Most readers have a list of books that they would recommend to everyone, and “101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” by Brianna Wiest is high on my list. What’s nice about this book is that it’s divided into short chapters and gives sound advice about life in general.
In the words of Folio, in the essays, “Wiest explores pursuing purpose over passion, embracing negative thinking, seeing the wisdom in daily routine and becoming aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life.”
According to Lancaster Online, “Wiest works as a writer and copy editor for Fine Living Lancaster. She also founded the website Soul Anatomy and has written sponsored content for brands including Smartwater and HBO’s ‘Girls.’ She briefly moved to New York after graduating from Elizabethtown, but returned to Lancaster at the end of 2013.”
Wiest wrote “101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” in 2016. Here are some chapters that I liked and various quotes that stood out to me.
Chapter 14: Expectations You Must Let Go of In Your 20s
Hard work guarantees success. “If you’re looking for any one particular outcome as the end goal of your hard work, you’re most likely going to end up disappointed. The point of hard work is to recognize the person it makes you, not what it ‘gets’ you (the former you can control; the latter, you can’t).”
The right person will come at the right time. “If you wait on the feeling of ‘readiness,’ you’ll be waiting forever, and worse, you’ll miss the best of what’s in front of you.”
Focusing solely on your own needs will make you happiest. However, “meeting your own needs is the first step, not the ultimate goal.”
Chapter 18: 10 Key Things We Misunderstand About Emotion
Fear doesn’t mean a desire to escape. It means you’re interested. “This is to say, nothing is generally ‘scary’ to us unless some part of us also wants to understand it, knows we are a part of it and feels as though it will become part of our experience.”
“You cannot selectively numb emotion. When we numb [hard feelings], we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness.” It’s healthier to experience everything, meaning the good as well as the bad.
Chapter 30: Signs the Only Problem With Your Life Is the Way You Think About It
You generally spend more time thinking about your life than you do actually living it. You’ve replaced “experience” with “reflection” and wonder why you feel unfulfilled.
You think you don’t have enough friends. “You’re measuring the connection in your life by a quantity, not a quality, assuming that the problem is not enough around you, when it’s really that there’s not enough inside you.”
“101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” has tremendously helped me discover myself and learn how I’ve held myself back from things out of fear. Wiest has a way of writing that is very memorable, and it is easy to implement her advice into your daily life.
I think everyone should read “101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think” because it helps you get out of your head and inspires you to live the life you want to live.
If you’re interested in Wiest’s book, you can find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Audible and many other places.