A friend of mine from college wrote a book entitled, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. The ideas in the book changed my life. They can change yours too, if you let them.
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should read this book.
1) You can trust the author. Kamal Ravikant is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who found himself at rock bottom – a soul-sucking, heart-crushing, body-wrecking bottom. He pulled himself out of that mess with a simple vow to love himself fully, deeply, and completely. He has no motive – not to make money, not to become famous. He just wants to share what he learned with other people so they can maybe avoid going through what he went through.
2) The book is blessedly short. You can read it in under an hour. The author isn’t a scientist, psychologist, or personal development guru. He’s just a guy. Like you. Like me, but not a girl. Having zero credentials works here because he doesn’t spend pages and pages boring the reader to hot “get-to-it-already” tears explaining why he’s qualified to write the book. Nor does he waste our time with scientific gobbly-gook about how the brain works. (That’s the point at which I normally put a book like this down – for good.) He simply explains the exercises as he does them, encourages you to make them your own, and wishes you luck. Minimal pontification. I’m a fan.
3) The cover kicks ass. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in this case an exception should be made. The cover stops you cold — makes you think. The book does too. I’ve read it half a dozen times and I still go back and reread, rethink, analyze and dissect. The cover was designed by Sajid Umerji. I think he’s a rock star.
4) Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It comes highly recommended by really cool people. James Altucher, who encouraged Kamal to write the book, wrote an incredible review immediately after reading it. James is a trader, investor, writer, and entrepreneur who brought himself back from the brink more than a few times. He knows good stuff. This book is good stuff. (Tim Ferris recommended it too!)
5) It’s a steal! It’s 99 cents if you buy the kindle version on Amazon. (Did you know that you don’t have to have a Kindle in order to read a Kindle book? You can download kindle software for free on your PC or Mac.) Or it’s $4.99 for the paperback version. I bought both. My life is better because of my version of the practice Kamal outlines in this book. MY. LIFE. IS. BETTER.
6) The practice that Kamal describes is simple and easy. It doesn’t mean that it’s not work. It is work. But it’s the kind of work you feel good about doing because the results are instantaneous. They will vary for everyone. We’re not all in the same place in our lives or in our minds. But if you approach your own practice with honesty, openness, and a sincere desire to be compassionate to yourself… you will see change. Big change.
7) The stuff inside works. I’m living proof. Since Paris, I’ve been making some pretty significant changes in my life. Loving myself has made it so much easier to make those changes. Has anyone noticed that Russell is happier lately? That’s because his wife has been happier lately!
8) It’s not a cure. It’s a practice. You have to apply what you are reading. Kamal incorporates this into his message by talking about his own experience with letting things slide. You can’t coast. You can’t be lazy. There are no empty promises in this book. No one says, “read this, your life will change.” Rather, it’s “apply this. There will be magic.”
9) The book is dedicated to me! Yep, you heard me right! It’s dedicated to James Altucher, yours truly, and Sajid Umerji because we “made this book happen.” I am the turkey in between some seriously talented bread in this dedication sandwich, and I am so honored. I earned my spot by reading the book when it was simply a collection of Kamal’s thoughts on what he’d been through. I’m grateful that he decided to share it with people. Based on the reviews, they’re a pretty grateful bunch, as well.
10) It’s a solid foundation. The practice that I’ve developed from the ideas in this book has become my foundation. When I’m dedicated to it, magic happens. When I’m not, when I allow myself to coast, to be lazy, (those exact things I said you can’t do) the difference is startling. Things start to feel a little “pre-Paris.” I feel low. It’s easier to feel sad. Eventually, when I’ve had enough, something will remind me of the one question that Kamal gives us as a tool to return to our practice. It’s my favorite part of the whole book. The one question.
If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?
No, I would not. I have no reason to ever again not love myself as completely as I possibly can.
And so I begin again, the work that is changing my life and that I expect will continue to do so for years to come.
You should read this book.
I read this book via a recommendation from James. It is simple, powerful stuff. Your right, it works when I do it and falls away when I get too busy or distracted. Kamal is an amazing and brave and so is everyone who lets go enough to try and love themselves as purely as they do their own children.
I think he’s amazing and brave too.
It’s a Great book, Yes. And exactly for All the reasons you mentioned.
You also mentioned you have your own ‘version of the practice Kamal outlines in this book’. Care to share that?!
I AM looking forward to it.
I tend to be a pragmatist. Practical, logical, cyncial. I’ve been moving away from that but I haven’t completely left it all behind. So, when I do some of the practices in Kamal’s book, I strip away some of the “woo woo.” Which truthfully, isn’t woo woo at all, it’s just a little outside my comfort zone. For example, I don’t picture light from the galaxies flowing through my head during my meditation. I’m simply not comfortable with it. So, I skip that part.
I also don’t use the words “I love myself” when doing mirror affirmations. I say, “I love you.” I found that since I’m looking right at my own face, into my own eyes, I might as well talk directly to my own self.
Interesting things about the mirror affirmations — when Kamal first told me about them, I couldn’t do them. I had to ease my way into them. I started with “I have compassion for myself.” It took a few days of saying this without really feeling it (going on faith) before it clicked. And when it did click, it was amazing. I was astounded. For years I had been very hard on myself, about everything! And suddenly, I found I was giving myself permission to give myself a break. It was freeing. It was a bit of that magic that Kamal talks about in his book. I’m smiling right now thinking about it… I still remember the exact day!
There are other deviations. They are just based on comfort level and what I find works for me. My practice is my own, based on what’s outlined in the book. I don’t think it will remain static. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m rethinking some of it. My first “reason” for saying people should read this book is that they can trust the author. I trust him. So, today, I think I’ll try to imagine light flowing through my head from the universe during my meditation. It’s honestly a goofy notion to me at this point. But so was “loving myself” only nine months ago.
Thanks IMJ. Appreciate.
Agree completely with two of your great observations. ‘I Love myself’ doesn’t work very well all the time. (maybe its because it’s too short a sentence?!) So I split it into its 4 major components and used these as:
- I appreciate myself
- I am very very grateful for myself
- I am very optimistic about myself
- I receive huge joy from myself.
and its always my SELF. The stress is on the self.
Your observation about ‘I love you’ makes perfect sense when you are using the mirror. I’ve been toying with it and its good to receive your validation. (It’s great to know other smart people on the planet think the same way).
The light from the’Top’ btw, works quite well, and is reasonably straightforward. A beam of white light, in at the head, spreads through the body, and out into the ground from under the soles. My take on it is, while passing through the body it Renews, Repairs. Replenishes and Rejuvenates every cell, fibre, tissue in my body.
Do share your other tweaks and tips and tricks.
You are very welcome, of course!
Now that I’m thinking back on it, I went from “I have compassion for myself” to “I cherish myself” to “I love myself” to “I love you.” I think I’ll stay there a while! *smile*
A really good resource for creating your own practice is James Altucher’s post on his daily practice. It’s called How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps (http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/how-to-be-the-luckiest-guy-on-the-planet-in-4-easy-steps/). He breaks his practice into four categories: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual. It’s a great article and has been extremely helpful to me. Most of James’ advice is. I also use his website (The Daily Practice) to track my consistency to my own practice. (http://tdp.me).
You should check it out!
Brilliant book, simple brilliance!
For me, singing is fun way of repeating the mantra . . . (& I have two songs on this topic ~would love to teach them to your beautiful daughters, someday!).
Mahalo, Kristine, for encouraging your friend to publish this awesome book ~it’s a great gift to the world . . . (& the fact that he dedicated it to you shows that your encouragement was meaningful to him).
This book proves, once again, that *Love is always the answer!*
me ke aloha nui loa, Ka’imi
Ka’imi,I would love it if you taught the girls some of your songs. They would love it too.