Life in the twenty-first century is lightening fast and there is an epidemic of books, business coaches, and gurus who are penning self-help guides, websites, blogs, and more telling us how to do it all and do it faster. The result: people are on overdrive and heading for burnout. Dr. Amy Wood proposes the opposite in her new book, Life Your Way, worth reading before the brain’s byte space is at maximum usage.
Wood emphasizes bolstering one’s capacity for coping and riding the waves as a solution to the frenzied and pervasive force of emerging technology. However, this is not a multi-tasking manifesto. The author encourages readers to do one thing at a time and do it well. Juggling goals, tasks, and personal upgrading simultaneously adds to one’s stress and diminishes a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.
“This book is all about letting go of what’s not working anymore, clearing your head of all those supposed solutions you’ve been inundated with that are only adding to the clamor,” says Wood. “I will give you a basic road map for revitalizing that adult brain you developed in adolescence so that it can once again perform for you in a way that makes you feel good about who you are and where you’re going.”
Life Your Way speaks to the inevitability of change and the discomfort that accompanies it. Adventure is king but adaptability to new circumstances is typically resisted, as it brings one into unchartered waters for more than a brief moment. Wood criticizes quick-fix programs that omit the integration of new behavior that is vital to long-term change.
A self-imposed six-month fast targeting self-help books, seminars, and social and print media led one of Wood’s clients to recognize that she was an addict and a break from the topic precipitated a hard reset. Wood urges readers to take on one self-improvement project at a time to reduce stress related to change and a near impossible to-do list.
Today technology runs one’s life rather than serving it. Driving is no longer in the hands of the driver; the GPS has the controls and intuition has bowed down to external systems. Wood reminds readers that following one’s gut has always eventually yielded better results.
“I have found consistently in my work with both genders that intuition is an experience of inner knowing, an intangible personal adviser, and a faithful barometer,” writes Wood.
The path of least resistance in the name of alleviating stress is a key prong in Wood’s program. Readers are prodded to puzzle out behavior that will allow them to adjust to situations as they arise all with the view to self-care. Merge that advice with the surrender of time management and the reader learns to direct themselves within the constraints of time. The route to productivity and happiness is to synchronize these concepts and to stand strong against the demands and distractions that pervade our present-day culture.