It has been a while since a book has changed my life. It may seem dramatic, but, I believe that it is your thoughts that make up your actions, which make up your habits, and ultimately make up your life. Reading in general will do that. The pages of infinite books hold secret truths waiting to be uncovered by ardent eyes. But, the truths told in fictional stories are much harder to understand because they live behind a purpose of entertainment. This is not to say that I have not learned a great deal from fiction; it is what transports me to untold places and time periods and has cultivated my love for reading from a young age.

A few years ago, my scope of reading broadened as I searched for ways a book could act like a friend, a mentor. Rather than repeatedly reading about the gripping lives of made-up characters, I wanted something more concrete and profound to help me navigate my own life. This is where I turned to self-help books. Initially, the prospects of a book targeted towards a mass audience seemed ridiculous; as if one book could predict the problems of so many people. I read books by Marie Kondo and thoose with flashy titles like You Are A Badass, but I never found them very relatable or insightful. It took some time to cultivate a knack for choosing the right self-help books, that would actually help rather than just make me seem wise and trendy. And, in July I found a book that had me hooked with each word: 101 Essays that will Change the way You Think by Brianna Wiest.

101 Essays is not a classic self-help book. It does not follow any formal structure, and it is not catered to any specific goal or lifestyle. Instead, each chapter simply addresses shared facets of humanity. For instance, with titles such as “10 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Do Not Do” or “How We Lose Our Minds To Other People’s Gods”, the short chapters are so insightful and almost shocking in their clarity. With every essay, you will be able to reflect on your own beliefs and values, recognize where they came from, and how they may still be holding you back from living the life you want. 101 Essays is not some fad full of fluff to make you feel better about yourself. It is the hard truths that will incite self-development. Below, I will share just some of the numerous lessons I have learned and will return to throughout. my life.

  1. Emotionally intelligent people know that happiness is a choice, but don’t feel the need to make it all the time.
  2. The traits, behaviors, and patterns we dislike in others are really those which we dislike about ourselves.
  3. Your primary relationship should be with yourself, and you should work on it tirelessly.
  4. Real emotional maturity is not how infrequently you feel anything bad, it is how thoroughly you let yourself feel anything. Everything. Whatever comes.
  5. People believe apathy is safety. Have an incredible life and mourn wildly when its over, but have a meanss to an end.
  6. The feelingss you most suppress are the most important ways to guide yourself.
  7. You will never be ready for the things that matter. Do one little thing today and let the momentum build.
  8. You are not respsonssible for being the person you once thought you’d be.
  9. The world is not as it is; it is as we are.
  10. If you only gauge your body’s acceptability by comparision, you’ll never be enough.
  11. Give your energy to what matters most, when you have the most of it.
  12. Make sure you’re living more than you’re thinking about living.
  13. You either see yourself as a victim of what happenss to you, or as someone given the opportunity to change, grow, see differently, and expand.
  14. Success is more a product of habit than skill.
  15. You cannot convince someone to love you if they don’t.
  16. You don’t need to be perfect to be good enough.
  17. In feeling helpless, you learn to take care of yourself. In feeling used, you recognize your worth.
  18. Your problems aren’t so much “not having” as they are not recognizing what you do have.
  19. If you believe your fate is yours to choose, you will. If you don’t, you’ll stay victimized
  20. Your gut voice will never go ignored. Learn to listen when it’s little.

There is so much more to take from this compilation. I highly reccomend it to anyone looking to explore their own subconscious and change the way they think.

Happy Living

“It’s not about getting over things, it’s about making room for them. It’s about painting the picture with contrast.”
― Brianna Wiest

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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