"THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED" by Scott Peck 

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Additional thought of Graham White in highlights

DELAYING GRATIFICATION (PROCRASTINATION)

-Life is difficult.

-Problems do not go away, they must be worked through.  The inclination to ignore problems is a simple manifestation of an unwillingness to delay gratification.  Confronting problems is PAINFUL.  We must put aside something pleasant or less painful in order to confront our problem which is MORE painful.

Growing up is more of a fearful leap than a step.  It is a leap that many people never really take in their life.  If you live your life avoiding fear, you can't grow up and you can't be a success.

-We need to see our time as a valuable resource.  Until we recognize that we have a limited amount of time and that our time is the most precious resource we have, we can't learn to use it effectively.  The more we value our time, the more we get done.  Create a tool to help people learn the value of their time.

-Use the idea that you find out you are going to be dying soon.  How would you use your time differently?

-Disciplining yourself requires the ability to give up short term pleasure for long-term benefit.  At one point in your life, you "got over" the pain and  frustration that trying to tie your shoes created.  Why did you do that?  Because the benefit you perceived was greater than the pain it was causing.

-There are no shortcuts to success.  ALL success is preceded by failure.  Your perspective and ability to deal with challenges and failures intelligently is the only thing you can control.

-The reason people lie is to avoid the pain of challenge and its consequences.  This includes lying to oneself.

-We must be able to focus on the long-term results of our choices in order to successfully Delay Gratification.  How do we develop this ability?  Create a tool.

-Youearn the right to succeed.  How high a price you pay depends on who you purchased your information from.

Success may be SIMPLE, but it is not EASY.  The way to propell yourself to success is to be so aware of how painful it is to NOT SUCCEED that you procrastinate towards success.  That is to say, you automatically choose to avoid the greater of two pains.

1.  The pain of failure and the effort required to succeed.

2.  The pain of failing to ACHIEVE your Incredible Potential.

-Parents should be given a book on how to raise children when they leave the hospital.

-Couples should be given a book on marriage as they enter into pre-marital counseling.  Create the tools that allow them to assess their beliefs and how well those match with their partner before marriage.  Create tools that allow the partners to communicate without arguing.

LOVE

-Love is not a FEELING.  You are not "In Love" you are simply experiencing the feeling of infatuation.  Love is developed BEYOND the feeling of infatuation.  Love is as love does.  It is both an intention and an action.  Love is an action and it is a choice.   You don't "think" love, you don't even "feel" love, you demonstrate it and experience it's results.  

An alcoholic whose wife and children are desperately in need of his attention at that very moment may be sitting in a bar with tears in his eyes saying, "I really love my family".  People who neglect their children in the grossest of ways will often consider themselves the most loving parents.  It is clear that their actions do not demonstrate the love that they profess.

-Falling out of love:  One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place.  Gradually or suddenly, you fall out of love.  Once again, you recognize that you are two separate individuals.  At this point, you either begin to dissolve the ties of your relationship or begin to initiate the work of real loving.

-Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience.  Falling in love is not.

-The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love.  You cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to PASSIVELY be loved.  Again, you Earn the Right.  If you want to be loved, be loving.  If you desire certain things in a partner, first you must have those things yourself.

-Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well.  It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing.  It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting.  It is LEADERSHIP.  The word "judicious" means requiring judgment and judgment requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision making.  Develop some examples and consider building a tool.

-A full life will be one full of pain, but the only alternative is not to life fully or not to live at all.  Genuine love not only respects the individuality of the other, but actually seeks to cultivate it, even at the risk of separation or loss.

GOOD vs. EVIL LOVE vs. HATE  DISCIPLINE vs. LAZINESS

EVIL-Evil, or sin does exist; it is our laziness, our tendency to put off pain, to procrastinate.  It exists in all of us - infants, children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, the wise and the stupid.  Some may be less lazy than others, but we are all lazy to some extent.  No matter how energetic, ambitious or even wise we may be, if we truly look into ourselves we will find laziness lurking at some level.  It is the force of entropy within us, pushing us down and holding us back from achieving our potential.

Evil is real.  It is not the figment of the imagination of a primitive religious mind feebly attempting to explain the unknown.  There really are people and institutions made up of people, who respond with hatred in the presence of goodness and would destroy the good insofar as it is in their power to do so.  (North Korea, Nazis...see how it involves CONTROL as opposed to CARE?)  The do this not with conscious malice but blindly, lacking awareness of their own evil--indeed, seeking to avoid any such awareness (So they avoid the challenge of Listening, Thinking, Caring and Growing.  Evil the avoidance of challenging ourselves.)  

Evil people hate truth because it reveals themselves to themselves.  They hate goodness because it reveals their "badness"; they hate love because it reveals their laziness (their avoidance of the four challenges).  Evil is laziness carried to its extreme.  Truly evil people ACTIVELY avoid extending themselves (they actively avoid caring). As their integrity is threatened by the truth around them, they seek to crush and destroy those influences.   If necessary, they will even kill to escape the pain of their own spiritual growth (think of dictators and how they KILL people that challenge their views in any way).  EVIL is the imposition of one's will on others by force or manipulation in order to avoid extending one's self.  Ordinary laziness is non-love; evil is anti-love.

You CAN'T AVOID PAIN.  Love involves doing the things we find challenging.  It is hard to care for someone when we may experience pain, rejection or disappointment because of our love.  If I chose to love my daughter deeply and she dies, I will feel incredible pain.  If I don't get to attached, I can avoid that pain.  If I chose to love my daughter and she makes poor choices that hurt her, I suffer with her in pain.  If I chose to love my daughter and she rejects me, I suffer the pain of rejection.

If I chose to CONTROL my daughter I can avoid temporary pain.  If I use physical discipline in order to achieve instant obedience out of fear, I have temporary success, but long-term defeat.

If I chose to CARE for my daughter by paying attention to her, by praising her 10 times as often as I tell her "NO!", she will learn that life is more enjoyable when she is doing the things that daddy likes. 

If I CARE enough to allow her to make choices based on consequences, my daughter will learn to think and act in ways that benefit her, even when I'm not there.  On the other hand, if I use physical discipline to get instant obedience, my daughter will not learn to make choices and will one day defy my authority and make choices with MASSIVE negative consequences because I haven't allowed her to develop her own understanding.  

If I have CONTROLLED her through fear and intimidation, the only choice she has is to be a shrinking violet, a problem teenager, or least likely, she'll develop her own understanding without the benefit of a relationship with me, her father.

People have raised successful children without reading a single book on the subject.  What's there secret?  They actively love their children.  They respect them as individuals.  They don't try to CONTROL them.  They spend MUCH MORE TIME actively in their children's lives.  They listen to their children and earn the right to be trusted advisors.

 Listening well is an exercise of attention and by necessity hard work.  True listening, no matter how brief, requires tremendous effort.  First of all, it requires total concentration.  You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.  If a parent wants to listen to a child, they must put aside everything else.  Listening to a child is a labor of love.  Without love to motivate the parent, it can't be done.  Conversely, if you don't listen to your child, you're not LOVING your child.  Develop a TOOL to develop the ability to listen.

Being WISE- "Shallow brooks run noisy, still waters run deep"

http://www.mscottpeck.com 

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