Nearly ten years ago, I received a package in the mail from my father. In it was a worn - out old book that carried the following inscription on the inside front cover: “Dear Robin, some time ago, I picked up this book from a store that sells secondhand books. Though the money paid for this book was nominal, its net worth is tremendous. I enjoyed reading it immensely and I hope you will too. Love, Dad.”
Published in 1946, the book is called Getting the Most Out of Life and is one of the treasures in my library of wisdom literature and self - help books. I have returned to the short essays it contains on a wide range of life improvement topics, bearing titles such as “Wake Up and Live!” “The Business of Living a Long Time” and “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day,” many times over the years and have grown much from the lessons offered. It is truly a priceless possession.
On a recent rainy day, I pulled out the book and flipped through the different chapters, stopping at the one entitled “How to Take a Walk.” In it, author Alan Devoe shares his insights on how one can get the best out of walking. First, he advises, a walk should never have a specific purpose. Rather than having a destination, you should simply immerse yourself in the beauty of the walk itself. Second, you must never take your worries with you on the walk. Leave them at home, for if you don’t, they will become even more deeply rooted in your mind by the end of the walk. And finally, be fully aware. Train yourself to pay complete attention to the sights, sounds and smells. Study the shape of the leaves on the trees. Observe the beauty of the clouds and the fragrance of the flowers. As he concludes: “The world, after all, is not so unendurable, when a person gets a chance to look at it and smell it and feel its texture and be alone with it. This acquaintance with the world - this renewal of the magical happiness and wonderment which you felt when you were a child - such is the purpose of taking walks.”
Excerpt from Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma, www.robinsharma.com