This book instantly grabbed my attention in the bookstore. It is so small and colourful and screams “Pick me up!”. And so I did. Thank God! This is one of those books that as you read along you find yourself making mental notes such as; “This is important”, “I should write this down to tell mum”, “I must read this passage every day” and so on. That’s how you know you’ve picked yourself a great book!
What is the book about?
Ancient wisdom of the Toltec, a culture who dominated a state in Mexico in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology. This book shines a light onto all the ills that pain our worlds. The mental ills, that is. As we, humans, are described as predominantly living inside our own minds, for the most part. Don Miguel then talks about how harshly we judge ourselves and those around us. How we try to fit a made-up idea of perfection and how we suffer endlessly when we do not live up to that idea. He offers us four simple pieces of advice. Advice that will help quieten the constant internal judge and help us see our world with clarity.
Who is this book for?
I am so inclined to say everyone because this book is so great, but I will not, as the style of writing and choice of metaphors and examples may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is a spiritual book that gives us a whiff of ancient, esoteric knowledge. It’s for those who want their wisdom wrapped up in the comfort blanket of spirituality and those who are open minded enough to overlook various metaphors in order to dig out the golden nuggets, as I say, the priceless, timeless, wisdom and knowledge.
The golden nuggets of this book
- Be impeccable with your word – Choose and use your words wisely. They have the power to build bridges or destroy worlds. Speak with integrity and say only what you mean.
- Don’t take anything personally – Nothing anybody says or does is because of you. Whatever they say or do is a projection of their own reality. If they shout out to you in anger, know that it is not you that is the cause of the anger, but instead the anger was already within them, and they are simply using you as an object to which they can project that anger. When you free yourself of the opinions and actions of others you will cease to be a victim of needless suffering.
- Don’t make assumptions – So often we act in ways that are different from how we would usually act because we assume this and that. We assume this person doesn’t really like us and so we don’t call them anymore. We assume that some other person already has so many friends and so we never reach out to them. The destructiveness of this habit is clearly evident as reality in most cases is very different from those assumptions manufactured in our heads. Find the courage to ask questions and express your truth. Communicate with others as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings and drama. You don’t know what kind of world any other person is living in, so don’t assume things. Simply have the courage to ask. Put your ego or pride aside and enquire. This is so powerful that even with this agreement on its own you can transform your life!
- Always do your best – Your best will be different today than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow. Your best will be different when you are healthy to when you are sick. Whatever life throws at you at any given moment, just do your best from where you are. That’s all. Don’t judge yourself. Whatever the circumstances, just do your best.
My thoughts on the book
This is one of my favourite books ever! Humble and touching. It allows you to tap into the compassionate and loving parts of your personality and broaden your understanding of human dynamics. It reminds us to “do unto others as you would have done unto you” because the others and you are one and the same. We’re all one. Cheese, you might say. But that will only be your reality. And I only have one question for you. Is your view of reality serving you?
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