It seems that whenever I’m going through something difficult or about to, I read this book. Gilbert’s words give me hope. It makes me feel as if there is an end to the difficult situations I face.
This time around it’s not a difficult situation but difficult thoughts. I believe I’m suffering from a quarter-life crisis, the current trend on the internet these days. I don’t like trends much but this one seems fitting. I, like a number of 20-somethings/millennials, tend to get a bit anxious when comparing our future goals to our present situation. How will I ever get there? Will I spend the rest of my life doing the same things I’m doing now? Will I progress? When will I be successful? I had hoped that by the age of 25 I would be close to reaching my goals or at least half or quarter of the way there. But no, my dreams are slowly taking their time to come through.
The first time I read Eat, Pray, Love I was at a low moment. I was in a failing relationship. I could see it disintegrating and I had no idea of how to save it. It was also the end of my college years, the best years of my life. I could see myself heading towards a turning point and that turning point seemed to be directing me to go backwards. I realized that due to my exorbitant student loan bills, I would have to move back in with my parents—something I told myself I would never do. At that time, it seemed that I was failing at life: losing and regressing. As such, I was one sad student on graduation day. I didn’t want to leave school, didn’t want to face what would surely come, and my relationship was over. Reading Eat, Pray, Love during that tough time was a small ray of hope. It made me realize that bad situations don’t last forever if you are willing to work towards creating a happier life for yourself.
“Lucky people tend to maximize chance opportunities. They are especially adept at creating, noticing, and acting upon these opportunities when they arise. Second, they tend to be very effective at listening to their intuition, and do work (such as meditation) that is designed to boost their intuitive abilities. The third principle is that lucky people tend to expect to be lucky, creating a series of self-fulfilling prophecies because they go into the world anticipating a positive outcome. Last, lucky people have an attitude that allows them to turn bad luck to good. They don’t allow ill fortune to overwhelm them, and they move quickly to take control of the situation when it isn’t going well for them.”
Have you seen Ken Robinson‘s 2006 TED Talk? If not, you should check it out. It’s hilarious and insightful too. I bumped into it by chance. I was browsing TED.com since I’m addicted to its videos. I think I told myself at that time that I was seeking inspiration or some such excuse for why I was procrastinating. Though Robinson’s talk was mostly a call for reform to the school systems to include more artistic programs and allow students the ability to explore their varied interests, he also spoke about passions, which he calls the Element. I perked up at the mention of this (I’m always interested in passions) and decided to check out his book The Element, which he mentioned in his talk.
It’s a thoughtful read. It will leave you wondering why you didn’t do as some of the people in the book did and just say to hell with everything and do what you really love. Well, that’s what I wondered when I read it. According to Robinson, the Element is something that a person has a passion for and is really good at. It can be something that is artistic like painting or dancing, or it can be something that is analytic like science or business. A person’s Element can be anything and a person can have more than one Element.