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Books to Inspire

Sometimes you read a book, and it really inspires you.

I'm sure you've had the feeling.  It's like when you read a book on a new health fad and you're thinking - my GOD, all the answers to my health problems and weight issues and ageing fears will all be fixed by this wonderful new eating regime!  It's so obvious!!  I will start it immediately and I will be SO HEALTHY.

And so you start down the track of religiously following all the ideas and themes laid out in the book.  Then a couple of weeks go by and some old habits start sneaking in, just here and there.  Then it's a month and there are whole days where you forget the book and its life-changing ideas (mainly because, well, maybe your life hasn't changed as much as you would have hoped).  A year later, the book and it's ideas are at the Op Shop.

This trajectory of events happens with fiction books as well.  A story grabs you by the shirt and drags you through its emotional depths and giddy heights.  You are immersed in the story and feel each twist and turn as if they were your own personal narrative, and the (hopefully) triumphant ending gives you tingles, and instils within you a wondrous sense that you could tackle anything. Anything at all!  You'll be just like the character in the book, brave and resilient, and face down all your problems because you are JUST SO INSPIRED.  But then that fades as well, and you again fall back into your own, well-learned habits and fears (unless you're a Harry Potter nut in which case you probably just keep reading the books again and again and again so that you eventually feel like the fictional world exists just around the edges of your actual reality).

So what the hell is the point that I am trying to make?  Put simply - words and narratives have the ability to INSPIRE.  To uplift and give us hope, even if it is just for an hour, or a day, or hell maybe even a week.  Sometimes people talk of books that have inspired them for their entire lives, although this is a rare and special thing indeed.  What a gift to gain from mere words on a page.  Inspiration, and the feeling of elation that comes from a moving story, are not experiences that you can stumble upon just anywhere - yet words on a page offer so much.  26 letters in different combinations, and look what they can achieve.

But don't feel bad if maybe you haven't kept up all the noble habits you learned from within the pages of a book.  Sometimes, all you need is an hour or two of inspiration to give you the strength to tackle something tedious, or maybe cheer you up when you've had a shitty day, or perhaps give you the courage to do something you were avoiding.  Sometimes, that magical window of inspiration, however long or short, is just enough to make real changes in your life.

(P.S.  The book that I just finished reading is The Alchemist.  Follow your dreams, people!  FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.  I will be following mine for at least two weeks!!!!!!)


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