Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart


I found the book last night in local B&N. At first glance, the title just shocked me with its cold and sad truth-telling. The book has a long full title which reads Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now, and since it is placed within the category of self-improving, I assumed it is as the other self-improving books I have ever read – nothing but cheap BS. Anyway, I opened it, just for a quick view of the 30 laws.

And I was electrified to read this one:
There is nothing more pointless, or common, than doing the same things and expecting different results.

And this changed all my view about this book.

It is not my intent do discuss about this "law" in detail. Everyone can understand it, but only when you realize your fault, when you already feel like old too soon and smart too late, you begin to feel the power in this law. We are not that smart, even if we think we are smart, and it is not being smart enough that we do the same thing again and again and hope to get better results.

This is different than perseverance. Perseverance is, like Edison did numerous experiments to find the right material for the incandescent light bulb, to achieve the goal without repeating the same failure.

And here are the 30 laws provided by Dr. Gordon Livingston in his book.
1. If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong.
2. We are what we do.
3. It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place.
4. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas.
5. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least.
6. Feelings follow behavior.
7. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.
8. The perfect is the enemy of the good.
9. Life’s two most important questions are "Why?" and "Why not?" The trick is knowing which one to ask.
10. Our greatest strengths are our greatest weakness.
11. The most secure prisons are those we construct for ourselves.
12. The problems of the elderly are frequently serious but seldom interesting.
13. Happiness is the ultimate risk.
14. True love is the apple of Eden.
15. Only bad things happen quickly.
16. Not all who wander are lost.
17. Unrequited love is painful but not romantic.
18. There is nothing more pointless, or common, than doing the same things and expecting different results.
19. We flee from the truth in vain.
20. It’s a poor idea to lie to oneself.
21. We are all prone to the myth of the perfect stranger.
22. Love is never lost, nor even in death.
23. Nobody likes to be told what to do.
24. The major advantage of illness is that it provides relief form responsibility.
25. We are afraid of the wrong things.
26. Parents have a limited ability to shape children’s behavior, except for the worse.
27. The only real paradises are those we have lost.
28. Of all the forms of courage, the ability to laugh is the most profoundly therapeutic.
29. Mental health requires freedom of choice.
30. Forgiveness is a form of letting to, but they are not the same thing.

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