Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ed Douglas Publications: 25 Truths (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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Ed Douglas is a Certified Financial Planner.  He has written other other economics books, including Making a Million With Only $2000: Every Young Person Can Do It and The Money Marathon: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, each published under the direction of Ed Douglas Publications. Mr. Douglas understands what it takes to achieve goals when it comes to money.  However, he understands that wealth is not a true measure of success, but rather our character that determines our worth.  His latest book,  25 Truths: Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us addresses these simple yet universal ideas that, when used as life's guides, will yield happiness.

25 Truths takes a simple concept, applies a philosophical, pop culture, or Bibilical passage to it, and then explores it in the context of real life.  Steve Holt writes in the Foreward: "In your hands, you have the twenty-five truths. Now, what do you do  Read them, share them, discuss them, and live them."  So that's what we did.  Because the book is geared for everyone from about 6th grade up,  I read the book, and then introduced the ideas to Luke and Matthew (entering grades 7 and 10), to see what they thought.  Luke tended to be more willing to discuss the ideas.  We often have our most fruitful conversations in the car  - he's a bit of a captive audience as he "rides shotgun" when I drive, but also the ability to talk without staring at each other makes things more relaxed.  I think Matthew turned out to be a little young for the book - he didn't grasp a whole lot of the "deeper" connections.  Luke, being a little older, seemed to get points more easily.  He seemed to make a better connection with the Truths and the supporting philosophy and real-life examples, and then figure out how to apply them to his own life. 

Truth Number Seven - "Don't Hate--Instead, Forgive - is something that we both understand cognitively but struggle with in reality.  After the last two years and school closings, we both are feeling a bit on the bitter side towards the "powers-that-be" within our Diocese.  To summarize a very long story in a sentence: the actions taken by the Diocese have left many parishioners and students with feelings of betrayal and distrust, and we are definitely among them.  I would not go so far to say there is actual hatred, but the situation has definitely led to unhappiness.  Sure, I know what Jesus says about forgiveness, but it certainly is easier to listen than to do. Forgiving is not always something that comes easily, but we both agree that it is something that needs to be done (and that we are working on).  Acknowledging and living this truth isn't necessarily going to make me a "success" in the modern sense - I'm not going to win any awards or gain any money - but I would argue that a life filled with anger isn't a success, either.

Truth Number Seventeen - "Play to Win" is something I have long said to Luke.  Luke is a competitive figure skater.  Being brutally honest - he's not going to go to the Olympics.  But that's totally OK - because that's not his goal.  He wants to be a coach.  Qualifying to be a coach means he needs experience as a competitor and testing candidate.  The last thing I always say to him when he goes to his Coach to go start is "Leave it all on the ice. No matter how the judges score you, as long as you hold nothing back, I'm proud."  He knows this means hours of practice (Hey! There's Truth Number Sixteen, "Practice Makes Perfect"), but also that you can't just meander aimlessly around the ice.  If you don't skate for first, you'll never be first.  It's ok if you fall short - somebody has to be second or third or even eighth - as long as you've truly played to win and tried your hardest, that's worth more than any medal. 

Something I really appreciate is that while this book did include Bible passages as reinforcement (Truth Seven includes Matthew 5:43-44), including other quotes, compiled from sources ranging from Shakespeare's Richard II to Abraham Lincoln's addresses to a line from the 80's hit song, "Never Surrender," kept the book from ever becoming preachy.  I am particularly drawn to listen to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York, because he is a man who takes his faith and the Church very seriously, but he doesn't take himself seriously. He's quick with a joke, to acknowledge his own humanity, to show that God isn't something to joke about but sometimes the life He gives us needs a little levity.  I think one reason why I enjoyed this book is because Mr. Douglas takes a similar attitude - 25 Truths: Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us takes its message seriously, but recognizes that the meaning of life can be found anywhere, shared by anyone.  Sometimes life requires deep the deep philosophy of St. Paul and the Evangelists, but sometimes, you can find the meaning of life by listening to the Beach Boys.  My recommendation is to purchase and read the book ($12.50 plus $3 s/h), available directly from Ed Douglas Publications), read the examples, and then find your inspiration for how to apply these truths to your life so you will find your own success. 


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1 comment:

  1. I love how your review reflects so much of your own personal experience...and I love Cardinal Dolan, too ;-)


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