Mental Wellbeing

We are products of social programming. Our societal circles dictate what is expected of us, and what constitutes right and wrong. We please with the intent to conform, for conformity offers us community.

When we are young, we have little ability to influence our way of thinking. As a grown up, we believe the way we think and how we organise ourselves constitutes our personality. The ghost of our accrued trauma remains invisible, and we live on autopilot for decades.

There comes a point when a spanner is thrown in the works, forcing us to question our ways. These catalytic moments stem from the most difficult times in our lives. They could be the death of a loved one, a relationship breakup, sudden illness, the loss of an opportunity we deeply craved for, or others of similar gravity. On occasion, they may even be inspired by envy. Such moments force us to question what works for our life, and what doesn’t. Are we indeed getting the most from our short time on the planet, or are we only engaging in a tick box exercise to please the anonymous face of society.

Tough moments have the energy to inspire resilience, institute change, and foster growth. They motivate us to re-invent, to arise, and to become the best versions of ourselves. Tough moments inspire us to observe that voice in our heads, and appreciate that the biggest battles we wage are the ones we fight in our mind, with our preconditioned selves.

The personal development that comes from healing our emotional wounds, and from rectifying our pre-programmed habits, helps us live our futures with intent. It helps us live with compassion for ourselves. It helps us share love without condition.

Here is a selection of five books that helped me on my own personal growth journey. They helped me walk away from life’s depths of darkness, despair, and moral preconditioning, towards a place of gratitude, peace and inner contentment.

  1. Authentic Happiness - Martin Seligman
  2. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It - Kamal Ravikant
  3. Waking the Tiger - Peter Levine
  4. Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behaviour - Thomas Erikson
  5. When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress - Gabor Maté

The bottom line is this.

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go” - as aptly said in the movie Life of Pi