Summer is finally here and I am following the read ’em or leave ’em strategy for finishing books. If I am no longer interested in a book (especially those in Japanese), I am leaving them in the dust even if I paid bookoo dollars for them. I am inspired by AJATT’s column on “Reading and Respectability”:
If you have to limit your reading to what is considered respectable, you might as well physically remove your brain and personally hand it to whoever’s making those respectability rules1. Because that’s kind of what you’re doing already. And while you’re at it, have the Rulemaker come over to your house and pick out your clothes and thoughts, too.
Read Japanese. Read whatever the heck you want. The dumber the better. The brainier the better. The normaler the better. The only limits on reading should be time and interest. Not common sense, and definitely not respectability.
On that note, I am continuing to read 毎朝１分で人生は変わる： One Minute, One Action in the Morning Will Change Your Life. It is pure self-help crack. The vocabulary is not too hard, the advice is not revolutionary, but at one or two pages at a reading, “One Minute” is fun.
Each chapter offers a quick daily change that has the power to change your life. One quick little move that can move a whole body or life. Think Aikido.
Here are the steps I have encountered so far. (Please take my translations with a dash of soy sauce.):
- Ask yourself the morning questions to rev up your motivation. 『モーニングクゥエスチョンで やる気の１日を作り出す」 These questions come from Anthony Robbins CD Personal Power 2 and are designed to jump start your day and revolve around your brain: What am I happy about? (Feel it!) What am I excited about in my life now? (Feel it!) What am I proud in my life now? (Feel it!) What am I grateful about in my life now? (Feel it!) What am I enjoying most in my life now? (Feel it!) What am I committed to in my life now? (Feel it!) Who do I love? Who loves me? (Feel it!) To whom and how can I contribute today? (Enjoy it!) ….I think I just used up my yearly exclamation point quota! 🙂
- If you read your goals out loud each morning and evening, you will be one step closer to your ideal life. 朝晩の「音読」で毎日一歩ずつ理想の自分に近づく。Miyake explains that the power of suggestion is especially powerful in the mornings and evenings.
- One small adventure every day will translate into a bigger life experience. 「毎日の小さなの初体験」が「人生の大きな経験」になる。 Just one little change every day will teach your mind to take in new experiences and open your life. Miyake suggests that even just taking a new street on your way to work can be a small adventure. This reminds me of Julia Cameron, author and creativity guru, who suggests having one small “artist date” on a regular basis for bigger creative breakthroughs.
I can’t really say if these suggestions work or not. I’ve started to take different routes to work, but I haven’t consistently tried the other steps. But my life is already changing on one level. I’m a little closer to Japanese because I’ve found a book that is fun. Yes, the book seems like self help dross, but it’s fun. But even if I read about alchemy in Japanese, the alchemy of fun would translate into more learning. It’s a non-vicious cycle. Take one minute, one action. Have fun and change your life.