Lessons for Living Book Summary - Lessons for Living Book explained in key points
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Lessons for Living summary

Phil Stutz

What Only Adversity Can Teach You

3.9 (139 ratings)
12 mins
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    Lessons for Living
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    Have you ever struggled with summoning or maintaining discipline? We won’t ask for a hand raise – very few of us haven’t. Whether it’s a late-night raid of the cookie jar or consecutive weekends spent working rather than resting, we all have our poison. But, as you’ve likely realized by now, the rich and fulfilling life you seek will continue to elude you so long as you’re hooked.

    We can think of discipline as a proper relationship to the higher power of time. In the ancient world, rituals were an inherent part of life, tied just as readily to the passing of the day as to the passing of the seasons. Our shift away from these interwoven routines and practices is one reason Stutz believes we see such a general lack of discipline today. 

    Another reason is the modern rise of technology in our world. It’s paradoxical, but the more machines and devices we own, the less freedom of time we have. Just think of the time sacrificed getting your car serviced, or responding to emails, texts and DMs. It’s no wonder discipline has become an increasingly rare commodity.

    When we acknowledge and submit to the higher power of time, we rightfully return it to a force worthy of our respect. We come to see that re-ritualizing our activities and carving out a regular space for them imbues them with meaning, and it’s this sense of meaning that gives us the energy to show up to our commitments day after day, and month after month. This is the secret to discipline, and it will transform your life.

    At this point, you may be thinking, “Well, that’s good to know, but how can I benefit from this in a practical way?”

    An unexpectedly powerful way to better wield the flow of time and unlock the energy to consistently execute is to complete a nightly review at the end of each day. In this review, specify when you will eat, exercise, sleep, work, and pray the following day. Ideally, your days would follow the same 24-hour rhythm, but of course, life happens, and you’ll occasionally need to adapt. Symbolically, this exercise encourages you to create and curate each day you live, bestowing each one with a meaning unique to you. 

    In a way, the secret of discipline is no secret at all. The universe operates in effortless rhythm, so it makes sense that we – a slice of this same universe – would too. But the clamor and clutter of today’s world have knocked us out of this invisible flow, and, as a result, discipline now seems like something exclusive to the superhumans among us. Really, it’s an innate quality we all possess.

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    What is Lessons for Living about?

    Lessons for Living (2023) is a collection of short essays that speak to the pivotal role acknowledgment of higher forces plays in effective psychotherapy and self-development. It argues that all our modern psychological ailments – from a lack of discipline to the pervasive background hum of dissatisfaction – can be healed with a proper understanding and appreciation of the powers that govern all of creation. 

    Lessons for Living Review

    Lessons for Living (2021) is a book that offers valuable insights on how to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • By providing practical strategies and lessons, it equips readers with tools to navigate life's challenges and make the most of every experience.
    • Through compelling stories and personal anecdotes, it offers relatable examples that help readers apply the lessons to their own lives.
    • With its engaging and accessible writing, the book manages to captivate readers and keep them hooked throughout, ensuring that it is anything but boring.

    Who should read Lessons for Living?

    • Anyone committed to thriving in today’s adversity-rife world
    • Individuals seeking meaning through a struggle or obstacle
    • Readers of personal development and self-help titles

    About the Author

    Phil Stutz is an American psychiatrist and author, perhaps most popularly known for his appearance in the Netflix documentary Stutz. Together with his partner Barry Michels, Stutz has co-authored two previous best-selling books – The Tools and Coming Alive – which offer practical techniques for overcoming adversity and living more fulfilling lives. 

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    Lessons for Living FAQs 

    What is the main message of Lessons for Living?

    The main message of Lessons for Living is to embrace and overcome challenges to live a fulfilling life.

    How long does it take to read Lessons for Living?

    The reading time for Lessons for Living varies depending on the reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Lessons for Living a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Lessons for Living is worth reading as it provides valuable insights and tools to improve your well-being and navigate life's obstacles.

    Who is the author of Lessons for Living?

    The author of Lessons for Living is Phil Stutz.

    What to read after Lessons for Living?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Lessons for Living, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Be the Love You Seek by Nicole LePera
    • Know What Matters by Ron Shaich
    • Make Possibilities Happen by Grace Hawthorne
    • Building a Non-Anxious Life by John Delony
    • Securely Attached by Eli Harwood
    • The Tools by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels
    • Generosity Wins by Monte Wood & Nicole F. Roberts
    • Coming Alive by Barry Michels and Phil Stutz
    • The Strategy Legacy by Alex Brueckmann
    • Same as Ever by Morgan Housel