Lori's Book Nook

Aim to Thrive

Posted on: July 13, 2009

The advantage of having an active book fetish is that it attracts other bookish people, and their books.

I recently received a copy of Kathrin Lake’s new book From Survival to Thrival: How to catch the boat to y our successful, thriving life (even if you thought you’d missed it) from the author:

#1 Thrival Guide for Career, Love and Life

#1 Thrival Guide for Career, Love and Life

It’s a mouthful of a sub-title, but it reflects Kathrin’s chatty tone quite nicely. (I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her Kathrin…after reading her book, I feel like we’ve chatted more than just briefly through email.) The text does read like you’re having a sit over a cup of tea, and your wise friend keeps refilling your cup and feeding you very useful metaphors along with the plain spoken advice.

I’ve done my own share of self- and soul-searching over the years, and have delved into it all. I’ve read the weird and the wonderful, the odd and the inspiring…but I can say quite definitively that I have not read a self-help guide so down-to-earth.

The simplicity, no, the clarity of Lake’s advice is a bit disconcerting. Her ideas are not revolutionary or novel, just presented without the bells and whistles that jazz up the more colourful (and less credible?) presenters. This unadorned prose resonates with my own thinking and sits quite naturally with me.

As a linguist myself, I appreciate a woman who points out that the word success has other meanings…as in to come after in time or order or follow. And she asks the simple question: What if success were defined as progress, instead of a result? What if success were defined as not where you end up, but how you live your life every day?

What if we stopped keeping our self-praise and self-esteem building blocks for special occasions, like your mother’s good china, and let it out every day (the Good China Syndrome)?

The discussion on need vs. want sets up a very important distinction. It reminds me greatly of June Singer, a Jungian analyst and author, who discussed the difference between using a verb vs. a noun to describe your profession (in the brilliant book Boundaries of the Soul). Do you tie your work to who you are? Or to something you do? (Try it on for size: “I am a teacher” compared to “I teach” — if someone criticizes my teaching, my self is more at risk if it is part of my identity, instead of one of the things I do.)

I will stop here, and recommend that you visit her website — there’s lots to see!

Lori

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2 Responses to "Aim to Thrive"

I’ve known Kathrin for years; we met nearly a decade ago at the Surrey International Writer’s Contest, and bonded over talk of Mae West and several cocktails. She’s really lived the journey she writes about, and I’m really happy she’s the September guest speaker for the Shebeen Club.

Even if she keeps nagging me to raise the price and “charge what you’re worth, girl!”

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