saying “I am a ____, _____, and _____ person” but rather “I used to be so _____, _____, and ______” – often accompanied by tears and a sense of regret and self-doubt. Brendon Burchard’s book reminded me that you really can’t run your life if you don’t know who you are or aspire to be. There’s no sense in trying to run something without following a general direction. In addition to lacking a clear sense of identity and direction, I have struggled with finding a balance between being hard on myself and being gentle with myself. When my life was turned upside down, I needed to be gentle with myself, let myself heal, give myself time to navigate my new circumstances. Unfortunately, I continued to cut myself more than enough slack even after the healing was done and the navigation all figured out. As I’m writing this I’m elated with coming to this realization, because I love understanding things/people/myself. And I think that’s why I like “The Charge” so much – it’s helping me understand what’s going on (or what’s not going on) in my life. While I can’t confidently say that it will be the last self-help book I’ll ever read, I don’t think it’ll be just another one.

Before I hit the publish button to share my ramblings with the world, I would like to express my appreciation to the people that actually read this and engage with me and encourage me to keep writing. It means more than you know. I will leave you with a picture my wife took of me the night before we left for our honeymoon on Kauaii. That’s how I feel right now and how I want to feel more often.


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2 Responses to (Not) Just another Self-Help Book?

  1. Steve says:

    It is good to see you are writing again. You are good at observing the world and writing about it. Your posts are worth reading and I hope you continue.

    Understanding ourselves, others and nature isn’t easy. I wish I could say it is and I have managed to figure out life, but it is a long process with curveballs being thrown out of nowhere. It sounds like the game is afoot for you and there will be readers who will gain from your words as the journey unfolds.

    good luck!

  2. Marco says:

    Hi Katja,
    As you can’t confidently say that it will be the last self-help book you will ever read, I can strongly recommend the books of Eckhart Tolle. I read your posts and can understand what is happening in your life situation. Never forget that you are a wonderful being and already a winner as you can make all these experencies in this marvelous world! I hope to have helped you a bit with my lines and wish you and your family all the best!


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