I usually only read novels.
But every now and then I hit something in the non-fiction department, and there are a few of those that I would categorize as life changing:
- “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron.
- “Your Money or Your Life,” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.
- I am just going to group all of SARK’s books together here.
- And the most recent addition to the list, “The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal,” by Eric Greitens. Totally unlike anything I have ever read. I usually avoid stuff which forces me to face that fact that we live in a world where things like war exist. It’s scary and when I think too much about it I live my life crying in a corner. I read this book because of the way my dad described it after he read it. I couldn’t tell you what exactly he said, just that I had a feeling when he said it that I ought to read this.
I think Eric Greitens should run for President.
In “The Heart and the Fist,” he shares great lessons in dealing with one of the most crippling things that gets in our way as humans — fear — and also inspires compassion and motivation. If your life is feeling empty and you need some inspiration, I recommend this memoir. It will broaden your perspective intellectually and emotionally.
Some of the most influential quotes for me were:
- When working in India with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Greitens observed, “The sisters lived their entire lives in faith, but to me, it seemed that they needed to whisper barely a word about their theology because the integrity of their work said everything.” (123)
- A comment on a fellow Navy SEAL in training, “He knew how to fight, and he could fight when he needed to, but he never provoked violence.” (162.)
- A promanent lesson during training, “…Military training clearly emphasizes the most important leadership quality of all: setting the example. Sometimes that example is physical: ‘You better be at the front of the run.’ More often, and more importantly, the example is set by the actions you take that express your values.” (172, 173.)
- “Warriors are warriors not because of their strength, but because of their ability to apply strength to good purpose.” (189.)
- “It may seem obvious, but it is often forgotten that our greatest victories come when we exercise enough courage, intelligence, and discipline to win battles without ever having to fight.” (255.)
- “Phronesis is the ability to figure out what to do, while at the same time knowing what is worth doing.” (283.)
- “I knew from my experience working with Bosnian refugees and Rwandan survivors that those who found a way to serve others were able to rebuild their own sense of purpose, despite all they had lost.” (290.)
- After voluteering with children at refugee camps in war torn countries, then volunteering in Bolivia to work with abandoned children, Greitens writes, “For all of the violence and tragedy and pain that armed conflict brings, I thought that it might be easier for a child to lose a parent or a limb and to live through war than to grow up abused and abandoned.” (106.)
- And I can’t remember the page or the quote, be he talks a bit about living a life worth fighting for.
I could go on for as long as the book does.
- Volunteer service gives vets a second purpose (cbsnews.com)
- A Life Lesson from a Navy SEAL (yelenabosovik.com)
- The US Navy Seal living as a woman (bbc.co.uk)
- The Mission Continues Veterans Find Gateway to Future as Community Leaders at St. Louis Orientation (prweb.com)
- Former Navy SEALs plan 12.2-mile swim for charity (charlotteobserver.com)
- What one thing can determine whether or not you’re successful in life? (bakadesuyo.com)
- the heart and the fist by eric greitens (samanticsandtomfoolery.wordpress.com)
- Fighting (ctipon93.wordpress.com)