This is a partial summary of The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels (2012-05-29). Random House, Inc.
Here’s a common objection to being grateful. Many of us are actually afraid to be happy. We are afraid we’ll stop bettering ourselves if we’re content or grateful. This is our culture moving us along naturally.
Some are willing to be called lazy in order to hang on to their worries rather than to show or feel gratefulness. (Grateful for what?!)
Yet, gratefulness brings with it positive changes.
Behind the objections to gratefulness lies a dark, pessimistic view of human beings: that we’re lazy and can only be roused to move forward by threats to our survival. In essence, this is teaching we’re motivated only by the adrenaline released when we’re scared.
Is it that I wasn’t there at birth?
Am I an addition?
An identity developed naturally by interacting with family, clan and culture and used as an interface to the world for the being that was born? Then what?
Do I develop into an imaginary entity who knows best how to use its steed? The steed’s my host and has the most wonderful equipment and tools given freely, and it’s a permanent home for me: its biggest and best dream. And the being has no name because it’s mine.
Is it that the being doesn’t care about names?
Is the being’s calling to provide only time and talent?
Can the being be discovered and experienced outside of my lair of language?
Is the being a horse to be ridden by a cause? To be spiritual must I slip pass the door of conformity?
Is setting one’s horse free something that happens between an individual (the ego) and all of existence and is not necessarily concerned with tradition?
Is full awareness powerful enough to shatter my bastion of identity if it happened to me? Why does this possibility give me fear? Because I fear the unknown like any reasonable person?
What would happen to me, the identity?
Is it that I’m bound up in time’s imaginary linear rope and thus the traditions of my culture? What preserves this huge pile of influence? Is it part of the being’s luggage?
Is spirituality permeating me at this moment and I can’t perceive it because of my normal and habitual condition? What is this condition? Is it the going constantly back and forth from an entertainment to a constant dance with thoughts both spoken and silent?
Well, what’s the matter with that? Is it that it doesn’t allow my horse (my body and brain) to be free (to completely relax) from time to time?
Is good food and good exercise and good rest the health trinity? Or should good projects be included? A foursome!
What is the best setting for the successful functioning of an enterprise? Does this mean all enterprises such as families, businesses, charities, clubs, governments, etc.?
Could the best setting be having the best type of culture permeating throughout a particular enterprise? If so, what type of culture is best for growing and maintaining a successful enterprise? Is it one that honors continued learning, curiosity, and free expression?