Books that changed my life 1: The Power of Now

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Personal stuff

books that changed my life

I read this when I was around 27 years old and it caused a radical change in the way I thought and in my quality of life.

I have always been a thinker. When I was a child and later a teenager, I spent a lot of time alone for various reasons and I spent this time either reading or thinking. Even today I’m one of those people, who sometimes spends hours lost in thought, something that is simply inconceivable to some of my friends, but I quite enjoy it.

The problem I had back then though, is that I spent 90% of my thinking time either in the past or in the future. I thought for example about past situations and how I could have mastered them better, what I could have said or done. Back then I was rather introverted and not well equipped to deal with people my age, so I always was able to think of much better ways that I could have behaved. Of course that constantly dampened my self-confidence, which made the overall situation worse, not better.

Alternatively I thought about the future and what I would do differently/better in that future. I thought about my dreams and how to reach them and what could possibly happen. For important events I had a plan A, B, C and D! I’d say it’s rather normal for many Germans to have a plan B, but C and D is really obsessing. When things took a different turn, that I had not pre-calculated, I was mostly unable to adjust.

Then I read this book! I realised that I was living in the past and in the future, but rarely in the Now. I tried the exercises in this book that help you stay in the Now. They were extremely difficult for me at first. But I kept at it and my life transformed. I changed my job, I became much more extroverted, I was suddenly able to react spontaneously and to improvise, to jump into cold water. It was like somebody had lifted an enormous weight from me, truly liberating.
I don’t remember who it was who said it, but many wise people have voiced this concept: “You are what you think you are.”
You build your Universe, the way you perceive the world with your thoughts and if theses thoughts are rarely in the Now, in a way you do not really live, because life is NOW!

In my opinion it is secondary if you gain “enlightenment” (a term very misunderstood and abused nowadays) or not. But to discover what life has to offer in this moment is a great experience, especially for people who tend to “fuss”  😉

PS: Eckhart Tolle is also an author who wrote books in English and in German, only he did it the other way around. His first books were written in English and then he switched back to German. However they all got translated of course.

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