53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Can be a positive life changing book,
This review is from: Mindfulness (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) (Paperback)
I've been listening to this book on my MP3 while I walk in the mornings and one realization so surprised me I had to run and tell my husband. Ms. Langer talks about the premature cognitive commitments we make. Which means we often make a decision about how life is and become trapped by it.
I'm 63 and, and, after listening to one particular passage in her book, I realized that I had made a decision very young that life is a burden to bear. It wasn't a complaint I had, it's just the way life was. I had no idea I even felt that way. What's odd is that most people think I'm an unbridled optimist. They see me as full of energy. One person even said to me one, "My gosh, you bring such cheer into a room with you." And it's true, I do have a lot of energy, but there has always been an undercurrent of depression. In fact, when I take those depression tests they always tell me to get help immediately because I come out so high on the depression scale. I never knew why and nothing I ever did changed it (and I've done lots of things, including writing a book on happiness.) Now I have an understanding of why that despair was always there and why nothing I did could change it.
I'm not even sure which passage woke me up to this. However, my life has changed, dramatically since that moment. I no longer look at the future as something bleak I have to put up with. I've started practicing the piano again and stopped watching television incessantly. I am in strong positive action on my projects. That pebble of despair is out of my shoe.
A quote in the book by Florida Scott-Maxwell has also given me the possibility of a passionate future -- "Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate... To my own surprise I burst out with hot conviction." Who ever thinks of old age as "bursting out with hot conviction." Thanks so much Ms. Langer. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.