Monday, December 07, 2009

Noticing your own life - from a different perspective

One of these great "mystery" stories where an unknown person is able to make changes in another's life simply through noticing and commenting.

But the key point here is that our mysterious "Jones" helps his chosen subject to notice thing for themselves.

A first lesson: "whatever you focus upon, increases."

Too easy to say - and of course this flies right up their with self-help books and "The Secret" DVD. Any of us could figure this was coming. But it goes beyond simply noticing that the world around you depends on what you concentrate on. It's the point that you aren't the effect of the environment you are in, or came from, or how rich your family is.

Andrews points out a very, very civil point before the first 20 pages are over: if you just let your thoughts run willy-nilly around and become negative from all the negative news and politics and general tabloid atmosphere around us - then all you are focusing on is bad stuff. So the world around you is going to get worse.

Perspective is the point that this fictional character is telling his subject. Perspective is what you view life through.

The book continues through Jones teaching various principles of living life. Some of them new, all of them familiar when you read them.

Andrews tells these principles in an engaging form - through the lives of the people Jones helps. Each of them are near-riveting with the insight into human nature and interaction. But below them all are the simple basic principles which anyone can use to improve their life, their relationships, and the world around them.

Now, to be sure, reading fiction isn't your usual approach to getting self-help data into your life. But that doesn't mean it's not an effective one. With only 177 pages, this book gives a good shot in the arm, while edited for a fast and easy read - perfect for all the rushing around we do today.

Because in all that rush, we can easily lose our perspective - which "Jones" held as one of the most important qualities we can have, or share.

So I'd say if you get a chance to get a copy, do so. Anyone could use some nice principled fantasy in their lives. Could help. Couldn't hurt.