Yesterday, I gave away 16 copies each of two short books that are without a doubt in my top five books I’ve ever read. In the last year, I’ve easily given over 80 of each of them away to people I do training classes for, speaking to youth group, and just casually as the opportunity presents itself.
One of those books is a classic originally published in 1903, and because it is now public domain, it has been republished by scores of people and is still a popular seller in 2015. It is As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen. You can read it in about 30 minutes or so, but this book to me is like a favorite bit of smooth milk chocolate that I put on my tongue and enjoy the slow melting of it coating my tongue and my throat. It is one to savor.
The other is also worthy of savoring: Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky. I’ve given hundreds of copies of this away over the years. You can also read this one in about an hour. Most of us have short attention spans, so short is good.
The biggest thing I took from Love Is Letting Go Of Fear, was that rather than juggling so many different kinds of goals, to have a single goal in life. I will quote from that short page, subtitled, Singleness of Goal, in the book:
“Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent motivating force we can have. To have inner peace we need to be consistent in having peace of mind as our single goal. Instead of having a single goal, we are all tempted to try to juggle multiple goals. Juggling can only serve to deflect our focus and increase our conflict. We can achieve consistency in keeping this single goal in mind by reminding ourselves of the singleness of purpose we would have if we suddenly found ourselves drowning in the ocean. We would, in that situation, put all of our attention into the single goal of staying afloat and breathing for survival.”
In the last two years, I’ve come to the same conclusion and practice, except I use the word joy. My single goal in life is now joy. If something comes where I make a choice, I choose the one that will bring me joy. If joy is not available to choose, then I choose not to act. I follow that which brings me joy.
Last night I had two choices that would bring me joy, and that was lovely. Either one would be joyful. I chose one without the slightest issue of not choosing the other. What a wonderful kind of choice that is. Joseph Campbell said to “follow your bliss,” and that is as close to joy as I can think of. Gerald Jampolsky said to have a “singular goal of peace of mind,” and that is not only in the ballpark but inside the infield.
Joy, Bliss, Peace Of Mind. Those Words Are Soothing Just Looking At Them, Saying Them, Writing Them. But, Living Them Is Even Better.
Spread Some Joy Today–Hey! That’s an idea! Let’s spread some joy today!