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25 - Constructive_Living

25 - Constructive_Living

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Published by: karyoyau on Feb 26, 2011
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Cnrciv Living © Cpyrigh Philphr’N pag 1
Constructive Living
Outgrow shyness, depression, fear, stress, grief,chronic pain. Achieve the goal of ConstructiveLiving--to do everything well.
by David K. Reynolds
University of Hawaii Free Press © 1984120 pages
The Big Ideas
The Goal:
The Five Principles
Of Constructive Living.
Copernicus & You.
Lessons in astronomy.
The First Step
Take it.
The Question:
Now what needs to bedone?
Doing Depression
Stop doing it!
Fear & Stress
We all have it.
Mastery of Life
& Constructive Living.
The Big Ideas
“There are no neurotics or geniuses or ailures or ools. There are only neurotic moments,ashes o brilliance, ailed opportunities, and stupid mistakes. But these moments, pleas-ant or unpleasant, can never fx us into rigid, immutable characters. We cannot help butchange. This book is about choosing the direction o your changingness and acting uponyour choice.”~ David K. Reynolds rom
Constructive Living Constructive Living 
.It’s a book a riend and avorite author o mine, Dan Millman (
The Way o the PeaceulWarrior 
Everyday Enlightenment
, etc.), recommended to me. I’ve always admired Dan andhis work or his ability to blend East and West with an ultimate ocus on ACTION. And,now I know why he recommended this book to me: it’s an incredible manual on how tomaster ourselves and learn to take consistent, impeccable action.
Constructive Living 
is based on the undamental notion that, although we can’t controlour eelings, we CAN control our behaviors. And, as a result, crat our ideal lie. Or, asReynolds says so poetically: “Our behavior is controllable in a way that our eelings arenot. There is a very special satisaction or the Artist o Living who works within lie’slimits to produce a fne sel-portrait. The more control we develop over our actions, themore chance we have o producing a sel we can be proud o.”That, in a nutshell, is what Constructive Living is all about.I have no doubt you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a quick read--only 120 pages--and I’m excited toshare some o my avorite Big Ideas with you now!
The Goal: Self-Mastery  
“The mature human being goes about doing what needs to be done regardless o whetherthat person eels great or terrible. Knowing that you are the kind o person with that kindo sel-control brings all the satisaction and confdence you will ever need. Even on dayswhen the satisaction and confdence just aren’t there, you can get the job done anyway.”Amen. It’s amazing to me to look back at my own lie and see the swings o productivity--up and down... up and down--dependent on what was going on outside o me. To watchmy own maturity into the kind o human being that can more and more consistentlyshow up in spite o what’s going on has, as Reynolds so powerul articulates, given me an
Cnrciv Living © Cpyrigh Philphr’N pag 2
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery thanmastery of oneself.” 
~ Leonardo da Vinci
“He who rules his spirit haswon a greater victory thanthe taking of a city.” 
~ Jesus
“Don’t think you can attaintotal awareness and wholeenlightenment without prop-er discipline and practice.This is egomania. Appro-priate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without thediscipline to practice them,you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.” 
~ Lao-tzu
“In every stressful situation,in every neurotic symptom,in every misdeed, there areelements of good.” 
~ David K. Reynolds
Notes & quotes
incredible amount o satisaction and confdence.How about you? My hunch is that you’ve experienced the same thing.So, how can we celebrate the victories in our own sel-mastery while looking deeperwithin to see the (pesky little!) habits we still have that don’t serve us--the times whenwe’re still too bueted by our circumstances or mood?What’s one thing you know you need to be doing in your lie that you’re not currentlydoing?(Mine: quit checking my email and/or ESPN when I get stuck in a project! :)You?“That’s the ultimate goal o Constructive Living--to help you
do everything well
, with ullattention.”
The Five Principles of Constructive Living 
“Feelings are uncontrollable directly by the will.1.Feelings must be recognized and accepted as they are.2.Every eeling, however unpleasant, has its uses.3.Feelings ade in time unless they are restimulated.4.Feelings can be directly inuenced by behavior.”5. Ah. Love it.So, let’s start with Principle #1: “Feelings are uncontrollable directly by the will.” Whetherwe choose to admit it or not, we cannot directly control our eelings with our will. (You’llnotice, however, in Principle #5, that we can INFLUENCE our eelings through ourBEHAVIOR. Important distinction we’ll discuss in a moment.)So, we can’t directly control our eelings by our will. The act is that eelings come andthey go--kinda like clouds in the sky and weather patterns in our daily lives. Try as wemay to control them, we’ll have waves o anger or erotic thoughts or other such emotions.That’s just how it is.With Principle #1 in place, Reynolds brings us to Principle #2: “Feelings must be recog-nized and accepted as they are.” Simple point here: i you can’t control it, just accept it.Which leads us to #3: “Every eeling, however unpleasant, has its uses.” This one’s reallycool. Let’s say you’re eeling pain or anger or rustration. See i you can step outside theimmediate experience o that emotion and see how that eeling might be able to help youunderstand yoursel better.Your pain--whether it’s your headache or your relationship turmoil--is pointing to an areao your lie that needs an adjustment. That’s useul. To ignore the eeling or be upset withit is kinda like being upset with your fre alarm going o because you have a fre. It’s aGOOD thing the alarm is going o so you can take ACTION! (Right?!?) Same with allyour eelings. They ALL have their uses. Trick is to step back and see them rather thangetting caught up in wishing you weren’t experiencing them. :)Alright. Now to #4: “Feelings ade in time unless they are restimulated.”Think about it: i we’d just quit recalling our negative eelings and re-telling our painulstories to everyone we meet, those eelings would ade. So, quit restimulating them everymoment o your lie and let them ade already!! :)
Cnrciv Living © Cpyrigh Philphr’N pag 3
“He who controls othersmay be powerful, but hewho has mastered himself is mightier still.” 
~ Lao-tzu
“One of the key aims of Constructive Living is to pull your attention away from ex-cessive self-focus and pushit outward until you begin tosee your self as part of your own surroundings.” 
~ David K. Reynolds
How about you: Can you think o an area o your lie where the eeling would ade i you’djust stop restimulating it?!?OK. We’re on a roll now. Time or #5: “Feelings can be directly inuenced by behavior.”Aha! So, although eelings CANNOT be directly
by our will, they CAN beINFLUENCED by our behavior. So, what’s that mean?In short, it means when you take action consistent with your highest sel, you’ll experienceeelings o confdence and satisaction consistent with the knowing that you’re
yourhighest sel. Make sense?I like to think o negative emotions like anxiety and depression and rustration as God’sway o politely slapping us into shape. It’s basically a git--giving us a reminder that we’reo.Juxtapose that with the git we get when we help people or example.Did you know that when you do something kind or someone, serotonin--the drug phar-maceuticals make billions rom by pumping into those little pills so many take like candythese days!!--is released in your brain--giving you the wonderul eeling o calm happiness.Ahhhh... Not only that, but the person
your act o kindness also has serotoninreleased. Ahhhh... AND (!) anyone
you perorm your kind act
has serotoninreleased. Amazing.THAT may just be the coolest example o action inuencing eelings that I can think o.Good stu.So, to re-cap: eelings come and they go (i we let them...and we should defnitely letthem!). Although we can’t
directly contro
l our eelings through our will (that is, we can’tMAKE ourselves eel blissul ALL the time), we CAN inuence our eelings by takingpositive action.Powerul stu.As we said beore, “Our behavior is controllable in a way that our eelings are not. There isa very special satisaction or the Artist o Living who works within lie’s limits to producea fne sel-portrait. The more control we develop over our actions, the more chance wehave o producing a sel we can be proud o.”Now, let’s move on to:
Copernicus & You 
You remember Copernicus, right? He’s the brilliant guy who pointed out to the world theact that the Earth was not, ater all, in the center o the universe. D’oh.Well, guess what? Same thing with our lives.“The most peaceul people I know have given themselves away... On the other hand, themost miserable people I have known have been sel-ocused. They worry about getting
share; they evaluate everyone’s acts in terms o how they themselves are aected.”The moment we realize that we ARE NOT the center o the universe, remarkable thingshappen.“The Japanese language uses a single word or sel-centered and selfsh. The word is “
.” It means, literally, the sel in the middle o the heart--the ego in the center o themind. It means putting Old Number One frst.”

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