Western culture has long sidelined compassion as the province of the saintly or the overly naive. To our great detriment, we have overlooked one of our most powerful inner resources for creating a life of happiness and contentment. In The Lost Art of Compassion, clinical psychologist and longtime Tibetan Buddhist practitioner Lorne Ladner rescues compassion from the margins, and demonstrates its direct and powerful benefits for our day-to-day lives. Until recently Western psychology focused almost exclusively on working with unhealthy emotions and relationships, turning very little of its research or expertise toward understanding positive emotional states. While interest in positive psychology is just dawning in the West, the cultivation of compassion has been a cornerstone of Tibetan Buddhism, studied and developed for over a thousand years. The Lost Art of Compassion is the first book to incorporate the Tibetan Buddhist teachings most suited to Westerners and provides a crucial perspective that is sorely lacking in Western psychology. Bringing together the best contributions of psychology and Buddhism, Dr. Ladner bridges the gap between East and West, theory and practice, in this user-friendly guide for getting through each day with greater contentment and ease. The Lost Art of Compassion offers ten methods for cultivating joy and contentment, bringing directly applicable wisdom to everyday situations. The result is a highly practical, engaging guide that weaves together these two disciplines and encourages readers to reclaim this neglected path to happiness.
Thanks to technology, we live in a world that’s much more comfortable than ever before. But here’s the paradox: our tolerance for discomfort is at an all-time low. And as we wrestle with a sinking “discomfort threshold,” we increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of our primitive instincts and reactions that can perpetuate disease, dysfunction, and impair performance and decision making.
Designed to keep us out of danger, our limbic brain’s Survival Instinct controls what we intuitively do to avert injury or death, such as running out of a burning building. Rarely are we required to recruit this instinct today because seldom do we find ourselves in situations that are truly life-threatening. However, this part of our brain is programmed to naturally and automatically react to even the most benign forms of discomfort and stress as serious threats to our survival.
In this seminal book we learn how the Survival Instinct is the culprit that triggers a person to overeat, prevents the insomniac from sleeping, causes the executive to unravel under pressure, leads travelers to avoid planes or freeways, inflames pain, and due to past heartache, closes down an individual to love. In all of these cases, their overly-sensitive Survival Instinct is being called into action at the slightest hint of discomfort. In short, their Survival Instinct is stuck in the “ON” position with grave consequences.
Your Survival Is Killing You can transform the way you live. Provocative, eye-opening, and surprisingly practical with its gallery of strategies and ideas, this book will show you how to build up your “instinctual muscles” for successfully managing discomfort while taming your overly reactive Survival Instinct. You will learn that the management of discomfort is the single most important skill for the twenty-first century. This book is, at its heart, a modern guide to survival.
Temple Grandin does for Autism what Susan Cain did for Introversion. Grandin shows us the strengths associated with Autistic and Asperger’s syndrome, citing research showing superior ability to focus on details. She suggests that we quit seeing only the deficits, but acknowledge that some characteristics are actually strengths. Her attention is limited to high-functioning end of the spectrum while, the lower end of the spectrum is given short shrift. She backs up most of her arguments with scientific research (though a few times, she just says “That doesn’t make sense” without showing why). Interesting, but not as enjoyable as Animals in Translation.
Brene Brown’s latest work debunks the myth that showing vulnerability is weakness, rather it takes courage to be vulnerable. At the end she provides guideposts to living wholeheartedly.
Brene Brown has a couple of fabulous talks on TED. I recomend starting with this one http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html its been viewed over 10 million times! I think she is profound.
Some of her quotes:
Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.
You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside, your story & hustle for your worthiness.
Then there’s a Teddy Roosevelt quote that she likes.
It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if zhe fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
In this book, Timothy Caulfield takes on the ginormous task of sifting through all of the health information out there in order to present his audience with genuine, unbiased facts on how to improve health. He debunks common weight loss misconceptions like “exercising helps you lose weight.” According to his research, exercise stimulates appetite, causing people to eat as much or more calories than they burn exercising. Exercising alone rarely results in weight loss. He also bashes workout methods such as yoga and Pilates, saying that they provide little in the way of exercise. In order for your workout to be beneficial, it needs to involve intense interval training. As for diet, he states what many have stated before him: dieters must eat smaller portion sizes and avoid poison-foods (junk food). While I liked the humor sprinkled throughout this book, I didn’t find it particularly revolutionary. But perhaps that’s because I’m a bit of a health-freak and I try to stay on top of health-related information. To someone relatively unacquainted with the health world, this book could be pretty informative.
You probably think you would notice if a Gorilla came onto a basketball court, and beat its chest-center stage right? Actually chances are pretty good that if you were counting bounce passes versus aerial passes, you would miss the gorilla – yep 50% of people don’t notice the gorilla. We think we know how our minds work, but this proves to be an illusion. Know exactly where you were at, and who you talked to on 9/11? We feel pretty certain about our memories for these things, but again, the more certain we are about our memories, the less likely they are to be accurate. Read this book to figure out where your blind spots are!
Paul Tough explores how we often overestimate how important cognitive skills are compared to self-control or emotion regulation. These skills turn out to be particularly important for children living in poverty, who experience more trauma than other other segments of society.
These skills Tough terms character include the ability to work hard toward a goal and stick to it in the face of adversity and setbacks, the ability to rebound after failure, the inclination to do one’s best even in the absence of obvious external rewards, the ability to delay gratification. I think of honesty, compassion, kindness, etc as character.
There is an interesting chapter on a low income school with a fabulous award winning chess team. One of the youngsters becomes a grandmaster as a teenager, obviously a smart kid, but is unable to score well on a high school entrance exam, because he lacks basics like where is Australia on a map.
Tough posits that early interventions will be more successful if they focus less on cognitive skills and more on self-control and emotion regulation. He also looks at ways children from rich families need to learn how to fail.
There are very many books about Michael Jordan, he has written a few too. I Can’t Accept Not Trying is an inspirational book of Jordan’s wisdom he has learned playing collegiate and professional sports. This is a book you carry on your bookshelf and when times are tough, you take it, read it and be inspired by it.