Twenty-sixteen in books: reflecting on the year

Reflecting on twenty-sixteen in the form of my book list. Every year I like to keep a record of the books I’ve read. It’s interesting to reflect on the topics and the focal areas that God has led me to (specifically in the non-fiction category), and the new authors I’ve grown to love as the year has progressed (fiction and audio).

I love reading hard copies of books, but I couldn’t live without my Kindle Paperwhite (perfect for reading just as you drift off to sleep…) or my Audible subscription (great for commuting or when you just don’t have the energy for reading!) Here’s a list of the books I made my way through, if you’re looking for your next read, why not check out one of the below?

Twenty-sixteen non-fiction

Twenty-sixteen fiction

Twenty-sixteen audiobooks

*most of the links included above are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase using these links.

My New ‘Rules’ for Life – Part 2

In the previous post we looked at the pleasure focused rules that I’m trying to live by to allow myself a more enjoyable life. In this post I’m sharing some of the pain focused rules I’ve created to help me avoid feeling the emotions I associate with pain, unnecessarily. This isn’t about avoid conviction, or trying to justify mistakes and wrongful actions when they are done. It’s about refocusing and shifting so that I don’t default to feeling pain when their isn’t a justifiable cause.

So, I have included the new rules for my top four pain values – outlined in my first post on values. This is the criteria they I have to meet in order to feel pain. Rather than being a “catch all” type of rule, as we usually default to, the aim is to be focused so that your only feeling this when you really should, and not at any other time.

Pain focused rules:

Rejection – I avoid the expectation that everyone will agree with my decisions, feelings or opinions.

Humiliation – I avoid letting other people’s opinions distract from my truth worth or value, as a son of the King.

Failure – I avoid defining anything as failure, if I have learnt from the process.

Guilt – I avoid allowing what other people say to determine how I feel about my actions, words and decisions.

What are some of the rules you’ve set yourself up with? How do they impact your life in a positive or negative way?

My New ‘Rules’ For Life – Part One

In my previous post I looked at the values that I prioritise in my life, and listed two lists, one of pleasure focused values and one of pain focused values. The next stage in the process, that was talked about in the following chapter of Antony Robbins book – ReAwaken the Giant, was about the rules that we have set in association with these values.
He put forward the case that we have all, subconsciously through our life experience, given ourselves “rules” that allow us to experience the feelings or emotions we consider pleasurable (or painful). Often these rules are very biased, that mean we spend more time experiencing pain, than pleasure, because our rules are bent so that we very rarely meet our own criteria for feeling loved or appreciated.

Let me illustrate this point. If you value that feeling of love the most, then you may of setup a rule in your head that when someone gives you a really expensive gift, then you can feel loved. Then you might have a second rule, that if they don’t give you an expensive gift, they don’t love you. Therefor you feel rejected. The issue comes because rules you have set depend entirely on other people. So you feeling of being loved is entirely dependant on other people. Also, you have set a very harsh criteria for allowing yourself to feel loved. So your setting yourself up to feel rejected 99% of the time, and loved 1% of the time – because none is going to constantly give you expensive gifts!

So I took my top four values from each of my lists and rewrote the rules that I would use to allow myself to feel that emotion. I removed the dependance on other people, and I increased the criteria to give myself permission to feel the pleasurable emotions more than the painful ones.

Pleasure focused rules:

Love – I feel loved anytime that I am demonstrating love to other people, through gifts, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation or quality time. Anytime I do something for myself that makes me feel good and restores my ability to love others better. Anytime I make a decision for the right reasons.

Intimacy – I feel intimacy when I spend time evaluating how best to meet the unique individual needs of someone. Anytime I spend time getting to know someone to a greater degree. Anytime I’m working closely with someone in achieving a common goal or when I spend time in the affection of my Father.

Success – Anytime I am working in my strengths zone, anytime I am building up others and helping make them better. Anytime I am balancing my commitments in a responsible manner.

Adventure – Anytime I am doing something I have never done before, or in a place I have never been before. Anytime I choose to step out of my comfort zone or choose to challenge myself.

What are some of the rules you’ve set yourself up with? How do they impact your life in a positive or negative way?

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