Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables Part 1

Following on from The Happiness Project, this book came up as a recommendation. I paid more than I would for both the Kindle versions of these books, but in my opinion, the content of The Happiness Project comes out on top. I found it more engaging, thought provoking and the fact Rubin had researched like crazy shone through amazingly. That's not to say I didn't enjoy Ables's efforts. She also makes relevant points about modern day living and interesting observations that resonate with me. The crux of her work is how to live a simply luxurious life whatever your background, culture, social standing or financial position. I strongly believe it's about the little things in life and that's why I was drawn to her book.

"Luxury is ... to be able to take control of one's life, health, and the pursuit of happiness in a way that is joyful ... It is when we attain freedom that we can follow the mission of living simply luxuriously: choosing quality over quantity, preferring sensibility over frivolity, opting for a personal signature style over trendy fashions, and discovering a truly fulfilling life rather than being led around by the nose."

The start of the book has to hook you, but Ables's intro was somewhat repetitive - and the end of the book lost me when she included indulging your inner Francophile (Ch 10) and recipes in Chapter 11. The final chapter, Chapter 12, rescued the book from having an unsatisfactory conclusion by bringing together the main themes and reminding the reader of the purpose.

Negatives aside, the book still got me thinking, and that's what I wanted from it. Here are some of my favourite bits, which sit nicely with the Being Happy series I'm currently working on and my resolution to be the very best version of myself this year.

It's ok to want "me" time whether you're in a relationship, or you're single, because you can't be truly happy until you own your happiness and the secret to that is, it comes from YOU.

Value and enjoy personal rituals. They bring contentment.

Create your own unique destiny and own your uniqueness. "The woman who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been." Albert Einstein.

Taking a chance on yourself is a gift to yourself. It's scary, but it's worth it. Use the fear you feel to empower you.

Face your fears. How many times have we heard this? But I've done it, and it works! The build up in your head makes you feel something is going to be much worse than it really is. Maria Shriver says: "Someone once told me not to be afraid of being afraid, because, she said, 'Anxiety is a glimpse of your own daring.' Isn't that great? It means part of your agitation is just excitement about what you're getting ready to accomplish. And whatever you're afraid of - that's the very thing you should try to do."

"The best protection any woman can have ... is courage." Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The stance taken by those brave, courageous men and women in our history books helped to "make the world a bit more accepting, a bit more just, and a bit more humane." Courage is the difference between a good life and a great life.

I like this one: when setting goals make sure they are SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Something I really need to work on - Analyse less. Act more.

When Meryl Streep played Julia Child in Julia & Julia, she said this about her character: "You know, we think that there is a formula, and actually the formula for happiness and success is just actually ... be yourself in the most vivid possible way you can because then you don't have to pretend. That is the freedom (Julia Child) enjoyed in her life and that is inspirational to me."

"The woman you wish to become is already within you. She's waiting for you to find the courage to reveal her to the world."

End of Part 1.