While there was some very good advice in here, I found the book rather repetitive and unpleasantly peppered with self-help language, like the heading "Unleashing Innate Human Potential." I'm suspicious of any author who uses the term "unleash" non-ironically.
From the book: "Given that thoughts and feelings are one and the same ..." Something kept bugging me about the approach in this book, and I think this is it. I don't think thoughts and feelings are one and the same. I guess what I'm trying to get at here is that here I am about fifty pages into the book, and every time the book starts to be useful, it tips back over onto this idea of thoughts and feelings being the same thing. I suppose her feelings are just thoughts, and she needs to let go of her analytical feeling and move into free flowing thought, and presto, it will all be solved?" Nope. What this means is that as I figured out the concepts, I pretty much started to skim for development of those concepts rather than wade through endless examples of the benefits of living "at the speed of life" (admittedly, I really like that phrase) and more talk about thoughts and feelings being the same thing. There are two basic types of thought: Analytic and Free-flowing. Analytic thought is defined as conscious, deliberate thinking where the mind is running through the information in an attempt to find "the answer." This is best for planning, scheduling, calculating, memorizing, recalling data ... It's what the mind does when relaxed and in neutral (Beware: Do not think that because you are constantly analyzing in your mind that this means you are engaged in free-flowing thought). which means that it is the best mode of thought MOST of the time. They create a term: "Thought attack." This is what happens when your mind runs through all in the information over and over trying to figure things out and getting faster and more involved as it spins on and on ... So, because of how our society and culture are set up, most of us use our analytic thinking as our primary mode of thought, which means that we're living a sped up life where we're rarely in the present moment, just being, but are instead whizzing along, trying to figure everything (living faster than the speed of life). When we are able to really switch over to free-flowing thought, we slow down, relax, live in the moment, and find the answers we're looking for, because our mind spontaneously offers them to us. According to the authors, it's because your mind is relaxed and in free-flowing mode, and, therefore, able to offer you answers that all your analysis could not bring. 54) (Ahem, are you sure they're not the same as thoughts?) "If we do not know the answer to a specific problem, recycling the same information over and over usually will not produce a solution. 60) "The best way to solve a problem that is not immediately apparent is to tap into our creative thought process, a flow of thoughts that emerges naturally as we empty the mind of our analytical thinking. This deeper intelligence or free-flowing thinking takes us to a higher level of understanding and usually provides us with the answers we need. Being willing to not know, having the humility to admit that our analytical thinking isn't providing us with the answers we need, is the entry point into the free-flowing mode of thinking. Over time, you will begin to trust that this reflective mode of thinking has most of the answers you need." (pg. 87-88) "Imagine your life as a time line: You are born---------right now----------the moment you die." (pg 139) "A helpful analogy for trying to understand the essence of a quiet mind is to think of horses grazing in a field.
I wouldve also appreciated if they used the phrase slowing down to the speed of life significantly less.
No matter where you go, you always take your thinking with you. Without thinking, there would be no experience. Using it for matters of the heart will lead to negative emotions arising. The experience of subjective time has very little to do with clock time and everything to do with your thoughts. Take care that futuristic thinking does not intrude upon your enjoyment of the present moment.
The analytical mode, they maintain, is the best mode to use when trying to solve specific, defined problems where all the variables are known situations that can be compared to math problems where you have enough information to compute the answer. The reason they give for the misuse of the analytical mode of thinking causing people to feel too overwhelmed or speeded up in their lives is the tendency to try to repeat our analysis of the problem over and over when we are stumped by repeatedly coming across the things we dont and cant know.
I feel myself implementing the ideas in this book and my life is already changing.
Scanned/read it as a reference from another author (Leo Babauta) that I admire on the same subject.
The words "don't sweat the small stuff" have become a part of American culture thanks to Richard Carlson's book, which became a runaway bestseller and made publishing history as the #1 best-selling book in the United States for two consecutive years.