Second Mix - Reflect, Revise, and Remix Your Life

Book Jam: Swipe Right On Your Best Self by Eric Winters

August 12, 2021 Matthew A Bennett Season 1 Episode 56
Second Mix - Reflect, Revise, and Remix Your Life
Book Jam: Swipe Right On Your Best Self by Eric Winters
Show Notes Transcript

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Book Jam - A review, summary, of Eric Winter's book Swipe Right On Your Best Self.

It’s so hard to categorize life in a way that makes sense. Life is too big to fit into a little container that we can study and understand it. That’s why there are so many books on the topic – too many for me to read in a lifetime, though I’ll still try. I like to study the way authors categorize things in their own minds and try to make it simple for the readers, and Winters does a brilliant job of both – made even better by the wide variety of concepts he covers.

ericwinters.com
Swipe Right on Your Best Self

 SM056 Book Jam – Swipe Right on Your Best Self by Eric Winters

 

Many times, when I meet people at various places online, I see that they have written a book. I used to always buy the book and read it because that’s what I do. I stopped that habit, though, because so often I’d read the book and be disappointed; either it didn’t live up to its promise or it turned out to be a lead generator that didn’t give any real value, like those free PDF books you get from so many coaches and consultants online that essentially give you half the story, and you’ll need to buy some program or offer if you want the rest of the story. After I met self-leadership speaker Eric Winters, I bought his book Swipe Right on Your Best Self. I’m not sure why I got it, and I wasn’t expecting much because I thought it may be like so many others. I was wrong. This book was full of excellent, well-studied information and I was blown away that it was so well-written. It’s become one of my favorites, and it’s already been helpful in my life. Let me tell you why in 5 4 3 2 1.

 

On today’s book jam we’re talking about the book Swipe Right on Your Best Self by Eric Winters. This book has laid out personal development material so thoughtfully, and so beautifully simplifies some complex topics, that it should be up there in the charts with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Start With Why. I’ll highly recommend it from the beginning. 

 

It’s so hard to categorize life in a way that makes sense. Life is too big to fit into a little container that we can study and understand it. That’s why there are so many books on the topic – too many for me to read in a lifetime, though I’ll still try. I like to study the way authors categorize things in their own minds and try to make it simple for the readers, and Winters does a brilliant job of both – made even better by the wide variety of concepts he covers. 

 

One more thing before I get into what I learned – I love when authors include a bibliography in the book, and Winters seems dedicated to our continuing education beyond this one book. He includes so much good material to follow up on that I’m using it now as a must-read list – to hit all the books he mentioned that I’ve never read, and sometimes never even heard of. 

 

There is so much that is good here, that it was difficult to pick, but I want to give you some highlights – keep in mind this is just a fraction of what I learned. 

 

Three Things I Learned

 

1.     There is a list in the book that shows us a list of “Toxic Myths” that our culture feeds to us, that we automatically believe. These are fed to us primarily through advertising, and the assumptions advertisers make about what will get through to us. Myths such as these: Happiness is the natural state for all human beings – if you’re not happy, something is wrong. I’ve mentioned this in previous episodes, and I believe that the thought came primarily from this book. That’s not the whole list, but the rest of the list is just as insightful, and it comes with a helpful strategy, what Winters calls a “Nourishing Truth” that counters each Toxic Myth. He explains that much of this advertising and messaging “amounts to a steady diet of junk values and unhealthy ideas. These messages are designed to exploit the first human predicament: they take advantage of our ability to imagine threats that do not exist – they debilitate us for their own advantage.”

2.     I learned the concept of Defiant Gratitude. This included a list of the things that undermine our ability to be grateful, like our bias toward negativity – or as I’ve always called it, the downward pull of the normal negative – it takes effort to be grateful, we take the familiar for granted and begin to feel entitled to the things in our lives. We hear about the benefits of gratitude all the time in personal development, but it’s more than just listing off things that we know we SHOULD be grateful for. Be defiant against these things that block you from expressing gratitude and determine to be grateful regardless of circumstances. 

3.     If someone had told me before I read this book to practice self-compassion, I would have said that it sounds wishy-washy and a little too soft to have any real impact on my life. I would have also said that it would allow me to make excuses for things I should be doing, and then make myself feel okay that I’m not doing them. I was wrong here. Self-criticism is not the same thing as self-evaluation. Self-evaluation is important – in this podcast, that the reflect, revise, remix in the slogan, and it’s critical to our growth. Self-criticism is self harm. In the author’s words it “saps self confidence and depletes your ability to take courageous actions. At its worst it fuels perfectionism – only flawless performance is satisfactory. Anything else means you’re worthless.”

 

Being kind to ourselves, being caring toward ourselves at times when we are prone to harsh, self-critical thoughts is a blessing – we can choose to treat ourselves as a valued friend and take the time to help ourselves through the experience. 

 

 

Three Things I’ll Change

1.     Although I’ve read it in other books, this one drove home a belief that good sleep, exercise and healthy eating mind and mood enhancer, with the secondary effect of being healthy to the body. I am going to change my view on these and not do them to simply be in shape, but to allow them to make me fit for my mission on this earth – giving me the presence of mind, the energy, and the focus to keep striving to be my best self.

2.     I am going to begin to be my own best friend. I’m going to start practicing self-compassion. If I start internally chastising myself, and saying things that I would never say to another human being, when I catch myself doing it, I’ll acknowledge what it is that I’m doing, forgive myself, and then address in a compassionate way whatever issue is going on that I was chastising myself for. It does absolutely no good to be mean to myself, but it will do a lot of good to be kind, and I look forward to my future of pressing on with this attitude. 

3.     Over the past few years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with affirmations. Some successful teachers, like Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar, swear by them and teach that if you want to be successful, you will recite affirmations multiple times a day. The reasoning behind this is that we will act out who we believe ourselves to be, so it’s a form of self-advertising in hope that we will change our self-image and start acting on the new self-image we are implanting with the affirmation. I’ve been doing them off and on with interesting results. When I do them, there is no noticeable change, even over time. And when I don’t do them, I feel guilty because I should be doing them. I’m now going to begin using a completely new method of self-affirmation. Winters refers to this as a self-image carved from actual experience. I’m going to focus on my successes and not focus on my failures. It’s good to analyze failure (reflect, revise, remix!) by to dwell on the failure is to rehearse the failure, thereby getting better at failing. But if I dwell on my success, my wins, and say, “That’s like me” every time I do something I’m proud of, I reinforce the actions that brought me the win, and reinforce the idea that this success is part of me, it’s who I am. I’m going to ditch affirmations for a few months, not feel guilty about it, and begin saying “That’s like me, that’s who I am,” every time I do something in line with my values and with who I want to be. 

 

The most important passage in the book

 

Our minds and bodies are the vehicles we use to navigate life. When we neglect them we set ourselves up for disappointment, inevitably becoming more reactive, defensive, and avoidant – more likely to lead the lives others expect of us. When we take care of our craft, we become increasingly proactive, intentional, and courageous. Better able to live lives true to ourselves. 

 

This week, I’ve taken an exercise straight out of the book – two questions that I ask myself weekly now, after reading the book, and they have been helpful – giving me real clarity about some things. Ask yourself these two questions – give yourself time to thing about them and answer them. 

 

If there was one thing that you could start doing right away to make life more worthwhile, which one thing would make the biggest difference?

 

If there was one thing that you could stop doing right away to make life more worthwhile, which one thing would make the biggest difference?

 

I can’t express this enough – get this book and read it once a year. It’s easy to read, entertaining, and it fills your head with the right stuff. I’m adding it to the canon of material I review regularly to keep myself on track and make sure I’m living by the precepts I’ve decided to live by. Don’t miss the interview with the author two days from now, on Saturday. Today, start swiping right on your best self!