See Goodreads Page for details and reviews.
This is Kamal’s second book after his famous “Love Yourself” book. Go read my review if you need a refresher. That was about, well, loving yourself. And this one is about, ugh, living your truth. His book names are great creative writing prompts. “Write a 10K word essay about living your truth. Go”. Almost anyone can do it.
I’m not ditching the content. This is equally great as his last book. His prose’s brevity and poetic beauty comes from hundres of re-writes (I’m assuming) and years of writing practice. If you have to learn to write, then you should read great works like this.
As for the message. It’s about
Reading this book, you should be able to come up with what your own truth is. For Kamal, it was loving himself. Believing this down to his marrow and sharing his experience is what he feels as his truth. His reason for existence and the meaning of his life. What’s yours? It could be raising a child, believing in a Faith, creating wealth, producing art etc.
For me? Well, I didn’t do the due diligence and so the honest answer is “I don’t know what my truth is.” But I’m considering adopting the same truth Naval has: loving myself. It makes sense to me. If I’m being negative, unhappy and a pain in the back, then it only means there’s some areas in my own self that I hate. Or at least I’ve left unresolved. Instead I could try to embrace those areas and be kind to myself. This can open myself to better opportunities and a lot of simple and grand life experiences.
I highly suggest you read this book.
My favorite line from the book:
Whatever you experience in your life, choose for it to make you grow in amazing and unbelievable ways.
Highlights from the book
If ever in pain, I think the best thing we can do is to create something. A record. Not of pain, but of what is real. Pain doesn’t last. And when it’s gone, we have something to show for it. Growth. And because it is a human experience, it is of value. Something we can share with others.
I let go of outcomes and returned to working on being my best self.
There is one rule, though: once you discover your truth, you have to go all in. Fully. Every single chip.
Throughout the book, at the end of each section, he (Miyamoto Musashi in his book “The Book of Five Rings”) repeats only one phrase: You should investigate this thoroughly. If you could boil his teachings down to one thing, that would be it. And I understand. Knowledge is never enough. Even action, if it’s just following a prescribed way, will never fully express your potential. But to dive in, test each theory out, kick the tires, keep what works, discard the rest, add your own — that’s where magic happens.
“Put this into action,” Musashi says of his teachings. “Surpass today what you were yesterday.”
James Altucher has his daily practice, four buckets to fill: mental, spiritual, physical, emotional. According to him, if you meet those each day, your life will be transformed. And I believe him.
we don’t stumble accidentally into an amazing life. It takes decision, a commitment to consistently work on ourselves.
I work hard on myself to make conscious choices moment by moment, day by day. It is a practice. There is a rhythm to it. I fail often. I fail spectacularly. But there are times when I succeed and each moment of success is a reinforcement, a new thought pattern I’m laying down. One that serves me, makes me better, makes me who I want to be.
When your sense of self and happiness comes from within and isn’t a roller coaster ride dependent on others or circumstances, you approach life differently. You make better choices. You draw to you the people and situations that matter.
Whether accidental or designed or a cosmic joke between green aliens, the human experience is an unbelievably amazing one. Our ability to love and create — that alone makes this entire experiment worthwhile.
Ask yourself: what is it, that if I believed it down to my core, would change everything? Make the fears irrelevant? Make the person I’d become so unbelievably amazing that I’d blow my own socks off? Answer that, and you’re on your way. For me, it was loving myself. For one friend, feeling worthy. That transformed his life. For another, abundance. Opportunities literally throw themselves at him. For many, I’ve seen it to be their faith.
I’m old enough to have lost friends. Random deaths are tough. Suicides, the worst. I’ve also lived long enough to look back at those gone and know that whatever they were dealing with, it passed. They didn’t have to. They could have been here, wiser and stronger and better.
Whatever you experience in your life, choose for it to make you grow in amazing and unbelievable ways.
You owe it to yourself. You owe it to those who came before you. You owe it to those connected to you who you’ll never meet. You owe it to those who have yet to come into your life.
If my company had not failed, the book would not have been written. And if the book had not been written, one of those lives might have gone. This experience has shattered my definition of success forever. How do you measure saving a human life?
Now I know what success is: living your truth, sharing it. Whether through a book, raising a child, building a company, creating art, or a conversation. Whatever human endeavor we choose, as long as we live our truth, it is success.
I’ve started a new anchor at the monastery. In the mornings, I walk outside with my coffee, sip slowly and take in deep breaths, making myself feel love for myself. Five breaths. Sip coffee, love myself, feel it.
If you think about it, how much time do we spend in our heads wishing things were another way, beating ourselves up, beating others up, crafting a different past, wishing for a different future? All of that is resistance. All of that is pain. Peace is letting it be. Letting life flow, letting emotions flow through you. If you don’t fight them, they pass through quickly and you feel better. I think women understand this better than men.
You sit. You stare at the screen, cursor blinking. As an author once said, you cut open a vein, bleed. The more you do it, the more you open yourself, the more you trust the process.
I’m browsing, half-listening, and hear him say several times that “prayer will take care of it.” Casually, as if it’s the most natural thing. Like me telling someone I’ll post a photo on Facebook. In my mind, Facebook is just an everyday reality, no big deal. And whoa, in his mind, prayer is. The thought stops me: he actually believes this stuff.
I think perhaps a better thing to want is fulfillment. A deeper state, one that comes from within, from being your best self. From living life the way you really wish to live it. Then, happiness emanates from within as a byproduct. Naturally.
And how does one live a fulfilled life? By deciding for themselves what is true — whether it’s love, faith, commitment to family, a mission, whatever it is — and then living it. Every person I admire who’s successful and radiates an inner happiness, they are living their truth. It’s that simple. Decide what your truth is. Then live it.
Best things about close friends, they shine the spotlight on the cracks.
“Life is emotion,” he said, “life is feeling. If you’re not feeling, you’re dead.” He paused. “Suffering is in the resistance. When we resist the moment.”
“Freedom,” he said, leaning back and widening his chest on purpose, “is when we fully open ourselves. To the moment. Experience the moment and let it pass.”
If there is a piece of the web I could have brought with me, it would be James Altucher’s Daily Practice post. I almost believe the Internet was created so that he could write it. He titled it, “How to be the luckiest guy on the planet in four easy steps.” It is the most genuine, helpful, and practical blog post I have ever read.
One thing about discovering a truth: first you live it, and after you experience the transformative results, it is real for you unlike anything else. Then you almost become obsessive about sharing it. I think that’s why people who discover God or yoga or even a new diet — a way to better themselves — proselytize. It’s a fundamental human desire to share what works. And that’s good. It propels ideas and over time, moves society forward.
The truth is, we’re that poor sad blubbering employee. Living asleep, going through the motions, punching the clock. And then a near miss, a diagnosis, a loved one gone. Kicked awake by Tyler. Kicked awake by life. Things suddenly are sharper. The question is — and this creates the rest of the story — how long does it last? Do you take that risk, keep that promise you made to yourself that one night under the stars when you were really really happy? Do you go all out? Or do you fall asleep once again and if you’re lucky, Tyler will come knocking.
we all want good judgment, and good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is the result of bad judgment.
A simple realization freed me, mostly. Caused the rocks to loosen, start rolling down. This: he was human. Fallible, full of mistakes, trying to make his way through the world like the rest of us, afraid. Human. Forgiveness, the key to freedom, followed naturally. I could no longer judge him. He did what he could and he was gone.
This is the simple secret. Pick something you truly want. Commit. Commit on paper. To yourself. Dive in, do the work. You’ll leave the board, falling and falling…until you notice gravity lessen, your rate of descent slowing until it reverses and then…and then, you’re flying.
You dive deeper, you strip away the cleverness and the words become more important than your ego and that’s when you know it’s real, when it’s good.
“Look behind you, death is near. Look away. Look back again. Death is closer.”
I’ll leave here in a few days, drive along the coast, return home. There is one thing I’ll take with me, a practice of being conscious. Wake up, get my coffee, then go stand outside and breathe the world in. It is a part of me and I of it. Simple, but sets the tone. Let the mind welcome the day. Then, from that place, start.
A reset is as simple as this moment.
Let’s make our time count. Live our best selves. Take the risks, share our dance, belt out our songs. That what we do, even if it’s forgotten after we’re gone, matters while we’re here.
I’m starting to believe that our experiences are nothing but a series of gifts and the less we resist them, the better things get. Through the joy, through the pain, through the growth, life is beautiful.
I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful. Trust in this. And you and your life will be grand.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Hemingway said that. True. But I think he left something out. Sharing what you have created with the world, it is the most collaborative and life-affirming thing there is.