Guy Finley has written another wonderful book. The Courage To Be Free: Discover Your Original Fearless Self is a very smart look into what it means to be dissatisfied, and the reasons behind so much of the discontent we feel at times.
I have spent a lot of time on this blog writing about rather trite self improvement topics like having a good attitude, staying positive, etc. I know that, while the things I say are true, at least for me, I don’t expect anything I ever do to change anyone else’s life in an instant.When I review self help books–as in this review of The Shadow Effect–I’ve tried to always give the caveat that anyone who claims that a book changed their life probably just finished the book. If they were truly changed a year after reading it, I’d be more impressed by the rave reviews.
The premise is pretty concise: fear and worry are the source of most of our troubles. When we were born, we did not have negative thoughts, we did not worry beyond our instinctual needs, and we did not fear as many things as we do now because we were not aware of how much there is to be afraid of. The state of positivity that we experienced as children was what Finley calls our Original Self. That is what we work towards.
It takes courage to overcome the evidence we see everywhere we go and to be happy. It takes courage (and effort) to liberate ourselves from our minds and the bad habits and routines we are accustomed to. Essentially, if our minds are dark, then we have allowed, fear, anger, and resentment inside–it takes courage to get them out.
With parables and anecdotal examples, Finley demonstrates how a small amount of negativity can fester and grow until we have lost perspective on all the good things we could be celebrating. He is a great storyteller and teacher and I found some of the tales incredibly moving.
I would recommend The Courage To Be Free to anyone who is familiar with constant worry, anxiety, anger, fear, etc. I would never tell them that the book would change their life, but I would have no problem saying that it could change their life.
Thanks again to Guy for another engaging, provocative call for self-scrutiny.