Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

Based on a highly acclaimed public television series, this book takes the reader on a heartwarming and profound journey to find lasting happiness. John Izzo interviewed over 200 people, ages 60-106, each of whom was identified by friends and acquaintances as “the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning.”

From town barbers to Holocaust survivors, from aboriginal chiefs to CEOs, these people had over 18,000 years of life experience between them. He asked them questions like, what brought you the greatest joy? What do you wish you had learned sooner? What ultimately mattered and what didn’t?

Here Izzo shares their stories – funny, moving, and thought-provoking – and the Five Secrets he learned from listening to them.

This simple book will make you laugh, bring you to tears, and inspire you to discover what matters long before you die.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Are You Optimistic About?

The nightly news and conventional wisdom tells us that things are bad and getting worse. Yet despite dire predictions, scientists see many good things on the horizon. John Brockman, publisher of Edge (www.edge.org), the influential online salon, recently asked more than 150 high-powered scientific thinkers to answer a vital question for our frequently pessimistic times: “What are you optimistic about?

Spanning a wide range of topics – from string theory to education, from population growth to medicine, and even from global warming to the end of world – What Are You Optimistic About? is an impressive array of what world-class minds (including Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, and Harvard professors among others) have weighed in to offer carefully considered optimistic visions of tomorrow. Their provocative and controversial ideas may rouse skepticism, but they might possibly change our perceptions of humanity’s future.

To read the full book summary of "What Are You Optimistic About?" please visit BestSummaries.com.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Luck by Design

Luck. Some have It, some don't. At least it appears that way. Richie Goldman has often been told that he's lucky. And so it seems.

Soon after he graduated from college, he invested, against all advice, in an unknown company with one store and a hand-lettered sign, but that investment--plus twenty-nine years hard work--enabled him to retire early and live what he calls a dream life.

Dumb luck? How about some luck! Goldman knows that luck is something you create for yourself, with hard work, determination, good timing, and trust in yourself and your inner voice.

Goldman highlights some of what the Baby Boomers have done and what they haven't done. Their actions and inaction's have created problems at home and across the globe--there are a lot of problems and a lot of work ahead. Can the problems be solved? Is planning a life insurmountable? Not once you read Luck by Design--and learn how to design luck into your life.

This book is all about helping you how to simply create your own luck, by design.

Would you like to access more life-improvement articles? Please visit BestSummaries.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Using Emotions as You Negotiate
by Roger Fisher & Daniel Shapiro


Beyond Reason offers straightforward, powerful advice for dealing with emotions in even your toughest negotiations, whether with a difficult colleague or your angry spouse. You will discover five “core concerns” that lie at the heart of most emotional challenges.

The advice builds on previous work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, the group that brought you the groundbreaking Getting to Yes. World-renowned negotiator Roger Fisher teams with psychologist Daniel Shapiro, an expert on the emotional dimension of negotiation, to bring you this indispensable new classic.


Why You Need This Book
This book will help you discover how to use emotions to turn a disagreement, big or small, professional or personal, into an opportunity for mutual gain.


Emotions Can be Obstacles to Negotiations
None of us is spared the reality of emotions. What makes emotions so troubling?

They can divert attention from substantive matters. Strong emotions can overshadow your thinking, leaving you at risk of damaging your relationship.

Careful observers of your emotional reaction may learn how much you value proposals, issues, and your relationship with them. In an international or everyday negotiation, positive emotions can be essential.

Positive emotions can make it easier to meet substantive interests. With positive emotions, you are motivated to do more.

Positive emotions need not increase your risk of being exploited. Avoid inhibiting positive emotions; rather, check with your head and your gut before making decisions.


Address the Concern, Not the Emotion
Rather than trying to deal directly with scores of changing emotions affecting you and others, you can turn your attention to five core concerns: appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status, and role.

If you have time, you can also use them as a lens to understand which concern is unmet and to tailor your actions to address the unmet concern.

A negotiation that involves multiple parties and high stakes requires an advanced understanding of the five core concerns.


Express Appreciation
Appreciation is a core concern. You can appreciate by:

1. Understanding a person’s point of view.
2. Communicating your understanding through words or actions.


Build Affiliation
With enhanced affiliation, working together becomes easier and more productive.

Personal connections. By talking about personal matters, you can reduce the personal distance between you.


Acknowledge Status
With a little self-preparation, you can identify your areas of high social and particular status and work to improve or develop new ones so that you can approach your negotiations with a sense of confidence.

Since every person has multiple areas of high status, there is no need to compete with others over status. In turn, you can acknowledge the status of others without cost.


Choose a Fulfilling Role
You are free to expand the activities within your conventional role. Time and again, you also are free to choose temporary roles that empower you and foster joint work.

Reshaping your role can take effort. Over time, you can modify your role to your liking.


Soothe Yourself: Cool Down Your Emotional Temperature
Pause. During the break, relax. Think about how to move the negotiation forward.

Preparation improves the emotional climate of a negotiation. A well-prepared negotiator walks into a meeting with emotional confidence about the substantive and process issues, as well as with clarity about how to enlist each party’s positive emotions.

Establishing a routine structure of preparation. You want to prepare in terms of the process of the negotiation, the substantive issues, and the emotions of each party.

Learning from past negotiations. Experience is of little future value unless you learn from it. After a negotiation, review the interaction in terms of process, substance, and emotions.


Conclusion
We all have emotions all the time. Most negotiators treat emotions as an obstacle to clear, rational thought. As a result, we do not realize the opportunity afforded by positive emotions. Using the core concerns wisely will improve the quality of your relationships at work and at home. You can turn a negotiation from a stressful, worrisome interaction into a side-by-side dialogue where each of you listens, learns, and respects the other.

You improve your outcome.

And instead of inspiring resentment, the process inspires hope.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.














Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Preventing Heart Disease with Optimal Nutrition

The evidence is mounting that the real solution to heart disease is eliminating all refined, processed foods, limiting the sources of free radicals in our diet and lifestyle, and increasing the amounts of antioxidant nutrients we consume.

The B Complex. If you fail to consume optimal amounts of B complex vitamins, an artery-damaging amino acid known as homocysteine can form in your blood.

Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 in particular has many mechanisms by which it prevents heart disease. B6 is necessary for normal collagen metabolism and for maintaining the integrity of the vascular wall.

Beta-Carotene. Beta-carotene is the orange-yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables. It plays a very important role in the prevention of heart and artery disease. It is found in significant amounts in carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow and orange peppers, apricots, and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays such a valuable role in preventing heart disease that Linus Pauling described heart disease as an early stage of scurvy. Only Vitamin C can completely prevent the oxidation of cholesterol from occurring.

Vitamin E. A recent study conducted by the World Health Organization concluded that inadequate vitamin E consumption is the single biggest risk factor for heart disease. Not only does Vitamin E keep cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, but it also lowers cholesterol levels as well.

Magnesium. Magnesium is the most important mineral for heart health. The heart uses calcium to contract and needs magnesium to relax.

Trace Minerals. Selenium and chromium are two trace minerals needed in small, regular amounts for heat disease prevention.

Nuts. There are many studies that show nuts are a valuable source of nutrients that help the body metabolize cholesterol effectively.

Fruits and Vegetables. Fresh produce, while a good source of vitamins and some minerals, may be most valuable as a source of group of nonvitamin antioxidant compounds known as bioflavonoids and polyphenols. These substances powerfully protect against cholesterol oxidation.

Spices. Foods such as capsicum (red or cayenne pepper), garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a wide variety of other species have been found to lower cholesterol, nourish the heart, thin the blood, and prevent cholesterol oxidation.

Sunlight. Some patients have seen dramatic lowering of cholesterol levels – as much as one hundred points – after only four days of sunlight treatment.
Avoid excess iron. High levels of iron in the body can promote free radicals that will in turn oxidize cholesterol.

Avoid excess Vitamin D. There is concern that excessive Vitamin D from fortified dairy and cereal products, combined with the widespread magnesium deficiency in America, may increase the rate at which plaque is laid down in arteries.

Xanthine Oxidase. This is an enzyme in cow’s milk that may cause significant damage to arteries. Commercial skim milk is free of xanthine oxidase.

Avoid sugar. Sugar raises cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin, and increases the stickiness of platelets. High insulin levels make cholesterol more likely to stick to artery walls.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Relaxing Mind and Body

Every once in a while, you need to ‘shut off.’ Not to have to think about working, shopping, ironing, bills, relationships, gardening, families, deadlines, children, parents, what’s right and what’s wrong. If you instinctively fell you’d like to do this – you’re right. Your mind and body is telling you that it wants a break, and if you’re being sensible, you’ll heed the request.

Your body is remarkable in the way as it keeps going, despite the fact you may not always feed it or rest it properly. It’s the same with your mind – it carries on regardless. But stress is cumulative.

When young, most of us can cope with much emotional and physical pressure. Other factors will influence how well we cope, of course, including how we see others around us coping, our diet, and the amount of exercise we take and so on. But often as we go through life, our ability to deal with stress lessens. We may not have dealt with earlier problems and challenges either, which means that new pressures are piled on top of the old ones, and so the pressures grow.

It’s clear that we all need a break from everyday life – both physically and emotionally. Imagine you’re like a volcano. At the bottom lie the unresolved problems you’ve battled with throughout your life – lack of self-esteem and confidence; regret over losing a loved one to someone else, problems in childhood, bitterness, perhaps, that seemingly less deserving people have had better luck in their life.

The middle layer may be the challenges you’re facing on a day-to-day basis – money concerns, unsatisfying relationships, ageing parents in failing health, housing problems or similar. You’ll see then that it doesn’t take too much to cause the small top layer of your ‘volcano’ to erupt, when something relatively minor happens – such as a dog getting under your feet or a partner or child asking you for some extra money.

If you don’t resolve the underlying issues these relatively unimportant things will cause you to flare up and erupt almost constantly. It’s essential therefore to give yourself a gift of time. Time to consider and resolve issues that may have held you back in the past and created unnecessary pressures in your life. It is possible to take time out of your normal routine. It may mean asking for help and take much organizing – ringing around, writing and networking, but you can do it.

As with so many things in life, however, balance is the key. It doesn’t matter how well you’re performing, how good you’re feeling, you must learn to recognize when enough is enough. Even healthy pressure can escalate into excessive pressure if it goes on for too long or added demands are placed upon you. When this happens you may well end up in an impossible struggle between what you think you can do and what is realistically possible.

If you’re thinking, ‘This isn’t me. I know when I’m doing too much,’ don’t get complacent. Most people push themselves too hard at some time or another whilst believing they’re still managing as well as they has always done.

For more self-improvement book summaries, please visit BestSummaries.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The New Dare to Discipline



Methods and philosophies of discipline have been the subject of heated debate and disagreement throughout the past seventy years. Psychologists and pediatricians and university professors have all gotten into the act, telling parents how to raise their kids properly. Unfortunately, many of these “experts” have been in direct contradiction with one another, spreading more heat than light about a subject of great importance.

Perhaps that is why the pendulum has swung back and forth regularly between harsh, oppressive control and the unstructured permissiveness we saw in the mid-twentieth century. It is time we realized that both extremes leave the characteristic scars on the lives of young victims, and I would be hard pressed to say which is more damaging.

At the oppressive end of the continuum, a child suffers the humiliation of total domination. The atmosphere is icy and rigid, and he lives in constant fear. He is unable to make his own decisions, and his personality is squelched beneath the hobnailed boot of parental authority. Lasting characteristics of dependency; deep, abiding anger; an even psychosis can emerge from this persistent dominance.

Many of the writers offering their opinions on the subject of discipline in recent years have confused parents, stripping them of the ability to lead in their own homes. They have failed to acknowledge the desire of most youngsters to rule their own lives and prevail in the contest of wills that typically occurs between generations.

Much has been written about the dangers of harsh, oppressive, unloving discipline; these warnings are valid and should be heeded. Many well-meaning specialists have waved he banner of tolerance, but offered no solution for defiance. They have stressed the importance of parental understanding of the child. But we need to teach children that they have a few things to learn about their parents too!

The term “discipline” is not limited to the context of confrontation. Children also need to be taught self-discipline and responsible behavior. They need assistance in learning how to handle the challenges and obligations of living. They must learn the art of self-control. They should be equipped with the personal strength needed to meet the demands imposed on them by their school, peer group, and later adult responsibilities.

When properly applied, loving discipline works! It stimulates tender affection, made possible by mutual respect between a parent and a child. It bridges the gap which otherwise separates family members who should love and trust each other. It permits teachers to do the kind of job in classrooms for which they are commissioned. It encourages a child to respect other people and live as a responsible, constructive citizen.

As might be expected, there is a price tag on these benefits: they require courage, consistency, conviction, diligence, and enthusiastic effort. In short, one must dare to discipline in an environment of unmitigated love.

The most effective parents are those who have the skill to get behind the eyes of their child, seeing what he sees, thinking what he thinks, feeling what he feels. The art of good parenthood revolves around the interpretation of meaning behind behaviour. If parents intuitively know their child, they will be able to watch and discern what is going on in his little head. The child will tell them what he is thinking if they learn to listen carefully. Unless they can master this ability, however, they will continually fumble in the dark in search of a proper response.

The most vital objective of disciplining a child is to gain and maintain his respect. If the parents fail in this task, life becomes uncomfortable indeed.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Power of the Plus Factor

The Big Idea
You have the power to achieve all that you wish to do in your life – and much more.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, one of the most popular and inspirational writers of all time, explains how you can tap this inexhaustible reserve of energy within you. The key is the Plus Factor, which when activated will give you the motivation to do what you want to do and to achieve health, confidence, and security.

You'll discover that you can do things you once thought were impossible and ultimately experience the fantastic joy of living a healthy, happy life to the fullest.

Find out today how the plus factor can change your life!


Why You Need This Book
This book will offer you a better understanding of this inner potential and make it begin to operate in your life and your loved ones.

You will learn how the Plus Factor can add vitality and excitement to every area of your life through:

Unlocking your potential through creative dreaming

Setting positive goals that will enrich your inner self

Overcoming setbacks by persistence and perseverance in obtaining your goals


The Challenge of the Plus Factor
What if there is a power within you that can revolutionize your life?

The Plus Factor.

It’s the quality of extra-ness that you see in certain people.
People who live with more eagerness, more energy, more enthusiasm than others.

Who set higher goals and achieve them more often.

Who shrug off misfortune and give out warmth and caring and encouragement wherever they go.

But there is one thing you must realize about the Plus Factor. Its power is potential, but it is not self-activating. If you want this wonderful stream of power to be activated in you, there are four preliminary things you should do.

First, make the key discovery that the Plus Factor is no myth, no abstraction, but a reality that has been recognized and used by wise men and women for centuries.

You must want it intensely, urgently, ardently. Lastly, you decide to face the fact that this marvelous potential built into you is not being fully realized.


Creative Dreaming
The first step to be taken in order to start the Plus Factor operating is to learn to be a creative dreamer. In some uncanny way that no one fully understands, dreams seem to contain the seeds of their own fulfillment.

If you dream something long enough and hard enough, a door seems to open and through that door come mighty forces that will guide and support you in your efforts to make the dream come true.

Creative dreaming, in other words, activates the release of power that we call the Plus Factor.

Hard-nosed, practical people sometimes scoff at such a notion. To them the term dreamer implies vagueness and impracticality.

A dream vividly imagined. A goal tenaciously pursued. An unshakable determination to work and work and keep on working.

These are all keys that open the door to the power that we call the Plus Factor.

Dreams are not just idle nothings. They are the parents of possibilities. And possibilities are the descendants of dreams.

Dream big, dream long, dream strong.

And remember, sometimes, the Plus Factor is only a dream away.


Setting Goals
Let’s assume you have begun to liberate the Plus Factor in your nature by the process of creative dreaming.

You have to build a viaduct over which they can pass from the world of dreams to the world of reality.

In other words, you have to learn to set goals.

Here are suggestions that will help you:

Sharpen your thinking about goal setting.
Obviously, goals range all the way from very broad life goals to small specific goals. Learn to distinguish between long-term and short-term goals. The objective is worth the price.

Learn to distinguish between a goal and a wish.
The fairy tales we all loved as children are full of spells that bring instant happiness and charms that make dreams come true; but they are fantasy, not reality. The reason such stories have had such appeal through the ages is that they promise glowing rewards without effort. Life isn’t like that.

Prepare for ultimate goals by achieving interim goals.
The principle involved here is completely logical and completely sound: The training and experience you acquire in attaining a lesser goal leaves you ready to pursue a greater one.

Choose goals that will benefit others as well as yourself.
A goal that involves concern for other people seems to liberate the Plus Factor much more readily than one that doesn’t. It’s not enough for a person entering medical school to want to be rich and successful; his or her basic goal should be the desire to help people. You’ll find it helps to have the concept of service embedded in the goal.


Persisting with the Plus Factor
No matter how long it takes, persist. No matter how discouraged you may get, persevere.

Why are persistence and perseverance of such enormous importance? Because so little consequence is achieved without them.

We’ve all heard the story of the rusty old pickaxe stuck in the rocky wall of an unproductive mine, left there by a miner who had given up in disgust and walked away from it. Years later, another miner idly swung his pick against the same wall and broke through into the fabulous Comstock lode.

Untold wealth could have been discovered by the first miner if only he had persisted a little longer.


Handling Trouble
It’s learning how to live, isn’t it? Life is a priceless gift, but it doesn’t last forever. While we have it, our happiness depends on just one thing: how well we learn to cope with the challenges it presents.

There are common-sense attitudes that can be found helpful in dealing with trouble in such a way that the law of challenge and response becomes operative and the power of the Plus Factor comes through.



Face up to the problem.
There’s always the temptation to shy away from it, to play the ostrich, to bury your head in the sand, and hope the problem will go away. Look the problem in the eye.

Analyze it. Dissect it.

Very often people find themselves in trouble because the trouble is really in them. They may be in trouble, but before they can deal with it they have to recognize and deal with trouble in themselves.

Having faced up to the problem and examined yourself, take some kind of action.
Action is a restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result but the cause of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow.

But any action is better than no action at all. So don’t wait for trouble to intimidate or paralyze you.

Don’t be unwilling to ask for help.
Some people act as if trouble were a disgrace, something to be concealed at all costs. Even a sympathetic friend can help just by listening or offering a word of encouragement. Sharing trouble eases the strain and often helps perspective.

Don’t fall in love with your trouble.
Troubles come. William James, the great psychologist, once said that the essence of genius lies in knowing what to overlook. Why not apply that to your troubles? Overlook the small ones, and when the big ones are ready to move on, open wide the door and let them go.

What the Plus Factor is trying to teach us is this: Trouble can be unpleasant and painful and damaging, but it can also be the flint that strikes sparks out of the steel in your soul.


The Plus Factor of Good Health

Rules for Good Health and Positive Living

Have interesting work to do. Keep active at something worthwhile.

Eat simply. Keep your food intake under control.

Give top priority to walking every day. Swimming is also helpful.

Never let a sense of guilt fester in you.

Develop spirit and soul health.

Cultivate the ‘peace that passes understanding.’

Expect and image good health.

Through spiritual cultivation keep your Plus Factor robust.


Turn Setbacks into Comebacks
Everyone has setbacks. This is a normal fact of life. If you allow it to be so, it can take the life out of you.

Then draw on that big something within called the Plus Factor. You will be strong enough to turn that setback into a comeback.

Often a so-called setback is actually a blessing in disguise. Many times setbacks not only lead to comebacks but to even better circumstances than before.

By a strong positive attitude and intelligent effort he was able to turn the majority of his setbacks into comebacks. And he says he learned something from each experience.

One thing he learned was to look intently into a setback situation for what know-how it might contain, for usually there are some direction signs to that comeback down the road.

Using the principles listed here will help you turn your setbacks into comebacks:

Always believe that with you can ultimately turn any setback into a comeback.

Your Plus Factor is still unimpaired.

Remember, in that setback may be the answer to your comeback.

Never be afraid. Pray big, believe big, think big.

Always be helpful to others and you will have friends who will help you turn setbacks into comebacks.


Remember always that you can turn setbacks into comebacks with your Plus Factor.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.







Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How We Lead Matters

How We Lead Matters
Reflections on a Life of Leadership by Marilyn Carlson Nelson

The Big Idea
Marilyn Carlson Nelson has achieved global recognition for the Carlson brands of hotels, restaurants, travel, and marketing services.

As a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, Marilyn has always put people first. Most compelling of all, she reveals how a meaningful legacy is built one day at a time.


Why You Need This Book
This thoughtful book offers a surprisingly personal glimpse into a multi-faceted woman who became one of the world’s most successful global CEOs.


Star Gazing
Those of us who are “called to business” as our life pursuit must learn how best to leverage our influence and work across sectors on complex problems for the common good. We must be what is called “integrative leaders.”

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, business leaders must pause and contemplate the way businesses can best interact with the non-profit and public sectors.

Like magicians with their adroit movements, Klaus is a master at focusing all attention on the object at hand whether it be peace, social responsibility, economic vitality, or world health.


Secret Ingredient
In today’s pop business culture of motivational phrases and self-improvement books on successful management, there is no shortage of slogans about the value of teamwork:

“There’s no ‘I’ in teamwork.”

“TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.”

The fact is, they all convey what we know instinctively: TEAMS ARE POWERFUL.

Through our own experience and supporting research, we are convinced that complex problems benefit greatly from the creativity that comes from diverse thought, backgrounds, and styles.

The researchers studied “successful” teams and the true “breakthrough” teams to try to determine the differentiators between the two. In the end, they concluded that the greatest determinant of a breakthrough team is that they members of the team care as much about each other’s success as they do about their own success.

It’s well worth the investment to institutionalize a method for hiring people that’s based not only on the capacity to do the job but also on the capacity to care.

The Greeks, who had a wise saying for everything, said, “A people are known by the heroes they crown.”

There are some of us, though, who do see the quiet but significant contributions they make to society and mentally crown them heroes, adding their vocal and, when appropriate, financial support.

BestSummaries.com is a book summary service that provides summaries of top self-help, motivational and inspirational books where you can learn--in minutes-- what it takes to live life and live it well. BestSummaries.com sends out one book summary every week in PDF, PDA, audio and/or print formats. For more information, please go to http://www.bestsum.com.




Saturday, January 3, 2009

Forgiveness: The Tool for Repairing Any Relationship

One of the most common misconceptions about forgiveness is that it necessarily means forgetting. How many times have we heard someone say, “Forgive and forget!” This is next to impossible – barring serious brain injury, of course. We are not wired to completely forget painful events in our past.

Some people might think this kind of memory is God’s cruel joke, just to torment us for our sins. On the contrary, it is a blessing that allows us to remember and learn from past experiences that were hurtful.

We don’t believe it is possible to totally forget a hurt, but we also don’t believe it’s always a good thin to do so anyway. When we try to stuff away our hurts, we are only prolonging the inevitable. When we do that, we are simply waiting for the explosion to occur. Like a volcano, the intense pressure from past hurts builds up inside us, looking for release until it finally erupts. And when it does, it is extremely damaging to family and friends.

William Meninger once wrote these words about forgiveness: “Forgiveness, then, is not forgetting. It is not condoning or absolving. Neither is it pretending nor something done for the sake of the offender. It is not a thing we just do by a brutal fact of the will. It does not entail a loss of identity, of specialness, or of face. It does not release the offenders from obligations they may or may not recognize. An understanding of these things will go a long way towards helping people enter into the forgiveness process.”

Forgiveness is not a onetime event but a process. Unfortunately, many Christian men don’t understand this. If you’ve done something extremely hurtful to your wife and seeking her forgiveness, then you can’t expect the healing to take place immediately. Your loved one may not get over the hurt right away. It may take time.

In fact, and this can be painful to consider – depending on the severity of the hurt, your loved one may never fully recover from the pain. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will suffer day after day for your wrongdoing or the wrongs done to you, but it does mean that the pain may show up from time to time, even years after the offense, usually when some events sparks the memory. The pain isn’t as severe as when it first happened, but it still hurts.

We think this is one way God helps us to keep humble, it’s hard to be overconfident about our emotional or spiritual maturity when we remember how things used to be. We somehow believe that once we say those magic words, “I forgive you,” all pain and hurt just disappear. But it doesn’t always work that way. Often we must go through a process before we can completely heal from the hurt and forgive our loved one for the hurt he or she caused.

By humbly seeking forgiveness and acknowledging every aspect of wrongdoing on your part, you are taking care of your own responsibilities. God does not hold us responsible for our spouse’s sin, only our own.


Men's Relational Toolbox is a manual for building relationships, mostly relationships with women – girlfriends, wives, mothers, daughters, coworkers, bosses, committee members. This will provide you with tool tips for making your relationships effective and successful. For more book summaries, please visit http://www.bestsum.com.