Book Review: How to Live a Good Life


There are two things I actively think as I start anything (the day, a meeting, a meal, a conversation) and they are:

  1. Come to Learn.
  2. Be a Blessing.

It’s simple and it reminds me that I have one real job in life: to live it. To show up looking to learn and to have my presence bring something positive to a situation. In the vein of showing up to learn I want to read more books this year and if they’re great I want to bring them to you too. Maggie Mason wrote a post that I was grateful for because she introduced me to this article by Tim Urban. If you want some perspective on how many pizzas you have left or how many books you’ll read in the balance of your life read it. It’s great.

It’s fitting that my first book of 2017 is How to Live a Good Life* by Jonathan Fields and it was an excellent read and one that I’ll be applying and learning from for a lifetime.

Who will enjoy this book?

If you have this feeling that you “should” be happier in your life and you can’t really put your finger on what’s causing this lack of satisfaction and ease this is a great book for you because it will first help you identify where that feeling is originating and then provide MANY actionable steps to bring on the goodness.

In a lot of ways this book is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – you pick the order in which you read it and apply along the way. There is the option of doing it 1 chapter a day and experimenting if you like that approach.

Nuggets of learning that I absolutely loved.

Jonathan introduced me to a Japenese phrase: shinrin-yoku which translates to forest bathing. I’ve long been someone that loves to be in the woods and learning about the benefits that forest-bathers receive from time with the trees made perfect sense and helped explain a call to spend time shinrin-yoku’ing.

The other thing that I really loved about the book is it gave me three “buckets” to look for my fulfillment from (vitality, connection, contribution) and the premise is you can only be as happy as your LEAST full bucket allows. A lot of times in life we are in a space of focus to fill ONE of those buckets and then we don’t understand why we’re not happier.

For example: You may be spending a LOT of time working on your profession right now (contribution bucket) and you’re REALLY accomplishing things in this field and you have this feeling that you SHOULD be happier about this but you’re just not. The reason: you haven’t been filling up your vitality and connection buckets and because they’re running on empty they’re limiting your ability to feel fulfillment and happiness.

Jonathan also gave a really amazing meditation mantra that you can do anytime and one that I’ve been doing the last week anytime my attitude needed adjusting (it was a lot, thanks Mercury in Retrograde for really testing all the systems and processes to make sure we’re aware of all the weak spots).

May I be free.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
May INSERT NAME be free.
May INSERT NAME be happy.
May INSERT NAME be healthy.
May INSERT NAME live with ease.
(repeat as many times as necessary)

I’d love to know if you pick up this book and if you want a chance to win my copy of the book (I believe this book should be read LOTS and LOTS of times and this is one way I can ensure that) head on over to Facebook.

*This is an affiliate link so if you buy it through this link I will receive a few cents.

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