Books: Debbie Ford’s “The Best Year Of Your Life”, by Pranada Devi
For many whose lives are affected by the rhythm of “back to school” in September (whether as students, teachers, parents or support staff), the beginning of an academic year can feel like even more of a new year than January 1. The fresh pens and blank notebooks bring a sense of potential for making positive changes, resolving to do things differently this year, setting goals for the year to come.
I certainly felt this way about each new school or university year I undertook. As a student, I wanted to believe each September that this would be the year I’d be more organized, apply myself better to my studies, get more use out of my gym membership, complete some ambitious project on the side… Somehow, most of these goals would fall by the wayside within a few weeks of the start of the term, and I would wonder why I couldn’t do better, feeling disgusted with myself for being “lazy”.
If you recognize yourself in this pattern, or if you have been struggling to make changes in your life, Debbie Ford’s “The Best Year of Your Life” could be just what you need to read.
Debbie Ford’s work ultimately shines the light of clarity into the confused, disconnected, “happening TO me” victim mentality to which we can all fall prey. In “The Best Year Of Your Life” she encourages the reader to recognize the real underlying reasons why we may not be moving as quickly towards our goal as we want to think we should be. We often want to use external circumstances as excuses for not living the life we want to live.
Don’t get fooled into thinking for one more minute that the best year of your life will just happen… if you are lucky. […] The best year of your life is possible no matter what is going on around you. It is yours for the taking. This year, you get to choose what actions you will take and what behaviors you will engage in. You get to choose, in response to the issues you are dealing with, whether you will give up your right to have everything you desire, settling for the illusion of ease that comes from blindly repeating the past – or whether you will tread a new path.
Although at first class this process might seem daunting, it is really much simpler than you might think, because it is one of surrender. It’s the process of letting go of your stories, excuses, and self-imposed limitations. Living your best year calls on you to surrender your outdated beliefs about what you are capable of being or doing and to replace them with the belief that your job is to be the greatest expression of yourself, knowing that there is no finer contribution you can make to this world than fulfilling your highest potential.
– Introduction, “The Best Year Of Your Life”
Ford guides the reader through exercises designed to show our excuses for what they are, so that, by bringing them into the light, they have less power. She also shows how important it is to make realistic plans with a timetable for follow-through, and take concrete action to complete our unfinished business and move forward.
Having read the book through, I’m going to spend some time with it this fall, working my way through the exercises. I welcome you to do the same and share your experience in the comments on this post.
Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She is the Managing Editor of Parvati Magazine, and a fan of Debbie Ford’s books. She serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.