I recently read the book, What You Think of me is None of my business by Terry Cole-Whittaker. We usually give away our power to others by depending on their approval. This book wants to empower us to break through from slavery of other’s opinions and dive into power within ourselves to guide us and take other’s opinions as opinions and not let our lives run by them. Terry claims that in spite of having power within all of us, we depend on other’s approval and focus on what others want for us instead of what we want for ourselves. My favorite quote from the book was, “You’ll be less concerned with what others think of you, once you realize how seldom they do.” In this summary, I’ll share with you three key lessons that I learned from the book.
Key Lesson #1: If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them
We often feel trapped by our circumstances, when we forget that we are the one who creates our environment when we let our past run our life.
If you argue for your limitations long enough, sure enough, they are yours. Start arguing in favor of what you want and realize that persistence is the key.
I really loved this small yet powerful sentence, “Pray to God, but row to shore.” Simply put, It means Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
Key Lesson #2: Others are not your source
Self-reliance simply is understanding that others are not responsible for our happiness. Even though we need others to live a meaningful life, but it is our higher self that is the real source and can give us fulfillment. We mistake other people for the source and end up giving away our powers to them. To re-gain our self-reliance Terry suggests we give up two things –
1. You must give up every bit of self-hate, self-dislike, self-disapproval.
2. You must give up your obsessive need for approval from people other than yourself. These include your mate, your children, your friends, your parents, the people you work with, your neighbors, and everyone else.
Key Lesson #3: True power lies within us
Terry says that most of the choices we make are unconscious. The focus of the book is to increase our awareness and consciousness so that we can choose consciously. So that when the time of change comes, we benefit from it rather than falling victim to change. One of the biggest obstacles we create in our lives is our resistance to change. Most of us fight change from the day we are born until the day we die. You may not agree with this, but life is not “fair.” It is “just” but it is not fair. Your life is in your hands. The power is there. The potential is there waiting for you to direct it.
This book was an inspirational book that helps us be independent of other's opinions and know that other's opinions, it’s just that, their opinion. This book also empowers us to go within, instead of relying on other people, and realize that each and every one of us, deep inside ourselves have the power to change our lives for good. As Terry says – As long as that which you do is ethical, as long as you do not want to hurt, steal, or take from another person, then the lifestyle you choose has to be good.