The path of least resistance is the easiest path to travel. A good friend of mine once said “any dead fish can float downstream.” It is easier for us to remain where we are in life rather than make significant changes to alter the course we are on. It is easy to become overwhelmed as we try to plan out a course of action to achieve our goals and dreams. Hopefully, what follows will help simplify the process and put you on a more focused course to success.
Years ago a young woman came to me for help. To maintain confidentiality, I will invent a name for her. I’ll call her Mary. This young woman in her late thirties had a history of self-mutilation and suicidal behavior. She came in for pastoral counseling, and I agreed to see her only if her psychiatrist agreed and was kept fully informed.
That issue out of the way, her first appointment was made. My secretary brought me her file, including the pre-process forms I used. As I reviewed the information in the file, I was taken by the fact that one of her prior therapists was a famous psychiatrist. I thought to myself, “And what on earth am I to do if this person couldn’t help her?”
I have a confession: When I go to a bookstore, I like hanging out in the self-help section. I don’t know if it’s because I think I’ll find a book that will solve all my problems, or if seeing all the books on problems I don’t have makes me feel better about myself. But whatever it is, I keep going back.
On recent visits, I’ve noticed a trend: The market has been glutted by books promising the secrets to happiness. That might not seem new (isn’t happiness the point of the entire section?), but these aren’t touchy-feely self-help titles – they’re books by scientific researchers, who claim to offer prescriptions based on rigorous empirical research. It’s all part of the “positive psychology” movement that has spilled out of academic journals and into best-selling books, popular magazine articles, and even school curricula.